Violence, the inevitable consequence of political extremism
In the past decade both Left and Right have ratched up the doomster fear-mongering as a device to mobilize the faithful. The world is at stake, or our Freedoms, or the nation. Violence is an inevitable consequence of this, if it continues long enough. We may be seeing the first signs of violence from the Right. Although the incidents are insignificant, the reactions from the Right (e.g., conservatives, Tea Party leaders) reactions will tell us much about them and their values.
Update: as said above, both left and right have turned up the heat of their rhetoric. The Left in its climate doomsterism and the warnings about Bush’s fascism. The defense of both is that the other side does it too. Exactly.
(A) “The backlash: Reform turns personal“, Politico, 24 March 2010 — Opening:
Reps. Louise Slaughter and Bart Stupak have received death threats. A tea party participant published what he thought was Rep. Thomas Perriello’s home address and urged disgruntled voters to “drop by” for a “good face-to-face chat.” Vandals broke windows at Slaughter’s office in New York and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s office in Arizona. And angry voters are planning to protest this weekend at the home of Steve Driehaus — who’s already seen a photograph of his children used in a newspaper ad published by reform opponents.
… Slaughter, a Democrat who chairs the House Rules Committee, said a caller to her office last week vowed to send snipers to “kill the children of the members who voted yes.” Her office reported the call to police, who were dispatched to provide protection for Slaughter’s grandchildren. She has also been in touch with the FBI and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, who intercepted a letter en route to her home in upstate New York.
Stupak, the Michigan Democrat whose last-minute compromise on abortion guaranteed passage of the bill Sunday, said callers have left messages for him saying, “You’re dead; we know where you live; we’ll get you.” “My wife still can’t answer the phone,” Stupak told POLITICO on Tuesday. The messages are “full of obscenities if she leaves it plugged in. In my office, we can’t get a phone out. It’s just bombarded.”
Stupak, a former police officer, said he’s not fazed by the threats or by the prospect of protests at his district office this weekend. “I’ve looked down barrels of guns,” he said. “I’ve talked my way out of it.”
(B) More details and responses to these events
- “Severed gas line found at home of Perriello brother“, Daily Progress of Charlottesville, 24 March 2010
- Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism dismisses these stories as exaggerations, lies, or the work of agents provocateurs: “Marinus van der Lubbe, Call Your Agent; Saul Alinsky Would Like To Speak With You“, Michael Walsh (Editor-in-Chief), 24 March 2010
- A clear denunciation of violence, plus analysis of why so much media attention to these stories: “What Was That Line About the Tree of Liberty and the Blood of Tyrants?”, John Hinderaker, Power Line, 24 March 2010
- Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit) recalls similar violence against Republicans