by Donald Douglas | April 19, 2010 9:15 pm
I long ago dumped my subscription to Newsweek. But I had my van serviced over the weekend, and the car dealership had a stack of recent volumes of the magazine. I saw this report from Evan Thomas and Eve Conant earlier, while out at Barnes and Noble last week; and then Glenn Beck smacked down the article on The O’Reilly Factor on Friday. See, “Hate: Antigovernment Extremists Are on the Rise – And on the March.” Notice how there’s a not word on the hatred, misogyny, racism, and violence that’s routinely heard on left-wing cable outlets, blogs, and radio:
It is hard to know how much such grim fantasies are stirred by the steady stream of conspiracy theories pushed by talk-radio hosts. Rush Limbaugh talks about the Democrats planning to “kill you” with health-care reform and suggests (agreeing with black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan, of all people) that it “seems perfectly within the realm of reality” that the H1N1 vaccine was “developed to kill people.” Like many talk-show hosts, he uses martial language to rouse the faithful: “The enemy camp is the White House right now,” he says. Former Alaska governor turned media star Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page a list of House Democrats who voted for health-care reform with crosshairs aimed at their home districts, while tweeting to her followers, “Don’t Retreat, Instead–RELOAD!” She strongly denied any intent to incite violence. Other conservative talkers insist their foes are preparing violent attacks on them. Glenn Beck of Fox News is the master purveyor of this particular brand of sly paranoia. He suggests that he will be the victim of violence. “I’d better start wearing a [bulletproof] vest” to guard against White House attacks, he says, and warns that the Democrats will sic goons on him to break his kneecaps. Some talk-show hosts see the risk of going too far. Bill O’Reilly, the top-rated talker on Fox News, interviewed Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers in February and treated him coolly. After the interview O’Reilly said to his audience, “We have a system to uphold the Constitution. It is called the judicial branch. The Supreme Court. The Oath Keepers are not the system.” Wise words, but it’s a sign of disturbing times that O’Reilly felt required to say them.
But it’s all of a piece. The lamestream press has formally launched a war on the tea parties, and they’ve labeled any opposition to the Democrats’ radical big-government agenda as “extremist.”
And as I noted this morning, today, on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, Rachel Maddow will host a chilling broadcast that exploits current anti-government protests for political gain, “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing.” And citing the Newsweek piece above, Byron York points how former President Bill Clinton shamelessly sought political gain out of crisis: “How Clinton exploited Oklahoma City for political gain.” And right on cue, here’s President Clinton in today’s New York Times:
Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.
We are again dealing with difficulties in a contentious, partisan time. We are more connected than ever before, more able to spread our ideas and beliefs, our anger and fears. As we exercise the right to advocate our views, and as we animate our supporters, we must all assume responsibility for our words and actions before they enter a vast echo chamber and reach those both serious and delirious, connected and unhinged.
Civic virtue can include harsh criticism, protest, even civil disobedience. But not violence or its advocacy. That is the bright line that protects our freedom. It has held for a long time, since President George Washington called out 13,000 troops in response to the Whiskey Rebellion.
Fifteen years ago, the line was crossed in Oklahoma City. In the current climate, with so many threats against the president, members of Congress and other public servants, we owe it to the victims of Oklahoma City, and those who survived and responded so bravely, not to cross it again.
And note the timing at WaPo, which has a big story on today’s Second Amendment demonstration in Washington: “Militia Movement Will Be Packing Heat at Gun Rally on the Potomac.” According to the report, some consider the event “an alarming escalation of paranoia and anger in the age of Obama.”
Michelle Malkin pulls the mask off of these opportunistic hacks, “Oklahoma City, Waco, and Crisis Exploitation“:
Today in Washington, gun owners will march in defense of Second Amendment rights.
Predictably, left-wing groups are taking their cue from Clinton and using the event to smear Tea Party activists, the NRA, and limited-government advocates all as potential OKC bombers.
In the Left’s playbook of Rahm Emanuel-esque political crisis exploitation, the Timothy McVeigh card has no credit limit.
* Melissa Clouthier, “Why the Left Must Destroy the Tea Party Movement.”
* Robert Stacy McCain, “Mark Potok and the Hijacking of ‘Hate’.”
* Saber Point, “Timothy McVeigh’s True Motivations.”
Cross-posted from American Power.
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