AZ shooting: The blame game is part of the problem

Two responses to the shooting in Arizona over the weekend. First, prayers for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the other people who were wounded, and the doctors working to keep them alive; for the families of those who were killed; and, yes, for the clearly very tortured soul of the accused killer, 22-year-old Jared Loughner.

Which leads me to the second point.

The rush from some precincts to blame the shooting on the tea party or Sarah Palin was disgusting. Everyone who self-righteously did so in the name of civility in politics needs to understand that their blood libels make them part of the problem.

And, yes, it is blood libels — plural — at this point. Before this killing, it was the Times Square bomber last spring; before that, it was the aviator who crashed a small plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, last winter; before that, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2009. In each instance, the specter of tea-party radicalism, or at least its supposedly inciting rhetoric, was raised — only for it to become clear once the facts emerge that we were talking about either a lone-actor head case or, in the Times Square bombing, an Islamic terrorist (more on that in a moment).

The next time a person connected to the tea party commits a politically motivated murder will be the first time. Yet, the movement has been branded as violent without basis, simply because some people wish for it to be so.

As a journalist, I understand the impulse of my brethren working on a story such as this to begin looking for clues as to why it happened. A Democratic congresswoman is shot at a public event she’s holding, and it’s only natural to look for clues that it may have been a politically motivated killing; I get that. But there was a time, if only in the theoretical news operation of journalism-school construct, when the media didn’t speculate upon such theories publicly, either directly or through the quoting of other people who were merely speculating, until they’d found some sort of actual evidence.

And, getting back to the Times Square bombing, such a time still exists when Islamic terrorism may have been to blame. In those instances, we are told not to jump to conclusions, not to tar an entire belief system by the actions of one person or a handful of persons. Now, to be perfectly clear, I think it is appropriate for the media (and politicians) not to speculate that a killer or attempted killer may have been linked to Islamic terrorism until they find some evidence pointing to that motivation. The question is why we don’t see such forbearance — back in that j-school classroom, the professor called it “media ethics” — when the belief system that might be tarred is a group of our fellow Americans who just happen to have a different political orientation than most of the media.

There’s also the double standard that when Palin puts candidate in her political cross-hairs, she’s said to be inciting violence. But when Democrats do the same thing, everyone understands it for what it is: an analogy to war in a society where such metaphors litter our discussion of politics, sports and most anything else that’s competitive.

Do we need more civility in our political discourse? Yes, and I’ve mentioned that need a few times before on this blog. But not because it will prevent mass shootings by sick individuals. Just read the words at the end of this Associated Press story:

One of the high school friends who spoke on condition of anonymity paused when asked if he considered Loughner a Republican or Democrat.

“Is there a radical party? It went beyond that, it wasn’t left or right,” the friend said.

114 comments Add your comment

carlosgvv

January 10th, 2011
9:40 am

The fault here belongs to those who have deliberately misread the constitution in order to serve the gun manufacturers and receive their huge cash bribes. America has not become a shooting gallery by accident but the gun lobby is so entrenched that a change will probably not happen for a least fifty years, if ever.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
9:50 am

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people… ijs…

BTW, if a criminal wants to get a gun, he can get a gun no matter how “tough” the gun control laws are.

Michael H. Smith

January 10th, 2011
10:07 am

It really comes down to this Kyle and it is the rule often applied to free speech: Time and Place.

When things like this occur in our country it is time to stand down, back off and ratchet down the tone and volume of our speech and think of what is better for the country than what bests serves our own political agendas. I was born American first, I became a conservative second.

An Adult

January 10th, 2011
10:07 am

Metaphor? What’s metaphoric about cross hairs placed on a map and the name of the congress people listed. There is no metaphor there. They were clearly gun cross hairs one would see from a gun scope and the names were real people. Don’t cop out to the metaphor. Palin did it plain and simple and, if it wasn’t offensive, why did it get removed right after the incident? Your prejudice, a always, shines through. It’s not even opinion, it’s prejudice and you likely call yourself a ‘journalist’. Go back to journalism school (if you ever went to one).

Linda

January 10th, 2011
10:08 am

Keith Olberman spent about three minutes on Saturday ranting about the culpability of Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party. He demanded that they apologize for their “hate speech” which led to these senseless shootings. Enough said about that. Mr. Olberman has previously been disciplined for on-air comments. MSNBC will have to make their own determination about what and who they think should be on air. The contentious conversations started when the left wing of the Democratic Party started calling for George Bush’s head!! I agree — enough already with the vitriol — but on both sides of the political spectrum.

Edward

January 10th, 2011
10:13 am

‎1. Rush Limbaugh: “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

2. Senator Phil Gramm: “We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”

3. Rep. James Hansen on Bill Clinton: “Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”

4. John Derbyshire intimated in the National Review that because Chelsea Clinton had “the taint,” she should “be killed.”

5. Ann Coulter: “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too.”

6. Ann Coulter: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”

7. Bill O’Reilly: “All those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains.”

8. Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck said he was “thinking about killing Michael Moore” and pondered whether “I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it,” before concluding: “No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?”

Belinda

January 10th, 2011
10:19 am

I agree with Edward. The extreme right wing has only themselves to blame for reasonable people thinking of them first when trying to sort out this horrible shooting in our heads. The Tea Party is the first thing we said when we were watching the news of this incident. And my husband is far from a liberal.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:19 am

An Adult

January 10th, 2011
10:07 am

And doing the same thing w/bulleseyes, like the DCCC did, is different? Please….

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:24 am

“Take, for example, the corrupt media reporting on Conservatives supposedly inciting violence.. Any liberal can carry a sign saying “Kill Bush” and nobody in the corrupt media media says a word about inciting violence, not to mention that it’s against the law to threaten the President of the United States..

If a Conservative speaks out against against Obama’s Socialist policies though, or if someone like Sarah Palin utters the word “Reload” in a speech, they are attacked and branded by the corrupt media as violent racists who are trying to incite violent actions against Democrats.”

http://www.usbacklash.org/?p=1385 (has some nice pictoral evidence as well)

Michael H. Smith

January 10th, 2011
10:25 am

Bathtub boy demanded an apology for hate speech?

Now that is RICH!

I got to see what goes on today over at MSNBC MSDNC. It was bad yesterday, I’m sure it will be much worse today.

Sad commentary. They [The Media] should all be calling to calm things down, not stoking the fires that are already out of control. I’m sure Boortz will be fanning the flames. Yeah Neal you’re probably going to get some facts right about the left but be the bigger man and say enough of the tit for tat, let’s all take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes.

[...] AZ shooting The blame game is part of the problem — Atlanta Journal Constitution blog [...]

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:32 am

“A left-wing, Communist Manifesto reading, schizophrenic, nut-bar, dirt bag that posts obviously deranged YouTube videos about mind control, who has no association with the Tea Party, shoots a congresswoman = SARAH PALIN IS EVIL

Yes, that can be confusing. I know. Bear with me. Remember the last time we went over this kind of thing:

A Muslim in the US Army, after preaching Jihad and corresponding with Al Queda in Yemen, goes on a shooting rampage while screaming “Allah Akbar” = NOT TERRORISM

Clear?

I know you may be thinking that the correct thing to do here is to take the assassin, try him, and execute him accordingly, but that would be incorrect. The proper thing to do is pin the whole thing on the people that the media don’t like first.

Remember:

Tea Party movement is about how regular Americans are sick of paying too much in taxes and the government is too big and ineffectual = SETTING A DANGEROUS AND VIOLENT TONE

Making a movie about the assassination of George Bush = ART”

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/understanding-media-or-why-are-you-right-wingers-so-filled-with-hate/

JKL2

January 10th, 2011
10:34 am

Well put Kyle.

Of course your talking to people who can’t distiguish the difference between torture as chopping off body parts leading to death and that of taking embarrassing photographs.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:38 am

So Edward decided to go there, huh? Well, here ya go;

“A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked].” — A “humor bit” from the Randi Rhodes Show

“..And then there’s Rumsfeld who said of Iraq ‘We have our good days and our bad days.’ We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say ‘This is one of our bad days’ and pull the trigger.” — From a fundraising ad put out by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club

“Republicans don’t believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don’t give a hoot about human beings, either can’t or won’t. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm.” — The Village Voice’s Michael Feingold, in a theater review of all places

“Drudge? Aw, Drudge, somebody ought to wrap a strong Republican entrail around his neck and hoist him up about six feet in the air and watch him bounce.” — Liberal radio host, Mike Malloy

And I have many more….

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:39 am

Um, so how come when I try to put quotes of liberals inciting violence to respond to Edward’s post, my post doesn’t get posted???

Minister James

January 10th, 2011
10:41 am

Palin has been like a bad child that someone told their antics were cute. She only became emboldended by the adulation and let the rhetoric spew. What we are seeing is simply a backlash from what she, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and that ilk have generated themselves. They have all become wealthy spewing devisive and hate-filled rhetoric. There is a saying;’ You reap what you sow’. We should all take heed to these eternal words. The tragedy is that such horrific consequences were suffered by innocent people. This a time for each of us to reflect on our own words and actions. Words are as powerful as bullets. America is called a melting pot because of our differences. That is what makes us so unique. That is what makes us great;…’ not our guns’.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:44 am

Michael H. Smith

January 10th, 2011
10:44 am

First thing I thought of after learning of the shooting in AZ was… we got another nut job second thing was… the socialist liberals will blame the Tea Party, third thing was… the left is going to blame the right. fourth things was… anybody that gives a rat’s butt about this country needs to try to calm things down, otherwise nobody wins and everybody loses.

How’s my score so far Kyle?

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:45 am

testing 1…2…3…

Claydo11

January 10th, 2011
10:46 am

Thank you very much Kyle. People these days are just out of line. This is not a matter of right or left, but a matter or craziness. But we keep wanting to point fingers. Just sick. People just died, It is a clearly insane kid that did it, so who cares what political views he has. BTW, he loves books like The Communist Mannifesto, and Mein Kemf, or however it is pronounced. Both very far left and very far right. So, Crazy.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:46 am

“What we are seeing is simply a backlash from what she, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and that ilk have generated themselves. They have all become wealthy spewing devisive and hate-filled rhetoric”

And Democrats and Liberals are as clean as the blanket of snow that just fell…. :rollyeys:

jconservative

January 10th, 2011
10:51 am

It appears this column was just a waste of your time Kyle.

A leaked report, so do not know if is true, indicates the shooter had a problem with the congresswoman going back to 2007 when he asked her an incoherent question about mind control and he did not like her answer to his question.

But back to the exchange of charges on inflammatory rhetoric.

Both sides are guilty of language I will call to “colorful” or to “graphic”. This has been going on since I started voting in 1960 and started noticing politics. Both sides are equally guilty of poor word choices. And both sides end up making some type of apology only to continue the next day with the same practice.

My concern would be the inability or lack of desire by a lot of people to debate an issue without calling other people names. The simple debate of an issue without resorting to third grade name calling is the big problem I see in American politics in the last 50 years.

A fun party game I have played on occasion is to open the floor to debate on an issue with the rule that no persons name, no political party/group and no deity can be mentioned or referenced during the debate. Only the issue itself is debated. The number of people who just give up is an eye opener.

Michael H. Smith

January 10th, 2011
10:57 am

As it was said before by another person, you can call me a populist conservative anytime you want. Doesn’t bother me, the shoe fits and I wear it – proudly.

confederate dunce

January 10th, 2011
10:58 am

Sarah “crosshairs” Palin is guilty as sin.

Dave

January 10th, 2011
10:58 am

“Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.”

Will any Democrat be prosecuted under this proposed law? Or just Republicans?

Marks

January 10th, 2011
11:05 am

Where am I? Oh the ATL

15 minutes are up for Sarah, deal with it. Who garnered the most infamy with their cross hair graphic and she would exclaim “Bullseye” when her targeted political enemy went down during the Senate election.

There could be only the murderer getting more crazy, fixated on Giffords from a weird conversation they had years ago. But he also might have read or saw other protesters in her district. Saw the news her office windows smashed. Giffords got on Tv and complained about being target. He might have watched her again and again with that. We don’t know the media spin he understood but Palin and the Tea Party were after her. Gun references a plenty. Some yahoo ex-marine thinking his politics are defined by shooting a M-16. That’s reference in Arizona to shoot who? Immigrants? Political enemies? TAKE BACK AMERICA from the majority of people who voted for the President with 2nd Amendment Solutions? This is their shout and Palin would stammer REVOLUTION.

Palin is done because her political speech matched a killer’s effort in Arizona unfortunately. She’s not cause but was involved in the area. Her media focus was Giffords and there is no escaping it now.

Michael H. Smith

January 10th, 2011
11:09 am

Dave, the Rep. will have to cite what or where in the Constitution it gives standing to his bill if the Republicans stick to their proposed rules. Personally IMHO unless it can stand up to the time and place rule the court has used, it will be found unconstitutional eventually.

If Congress wants to pass a law they should think about one that honestly does what is needed to be done to treat or institutionalize the mentally ill, particularly where that can be determined they pose a real danger to themselves or society at large.

Mistress

January 10th, 2011
11:12 am

That article is a pant load. $arah is a hate monger who uses violent gun imagery to gin up and ramp up the hate speech she spews 24/7/365. She has blood on her hands, her pathetic staff trying to say they were’nt gun sights is a flat out lie. $arahs jealousy and hatred have come home to roost. Stand up $arah you coward, apologize for being pathetically stupid, hateful and untruthful.

lightnin

January 10th, 2011
11:16 am

From WAPO, “The Fix”, Mar. 24, 2010:

The Democratic National Committee will spend more than $1 million on a combination of television and radio ads in nearly three dozen House districts aimed at seizing the momentum gained from the passage of President Obama’s health care plan on Sunday night.

Ten Republicans will be TARGETED with 60 second radio ads “slamming them for [their] votes against and pinching them on repeal,” said a party source briefed on the buy. Among the GOP TARGETS will be: Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Joseph Cao (La.).

Dave

January 10th, 2011
11:20 am

“That article is a pant load. $arah is a hate monger who uses violent gun imagery to gin up and ramp up the hate speech she spews 24/7/365. She has blood on her hands, her pathetic staff trying to say they were’nt gun sights is a flat out lie. $arahs jealousy and hatred have come home to roost. Stand up $arah you coward, apologize for being pathetically stupid, hateful and untruthful.”

And the Daily Kos putting a bullseye on Giffords district in 2008 was different? Oh yea, it was done by a Democrat… gotcha…

Dave

January 10th, 2011
11:22 am

Maybe it’s the Daily Kos’ fault:

“‘My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!’ There are also several references to “dead” in the comment thread.

All of it now deleted – something Kos does on a regular basis when he wishes to change history. Kos also seems to have forgotten a posting of his calling for putting a “bullseye” on Giffords’ district. The New York Times insinuated something about Sarah Palin’s use of crosshairs in connection with the shooting, but so far as we have noticed, has not mentioend leftist violent rhetoiric and imagery. “

John

January 10th, 2011
11:40 am

Why are conservatives so upset about this. Perhaps this guy was only using his “2nd Amendment remedies”. Remember Sharron Angle speaking to conservative Nevada talk show host Bill Manders.

Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who’s in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical…

Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

Question Authority

January 10th, 2011
11:59 am

People are using the term “hate speech” and others regarding the reaction that many have had to the unconstitutional behavior of the federal government. This criminal behavior is certainly not confined to the Obama adminstration, but has been going on in Washinton for many decades. The media chooses to selectively cover both the unconstitutional acts and the public reaction to them as the “powers that be” allow them to.

But let us not forget one important thing. While the “left” (god I hate the simple-minded dichotomy that is used – this is about freedom versus authoritarianism and is not confined to a simple left-right scale)is appalled that anyone would show any hatred for government or its actions and many have pointed out that some Obamacare opponents showed up to rallies with their guns (fully in compliance with state law), Obamacare advocates showed up with the guns FIRST.

Let’s review. If I advocate a policy that allows the free market and individuals to make decisions through voluntary exchange of money, etc. for goods or services then I am advocating a truyly peaceful process.

If on the other hand I do not wish to allow people to voluntarily choose, allow businesses to operate free of government regulations and controls, then I am advocating the use of the government force mechanism, its guns, its prisons, and ultimately the spector of death as a potential punishment for not complying with the laws I wished passed.

Those who “advocate” for the poor, the needy, the “you fill in the blanks” try to pass themselves off as these benevolent types with only love and goodness in their hearts yet the first thing they want is for the violent state to pass laws, throw people in prison, steal their money, and kill them if they resist.

When talking to your ignorant friends on both the left and the right, remind them that one either advocates liberty, freedom, and a peaceful, voluntary mechanism to solve problems, or YOU are bringing guns to the debate.

Violence is the mechanism of the state. That is all it is good at. We who advocate liberty and freedom must never sink to their level. We must educate and encourage our fellow citizens to peacefully withdraw their consent, for that is all that ultimately supports the state and its violent ways.

Clay

January 10th, 2011
12:00 pm

Haa so now it is all Sarah Palins fault. You people discust me.

Dabir Dalton

January 10th, 2011
12:19 pm

Unfortunately our politicians {no matter the party} all to often engage in Political Terrorism while the IRS has been known to engage in Financial Terrorism against US citizens sometimes at the request of the Occupant of the Oval Office who ever he may be at that given time. There are also prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement officers and judges who quite willingly and intentionally with both malice and forethought engage in Judicial Terrorism against defendants who aren’t wealthy enough to afford a high powered defense attorney. And the CIA has been known to engage in International Political Terrorism by instigating the fall of other governments as they did in Iraq which the following power vacuum allowed Saddam to seize power many years ago. While there are journalists who in defending and promoting the agendas of the left, right and feminists engage in Ideological Terrorism by painting their opponents in a bad light with a very broad brush.

Now with our own leaders throughout society all too often engaging in the several forms of terrorism listed above why would anyone be surprised when a private citizen decides to engage in a little terrorism themselves?

CJ

January 10th, 2011
12:26 pm

Hmmm. My comment didn’t post. Kyle, will you keep an eye out?

DebbieDoRight

January 10th, 2011
12:29 pm

Linda: The contentious conversations started when the left wing of the Democratic Party started calling for George Bush’s head!!

No Linda you are wrong. The divisions started when Clinton won office. The republican party spent MILLIONS of tax dollars going after the Clintons first for alleged Whitewater wrongdoing. When they couldn’t find anything with that scenario they kept digging and spending money until they did. That’s when it started getting out of hand and started the downhill descent of politics.

BEST COMMENT TODAY: When things like this occur in our country it is time to stand down, back off and ratchet down the tone and volume of our speech and think of what is better for the country than what bests serves our own political agendas. I was born American first, I became a conservative second.

I wish we ALL could think like that. The narrator of this blog included.

Nathan Deal

January 10th, 2011
12:35 pm

Oh please. If you don’t believe that the hate speech that has filled the airways over the past 20 years has helped to bring us to this point in time, then you are not nearly as smart as you should be. It is past time for all Americans to stand up to and condemn this hateful rhetoric. And, please don’t tell me that the Dems have participated to the extent that the Republicans have in stoking the anger in the conservative base. It is sick- and it has consequences. But all you Republicans are scrambling now because of what has happened and the crosshairs on Giffords. And some of you want to elect Palin President??? Are you insane???

confederate dunce

January 10th, 2011
12:36 pm

The intern, Daniel Hernandez, who saved Gifford’s life is a gay, Hispanic man. Just think a couple of weeks ago, conservatives were arguing his right to serve in the military.

CJ

January 10th, 2011
12:38 pm

Question Authority @11;59, “Those who ‘advocate’ for the poor, the needy, the ‘you fill in the blanks’ try to pass themselves off as these benevolent types with only love and goodness in their hearts yet the first thing they want is for the violent state to pass laws, throw people in prison, steal their money, and kill them if they resist.”

And @12:19, Dabir Dalton writes that “the IRS has been known to engage in Financial Terrorism against US citizens sometimes at the request of the Occupant of the Oval Office.”

These guys don’t seem to understand how a democracy is supposed to work. But these aren’t original thoughts. They’re getting it from Fox News, Talk Radio, right-wing pundits, candidates, and elected officials. Among the right, such comments in blogs aren’t the source of the problem, they’re a reflection of their ideological leaders. And as long as they spout nonsense about the “violent state” (i.e., a government that enforces it’s laws) and “Financial Terrorism”, we’re going to get nuts with guns who decide to take action—in the form of threats or worse.

DebbieDoRight

January 10th, 2011
12:40 pm

OK here’s the difference between Dems & Repubs – A dem knows the difference between a joke, a metaphor, and an attack. If a Dem says we need to go back to the time of Roosevelt, all dems know that what was said is a metaphor, (because during that period was the Great Depression). If a Repub says “we need to water the tree of liberty with more blood”; someone, (usally a dem, or another innocent person), dies.

CJ

January 10th, 2011
12:40 pm

Since my earlier comment didn’t post, I’ll post this excerpt from it–

July 3, 2010—Joyce Kaufman, a conservative radio hosts on WFTL in Florida, tells a crowd of supporters at a Fort Lauderdale Tea Party event, “I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendments rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will. This is the standoff. When I say I’ll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven’t achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because if at that point I’m going to up into the hills of Kentucky, I’m going to go out into the Midwest, I’m going to go up in the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches and I’m going to gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for and some things are worth dying for.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB7g3y597fs

Nathan Deal

January 10th, 2011
12:40 pm

How in the world can we continue to justify the ease with which idiots such as this can get a handgun; or 8,000 handguns if he wants .

Question Authority

January 10th, 2011
12:57 pm

CJ – I’ll thank you not to second guess where I get my thoughts and opinions. I am very well-read and consider the clowns on Fox news (aside from Judge Napolitano) to be as much of the problem in this country as the ones on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC, etc.

You can wish to delude yourself into believing that the government is nothing but nice lovable people who only want the best for us, but the reality is this – laws are not voluntary. To resist is to bring down the rath of the government and whatever level of force it wishes to use. Armed agents exist in virtually every government agency, and when it is time to enforce their laws (laws by the way that are NOT passed by congress directly, but are typically written by non-elected bureaucrats), they will show up with guns and heaven help you if you put up any resistence, like demanding due process, etc. Countless individuals have been killed by government agents just “doing their duty.” Countless unarmed individuals.

This is not rhetoric. This is today’s reality. If you wish to hide from the news or absolve yourself of YOUR responsibility in demanding that your elected representatives engage in this kind of behavior on YOUR behalf, then fine, but it doesn’t change the truth.

AND BY THE WAY, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC THAT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK BY HAVING A CONSTITUTION THAT PROTECTS THE CITIZENS FROM THE ABUSES OF GOVERNMENT. That is no longer the case. Maybe a study of history might help you out a bit.

Question Authority

January 10th, 2011
1:00 pm

If I have mischaracterized the way in which government’s enforce their laws, please clarify. The last time I checked, the folks ALWAYS show up with guns and certainly don’t refrain from using them. Not even against the bed-ridden, the crippled, children, the unarmed, the elderly, the deaf…do I need to go on? All this is well-documented on news pages and youtube videos.

Nathan Deal

January 10th, 2011
1:07 pm

Of course laws are not voluntary. That is one price we pay for our participation in our Republic. AND you do not get to pick and choose which laws you will obey. Government is not the problem- regardless of what Reagan said. Bad Government is a problem- but not the only problem. Read the comments by Edward at 10:13- no one has the RIGHT to spew that kind of garbage.

Nathan Deal

January 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

Well then Kyle- you have mentioned the need for more civility on your blog several times. Well- that makes all the difference. And those comments above from the right wing talk shows; they are not a huge part of the problem?? They speak their trash daily to million of Americans- many of which are not the brightest bulb in the pack. But they continue to make these hateful comments(for 20 years now).
And do they ever speak to our better angels? Hardly.

CJ

January 10th, 2011
1:33 pm

Question Authority “AND BY THE WAY, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC

No need to shout, brother.

But of course, I knew it was coming. Why the right insists on arguing this false distinction is beyond me. This odd assertion is like saying “IT’S NOT A VEGETABLE, IT’S A CARROT.” A “constitutional republic” is one form of democracy.

And yes, laws are generally enforced by armed agents of the government. Sometimes we agree with the laws (or how they’re administered by “non-elected bureaucrats”) and sometimes not. But in a nation of laws, we generally authorize our representatives to enforce them. You call it “the violent state”. Again, I call it democracy.

But the implication of such rhetoric (yes, that’s what it is), seems to be that those associated with “the violent state” are somehow oppressors or enemies, and should be dealt with as such. Maybe that’s not Question Authority’s intended meaning, but it’s a reasonable inference. And it reinforces what Kyle attempts to deny—that such a call to arms doesn’t exist, is somehow harmless, or is processed equally on both sides of the political spectrum.

John

January 10th, 2011
1:45 pm

“Do we need more civility in our political discourse? Yes, and I’ve mentioned that need a few times before on this blog.”

I agree with you there but if you really believe this and the rest of this article you wrote, will you make a pledge to do just that.

While you claim to have mentioned that need a few times in this blog, you have also blogged right-wing conservative talking points designed to incited fear, hatred and anger with what seems to have been very little research of the facts. As I recall, you blogged about the “Mosque at Ground Zero” when in reality it was a Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero. This cultural center was to include a 9/11 memorial as well as prayer rooms available to people of all faiths…something conservatives didn’t include in their rhetoric.

I also recall the overblown story of made up resources and cost for President Obama to travel to India. None of the information came from the White House, the Pentagon or any other government agency. It came from a article printed in India. The conservatives wanted the government release this information; however, no President releases this information due to security reasons.

CJ

January 10th, 2011
1:49 pm

Question Authority: “…IT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC THAT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK BY HAVING A CONSTITUTION THAT PROTECTS THE CITIZENS FROM THE ABUSES OF GOVERNMENT. That is no longer the case.

Jay Bookman has a good response to comments like this one:

“…American political thought is infected with the idea that violence is a legitimate political tool that can and should be employed at some unspecified point, when some unspecified political actor takes some unspecified political action that crosses some unspecified line. The decision of when such a line is crossed is typically left to the would-be patriot, but always with the suggestion that the line is getting closer, the day is drawing nearer, the threat is growing larger.

That mindset is fed by descriptions of our elected leadership as tyrants or as illegitimate usurpers out to destroy America. After all, once their tyrannical and destructive character is established, violence as a means of addressing the threat to liberty becomes justified. ‘Sic semper tyrannis,’ as John Wilkes Booth so infamously proclaimed.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/01/10/aftermath-of-tucson-shooting-as-dismaying-as-actual-event/