Monday, January 17, 2011

AZ Shooting - The Ultimate Hate Speech

Did you ever hear the expression "to send a message"? He slammed the ball through the hoop - that really sent a message. It's something we often hear in sports and in politics to indicate that someone's actions are emphatically communicating - usually serving to push back and intimidate the opposition.

Jared Loughton, the Tucson shooter, went to Rep. Giffords' "Congress on the Corner" to "send a message." His actions are speech - hate speech - and to suggest that there is no relationship between this speech and the Republican culture of violent political speech is a child's "nu-uh" argument. Specifically, the Alaskan Quitter-in-Chief has made herself such a reputation for provocative rhetoric, she welcomes the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" and gleefully compares herself to a pit bull (with lipstick). She and her running mate, Senator McCain, were only too happy to benefit from their campaign crowds screaming their heads off when Palin referred to candidate Obama as "palling around with terrorists" and claiming that he, a sitting U.S. Senator posed a threat to the security of the United States. I know you've seen this, but watch as an elderly woman confronts McCain and says she's afraid of Obama. McCain is nodding in affirmation. Then she says she thinks he's AN ARAB. McCain's only response is no, no, he's a decent family man (was that supposed to refute his being an Arab?). He retakes the microphone to get back to the stage and away from specifics. His supporters were so extreme (two of them saying they feared Obama) that McCain is in the ridicuous position of spending his campaigning time talking about the fact that a U.S. Senator is not an enemy of the county. And he does so, by the way, rather superficially.

So is it speech? Was a message sent? Recall, painful as it is, when JFK was gunned down. Was that a statement? How about his brother, Robert, then a sitting U.S. Senator? How about Martin Luther King, whose birthday we observe today? How about San Francisco Mayor George Moscone? Harvey Milk? Rep. Leo Ryan, murdered in Guyana while investigating the Jonestown cult?

Do you see a pattern in those names? Do you notice the progressive tilt? This helps to explain the red-faced anger and sentitivity on the part of progressives when it comes to modern day political assasinations. With the notable exception of Ronald Reagan (who very nearly died when he was shot) and the attempts on then- President Gerald Ford, this practice has been one that has pushed back and sent a message mainly to the political left >> sit down, be quiet. Not now, not yet.

When the Quitter-in-Chief invokes the term Blood Libel, it is no accident due her ignorance. No, indeed. Her accusation stated plainly is that the Jewish-owned and run media is taking the shooting of a Jewish Representative and the killing of a young child and others and using the blood of that crime to "feed" the media beast, directing its hungry attention to chewing on her, America's most successful quitter. Hence, the stain of that ugly lie is continued in the modern age, via Facebook. Like dropping leaflets from an airplane, there's no talking back. It's a one-way message.

When she claims innocence in the AZ shootings, I am reminded of another group that uses inflammatory language and the anonymity of numbers to do the work of spreading their ugliness, then claiming that they didn't light the match that burned the cross on your lawn. That's right, the Klan is great at this stuff -- spreading malicious, racist lies in ways that tend to be protected by the first amendment and are attributable to the "atmosphere" rather than recognized for being expressly incendiary. You know the problem with these things usually is that you can't demonstrate that the speech that was made was clearly a threat, was construed as a threat and was specific enough to act on as a threat.

And certainly we would not typically find a television interview featuring the victim (who was being interview because her office was vandalized) talking about how this "hit list" being posted for all the world to see HAS CONSEQUENCES.

My good friends in the mainstream media are quick to say there's "no connection" between Palin's crosshairs graphic and this shooting. They likely mean on the most literal level that nobody thinks she ordered a hit on a Congresswoman.

If Loughton were at large and you found that list in his apartment -- just a list of names of 20 members of Congress -- after one of them had been shot ... I think the other 19 would be on lockdown. But that's just me.

Still ... is that the standard now? We cannot prove she personally tried to KILL a member of Congress, so leave her alone? You know what? I don't think we will.