Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Civility, Alabama Republican style: "empty the clip, and do what has to be done"

An Alabama Republican state senator, Scott Beason, told a local Republican Party breakfast last Saturday that what they needed to do about the immigration problem was to "empty the clip, and do what has to be done". (Sam Rolley, Beason: Dems don't want to solve illegal immigration problem The Cullman Times 02/06/2011) He later denied that he was encouraging his audience to murder people. I'm not exactly sure what other message "empty the clip" would have conveyed.

Oliver Willis gives an awfully generous commentary on this at his Think Progress blog, Immigrants: They’re People Too! 02/08/2011.

The article to which Willis links makes it even more puzzling that he's generous about it. Because in that article (Dana Beyerle, Beason: 'Empty the clip' comment taken out of context The Gadsden Times 02/07/2011) Beason was actually doubling down on the shooting imagery:

"I talk about people who ignore the problem and people (who) won’t take a shot at the problem and then those who continue to shoot until it’s fixed,” Beason said Monday in a telephone interview. “You can’t just say you’re going to do something. You have to work at it until you do so effectively.”

Beason said his reference to “empty the clip” was taken out of context. He said he had told his audience an Internet-circulated joke about how you can tell the political beliefs of a liberal, a conservative, and an armed Southerner who are confronted by a mugger in New York City.

“If it’s all taken in context, it makes perfect sense,” Beason said. “Anyone sitting in the meeting completely understood it and I’m a little bit surprised that it left it hanging out there.”
I assume the "joke" to which he was referring is some version of this. Confronted with a mugger threatening his wife and little daughter, the liberal stands there and worries. It continues:

Conservative's Answer:

BANG!

Southerner's Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click...(sounds of reloading).

Wife: "Hun, he looks like he's still moving, whadda y'all kids think?"

Son: "Mama's right Daddy, I saw it, too."

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click.

Daughter: "Nice group, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips?"
And this reference is supposed to make Beason's reference to emptying the clip seems more benign?!?

He did make the standard nudge-nudge wink-wink denial that he was advocating killing people:

Beason said his reference to shooting had nothing to do with illegal immigration, but was about the legislative response to illegal immigration in Alabama.

"There’s no advocacy of violence," he said. "It's unfortunate (that's the way it was taken but) that’s not the way it was."
But given the rest of his response, that's clearly just a sneer. This guy is obviously a jerk.

Some of these anti-immigration fanatics actually are murdering people: Odio en Arizona: Valeria Fernández/New America Media, Madres en duelo por sus hijos La Opinión 02/08/2011.

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