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.
(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.