I have started a sober, thoughtful post on the shooting of the security guard at the Holocaut Museum, but I am not feeling sober nor thoughtful right now.
It was an awful thing that happened. You know the sick and twisted part? Many on the right are trying to pretend that the asshole who did this (old asshole, yes, but an unrepentant asshole all his life, nonetheless) was a liberal because–well, it’s the same idiotic pretzel-shaping they did when the converted Muslim man assassinated that soldier.
“You all crammed multiculturalism down our throats, and…” What? Apparently, there are some on the far left who blame Jews for what’s ailing America. I did not know that, and it’s appalling. However, can you honestly tell me that when you hear of a white supremacist who hates minorities (especially blacks) and Jews and thinks the government is treasonous, who is packing heat and intent on doing damage to the greater population, the first thing you think of is, “Damn fucking liberals are shooting up the joint again!”?
Come on! We’re not called the bleeding heart liberals for nothing. The right likes to scoff at us for our empathy and our do-gooder ways. Now, they want to do a one-eighty and say…I don’t even know what the hell they are trying to say. Oh, wait. Yes, I do. They are saying the alleged killer hated the far right movement, so he must have been far left. You know why he hated the far-right movement? Because he thought they were a bunch of wusses who talked a good game, but who weren’t willing to lay it on the line. The sad thing is that he’s right about that. Most of the far-right pundits haven’t served their country in any measurable way. They are not the ones protesting or filling the streets with tea bags. They are certainly not turning down money from ‘the librul media’ which is paying them a handsome amount to spew their hatred.
Push that aside. What I want to focus on is the ratcheting up of rhetoric from the far right. On the very day the alleged shooter allegedly did the deed, Limbaugh was making a joke about Obama’s supposed lack of birth certificate. Now, I don’t think Limbaugh actually believes that Obama is not an American citizen. In fact, I would bet that Limbaugh doesn’t believe seventy-five percent of what he says on the air. However, their is a birther movement that DOES believe Obama is not a US citizen, and therefore, not really president. In fact, the alleged shooter was a birther. He thought the Jews created Obama in order to…something. Still not quite sure what.
Then, Shep Smith, the only sane person on FOX talked about the scary e-mail he receives from the FOX viewers and how some of them are truly nutty. Now, Shep has been pretty heated in his opposition to the FOX rhetoric, but he still works there. He acts like it’s just the blogs that stir people up when it’s his very own fucking station. Naturally, the birthers and freepers and other rightwing nutters are now calling for him to be fired. Frankly, I want him to stay so that there is one voice of reason on the station, but I think his days are number.
There have always been crazy people who are violent and dangerous. The problem is, in the old days, they would have been viewed as what they are–crazy. Now, the blurring between traditional media conservatism, the GOP, and the rightwingers has made it acceptable to voice the most outrageous accusations (such as the birth certificate drama) without any shred of evidence to back you up. Paul Krugman had a great piece about this very symbiosis today, and he got a lot of heat from Joe Scarborough. Who, by the way, is one of the biggest idiots on TV.
Of course, this has been said by progressive bloggers and Keith and Rachel for sometime, but the traditional media pooh-poohs the idea. I think they honestly believe that they are fair and balanced. Not FOX, though, those fuckers. We have GOP representatives spouting crazy shit (yes, Ms. Bachmann, I’m looking at you) with a straight face, and no one in their party has the balls or ovaries to say, “Um, maybe we should dial it down a few notches.”
I am sick and tired of Beck and Hannity and Limbaugh and the rest of their ilk bleating about free speech. Yes, we all have free speech in a loose sense (the part everyone loves to quote is actually about protecting the press from government, and I’m sorry, but there’s no way in hell the three aforementioned can objectively be called the press), but with those rights come responsibilities. Rachel had an excellent segment on this very issue last night while discussing the shooting. The whole segment is worth watching, but the little lecture about responsibilities takes place at 4:45.
England and Canada both have laws that outlaw hate speech. I have seen many Americans, left and right who say that free speech is the most important thing, full stop. It’s our right. True, but where the hell is the responsibility? The same people who call out for free speech were the first ones who told us to sit down and shut the fuck up when W. invaded Iraq. We were supposed to support our president, no matter what.
Like many things, apparently, it’s just Democrats who need to do this. For the Republicans, it’s apparently unAmerican to support Obama. More than that, though, it’s apparently ok to call him worse than al Qaeda (for America) and other such nonsense. If you wanna say that kind of shit (and by you, I mean Limbaugh, Bachmann, Palin, Jindal, all of the Republican leaders, Hannity, and the list goes on), then you better fucking stand by them when someone acts on them. You better person up and say, “You know, maybe I went a bit far suggesting that Obama isn’t an American citizen.”
And I don’t want to hear about false equivalency. Ooooh, you on the left have your crazies, too. Yes, we do. You wanna know the main difference? We don’t fucking kill people for our political views. I have never heard a crazy terrorist say he listened to Olbermann and Maddow, and that’s why he did what he did. It doesn’t fucking happen. So cut out the bullshit. Seriously. We went through one fucking civil war in this country. Let’s try not to start another one.