June 12, 2009
Judith Warner Guest Blogs!
Ladies and gentleman, I'm thrilled to be able to bring you Ms. Judith Warner of the NY Times. So without further ado:
It is all sooooooooo familiar.
A lone gunman takes a life in a hate crime. Law enforcement officials say he acted alone.
But enough facts. Why should we believe Obama’s justice department when we can indulge in baseless speculation? What I desperately need to believe is that this maniac was not alone — not in spirit, at least.
Like Scott Roeder, the man charged in the shooting of George Tiller nearly two weeks ago, James von Brunn has no recent links to extremist groups. But don’t let this lack of evidence fool you. His violent hatred — of Jews, blacks, the government — is universal among right wing extremists. Like Von Brunn, they just "happen" to have no links to violent extremism.
Coincidence? I think not. People like my 97 year old neighbor Doris, a “sweet grandmotherly type” who openly admits to voting Republican and who - as I type these words - is almost certainly planning to behead us all in our sleep.
Though statistically Von Brunn is an outlier — disturbed, deranged, disavowed by those I’m desperately trying to paint with the same broad brush — the strength of my baseless conviction allows me to completely ignore any statistics which undermine my case. And so should you.
Like facts, numbers are cold, hard, difficult to manipulate: unfeeling as a registered Republican with a semi-automatic rifle and a belly full of hate. These people are nothing like us. By nature, we progressives are tolerant, confident, open minded. Unthreatened by alternative modalities and lifestyles. And because we're so secure in our own skins, we loathe conservatives for the fear mongering way they make us wet our pants by simply brandishing their scary differences of opinion.
All this free thinking is downright un-American.
Progressives are rational and logical. This means we can afford to disregard the facts and allow fear to take over. We don’t need evidence to conclude this lone gunman is merely the tip of a vast, sociopathic iceberg known as the Republican party. They’re everywhere. Tiller’s murder followed months of harassment and intimidation at abortion clinics: a chilling sequence of events that never happened before a black man ascended to the Oval Office. The obvious connection between insane abortion activists and insane, Christian hating Nazi anti-Semites is so self-evidently self evident that there's no need to establish a link between them. In fact, it's the absence of a tangible connection that proves our case beyond a reasonable doubt. Under our system of checks and balances that's all we need to lock these folks up for the duration.
Our groundless certainty allows us to view the acts of a crazed extremist as logical extensions of the far milder views of nutbars like my neighbor, Doris "Granny" Finkelbacher. If you doubt the logic of this statement just look at the link between expanding White supremacist groups and Fox News, whose presence only fuels the seething paranoia and rage of people like mysel… ummm… of cruel and disgusting right wing whack jobs.
It should surprise no one that hate group membership grew steadily over the Bush years. But the continuance of this trend under Barack Obama can only mean one thing: Republicans are nothing but a bunch of closet racists. Especially the black ones. Only now with the blinding clarity of hindsight can we see how early those twisted haters had to start to throw us off their foul scent.
Let’s face it: who is more likely to break the law than a bunch of law abiding, stodgy middle aged white guys outraged by non-enforcement of existing laws? The beauty of this circular argument is that it neatly allows me to ignore gaping holes in my own logic. And then there’s the U.S. Department of Homeland Security report of this past April.
It was not only wrong, but wrong/bad to profile Muslim extremists who committed nearly 70% of terrorist incidents in this country during the past decade. But we can still redeem ourselves in the eyes of the Muslim world by immediately continuing the failed criminal policies of the past eight years. One has to applaud the refreshing competence of the Obama administration. The decision to profile military vets, though even DHS admitted it had no empirical reason to suspect them of doing anything wrong, now looks downright prescient. After all these people have guns. And they won't stop clinging to them. That is the beauty of the statistics I ignored earlier when they undermined the point I was attempting to make. Connect any two dots, and BAM! You have a trend you can use to shore up even the most threadbare argument. True, you might have to leave out an inconvenient data point or two if it
shoots your premise straight to hell ruins your nice straight line. But the average reader is far too stupid to notice such mathemagical sleights of hand:
But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.
Convincing, isn't it? Why the R squared on that straight line is nearly perfect! And if we extrapolate from our two data points, we can prove it’s only a matter of time before this racially motivated destruction and intimidation produce a bloodbath the likes of which we haven't seen since we left the Arab world no choice but to murder 3000 innocent Americans.
There’s one additional, highly disturbing parallel between von Brunn’s white supremacist shooting rampage and the “pro-life” killing of George Tiller: In both cases, at least some (I don’t need to tell you which ones) core beliefs of these psychotic extremists were echoed, albeit in completely different language, by right wing news commentators! Thus, it’s entirely reasonable for me to conclude that if you respect life and want abortion laws changed through the democratic process, you’re secretly broadcasting instructions to deranged madmen saying there's no need to respect life or wait for the law to change on its own. It’s OK to KILL KILL KILL. KILL EVERY AFRICAN AMERICAN, JOO, AND PERSON OF CHOLER UNTIL THERE ISN'T A SINGLE DEMOCRATIC VOTER LEFT IN THE WORLD.
Mind you, I can’t accuse Beck or Limbaugh of actually inciting violence. But fortunately, “coded language” allows me to insinuate what would otherwise be far too ridiculous to say openly. Rush Limbaugh's unequivocal denunciations of rdr and Von Brunn gave people who are dangerously near the edge — the sort of “guy that could not take it anymore” as one poster on the white supremacist forum Stormfront.org, described von Brunn — all the validation they need to release their pent up rage.
“The pot in America is boiling,” Beck said this week in a clear reference to the well known Republican belief that women should be kept barefoot, pregnant, and chained to their Easy Bake ovens. “And this is just yet another warning to all Americans of things to come.”
Indeed. That just about says it all, doesn’t it?
Posted by Cassandra at June 12, 2009 05:05 PM
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Who will protect me from the right wingers? Even if my vegan dog Che's barking keeps them out of my house, I have to breath the poluted air they spew into my culturely diverse (and by diverse, I mean no conservatives) neighborhood.
Posted by: Bliss Goode at June 12, 2009 05:52 PM
OMG. 'Wingers are just the WORST! The world would be such a more tolerant and enlightened place if we could just push them all into the sea...
...you know, kind of like the Oppressed People of Palestine want to do with those pesky Jews who don't understand that Israel has no right to exist. I think we should ask the United Nations to vote them off the planet.
Posted by: Moonglow Windrider at June 12, 2009 06:00 PM
As an immigrant to this country, and English being my third language, I think I might have missed some nuance of american legal thought. Can some native-born american explain to me the meaning of "hate crime"? As I understand English, saying "hate crime" is analogous to saying "wet water" or "round circle", i.e. a useless or unnecessary modifier.
Does american law recognize an exception for murder if I only thought kind, loving, and benevolent thoughts about my victim as I smashed his skull with a hammer?
If I tenderly sexually assaulted a woman with whom I was truly in love and intended to marry, does that excuse rape?
Or is it the other way around? Do americans believe a murderer should be more severely punished if his victim actually dies? Should thieves receive a greater prison sentence if they actually stole something? Should tax evaders be more severely punished if they fail to properly pay their taxes?
Any cogent explanations would be appreciated.
Posted by: a former european at June 12, 2009 06:21 PM
Well "cogent" is what we in the Reality Based Community *do* you big, hairy wingnut!
Obviously, the fact every single murder in the history of mankind has resulted in a terminal case of "death" does not make all murders equal in the eyes of the Obama administration.
With the blinding legal insight peculiar to gen-u-ine Constitutional scholars, Barack Obama and Joe Biden realized that the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution cannot extend the equal protection of the law to every American without respect to race, gender, or valid immigration papers unless the federal government discriminates against certain defendants accused of committed exactly the same offense as other defendants who will be treated more leniently.
To preserve strict equality, we must treat people unequally.
Duh. It's right in the Constitution ya big 'winger.
Posted by: Moonglow Windrider at June 12, 2009 07:04 PM
Nailed it! I see they closed off comments on this execrable blogger's real piece over at the NY Times website many hours ago. I much preferred your version.
Posted by: Texan99 at June 12, 2009 08:32 PM
Judith Warner... that name is vaguely familiar. Hasn't she written something before? Oh, wait, I remember. It was that piece on attending the Sarah Palin rally in VA and finding that, although all the women very nice, they were deeply, deeply frightening.
Posted by: Grim at June 13, 2009 06:06 AM
Should tax evaders be more severely punished if they fail to properly pay their taxes?
They get appointed to Obama's cabinet and you want to punish them even *more* severely?
Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2009 07:44 AM
I think President Obama should appoint a Safety Czar to protect Americans from dangerous extremist right wingers. In fact a Czar with power to maintain a para military force. Someone he knows and trusts. Someone with experience. Someone respected in liberal circles. William Ayers. Ayers can create a force using former Weathermen, New Black Panthers and FALN released by Clinton and perhaps some Uighurs can be recruited.
Posted by: Dennis D at June 13, 2009 08:50 AM
In other news, HuffPo announces that liberals should defend the right to carry.
I nearly fainted, checked temps in Saudi Arabia to see if a snowball could survive and other signs of the Apocolypse.
Posted by: Cricket at June 13, 2009 09:46 AM
"In other news, HuffPo announces that liberals should defend the right to carry."*heads down to basement to unpack fur-lined, asbestos, flame-patterned camo coveralls*
Posted by: bt-the resident-curmudgeon_hun at June 13, 2009 11:27 AM
On second thought, it must be their idea of a rope-a-dope maneuver. Lull all those clingy, rednecked rubes into thinking there is no longer a threat to their Constitution/BoR then redefine "right of the people," to mean "right of the gub'ment". Maybe through, oh... I don't know, judicial appointments? And like the man says, "Just make stuff up".
Every single day the state media makes war on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth... Or as General Buck Turgidson might quip, we can no longer tolerate a Fact Gap! Short version; The tip off is when I WON and his cohorts lips are moving.
Posted by: bt-the resident-curmudgeon_hun at June 13, 2009 11:46 AM
Ayers can create a force using former Weathermen, New Black Panthers and FALN released by Clinton and perhaps some Uighurs can be recruited.
Then issue them Semtex, some blasting caps, and set their headquarters up in a nice basement tastefully decorated with posters from Che-the-play.
As a side benefit, the taxpayers won't have to foot the urban renewal tab...
Posted by: BillT at June 13, 2009 01:12 PM
This is one of the best little things I have read on Governor Palin in a long time. And its' by a Houstonian, who hits the nail squarely.
I invite you to read it. Not long, but spot on!
Posted by: kbob deep in the heart of TEXAS!!! at June 14, 2009 07:21 PM
Yeah, I think we can all agree that while the left is accurately represented by individuals who take liberalism to its most absurd extreme, any attempt to class equally extreme partisans on the right within the boundaries of mainstream conservative politics is baseless caricature. Why? Because no true conservative would ever do or say anything hateful or stupid.
Posted by: qb at June 14, 2009 09:27 PM
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
Then who the <expletive deleted> else are you talkin' to?
You talkin' to me?
Well I'm the only one here. Who the <expletive deleted> do you think you're talking to?
Posted by: Travis Bickle at June 14, 2009 10:57 PM
we can all agree that while the left is accurately represented by individuals who take liberalism to its most absurd extreme
Nice try, but since I don't agree with that (and have repeatedly written posts that disapproved of some of our "edgier" pundits as well), the rest of your comment makes absolutely no sense, does it?
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 06:35 AM
Progressives are rational and logical. This means we can afford to disregard the facts and allow fear to take over. We don't need evidence to conclude this lone gunman is merely the tip of a vast, sociopathic iceberg known as the Republican party. They're everywhere.
I'm sorry, I thought we were engaging in ironic hyperbole! I see now that only one of us is allowed to attack strawmen.
Posted by: qb at June 15, 2009 08:13 AM
You really need to work on your reading comprehension.
This was a parody on Judith Warner - on things she said and has said in the past. Nowhere is there any attempt by me to extend the mockery of Warner to all progressives.
Warner has written innumerable broad generalizations that stereotype all conservatives as mean, criminal, stupid, etc. Pay attention - this post was not *my* opinion (nor is there the slightest reason to dishonestly characterize it as such) but a parody of the crap Warner writes.
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 08:24 AM
One final thought - anyone who has read this site for any time at all knows that I have insisted over and over again that it's not reasonable to tar the entire Democratic party with the actions of a few morons at the fringes.
So your comment is not based on anything other than your own evident desire to read something into this post that isn't there. You can do that if it makes you feel better about yourself but beyond pointing out how dishonest that is, I'm not going to waste time discussing it further.
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 08:26 AM
Ah, magnifique! A double layer of irony--you intended even your modifications of Warner's prose to sound as if they were penned by an ideological zealot. Well done.
Posted by: qb at June 15, 2009 09:13 AM
I thought the name Judith Warner sounded familiar. She's the one who dreamed about taking a shower with Barack Obama.
She really does have a history of being a mindless hysteric, doesn't she? I'm not quite sure how she got hired to write anywhere.
Posted by: airforcewife at June 15, 2009 09:14 AM
One final thought--you might want to clue your other commentors in on the joke. They seem to be agreeing with the opinions you were only advancing tongue-in-cheek.
Posted by: qb at June 15, 2009 09:18 AM
Cassandra, your math is accurate! You squared the dots, connected them and now we have the Trilateral Commission who is behind it. Since the recession, our hourly conspiracy theory meetings have been taking place on the web. Just pick a site where moonbattery abounds and you pretty much have it.
Posted by: Cricket at June 15, 2009 09:43 AM
you might want to clue your other commentors in on the joke. They seem to be agreeing with the opinions you were only advancing tongue-in-cheek.
You are a commenter.
You have been saying things I disagree with.
All my commenters, from time to time, have said things I disagree with. But this is not Communist Russia where anyone who dissents is shipped off to Siberia. I am not responsible for what my commenters say, and I don't view it as my job to "school" everyone who disagrees with me, nor to censor their comments. If I did, you would long ago have been banned or your comments deleted.
Get a grip and stop whining because freedom of speech means people are free to say things you don't like. If you have a quarrel with one of my commenters, try addressing your outrage to them instead of imputing positions I've never taken to me.
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 09:50 AM
Yes, afw, Warner has made a habit of "demonizing the other", as lefties are wont to say. But it's OK when she does it :p
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 09:52 AM
As with ost whiny kids, ignoring them usually does the trick. If not, time out (since we can no longer spank in most locales) is in order. Personally, I favor duct tape as well.
As for me...tempis fugit. Per omnia.
Keep up the scrumpdooleeishus (made up word and spelleing) job you do. I endeavor to make your page a part of my day; not only for your commentary, but for the insight provided by thoughtful people as well as the lunatic fringe and borderline residents of rooms with padded walls.
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at June 15, 2009 10:01 AM
Looks like you fell into the great sarchasm not just with Cass but with the other commentors as well.
The only one that seems not to know the post was tongue-in-cheek is you.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2009 10:32 AM
*looks into mirror, adjusts Reichwing shoulder holster, brushes mohawk, buttons Brooks Brothers Mohair jacket, checks on status of plot to take over the world while wondering how to crush what little sense of humor progressives -at the margins?, nah, survey says every one of em- might still possess*
*Laughs out loud then turns to leave knowing that there is far too little amassed in any one spot to merit a crushing action. Momentarily stops to wonder if Bush is responsible? Yeah must be...*
Posted by: Travis Bickle at June 15, 2009 10:59 AM
I say let the Libs profile us. Just maybe, if they really believe conservatives will kill them, they'll back off and treat us like muslims!
Posted by: Krusher at June 15, 2009 11:49 AM
maybe, if they really believe conservatives will kill them, they'll back off and treat us like muslims!
That would probably get the ACLU on our side, too.
Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2009 11:53 AM
Now that is funny, I don't care who you ar*glances towards the left*
Ah, never mind...
Posted by: bt-the resident-curmudgeon_hun at June 15, 2009 11:55 AM
Bravo Tango, it is somewhat humorous, but it is totally lost on a lib who sees nothing funny in anything that does not denigrate Sarah Palin, George Bush or any of the Bushitler Cheneyrovian grand conspiracy to remake America and demolish the Constitu....oops, I guess they have not been watching their main man, the annointed one, Pbo, circumventing the constitution, trampling their rights, and going so far as to fire/silence anyone who dares to stand up to their South Side Chicago thuggery. He is doing what they feared the other guys were doing, but they are not smart enough to see it because....YES WE CAN! HOPE! CHANGE!!
Gag me with a spoon on that hopey-changey crapola. I think even the libs are going to see it soon....some have, even if they won't admit it.
Fire an IG? I think that speaks volumes about the ethics of this administration. The best disinfectant for this fungus that has formed and is growing is bright sunlight.
MOST TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT EVER! MOST ETHICAL CONGRESS EVAH!!!
Let me flush. That is absolute and total human excrement. They don't even use corn for contrast and texture. (Remember Herbie and Ralph?)
This guy needs to be fired. NOW. He is incompetent and as Hillary said, it's not the place for on the job learning. You see how that is working out.....we all do. And we all feel the pocket pain.
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at June 15, 2009 01:25 PM
> I have insisted over and over again that it's not reasonable to tar the entire Democratic party with the actions of a few morons at the fringes.
Is it ok to tar them with the actions of the vast host of morons in the center?
Just wondering at what point one notes the ducky-ness of a thing.
Posted by: O Bloody Hell at June 16, 2009 01:28 PM
> If I tenderly sexually assaulted a woman with whom I was truly in love and intended to marry, does that excuse rape?
Trust me, the concept of a hate crime boggles the minds of most of the people around here, too.
Posted by: O Bloody Hell at June 16, 2009 01:34 PM
> To preserve strict equality, we must treat people unequally.
As the man said, in a proper State, some are more equal than others.
Posted by: Just Us Pigs at June 16, 2009 01:38 PM
I was out in the mountains this last weekend, but the cabin had sattelite TV, so unfortunately, I caught CNN reporting on this very topic with Anderson Cooper.
Amazingly, in over an hour of reporting on these "lone wolf" killings they DID mention the recruiting center shooting. Three or four times. Total. Cause: anger at treatment of muslims in the middle east by American troops.
For the entire rest of it, all sorts of causes for "the killings" (grouped) including racism, anti-semitism, "right-wing hatred", "religious hatred" (the only one that came close for the recruiting center shootings)were discussed. In depth. With multiple authors, fair housing advocates, etc.
Somehow, while conflating the recruiting center shooting with the others as a "lone wolf" shooting and briefly mentioning the stated cause, no in-depth analysis happened of the causes of that one. Nothing about "hatred in america" re: muslims and whether or not THAT was unreasonable.
The next day, they even drag the unabomber into it, while discussing "anti government." Somehow ignoring to mention his political and anti-technology stances when discussing, again, "right wing, racist, anti-government" hatred.
Somehow, other lone-wolf terrorists, like the DC sniper, and various others, other not-so-lone-wolf terrorists like those caught mapping out military facilities over the last decade, never came up in the discussion, as they did't even begin to fit the narrative.
Posted by: Darius at June 16, 2009 03:19 PM