An appalling symmetry

Today is the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, at that point the worst terrorist attack on American soil. I daresay none of us need reminding of the horrors of that attack, nor do we need reminding of who perpetrated the mass murder and why.

Keeping that grim history in mind makes some of the rhetoric currently flying around all the more repulsive:

A Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend took some of the Tea Party's violent rhetoric to new levels, with speakers attacking everything from President Obama's citizenship to Sen. Lindsey Graham's sexuality.


The event took place at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, and featured former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) as its keynote speaker. Tancredo, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, said that Americans are "going to have to pray that we can hold on to this country." He added, referring to President Obama: "If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don't we just send him back?"

Pastor Stan Craig, of the Choice Hills Baptist Church, was particularly angry about the state of Washington, saying he "was trained to defend the liberties of this nation." He declared that he was prepared to "suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do."

Before anyone dismisses this as wild rhetoric espoused by fringe idiots, I'd like to point out that numerous prominent Republicans have appeared at these rallies and egged on the crowds. While most have managed to avoid being overtly racist like the odious snake Tancredo, neither is their any effort on the GOP's part to distance itself from the incendiary speech and bellicose stance of the Tea Partiers.

This is a disturbing moment in American history.

Update: That being said, inflammatory and misleading headlines at Huffington Post about "Militias Descending on DC" aren't helpful, either.


  1. Yeah, all that stuff about "they bring a knife, we bring a gun" and "punch back twice as hard" coming from the Republicans is just despicable. Imagine poisoning the political atmosphere with such violent imagery. Oh, wait, that was President Obama and his senior advisors.

  2. You cannot possibly be serious.

  3. I'm as serious as you.

    The Tea Party isn't beating women and blacks. The Tea Party isn't posting "security" thugs with nightsticks at polling places, or flying planes into IRS offices, or shooting up Holocaust museums. That would be people on the Left. And while some TP nutters say stupid things, they aren't the only ones making death threats against governors, their spouses, and Members of Congress.

    Why restrict your condemnation to the Right, when there is plenty of "violent, eliminationist rhetoric" (not to mention actual violence) on the Left? If it is wrong to use violent imagery to exhort political partisanship, why give Pres. Obama a pass?

  4. Because there is absolutely no comparison between the examples in the article I cite and the ones in your comment. "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight" is an old saying, and is nowhere near "send the President of the United States back to Kenya." There is no moral equivalence between "push back harder" and "I'm going to bring a gun to Washington," and it's bewildering that you seem to think there is.

    I find your description of Joe Stack and James von Brunn as being "on the Left" preposterous.

    And these aren't "some TP nutters," these are the people addressing the crowd, including a former member of Congress.

  5. Those guys are not on the left, agreed. And agreed, too, that we are in a disturbing place on the right. I remember the left's vitriol during 2001-2003. It was disproportionate, it was nutty, violent words were uttered. But I never got the same frightened feel I have now.

  6. Not on the left? James von Brunn resembled Pres. Obama's erstwhile pastor, Jeremiah Wright, to a striking degree -- he was an antisemite and racist, he believed Socialism the future of the West, and he thought 9/11 was an inside job. Those are all hallmarks of lefty nutters, not righty wackjobs. Stack was anti-capitalism and for government healthcare, not exactly your typical Tea Party precinct captain.

    Dr. Dan, of course, this is your blog, but to excuse "we bring a gun" as just some old saying while decrying "get my gun, go to Washington" as unforgivable incitement is wildly partisan and dangerous. IMVVHO both statements are unreasonable incitement which could easily be misunderstood by the more tightly wound on both sides.

    For every Tancredo on the right, we have a Grayson on the left. It is to be hoped that in about 5 months, we'll kick all of the morons out of power and elect some sane representatives.

  7. gj, off your meds again I see. No, for every Tancredo on the right there is not a Grayson on the left. Your numbers simply are not true. Of course the guy who flew a plane into the IRS was a rightist, leftists are in favor in increasing taxes, remember? How do you keep such contradictory nonsense straight in your head. Democrats are socialists who want to tax us to death, and by the way they also want to bomb the IRS for taxing us.

    I love how Republicans are now saying the KKK is somehow a leftist organization, as were the Nazis. (Jonah Golberg, Liberal Fascism) They are constructing their own version of reality, one in which they are pure as the driven snow (and just as white) And Timothy McVeigh now must have been a card carrying member of the ACLU.

    How can anyone explain such gibberish as this:

    It is to be hoped that in about 5 months, we'll kick all of the morons out of power and elect some sane representatives.

    As though they will materialize out of thin air, and not through the coarsening effect of a primary season with its money and special interests, etc. Gadfly John, completely unaware of history and living in a world of pure unadulterated fantasy. Hey gj, have you seen any unicorns today?

    Look, get a grip. Tea partiers are Republicans. They will vote Republican (except for the die hard loser libertarians). These are the same type of people who attended Sarah Palin rallies during the campaign, and the same ones who attended Bush/Cheney rallies. They are not a new group of people who emerged out of the fog. They might be a little more visible and energized, but opposition does that. When you don't control the power the people who don't agitate. This is major Duh territory, but as you are a perpetual 3 year old in mentality I suppose I have to repeat it again and again.


  8. charo, liberals favor increasing other people's taxes, not their own (unless they work for the government and can offset it with pay raises). I notice that wealthy liberals never pay income tax at the rate they advocate for thee and me, even as they decry the hypocrisy of conservatives who make use of government services. The total lack of self-awareness is stunning.

    The Nazis were socialists, for goodness sakes! So were the Facists. They believed in the State over the Individual, and that puts them squarely in the Liberal/Left camp.

  9. Good lord, the NAZIS were not Socialists. They never advocated taking over big Business, they were fascist. Honestly, if you can't distinguish between fascism and socialism you are a true moron. In Socialism the government controls all industry, in Fascism the industrial elites controlled a large measure of the government, as in Franco's Spain, or as in Chile, etc. You think because Hitler incorporated a word he used it in his government? And do you believe that the DDR, German Democratic Republic of East Germany was Democratic just because they used the word Democratic in their name? God, you are so dumb.

    And of course I am in favor of paying my own taxes, and when my salary goes up I have no problem with paying a progressively greater amount, so how dare you claim to speak for me.
    I also have been paying for my health care for over 20 years and have never had cause to use it, do I regret paying it? Of course not. I am not a greedy, self-absorbed little troll who only thinks of myself.


  10. The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or National Socialist German Workers Party is the Nazi Party. The adjective 'national' is to distinguish it from international socialist movements (like Marxism), and 'socialist' describes the political organization. And yes, the DDR was Democratic, not in the sense of being a Democracy, but in the sense of professing a system of social equality. Lots of socialist regimes use 'democratic' in their names. Do you really think they are confused about what it means?

    In Nazi Germany, the government did control industry; none of the top leaders were captains of industry. But you knew all this, right?