MediaSnob, Obamarama

Folks at Gawker Wonder When Republicans Will Speak Out Against the “Kill Obama” Fringe

The folks at Gawker haven’t been mum about their fears that all this fearmongering over the healthcare debate and other things is part of something far more dark and sinister that could lead to violence against President Obama. They’ve flat out said they’re afraid someone is going to attempt to kill the man. This fear was further stated in a recent editorial where Gawker’s John Cook chastized Republicans for not speaking up and against some of the coarser language being tossed about in the debate.

More after the jump.

From Gawker:

(E)ach publicized call for Obama’s death adds to the public perception that we’ve reached a decision-point about whether it’s time for killing. Every sign—even if the bearer is merely an angry loon who could never get close to Obama—is an inducement to someone who is willing to try. It’s a message to fellow travelers, a signal that they are not alone in their rage, a promise of glory to come if they actually manage to get the job done. As we said before, there are always people who want to kill the president. The question is how many give it a shot. And the more of these signs there are in the background of Fox News’ live report from some town hall in Missouri saying that someone should give it a shot, the more people actually will. And the more people that give it a shot, the more likely someone is to hit the jackpot …

So what is the GOP’s response so far to these threats? “Hey Democrats, They’re Called The American People.” “No Wonder Democrats Are Smearing Americans – They Read The Headlines.” “AS CANDIDATE, OBAMA ENCOURAGED ANGER AND AGGRESSION AMONG HIS SUPPORTERS.” Those are quotes from recent GOP press releases striking back at Democrats for calling a mob a mob. Where are the Republican politicians denouncing the violent rhetoric? Can we at least draw the boundary at threatening to kill his children?

If GOP politicians were to be outspoken in telling their supporters that strenuous political opposition is OK but that glorifying violence is not—how many signs have you seen reading “Sic Semper Tyrannis”?—it might go a long way toward tamping down the rage and decreasing the likelihood that someone actually becomes convinced that Sean Hannity will have him on the show as a reward for stopping Obama’s march toward a “culture of death.” But rage is all they’ve got, so rage it is. Not one GOP politician that we can find has distanced themselves from that rage. They’ve embraced it.

Read the rest here.

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86 thoughts on “Folks at Gawker Wonder When Republicans Will Speak Out Against the “Kill Obama” Fringe

  1. Scott says:

    khia213:Clearly you missed or ignored all the people frothing at the mouth about Bush at places like the Democratic Underground, for example.

  2. khia213 says:

    Democratic Underground? Never heard of them. What I have seen is Palin rallies, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh using their bully pulpits to incite hatred and fear. I can’t recall a single national figure calling Bush a nazi on a regular basis in a national forum. And since Bush didn’t allow dissent at his townhall meetings, you never saw people calling him a socialist or saw signs calling for his blood to water the tree of liberty. Never heard of a democrat attending a Bush meeting with a gun. There is no left wing version of the Klan or the militia movement. It is different.

  3. Scott says:

    khia213:If you’ve never heard of Democratic Underground it is hard to give your opinion about what the left said about Bush any credence.

  4. khia213 says:

    The Democratic Underground is a blog. It’s not on televsion. It’s not on the radio everday. It’s not a whole network. And it didn’t organize people to disrupt meetings. And so far, it’s contents haven’t inspired anyone to be killed. Next?You haven’t identified any national democratic representatives who called for violence. And there still is no leftist equalvalent of the Klan or the militia. Oh, and no democrat with a gun at a Bush rally. Or the fact that Bush never received the number of death threats that Obama has. Who’s the democratic equavalent of Rush? And Obermann called Bush stupid. He never called him a terrorist.

  5. Scott says:

    khia213:Please read the very first post in this thread and then tell me what wonderful honest, moral, peace loving people all Dems are. All your talk about the Klan and militias is just a red herring to disguise the fact that you can’t intelligently rebut what I said. Let me plagiarize myself, the common thread here seems to be that when Dems do it (demonstrate), it is people’s voices fighting the powers that be and when Repubs do it, it is racist hatred and fear mongering.

  6. khia213 says:

    You can’t give me credence because I’ve never heard of one blog out of millions and I’m not inteligent because the militias and the Klan are right wing groups. The Dems, are not perfect, and that was not my argument. But the Dems don’t assassinate abortion doctors or blow up buildings in Oklahoma, either. Those were right wingers, hyped on a diet of Rush, hatred and racism. In the last thirty years, when there’s been a mass killing or a bombing, the perpetrator has had a right wing philosophy guiding his actions. Dems may riot, but it takes a conservative, standing on his Second Amendment rights, to bring a gun to the party.Oh, and since I’m an unintelligent, non-blog reading commentor, feel free to end this discussion . I don’t get why you keep commenting if I’m all that.

  7. Scott says:

    Have you ever heard of the SLA or the Weather Underground in this country or the Red Army Faction in Germany or Antifascist Resistance Groups October First in Spain, or the Red Brigade in Italy? Clearly you can only see Repubs as violent, because you know in your heart that the left is so peaceful. Also, DU is not a blog but is a an online community and if the Wikipedia entry is to be believed, members have been investigated by the secret service for advocating violence not to mention it has over 122,000 user accounts have been registered and over 38 million messages have been posted. So don’t act like DU is not a major left wing mouthpiece equal to that of Rush.

  8. khia213 says:

    I’d be willing to take a poll on it. People on this blog are pretty saavy. Anyone here ever heard of the Democratic Underground before today? And does it have the same reach and resonance as Rush Limbaugh? Danielle, you run with a deep crowd. You heard of this one?And I thought we were talking about this country? In the last 30 years. Oklahoma city killed hundreds. The shooter in Pittsburgh got four cops. The Lunatic in L.A. outside the daycare killed two or three. The guy at the synagogue took out a building. Pro-lifers got at least three doctors and a couple nurses. This is in the last decade or so. The left? Not so much.

  9. Scott says:

    Also, how about the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, they aren’t the peaceful puppies and rainbow groups you seem to believe the left is. By the way, the OK City bombing only killed 168 not "hundreds" and the shooter in the L.A. shootings only killed one person, a postal worker. You really should get you facts straight as there is nothing worse than trying to support an argument with incorrect facts.

  10. khia213 says:

    My numbers are wrong. The basic idea is right. The left in this country hasn’t killed or threatened to kill the people it doesn’t agree with. Left leaning commentators don’t demonize the other side in a way that encourages mob mentality. Democrats aren’t the ones who sent out a memo saying don’t discuss the issues; just disrupt the meeting. The left hasn’t blown up buildings or shot doctors. Further, the left has let people who don’t agree with them come to meetings. Bush didn’t do that. Obermann hasn’t told anyone that tree huggers should kill to protect trees. O’Reillly, on the other hand, tactly approves of shooting abortion doctors. The left celebrates the First Amendment. The right is in love with the Second Amendment. And they use violence and the threat of it to achieve their ends.It doesn’t matter to you that my numbers are off. You’re in a position where you’re trying to defend people like McVeigh and the shooters who kill doctors. You can’t work that into a defensible position.

  11. Andrea says:

    @Scott:"So don’t act like DU is not a major left wing mouthpiece equal to that of Rush."Can the DU be "equal" to Rush without the mainstream of America knowing who the hell they are?And yes, I’m certain an insult is on the way, since people like you and swiv seem incapable of having so-called "intelligent" discourse without resorting to pre-school playground tactics. I was taught that I didn’t need to denigrate others to make myself look or feel better. I only wish other parents had done the same for their offspring. Frankly, it’s the type of behavior one expects from ignorant POC and White supremacists. @Khia213: No never heard of Democratic Underground, SLA or the Weather Underground, and I’ve been a Dem since my first vote at 18. I guess they don’t advertise. And I strongly doubt the Animal Liberation Front or the Earth Liberation Front ever threatened to kill Bush.

  12. Court says:

    Never heard of any of those groups. As for the violent animal lovers and treehuggers, they are the fringe and they remain there because neither liberal politicians nor people encourage or support their actions whether through direct means or by turning a blind eye. The birther/deather movements, militia groups, homegrown terrorism etc. have been bleeding from the fringe into the mainstream conservative consciousness.

  13. Marbles says:

    Will everyone calm down? Scott:I’m a white liberal with a conservative streak. I have no use for places like Democratic Underground (which yes, Khia213, I had very much heard of) because three days of being a member was enough to convince me that they’re little better than a mirror image of the vile FreeRepublic. You are right that there are some very nasty people out there who count themselves as liberals.HOWEVER.Court and some of the others are correct in that for the center-left (and the nearly invisible real left), there IS NOEQUIVALENTto what’s going on in the conservative ranks right now. Unlike with Democrats, who start shivering like jellyfish at the mere mention of the word "liberal," the line between the rightwing fringe and mainstream conservatism has become increasingly blurred since the early 1990s. THAT is the key difference. The hucksters whose breadwinning trade is extremist, eliminationist rhetoric have tremendous influence not just on their millions of listeners, but on mainstream Republican talking points. And since the "liberal" media almost unfailingly frames our national political discourse using rightwing framing language, this means that these people have enormous undue influence on our national poliitics, period. Since they dish out xenophobic, nationalistic, angry, violence-tinged viewpoints to their fans, this powerful influence makes them quite dangerous. I have argued with a conservative (who hates these extremists as much as I do) who thinks that the "economic bigotry" that liberals engage in is just as morally repugnant as the racism/sexism/nationalism of the extreme right. I strongly disagree with this, because economics are not personal like race, creed, or culture are. Economics is not an attack on what makes a person a person.You cite the violent extremism of the Weathermen and their ilk as equivalizing examples. But in doing so, you actually undermine your point. Violent rebellion has not been associated with the left for more than a generation now. It is the Backlash Right that has assumed that mantle. As angry as the left gets, there is no widespread call to arms. And, most importantly of all, there is no widespread appeal to TRIBALISM. THAT is the key difference between left anger and right anger.I basically agree with you that this isn’t all about race. Not all of these yahoos give a damn about race. But the undercurrent of xenophobia is difficult to ignore. And knowing how much the rightwing talkers rely on stoking tribalist fires, to belittle racism as a factor here is outright folly. As a white person, it’s only natural that we’re much slower to recognize racism than blacks might be. Just as I believe that there are racial fires started by blacks essentially crying wolf (I speak as someone who was twice accused of being a racist for unbelievably trivial reasons), I’m also aware that being white can be an effective blinder to this stuff. Rick Beagle:Your comments to Swiv are similar to the ones that so turned me off about Democratic Underground—the personal attacks, the black-and-white logic (no pun intended), the assuredness that you have someone "pegged". That kind of thing is unconstructive and frankly, just flat out mean. Having such an extreme reaction only belittles the importance of reacting strongly when a REAL defense of racism comes along. I read AverageBro.com every day—-there’s one white conservative poster there who, day after day, stands up for the majority of his movement and party by asserting that the nutjobs are not representative of conservatives or their principles. Most of the other posters take issue with this stance and always say so in no uncertain terms, but the conversation is nearly always kept civil and respectful. No one has ever descended to calling the conservative a racist, or distorting his words into an ugly shape. Nothing good is accomplished by doing this, and the posters there know this.Black Snob:Sorry—I know you said no more long posts. Learning to self-edit is a worthwhile but daunting task.

  14. swiv says:

    @ andreayou have yet to find where i’ve defended anything, so what are you talking about? your entire position is based out of trying to find race even if it’s not there. point to my "playground" tactics. unless refuting baseless and factless accusations is "playground" tactic.

  15. Scott says:

    khia213:The bottom line is that the left in this country has killed. Why they did it is irrelevant if you believe killing is wrong. Also just because they haven’t done so recently is hardly a mark in their favor. There was plenty of demonization of Bush and other conservatives at DU, so just b/c you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I’m not defending political violence from either side just pointing out there seem to be this refusal by some on the left to admit that they have ever said anything hateful or demonized people on the right.Marbles:I agree that there is no left equivalent to the right, at this moment but it has existed and that is what people like khia213 seem to be unable to admit. Yes it has been a while since the left in this country was killing people but you still have folks like Bill Ayers saying he doesn’t think they did anything wrong. I also find the folks at DU and Free Republic equally as disgusting. I’d also like to add that the right didn’t descend into tribalism, it merely learned from the 60’s left that created identity politics that it had to get into the streets. As for modern political demonization, it started before 1993 with the left’s treatment of Robert Bork in 1987 and then Clarence Thomas.

  16. tarheelio says:

    Court: "Even if your great-great grandfather didn’t lynch a negro and burn his farm for being black and prosperous…"You missed the point. The majority of whites have no connection to slavery AND haven’t committed any atrocity against black people. Unfair generalizations by and against any race hurt our progress. MANY white people have done horrible things to MANY black people – assuming that covers all blacks and whites is ignorant. Therefore, I criticized tara111’s post – I think that hateful rhetoric sounds worse than those Palin nuts yellin’ at the town hall meetings.So don’t be lookin’ at anyone of any color and thinkin’ that you know their history with race relations. And you obviously have no idea about what my race is.As to assassination-I know that there are crazy people out there, but there are some bad-ass motherfuckers guarding Obama. So I don’t think Obama is getting assassinated. Reagan and Kennedy got shot, but those caught us off guard. We are looking for some nut to come after Obama, so we are ready.

  17. kopekler says:

    Shouldn’t responsible public leaders object to the killing of …well…anyone? OK, so the left did not do it when folks called for the W to be assassinated at anti-war rallies, which was not right, but those folks got less play in the media than the current batch of nutters.** I am also guessing they are better armed (I saw the anti-war folk in SF…not exactly the most likely gun owners). What blows my mind is 9 of 10 of these folks are probably right-to-life….unless you disagree with them?Plus side, I can always comfort my Turkish friends when they bemoan the stupidity of their compatriots for electing the current administration. They want to see stupid? I can show them stupid** Or so I assume, I limit my Fox news video streaming because I am not in the US and definitely do not want to pay extra on my ADSL for that

  18. Rick Beagle says:

    Marbles,I am sorry you feel that way. Elements of the Right are in full press at the moment, and is there anyone on this site that doesn’t think their efforts aren’t full of racist undertones? We liberals are a kind bunch (generally) and we try very hard to understand everyones’ point of view, but what if the "discussion" is really meant to be divisive, disruptive and subtly racial? Why shouldn’t we stand up and call it for what it is? Do we stop because some white man got called to the carpet because of a racial lie? I love being a liberal, but liberal doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t exercise our backbone now and again (I love Obama, but honestly, like most progressives, I am worried that our moment for real change is slipping). Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable (and others), but I refuse to allow this "tribal" movement to dictate the terms of the discussion any longer. IMHO we have simply held our nose for too long hoping that intelligence and thoughtful discussion would somehow sway these folks. We need to start swinging (metaphorically) back (please, this is not a call for violence).As an example, we should all go onto sites where they post these obscene comments and tell them they are offensive. Go to these events and pass out sheets and wallets (so they can attend the KKK meeting later and get their money from the insurance companies /sarc). Why should we be afraid to call these folks liars and link everyone to the truth? We have come so far to allow a minority group of well financed thugs to determine a disastrous path because our President has a little bit of color in his skin. It is unacceptable.I really am sorry that my comments made you and others uncomfortable, honestly that was never my intent. Peace.Rick Beagle

  19. Court says:

    "You missed the point. The majority of whites have no connection to slavery AND haven’t committed any atrocity against black people."I guess my question to you would be, how do you define the word atrocity? What is atrocious to me may not be atrocious to you. To deny an entire race of people their civil rights, liberties and ultimately their very humanity is most egregious to me. And you don’t have to be be the politician in power who made Jim Crow legal to be complicit. You just have to be the America’s majority who sat by and approved of it. You act like segregation, Jim Crow laws, and the denial of civil rights happened in a vaccum. They didn’t. The lawmakers who put these racist laws into power were elected by someone. And be real, blacks only attained civil rights (on paper) in the last 50 or so years. "So don’t be lookin’ at anyone of any color and thinkin’ that you know their history with race relations. And you obviously have no idea about what my race is."I’m not targeting you or any specific person. However centuries of legal racism and disenfranchisement doesn’t flourish without the support of the majority. If that isnt atrocious to you, consider this debate over.

  20. Rick Beagle says:

    "I’m not targeting you or any specific person. However centuries of legal racism and disenfranchisement doesn’t flourish without the support of the majority."That comment scares the heck out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with your assessment (irrefutable at this point), but holding all of white america and their progeny accountable for those actions seems a bit extreme (if I understand the conversation correctly). The mistreatment of other humans as I have stated before is not something "white people" have a monopoly on. Historically and even currently speaking, people of color have done and continue to do their fair share of wrongs. Some would even argue, at this moment people of color are probably in the lead for most atrocities committed against people of color (Darfur sp? I’m too tired to google, bash me about the head…). What about me being a the glass is half full kind of person? Can I celebrate the fact that my relatives marched for Civil Rights (and if you go back, for Women’s rights too — seem to be a breed of marchers whatever that means)? Can I be absolved of my guilt if my family was active in doing the right thing? Or should my progeny and I remain accountable? And if so for how long? How long is my sentence for the injustice of white people in America?IMHO there is enough anger out there already, laying down lines that exclude friends because of some perceived past relational injustice weakens the cause. MLK wanted us all on the hill, and since im bringing the wine forgive me please if i pass on the "white guilt"…. :-)Peace.Rick Beagle

  21. Court says:

    Hey Rick Mine is not to lay guilt at anyone’s feet nor am I holding ALL white people and their seeds accountable for history’s ills. That would require me to deny the fact that many abolitionists and civil rights supporters were white. I’m really responding to what I consider the incorrect assertion that most white people have never committed any wrongs against blacks because they never owned slaves. It’s denying history, which in my opinion one of the most dangerous things a civilization. As the saying goes, we’ll be doomed to repeat it.

  22. Marbles says:

    Scott:I strongly disagree that the tribalism the right wallows in has any equivalent on the left. However, it’s plain to see that the tribalism is an extreme reaction to the identity politics pushed by the left ever since the 60s. And the left of the time was often to quick to demonize people who were not active malevolent forces, just blissfully ignorant stooges going along with the majority tide. (Court, I definitely understand where you’re coming from when you talk about the complicitness of a silent majority who doesn’t speak up, but I think that’s also not quite fair, since a lot of otherwise good people stumble into wickedness simply through lack of exposure to others’ pain.) It’s that over-demonization, I think, that helped the fuel the growth of the modern right’s culture of hate. But the right has far surpassed any demonization the left ever could have dreamed of. These people are doing way more than paying back the phantoms who hurt them 40 years ago. They’ve taken it to a whole other level and then some.This is my conservative streak talking—I believe MOST identity politics have long outlived their purpose. From 1955 to 1965, they were absolutely essential. In 2005? More divisive than constructive. (I don’t believe this is always flatly true—-like everything, it depends on the specific situation. I’m talking in general.)"I’d also like to add that the right didn’t descend into tribalism, it merely learned from the 60’s left that created identity politics that it had to get into the streets. As for modern political demonization, it started before 1993 with the left’s treatment of Robert Bork in 1987 and then Clarence Thomas."Being too young at the time to understand the Bork and Thomas messes, I’m only able to go by what is written and said. I’ll agree that, by many accounts, both affairs saw the center-left achieve a pretty high level of nasty. But I have seen nothing to implicate those moments as the true birth of modern demonization. I think that distinction belongs to 1994 and Gingrich’s scorched-earth tactics—-embodied in their purest form by that memo he gave all GOP congressmen outlining what words to paint the opposition’s policies with—-like "sick", "depraved," etc. If intelligent debate was alive in our Capitol by then, it died with officially endorsed tactics like those. The fanatical, almost religious loathing of Bill Clinton displayed by the Republicans of the 90s tied perfectly into the blossoming, maturing medium of right-wing talk radio. They fed off each other to create an ever–intensifying parallel reality blistering with fear, hate, paranoia and anger, all tinged with some form of tribalism—be it religious, racial, cultural, national, or what have you. And our country continues to suffer this poison more and more.Rick Beagle: I agree with every word in your last two posts.

  23. Rick Beagle says:

    "Mine is not to lay guilt at anyone’s feet nor am I holding ALL white people and their seeds accountable for history’s ills."Well this is just plain awkward…. um, please just ignore my little old post then. Nothing to see people, just move along!:-)Point well made Court!Peace.Rick Beagle

  24. swiv says:

    i just had this discussion with my spec today. what she calls divisive, i call free thought. liberal independent thought nazis are as bad as conservative ones. both are rooted in fear, ignorance, and lack of knowledge and fact.

  25. dkan71 says:

    This comment thread is a nightmare. What happened to all my wonderful civil commenters on this blog. If I wanted to read this type of thread I’d go to Politico. I think you’ve all said your peace and are clearly not making any headway changing the other person’s mind. Please do the rest of us a favor and give this bickering a rest.

  26. Andrea says:

    @swiv:"you have yet to find where i’ve defended anything, so what are you talking about? your entire position is based out of trying to find race even if it’s not there. point to my "playground" tactics. unless refuting baseless and factless accusations is "playground" tactic."Was referring to your seeming need to insult everyone. Nothing more nothing less. Don’t give a damn about your race.

  27. Andrea says:

    My words: "And yes, I’m certain an insult is on the way, since people like you and swiv seem incapable of having so-called "intelligent" discourse without resorting to pre-school playground tactics.I was taught that I didn’t need to denigrate others to make myself look or feel better. I only wish other parents had done the same for their offspring. Frankly, it’s the type of behavior one expects from ignorant POC and White supremacists." (POC=people of color) Didn’t realize my point was so obscure. Needing to put others down to lift one’s own sense of self-worth is a sign of low self-esteem/insecurity about ones lot in life. Which is why ignorant POC and WS feel the need to do it. Got it?

  28. swiv says:

    "Was referring to your seeming need to insult everyone."other than rick beagle, who have i insulted? and typical of a hypocrite you ignore his first post to me. but you know the label "ignorant" is a way of uplifting, right? and you sure type familiar, LMAO. maybe this is your way of lashing out at the world due to your "lot in life?"

  29. i would ask when valid dissent became synonymous with calls for murder???this idea that protest is suddenly treason/threats is way too hitlerish for meshame!!!alicia banksOUTLOOK

  30. Frank says:

    It all boils down to the retention of power. Republicans are intimately aware that in order to retain their political positions, they must not alienate their base. But holding onto that base by not speaking out against the overt and covert racist antics directed toward our President, forecloses Republicans from expanding their support beyond their dwindling base. Moderate white Independents (like myself) and moderate Republicans are not going to vote for politicians that conveniently allow these volatile shenanigans to continue. One would have thought that the failed McCain/Palin attempt at this in 2008, would provide Republicans with insight- but it has not. In order to win a nationwide election or debate on any issue, the winner must have the support of Independents and moderates. As an aside, I cannot understand what causes people to have such racial animus because the concept of race is not biological, but cultural. Racist do not seem to fathom that all humanity is descended from Africa, therefore, unless you are from another planet, all of us are different shades of black.

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