Moveon.org and a number of other left-wing groups numbering about 20 to 25 people gathered outside the Republican National Committee on Thursday afternoon. The protest’s spokesperson, Dani McClain of colorofchange.org, brought forth several boxes of signed petitions to give to RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Young America’s Foundation members crashed the protest with signs of their own to counter the gathering.
“You’ll hear from representatives of several groups who have joined the call for Republican leadership to address the venomous, inflammatory rhetoric coming from its grassroots supporters and party officials. We’re here today to demand Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, Congressman John Boehner, and Senator Mitch McConnell denounce the bigotry and hatred that have been ongoing significant characteristics of the tea party,” Ms. McClain said.
A number of stories regarding threats against elected officials on both sides have surfaced recently, but when I asked Ms. McClain if her group planned on standing outside the Democratic National Committee, she would only differentiate the circumstances saying that it was GOP leadership who made remarks that were inciting tea party protesters. “You have Michael Steele saying ‘put Nancy on the firing line in November,’ you have former Gov. Sarah Palin saying ‘reload,’ you have Rep. Boehner saying, ‘if [Rep. Driehaus] voted for the bill, he would be a “dead man.’ “
Ms. McClain made no mention that a Philadelphia man was recently arrested for threatening to kill Congressman Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, or that other GOP members of congress have been threatened as well. Furthermore, the statements made by Republican members and former elected officials is simply political talk mixing in obvious metaphors. Democrats engage in this type of rhetoric as well. Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor writes in a Fox News piece:
Yet, the theme of Tea Party-violence is everywhere. It even led to claims that former Gov. Sarah Palin’s, R-Alaska, used a “threatening” political strategy map. That map was made to take “aim” at 20 congressional races, using crosshairs. Critics were upset by the use of crosshairs to indicate each race. It’s as if the media expect us to forget that journalists use “target” and “aim” in stories all the time or that we live in a nation where 1,740 stores operate under the “Target” name and use a bullseye as a logo. But the media combined Palin’s map with Palin’s use of the word “reload” to paint her as a member of the fringe element.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called out Palin because he’s afraid of his shadow: “And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.” MSNBC called it a “Dem Hit-list.”
There are ample examples of scary left-wing comments and even left-wing violence. There are countless online instances of liberals calling for Bush’s assassination when he was president -– photos of Bush with a target drawn on his photo. Or even the movie “Death of a President,” which was made about his assassination. I guess that was all in good humor and high art along with the 6.3 million links Google finds connecting Bush and Hitler. Now comparisons of Obama to Hitler are supposed to be over-the-top. Were journalists asleep during all the lefty hatred of Bush?
Then, there’s actual left-wing violence, like the violent protests during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference. The violence got so bad, the media named it “The Battle in Seattle.” There was also left-wing violence at the GOP 2008 convention, turning the event into an armed camp. And there were union thug tactics at the town halls. And former CNN host Lou Dobbs was threatened and a gun was shot at his home.
Any liberal claims to non-violence are long gone. Once you cut that string, all that remains is media’s hand-wringing and selective outrage over a few incidents. That doesn’t excuse actual threats to congressmen. But the media act like such threats only come from the right when they don’t. For the best example, let’s take the darling of health care reform Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Stupak’s complaints about threats and nasty calls were aired in five broadcast news stories after he switched sides in the health care battle.
But before he was for health care reform, he was against it. The calls and threats that time were so intense, he had to disconnect his phone. Total broadcast news stories about that? Zero. Look back at what Stupak told The Hill. “All the phones are unplugged at our house — tired of the obscene calls and threats.” All because he opposed Obama and the Democrats. Who exactly was making those phone calls? Republicans?
The disingenuous nature of what is obviously a divide and conquer campaign from the left began with Democratic House members demanding GOP leadership denounce tea party protesters and other grassroots conservatives for (still unconfirmed through audio and video)claims regarding racial and homophobic remarks towards certain members of Congress. Now, the Democrats and their activist liberal arms like Moveon.org are continuing the same demand from GOP leadership. It is apparent the left is extraordinarily concerned over activists who have come out in huge numbers and opposed the health care legislation on several occasions in places all over the country.
Democrats and their allies will continue to bait the GOP to say something negative about tea party activists, so it will divide the demographics of those opposed to the health care act come November and weaken the chances of the GOP taking either one or both chambers. However, the Democrats are assuming activists who opposed the health care bill are ignorant of this kind of strategy.
After all, the left also thinks people believe that by Ms. Palin saying “reload,” health care critics will react hypnotically with violent activity. Apparently, some people in the Democratic leadership are watching way too many spy movies. The only triggers that set off a ground swell of opposition towards the health care legislation was the process and legislation itself.