Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

14 June 2009

They Have Become What They Refused to Deny

In the wake of two murders comitted by right-wing whackjobs over the past two weeks, the response from Conservatives has been to say "Well, they weren't really Conservatives." They also weren't true Scotsmen.

Some folks made so bold as to describe the man who attacked the Holocaust Museum in Washington as "left-wing," deliberately and with malice aforethought confusing National Socialism with Socialism. The confusion is easy to understand: First, both are equally evil in the eyes of conservatives; Second, the people making said accusations are sadly stupid.

But conservatives will not long be able to continue using their own version of the "lone gunman" theory. Because these actions don't take place in a vacuum. Between the silent dog whistles of talk radio and the plain old silence of Conservative leaders, the right wing has been complicit, if not actively conniving, in acts of murder.

Don't believe me? Take a look at Paul Krugman's column here. Not enough for you that a Nobel-winning economist can connect the dots? Then look at this op-ed from Frank Rich.

But we've all seen this stuff before. Any one of us has found Conservative blogs, articles, and the like which, while frowning down their noses at the violence and mayhem that the politics of the right seem to inspire, don't quite manage to disavow any of it.

Case in point, Bill O'Reilly--one of the globe's nastier denizens--who categorically continues to deny any responsibility for enabling the murder of Dr. Tiller. This despite carrying on a bully pulpit campaign against Tiller and his practice: providing late-term abortions (which are always medically necessary on the fewer-than-three-percent-of-all-abortions occasions when they are required).

But they're all like this. In the face of the most vituperative accusations against US president Obama, every level of Republican leadership has remained silent. The most any of them has ever said boils down to "Well I don't agree with what he did but you have to admit he had a point ..."

And in their refusal to deny, and their enthusiasm for, these things, they come to own them.

The shocking thing is that not even the most-highly placed of Conservative leaders seem to be making the fiery disavowals that should be made to separate the so-called "lone whackos" from "mainstream conservatives." And why? Because there is so little difference.

This is why I no longer describe myself as a conservative. Because when I hear that word I no longer know whether the person using it to refer to themselves means "I support free trade" or "I passively condone murder."

And in such circumstances it's certainly best to be clear.

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8 Comments:

At 6:49 AM, OpenID archiearchive said...

The third possibility is that a conservative is one who actively promotes murder but in a deniable way!

It all needed to be said.

(Conservatism is a load of bunk - - -)

 
At 7:38 AM, Blogger Metro said...

I certainly believe that to be true in the cases of Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Michael Savage. And unfortunately they seem to have taken unto themselves the mantle of spokespeople for the Republican party--to the extent that when Michael Steele, RNC chairman, downplayed Rush Limbaugh's influence in the party, he was forced to apologize after Limbaugh scolded him publicly and started a listener campaign against him. And Limbaugh speaks in clear dog-whistle.

If the blowhard pundit has more influence on the party than the chairman, it clearly implies that the opinions of the rank and file conservatives are closer to Limbaugh's than Steele's. Not that much seperates them, but Steele might stop short of actively supporting torture, for example, something most right-wingnut talk show hosts are big on.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Yeah, and the Discovery Institute is trying to blame the Holocaust Museum shooting on evolution:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/kingdomofpriests/2009/06/james-von-brunn-evolutionist_comments.html

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Sir

mmm - another thought-provoking post & AerChie Komment, that vastly merit some response, albeit inAdequately considered

I worry - non-sequiturs ??? Is "conservatism a load of bunk"

I am not too sure what "conservatism" is meant to mean

BUT ....

In Inglaterra, this Beloved Country has to this day been massively damaged by the slaughter of our Best Young Men at the Somme in 1916 and later Paschendale

BUT

the Ghastly Somme/Paschendale pale into insignificance with the slaughter of the unBorn in Britain occasioned by the 1969 Abortion Act, which (contrary to what its Promoters pretended) seems to have provided abortion as a means of birth control on demand

Are you seriously suggesting that I am responsible for the Murder of Doctors at Abortion Clinics in the USA because I have anxieties and doubts about Abortion

I remain your (& Aerchie's) obedient Servant etc

G E

UND are the Romanians taking over your Word Verification

emuces

DRUM BUN, I say, DRUM BUN

 
At 7:33 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

G Eagle,

My views on abortion are much closer to what is labeled "pro-life" than what is labeled "pro-choice" but this doesn't change the fact that the modern pro-life movement has engaged in dangerous, over-the-top rhetoric which has lead to repeated instances of violent murders of people like Tiller. Moreover, in the case of Tiller, he was providing clearly necessary services for many people who had no choice.

If the pro-life movement thinks that abortion really is murder, they should all be out killing doctors and bombing abortion clinics in a desperate bit to save lives. The fact they do not suggests that they don't really believe that abortion is murder, or at minimum, they aren't nearly as certain that abortion is murder as they claim to be. In which case they need to stop engaging in that sort of rhetoric because it does nothing other than result in actual murders.

 
At 2:20 AM, Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Sehr geEhrter Joshua

Bonjour et Drum Bun

Thank you for some interesting observations

I am nervous about commenting further - as a man, how can I really know about a Lady's feelings = medical processes are somewhat of a mystery to an Eagle, who is anxious to remain in ignorance about the mysterious functions and locations of (say) the spleen, the gills and the gall-bladder (knowledge readily available when these wonderful organs fail)

Like you and the Bible, I incline to a "pro-life" position, but :

1. I worry about suggesting that ALL abortions are "MURDER"

There are great differences between (say) :

* ending an 8-cell egg, immediately after conception, which the "Mother" would scarcely notice, in comparison with "aborting" a foetus 26 weeks after conception, which seems more like infanticide

or

* terminating a Pregnancy because the Mother would otherwise die rather than as a means of birth-control for frivolous "social" reasons

2. However, I do not think it is fair for you to suggest that "pro-lifers" should (logically) be carrying out a compaign of Murders/Bombings, if they really have the courage of their convictions

It is interesting that the Old Testament clearly views (some) Abortions with disfavour ... but the Good Lord himself does not seem to have addressed Abortion .... and indeed many other social issues that we get so excited about

eg giving the vote to women or non-Roman Citizens

eg having (in the UK) or shamefully not having (in the USA) a National Health Service

eg driving on the wrong (right) side of the road (as in Sweden or the USA) or on the correct side of the Road (as in the UK or India)

I remain your (et M Metro's) obedient servant etc

G Eagle

wv = turic

Is that some kind of Serbo-Croat

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

G Eagle,

The Bible has very little that is for or against abortion. The most unambiguous verse makes it clear that causing a woman to miscarry is not as severe as manslaughter. The notion that the Bible has a serious problem with abortion is pretty recent.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Metro said...

@Joshua:
Re. the Disco Institute piece: If Poe did not exist, we could rely on the fundies to invent him.

@Sr. Eagle:
No-one with any sense could approach a procedure such as abortion with true equanimity. The problem is that by making vague statements, or worse yet, faintly encouraging ones, the right wing emboldens that fraction of people who ARE comitted to saving lives through murder.

The most stringent denials of responsibility for encouraging the murderer in the Teller case were almost always followed by the word "but". A word that negates all that comes before.

As in "Well I don't agree with the murder of that baby-killing doctor BUT the wages of sin are death ..."

Furthermore, there is abundant evidence that Teller's murderer was a member of Operation Rescue--a group with ties to the murders of Dr. Barnett Sleppian and others. In the killer's car were found OR contact numbers and notes of a conversation he'd had with one of their staffers.

Yet now that there's actually blood on their hands they're pretending they had no idea who he was.

So violent rhetoric seems to be okay by them, and a certain amount of violent behaviour. But when the chickens come home to roost, it seems they've nailed the door shut.

 

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