January 12, 2011

If you really believed political rhetoric caused Jared Loughner's killing spree, you wouldn't dare to say it.

Some people displayed a crazed hunger for a vicious murderer who was inspired by the criticism of the government that has been so powerful over the last 2 years. Jared Loughner was not that guy, and, of course, they looked ridiculous and despicable jumping to say that he was.

Now, what if it were really true that incendiary political rhetoric pushed mentally unstable individuals over the edge and caused them to act out murderously? Picture such a mentally unstable person reading and listening to the rhetoric that spewed out over Jared Loughner.

I'm imagining a young man who takes it to heart that the Tea Party and the right wingers are ruining America and thwarting our fine President and the Democrats in Congress who set out to bring us hope and change.

He might think: Oh, if only Jared Loughner really had turned out to be the Tea-Party-inspired wingnut the liberals and lefties originally thought he was! How effective that would have been in squelching the right!

This mentally unstable young man decides that he could be what the left hoped Jared Loughner was. "Loughner2" tweaks his Facebook page with the titles of conservative books and joins various right-wing groups on-line. He sets about making Tea-Party-style pronouncements in the comments sections of various left- and right-wing blogs, stressing the right-wing rhetoric he's heard and restating it with a sharper edge of violence. He stocks his house with books written by the right-wingers most demonized by the left. He hangs a big Gadsden Flag on his living room wall.

Then, believing he is sacrificing himself for the greater good of the liberal cause, Loughner2 goes on his shooting spree. The pundits who revealed their raging hunger for a right-wing murderer will finally have the rich feast they deserve, he tells himself. Loughner2, like Loughner1, grins ghoulishly in his mug shot. He steels himself the hatred of the world and the secret pleasure of reading, from his prison/asylum cell, about the left-wing paradise he has made possible.

Do you think that's an absurd fantasy? Then you don't really believe that inflammatory rhetoric inspires unstable individuals to act. If you're one of those who's been saying it does, then admit that you've been lying. Or take responsibility for the effect your words are now having in the minds of the deranged.

167 comments:

HDHouse said...

I don't think anyone does cause:effect on this. Is the rhetoric part of the underpinnings? it certainly has happened before.

It was a lunatic with a gun. Past that it is speculation but I for one would dare say that rhetoric adds to the confusion and am not adverse to saying so.

I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions.

prairie wind said...

Heh. Clever.

ironrailsironweights said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Not everything is part of a major Lesson.

Peter

MadisonMan said...

best quote I've seen: The voices inside my head are trying to convince me that all we need to do is keep guns away from the mentally ill.

Scott M said...

Excellent post, AA. You've articulated very well what I've been thinking since I found out about this shooting. As always, the best way to win a debate in this arena is expressed exactly as you posit, ie, a catch 22 that exposes the illogical position of the opponent as a political mobius strip.

MrBuddwing said...

Initial take: Jared Loughner was a card-carrying member of the tea party.

Second take: Jared Loughner was not a card-carrying member of the tea party, but he was influenced by it.

Third take: Jared Loughner wasn't influenced by the tea party, but the tea party and its ilk helped to create a hostile atmosphere in which Loughner's madness flourished.

Fourth take: The Right is generally guilty of generally everything.

Baka Photos said...

Its the Moby effect, only deadlier.

shoutingthomas said...

Thank you.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions.
“mobs” House, not a Mob of one…and they fiery oratory generally ended with “elect me/follow me and we will……” it didn’t talk about “job killing” or “targeting Rep. Giffords….If you’re trying to link up today with the yesterday of Mussolini or Hitler.

shoutingthomas said...

In other words, the Democrats are doing precisely what they accuse Palin of doing.

They are setting the stage for a violent attack upon her.

The attack has been justified as revenge for her complicity in a mass murder.

Rumpletweezer said...

This idea is just so stupid on its face that anyone who spends more than a minute contemplating it is just beating off. I've just spent more time on it than it deserves. There. I'm done.

campy said...

The rare first-comment Godwin.

You must be proud.

shoutingthomas said...

Hello, Althouse, I'm really a feminist now.

As a feminist, doesn't it really scare the hell out of you that the first truly serious female candidate for president is facing this revenge crusade?

Hagar said...

There are indeed many examples of inflamed rhetoric further exciting disturbed persons to engage in violent criminal acts, but the only assassination attempt of that kind I can think of in American history, is John Wilkes Booth murder of Abraham Lincoln. All others I know of have been about something personal, some personal demon(s) of the assasin's, or just random hits at someone famous.

HDHouse said...

@joe...

hmmmm i was under the impression that a lot of that oratory went to great lengths to explain why certain segments or persons in a society were the ones responsible for the plight and agony of the audience ... but maybe I was listening to the wrong speeches.

D.D. Driver said...

HDHouse: So do you also think that children exposed to video games and rap music are partially to blame for violence in society?

HDHouse said...

Rumpletweezer said...
This idea is just so stupid on its face that anyone who spends more than a minute contemplating it is just beating off. I've just spent more time on it than it deserves. There. I'm done."

i can't resist. "done" with what? and do we really need to know?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

hmmmm i was under the impression that a lot of that oratory went to great lengths to explain why certain segments or persons in a society were the ones responsible for the plight and agony of the audience ... but maybe I was listening to the wrong speeches.
“Yes they did, and then the speakers explained why their Party needed to rule to punish those groups…if you can’t see the difference between blaming Communists/Jews/Plutocrats and a call for Unitary State and a discussion of lower taxes, a more limited government, and the replacement of Rep. Giffords by a Republican, I really can’t help you.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Either that, or you're a militant islamist towel-head still incensed over some relatively harmless cartoons six years ago.

Actually, it's not really a towel, but more like a sheet. So ... amend the previous paragraph to read "militant islamist sheet-heads."

shoutingthomas said...

We're not always on the same side, Ms. Althouse.

I want to congratulate you on your handling of this affair. You've been a rare voice of judicious temperament and sanity.

HDHouse said...

d.d.driver...

personally i believe that those genres don't contribute much and perhaps in some cases but that is just a instinctive belief with no real evidence that I know of...although i'm sure there is some pointing in both directions.

on the other hand pure isolation can drive people over the edge as can many things. would i have my grandkids exposed to violent video games or "bitch-hoe(sp?)-nigger" rap? Probably not until they could handle it and keep it in perspective but i would hope they would never ever listen to it for anything other than curiousity.

traditionalguy said...

The Progressives and their media associates have stepped into the very trap that they set for Palin. Her image of a gun carrying hunter was morphed over into an accusation that any use of a gun must have been done by a hypnotized follower of hers. This was an attempt to shame independent voters who might join her cause in 2012. It reeks of a B grade propaganda show done by inept AI contestants. But Palin, with the help from internet writers, has now reversed this really bad performance and made it another teachable moment about bad propaganda. The Progressives are the ones being voted off this week. No wonder Progressives have set their sights on "Policing" the internet.

ricpic said...

This is all very vague. Specifics. What specifically have Tea Partiers said that is inflammatory? Too much spending? Stop the spending? Taxed Enough Already? We must return to limited government? Obamacare, which forces a citizen to buy health insurance, violates the constitution? When the EPA makes an end run around congress that is unconstitutional? What? What have Tea Partiers said that is inflammatory?

Rick said...

This post is a sterling example of why I admire Professor Althouse. I like to think I'm a pretty bright fellow but I didn't think of this counter.

My wife (let's call her A) often throws out the "A_ Test". Which is basically "turn that argument around, can you apply it in other circumstances?" Conservative talking points are not immune to this critique.

Oh and happy birthday! (Mine's tomorrow.)

D.D. Driver said...

HDHouse: I agree with you about videogames and rap music.

You must recognize that every single argument that you make about "heated rhetoric" has been made against rock and roll, heavy metal, rap, hip hop, Oliver Stone, Quinton Tarantino, Merilyn Manson, and on and on and on.

And its all bullshit. Why is different? See if you can convince me without the tired old Hitler trope.

jille said...

I was a case manager with a case load of 40+ severely mentally ill adults. Many became obsessed with people/ideas/etc. at the time when their illness first became evident. For men, this is often late teens/early 20s. It appears that Loughner became worse after giving up alcohol and drugs; essentially he was self-medicating and once he stopped, his behavior got stranger. But from my experience, it certainly doesn't take "fiery rhetoric" for persons with mental illness to latch on an obsession. Just the yearly change to Daylight Savings Time had one of my clients in a tizzy about secret government programs. We need to ask why, after all the incidences with the law and others, nobody referred Loughner for mental evaluation, which is apparently quite easy to do in Arizona.

kcom said...

Did you see the poll that said approval of Congress has jumped 50% since the Republicans took over the House? From 13% to 20%. Apparently the voters are happy with their selections.

(This is a pattern that has demonstrated itself before when Congress changed hands. I guess voters' attention spans really aren't microscopically short and they really do look for a change sometimes.)

Richard Dolan said...

Take a hypo, says the professor, and work it out. But law school hypos typically end up with either/or choices (after all, once you're finished with all the on-the-other-hands, a court has to issue a ruling and someone has to win). That approach only gets you so far, mostly because life comes in many more shades than black and white.

Ann asks: "[W]hat if it were really true that incendiary political rhetoric pushed mentally unstable individuals over the edge and caused them to act out murderously?" The question is phrased in the aggregate -- from the class of "mentally unstable individuals", can "incendiary political rhetoric" push some of the over the edge? We're talking about irrational folks here, people living in a private universe whose thoughts are disconnected to reality (in varying degrees). Given the wide spectrum, it's possible that anything -- the color purple, a loud noise, an authority figure, anything -- might get their wheels spinning in strange ways. In that framework, what makes "incendiary political rhetoric" special (one way or the other)? Nothing that I can see.

Now the hypo shifts gears, from the aggregate to the particular individual, i.e., a "young man" (sexism alert, it's always a man) who wants to score points for his lefty home team by pretending to be a murderous example of the opposite. Ann calls him "mentally unstable," but the hypo shows that he's calculating, rational in coming up with means to achieve his end, and dedicated in the suicide-martyr sense. Far from living in a private universe, he's rooted in ours even though his moral compass has gone haywire.

Then this: "Do you think that's an absurd fantasy?" Mostly it's just an unrealistic hypo that shifts gears in the middle, and takes to the extreme a common type of political fakery (it was happening with come regularity during the last election, with fake Tea Partiers pretending to be racist wacks for exactly the reason Ann suggests). Extremes are mostly the stuff of movies, but they can happen. So not "absurd fantasy," but not far from it either.

traditionalguy said...

That was some pretty bold arguing for a 60 year old Professor. You've still got it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions.

Amazing, isn't it, how fascism is always descending on America but lands in Europe.

D.D. Driver said...

"Now the hypo shifts gears, from the aggregate to the particular individual, i.e., a "young man" (sexism alert, it's always a man) who wants to score points for his lefty home team by pretending to be a murderous example of the opposite. Ann calls him "mentally unstable," but the hypo shows that he's calculating, rational in coming up with means to achieve his end, and dedicated in the suicide-martyr sense."

Nice try, but Ann's hypo is almost exactly the delusional plan of Charles Manson. He coolly and calculatedly schemed to murder in the hopes that it would be blamed on black people and bring on a race war.

Crazy and calculated are not mutually exclusive.

Of course we all know that the Beatles "created the environment" where Charles Manson would plan these murders when they recorded Helter Skelter.

Right?

downtownlad said...

No. You just don't get it. I can say whatever the hell I want, because I'm just some random commenter. And you can say whatever the hell you want, because you're just a random blogger.

But the Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen. And television reporters should not falsely equate ordinary political programs with "death panels" or "tyranny" or "the end of freedom on this country forever" and what not.

chickelit said...

@Scott M:

That was a clever pun about "mobius strips"

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

But the Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen. And television reporters should not falsely equate ordinary political programs with "death panels" or "tyranny" or "the end of freedom on this country forever" and what not.
And the ad insinuated how? I believe Markos Moulitsas had a SIMILAR ad, concerning Giffords, too? Was Kos calling for her assassination too? Really, I guess in your nation the NICE IS “ordinary government”, “So sorry Mrs Smythe your cancer treatment will cost more than 45,000 pounds, and so we sahn’t cover it this year.” Sure that may be ORDINARY Government to YOU, but to US it’s a “Death Panel.” So a government that can make you buy health insurance or eat broccoli is that a tyranny or not DTL?

edutcher said...

Hit movies have been made out of more improbable scenarios. After all, Democrats and their handmaidens in the media have been voicing their fantasies of an OK City or something where Obama can rise to the occasion (if he were going to do it, saying something Saturday or Sunday to cool the rhetoric would have been it). To prove the point, (not invoking Godwin - it's just the best example) a similar set of plots is how a certain politico of the 30s seized absolute power in his country and several years later started a World War.

shoutingthomas said...

We're not always on the same side, Ms. Althouse.

I want to congratulate you on your handling of this affair. You've been a rare voice of judicious temperament and sanity.


Hear, hear.

(shout, you're a good man)

D.D. Driver said...

"But the Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen. And television reporters should not falsely equate ordinary political programs with "death panels" or "tyranny" or "the end of freedom on this country forever" and what not."

I think we can find common ground that we would be better off if debate was more polite and more intelligent. But that's aspirational, it's not a matter of public safety. We don't need protect loons from "heated rhetoric" any more than we need to protect would-be assassins from Jody Foster films.

And "insinuating assassination" is too silly to respond to. "Toning down the rhetoric" starts at home. If you genuinely want to move towards a more civil intelligent debate, you are going to have to stop accusing folks of "insinuating assassination."

Hoosier Daddy said...

But the Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen.

This might hold merit if there was any evidence that Loughner was inspired by such an advertisement. The fact that there is zero evidence that Loughner was inspired by Palin, Bachman, or the Easter Bunny means that you're simply trying to tie his murder spree to fit your worldview.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You'd think after Bloomberg shot his mouth off that the bomb-laden SUV in Times Square was probably done by someone mad about health care reform the media would have been more circumspect in assigning blame.

Calypso Facto said...

Not so hard to believe, when, as Chip pointed out the other day, that's almost exactly what happened in the Denver Democratic Party break-in, though fortunately not to the level of murdering someone.

Democrats were so eager to have violence to pin on the Tea Party, they had to go commit it themselves.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes. Isn't that what they thought they had already done? Doesn't that explain the posts right here, spewed immediately viciously and outrageously with scant information? Then persistent, numerous, digging in, doubling down on teh stupid.

Expect more of the same, 'cept dif'ernt.

Oh! And Happy Birthday again, Sweetie Cakes. We love you.

Pastafarian said...

Actually, the possibility that Loughner himself was a leftist, who might pretend to be right-wing just before and after the attack, was one of the first things that occurred to me.

But that's probably because I'm paranoid -- actually, I think Elvis suggested this to me in the bathroom mirror.

And it turned out that Loughner is a clinical moron, and wouldn't have been capable of hatching even a plan as simple as this.

Fen said...

Libtard: But the Republican Vice Presidential candidate might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen

Thats such bullshit. She put out ads targeting his district. As did the DNC years before her. Nothing she did "insinuated" assassination.

Go fuck yourself DTL. You're part of the problem.

Peter Friedman said...

At least Professor Althouse must think the Republicans need new metaphors to replace the cliched use of guns, uprisings, and armed revolution in their rhetoric. The following SPECIFICS (a partial list just from 2010 races):

Robert Lowry, a Republican challenger to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-FL), stopped by a local Republican event in October. The event was at a gun range, and Lowry shot at a human-shaped target that had Wasserman Schulz's initials written next to it.

Dean Allen, a conservative candidate for state office in South Carolina threw a "machine gun social," drawing 500 for an AK-47 semiautomatic. All attendees got to shoot 20 rounds.
Giffords' own opponent, Republican Jesse Kelly, had a gun-themed fund-raiser in June in which supporters could come and shoot an M-16 rifle with Kelly. It was promoted thusly: Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."
Stephen Broden, Republican candidate for House in Tex., in late October said that violent revolution is "on the table. . . . We have a constitutional remedy here and the Framers says if that don't work, revolution . . . If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary. . . .Our nation was founded on violence."
Dale Peterson, Republican candidate for agricultural commissioner of Alabama, ran an ad in May which he posed with a rifle and declared, "I'll name names and take no prisoners."
Rick Barber (R-AL) drew attention to his Congressional campaign with a TV ad in which he and "the Founding Fathers" discussed the current tax code. At the end of the ad, in which the cameras zoom in on colonial-era pistols several times, one of the Founders says, "Gather your armies."
About a year ago, Richard Behney, a tea partier from Indiana running for former Sen. Evan Bayh's seat, told a group of Second Amendment activists that they didn't have to resort to armed insurrection -- "yet."
"We can get new faces in. Whether it's my face or not, I pray to God that I see new faces. And if we don't see new faces, I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I'm serious about that, and I bet you are, too. But I know none of us want to go that far yet, and we can do it with our vote," he said.

Richard Dolan said...

DD Driver: You're missing the point of the hypo which Ann, ever the lawprof, spells out at the end: "Then you don't really believe that inflammatory rhetoric inspires unstable individuals to act. If you're one of those who's been saying it does, then admit that you've been lying. Or take responsibility for the effect your words are now having in the minds of the deranged."

That's the either/or that Ann is setting up and that I was aiming at. Since there's nothing special about incendiary political rhetoric in terms of what may set off some nutjob, it would make just as much sense to pose the either/or as: take responsibility for wearing the color purple, or talking loudly, or wearing a short skirt, or doing whatever else might set off a nut.

It may well be that Charles Manson fits the description of the "young man" in Ann's hypo, but where does it get you? The point of the exercise is to set up a contrast between either admitting that "incendiary political rhetoric" has nothing to do with lighting any nut's fuse, or "tak[ing] responsibility" for lighting such fuses. I see that as a false choice, based on a two-dimensional hypo, for the reasons I gave.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm currently in an email debate* with a woman who is dead-set on the idea that right-wingers caused this to happen.

Last week, we had an email debate when she asserted that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul are secretly "Christian Reconstructionists" who are secretly plotting to have gays put to death and muslim-ism outlawed.

Sigh.

* (I don't think that I will continue the debate- how can you have any sort of a reasonable conversation with a person who argues that bullseyes and "you're dead to me" are absolutely normal, meaningless statements, but crosshairs are unacceptably violent and the direct cause of anything bad that has happened? It's like some sort of weird performance art.)

- Lyssa

Peter Friedman said...

At least Professor Althouse must think the Republicans need new metaphors to replace the cliched use of guns, uprisings, and armed revolution in their rhetoric. The following SPECIFICS (a partial list just from 2010 races): Robert Lowry (Fla.), stopped by a local Republican event at a gun range and shot at a human-shaped target that had his opponent’s name written next to it.
Dean Allen (S.C.) threw a "machine gun social," drawing 500 for a chance to win an AK-47. All attendees got to shoot 20 rounds.
Giffords' own opponent, Jesse Kelly, had a gun-themed fund-raiser in June in which supporters could come and shoot an M-16 rifle. It was promoted thusly: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."
Stephen Broden (Tex.) “[violent revolution] is on the table. . . . We have a constitutional remedy here and the Framers says if that don't work, revolution . . . If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary. . . .Our nation was founded on violence."
Dale Peterson (Ala.) ran an ad in May which he posed with a rifle and declared, "I'll name names and take no prisoners."
Rick Barber (AL) ran a TV ad in which he and "the Founding Fathers" discussed the current tax code. At the end of the ad, in which the cameras zoom in on colonial-era pistols several times, one of the Founders says, "Gather your armies."

D.D. Driver said...

Pete: If you don't like the flavor of their rhetoric, don't vote for them. Contribute money to their opponents.

The question isn't whether this rhetoric is polite or intelligent, the question is whether people saying outrageous things presents a public safety hazard.

Again, I could post gigabytes of rap lyrics (Or Johnny Cash lyrics) reciting express calls to violence.

The question is are we at risk because people are saying stuff?

Somebody show me some evidence.

Jim said...

Lost in all this is the simple fact he went after not a dem or republican, but HIS congresssman from HIS district.

Just Lurking said...

I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions.

I'll hazard a guess, without even knowing what specific incidents you are referring to, that it was more than just fiery rhetoric that fueled those mobs.

Mobs come together for some cause- even modern flash mobs have a reason for their gathering. I'd say that whatever was the cause for their gathering was the spark, and fiery rhetoric in that instance can indeed fan flames that were already set to ignite.

Of course rhetoric alone can generate a mob or crowd- but that doesn't mean the mob will ignite into violence. And those who choose to call together a crowd- like the Tea Party movement- need to choose their words carefully when speaking to those crowds.

There is definitely a dynamic to mobs and crowds that is dangerous by its nature. Which is why you don't yell fire in a crowded theater, but you can yell it all you want at a lone person sitting on a bench; the first instance can cause a riot, the second case is perhaps, weird performance art.

The Crack Emcee said...

D.D. Driver,

Of course we all know that the Beatles "created the environment" where Charles Manson would plan these murders when they recorded Helter Skelter.

Right?


I wasn't going to say anything more on this until I saw your comment (thinking it's pointless) but - while Helter Skelter isn't the culprit for anything - The Beatle's Maharishi days did help unleash the NewAge forces that allowed Loughner to take his thoughts on "conscience dreaming" and 2012 seriously. Paul and Ringo are still vocal supporters of nonsense.

As usual, I'm not surprised that few on the Left, in the media, or anywhere else, are discussing the real reasons this young man is "batshit crazy", preferring to advance and/or deal with the false narrative of Right-wing partisan political influence, since that, too, keeps the heat off the Left (I think the Left is being so active/alarmed because Loughner's actual thoughts/ideas hit too close to home, revealing too much about where the Left's actual "spiritual" beliefs/culture lead, as I've always said).

To me, it's too easy to just say "he's crazy" and leave it at that. It's like saying "God did it" - the ending of discussion and discovery, not it's beginning - when there's something real we could be learning here to stop this kind of thing.

I've never advanced a political theory about this, beyond acknowledging he's a Leftist, and I may the only person in the country not to do so. Unfortunately, what I am saying is being willingly ignored - again - by those who claim to want to stop it. I told you there will be deaths. I'm telling you, without the proper attention, there will be more.

As The San Francisco Chronicle's Marshall Kilduff once said after a cult murder that took place just blocks from my home:

There's an age-old question always asked when a monster falls: What have we learned to avoid a repeat? Judging from these,...stories, there's a clear answer. Absolutely nothing.

The worst thing about this ignorance is it's willed.

Chip Ahoy said...

Peter, and?

rsb said...

Nuts come out of the woodwork from time to time. Making this in anyway political is ridiculous.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Last week, we had an email debate when she asserted that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul are secretly "Christian Reconstructionists" who are secretly plotting to have gays put to death and muslim-ism outlawed.

That isn't a debate insomuch as it's providing a sounding board for someone who is clearly deluded. Once a conversation turns into an Obama is a crypto-Muslim non-citizen or Bush blew up the WTC then you may as well talk about the Tri-lateral Commission or Area 5.

The very fact that the media, politicians and on these comment boards are trying to flog this as a conservative inspired event tells me that we as a nation are so polarized its hard to imagine any unifying event.

mrs whatsit said...

Presumably, DTL, you also believe that Democrat and former Congressman Paul Kanjorski -- the same guy who opined smugly in the NYT over the weekend that it's time for all Americans (except him, apparently) "to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation" -- should have shown more discretion before stating in October, about a Republican candidate for governor: "Put him up against a wall and shoot him."

Or perhaps Vice President Biden should have shown more discretion before stating that he would "strangle" any Republican who mentioned balancing the budget to him?

Or perhaps Senator John Kerry should have shown more discretion before joking on the Bill Maher show about killing then-President Bush?

Or maybe Chris Matthews should have shown more discretion before giggling on national TV about how great it would be if somebody assassinated Rush Limbaugh?

Or maybe you think President Obama should exercise some discretion about the angry, violent metaphors he frequently uses in his speeches, such as "if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun" or "get in their faces" or "punish your enemies" or "hit them back twice as hard"?

Or perhaps you don't. Perhaps, like many of your friends on the left, you think such language is perfectly dandy when it comes from Democrats and dangerous only when it comes from the right -- in which case you may wish to consider the possibility that YOU are the one who does not get it and, in fact, that you and people like you are the problem.

kcom said...

"might want to show a little more discretion before she publishes ads that insinuate the assassination of Congressmen

You're still, still, trying to sell that shit? If I was a fly farmer I might be in the market but I think you're going to have to look elsewhere. Either way I don't expect you're going to get much for your efforts.

Tell me what you think of this example of discretion by the Democratic National Campaign Committee? Scroll past the first "Targeting Strategy" map that looks suspiciously similar to Palin's and on to the second. You'll find bullseyes as well as helpful text such as this:

Targeted Republican: Thaddeus McCotter

Along with the text you'll find a helpful headshot (see what I did there?) of said politician.

So are you ready to go on a jihad against the DNCC? And if not, why not? If your answer is yes, at least I'll have some respect for you. If your answer is no, color me unsurprised.

Either way, I hope against hope, for your own sake really, that you'll retire this lame talking point and start making some real argument. Your assassination claims (insinuated or otherwise) are so paper-thin that I and millions of others can see right through them. You look like a doofus when you keep on that way.

wv: wares - sorry dtl, I'm not buying your wares

The Crack Emcee said...

jille,

We need to ask why, after all the incidences with the law and others, nobody referred Loughner for mental evaluation, which is apparently quite easy to do in Arizona.

Why should anybody have? They make movies, for Christ's sake, about 2012. "Conscience dreaming" has been a popular meme in NewAge circles for how long now? (I first heard of it over a decade ago.) The same thing with idea that life is just an illusion.

If you insist this life is just an illusion, who's going to seriously argue with you, in non-judgmental NewAge Liberal circles?

And - if that illusion idea is what's seriously embedded in your head - what's going to stop you from acting out?

These are the starting points for the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves.

Fred4Pres said...

When a guy makes Michael Musto seems sane, what can you say?

Pogo said...

Sen. Al Franken (D, MN) 1/10/11 on the AZ shooting:
"Still, he said the incident highlights the need for lawmakers to consider if the current “vitriol” in public discourse could suggest to an unstable person that violence is acceptable in politics.
“I think this might be a good wake-up call for everyone to tamp down the rhetoric,” he said. “I think that’s clear.”
"


Air America Radio Host Al Franken on VP Cheney shooting accident 2/12/06:
"Seriously, it was an accident. There is nothing funny about the Vice President of the United States shooting a guy.
You know who's doing a "there but for the grace of God go I?" Scalia.
"

Al Franken in his book 'The Truth (With Jokes)' p. 58
"Republicans are shameless d**ks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless d**ks."

Franken on Coulter
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/7/04

"In an odd way, I blame Linda Tripp and Ann Coulter for Sept. 11, because if they hadn't dug this stuff up, it may not have happened."

mnster2008 said...

No grassroots liberal organization or liberal politican/activist is quoting the 2nd amendment with reference to opposing the "tyranny" of George Bush or a Republican-led Congress. That's the aspect of the Tea Party's rhetoric that we liberals find over the line with respect to a potential political assassination/terroristic act. It's not the anger and critique of government (though we strongly disagree with it) -- it's the association of that critique with the veiled (and sometimes explicit) threat of violence. Nothing in your analogy even begins to approximate that reality. The hypothetical lunatic in your analogy would NOT be acting with the imprimatur of any liberal group since it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind.

27183 said...

I don't understand how one can be a journalist/pundit/politician or even lawyer, professions where inspiring others to take action based on words is 99.999% of the job description and then claim that words don't inspire others to act.

Um, isn't the history of civilization proof that words are incredibly powerful in inspiring others to act?

Also Ann, speaking of taking responsibility, are you going to admit those surveyor marks were intended to be crosshairs or are you going to stand pat with the embarrassed Palinistas and claim to the victims in this, of bad people claiming innocent surveyor marks were mistaken as gunsights?

Bender said...

Do you think that's an absurd fantasy?

False flag operations and agent provocateurs have been standard operating procedure for the thugocrats for a while now.

Sometimes, it can be quite effective, as in the case of the Reichstag Building arson fire, which was almost certainly set by the National Socialists and used by them to blame the Communists, and thereby seek to take power in 1933 Germany.

One of the earliest cases, of course, was when the Emperor Nero had portions of the city of Rome set on fire, and to direct attention for the fire away from himself (since those areas that burned were where he wanted to build various public works), he blamed those strange and secretive "Christians" for setting the fire, thereby beginning the first great persecution. That backfired on Rome big-time too.

traditionalguy said...

If we cannot keep weapons away from a lone mentally ill genius types like Laughner, then we need to identify them and get them into a treatment facility and medicated.

Marshal said...

"The hypothetical lunatic in your analogy would NOT be acting with the imprimatur of any liberal group since it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind."

Numerous examples above prove this wrong. Liberals don't reference guns as often since this would conflict with their demonization narrative. But they routinely employ violent metaphors just as conservatives do.

You can only reach this conclusion by insisting liberal references to violence are metaphors while conservative references are not. Many liberals do believe just this. But this belief is bias and nothing more.

D.D. Driver said...

"The hypothetical lunatic in your analogy would NOT be acting with the imprimatur of any liberal group since it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind."

Oh really? How about the Weather Underground? Or the Animal Liberation Front? We could go on and on with a litany of counter-examples. (I suspect that my fellow commenters will post a full.)

But, I'll make the point again: if you are serious about "toning down the rhetoric" take a look in the mirror.

Step one of toning down the rhetoric is to admit that people you agree with engage in the exact same rhetorical tactics as those you disagree with.

That's step one. If you can't even do that, "toning down the rhetoric" is a complete nonstarter.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@downtownlad:

You've repeatedly been shown maps produced by the DLC and DCCC that had Republicans designated with targets.

Is your defense now is that it wasn't Joe Biden's map? It was his party leadership's and therefore doesn't count?

To refresh your memory, here are the maps again.

Either you condemn the Democratic party leadership with the same vitriol that you condemn Sarah Palin, or you stand exposed as a partisan asshole troll who will please die in a fire. Oh, sorry that's hateful rhetoric that no left-leaning person ever used.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@27183:

What about those maps by the Democratic party leadership putting Republicans in bulleyes?

Are you going to condemn them? I just linked to them in my previous post.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@downtownlad:

You've repeatedly been shown maps produced by the DLC and DCCC that had Republicans designated with targets.

Is your defense now is that it wasn't Joe Biden's map? It was his party leadership's and therefore doesn't count?

To refresh your memory, here are the maps again.

Either you condemn the Democratic party leadership with the same vitriol that you condemn Sarah Palin, or you stand exposed as a partisan asshole troll who will please die in a fire. Oh, sorry that's hateful rhetoric that no left-leaning person ever used.

Just Lurking said...

I don't understand how one can be a journalist/pundit/politician or even lawyer, professions where inspiring others to take action based on words is 99.999% of the job description and then claim that words don't inspire others to act.

Words alone don't inspire a person to act crazy.

Can you understand that?

The Crack Emcee said...

Hoosier Daddy,

Last week, we had an email debate when she asserted that Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul are secretly "Christian Reconstructionists" who are secretly plotting to have gays put to death and muslim-ism outlawed.

That isn't a debate insomuch as it's providing a sounding board for someone who is clearly deluded. Once a conversation turns into an Obama is a crypto-Muslim non-citizen or Bush blew up the WTC then you may as well talk about the Tri-lateral Commission or Area 5.


See? Why aren't we talking about a culture that, even a little bit, seems to think this is rational? Even the Palin talk is deranged - Andrew Sullivan, anyone? - but is anyone doing/saying anything about it? Hell no! The man is a famous columnist for The Atlantic!

When we have madness so embedded in our culture, we can't really expect anything more out of it.

shoutingthomas said...

By the way, Crack, you nailed it.

By the standard of the left's rhetoric, The Beatles are responsible for the Mason killings.

Bravo!

peter hoh said...

While a sane (but bitter) person might contemplate such a scenario, I don't think he'd go through with it.

Those faking political violence typically play the part of the victim and fake an attack on themselves.

I never bought (or promoted) the idea that the rhetoric of the right was somehow to blame for this shooting. I can see how some couldn't help themselves in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, but that hardly exonerates them.

Anyone who tried to link the shooter's actions to the right for the first 24 hours was foolhardy, as not enough was known about the shooter. After the initial 24 hours, anyone who continued to try to pin this on the right is a fool, deserving every bit of backlash they generate.

This shooting was as politically motivated as John Hinckley, Jr.'s attempt at Reagan.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Hooiser said: That isn't a debate insomuch as it's providing a sounding board for someone who is clearly deluded.

Yeah, I have this thing where, if someone says something that doesn't jive with my idea of the facts, I have to ask for clarification and proof. (She started out with a much more general statement about Beck.) I mean, the last thing that I want to do is live in a bubble where I only know the things that support my beliefs (*cough* east coast liberals *cough*), and hey, Glenn Beck *might* have done a show where he advocated a Christians-only government, I mean, it seems unlikely, but it's not like I've seen every episode.

Anyway, it pretty much always gets me into trouble and turns me into a sounding board for nuts. I could probably count on one hand the amount of times that I actually missed an important fact that was less than positive for my argument for more than a day. It's extremely rare that I hear an argument for the first time from a lib.

Timon said...

Maybe OT, but maybe incensed political rhetoric drives crazy people to attack politicians and government figures, like a lack of that rhetoric leaves them to kill classmates and family: is this a ballot issue?

kcom said...

"Um, isn't the history of civilization proof that words are incredibly powerful in inspiring others to act?"

The only words inspiring a paranoid schizophrenic to act are the words inside his head, not the ones outside. They don't call it "hearing voices" for nothing.

Lawyers, journalists, and politicians aren't addressing paranoid schizophrenics. They're not inspiring them to act. In the case of politicians, like, oh, Sarah Palin for example, they're addressing VOTERS. They want votes. They got votes. They won back the House. END OF STORY.

wv: quisatte - when you dip your quiche in your latte

traditionalguy said...

This 24/7 plastered media war of words is being used to extend a meme that any support for a Gun using politician makes a person open to public shaming as a participant in shameful murders. Even the GOP 7 dwarfs seem to be glad to see this attack being used on Palin, who also has targeted them for defeat at the ballot box. The stories du jour all seem to end up having said, "when you wake up you will be ashamed...you will be very ashamed...and you will never join the Tea Party."

Charles Berlin said...

I fear I see Loughner's defense being prepared right now: It's not my fault, the climate of hate and incitement to violence made me do it. That should keep the meme going for years...

mrs whatsit said...

mnster2008, go watch this fun little video -- a collection of tweets sent while Democrats and liberals were busily using every public pulpit they could find to encourage America to blame Sarah Palin for the Arizona shootings.

Then please come back here and explain to us again about how the "liberal lexicon" doesn't include violent remedies of any kind.

CatherineM said...

I was so annoyed that Jay Leno gave Bill Maher an uninterrupted platform on his show to talk about repealing the 2nd ammendment, claiming Sarah Palin is repsonsible with her reload remarkss, etc. Then acknowledges, "And also, Left-wingers, even if they do sometimes make a gun analogy or something, their audience isn't hysterical. They're already talking, the Right-wingers, to people who are hysterical and are irrational and are highly-armed to begin with."

Leno brings up Fox news. How selective.

http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/

Political said...

Sometimes it's hard to remember we're all on the same team. That's why http://mittromneycentral.com/2011/01/12/congressman-pence-introduces-bill-to-defund-planned-parenthood-of-taxpayer-dollars/ was so refreshing and timely. Before the race for 2012 officially starts, we should get as many people to read that wonderful piece as we can. Then, in 2012 we can bring America back!

traditionalguy said...

Charles Berlin...The defense should be a slam dunk mentally ill plea. That will end it with incarceration. Unless the Dems arrange a TV trial just to keep this in the news to further their meme. People like Laughner are useful to manipulative folks.

deborah said...

There, there hysterical Right, we're doing this for your own good.

Conan>Leno

The Crack Emcee said...

Let me put this another way, since Shouting Thomas is the only person to address my comments:

If it's insane to put this into a political context, why are you guys still talking about it in a political context?

What "good" does it do?

Aren't you "part of the problem"?

I say you are.

Michael said...

Don't you think that, if Loughner could be influenced by violent rhetoric, he would have assassinated George Bush ? After all, we were saturated with "kill Bush" rhetoric from the left for 8 years. Loughner was 20 when Bush left office and had been showing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia at the time.

Don Meaker said...

I don't have a problem with rhetoric thas suggests that we need to vote, and when we win the vote, we win the election. I don't have a problem that points out that crooked elections, where votes are discarded by corruption, cause violence.

We seem to have had a mostly honest election, with the possible exception of Harry Reid's SEIU thug influenced election in Nevada. Oddly, Sharron Angle's suggestion of second amendment remedies would seem to be applicable there. The good news is Nevada and Illinois are only two states, and are insufficient to change the election. By contrast, Illinois and Texas corruption were sufficient to deny election to Nixon in 1960. Nixon declined to protest that corruption, for the good of the country, just as he declined to stay in office rather than reveal classified intelligence gathering programs. When it comes to caring most about the country, rather than his own ego, Nixon's the One.

Pogo said...

"What "good" does it do?
Aren't you "part of the problem"?
?"

Not sure how to answer the left in blaming the right for a lefty schizophrenic killing a half dozen people except by pushing back twice as hard.

I'm open to alternatives, but the high road approach got the right blamed for McVeigh and JFK and even Hitler.

mrs whatsit said...

Or, mnster2008, perhaps you could look at these pretty pictures of the nonviolent liberal lexicon as applied to President Bush.

The nice people in the pictures are presumably liberal or left-wing activists, since they were photographed at political rallies. Furthermore, they must have been acting with the imprimatur of the liberal or left-wing groups that organized the rallies, since they weren't asked to leave or put their signs down, and were permitted to stick around at least long enough to be photographed.

This is so easy that I'd say it's like shooting fish in a barrel -- except I don't think we're supposed to use such violent metaphors any more.

kcom said...

"And also, Left-wingers, even if they do sometimes make a gun analogy or something, their audience isn't hysterical."

Yeah, because there's been no history of left-wing groups going on bombing campaigns (Weather Underground), kidnapping campaigns (SLA), shooting policemen (Black Panthers), arson (ELF), armored car robberies with deaths (Weather Underground), bank robberies (SLA), etc.

Yes, many of those events took place many years ago. But name any more recent similar incidents perpetrated by right-leaning groups? Where's the bombing campaign carried out by the right-side equivalent of the Weather Underground? And where is one of its principal members relation to any Republican president? How many kidnappings have occurred by organized right wing terror groups? A big fat zero, you say? Arson? Nope. Bank robberies? Nope. Hmmm, this isn't working out too well.

Bruce Hayden said...

and hey, Glenn Beck *might* have done a show where he advocated a Christians-only government, I mean, it seems unlikely, but it's not like I've seen every episode.

Which would be hilarious, since he is LDS, and they are not accepted as Christian by many Christians (which is why it might be more likely from a Mormon than from someone of another faith). I don't accept that, but I am a "big tent" Christian.

Just Lurking said...

They're already talking, the Right-wingers, to people who are hysterical and are irrational and are highly-armed to begin with."


Way to tone down the rhetoric, by demonizing your opposition. Ann's point exactly.

What a tool Maher is.

kent said...

it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind.

Liar.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Yeah, because there's been no history of left-wing groups going on bombing campaigns (Weather Underground), kidnapping campaigns (SLA), shooting policemen (Black Panthers), arson (ELF), armored car robberies with deaths (Weather Underground), bank robberies (SLA), etc.

What is hilarious here, is that these groups have now gone mainstream, at least on the left, with the President having palled around with Weather Underground terrorists Ayers and Dohrn, and his DoJ protecting Black Panthers.

Mister Snitch! said...

"The pundits who revealed their raging hunger for a right-wing murderer will finally have the rich feast they deserve"

Ann kinda misses the point, though. If this murderer of right-wingers came to pass, the left would:

1) Be quietly pleased. (Or not-so-quietly pleased.)

2) Insist that rhetoric does not produce killers. (If you don't know that it doesn't matter if their rhetoric is inconsistent, you haven't been paying attention.)

3) Insist that NO inflammatory rhetoric (of consequence) came from their camp. Check out this leftist clownboy, for example, who insists that the 'targets' used in a Democratic attack ad are just fine, whereas 'crosshairs' used by The Evil RIght are wildly inflammatory. (Never underestimate the power of self-justification.)

By the way, if that clownboy's phony, self-serving rhetoric offends you, well, here's his email address. Unsurprisingly, he does not allow comments.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

Not sure how to answer the left in blaming the right for a lefty schizophrenic killing a half dozen people except by pushing back twice as hard.

I'm open to alternatives, but the high road approach got the right blamed for McVeigh and JFK and even Hitler.


It's just like nobody can think of anything to do but write new laws to counter language - or scream "they're trying to take away our guns!" - we're trapped in patterns of stupidity. As I asked you yesterday, why isn't anyone discussing critical thinking to counter this? it doesn't infringe on our freedoms, makes it easier to spot the mentally ill, stop most fraud, and put Oprah out of business - oh, wait, that's why, right?

And why isn't criticizing the Left's beliefs "hitting back twice as hard"? They flattened the Right by doing it, or don't you remember "Bush is following Jesus into war" or whatever?

Going deeper into insanity is no way to fight it, guys.

Cedarford said...

Good exercise by Althouse in "lets flip this argument the other way....how would it stand up??"

What we know.
1. Loughner was making death threats and writing "Die bitch!" on a letter he got from Giffords back in 2007. Before Sarah Palin, the Tea Party were even on the radar. He "hated" on his own.
2. Loughner is described by friends as a left-leaning libertarian pothead, amidst his lunatic ramblings.
3. The same friends described Laughner as enthusiastic about Barack Obama, and though one didn't know for sure, he'd "bet that Jared voted for Obama".
4. Loughner made other death threats - investigation underway to see if the Sheriff's office knew about it, why they did not assign 2 deputies as is routine, to provide security and crowd control for the Congresswoman. (Same Sheriff that fed gasoline into this in blaming "hate speech" for the event).
5. Curiously, both Loughner and Giffords are Jewish. So much for the "stupid Christianist haters!!" angle in this.

kent said...

Arianna Huffington Films Role in Bush Assassination Fantasy-Film

DADvocate said...

A more likely scenario is a crazy person with right wing leanings/tea party affiliations becomse enraged by all the false accusations coming from the left. Deciding to show them what a massacre really is, bloodshed ensues.

The left howles and screams and blows forth more rhetoric keeping the cycle going. Plus, re-doubles their attempts to initiate fascist, draconian measures to control the public.

Jay said...

since it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind."


Liberals regularly wish death on their political adversaries.

This is a well established fact.

Scott M said...

I'm hoping the shooter is as insane as he appears to be. The honest fact is that he could really, really do some harm if he was intelligent enough and calculating enough as Ann's supposed protagonist.

Sitting in jail giving interviews, he could decide which side he hates the most, right or left, and start telling the media how much he adores the pundits and message of that side.

Minus any opposite evidence from his home or school to the contrary, it would have the potential to be extremely damaging to the side so chosen. Given the volume of the nanee-nanee-boo-boo currently going on, a sociopath with an eye at notoriety, or just smart enough to want to be removed from the general prison population, would find it quite enticing.

Hopefully, he doesn't read this blog...

peter hoh said...

Don Meaker: Oddly, Sharron Angle's suggestion of second amendment remedies would seem to be applicable there.

And who do you think should be shot?

(Reposted to correct typo.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Kent,

Arianna Huffington Films Role in Bush Assassination Fantasy-Film

Am I talking to myself here?

Hoosier Daddy said...

When we have madness so embedded in our culture, we can't really expect anything more out of it.

I have to agree and honestly, I really have thought about the effort I put in trying to have something resembling a rational discussion with the liberals on this forum (or others for that matter) and have come to the conclusion that I may as well give up. Frankly, I have had more stimulating and engaging give and take with 17 year olds while debating game mechanics and theory on World of Warcraft forum boards. The left is so wedded to their ideology that they’ll glob on to this tragedy in a disgusting attempt to discredit conservatives when the so-called ‘rhetoric’ is just as vile and ‘over the top’ from their end not to mention there being nothing to prove Loughner’s motivation other than he was insane. The fact that they continue to flog that horse simply tells me it’s no longer worth my time to even try and engage them since they’ll use this tragedy as simply a crisis not to be wasted. Which goes back to my belief that we’re so polarized as a nation that I doubt there is anything that can unify us. If Al Qaeda nuked NYC tomorrow the Olberman’s, Behars and Courics will fall over themselves to perform the seven degrees of separation to tie it to Palin and the Tea Party.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hoosier Daddy,

The fact that they continue to flog that horse ,...

The Right doesn't get it:

We're doing it with them!

This is now 100+ comments of the insane debate they started!

Change the topic - from politics to NewAge - and they automatically lose!

peter hoh said...

Hoosier, when you write of the difficulty you have in discussing this rationally with the liberals in this thread, am I included in their number or not?

Seems to me that over and over again, the most idiotic comments by left-leaning trolls get taken seriously on this threads, and anything resembling reasonable discourse from the non-right gets ignored.

Scott M said...

Frankly, I have had more stimulating and engaging give and take with 17 year olds while debating game mechanics and theory on World of Warcraft forum boards.

While I was going to make fun of your WoW-ness, I have to remember that I recently returned to EQ2 for lack of a better sword-n-board MMO. There's a couple coming down the pike, but for now...

traditionalguy said...

Crack..IMO the Laughner Monster was not the result from being a member of a cult. Yet he was created, perhaps by inheritance from an anti social Dad and an enabling Mother. I do not see this guy as a cult's victim, unless that was from a cult activity in his great-grandfather's or grandfather's generation. The motto that I live by is that "it is people who make us sick, and it is also people who make us well." Finally it takes someone to overcome become by good influence the damage done by evil influences over lives of people like Loughner. His problem is neither political related nor cult related.

Mikio said...

Althouse thinks she's being clever, but all she's doing is fantasizing by adding a layer of intrigue to double back and bite liberals in the ass and in so doing is revealing she truly sees that conservatives/tea party people are more directly and objectively on the defensive.

The Crack Emcee said...

Didn't some guy recently do some other insane thing because he saw the movie 2012?

How many kids did the anti-vaccine movement kill?

hasn't the implanted memories movement been discredited - after destroying countless families with accusations of father/child abuse?

Why isn't it "hitting back twice as hard" to show these Leftist theories lead to madness and destruction?

AllenS said...

I have to say this about Bill Clinton, they only time he ever shot anyone, the damages were to a blue dress. Nobody was injured. Except for their reputations.

kent said...

Althouse thinks she's being clever, but all she's doing is fantasizing by adding a layer of intrigue to double back and bite liberals in the ass and in so doing is revealing she truly sees that conservatives/tea party people are more directly and objectively on the defensive.

And she's exercising her fiendish mutant powers of mind control over you via her Machiavellian use of grammar, too. Don't forget that, for heaven's sake!

The Crack Emcee said...

TG,

Crack..IMO the Laughner Monster was not the result from being a member of a cult. Yet he was created, perhaps by inheritance from an anti social Dad and an enabling Mother.

I'm not saying he's "in" a cult - except as far as one can claim there's an "open" cult influence (the NewAge movement) as opposed to a "closed" cult (Scientology) out there - but to deny a guy obsessed with 2012 and conscience dreaming isn't influenced by Leftist "spiritual" theories is to deny reality itself. You know that. I can/have pointed to tons of examples, all supporters of Obama, where this crap is in clear evidence.

Why ignore it?

Pogo said...

@peter hoh
I have long considered you a classical liberal, not a leftist; well-reasoned and fair. You are right that the noisiest/wildest often garner the most attention.

I plan to contribute to their efforts no more.

@Crack Emcee
Good points. Seems reasonable.

So something must be wrong with it.
=P

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

LOL

Just Lurking said...

As I asked you yesterday, why isn't anyone discussing critical thinking to counter this? it doesn't infringe on our freedoms, makes it easier to spot the mentally ill, stop most fraud

Appeals for logic in a comment section, can get lost in the noise of people talking past each other. Sorta like how reason is lost in a schizophrenic mind.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seems to me that over and over again, the most idiotic comments by left-leaning trolls get taken seriously on this threads, and anything resembling reasonable discourse from the non-right gets ignored.

Its not just this thread but the forum in general. Perhaps the problem is it seems that most of the liberal view is represented by left leaning trolls. But its evident in the mainstream media as well. Opposed to immigration reform? You must be a xenophobic racist! Oppose Obama's agenda? Jimmy Carter said it must be because of racism! Deranged lone gunman shoots up nine people? It's Sarah Palin's fault! Its not just here Pete, its on CNN, or MSNBC or on Jay Leno. When you have mainstream folks perpetuating the same message, it starts becoming hard to differentiate between left wing trolling and 'reasonable' discourse.

peter hoh said...

Cheers, Pogo.

It's off to work for me.

The Crack Emcee said...

For instance, considering Jared Loughner's beliefs, wouldn't make sense to blame Daniel Pinchbeck for his actions?

Politically speaking, that takes out the Burning Man crowd.

Oprah's promoted tons of this stuff - she's Obama's biggest supporter - why not take her out?

What's wrong with you guys?

Oh yea - I forgot - too reasonable.

Thanks, Pogo!

Hoosier Daddy said...

While I was going to make fun of your WoW-ness, I have to remember that I recently returned to EQ2 for lack of a better sword-n-board MMO.

EQ2 is the gateway game to Wow.

William said...

The comments of Althouse remind me of the Borges story. As I remember it, a religious scholar becomes convinced that Judas made the more perfect sacrifice than Jesus. Jesus spent his time upon the cross and then his glory was celebrated on earth and in heaven. Judas, on the other hand, died by his own hand and then was cursed for all eternity. Thus the pain of Judas was greater than that of Jesus, and therefore Judas was the true sacrifical lamb of God. The religious scholar became convinced of his reasoning and spent his life strangled within its coils.

peter hoh said...

Okay, work can wait a little longer.

Hoosier, I'll grant you that there are all kinds of tone-deaf idiots representing the liberal side, especially those who have easy access to microphones. I'm convinced that most high-profile liberals don't know how they sound to people who don't agree with them.

traditionalguy said...

Crack...You are right that cult activity is correlated to Loughner types. They are desperate to find a missing social value within themselves, and that struggle makes them easy prey to indoctrination into a system of thought that Proves the insiders are now the smart ones and the outsiders are the hopeless fools. Now it is not their fault that they cannot hold a job under bosses that are fools. And it is not their fault that they cannot sustain friendships. The coup du grace for them is the part of the cult doctrine that says no outsider can be trusted...like Doctors. Lawyers , and Politicians. That leaves them stuck at home and with no life at all.

Paco Wové said...

"Seems to me that over and over again, the most idiotic comments by left-leaning trolls get taken seriously on this threads, and anything resembling reasonable discourse from the non-right gets ignored."

Sadly, this is true (and works both ways). The Internet is a hysteria amplifier.

peter hoh said...

In the end, this blog is performance art. I guess I should try to understand that and stop taking it seriously.

kinbote said...

"I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions."

We're not talking here about "questionable actions," but mass shootings.

Can you tell me even one case from the 20s and 30s? In Germany, I don't think there was a single case where an individual German killed even one Jew on his own in Germany - even during the war.

It was all coordinated by the
government.

Not Even One. And the rhetoric was a million times worse.

Fen said...

EQ2 is the gateway game to Wow.

Meh. DDO trumps them both.

Unless you enjoy:

"go kill 100 squirels and bring me their tails"

"now go kill 100 starlings and bring me their wings"

"now go kill 100 blah blah blah"

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Hooiser said: I really have thought about the effort I put in trying to have something resembling a rational discussion with the liberals on this forum (or others for that matter) and have come to the conclusion that I may as well give up.

I've been thinking the same thing, and I hate that so much. I have no love whatsoever for the idea that people who have differing opinions from me are senseless and irrational, yet, time and time again, liberals seem dead-set on proving that they are. I don't know what to do.

Re: Peter Hoh- I agree with what was said about you being a classical liberal. Maybe you just need to speak up more clearly, or I need to read you more carefully, but I've never even gotten the impression that we would disagree on all that much (and, where we do, it would be mostly by degrees, not opposition).

I'd like to hear more from you, and you're right, the Alpha Libs do drown out the rational liberals. Perhaps we all need to try to ignore them more and focus on honest and rational disagreements.

- Lyssa

The Crack Emcee said...

kinbote,

In Germany, I don't think there was a single case where an individual German killed even one Jew on his own in Germany - even during the war.

It was all coordinated by the
government.


And Hitler was an occultist, along with Himmler, Hess, and all the rest.

Catching on yet?

Ric Locke said...

mnster2008 said...

No grassroots liberal organization or liberal politican/activist is quoting the 2nd amendment with reference to opposing the "tyranny" of George Bush or a Republican-led Congress. That's the aspect of the Tea Party's rhetoric that we liberals find over the line with respect to a potential political assassination/terroristic act.


You miss Ann's point, and mine: If you believed that, you'd be hiding under the bed whimpering. If one tenth of one percent of American gun owners were unstable wingnuts inspired to killing sprees by "violent political rhetoric", it would mean 15,000 nutcases out hunting you and your heroes down.

It is the very knowledge that you're a liar that gives you the confidence to lie about the matter.

Regards,
Ric

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't want to change the subject, but about this "classical liberal" topic:

I have two roommates. One's a "classical liberal". Nice, easy to talk to, a reasonable guy. We used to have great political conversations even.

The other's a Leftist - a total creep (he once offered his girlfriend to me) who watches letterman every night and goes "batshit crazy" if the word "liberal" is uttered in less than a positive light.

They were friends before I moved in, but I moved in before the Leftist did.

Ever since that happened, though, the "classical liberal" has changed completely, shooting me hateful stares and the two of them make the house so toxic I stay in my room, keep my friends away, etc.

It's crazy-making.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier, I'll grant you that there are all kinds of tone-deaf idiots representing the liberal side, especially those who have easy access to microphones. I'm convinced that most high-profile liberals don't know how they sound to people who don't agree with them.

I don’t think they care Pete. Take Sherriff Dupnik himself. He admits on the news there is no evidence that Loughner was influenced by Palin, the tea party or conservative rhetoric but it’s his opinion that he was. Well that’s comforting. Glad to know the investigation won’t be tainted or anything.

Don’t you think it says a lot about the left Peter, when after Major Hasan murdered 16 of his comrades while screaming Allah Akbar, the media and the White House cautioned for calm, not to jump to conclusions, not to castigate an entire group of people, it was just a lone shooter who was mentally disturbed. Contrast that with Tuscon and suddenly Palin and conservatives are practically being accused of complicity to murder. It really does make me wonder what has happened to this country.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hoosier Daddy,

Don’t you think it says a lot about the left Peter, when after Major Hasan murdered 16 of his comrades while screaming Allah Akbar, the media and the White House cautioned for calm, not to jump to conclusions, not to castigate an entire group of people, it was just a lone shooter who was mentally disturbed. Contrast that with Tuscon and suddenly Palin and conservatives are practically being accused of complicity to murder. It really does make me wonder what has happened to this country.

That's easy - they've lost the power to shape the narrative. This is all desperate flailing.

Why we're not smart enough to re-shape it, is what confuses me. Look at Instapundit - it's nothing but answers to the insane debate the Left started.

We can do better.

David R. Graham said...

As Bender highlights, Ann has created a fictional version of an SOP that is a possible scenario at any time and place, the false flag operation. A companion to the false flag operation is the diversionary operation.

It appears certain that the shooting in Tucson was not a false flag operation, at least not a patent one. Nor, apparently, was it a diversionary operation, though it could be argued that the CHAOS (progressive) network has attempted to co-opt it to that purpose, unsuccessfully.

What Ann is describing is a subtler phenomenon: the incitement of delusion with hope that consequences favorable to one's wishes ensue.

Since CHAOS (Central Headquarters for Anarchy, Oligarchy and Supremacy) is on record, from high officials, wishing just the story Ann has created here as fiction be real -- ostensibly to drive support through sympathy back to the CHAOS agenda as executed by occupiers of the White House -- it is possible that the motivational depths of the Tucson shooting involve the aura of anarchy, desperation, hatred and fear created by CHAOS for the purpose of seizing and holding power.

If that is the case, then the Tucson shooting is a false flag operation, latently, subtly done of course, and its follow-on by organs of CHAOS is a diversionary operation, patently, not so subtly done, but a failure. And their projection of the shooting's cause onto Sarah Palin, et al. is their admission of having created its motivation.

I think, perhaps unwittingly, but to make a point in another and improving direction, Ann has written as fiction what is fact.

Ric Locke said...

A little too quick on the keyboard.

One tenth of one percent of American gun owners would be around 150,000 armed lunatics. 15,000 is one one-hundredth of one percent, more or less.

Regards,
Ric

gutless said...

This guy wasn't affected by talk radio, rather it was this http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2005/09/01

AlphaLiberal said...

Now, what if it were really true that incendiary political rhetoric pushed mentally unstable individuals over the edge and caused them to act out murderously?

Straw man alert.

You do not even understand the arguments you are disputing.

mrs whatsit said...

"I'm convinced that most high-profile liberals don't know how they sound to people who don't agree with them." Peter Hoh, I'm convinced you're right about this, and I'm curious if you have any thoughts about why this is true. It's something I have been wondering about for a while, not just as to the high-profile folks but also as to garden-variety friends, family and co-workers. (My liberal friends and relations, for instance, regularly inform me how much they hate people on the right, and when I ask them why, explain that it's because the right is so hateful.) Here is a particularly egregious example of liberal obliviosity, taken from that video of death wish twitters directed at Sarah Palin I linked to upthread.

"am i wrong to say sarah palin should be shot, fully realizing it would just crystallize radical right wing retards into more violence?"

Don't misunderstand -- I'm not asking you to defend the content of this obviously indefensible statement. I'm sincerely asking you if you have thought about the reasons why people who are otherwise apparently competent and self-aware are so oblivious to what they sound like? How is it remotely possible that someone intelligent enough to type can't see how foolish, hypocritical, and dumb -- not to mention violent -- this sounds?

mnster2008 said...

To Ric Locke: No, I shouldn't be cowering since I'm not in a position of power/fame/influence/notoriety which would make me a target. But if I was, I would be scared.

So a little thought experiment. Suppose YOU had received numerous death threats from people belonging /sympathetic to a group that speaks openly of second amendment remedies, watering liberty trees with the blood of tyrants, had YOUR office vandalized, etc., believed in flashing guns at political rallies, etc., would you be concerned? Giffords was concerned and I would be too. And she was right to be. And I'm concerned for others as well.

(Not that you wouldn't be concerned of threats from people who weren't affiliated. etc.)

Notice that this goes beyond just wishing death on twitter like someone referenced earlier (in regards to Palin). Heck, I see people wishing death to Justin Bieber all the time on various sites. Or other random idiotic rantings. The difference is the broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence. And advocated by some charismatic leaders within the movement as well. That is something of note (I think).

Hence the concern with the 400% increase in death threats towards Obama and the 300% increase towards the Congress, etc.

You then ask why we aren't seeing more violence now, given all the guns, mental instability, etc. Well, why did it take so long for the Weather Underground to form? It splintered from the SDS as I recall. Disgruntled SDS members at the slow pace of change. Same thing with the rise of the Black Panthers after the slow pace of change vis-a-vis the civil rights movement.

My fear is Tea Party members could become disgruntled with party politics, maybe splinter off and who knows. Or maybe lone acts of frustration if the political system doesn't change to their liking.

Notice I am not ascribing mental instability to Black Panther members or Weather Underground participants. Or Tea Party members, for that matter. I am talking about the cold, calculated justification for the use of violence for political ends. And you see it clearly in some of the rhetoric.

And that's why liberals are wrought up over the patina of justification provided by talk of second amendment remedies. It could be sewing seeds (one of which may or may not have flowered most recently).

mnster2008 said...

To Ric Locke: No, I shouldn't be cowering since I'm not in a position of power/fame/influence/notoriety which would make me a target. But if I was, I would be scared.

So a little thought experiment. Suppose YOU had received numerous death threats from people belonging /sympathetic to a group that speaks openly of second amendment remedies, watering liberty trees with the blood of tyrants, had YOUR office vandalized, etc., believed in flashing guns at political rallies, etc., would you be concerned? Giffords was concerned and I would be too. And she was right to be. And I'm concerned for others as well.

(Not that you wouldn't be concerned of threats from people who weren't affiliated. etc.)

Notice that this goes beyond just wishing death on twitter like someone referenced earlier (in regards to Palin). Heck, I see people wishing death to Justin Bieber all the time on various sites. Or other random idiotic rantings. The difference is the broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence. And advocated by some charismatic leaders within the movement as well. That is something of note (I think).

Hence the concern with the 400% increase in death threats towards Obama and the 300% increase towards the Congress, etc.

You then ask why we aren't seeing more violence now, given all the guns, mental instability, etc. Well, why did it take so long for the Weather Underground to form? It splintered from the SDS as I recall. Disgruntled SDS members at the slow pace of change. Same thing with the rise of the Black Panthers after the slow pace of change vis-a-vis the civil rights movement.

My fear is Tea Party members could become disgruntled with party politics, maybe splinter off and who knows. Or maybe lone acts of frustration if the political system doesn't change to their liking.

Notice I am not ascribing mental instability to Black Panther members or Weather Underground participants. Or Tea Party members, for that matter. I am talking about the cold, calculated justification for the use of violence for political ends. And you see it clearly in some of the rhetoric.

And that's why liberals are wrought up over the patina of justification provided by talk of second amendment remedies. It could be sewing seeds (one of which may or may not have flowered most recently).

mnster2008 said...

To Ric Locke: No, I shouldn't be cowering since I'm not in a position of power/fame/influence/notoriety which would make me a target. But if I was, I would be scared.

So a little thought experiment. Suppose YOU had received numerous death threats from people belonging /sympathetic to a group that speaks openly of second amendment remedies, watering liberty trees with the blood of tyrants, had YOUR office vandalized, etc., believed in flashing guns at political rallies, etc., would you be concerned? Giffords was concerned and I would be too. And she was right to be. And I'm concerned for others as well.

(Not that you wouldn't be concerned of threats from people who weren't affiliated. etc.)

Notice that this goes beyond just wishing death on twitter like someone referenced earlier (in regards to Palin). Heck, I see people wishing death to Justin Bieber all the time on various sites. Or other random idiotic rantings. The difference is the broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence. And advocated by some charismatic leaders within the movement as well. That is something of note (I think).

Hence the concern with the 400% increase in death threats towards Obama and the 300% increase towards the Congress, etc.

You then ask why we aren't seeing more violence now, given all the guns, mental instability, etc. Well, why did it take so long for the Weather Underground to form? It splintered from the SDS as I recall. Disgruntled SDS members at the slow pace of change. Same thing with the rise of the Black Panthers after the slow pace of change vis-a-vis the civil rights movement.

My fear is Tea Party members could become disgruntled with party politics, maybe splinter off and who knows. Or maybe lone acts of frustration if the political system doesn't change to their liking.

Notice I am not ascribing mental instability to Black Panther members or Weather Underground participants. Or Tea Party members, for that matter. I am talking about the cold, calculated justification for the use of violence for political ends. And you see it clearly in some of the rhetoric.

And that's why liberals are wrought up over the patina of justification provided by talk of second amendment remedies. It could be sewing seeds (one of which may or may not have flowered most recently).

DADvocate said...

I'm convinced you're right about this, and I'm curious if you have any thoughts about why this is true.

Narcissism runs rampant among the left. Narcissists have great difficult putting themselves in anyone else's shoes. They are largely devoid of the capacity for empathy, thus can't see and feel what others do.

Straw man alert.

Suddenly you're invoking logic?! Incorrectly at that! Plato used the same technique in the Analogy of the Cave, i.e. suppose....

Bwahahahahahahaha!

mnster2008 said...

To Ric Locke: No, I shouldn't be cowering since I'm not in a position of power/fame/influence/notoriety which would make me a target. But if I was, I would be scared.

So a little thought experiment. Suppose YOU had received numerous death threats from people belonging /sympathetic to a group that speaks openly of second amendment remedies, watering liberty trees with the blood of tyrants, had YOUR office vandalized, etc., believed in flashing guns at political rallies, etc., would you be concerned? Giffords was concerned and I would be too. And she was right to be. And I'm concerned for others as well.

(Not that you wouldn't be concerned of threats from people who weren't affiliated. etc.)

Notice that this goes beyond just wishing death on twitter like someone referenced earlier (in regards to Palin). Heck, I see people wishing death to Justin Bieber all the time on various sites. Or other random idiotic rantings. The difference is the broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence. And advocated by some charismatic leaders within the movement as well. That is something of note (I think).

Hence the concern with the 400% increase in death threats towards Obama and the 300% increase towards the Congress, etc. (continued)

mnster2008 said...

(continuation from above)

You then ask why we aren't seeing more violence now, given all the guns, mental instability, etc. Well, why did it take so long for the Weather Underground to form? It splintered from the SDS as I recall. Disgruntled SDS members at the slow pace of change. Same thing with the rise of the Black Panthers after the slow pace of change vis-a-vis the civil rights movement.

My fear is Tea Party members could become disgruntled with party politics, maybe splinter off and who knows. Or maybe lone acts of frustration if the political system doesn't change to their liking.

Notice I am not ascribing mental instability to Black Panther members or Weather Underground participants. Or Tea Party members, for that matter. I am talking about the cold, calculated justification for the use of violence for political ends. And you see it clearly in some of the rhetoric.

And that's why liberals are wrought up over the patina of justification provided by talk of second amendment remedies. It could be sewing seeds (one of which may or may not have flowered most recently).

The Crack Emcee said...

gutless,

Attaboy.

mnster2008 said...

To Ric Locke: No, I shouldn't be cowering since I'm not in a position of power/fame/influence/notoriety which would make me a target. But if I was, I would be scared.

So a little thought experiment. Suppose YOU had received numerous death threats from people belonging /sympathetic to a group that speaks openly of second amendment remedies, watering liberty trees with the blood of tyrants, had YOUR office vandalized, etc., believed in flashing guns at political rallies, etc., would you be concerned? Giffords was concerned and I would be too. And she was right to be. And I'm concerned for others as well.

(Not that you wouldn't be concerned of threats from people who weren't affiliated. etc.)

Notice that this goes beyond just wishing death on twitter like someone referenced earlier (in regards to Palin). Heck, I see people wishing death to Justin Bieber all the time on various sites. Or other random idiotic rantings. The difference is the broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence. And advocated by some charismatic leaders within the movement as well. That is something of note (I think).

Hence the concern with the 400% increase in death threats towards Obama and the 300% increase towards the Congress, etc.

(to be continued)

R.L. Hunter said...

Oprah's promoted tons of this stuff - she's Obama's biggest supporter - why not take her out?
Implying someone go on a date with Oprah?
That's just plain mean Crack.

DADvocate said...

And that's why liberals are wrought up over the patina of justification provided by talk of second amendment remedies. It could be sewing seeds

No. While you make respectable points, liberals are pretending to be wrought up in order to gain political advantage and power. This is quite obvious when you look at the fact that they have shown no concern over violent rhetoric from their side.

Alex said...

Crack - you do not want to go there, my friend. Take back what you said about dear Oprah.

jerryofva said...

Although Ann's hypothetical is interesting I think it is not a likely scenario.

The likely scenario is that some leftist sociopath will be driven to action by all the "Palin is responsible" blood libel. Sarah Palin should beef up her security before someone on the left attacks her.

mrs whatsit said...

Sorry, mnster2008, but that claim that death threats against Obama had increased 400% over Bush turned out to be a lie:

"U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan dismissed published reports that the level of death threats against President Obama are four times greater than typical threat levels against recent presidents — claiming the current volume of threats is comparable to that under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

"It's not [a] 400 percent [increase]," Sullivan said during a heated exchange with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who suggested the service needed additional agents to protect the first African-American president.

"I'm not sure where that number comes from," he said, adding that the number of threats against Obama "are the same level as it has been [against] the last two presidents."

Sullivan said he would get more specific in a closed-door session with members of the Homeland Security Committee."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5879268-503544.html

I think that if there had been any increase at all -- let alone 400% -- the head of the Secret Service would be the last person to object to the suggestion that more agents are needed.

Ric Locke said...

mnster2008: Oh, I see. You aren't just disingenuous, you're oblivious.

You are the one making gun threats, not I. That's because you can't get anything you want without guns and gun threats -- whereas I can get the fundamental things I want if you don't threaten me with guns.

The fact that you, yourself, would not soil your lily-white hands with gun oil makes it worse, not better. You want people's money and resources so you can give them to The Downtrodden, and you can't get that without sending tax collectors to get them -- and if tax collectors don't carry guns, it's because the times they have done so have been so impressive that no one doubts their availability.

The policeman's gun is not a fashion accessory, it's a direct threat. That's what "law enforcement" means. You may airily declare yourself above all that, but "making a law" means "sending people with guns to force people to do what you want." If you tell me that I must buy health insurance whether I want it or not, or that I can't have too much money or too much salt on my French fries -- or, in fact, a gun -- you are sticking a gun in my face, and the fact that you can excuse yourself by sending agents instead of coming in your own person makes you a pusillanimous liar, not a virtuous "pacifist".

Some minimal amount of that is a necessary evil for keeping public order, but the necessity does not make it less evil, nor does self-righteous posturing about how good and compassionate you are make the gun in my face less threatening.

Your objections to "Second Amendment solutions" are merely a version of the fundamental objection to Israel: Oh, s*t, the b*rds might shoot back! Demons!

Regards,
Ric

kent said...

it's not part of the liberal lexicon to even hint at a possible "2nd amendment remedy" -- or a violent remedy of any kind.

Liar, redux.

Dave said...

I actually suspect that it was something like this mindset that prompted the guy who stabbed the NYC cabbie towards the end of last year. He was a lefty, drunk out of his mind. "Hey, I'll stab this Muslim cabbie, and the right will get blamed 'cuz they hate Muslims! Brilliant!" I can easily see that kind of drunken logic going through his head.

dbp said...

I really think that mnster2008 has a point, but maybe not the one he thinks he has.

He goes on at length about, "broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence." and I think he actually believes what he is saying.

The problem is that all this simmering violence is a creation not of any actual movement, but rather exists only in the minds of the left. Who put it there? Look no further than the parade of liberal pundits eager to pin this murder spree on a tea party sympathizer. Yes, there is a lot of fear out there and it is caused by the left's fever dreams of their opposition.

Ron King said...

It is important to understand the neurobiology of psychosis and violence. We are affected by what is written, said and observed. How it affects each one of us is unique to each person's genetics and neurobiological development within the social influences.
Was he affected by violent rhetoric? He could have been.

Comrade X said...

Is calling someone socialist an incitement to violence?

Is trying to establish socialist policies an incitement to violence?

kent said...

He goes on at length about, "broad-based political movement which is providing potential intellectual cover for the use of violence." and I think he actually believes what he is saying.

Any/all lefties incapable of pointing unequivocal, contemporaneous postings roundly condemning violent political rhetoric such as this (for instance) need not be taken seriously on this, or any related, matter.

Paul Ciotti said...

For ideologues, any tragedy is only an opportunity to advance their side. I was at Columbia when Kennedy was killed. As we walked around campus in a haze that day the one thing that really sticks in my mind is hearing one student tell another, "it's too bad Oswald wasn't a right winger."

Marshal said...

Paul Ciotti said...
For ideologues, any tragedy is only an opportunity to advance their side.
_______________________________

The academic left organized "teach-ins" immediately after 9/11 to train their activist foot-soldiers how to incorporate the event into their existing Blame America Campaign.

Paul Ciotti said...

"I can think of a few instances in the 20s and 30s which indicate that a firey bit of oratory was able to move mobs of people into questionable actions.

Well shoot, I can think of a lot of examples more recent than that. When I was in high school, our cheerleaders were forever exhorting our side to "push 'em back, push 'em back, waaay back!" On rare occasions it even worked, though I never remember any of our defenders pulling a gun and shooting the opposing quarterback.

DADvocate said...

I bet the first Democratic president would spit in the eye of today's whiny, crybaby Democrats.

SH said...

It happened in West Germany when the East had an agent (a policeman) do exactly this.

Also; hay made out of Kent State (always left out of the story was the mob's behavior)... and that some people still think Conservative / Hateful Dallas killed Kennedy...

But the Ayer's type stuff never makes it into movies or pop culture references...

PS
Another possiblity. A leftist will attack the right just because of all the leftist talk about the right's talk... fire with fire and all that...

The Crack Emcee said...

R.L. Hunter,

Implying someone go on a date with Oprah?
That's just plain mean Crack.


LOL

Alex,

Crack - you do not want to go there, my friend. Take back what you said about dear Oprah.

Fine. Leave her ass to Steadman.

Or is it Gayle, yet?

R.C. said...

I wish people would just face up to the facts: This story just isn't much of a story.

There are no public policy implications.

There are no action-item take-aways from this.

It's a horrible tragedy of course...for the family and friends of the slain and the injured.

But for everyone else? While we feel compassion for them, and gather around them to offer condolences and assistance if it seems remotely plausible that we can help, the event is otherwise no different than had the same persons been killed in a landslide or a flood or by a particularly nasty winter storm.

It's not entirely not news. It deserves an honorable mention. But after that? The details of this event can be relegated to Trivial Pursuit - the Twenty-Teens Edition.

Gene said...

I wish people would just face up to the facts. . . There are no public policy implications. There are no action-item take-aways from this.


RC, well and thoughtfully said. Most people don't want to accept the idea that worthy gifted people can be killed by otherwise ineffective nobodies. It seems so unfair, so contrary to the notion of a moral universe.

When an eminent person is killed we at least want his (or her) death to mean something. We want them to have been killed fighting for a noble cause. It's just not right or fair or rational that good people could die for trivial reasons. Because to accept that is to accept that we live in a meaningless universe, which unfortunately we do.

ken in sc said...

Ann, you should not have said this. Now, one of them will do it and it will be your fault.

kent said...

The writers at Reason are thinking along the exact same lines you are, Professor:

"In other words, using the logic set forth by people like Chris Matthews, by creating a fear that America has reached the historical nadir of political discourse, that talk radio figures are threatening the American way of life and democracy itself, aren’t we signaling to the mentally unstable that the Republic must be saved from those who want to impose tyranny? You see how this silly game works?"

furious_a said...

aren’t we signaling to the mentally unstable that the Republic must be saved from those who want to impose tyranny?

That was the dog whistle Chrissy Tingle, Kos, Krugman and Co. were blowing all during the prior administration.