Friday, March 26, 2010

They're sounding more like the Christian Republican White People's Party all the time

Digby posts about House Republican Whip Eric Cantor suggesting that if Democrats targeted by violence or threats of violence complain about it, they're to blame for the violence: Blaming The Victims Hullabaloo 03/25/10

Here's a news article on the actual problem: Former militiaman unapologetic for calls to vandalize offices over health care by Philip Rucker Washington Post 03/25/10. Her post also appears as an article in Salon as The unspeakable Eric Cantor.

Media Matters provides several example to show that this is a Party line, not just Eric Cantor sounding like a Klan-loving backwoods Mississippi politician from 50 years ago:

Limbaugh: Dems Are Trying To "Criminalize Dissent" With "Totally Contrived" Threats 03/25/10

Fox News: Threats against Democrats are wrong, but ... 03/25/10

Right-wing blogs trivialize threats against Democrats 03/25/10

Rove warns Dems that discussing threats against them may "inflame emotions" 03/25/10

Ingraham claims Dems who are worried about violence are "desperate to change the subject" from health care 03/25/10

For NewsBusters, reporting on threats against Congressmen = "legitimizing Democratic talking points" by Simon Maloy 03/25/10

This statement of Cantor's and the others from the Republican echo chamber are right out of the playbook of the segregationist Deep South Democratic parties circa 1963.

The Democrats should make the Republicans own this - and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the Tea Party racist chanters, too. A lot of these tactics - anonymous threatening letters and phone calls, posting people's home address with nudge-nudge wink-wink suggestions of violence, blowhard e-mails and rants about how we're gone git ahr guns and show them thar libruls - is really pretty cowardly stuff. That's why bringing the legal hammer down on things like death threats is a good way to discourage this kind of thing. If these folks know they risk getting in real trouble from doing this stuff, it's a powerful discouragement.

Most of the people promoting this are just nasty white people trying to pretend they're something other than scared, clueless white folks. Digby pointed out in one of her earlier posts, picking up on a comment by David Dayen, Death Threats, Vandalism: The GOP Base Descent Into Madness Firedoglake News Desk 03/24/10, that much of this is the kind of thing the antiabortion zealots have been using against abortion providers and even women who have abortions. And that's mostly cheap, cowardly bullying, as well. You don't need much courage to yell insults at a young woman going into an abortion clinic to have an operation that she more than likely agonized over. Just a lack of shame or common standards of decency.

But by saying it's cowardly, I don't mean to imply that it's harmless. It's not. It creates a climate of approval and encouragement where people who really are inclined to actual acts of violence will feel empowered or at least makes it easier for them to tell themselves that they will be remembered by like-minded others as heroic for some act that does real physical harm to innocent people.

Paul Krugman devotes his latest New York Times column to this problem: Going to Extreme 03/25/10.

Steve M also comments on this ugly trend in New Right-Wing Meme: Intimidation? What Intimidation? 03/25/10

David Dayen weighs again on this in Conservative Response to Base Violence and Hate Absurd, but Let’s Be Clear Where This Comes From Firedoglake News Desk 03/25/10.

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