Exploiting A Tragedy To Attack Conservatives At The HuffPo

The netroots is, as we speak, happily exploiting the murders committed by Jim Adkisson, the nutjob who walked into a Unitarian church and started blasting away at innocent people enjoying a play. Apparently, the guy was a conservative and was motivated by hatred of liberals. That’s pretty ironic if you think about it. After all, we’ve had 8 years of liberals proudly and publicly proclaiming their open hatred for all things conservative and it’s a conservative loon who goes on a depraved rampage.

Over at the HuffPo, RJ Eskow is taking this opportunity to blame conservatism for the murders,

Who really killed those Unitarians? Was it the preachers who spread hatred and intolerance? The politicians who court and flatter them instead of condemning their hate speech? The media machine that attacks liberals, calls them “traitors” and suggests you speak to them “with a baseball bat”? The economic system that batters people like Jim Adkisson until they snap, then tells them their real enemies are gays and liberals and secular humanists?

If you ask me, it was all of the above.

You killed them, Pat Robertson. You killed them, Pastor Hagee. You killed them, Ann Coulter. You killed them, Dick Morris and Sean Hannity and the rest of you at Fox News.

It’s tempting just to say, “I have a two word response to that: ‘the Unabomber.’ Now, thank you and goodnight.” After all, Ted Kaczynski, AKA the Unabomber, was an ultra-left wing Green fanatic.

That being said, even though Eskow’s conclusion is a gigantic over reach, I certainly can’t blame him for pointing out that Adkisson was a rabid conservative because if the reverse were true, and he were a liberal, I would be there with bells on going, “Look, look, the kook is a lib!” Granted, I wouldn’t be trying to directly blame Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Michael Moore for the murders, but then again, unlike Eskow, I’m not a talentless, third rate hack with all the subtlety of a cattle stampede.

Of course, there are nuts on the right and the left — and neither conservatism nor liberalism is directly responsible for their behavior. After all, personal responsibility means that murderers are directly responsible for their own actions and with that in mind, personally, I’d like to see Adkisson given the death penalty for what he has done.

But, in addition, we should not forget that even mainstream liberal blogs often support threats and physical harassment against conservatives, that over-the-top, sometimes violent rhetoric about how your political opponents are “evil” is several degrees of magnitude worse on the Left than the Right, and that liberals commonly publicly celebrate the deaths of prominent conservatives. That’s not to say the Right is perfect or couldn’t do better, but I’d be willing to bet that if there were 10 politically motivated attacks of this sort, given the previous factors I’ve just mentioned, 8 of them would come from the Left. People should keep that in mind while the Left takes this opportunity to gratuitously exploit these murders.

Update #1: I think it’s fair to call Adkisson a conservative, but they disagree over at Sweetness & Light and add some points worth noting,

Moreover, is Mr. Adkisson really a conservative?

Other reports say he was ticked off about losing his job and having his food stamps cut off. Which would seem to make him a liberal welfare recipient.

He is also reported to have told friends he was confused by the Bible and got angry whenever anyone would talk about Christianity. Which would also seem to make him a liberal.

…Instead, he has one line about hating the liberal movement, so the media calls him a conservative.

So why isn’t the headline: “welfare recipient shoots people at church”?

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