My reply to a comment on this post got rather lengthy with all kinds of links, so I decided to just make it a post.
The Weather Underground. Symbionese Liberation Army. Ted Kaczynski. The Democrats’ own bullseye map “targeting” (there’s that violent word) red districts they wanted to make blue:
Come on, it just isn’t fair to suddenly bring up the fact that, yes, we need to tone it down in this country, and bring Sarah Palin unfairly into this discussion. When Charles Manson went on a murder spree (most likely a liberal; definitely mentally ill) would it have been fair to attack a liberal politician AT THAT VERY MOMENT, as if to suggest that someone else….anyone….was responsible for the lunatic ravings of his depraved mind?
This was grossly unfair. And I’m no republican.
Newfrickinname, please REREAD my post with special attention to the first few paragraphs wherein I apologize for my initial gut reaction to the shooting and then go on to actually discount any possible role on the part of Sarah Palin.
I am one of those who made such a connection. However, upon examination of his videos, it is pretty clear that this guy was emotionally disturbed. Having had some up close dealings with it, his fixations and paranoia make me think he is likely schizophrenic, though I am not at all qualifed to make that diagnosis. No doubt we will learn much more about him in coming days.
And let’s be very clear that the vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent towards others, and in fact, are more likely to be the victims of violence rather than perpetrators.
Whether he was inspired by the likes of people like Sarah Palin or Sharron Angle, et al, remains to be seen. I rather doubt it.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way . . .
Ted Kaczynski is mentally ill. Certifiably so. Charles Manson? The same. Have you read Helter Skelter? Give me a break. And I see you actually had to go back to the 60′s to find any kind of leftwing domestic terrorists. Where are their equivalent groups today? Where is the Left’s Minutemen? Militias? ALF? Hardly. PETA? Not on your life. Where are are the Left’s millionaire radio and television hosts, authors, and columnists, with the equivalent national exposure, spewing the kind of garbage that comes out of the maws of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Savage, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and on and on
Rightwing inspired violence is real. Please see the Insurrection Timeline. Check this out, as well.
Please, there is nothing comparable on the Left. There just isn’t.
Hell, one Democratic Senator makes one remark (correctly) comparing the goings on at Gitmo to Nazi Germany, the Gulag, and Pol Pot and he is shouted down by the right until he is forced to apologize in the well of the Senate.
I have done my fair share of defending Sarah Palin on this blog against viscious misogyny and other misrepresentations of her (a few: here, here, here, here, here). So much so that I have been called a Palin apologist by many. But I do not defend her politics, nor do I defend her when I hear things like, “Don’t retreat! Reload!” Nope, not gonna do it.
Here’s what frustrates me:
People like you who keep jumping up and down and insisting that everyone ”Leave Sarah alone!!!”
I am also frustated by those on want to lay ALL the blame at Palin’s feet, while at the same time excusing the violence being done in their name by their savior, Barack Obama.
No, I do not “blame” Sarah Palin for this one incident. But people, can we PLEASE try to see the forest instead of staring at that one leaf drifting through the air? It appears that fixaters on both sides cannot do that. Many don’t seem capable of saying, “Yes, indeed, we do glorify violence in this country. Maybe we ought to do something about that. Maybe we should all take a good look at ourselves and have an honest conversation about this.”
Nor can we have an honest conversation about mental illness or even bring up the possiblity of re-examing gun laws that permit guns to be purchased willy-nilly by anyone off the street.
And I speak as a gun owner AND someone who’s life has been touched by mental illness.
This fucking tribalism has got to stop or we’re all doomed. Frankly, I fear it is too late.
Update: I just read this Media Matters post. Go read.
But rather than unequivocally condemn, or even rationally discuss how the violent rhetoric had become increasingly indefensible, and rather than encouraging partisan activists to dial it down before somebody got hurt, conservative pundits urged followers to forge ahead with their calls to arms, even blaming Democrats for bringing the deadly threats and acts of violence upon themselves by voting in favor of health care reform.
Indeed, after bricks were being thrown through offices windows and audible death threats left on answer machines, the conservative media mocked the idea that Democrats were being targeted and suggested the well-documented incidents had been somehow manufactured.