Saturday, August 23, 2008

More on the Recent Assassination of AR Dem Party Chair

You know, the one that barely made the crawl on nightly TV news. Well, don't miss this post, on Orcinus. Here's the lead:

"Right-wing violence and mental illness"

"Cujo359, whose work I respect, has posted a challenge to me for characterizing the assassination of the Arkansas Democratic Party chairman as 'starting increasingly to look like yet another case in which an unhinged wingnut decided to "take out" more liberals.' [Yes, this was an FDL [FireDogLake] post, but since FDL isn't the appropriate place to post a lengthy and detailed response, I'm doing it here.]

"Obviously, in a post titled 'Looking For Hate In All The Wrong Places,' this was not a characterization I made lightly. In fact, I'd had a backstage disagreement with Sara over whether this case qualified as a politically eliminationist act--at the time, I didn't think the evidence was in. But, after gathering more info, including my own sources, I decided the case was looking increasingly like a political killing."


Morning Angel said...

From Orcinus: "...inspiring mentally unstable people into horrific acts of violence."

Off the top of my head, I remember several of these killings "in which an unhinged wingnut [Far Right] decided to "take out" more liberals." Killing liberals is, in fact, a joke among Republicans. Living in KS, I've more than once heard this "joke." The "joke" seems, however, to be restricted within the culture of the Right. Do we suspect or witness this horrendous phenomenon of assassinations perpetrated by Democrats? I don't readily recall an incident. If it does happen, not nearly with the same startling frequency.

PICO said...

Thanks for your comment, Morning Angel!

Oh, it's been a constant motif all across the Right -- Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, the Freepers, on and on. Violence is the default response of the Right--verbal and physical. Remember Jesse Helms's warning to Clinton not to show up in NC?

This last week there was news that O'Reilly, Hannity, and someone else were apoplexed at a woman who connected the dots between their statements and books and the assassinations at the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, TN. Incredibly, O'Reilly's response was to unleash his goons on her--while claiming that her allegations of a link between his words and violence was preposterous. I call that a remarkable revelation of self-awareness.

And let's not forget the bombing of abortion clinics, their staff, and physicians who perform abortions.

I can't think of a leftwing assassin since the Weather Underground. The attempted assassination of Reagan wasn't a political act. It was attempted by a crazy man who wanted to get Jody Foster's attention.

Also, Kazinsky (Unibomber) attacked Leftists and scientists particularly, calling Leftists "oversocialized," and speculating that rabid technological expansion would mean the end of freedom. In fact, Bush and the Far Right mean the end of freedom. See today's posts.

Also, somewhere in here, we have to examine the phenomenon of US high school shooters. Most of them come from a neo-Nazi fantasy world, and although their targets were indiscriminate politically so far as I know, their ideology certain was Far Right/pro-gun/pro-fascist.

The Right would probably argue that Waco and Ruby Ridge were Leftist assassinations. While I, too, have my problems with Clinton's handling of these people, I can't put this in the same category at all: Not cases of wildcat assassination; both involved protracted armed defiance of law (FBI, local police); in both, the principals were perceived as threatening (and actually did threaten) the lives of innocent captives (and others); were not motivated by politics but by threat assessment, etc. Too many different variables distinguish these events from the others, IMHO. But as I said, I, too, am not happy with how these played out.

Anyway, that's my take. Comments?

Morning Angel said...

Naturally, living in Kansas, violence and threats I see locally are from the Right (against the families of gay soldiers at their funerals--despicable, against pregnant women at clinics--just as despicable, against their doctors, etc.). The majority of Republicans do NOT condone such acts, but are still partially responsible for its support. Too often "funny" threats are carried out by extremists. The Republican Party (and all of us) should do more to condemn this culture of making jokes of violence.