For any sane person, to ask the question is to answer it. I’ll take inflamed rhetoric that is honest any day, over a pack of lies and smears — no matter how calm and restrained.
That was, of course, the point I was making earlier when I wrote a post that read, in its entirety:
As an observer of decorum and civility, I would just like to calmly ask you right-wingers to stop inciting mass murder with your hateful and violent rhetoric.
Conservatives who have watched liberals blame them for an awful shooting understand exactly what I mean when I say this: that issuing a brutally ugly and false accusation, while wearing a mask of smiles and civility, is not civil. It is ugly and partisan and disgusting — far more so than any inflamed rhetoric, as long as that rhetoric is honest — and free from actual threats of violence. (To illustrate the difference: “We need to target our political opponents!” is not an actual threat. “If I ever meet up with you, I swear to god I’ll fucking kill you!” is.)
At this moment, when conservatives are being taken to task for allegedly inflamed rhetoric, we must not allow the debate to be framed for us. We must explain that calmly and dishonestly linking Sarah Palin to a brutal murder by a deranged nutcase is far more reprehensible than engaging in honest and spirited rhetoric.
I have been saying this all weekend — and if you’re a weekday only reader, you owe it to yourself to scroll down and even hit the next page so that I don’t have to repeat myself.
But I say we need to target the liars; we need to attack and bury our opponents who try to link conservatives to this shooting; we need to stomp dishonesty into the ground and kick it in the ribs until it is left broken and bleeding.
I feel perfectly comfortable in my own skin saying that. I would rather scream such “inflamed rhetoric” from the rooftops than I would put on an oily and reptilian grin, fold my hands together, and calmly intone words that falsely try to smear my political opponents with the murder of a nine year-old child.
The former is an impassioned argument. The latter is cynical, nasty, and yes, evil.
By this point we know these people have no conscience, so there is no point in trying to shame them. Instead, we have to stop them. By killing them? Uh, no. By pointing out their lies. Each and every time they tell them.
It’s time to get angry. In that vein, let me now offer you this fantastic clip of Bill O’Reilly lashing out at the liars. It’s absolutely perfect — right up to the last 10-15 seconds, when he ruins the whole thing with a pathetic attempt at balancing everything out (oh, and also, right-wingers should not be hateful.). Do yourself a favor: watch it, luxuriate in his righteous anger — and then shut it off around 8:02 so the effect isn’t ruined.