I'd suggest that now would be a good time to moderate the tone of the conversation for everybody. Having been through one such bubbling over period, I'd rather not go through another.
I'll try to address some of the comments made above on the assumption that they were made to everybody as part of the discussion of an issue, rather than as an attempt to get into something more personal, and because I think they deserve answering. I won't try to answer everything because I don't want to get too hooked on the tone. Is this me? Possibly. I simply want to try to keep this about the facts and the issues.
Only one side has made the rhetoric of armed revolt against an oppressive tyranny the guiding spirit of its grassroots movement and its midterm campaign.
Show me that rhetoric of armed revolt, please.
During the Nevada Senatorial campaign, the Republican candidate made reference to "second ammendment solutions" to the way the government was being run. She refused to reply to reporters who tried to get her to explain herself.
Former Governor Palin published a hit list of people whom she thought should be voted out of office. Her rhetoric on the subject was very inflammatory. She characterized these folks as targets. I do think she was somewhat taken aback when a psycho with no discernable party affiliation started to open fire on the congresswoman in Arizona, but I also believe her rhetoric was not helpful. I am purposefully softpedaling the incident out of politeness here. The use of crosshairs in Ms Palin's literature was not helpful. Nor was her refusal to backpedal from the initial confrontation when this was pointed out to her when the literature was first presented.
Did she have the right to publish that literature? She certainly did.
Does it suggest encouraging extra-legal activity? Yes, I think it does. I also think that this is something that I have just pointed out two examples of and which more might be available if one cared to look.
In fact, the notion that the president is not a citizen is in itself a notion that is designed to de-legitimize the government, isn't it?, though it's presented in terms that are difficult to disallow in any open-minded discussion.
One side-effect of these suggestions is that any action that one takes is legitimate in response.
Any of these factors seem to qualify for me. The entire notion of the tea party harks back to the basic metaphor of the Boston Tea Party, doesn't it? Lest it escape notice, this was one of the initial violent acts that led to the Revolution. That is the metaphor that the right wing of the Republican Party has been using for at least the past two years.
It is a legitimate metaphor, of course.
But to suggest that it is not the metaphor that it in fact is may perhaps be going just a touch too far. It denies the depth of rage felt by the right wing, and its determination to overthow any changes made by the new deal and, really, by any reform movement in the united staes since the country turned against the Robber Barons of the late 19th century.
That would be, of course, in my opinion.
Only one side routinely invokes the Second Amendment as a form of swagger and intimidation, not-so-coyly conflating rights with threats.
True enough, because there is only one side treating the second amendment as toilet paper.
I am not interested in treating the second ammendment as toilet paper. I don't own guns now, and haven't since I was a kid, but I really enjoy the things. I like target shooting, and the time or two I went skeet shooting I had a blast.
The clay pigeons thumbed their noses at me.
I do disagree with the reading that the more conservative folk give to the second amendment, though. I think my reading is legitimate. It was designed to encourage the growth of state militias in a country that really couldn't afford to have its state governments fund them. Hence the phrase "to bear arms" in the amendment, which meant a body of armed troops, not heavily armed yahoos on the street.
Even the NRA today doesn't want all the guns out there that we have. They want legal access to guns, but aren't particularly happy with the vast underground slosh of illegal firearms in the hands of criminals. They're fairly clear that most registered gun owners aren't out there knocking folks off with legally acquired weapons. I think the NRA would be happy to get a lot of those illegal guns out of the system, if they could figure out how to do it.
They're simply stuck because they don't see any way of drying up the illegal market without drying up the legal market as well. I don't see Switzerland, where there are loads of automatic rifles floating around, having the sort of firearms problems we do, and I'd be interested in knowing why.
This doesn't come from treating the second amendment like toilet paper. It comes from failure to come to grips with a legitimate problem we have with gun violence in this country, and with not having any real understanding of how to stop it. I think the solutions that left and right have advocated may not be particularly helpful here, and that as a society, we're so busy butting heads and repeating what we are already convinced to be the answers, that we haven't had a fresh look at the problem in decades.
This isn't a problem with toilet tissue, it's a problem with generalized blindness.
Only one sideís activists bring guns to democratic political gatherings.
How many people brought guns, reb...or are you referring to one and making that the general definition of all?
Mike, I simply have no idea what you're saying.
The demonstration last year, I believe, in Washington by ome of the tea party folks has to be rescheduled mto Virginia because of the Washington firearms laws. That suggests that there were several people with guns. That's one example.
Guns and political events are probably not a great combination. Guns and booze are not a great combination. Guns and adreneline should probably be avoided as well, even with experienced shooters.
I think that's what you may be talking about, but I'm not certain.
Only one side has a popular national TV host who uses his platform to indoctrinate viewers in the conviction that the President is an alien, totalitarian menace to the country.
Of course. SInce the side the president belongs to would hardly be standing up against their fearless leader, that seems only natural. Ask yourself why he is so popular. Could it be that people can relate to what he says?
The question of popularity has always been a difficult one. If I'd have asked you about popularity in the late years of Bush the younger's administration, I don't know that you would have offered popularity as the touchstone you offer it as here. You certainly didn't when Obama was at his most popular.
Popularity is important.
I'm simply not certain that you want to make popularity the most important thing, if only because of the number of people who've had it that you simply disaprove of so much. Stalin, Mao, Hitler. And also Roosevelt, Clinton and Obama at various points in their Presidencies. Popularity is related as much to charisma as core values.
I believe that each of us feels that some of the folks that the other most values may be serious buffoons; so you'd have to ask, popular among which folks and for what reasons. We should probably do more than make an appeal to popularity. We don't need to leave it out ó it's always great to feel like you're backing a winner! ó but maybe not so high on the scale would be better for everybody.
Only one side fills the AM waves with rage and incendiary falsehoods.
I suggest you broaden your horizons. There is plenty of rage and outright lies coming from the left....but maybe they don't count?
Sure, they count. It all counts. That's a decent metaphor, after all.
They all weigh, as well. That's another decent metaphor.
Only one side has an iconic leader, with a devoted grassroots following, who canít stop using violent imagery and dividing her countrymen into us and them, real and fake.
Can't stop using violent imagery? Then you must have many examples of that. Produce them, please. Or are you talking about "targeting", ignoring the fact that the left used those same bullseyes years before? Maybe you mean violent imagery like saying, "if they bring a knife, you bring a gun!". No, you don't mean that, I'm sure, since those are Obama's words.
Do Obama words count. Yes, they do. Do bullseyes count? Yes they do. Have you heard me condemn Obama for things I believe he's done wrong? If you haven't, you haven't been paying attention. Is the right wing wrong when it does the same thing? Well, in fairness, yes it is. Does the left wing encourage people to show up to demonstrations carrying firearms? If they do, it"s not been in any of the literature I've seen. You'd have to look pretty far back to see much left wing interest in firearms, though it has been there.
Frankly, though, I doubt you find as many guns in any American left wing organization as you'd find in Michegan's or Idaho's right wing groups alone. Let alone taking the rest of the country into account. Though I'm always willing to be shocked by the truth, if it's got a decent source behind it. Centerist or non-fringe right wing would be fine with me. Better would be as close to objective and a-politcal as possible.
My guess, my opinion, ready to be disconfirmed or confirmed by whomever wishes to chip in.
I do agree that Ms. Palin is a divisive leader. I'd be surprised if you could, or anyone could find a mother-load of bipartisan comment by that lady, while on the other hand, the President has made a great deal of it.
I'll admit you have hutzpah, reb. In a thread showing libs talking about kill supreme court justices and their families, cutting off toes of radio personalities and sending a black back to the fields where he belongs, you decide to discuss how violent the right is....nice try.
I'll have to check back to see this evidence. Unfortunately, the right has some history of counterfeiting and forging tapes and other evidence, such as the Pimp and Prostitute tapes used to smear and destroy ACORN. Given that track record, allegations from right wing sources are often difficult for me to credit. Folks who are often most vocal about preading such smears are often notably absent when it comes time for taking responsibility for having done so, I've notice. After the Republicans in congress voted to thank those who (it turned out) faked the tape, the same politicians managed to let the matter coast when time came for an appropriate apology. I'd call that unkind. I wouldn't call that even a nice try.