Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why fighting demonization is necessary

Spent the better part of today wondering if mentioning Kate O'Beirne and bothering to address her silly assertion that women are ruining society, schools and sports (Oh, the horror - not SPORTS!) is really worth it.

It is.

Our tendency to not take seriously her screed, and that of Coulter, Hannity, or Limbaugh would be fine, were we were still in a predominently rational environment.

We're not.

It's hard for some people to realize that, if they're not reading or listening to right-wing bloggers and media. Before last year, I would never have believed there are Americans advocating for the imprisonment and death of those who disagree with Bush's policies.

But there are.

The link is to rightwing Free Republic, and a conversation about Russell Tice, the NSA whistleblower who exposed the wiretap scandal. Would that it were an anomaly. Unfortunately, statements like this are made hourly, about all who question Bush - leaders, people on the Internet, commentators like James Wolcott.

Here's just one comment made regarding Tice:

To: Angel

This guy is the reason why we have the death penalty. He is a traitor and he is traitorous because of his ego and petty sense of self worth.

10 posted on 01/13/2006 8:26:50 PM PST by Cenobite (Can't spell unethical without the U.N.)

And another, on whether or not Christiane Amanpour was a wiretapping target:

Yes...Andrea Mitchell is another one of the lying
enemy rat beasts. She's another dirty traitor
anti-american baby genociding lying pig rat beast.

I'd enjoy watching *her* hang until dead on a
US executioners gallows *too*.

40 posted on 01/06/2006 9:49:05 AM PST by Baby Driver

If you're interested, there are plenty more. Blame my weak stomach for not posting further examples. But the links provide greater detail.

James Wolcott also points out this alarming trend, fueled directly by people such as Limbaugh, who regularly refers to Democrats as treasonous, even going so far as to advocate their bombing.

"The warbloggers profess to be outraged, sickened, and appalled by Mideast violence yet increasingly are giving vent to their own violent fantasies directed at domestic foes, whom they consider traitors, appeasers, etc.

They fantasize about their least favorite bloggers being beheaded, or hanging liberal traitors from lamp posts should there be another terrorist attack. Sites like Little Green Footballs, Atlas Shrugs, and their ilk have a lynch-mob mentality that has gotten uglier as the situation in Iraq has worsened.

They blame Cindy Sheehan (recently voted "Idiotarian of the Year" at LGF), Michael Moore, and liberal Democrats for how badly the war has gone because they don't have the courage and honesty to blame the real architects of failure. . .

Whether left, right or moderate in political persuasion, Americans ignore this growing trend at our own risk, I believe.

What started in 2001 as just a few crackpot comments here and there is now sanctioned by Limbaugh, who called for the bombing of Democrats during a recent radio show and who never fails to bandy about the word "treason."

Even President Bush, with last week's statement equating Iraq critics with "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy, essentially labeled treasonous those who disagree.

Just the kind of green light some of his supporters are looking for to take radical action.
Anne, you are right to be alarmed, as is Wolcott, and I... well, I'm scared shitl**s.
I hope others are reading your posts and those which are similar.
Our times are like those that the poet W.B. Yeats was referring, when "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
Well, hey...passionate intensity in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. As with most emotions, it's how you wield the gift that counts.

I hope, anyway.

Unfortunately, they chose to use theirs as a weapon against everyone remotely different. It so really does remind me of junior high, sometimes. If junior high kids had the ability and desire to lynch or line you up against the building and kill you, that is.
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