“Well, publish and be damned to you. And to the Watch. We gave no order to—“ [said Lord de Worde]
”I expect you didn’t,” said William. “I expect you said ‘make it so’ and left the details to people like Pin and Tulip. Bloody hands at arm’s length.” — Terry Pratchett, The Truth, pg 292.
When Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a group of Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ constituents, it was not on the orders of anyone specific, but it was after more than two years of demonization coming from within the Right that had been largely ignored and rarely denounced from within the Conservatives of the United States. Right now, there is a push to mitigate the damage done to the Conservatives by Loughner’s actions, but it is not likely to succeed. The extreme and violent rhetoric has been seen to have come from the Right, and the American public are not going to be dissuaded from saying that enough is enough.
That it took the deaths of six- including a nine year old girl- to bring this nation to this point is horrific. Now the question is, was this act by Loughner a Kent State or a Fort Sumpter?
There are those on the Right who are trying to push back. They are trying to link Jared Lee Loughner to the Left using often flimsy evidence and Glenn Beck talking points. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center feels that it may be difficult to directly link Loughner to the Right, but his rhetoric is that of the Right.
Yesterday, LGR looked at how Loughner’s beliefs matched up with those of Ron Paul on the Gold Standard, and various people on the Right with regards to the PC Thought Police. I forgot one detail- the destruction of the Contitution.
For as much as the Tea Party and the Right wants to wrap themselves up in the Constitution, they do a good job of advocating the repeal of much of it. For instance, this from Talking Points Memo regarding the repeal of the 17th Amendment:
The “Repeal The 17th” movement is a vocal part of the overall tea party structure. Supporters of the plan say that ending the public vote for Senators would give the states more power to protect their own interests in Washington (and of course, give all of us “more liberty” in the process.) As their process of “vetting” candidates, some tea party groups have required candidates to weigh in on the idea of repeal in questionnaires. And that’s where the trouble starts.
How about the attempt to repeal all or part of the 14th Amendment? Here is an interview between TPM and John McCain:
TPMDC asked, “Do you support the Minority Leader’s push for hearings into the repeal of birthright citizenship?”
“Sure, why not?” McCain said briefly.
“Do you support the idea itself?”
“I support the idea of having hearings,” McCain said.
“Do you have a problem with the 14th amendment?” another reporter asked.
“You’re changing the constitution of the United States,” McCain said. “I support the concept of holding hearings.”
“I support the concept of holding hearings,” McCain repeated, turning to the rail car conductor.
“Let’s go!” he snapped.
“I don’t have anything to add to that.”
While many who advocate for these ideas know that it is impossible to really repeal those, and it would be a major mess to do so, there is always that one mind who thinks that if it does not happen, then they government is not listening, and violence is called for. Potok of the SPLC was quoted by TPM as having said:
“When you look at the Internet material he purportedly produced, the first impression you get is that the 22-year-old now in custody for the shooting of 19 people in Tucson was completely out of his mind, or at least mildly deranged. His writings will be virtually impossible for most people to understand, what with his references to unexplained numbers, his fondness for weird syllogisms, his unexplained references and his apparent semi-literacy.”
“At this early stage, I think Loughner is probably best described as a mentally ill or unstable person who was influenced by the rhetoric and demonizing propaganda around him. Ideology may not explain why he allegedly killed, but it could help explain how he selected his target.”
The rhetoric has been to the extreme, and it has caused so many problems. While there has been some of this on the Left, often that has been condemned and squashed within hours or a day of it having been said. LGR played its part in putting a lid on the extreme rhetoric and calls for violence within the LGBT Community.
Those on the Right did not give the order, but they played a part in creating a situation where this happened. The reason why it was hard- impossible in fact- for the Right to blame Al Gore for the shooting at the Discovery Channel’s headquarters is because he never used militaristic rhetoric to defend the need for global climate change legislation the way that the Right have used it to defend their beliefs in the destruction of the Constitution, the return of the gold standard, and the abolition of the ‘PC Thought Police’.
There is a perception now that those who are violent on the Right have the tacit blessing of their side while those who are violent on the Left do not.
If the Right wants to make amends now, the best thing is to change the rhetoric, tone it down, and discuss these issues like a rational person.