And I rather suspect that they do.Glenn Beck Mocking Nancy Pelosi For Tearing Up!
Limbaugh mocked her too.
I'm not going to respond line by line or point by point to everything that's been said, due to simple time constraints. Also because I don't have any illusions about being as skilled with debate, or as generally knowledgable or as articulate, as lots of other people on this site, Vekseid included.
One thing I am good at, though, is being careful with language, and deliberate in the things I say. Vekseid, in your last post before my first post, you were careful to qualify many of your statements in the following way, though I failed to acknowledge this before (emphases are added in all these quotes by me):
This is another way of saying what I was trying to say in my post:
I think, perhaps, I ought to point out, the six who died on Saturday are not the only ones dead. George Tiller is dead. Three police officers are dead.
And so on.
If this were an isolated incident, if this were the only case of violence or attempted violence in recent history, then obviously this discussion wouldn't even be happening. It would be some horror we wondered at the causes of.
It's just that, a young white girl is dead now, and an important person has suffered a grievous injury.
This mattered before. It matters no less now. The question is, how many more people are going to die before the blame is justly assigned to where it belongs.
It's very difficult to determine 'blame share' in these cases, and I don't think it's appropriate to simply dismiss Glenn Beck's vitriol as being less than murder.
I was responding not to the more sensible and qualified statements above, which I essentially agree with, but to certain non-qualified, immoderate statements like these:
Those are the kinds of statements I was referring to as "somewhat reckless." Here and in other places you seem to be suggesting that certain politicians -- perhaps Republicans, or Tea Party-aligned ones, or ones who supported cutbacks to publically-funded mental health institutions -- bear the same responsibility for the Arizona killings as the murderer himself.
If someone is incapable of controlling or moderating their own actions, it is incumbent upon society as a whole to make sure, through one mechanism or another, that that person does not cause harm.
If someone impedes those activities, they share culpability - with each other, not the murderer - for the murder.
If someone actively takes advantage of their lapsed mental state by giving them ideas, they share the burden of responsibility - again, with each other, and not the murderer.
Maybe the murderer needs to be put down. That's irrelevant, however.
The issue is, there are millions of people with various mental illnesses, conditions, and situations that impair their judgment. If it's not one person, it's another.
Again, this was predicted. The specific name and identity of the murderer was not known - just the generic event itself. That someone would attempt an assassination.
In my opinion, such a suggestion is both inflammatory and insupportable. What you are doing there is lumping together law-abiding public servants with murderers, painting them all with the same brush.
Most of them are not public servants. Most of them are pretty despicable as people, actually. Have you seen some of the stuff Bill O'Reilly has said about Nancy Pelosi?
And honestly, if right wingers were comfortable with my conclusions in this thread, there would be something seriously wrong with me.
This nation has a lot of soul searching to do. Whether it will happen now or after however many more tragedies is an open question.
Asked (by me) for some public explanation of this seemingly unilateral and anonymous act of censorship, staffperson Trieste gracefully replied with the following:
I believe I only attacked the argument itself, though when I said 'sociopathic bullshit' I meant Zamdrist's argument more than yours.
I still don't give your argument weight, because this is, pardon, fucking serious. And it needs to be taken, pardon, fucking seriously.
So it seems the labelling of Christians and/or DADT-policy supporters as "fascist" was crossing a line that merited censorship, at least in that case.
Unqualified statements with no supporting evidence should be.
I am quite happily and perfectly willing to defend my claim that much of the right wing in this country is a fascist movement.
This does not mean that Christians are. It does not mean that Republicans are.
It does mean that the leaders of the right wing in this country - such as Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Fox - make use of fear and misinformation to distort the dialogue, which is the definition of demagoguery. Their discussion and allusions to violence in their rhetoric are a fundamental component of fascism - power by any means necessary. Their mockery of intellectuals and the educated - anti-intellectualism - is a vital component of fascism.
And it deserves to be called out for what it is.
Here's the same person (sorry Trieste, it's nothing personal) referring in this thread to a group of law-abiding, peaceful protesters, specifically the Westborough Baptist bunch, who at least claim themselves to be Christians:
She's referring to paying attention to the Phelps clan. They make their money by inciting people to attack them, but play their legal book very carefully.
So the best solution is to simply ignore them, or resort to anonymous violence.
Starting with Vekseid's very first post in this thread, we've seen Republicans referred to repeatedly here as liars, demagogues, and fascists. We've seen law-abiding Americans of different political persuasions equated with genocidal maniacs, perpetrators of "mass slaughter," held responsible for "the worst crimes in all of human history."
Where did I accuse republicans in my first post?
I made very specific accusations, more specific than party affiliation. There are valid reasons for wanting to oppose social programs, or being fiscally conservative, etc. Or otherwise opposing the democrats.
My accusations are about a very select group of people, each of whom have a wide audience, who have abused the privileges that having such an audience has given them.
And people are dead.
Again, not just the six who died Saturday.
Brandon has a post above that aptly refers to this as "demonizing." It seems to me that in a roundabout way, it's the same kind of hurtful scapegoating and extremism that inspires certain politicians on the Right to pepper their rhetoric with references to gunplay.
No, they resort to references to gunplay, 'exterminate all liberals', 'progressives should be rounded up', etc. Because it plays to the fearful and cowed. It's also a distinctly fascist action - stating that if legal means can't get them where they need to, violence can.
I wish I had a fraction of the learning and wisdom necessary to craft a convincing argument against such well-intentioned folly. It galls me far more when it comes from those on the Left, or from Independents, because I agree far more frequently with the substance of their views, if not with all their approaches. Bill Maher and Jon Stewart remind of nothing so much as backwoods Southerner Fundamentalist Baptists, and I'd like to slap sense into all of them.
Bill Maher and Stewart?
The only major liberals that I know of who are using deceptive rhetoric are Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann. And none of them have even remotely begun to stoop to the level Glenn Beck has.
But as I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not all that well-educated or persuasive, so I'm going to finish with what is perhaps a cowardly move: by linking to a text by someone a lot smarter than me, a famous person named Diderot, whose words express my inner sentiments far better than I ever could. (In case you're wondering, no, I don't know jack about this guy -- barely even know his name -- and I found the text by serendipitous accident, though I really do feel that it captures what I wanted to say -- at least the parts I understood.) If you read it, just mentally replace all the references to Christians and Christianity with whatever other religious, political, or social group you identify with most closely (assuming it isn't Christians, that is; then just read it).
For those like me who are usually too lazy to bother with links to long text pieces, I'll close with some excerpts that struck me as particularly relevant. Thanks for reading, anyone who got this far.
Nothing cowardly about linking as long as you don't make a habit of letting them argue for you.
Diderot's words are extremely relevant when addressing strangers individually or in small groups.
98% of the population consists of well-meaning, good and decent people. The overwhelming majority of them will have some degree of authoritarian leaning - that is, they'll trust one authority perhaps a bit more than is logically appropriate. This can lead to drastic problems (plenty of examples with that one), but for the most part, it saves genuine time and effort - no human is capable of being a repository for all knowledge.
There are really only two ways to crack solid, incorrect authoritarian beliefs.
One is if they're in a crisis situation, to take advantage of them. This is often unpredictable, but it is fast.
The other is to become familiar with them, and fundamentally show them - not just tell, but show - that what they believe is fundamentally wrong. This is slow, difficult, and can take a lot of heartache, but it is actually rather successful.
Should I practice what I preach (with that) more? Possibly. I don't feel that taking that viewpoint means rolling over in every battle, or being too nice to call a spade a spade on each and every occasion.