Patterico's Pontifications

1/10/2011

Inflamed, Honest Rhetoric vs. Calm, Civil Smears: Which Is Preferable?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:46 pm

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.

Thank you.

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.

62 Responses to “Inflamed, Honest Rhetoric vs. Calm, Civil Smears: Which Is Preferable?”

  1. I agree. We must destroy them.

    target the bastards (bcf6a9)

  2. Innocent People Bodycount: 49

    Way to go, P.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  3. Richard Roeper now has his second article out on the subject. It is excellent. (And note the Sun Times is a liberal rag so the article is reaching a key audience–not just preaching to the choir.)

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/3247376-418/loughner-palin-bodies-crowded-fire.html

    elissa (b5848a)

  4. So, when a political candidate talks about “Second Amendment solutions” (I’m simply citing the best known example) that is not threatening the possibility of violence? And saying aloud that such rhetoric may have had an influence in this is a depraved smear?

    and then shut it off around 8:02 so the effect isn’t ruined.

    Yes, we mustn’t allow ourselves to hear any criticism of our side–in case, I suppose, it might be true.

    You need to get a lot more uncomfortable with yourself.

    kishnevi (92e4d0)

  5. That is a righteous rant by O’Reilly.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  6. “So, when a political candidate talks about “Second Amendment solutions” (I’m simply citing the best known example) that is not threatening the possibility of violence?”

    kishnevi – The violence smear is something perpetuated by the left. Any time Angle was asked to clarify she made is perfectly clear that she meant fix problems through the ballot box not with bullets and was referring to the historical context of the second amendment. This is the kind of crap your side does all the time, including Dowdifying quotes, taking them out of context, etc., etc.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  7. Kishnevi – have you ever listened to the whole exchange, and her clarification of what she meant?

    JD (395555)

  8. Yes, we mustn’t allow ourselves to hear any criticism of our side–in case, I suppose, it might be true.

    I don’t mean to harp on you, Kishnevi, but that’s obviously not fair.

    He shouldn’t equivocate. He ruins his point. This isn’t about scoring points for the right and then allowing a point for the left at the end, but rather he collapses his logic at the end. It’s jarring (and predictable populism from Bill).

    I wonder if someone wrote that monologue, and then Bill or his producer felt an urge to add the last bit to be ‘fair and balanced’.

    This has nothing to do with being uncomfortable with really looking at the right. I mean, come on… let’s be reasonable about why you even prefer this blog to other right or left leaners.

    And saying aloud that such rhetoric may have had an influence in this is a depraved smear?

    It really is. That’s such an extreme thing to say. I guess we’re being conditioned not to see it (the government uses grammar control!), but given what we know, such a suggestion is simply and obviously wrong, and conveys such a aggressively demonizing message of blame. It’s just a hack move.

    That said, when Angle or anyone else discusses the 2nd Amendment, they have an opportunity to show some skill as politicians. It’s very important to discuss the power to kill an oppressive government in such a way that you’re clear the first time. otherwise, people will ignore your clarifying point, every time.

    it’s simply true that the second amendment is there because we need the right to defend ourselves from future tyranny. It actually prevents the need for revolution in a way. Angle is correct on a whole lot of issues like this, but it is extremely important to convey these ideas much better than Angle tended to.

    I do not think it is fair to demand our speech pass some test of ‘no crazy person might interpret this in a crazy way’, but in this case, Angle’s speech did not motivate the guy who was freaking at Giffords before anyone heard of Angle, and was full of insane ideas that are quite incompatible with being an Angle follower.

    You might as well ask if MLK influenced Jared.

    Again, not trying to be on your case.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  9. Yes, we mustn’t allow ourselves to hear any criticism of our side–in case, I suppose, it might be true.

    You need to get a lot more uncomfortable with yourself.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with this shooting, and he is just tossing it in there to be all fair and balanced. That is craven, and utterly spoils the wonderful effect of his righteous anger in the preceding 8 minutes.

    When we’re through discussing this shooting, I am happy to discuss excessive rhetoric by conservatives (I agree it exists! — just as excessive left-wing rhetoric does), the price of tea in China, and all sorts of topics that have no relevance whatsoever to this crime.

    But I will not fall for the tactic that says we shoehorn into this debate a phony concern for excessive Tea Party rhetoric — and if anyone balks, we say “tsk, tsk, don’t you agree that excessive rhetoric is a legitimate issue?”

    There is a right time for a discussion about right-wing (and left-wing) rhetoric. This ain’t it. I will not be cowed. Period. Violent rhetoric is a legitimate topic in general, but it is a phony issue in this context, and I won’t confer legitimacy upon it by discussing it as a problem in this context.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  10. “right-wingers should not be hateful”

    The only problem with that is is that I DO hate liberals, Democrats, left-wingers, Nazis, Communists, child molestors, Muslim terrorists, non-Muslim terrorists, and badly scrambled eggs (I like my breakfasts to be absolutely perfect).

    You want me to pretend I don’t? The hell with that. I don’t like faking it.

    Dave Surls (f88125)

  11. You’re still being too charitable, the people who put this out there, like those with the mythic spitting incident, and the non existent slurs,
    knew it was a lie, they did it anyways. To accuse a candidate of inciting violence that included a congresswoman, and slew a child not much older than her youngest daughter was unconscionable, yet it was done, and when the hubbub has gone away, the seed of doubt is still planted, that is poisoning
    the well at the source.

    narciso (6075d0)

  12. kishnevi thinks that “free speech” means you shouldn’t charge a speaking fee.

    kishnevi thinks that “the right to bear arms” is okay, as long as there’s no fat chicks.

    kishnevi thinks that “personal responsibility” means Sarah Palin should raise her hand right now and say, “My bad.”

    Icy Texan (d3f791)

  13. I liked all of it. The ending was not that bad guys.

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  14. Oh, go ahead and chatter and yip and yaw. Loudly. Lots. Keep going.
    Pump up the false equivalencies in your little echo chamber.
    But, hey, you won’t ever be able to beat the stats:
    Your 1 v. the other’s 5 parts per million is rather lopsided.
    Those nuts are yours. Don’t jabber about the political right or left. Second Amendment Remedies. Crash a town hall and shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with your politics. Put guns on and go up to the perimeter of an Obama appearance, just to show that you can. Jump up and yell and slobber spittle at earnest lawmakers at a town hall.
    You did indeed enjoy and encourage that sort of thing, remember.
    Well, now eat it.
    You’ve earned it.

    Larry Reilly (ae99e7)

  15. You want to know how phony this issue is?

    Bill Ayers.

    Bill Ayers is an actual terrorist. On 9-11 he appeared in a magazine stomping on the American flag.

    And they dare call us violent radicals?

    Aaron Worthing (1a6294)

  16. Larry shows what side he’s on, not that there was any doubt.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  17. You did indeed enjoy and encourage that sort of thing, remember.

    nice list. Shouting down anyone who doesn’t agree and bringing a gun to an Obama appearance.

    Go ahead and show me some evidence than someone here has, as you said, enjoy and encourage that.

    Otherwise, the rest of your comment shows you are disgusting.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  18. What did the left have to say about hanging Sarah Palin in West Hollywood? Was it good Halloween fun?

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  19. David Brooks was alone up against a wall of liberals discussing this tonight on PBS. No Palin lover or Tea Party lover himself, I thought Brooks gave a pretty strong performance in defense of her, and the right in general, against the blood slander of the mercenary left. He pointed out that while everybody wants to blab on about curtailing heated political rhetoric –it is totally NOT GERMANE to the Arizona case. He was the only one to mention that Jared is a screwed up sicko druggie who has been obsessed with Giffords since 2007, and does not appear to be political in any way that would be influenced by someone else.

    I really liked the “not germane” language.

    elissa (b5848a)

  20. “But, hey, you won’t ever be able to beat the stats”

    What stats are those, Mary?

    Dave Surls (f88125)

  21. Dave Surls, love a man unafraid to say it out loud.

    I think O’Reilly was doing one,two, or three things:

    1) pandering to the left and making nice because he cares what they think about him.
    2) tossing them a manipulative bone because he knows in order to get the lefties he does on his show, he has to appear ‘human’, otherwise they won’t show up.
    3) or he really believes that the right is wrong to some degree.

    Weak, no matter which it is.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  22. I have a different take on the events of this weekend. As more and more information comes out about the shooter, that he was in fact so far removed from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, let the Progressive rhetoric continue. Their social engineering experiment was summarily dismissed in November, when they got their asses handed to them. Their journalistic malfeasance of this weekend may insure their irrelevancy for a generation, if not forever.

    sybilll (c1d63a)

  23. I have spent this whole evening being civil and asking simple questions with no coherent response.

    I am not a firebrand nor an ideologue. I am willing to listen.

    But, I have made a considered decision that my politics lean right after a long time of being a lefty.

    I am getting a bit tired, though, of the assumption that every misguided or wrong statement offered on the right somehow means that I must agree.

    The left never has to apologize for the rhetoric of its extreme members. Afterall, they are doing good.

    But I am a bit tired of being expected to excuse the imagined shortfallings of the right.

    I owe no apologies for people I don’t know offering opinions that I may or may not agree with. I’m only interested in what is right

    Ag80 (e03e7a)

  24. I saw more of the same tonight. “Some people have blamed Sarah Palin, blah, blah, blah.” rather than report the truth that this was one psychotic individual who caused a lot of grief.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  25. 1) The Second Amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms, not ballot boxes. If you refer to the Second Amendment, you’re referring to weapons–physical ones, not political ones.

    2)Angle’s speech did not motivate the guy who was freaking at Giffords before anyone heard of Angle, and was full of insane ideas that are quite incompatible with being an Angle follower.

    I’m not saying it motivated him. It did something worse: it sent a message that violence is acceptable. Reasonable people decide that being civilized means we don’t accept that message (which is why she had to “clarify” her statement). Whackos reach a different conclusion. So this and similar statements would not tell him to shoot a member of Congress, but it would (given his whacko mindset) tell him it’s okay to shoot a member of Congress.

    but given what we know, such a suggestion is simply and obviously wrong,

    I disagree with you on that. In fact, I think it’s an obvious question. I think Patterico is wrong when he say that it has absolutely no relevance to this mass murder. More precisely, the answer to that is currently unknown, and will probably remain unknown until police and/or prosecutors make public a good deal more than they have so far (and may possible not yet have the pertinent information). And whatever you feel on the subject, I think you would agree with me that the MSM makes violent rhetoric from the right more prominent than violent rhetoric from the left–and therefore more likely to influence whackos. That’s not because the right wing rhetoric is more violent, but because the right wing rhetoric is more noticeable thanks to MSM bias. But excessive rhetoric is a question that should be discussed, and discussed now.

    kishnevi (92e4d0)

  26. Their journalistic malfeasance of this weekend may insure their irrelevancy for a generation, if not forever.==

    sybill– I think I agree with your analysis. They got excited and prematurely shot their wad, and now people are starting to notice it dribbling down their leg and looking kinda messy.

    elissa (b5848a)

  27. Mark my words — it is going to turn out that Giffords was targeted because she was a Blue Dog — not because she was a liberal, but because she wasn’t sufficiently liberal enough for the tastes of our shooter.

    Friends who knew him in high school and college have now referred to him as “left wing” and a “political radical”. Giffords apparently refused to answer a nonsensical question he raised at a similar event way back in 2007, and he never forgot it.

    The guy who didn’t answer his phone call at 2:00 am the morning of the shooting said he knew right away who the shooter was because he disliked Giffords so much.

    So you tell me — from this limited profile is he closer to a Tea Party activist or a member of MoveOn?

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  28. Mawry is off its meds again.

    kishnevi, thanks for (in #25) confirming what I said in regards to your views on personal responsibility.

    Icy Texan (d3f791)

  29. “I’m not saying it motivated him. It did something worse: it sent a message that violence is acceptable.”

    Only to a freaking idiot! Take a breath. If it did not motivate Loughner, why are we using this incident as an excuse to talk about it? Because the left decided to politicize the shootings, that’s why. THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  30. I don’t even remember the context in which Angle offered those remarks, but it is curious we have
    a terrorist, that’s what Loughner is, who attacks civil authority, a congressman, a judge, not unlike
    what AQ would want to do, and succeeds in doing in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, yet we’ve
    been chasing chimeras for three days now. This as we know is nowhere near the first time in recent
    memory when acts have happened by like minded persons.

    narciso (6075d0)

  31. Comment by Icy Texan — 1/10/2011 @ 9:43 pm
    WTF?!

    Since none of that bears any resemblance to what I’ve said (and as regards Palin, directly contradicts what I’ve said about her in other threads on this topic).

    kishnevi (92e4d0)

  32. Put guns on and go up to the perimeter of an Obama appearance, just to show that you can.
    Comment by Larry Reilly — 1/10/2011 @ 9:44 pm

    Thank you so much for bringing that up again; appreciate it. I do enjoy very much re-pointing out as many out-and-out lies from the media as I possibly can. :)

    no one you know (a8b794)

  33. “But excessive rhetoric is a question that should be discussed, and discussed now.”

    Right, because I’ve spent the past two years getting told I’m a racist, hatemongering, rich person who hates working people and crap like that because I disagree with the left’s agenda.

    Now is absolutely the perfect time to have that conversation!

    Bulldookey.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  34. Some violence is acceptable. Not Jared’s, and to be more clear, not any violence over politics in a country where we retain elections. But the notion of violence being something the people retain as a human right to defend from tyranny is correct.

    How did this send a message that what Jared did was acceptable?

    How in the world is shooting a Tyrant King’s officer, or tolerating that, a message about what Jared Loughner did? It isn’t. The situations are drastically, almost pathetically, unlike.

    So to use the latter sick murders as an opportunity to say ‘hey, this other thing was made violence acceptable!’ is not only untrue and unfair, but it’s also apparently motivated (at least by quite a lot of these ghouls) out of a goal of poisoning the well of general political discussion. This is not the time to discuss Fox News’s rhetoric. Jared was insane. We cannot tailor our views to ensure there is no chance a crazy person will murder a child. That is stupid.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  35. kishnevi: this and similar statements would not tell him to shoot a member of Congress, but it would (given his whacko mindset) tell him it’s okay to shoot a member of Congress.

    — I’ll let your own words speak for themselves.

    Icy Texan (d3f791)

  36. They got excited and prematurely shot their wad, and now people are starting to notice it dribbling down their leg and looking kinda messy.

    I was going to say that by the time this is done, a whole lot of people (the list is long and well known) will owe Palin an apology.

    I expect it will come some time after the Group of 88 makes their long-awaited one.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  37. Reasonable people decide that being civilized means we don’t accept that message (which is why she had to “clarify” her statement). Whackos reach a different conclusion. So this and similar statements would not tell him to shoot a member of Congress, but it would (given his whacko mindset) tell him it’s okay to shoot a member of Congress.

    That’s an incredibly weak argument, kishnevi. Whackos reach their demented conclusions from anything, including innocuous statements. Don’t try to paint what Angle said as motivating anyone to do anything but vote.

    Some chump (e84e27)

  38. I think Patterico is wrong when he say that it has absolutely no relevance to this mass murder. More precisely, the answer to that is currently unknown, and will probably remain unknown until police and/or prosecutors make public a good deal more than they have so far (and may possible not yet have the pertinent information). And whatever you feel on the subject, I think you would agree with me that the MSM makes violent rhetoric from the right more prominent than violent rhetoric from the left–and therefore more likely to influence whackos. That’s not because the right wing rhetoric is more violent, but because the right wing rhetoric is more noticeable thanks to MSM bias. But excessive rhetoric is a question that should be discussed, and discussed now.

    There is not a shred of evidence that rhetoric (in particular the rhetoric you think should be discussed) had any influence on this guy. Whatsoever. At all.

    And there is plenty of evidence regarding what type of person he was and what motivated him. Not everything is known, to be sure — but if Sarah Palin had been a prime motivating factor I think we would know that by now.

    And if she had been, I would still be taking the same position. As Roeper said, this guy could have had a shrine to Palin and it still would not have been her fault.

    Given the above, now is precisely the wrong time to have the debate you so badly want to have. Because having that debate raises false implications and allow the issue to be framed by cynical partisans.

    Why not, instead, have a debate about the state of treatment of mental health in this country — specifically, regarding how difficult it is to get legal permission to commit someone involuntarily, even though they are clearly a danger to themselves or others.

    THAT is a debate worth having NOW. This one, not so much.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  39. kishnevi, would you have sought a debate over whether to ban the Beatles’s White Album after the Tate/LaBianca murders?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  40. The left is always in favor of censoring speech or viewpoints they don’t like. Why do you think Democrats keep talking about reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine?

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  41. kishnevi – When did you stop beating your spouse/lover?

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  42. “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…”

    Lashing out… hmmmmm… guess opinionator Bill-O didn’t get the memo:

    ‘Roger Ailes, the conservative who heads the Fox News Channel, has told his traditionally outspoken hosts to “shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually” in the wake of the massacre in Tuscon that is putting overheated right-wing rhetoric under intense scrutiny. “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Ailes said in an interview with Russell Simmons, the global hip-hop impresario, that was posted at Simmons news site, GlobalGrind.com. “You don’t have to do it with bombast.”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  43. I want to personally apologize to the people of the USA.
    I am one of those people who goes about his business, going to work, spending time with the family and not taking the time to watch what is going on in our politics of today.
    I would come home and turn on the news, take what they said at face value and not give much of a care, just move on to the next day and go on with life.

    The past two years I have become alarmed at what is taking place in America.The alarm I was experiencing was and is actually uncertainty.An uncertainty that I have never in my life experienced.I started paying attention.

    I saw the tea party movement and said to myself, what a common sense group of ordinary people, just like me but even still, I didn’t take time from work or family time to partake in the rallies that in my heart and mind, was drawn to.

    Finally it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel, a big change took place in Congress and with it gives a familiar air of certainty that logic and common sense will start to take hold again.

    And then it happened.Some killer makes an attempt on a congress womans life, kills a young girl, a federal judge and numerous other innocent people, it is tragic.Out of this terrible event something equally evil has made me snap to attention.One that I will continue to focus on like a laser.

    Evil, in the name of politicians and politics has reared it’s head in a way that I haven’t noticed before.One politician wants to pass a law banning cross hairs from ads, thats right, he is trying to make a connection via a law to an ad that a political opponent made to these deaths.The killer probably never even saw these ads but the purpose of the law is to simply make the connection, not solve any problems and it sickens me to the core.
    I watched the news, and various other politicians do there best to link this killer to tea party people for no other reason but to frame the story the way they wanted too, despite any facts to meet their political views.

    So, with my apology for not paying attention comes a promise.I am watching, I will partake, I will do my best to make these sick individuals, be it killers, pundits and politicians who create and use these events for their own purposes to be held to account.
    I can’t wait for the next election, I plan on being as informed as possible by the time it rolls around.

    justavoter (b003e1)

  44. So, Patterico, when Rush calls everyone to the left of him “depraved”, should we call his lie out?

    Jim (87e69d)

  45. We breathlessly await the summation of kishnevi’s many posts here condemning the previous incredibly violent and hateful rhetoric for the following incidents:

    – Rhandi Rhode’s affirmation for the assassination of President Bush, followed by a gunshot sound:

    – the Hollywood film depiction of the assassination of President Bush;

    – Kilbourne’s “joke” about assassinating President Bush.

    Of course this list is endless, but these three events should suffice for now.

    So how about it, kishnevi? Let’s see some actual deeds to back up that moral superiority. Given what you’ve said here, no doubt it should be quite easy for you to demonstrate your past misgivings about such deranged and hateful actions.

    Dmac (498ece)

  46. DCSCA – What part of the O’Reilly clip did you not understand and what parts were not backed up with facts?

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  47. “[Today] is do or die,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago in reference to an imminent vote to raise Illinois’ income tax significantly, which is being resisted by Republicans.

    Uh oh, looks like politicians breaking the habit of using violent and threatening metaphors is going to be hard. LOL

    elissa (1c8564)

  48. elissa – We are boned, unfortunately.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  49. JD – Yep, truth-out is a noted bastion of left-wing civility and sanity. Double Heh!!

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  50. “when Rush calls everyone to the left of him “depraved”, should we call his lie out?”

    Nope; Rush crosses the line when he says that the left had something to do with Jon-Bonets’s death.

    See how evidence works?

    Dathi (3dbf30)

  51. If you really think that everyone to the right of Rush is depraved, you are a worthless piece of s*it, Dathi.

    Jim (87e69d)

  52. Hey Larry and kishnevi, I have over 30 years of specific leftwingers calling Republican Presidents “Hitler” and specific leftwingers assassination fantasies of Republicans and conservatives.

    I also got over 100 years of general leftwing calls for, and acting out, violent revolutions and genocides in the name of your cause the world over. There’s nothing controvertial about this. They are established facts. History tells us so.

    You got nothin’ but a cheap smear devoid of facts on the ground. Thats the difference between any accusations of fomenting violence for political ends.

    Pathetic.

    SGT Ted (5d10ae)

  53. Dathi – WTF are you talking about with Limbaugh and Jon Benet Ramsey? Do you have any links?

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  54. I sort of get the feeling that these guys know how Ray Donovan felt when he was trying to figure out where to go to get back his reputation …

    “We here at AboveTopSecret.com, our owners, staff and membership, find ourselves in the unfortunate position of apparently being one of the largest (if not the largest) repositories of online postings by someone who has been classified as a ‘monster’ (among other things) due to his (accused) actions of two days ago,” wrote the editors of the website in a statement on Monday. They said Loughner posted under the handle “erad3.”

    … that feeling that you can’t wash enough to ever get clean.

    Neo (03e5c2)

  55. daley, its probably a Media Matters link.

    SGT Ted (5d10ae)

  56. Why not, instead, have a debate about the state of treatment of mental health in this country — specifically, regarding how difficult it is to get legal permission to commit someone involuntarily, even though they are clearly a danger to themselves or others.
    THAT is a debate worth having NOW.

    You nailed the crux of the matter right here. However, this does not play to the Left’s meme that all conservative thought and words are EEVIL. Rather to the contrary, it may point to a liberal activist sheriff who is not carrying-out his duty to protect the populace from the crazies that walk among us (let alone his refusal to carry-out laws relating to illegal immigration — that’s a discussion for another day), possibly because the family of this particular crazy may be wired-in with the county government.

    As P said, THIS is a conversation/investigation that we need to have.

    deMontjoie (1f5c49)

  57. “daley, its probably a Media Matters link.”

    SGT Ted – I’m thinking it’s something related to child porn, since the guy who confessed to the “accident” was a big fan of child porn and everybody knows the left are big supporters of that stuff, what with the first amendment applying to it but not conservative speech.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  58. Given the above, now is precisely the wrong time to have the debate you so badly want to have. Because having that debate raises false implications and allow the issue to be framed by cynical partisans.

    Good stuff, Patterico.

    President Obama (then Senator Obama) did get away with this diversionary tactic once. When confronted with the extremist rhetoric of his pastor, he decided it was time to have a national debate on race.

    I will be interested to see what Obama does with this in his speech in Arizona. If he tries to have a national debate on anything other than how we can all be heroes or mental health, I think he will look terribly opportunistic.

    Ezra Klein (081489)

  59. OOps

    Not Ezra Klein (081489)

  60. [Got a database error on my first attempt to post this. Apologies if this is a repeat.]

    Gack. I’m not nearly as unhappy with the last few moments of O’Reilly’s memo, as I am with his comment at about 0:57, where he says, “Talking Points believes that any new laws that provide greater safety for public officials should be considered.”

    No. We already have enough laws against murder, and public officials are already far too eager to consider themselves members of a protected class.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: I look for the day when the campaign trail includes taking part in state and county fair shooting competitions, followed up by stump speeches in front of audiences with the front row proudly holding the be-ribboned rifles and pistols they used.

    I want our public officials to always be painfully aware that they are not rulers of abject slaves, but leaders of free citizens.

    And if they don’t like the risks — well, they can get real jobs. They need us far more than an armed citizenry needs them.

    DJMoore (dfc510)

  61. LA Times’s media critic, James Rainey, pretends to play it down the middle. But lift up the veil and see this:

    “This is not to say that the country couldn’t stand a discussion about overblown, sometimes inciteful, political speech or to give a free pass to anger-spewing, clownish talk show hosts. Their names might not show up in Loughner’s journal or Internet postings. But who’s to say media provocateurs and their attack-dog rhetoric won’t get inside the head of the next crazy loner?”

    Let’s see. The first shot was by Matt Yglesias, followed by Markos Moulisitas, followed by Krugman. Hey, whaddya know? None of the guys who started this are talk show hosts. Now, who do you think “talk show hosts” is meant to conjure up in most peoples’ minds?

    pidgintodamax (765277)


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