Why the GOP tolerance for assassination talk?

I’m drawing the line where they go along with incitements to violence.

Like all office-seekers, Republican politicians try to play to the crowd. But agreeing with or not cutting off at the root, talk by GOP rally crazies about doing violence to the president, is contemptible. Not to mention, dangerous in itself.

Right-wing pols, listen up: Gun-hugging paranoids who show up at your meetings and threaten or “joke” about killing the president hurt your cause. Rational people of all parties tend to lump you in with the sweating lunatics when you wink along with their ravings. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now with Rex Rammell and Chuck Grassley.

Who, really, in America wants to be led by anyone who’s thinking any distance close to people with guns advocating armed violence and revolution against the head of our government?

Grassley, a Republican U.S. senator from Iowa who’s been opposing the Democrats’ health care reform proposals, apparently just went along with his town hall meeting after a man said he would “take a gun to Washington if enough of you would go with me.”

At Twin Falls, Idaho, this week, Republicans at a rally were talking about wolf hunting licenses. Someone in the crowd asked about “Obama tags.” GOP governor candidate Rex Rammell responded, “The Obama tags? We’d buy some of those.”

The violence fantasizers are being goaded by the hot-air radio and TV talkers. The windbags Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity so easily throw around terms such as revolution, overthrow, insurrection. It must be too much work to first try again to win some elections.

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23 Responses to Why the GOP tolerance for assassination talk?

  1. tmone says:

    but it must be ok to throw shoes at pres bush and numerous other violent mannered attemps to snuff out the repub admin….where were you then mark??…….def in the age of hypocrisy……..

  2. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Tmone, All my arguments apply to anything similar that may have been directed at President Bush, including the shoe-throwing incident.

    If you have specific incidents in which people at congressional or (any) party rallies threated to kill Bush while he was in office, list them here for condemnation. My post was about the present day, obviously.

    Tmone, I take it you agree with the tag talk? Because you took off on me and ignored the relevant issue.

  3. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Oh, by the way, the shoe guy was an Iranian, not an American. Pretty big difference.

  4. Mark Shenefelt says:

    * Iraqi, I meant, not an Iranian.

  5. tmone says:

    good point mark….thank you for clarifying, although i might agree with that shoe trowing person being iraqi and it not having the same impact here, there was a national day and shoe throwing parties across the nation including code pink. a terrrible and disgusting aproach to disagreement.

  6. Doug Gibson says:

    Mark, I don’t approve of tastless remarks made by loud nuts but I think there’s more chance of the Democrats closing the door on health care reform by pulling a “Wellstone” at Kennedy’s memorial than their is of town hall protesters hurting Republicans. If anything, the protests seem to have helped the GOP.

  7. Flatlander100 says:

    The point is, seems to me, that the “take guns to DC” and “Obama tag” talk is coming not from wingnut crazies but from elected officials and Republican Party candidates for office. From people generally held to be people in positions of trust. I’m still waiting for anyone to provide me with the name of a Democratic senator who threw a shoe at Bush, or told other people to, much less starting talking — ho ho ho just a joke of course — about taking out a hunting tag to bag a Bush, or who talked about being willing to “take a gun and march on Washington” when Bush was in office.

    There always have been, always will be, wing nuts and whackos out there. What is shocking to me this time — and dangerous — is the lunacy is being encouraged, endorsed and repeated by Republicans who are in positions of trust and authority and who ought to be, as leaders, condemning in no uncertain terms what they are now endorsing. Grassley is a good, if sickening, example.

  8. laytonian says:

    tmone: shoe-throwing parties across the nation? Not just some people protesting across from the White House (which has happened every day of the year, in various forms, for the last several years, no matter who is in office)….but an organized “across the nation” show-throwing day?

    Got a cite for that? What day did that happen on?

    Did they show up with loaded weapons?

    IF you had served your country or even worked for the DoD, you’d know all about “Protection of the President” and how it is not only a federal law, but it’s the duty of all citizens.

    Encouraging people to buy a tag to shoot the President, is not only against Federal Law but the perpetrator AND the politician should be in jail right now for their suggestions.

    I honestly believe the ANTI-American party is the Republican Party. They are doing nothing but encourage this kind of behavior by not being bold enough to stand up to it. Why not? Because those wingnuts (yes, wingnuts) are the only base they have left.

  9. Catherine Burt says:

    Doug, Huckabee has already said that Kennedy would have had to die sooner if the Health Reform had already passed =:P I’m sorry but talk about using someone’s death as a soapbox.

  10. sageseeker1 says:

    Obama tags? America, land of the rednecks! It’s yet more evidence that intellect has abandoned the Republican ship. These same ilk criticized moderate Muslims for not helping rein in their own extreme right-wing!

  11. Hey, hey, HEY, hey! President Obama has nothing to fear from redneck Republicans. They’re all waiting for a phone call from him pardoning a loved one …

  12. Al says:

    Doug: Regarding “pulling a Wellstone” at Kennedy’s memorial: WHY is it so terrible, inappropriate, and a violation of decorum to celebrate Kennedy’s own causes at his own memorial? It’s such an absurd, ridiculous standard that somehow Paul Wellstone’s and now Kennedy’s memorials must be strictly bipartisan and non-offensive to those who disagreed with their causes. Somehow Reagan’s month-long memorial, a tribute to free-market cowboys, was just fine, but it sends conservatives to the vapors to watch liberals take a few hours to celebrate someone who made liberal causes the cornerstone of his life.

    (And this is independent of the fact that the “pulling a Wellstone” nonsense was ginned up to begin with.)

  13. Doug Gibson says:

    Al, I’d hope we are all for free markets!

  14. Al says:

    Doug, I hope you’re not so obtuse as to think “free markets” was my point, though you do sort of reinforce my actual argument for me in your response: By going right for “who wouldn’t want free markets” you suggest that conservative causes (not simply “the market,” but “the market as Reagan saw it and enacted it in his presidency and rhetoric” — the Reaganism that was trumpeted for weeks after his death) are the natural way of things, and so there’s nothing untoward about celebrating THEM at the deaths of their proponents. And yet, to do exactly the same thing for social justice and liberalism when someone like Wellstone or Kennedy dies is politicizing the death and deeply offensive. It’s mind-boggling.

    Conservatives are allowed to have heroes and celebrate them; liberals are not, history be damned (as evidenced by Roosevelt and MLK being claimed of late for conservative causes).

  15. Mike Trujillo says:

    1. In American culture, throwing a shoe is not deemed as offensive an insult as flipping the bird. Therefore, most Americans didn’t grasp the full significanse of the action. They just thought, “How quaint, the local threw his shoes at Bush. He hates him just like I do.” It was a lark for most Americans to immitate or joke about the shoe throwing incident. On the otherhand, in our culture, everyone knows what being armed signifies.
    2. Like it or not, Doug, the face of the Republican party is now Limbaugh and other media icons of his ilk, gun wielding “jokesters” talking about shooting the President, loud, obnoxious people at town halls, Birthers, and other assorted conspiracy nuts. This is why your party needs to step in and distance itself (oops, mixed metaphore there) from these folks. You continue to be in denial about this.
    3. Kennedy’s funeral is an appropriate place to praise Healthcare Reform. It’s part of his legacy.
    4. I’ll be for 100% free markets when everyone is also for 100% free will in the privacy of a person’s home. If Government shouldn’t intervene in one, they shouldn’t intervene in the other.

  16. Doug Gibson says:

    Al, I saw your comment as saying that all of Reagan’s beliefs in regards to the market system are rooted in abuse and financial crime. What did you mean? Mike, I hope, in a partisan 2010 type of way, that those Democrats who craft campaign strategy agree with you on point 2. That will further alienate the independents who are disillusioned with the majority party.

  17. Mike Trujillo says:

    Sorry, Doug, I don’t quite get what you’re saying.

    You’re hoping that the Democrats exploit the public’s currently negative perception of Republicans because independents are tired of the Republican party? I thought you’re hoping for the GOP to bounce back?

    Furthermore, why do you so happily embrace the extremists in your party?

  18. flatlander100 says:

    Just a historical note: we once had a government and court system that wholly and enthusiastically embraced a “laissez faire” approach to government/business relations — that meant no regulation, and unfettered free market competition. What it led to — with it inevitably leads to — is monopoly and no free markets at all. One company or conglomerate out competes the competition until it become so big — think Standard Oil under Rockefeller for example — that it can [and does] run the remaining competition out of business by selling in the markets where it competes at below-market prices [easily made up by predatory pricing in those areas where it has achieved monopoly status] until it controls virtually the entire market. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil at one point controlled directly 90% of the nations refining capacity.

    We also know what “free market laissez faire” economies means for labor. It means 12 hour days and six day weeks and no benefits, no health care, no pensions, no vacations, no job security, no safety precautions on the job, no income if you’re hurt on the job, and much more.. It means unsafe working conditions without any government oversight. It means courts that ruled, as US federal courts did in the Guilded Age, that if you were hurt on the job as a result of management negligence, you could not recover damages or even medical expenses because the risk of management negligence was a condition of employment you accepted when you agreed to work for the company.

    We have a history. We know what “laissaiz faire” and wholly unregulated markets lead to. We’ve been there. We can debate the proper level of government regulation of markets and competition, but let’s not pretend when discussing it that we don’t have a history that has shown exactly what unfettered free markets lead to. We know. Republicans used to know too. [Ask Teddy Roosevelt. Or even Dwight Eisenhower.] The party that likes to paint itself as the only True Blue All American Patriotic Party of The American Tradition seems determined these days to pretend American History never happened, or at least, to ignore it when discussing present economic policy.

    But hey, it’s the weekend. Head on up to Pineview, go fishin’, do some boating, a little swimming maybe, and remember if you can that the lake that provides much of Ogden’s water and much of the Valley’s recreation and has boosted the value of its real estate was created by the New Deal job-creating depression-relief deficit spending. Yup, another damn big government wasteful spending program. we now call Pineview Reservoir.

  19. Badger says:

    I have to admit I am roflmao at these comments. Wow what elitism from the left. No one wants obama assasinated that would make him a martyr. And all the talk of rednecks and clinging to our guns and religion got to admit still laughing. Yeah you won this time but for how long? Independent voters are turning away from Obama you should check the polls daily Rasmussen is a good one. He is dropping like a stone. Do you follow national politics or just the remarks of the annointed one. Do you have an original thought. I don’t think so.Democrats are crashing all over the country in the polls only a matter of time and you just remember that little thing called payback.

  20. Al says:

    Doug, are you serious? I’m not trying to be harsh, but I think it was clear what from I said that I was responding to your “Wellstoning” comment (that was the introduction to my fist post in this thread) and the double standard regarding celebrating one’s political heroes. Was that really not clear from my *response* to your cheeky line about all of us believing in free markets?

    “[A]ll of Reagan’s beliefs in regards to the market system are rooted in abuse and financial crime?” Seriously, *where* did you get that from what I actually wrote?

  21. Geodude says:

    “No one wants obama assasinated that would make him a martyr.” Are you deranged? You fear an assassination because it would further the cause of the Democrats? I guess it’s okay for someone to kill the President of the United States as long as he doesn’t become a martyr, eh? Badger, you don’t deserve to be a citizen of this country…you hereby forfeit your right to call yourself a patriot. I will personally mail you a ticket to your country of choice, maybe one where assissanations are the political norm for changing governments. But I’m joking, of course; you’re too scared and stupid, so just keep cling’ to them guns and religion, boy.

  22. David Thalgott says:

    I can’t for the life of me imagine how anyone would think taking a gun to a Presidential rally or “joking” about hunting tags for the President is in any way acceptable. Are these people out of their frigging minds?!

    Comparing these to throwing a shoe? Are you that clueless?

    I support the second ammendment but My God, you really can’t be serious.

  23. Charles Trentelman says:

    the tolerance for the whackos reminds me of the discussion by the member of Germany’s ruling class regarding the Nazis in the movie “Cabaret.” The ruling party of Germany (which at the time had a democratically elected government, mind you) allowed the whacko Nazi party to exist so it could beat up the communists.

    When the Nazis were done with the commies, the rulers could bring the Nazis to heel, was his thinking, although history shows it didn’t work out that way.

    In this same manner, I am worried that the moderates of the GOP, whoever they may still be, tolerate the whacko fringe because they feel they have a use. Those same GOP leaders need to read a bit of history, however, because they seem to forget how quickly the extremist fringe takes over to everyone’s sorrow.

    Biggest danger? Usually, the first to go are the moderates of that same party. Hitler purged the Nazi party of moderates several times.

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