Posts tagged rhetoric
Posts tagged rhetoric
After a video of [Elizabeth] Warren talking about the deficit and the social contract went viral last week (see above), Rush Limbaugh, the Fiscal Times and Rich Lowrey all spent time attacking her. Now, Lowrey has decided to spend another column going after her, and places like the Daily Caller and Reason have piled on. There is also this gem from right-wing blog Wizbang:
Picture text: When I hear the word “contract” I
reach for my revolverthink of two unique definitions — formally, a legally binding mutual agreement made between two or more parties, or idiomatically, an attempt to hire an assassin to kill one or more of your enemies.
I have been half-joking on my radio show for months that, with the way political discourse has degenerated, Mission of Burma’s song “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” will one day be the Tea Party anthem. Here’s Moby’s version:
Check out the lyrics here. This shit isn’t funny. We just had Andrew Breitbart, sweaty and pacing, fire up a Tea Party crowd by fantasizing about killing liberals. Breitbart said, “They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns. I’m not kidding.” Read the rest of Michael Laprarie’s entry here.
And now, Elizabeth Warren dares to run for U.S. Senate and challenges Scott Brown (someone they don’t even like) and the Wall Street status quo. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that liberal are always civil and conservatives uncivil. Can we simply stop with the veiled (and not-so-veiled) references to killing people? It’s getting really old.
Andrew Breitbart, fantasizing about starting a civil war and killing liberals at a Boston Tea Party event.
I’d like to compare and contrast for a second. Conservatives got all riled up over Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa’s comments on Labor Day. At a rally in Detroit, he said, “President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. And President Obama we want one thing: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. That’s what we’re going to tell him. He’s going to be - and when he sees what we’re doing here he will be inspired. But he needs help and you know what? Everybody here’s got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to America where we belong!”
So he’s talking about voting anti-union politicians out of office. Conservatives self-righteously condemned his remarks as “thuggery” and “hate speech.” Tea Party Express leader Amy Kremer said, “It is high time that elected leaders like President Obama were held accountable when their key supporters engage in harmful and divisive rhetoric.” Well, I think Breitbart’s quite clear, particularly when he says, “We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns…”
Penn Bullock at Towleroad writes, “On the face of it, Breitbart’s admission demands a congressional or criminal investigation. If he’s implying that military officials have pledged their armed support to him and the right-wing, those officials are guilty of treason. If Breitbart is lying, he’s diagnosable.” I’d agree. If (and that’s a big IF) he’s telling the truth, those “military officials” are supporting armed insurrection against the American government and its people. The military tends to frown on its members doing that.
Watch the video of Breitbart’s remarks here. So, how long before Breitbart gets on Fox News and whines about it being taken out of context? Hoffa’s comment was taken out of context. This isn’t. This is talking about bullets v. ballot boxes and the bullets winning.
I saw this last weekend on Fox and my mouth literally dropped open.
Patricia Maisch, 61, was the brave woman who kept alleged shooter Jared Loughner from unloading a second clip into a Tuscon crowd on Saturday. She saw him attempting to equip his gun with another magazine, grabbed him and knelt on his ankle, delaying the reload and potentially saving many more lives.
Fox News interviewed her [last] Sunday. “We’ve all noted the calmness with which all of you, who helped save the day, conducted yourself,” said Fox anchor Shepard Smith. “I just want to know now, a day later… if there’s anything you can think of… that you might be able to turn into a positive. Is there anything that you can leave us with that will make us all feel better?”
“I think Sheriff Dupnik said it best that the extreme right reporters in radio and TV have added to this problem,” she responded. “And I’m just hoping that’ll change because of this.” She then specifically calls out Republicans for characterizing the health care bill as “job-killing.” “I think they’ve just gone over the top,” she added. “I think that the extreme right has gone too far.”
Both sides are, in fact, not ”just as bad,” when it comes to institutionally sanctioned violent and eliminationist rhetoric.
An anonymous commenter at Daily Kos and the last Republican vice presidential nominee are not equivalent, no matter how many ridiculously irresponsible members of the media would have us believe otherwise.
There is, demonstrably, no leftist equivalent to Sarah Palin, former veep candidate and presumed future presidential candidate, who uses gun imagery (rifle sights) and language (“Don’t Retreat, RELOAD”) to exhort her followers to action.
There is no leftist equivalent to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group which was created from the mailing list of the old white supremacist White Citizens Councils and has been noted as becoming increasingly “radical and racist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which classifies the CCC as a hate group—and is nonetheless considered an acceptable association by prominent members of the Republican Party, including a a former senator and the last Republican presidential nominee.
I believe both sides are guilty, but there’s one faction of one side that’s a little more guilty than the other…
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today called for a “new direction” and an “organized approach to deal with the causes of violence.” On the Floor of the House of Representatives, Kucinich spoke in support and compassion for Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the victims of an attack on Congresswoman Giffords life that left six dead and more than a dozen injured.
It is vital that we acknowledge our oneness, not just as a Congress but as a nation and as a world. In that appreciation for oneness we find human sympathy, compassion, and love. It is an awareness of the imperative of human unity, which can bring us to the threshold of understanding.
I <3 Dennis Kucinich.
In fact, there is no balance—none whatsoever. Only one side has made the rhetoric of armed revolt against an oppressive tyranny the guiding spirit of its grassroots movement and its midterm campaign. Only one side routinely invokes the Second Amendment as a form of swagger and intimidation, not-so-coyly conflating rights with threats. Only one side’s activists bring guns to democratic political gatherings. Only one side has a popular national TV host who uses his platform to indoctrinate viewers in the conviction that the President is an alien, totalitarian menace to the country. Only one side fills the AM waves with rage and incendiary falsehoods. Only one side has an iconic leader, with a devoted grassroots following, who can’t stop using violent imagery and dividing her countrymen into us and them, real and fake. Any sentient American knows which side that is; to argue otherwise is disingenuous.-George Packer
An American Demagogue: Examining Glenn Beck
I’m reposting this upon request. It’s video I made in December about Glenn Beck’s use of violent rhetoric for a presentation about political rhetoric I gave in my Frankfurt School Seminar. Today, a friend of mine emailed me and suggested I put this back up. She wrote that today Glenn Beck claimed he never used “violent language” or something to that effect.
I beg to differ.
A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.
Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family’s safety.
In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday’s massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”
Miller said when he was a member of McCain’s campaign staff last year has been criticized by the more conservative party members who supported Republican opponent J.D. Hayworth. The first and only African-American to hold the party’s precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called “McCain’s boy,” and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.
"I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone."
Even fellow GOP members are freaked out by the Tea Party’s rhetoric. Do I blame them? No.
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
this this this.
Surveyor’s marks, eh? We first saw that explanation last night on her Facebook page from supporters.
I just love this little gem from her aide: “It seems that he people that knew him said that he was left-wing and very liberal — but that is not to say that I am blaming the left.”
This is just flat-out, backpedaling, pathetic bullshit. Just shut up.
“Are you afraid? Are you fearful today?”
“You know, I’m not. We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of protesters over the course of the last several months. Our office corner has really become an area where the Tea Party movement congregates. And the rhetoric is incredibly heated. Not just the calls, but the emails, the slurs. So things have really gotten spun up. But you gotta think about it. Our democracy is a light, a beacon really around the world, because we effect change at the ballot box, and not because of these outbursts — of violence in certain cases, and the yelling, and it’s just … you know, change is important, it’s a part of our process, but it’s really important that we focus on the fact that we have a democratic process.”
“I think it’s important for all leaders, not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party … community leaders, figures in our community to say, ‘Look, we can’t stand for this.’ I mean, this is a situation where people really need to realize that the rhetoric, and firing people up, and even things … For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”
“In the years that some of my colleagues have served, twenty, thirty years, they’ve never seen it like this. We have to work out our problems by negotiating, working together, hopefully Democrats and Republicans.”
–Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010.