09
Jan
11

‘where hate rules at the ballot box….’

The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords may lead to the temporary hibernation of rightwing rage, but it is encoded in conservative DNA

Michael Tomasky (The UK Guardian): It was instructive to read elected Republicans’ official statements in response to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting for what they did not say … you’ll note that they are silent on the question of the violent rhetoric that emanates from the rightwing of American society. You don’t have to believe that alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is a card-carrying Tea Party member (he evidently is not) to see some kind of connection between that violent rhetoric and what happened in Arizona on Saturday.

…. he had political ideas … many of them (not all, but most) were right wing. He went to considerable expense and trouble to shoot a high-profile Democrat, at point-blank range right through the brain. What else does one need to know? For anyone to attempt to insist that the violent rhetoric so regularly heard in this country had no likely effect on this young man is to enshroud oneself in dishonesty and denial.

….some things will change, at least for a while. Sarah Palin will be deeply diminished by this. Speaking about the now well-known cross-hairs imagery over the map of Giffords’ congressional district on Palin’s website, Giffords herself last year expressed concern about “consequences”. Palin pooh-poohed this at the time.

Palin’s unctuous and hypocritical “prayer” for Giffords and the other victims will mollify only those who think she can do no wrong. But in general, this hastens that blessed day when we no longer have to pay attention to her self-serving lies and idiocies.

….This kind of rhetoric will go into hibernation now, but only for a bit. Because not only is it too central to rightwing mythology; it is central to Republican electoral strategy … Get people to hate liberals. Get them to think not only that liberals have ideas for the country that are wrong – get them to believe that liberals despise the country and are actively attempting to hasten its demise. Say progressivism isn’t just invalid or even dangerous, but “evil” and a “cancer,” as Glenn Beck says. Fear gets people to the ballot box.

….Today’s Republicans and conservative commentators surely understand the fire they’re playing with. But they do it, and a tragedy like Saturday’s won’t stop them, as long as they can maintain a phoney plausible deniability and as long as hate continues to pay dividends at the ballot box.

Read the full article here


7 Responses to “‘where hate rules at the ballot box….’”


  1. 1 Theo67
    January 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    This is so on the mark, and sadly, it is written by a foreign paper about life here in the US. The world is watching, as someone said earlier. The likes of Palin and Beck and the Republican party (including their Tea Party components) are giving this country a black mark. The most profound line for me is this, and the media should take heed:

    “For anyone to attempt to insist that the violent rhetoric so regularly heard in this country had no likely effect on this young man is to enshroud oneself in dishonesty and denial”.

  2. 2 majii
    January 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    This is the kind of real journalism that is sorely needed in this country—the kind of journalism that lays out the bare facts and lets the chips fall where they may. The MSM has been providing cover for the violent rhetoric/actions of the right-wing for decades and has deprived millions of Americans the opportunity to vote, not in the interest of rw politicians and corporatists, but in their own interest.

    This is very true:

    “Today’s Republicans and conservative commentators surely understand the fire they’re playing with. But they do it, and a tragedy like Saturday’s won’t stop them, as long as they can maintain a phoney plausible deniability and as long as hate continues to pay dividends at the ballot box.”

    It is not only true, but it is also a very real danger to our democracy.

  3. 4 africa
    January 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    What Tomasky said is so true. I don’t normally watch TV because I care to hear nothing that our so-called TV talkers offer these days. But after this horrific incident yesterday, I was looking for some honesty. From what I saw, I heard nothing.

    The one theme I heard continuously was the need for more and better security for Congress. All of that is fine and well. But lost in the debate is the violent rhetoric that has been pulled into our discourse since the election of President Barack Obama.

    I am still waiting for a person like Brian Williams to step up and hold an honest discussion, and bring out the leaders of the right and force thme to talk about this subject.

    I wrote several people with microphones today, asking them when and if we would hear anyone on TV honestly discuss the hate-filled speech uttered by some of the very people that sit in Congress today.

    Never in all the years since I have lived in this country have I seen such a thing. Early in the year, I wrote several people in the news and asked them why there was no conversation about people openly taking guns to POTUS’ rallies. No one answered me. I didn’t expect them to, but at least you thought it would give some people pause to broach the subject.

    No one thought it important enough to address such a topic. No Republican leader discouraged the ugly rhetoric. As Tomasky clearly points out, this is their route to election victories in this country. And yet when we see something as this happen today, they trot out their statements of sorrow. Michelle Bachman said her tears were flowing. Really?

    Until we can have an honest conversation about the people that benefit from this ugliness, it remains status quo.

    They will probably shut up for a while, but look for more of this hatefullness to rear its ugly head again Tomasky is right.

  4. 5 Kelly
    January 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Of course a foreign newsy has to do what the travesty known as our America MSM would not and seemly cannot do. They have gone so far over the edge that there is no changing. Both the right and the left of MSM have failed. Remember when President Obama bestowed Jon Stewart with an interview a few days before the midterm elections? Remember the disrespectful, interruptive, and very cringy tone Mr. Stewart did the interview in? Remember how Mr. Stewart made fun of our President’s midterm stump speech, the one about getting the car out the ditch, and “no the Republicans can’t have the keys back”. To this day I never understood what about that speech was worthy of questioning in the manner he did. . The analogy was pure truth, funny and exactly the sort of speech a president who is telling truth should give. Nothing in the speech was trying to incite anyone to get violent or hateful. But Mr. Stewart thought it was worthy of contempt. Dressed in the guise of comedy he acted as if he was the President and President Barack Obama someone he can dress down.
    Imagine if Mr. Stewart had instead of hitching on to the “bash the President bandwagon”, that maybe he should have been beating into the heads of his viewers an all out contempt for the violence, hate, and fear mongering that Mrs. Palin and the teaparty were spewing. People such as Mr. Stewart found it more important to concern the most unconcernable things as long as whatever that “thing” is could be used to try to make this President look bad. So instead of use their immense pundit box to give their viewers, listeners the truth. They decided to use it to troll every step of this administration and this potus. Well I know for a fact the blood on all their hands will stick forever. The huge failure of American journalism has been televised, tweeted, youtubed, facebooked, gifed, tumblered etc. So they can beat around it all they want, try to fix it up, say they were telling both sides, say that the Pres feet must be held to the fire, whatever….MSM, tv, radio, political comedians, the progressive blogs , and whatever other name these failures give themselves….all failed us and all contributed to putting that gun in that assassin’s hands January 8th 2011. I despise all of MSM with such a wrath I can’t even……

    • 6 Michele
      January 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Kelly, john stewart and velma hart still piss me off, and i will will never forgive them for their disrespect of the President. I don’t have any evidence but I do believe they received blow back from family and friends, and this is probally why velma had to clean up her statements on cable outlets and stewart went on Rachel Maddow to clean up his act regarding his joke of a rally..

      • 7 Sue in Minnesota
        January 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

        I think both Jon Stewart and Velma Hart looked petty and small. President Obama always holds his own, despite the too often, cringe worthy tone of those that address him.


Comments are currently closed.

@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Rising coronavirus cases fuel resurgence fears
  • Delta variant poses new political threat to Biden's agenda
  • How one doctor is the 'most influential spreader of coronavirus misinformation'
  • Speaker Pelosi adds GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee
  • Stock market highs owe a lot to Washington, says Steve Rattner

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 43,057,754 hits
January 2011
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

%d bloggers like this: