The Reichstag Phone Call, Part II

In 1987, when I was a 24 year old rookie talk show host working the graveyard shift at around 3AM one Sunday night/Monday morning, I took a call.  We’d spent the first hour talknig with – and beating on – a noted Holocaust denier. 

It’s  pretty much axiomatic in talk radio that the callers turn out in droves for gun control and abortion; babies and crime/self-defense are topics pretty much everyone can relate to.   Holocaust Denial is another one – or so I found out that night.  It’d been a very busy hour; while I never had to beg for callers on my old graveyard-shift show – there were always lots of drunks, third-shifters, aspiring novelists, crazies and (oddly) handicappers tuned in and dying to sound off – that night was particularly heavy – it was a red-letter night.  The phone lines crackled with revulsion; a guy claiming to be a Jewish Defense League member said that if the guest had been in the Twin Cities rather than on the phone, he’d have come out to the studio and shot him. 

Now, that’s brisk, baby.

And it carried on into the second hour.  Full banks of callers, mostly angry; some wondering why I’d given the guy any play at all, most tearing his positions apart, many with stories of relatives who’d served in the war and fought their way into camps, and the stories they’d told.

And then, late in the final half-hour, someone called; in my mind’s eye at 23 years’ remove, he sounded a little like Dennis Hopper.  And he said “We’re coming for you, Jew -boy.  You can run but you can’t hide”.

I mentioned that I was about as Jewish as a bacon cheeseburger, and that he needed to take his meds as I hung up.

The lesson for the evening?

It’s obvious:  Jews and Democrats are violence-prone!

———-

Well, no.  It means that when people get angry (and maybe just a tad demented) and find a way to lash out at the targets of their anger from behind the cover of anonymity, they say things they’d never dare say in person.  It happens on the phone (ask any talk show screener), and in blog comments, with anonymous leftybloggers – anyone, really, any time that anger isn’t tempered by accountability.

If you’re ap public figure at any level, you’ve tun into this – and you know it’s one of the little stressors that happens.

Congresspeople?  Sure, they know it.

———-

It’s tiresome – and more than a little insulting – to have to iterate every time the topic of threats and violence comes up “…now, I don’t advocate threats or violence…”.

Doyy. No kidding? 

Tiresome and insulting. 

And that’s exactly what the Democrat leadership intended with the stories they’ve run since last weekend in re the Tea Party’s purported response to Obamacare. 

It’s several stories, really. +

It’s A Loogie World:  “Tea Partiers” ostensibly “spit” on Democrat congresspeople as they walked across the Mall. 

Except it’s looking pretty doubtful that it actually happened (around 1:20 of the video in the link):

Jim Treacher:

I can’t get it to link to the specific time code, but fast-forward to the 1:20 mark. Looks to me like that dude was yelling at him and maybe a drop of spittle flew at him. Which still sucks. Nobody likes to be yelled at, especially by some redneck who won’t just shut up and pay his taxes. But it’s not like somebody hocked a loogie in Cleaver’s face.

I know, I know. It doesn’t matter anyway because the Tea Parties are racist. I’m just providing… what’s it called? Oh yeah: Evidence.

Cleaver declined to press charges over this, which is a good thing because no arrests were made that day.

No arrests?  Why, spitting is both assault and, most  likely, a hate crime.  If it happened.

The “T” Word: “Tea Partiers” – plural – purportedly screamed the “N”-word at civil rights movement veteran, Rep. John Lewis.  Except, again, there’s no evidence that it actually happened:

According to the article, Lewis was walking from the Cannon Office Building to the Capitol when protesters started shouting. According to Lewis, however, what they shouted was not a racial slur, but “Kill the bill, kill the bill.” If he heard anything more derogatory, he does not seem to have told Douglas about it.
 
Lewis, it should be noted, is no slouch when it comes to race-baiting. During the 2008 campaign, he compared the McCain-Palin campaign to that of “presidential candidate George Wallace,” whose comparable “atmosphere of hate” led to the fatal church bombing in Birmingham. So egregious were Lewis’s comments that McCain called on Obama to “condemn” them.

As Douglas reports, it was Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), a Lewis colleague walking a few steps behind him, who actually claimed to have heard the slur. Note the way that Douglas runs these sentences together.

Do you hear a “Chorus” of “N”-bombs?  “Kill the Bill”, sure.  But there’s a difference, isn’t there?

So far, at least?

Well, all you leftybloggers out there who want to cling to the idea of Republican/Tea Party thuggishness; Andrew Breitbart is putting his money where his blog’s mouth is:

It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.

I’d almost bet that same amount that he never, ever gets a taker.

Anger and Pique and Threats, Oh My: Steny Hoyer got front page coverage yesterday when he claimed that…:

more than 10 House Democrats have reported incidents of threats or other forms of harassment about their support of the highly divisive health insurance overhaul vote. Hoyer emphasized that he didn’t have a specific number of threats and that was just an estimate.

Michael Walsh wonders:

Naturally, the media accepts this allegation at face value, and never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying — as the spiritual mentor of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton taught it to do.

The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.

The horse-race-obsessed Mainstream Media might want to look up the term, agents provocateurs

While I suspect there’s more than a little chance that some of the “estimated” “threats” were phoned in or are complete fabrications, it doesn’t matter; people get angry, regardless of their politics, and some of them say dumb, hateful, even illegal things.

Erick Erickson at RedState has heard the threats, and isn’t impressed:

Here comes the controversial part that still must be said: I have heard the audio of some of the threats. I get worse stuff routinely. Rush Limbaugh gets worse stuff on a daily basis. Republican members of Congress have gotten similar and worse stuff. Thank God this wasn’t a free trade vote or a variety of left wing groups would have half the country in flames right now. I do believe the 24 hours of threats, many of which were pretty weak, has gotten more national coverage than the leftist anarchists in Texas who molotov cocktailed the Texas Governor’s Mansion — for which arrests have never been made.

Certainly more than the houseful of bomb-making goodies, vandalism supplies and buckets of urine that police found when they raided a Saint Paul house being used as a staging ground for “anarchists” at the Saint Paul RNC in 2008.

The Dems’ “concerns” are long on feelings, short on actual actions.  To date, there are only two actual physical actions that have been reported to law enforcement (if you leave out the real shooting at Eric Cantor’s office, which much of the media has done).

Gas Attack: A gas line to an outdoor grill was allegedly cut at the house of Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, after a “Tea Partier” ostensibly posted the address online.

Althouse:

I really want to know the details about this one. Who did it and why? Let me see the photographs. I want to know all about it. I don’t like the home addresses being posted on line, and I don’t like even peaceful protests at any individual’s house. I can see why you’d be upset that your address is known. But anyone could commit an act of vandalism (including dirty tricksters on the Democrat’s side). Is the press following up about what, exactly, happened? Or are they complacently passing this story on to be used to propagate the violence meme?

After the Sparkman, Bedell and the Texas IRS-plane-crasher, I’ll take “B”.

Like A Brick: There was an alleged brick attack at a Democrat office in Cincinnati.  Again – we have no idea who did it, or why; no note was attached, no threats received, no nothing.

So while it could be an angry tea partier, it could just as easily be a punk kid, a drunk or, for that matter, a Democrat activist.  There is no evidence at all, either way

———-

But this isn’t about individuals breaking laws; this is about the Democrat party using those acts, real, imagined,  fabricated or instigated, to try to not only defame dissenters, but to give their own, increasingly embattled supporters the sort of “us against them” siege mentality that they’ll need to survive and keep the fire going during what promises to be an ugly electoral season.

Back to Erick Erickson, who is onto the real reason for the flap:

I am forced to largely conclude that the Democrats are running to the nearest microphone in an effort to play the victim and generate sympathy as they try to steer poll numbers back in their direction.

I never bet m0ney; I don’t much believe in gambling.  But I’ll bet bragging rights that nothing ever comes of any of these complaints.

Because they’re not intended to be “real”.  They’re intended to set the majority party (for now) up as “victims” of a huge, benighted, ugly conspiracy that just happens to hate black people, doncha know.

And I’d have to hope this is wearing thin with the American people. 

In fact, I’ll do my best to make sure it does.

34 thoughts on “The Reichstag Phone Call, Part II

  1. ” There was an alleged brick attack at a Democrat office in Cincinnati.”
    This wasn’t the attack on the congressman’s office on the 30th floor in Cinci was it?

  2. Buzz beat me to it. If there is a man who can throw a rock through a 30th floor window–one made of tempered glass half an inch thick no less–I sure hope the Cubbies sign him!

    Hopefully the GOP will put together some commercials showing what asinine nonsense Democratic congressmen and hangers-on are capable of.

  3. A good test for BS is that the closer you look at a claim, the more difficult it becomes to identify specifics. Works for everything from Nigerian 419 scams & perpetual motion machines to exactly why your spouse has a no-tell mo-tel charge on their credit card bill.
    When it comes to the nut of the threat stories, the who, what, why, when, where that reporters are taught to put in a story, the ‘who’ part is missing or misdirected.
    In the story about Congressman Pierrello’s brother, the ‘who’ is not identified as the individual who committed the act of political terrorism (if true), but a ‘tea partier’ who put his address online.
    The reporting on these ‘threats’ has been abysmal. The most basic questions and lines of inquiry are not being pursued by the journalists. None of them seem to have noticed that the so-called spitting incident relies on hearsay and the victim refused to press charges or have the spitter arrested.
    That’s a tell. When someone is arrested the ‘who’ of the story has a name. He or she can defend themselves, in the press and in court. legal documents are filed. There is a paper trail.
    If your goal is to get a story in the story in the news, you don’t want that. The accusation that the incident occurred is enough. This allows you to paint the offender as a group of people (the tea partiers) who cannot defend themselves. As Breitbart wrote, you can’t prove a negative.
    I think that the goal of this shibai (“political theater”) is two-fold: to make moderates view the tea partiers as political extremists and to drive a wedge between the tea partiers and the GOP.

  4. Dog Gone, would you care to comment?

    Are these people in denial?

    Do you still contend “That the damage and the threats have occuerred [sic] is irrefutable.”

    Bwwwwwaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaa!

  5. Something about the last few days–well, weeks, really–has left me feeling that things in America have changed utterly for the worse. I had a similar feeling after 9/11, but at least then I could reassure myself that our enemies were outside our borders and that a sense of common purpose was going to unite our citizens. Well, the last 8 years disabused me of that notion. Internet access, being able to read the minds of the people on the other team so to speak, gave me more information than I cared to know. There have always been nutjobs on both sides of the fence, but I had no idea they were so numerous. And when they get into power, they get drunk with it. The scorn in Obama’s voice as he paraded around in Iowa was disturbing. He wasn’t talking about the Taliban or Iran. Yeah, there was some tough talk from the opposition, and if you can’t stand the heat, etc. I get that. Presidents are supposed to be a little above that, in public anyway. He and Rahm and Joe can sit around and drop f-bombs all they like in private. Remember the shock of seeing the “expletive deleted” portions of the Nixon tapes? Those days are gone forever. This is a watershed year. The decline of the American republic will be pegged as starting in 2010. Those in power are thinking it will be something to celebrate. Me, I’m doing a flash forward to the faces of grandchildren, if I ever get any, and what they are going to make of the actions of a state bloated by entitlements they will be asked to pay for.

  6. Let’s see, Army recruiting office in Minneapolis is repeadly vandalized, therefore we must vote out Al Franken. Wow, this is easy. Oh, and the “cut” line on the guys bar-b-que? If the worst thing that can happen is the guy has to resort to charcoal, I think he is pretty safe.

  7. Golfdoc, we are going through a dark period, but America has yet to see its best days. There is no nation on Earth that is our peer.

  8. KR, how did you know I would have a comment? (kidding)

    So, Mitch, I’m watching the KSTP midday news, and just saw where both Minnesota Senators, and Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Ellison have received threatening letters in the mail, including shreds of the American flag which smell of gasoline.

    Terry pointed out to me (and thank you Terry!) that the coffin story had two sides. At the time I had commented an objection to the coffin action, the news was first reporting it, and I had not yet looked further into it.

    Now I have. I looked at the reports of the group involved, and what they said about their own actions. I looked at the local news coverage and local press coverage. I looked at the congressman’s statement.

    The facts distilled from that look, the kind of look I try to do on anything I write, is this: Sunday night a group of people (I’m still trying to find an objective neutral count, but more than a few, a significant number of people) turned up with a coffin and candles at Conressman Carnahan’s home in Missouri while he was in Washington DC voting on health care reform. I’m trying to establish an exact time, but late enough it appears to have been dark.

    Initial reports said the coffin was left; it was not. It was a full sized real coffin, and it was set down at the edge of the family home property, after which the people proceeded to amass on the property in front of the house. I am trying to confirm but it appears so far that the Congressman’s family was at home, except for the Congressman. It would be typical to do so for many people that late in the evening on a Sunday night in preparation for the school and work week.

    This is in Missouri, which like Kansas next door where Dr. Tiller was murdered by a fanatic, has some very active and sometimes violent anti-abortion groups. This group, which appears in the local press to self-identify as a group of Tea Party activists protesting the federal funding of abortions in the health care bill – funding which does not exist, and YES I’ve read it , and funding for death panels which will kill old people, something else that is not in the health care reform bill. (Yes, I have a problem with people who protest without doing their homework and fact checking, including reading the legislation for themselves).

    Terry argued – sorry Terry, that I have just now come online, and hadn’t had the opportunity to respond to your comment over on AB’s blog – that this was simply peaceful assembly and free speech.

    Had these people assembled with a permit somewhere other than in front of the Congressman’s front door while his family was at home and he was in DC in the House, I would agree. To do what they did was inherently a threat, a statement that “we know where you live and when you are not at home”. I also believe that any reasonable person would be aware of the larger context of threats that have been made, and would be aware that not every violent person is stupid enough to announce it first on a blog, or face book or some similar venue. Being aware of the possibilities, and balancing them against reasonable expectations is how you separate common sense from paranoia – and I don’t wish to encourage paranoia.

    I don’t believe that being elected to public office, any public office, means you have to tolerate any and every intrusion into your personal life. It certainly is not a free pass for constituents or anyone else to harrass your family. There are plenty of options for free speech that do not include this, any more than we allow yelling fire in a crowded theater..

    There are other documented instances of violence – it is not only ONE brick through a window. Photos and the involvement of the police is well documented on line.

    I have been trying to research any comparable threats or attempted intimidation of right wing elected officials. For example, the bullet hole in the office of Congressman Cantor appear to not be an instance of a bullet being actually fired AT his office, but rather an instance – according to police statements AFTER investigation – where the trajectory indicates a gun was fired, randomly, close to straight up in the air, and the bullet which subsequently entered the office window, came down at an equally steep angle before crashing into the window. This was not intentional violence, at least not to Cantor, nor does it appear to have been accompanied by any threatening communication. I’m still trying to confirm if anyone else on the right has had any credible threats.

    Much as I disapprove of the big bonuses to financial industry executives, I felt similarly that people showing up by the busload on their doorsteps to protest were inherently intimidating and wrong. I feel that any attempt to intimidate or harrass or threaten ANYONE is wrong.

    I am personally very skeptical that legislators would make up incidents and then involve the police and FBI. The FBI, and individuals like the Republican Attorney General of Virginia appear to be taking these threats as serious. Filing a false police report carries consequences, serious consequences. And really- do you think the Democratic members of Congress are going to try to stump the FBI labs with fakery? Really? I don’t.

    What i have now is an initiall response, not a final conclusion. I will adjust that response as more information emerges, but I think I have been doing a fair job of trying to look at information objectively before making that initial response.

    Terry also thanks for the blog site; it is inoperative, but I hope to be ab

  9. to be able to check it out eventually. (sorry)

    Gentle readers, I dislike bullying – of anyone. This ‘free speech’ comes up to the line and in somee cases crosses it, imho.

  10. RE the cut propane line. Some versions, mostly conservative, have referred to the cut line as a propane tank / barbecue. Others as a line into the house. I am still not clear as to which is correct, but there is a big difference in the significance.

    In any case – why is it acceptable for someone to vandalize the home of anyone in this way, elected or not elected, to public office?

    If it was your hosue, would you be as blase? If it were my house, the vandal would be missing a part of their back pockets and their backside underneath it.

  11. RE the cut propane line. Some versions, mostly conservative, have referred to the cut line as a propane tank / barbecue. Others as a line into the house. I am still not clear as to which is correct, but there is a big difference in the significance.

    Just curious – have any of these “version” actually included any evidence that anyone actually cut the line (whatever it was), much less ascertained a political motive?

    In any case – why is it acceptable for someone to vandalize the home of anyone in this way, elected or not elected, to public office?

    Never!

    No more than it is acceptable for anti-government zealots to lynch a census worker! DAMN THOSE TEABAGGERS!…

    …except that the left had no evidence then to justify their leap to a conclusion, either. And when the evidence finally came out, it’d seem Sparkmann was actually driven over the edge by *lefty* shrieking.

    Not saying I know that the “gas attack” story is going to end up as another lefty hoax, but it won’t surprise me a bit.

    If it was your hosue, would you be as blase? If it were my house, the vandal would be missing a part of their back pockets and their backside underneath it.

    Well, good on ya – but again, to do that you’d have to see a culprit.

    We have no such critter with this case.

    As to your longer comment – oy. I may not have time for that one today.

  12. Dog Gone said:

    “This ‘free speech’ comes up to the line and in somee cases crosses it, imho.”

    And it is only _now_ that we pay attention to certain instances of it. Curious? No. Self serving? I think so.

  13. Day in and day out, I give prayer and thanks that I’m not Dog Gone. My God, the effort it must take to be so unrelentingly and endlessly obtuse would generate enough energy to power a small city.

    I will adjust that response as more information emerges, but I think I have been doing a fair job of trying to look at information objectively before making that initial response.

    Gosh, you simply MUST be a hit at parties. People line up around the block just waiting for Dog Gone to make an “initial response.” It’s the only thing everyone can talk about around the water cooler the next day.

    “Did you hear about the Initial Response Dog Gone reached last night?”

    “I DID! Is it true it only took 52 hours?”

    “YES! Oh my God! It was like the Rapture in its sheer awesomeness! At first, it was like that opening scene in ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ with the advertising executive unable to make a decision, but then it was like the clouds parted, and Dog Gone’s mouth opened, and an Initial Response just flowed from that deliberative mouth like some sweet song echoing through a valley.”

    “Damn, I wish I could have been there.”

  14. Dog gone wrote:
    Had these people assembled with a permit somewhere other than in front of the Congressman’s front door while his family was at home and he was in DC in the House

    Now Dog Gone thinks you need the government’s permission to petition it.
    Someone needs to study American history. We are their bosses. They are not our bosses.

  15. Let me be clear. It’s wrong to spit on stinking Democrat politicians, activists or any other manner of reprobate, wanker or tosser.

    But wiping a buggar on them is acceptable.

    Yoss: Gosh, [deegee]you simply MUST be a hit at parties

    HAHA-Give that man a cigar!

  16. No Terry, I don’t think you need the government’s permission to petition it, I don’t this this conduct WAS petitioning it.

    NO public official of any political belief deserves to be harrassed this way. There has to be a reasonable balance between the protesters freedom of speech and the rights of the Congressman and his family.

    One of the things I thought about in considering this was how outraged I would be if, instead of simply calling the radio station, these people in his example had showed up on Mitch’s front lawn at night, with creepy props, while his kids were home and he was away at the radio station late at night working, so the protesters could enjoy “exercising their free speech and freedom of assembly rights” in front of the steps to his front porch.

    The man I know outside of this blog would NOT be a happy camper if that happened. He’d be mad as hell, and I would be in full support of his anger.

  17. Troy wrote “only now” in terms of objecting to excesses in the name of free speech, and that I was self serving.

    Troy, can you show any occasion where I supported such excesses, against anyone? No?

  18. NO public official of any political belief deserves to be harrassed this way.

    Remember Cindy Sheehan and hey googly band of misfits descending on the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas? Good times, good times.

  19. So, Mitch, I’m watching the KSTP midday news, and just saw where both Minnesota Senators, and Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Ellison have received threatening letters in the mail, including shreds of the American flag which smell of gasoline.

    Right. That’s their job; they represent unhinged, unstable people too!

    You think Republicans don’t get the same kind of mail? Constantly?

    I may be talking with Rep. Bachmann about this on a Saturday in the near future.

    There are other documented instances of violence

    Er, I’ve seen two “documented” instances, as noted above; the bricks, and the supposed gas attack. Please supply credible links to any more, especially those that involve actual evidence.

    I have been trying to research any comparable threats or attempted intimidation of right wing elected officials.

    Well, it shouldn’t take you long. You can start with the bleach thrown at RNC delegates, and the sand

    Much as I disapprove of the big bonuses to financial industry executives, I felt similarly that people showing up by the busload on their doorsteps to protest were inherently intimidating and wrong. I feel that any attempt to intimidate or harrass or threaten ANYONE is wrong.

    Well, yes and no. It’s wrong to bring politicians’ families and neigbhors into the squabble. But what we’re seeing in Washington today is an attempt by the Dems to call all dissent “intimidation”, to frame and demonize it.

    I am personally very skeptical that legislators would make up incidents and then involve the police and FBI. The FBI, and individuals like the Republican Attorney General of Virginia appear to be taking these threats as serious.

    Sure. Maybe because they are serious, and maybe because it’s bad bureaucratic form to tell a Congressperson to sack up and quit being a ninny.

    Filing a false police report carries consequences, serious consequences.

    OK, DG: How many police reports have been filed?

    Remember – if it’s impossible to determine whether something happened or not, then it’s not “false”, it’s just “indeterminable’. And I suspect that the “spit” and “N-word” cases are just that. Quite calculatedly so.

    And really- do you think the Democratic members of Congress are going to try to stump the FBI labs with fakery? Really? I don’t.

    Your faith it touching, but I suspect grossly misplaced. This is a caucus demonstrably more interested in grabbing power (with their Alinskiite tactics) than in ethical propriety.

    What i have now is an initiall response, not a final conclusion. I will adjust that response as more information emerges, but I think I have been doing a fair job of trying to look at information objectively before making that initial response.

    Depends. Where are you getting your information? If it’s the MSM, you’re better off just taking the DNC press releases directly and cutting out the middleman.

  20. NO public official of any political belief deserves to be harrassed this way.

    Every public official deserves to be harassed this way. Their salary comes from millions who toil at real jobs, doing things they hate to make enough money to enjoy their real life.

    Currently a significant portion of the taxes I pay goes to support the comfortable retirement of a bunch of jaw-boners after 30 years in a government job. This makes my own retirement more difficult to achieve.
    Fuck them.

  21. I don’t think you need the government’s permission to petition it, I don’t this this conduct WAS petitioning it.

    The First Amendment goes into relatively few details on what “petitioning” means. Intentionally so, I suspect.

    One of the things I thought about in considering this was how outraged I would be if, instead of simply calling the radio station, these people in his example had showed up on Mitch’s front lawn at night, with creepy props, while his kids were home and he was away at the radio station late at night working, so the protesters could enjoy “exercising their free speech and freedom of assembly rights” in front of the steps to his front porch.

    Well, the incident was long before I had kids (or it seemed like a long time, anyway. I guess it was only four years. Yow).

    But as far as the Carnahan incident goes – while I do urge protesters (and bloggers) to leave peoples’ families out of the line of fire (unless the families are voluntarily and substantially involved), there’s an interesting question: if there are no laws about gathering in the street after dark, or regarding the kind of props demonstrators can use, then it’s really down to a matter of private property and public nuisance laws. Did the demonstrators tresspass? Did they disturb the peace in any legal sense?

    The law means what it says it means.

  22. MSM? May I point out I went to the groups own web site for their side of events?

    Two instances so far of confirmed threatening faxes, with the faxes provided to the press in support of the claim. Congresswoman Slaughter of (if I recall correctly) has been threatened with sniper attacks intending to kill her, her family, including her grandchildren, with FBI protection for them having been provided.

    Multiple confirmed instances of brick throwing into offices; photos avialable of the damage. There is more.

    Crazy or simply emotional, none of our elected officials should have to put up with death threats, which were in the letters with the flag fragments. One reasonable interpretation of the gasoline smell on those flag fragments, given the death threats accompanying them, would be some kind of possible incendiary device as the method of attack.

    So Mitch – what WOULD be your reaction to a group of angry, mistaken protesting people showing up with creepy props, en masse, trespassing on your front yard while Bun and Zamm were home and you were away at work? Just wondering….

  23. Dog gone, you seem to think that a public official can cast a vote that affects the personal lives and livelihoods of millions of people — but they aren’t allowed to take it personally?
    In political science one thing they do is measure the salience of an issue. High salience means you can make it happen. A high salience issue would be, for example, how long it takes for your drivers license to expire. A few people won’t like any change, but most people don’t care enough about it to resist a change. They will accept whatever the rule is.
    Abortion is an issue with low salience. Nobody is going to change their mind, and the population is split about 50-50. Bad issue to take into the world of public policy.
    We have just seen a president use a narrow majority in our governing bodies to attack a low-salience issue. Chaos ensues.
    Obama has a lot of faults. First and foremost, he is a lousy politician. America ain’t Chicago.

  24. Threatening faxes. . .

    Jebus, is that all it takes to get your undies in a bunch? I received three threatening letters, and one face-to-face drunk dude at the small town weekly newspaper office where I worked as news editor for 10 months. You deal with the public, you get some dipshits. It happens. Lighten up, Frances.

    Multiple confirmed instances of brick throwing into offices

    Oh, I know. The horror: http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/bricks-thrown-through-windows-of-county-gop-hq-in-va.php

    . . . has been threatened with sniper attacks intending to kill her, her family, including her grandchildren

    I’ll just leave this here for you to chew on, DG:

    http://www.binscorner.com/pages/d/death-threats-against-bush-at-protests-i.html

    Stop pretending this is some new phenomenon worthy of the fainting couch. It’s tired. It’s old. And it’s entirely lazy thinking, no matter how much intense “research” you put into crafting your “Initial Response.”

  25. Dog Gone, let me tell you what ‘a credible threat’ means in legal jargon. It means a threat that a reasonable person would believe put their own life or safety in danger, or the life or safety of a loved one in danger.

    Note the ‘reasonable person’ conditional.

    Has there been any credible threat against any congressman because of their vote? The threatening letter received by Pierrello’s brother was deemed by law enforcment in VA to be “not a credible threat”.

    There is no ‘there’ there. No one has been arrested, no one knows for certain what happened at Pierrello’s brother’s house (not even if the ‘gas line’ was cut or broke or they had left the damn burner on).
    It’s political theater. Get some popcorn, grab a seat and settle in.
    The only certainty is that when actual, real law enforcement types declare that these were ‘not credible threats’ you won’t read about it in the newspaper or see it on TV.

  26. Dog Gone said:

    “Troy, can you show any occasion where I supported such excesses, against anyone? No?”

    Did I say you supported them at anytime? No. You (and many others, to be fair) are whining about them now, and it serves a political purpose. Convenient, no?

  27. “how you separate common sense from paranoia”

    Deegee, it’s obvious that you don’t. 😉

    ….

    “You can start with the bleach thrown at RNC delegates, and the sand”

    Mitch, don’t forget about what they did to Norm.

  28. Zoiks! I just realized that the headline of this post refers to the Reichstag fire … an event manufactured by the Nazis to demonize and marginalize their Communist opposition (yes, DG, I know, historians have not determined this is “settled history”). Involved or not the effect was the same, however.

    Now, random bricks and harassment don’t add up to premeditated arson, but let’s look at what we have, or alledgedly have, here. Bricks have been thrown. Mail has been received. Documentation has been made. What we don’t have is who is responsible. Presumably the portion of the MN congressional delegation that voted for Obamacare can show flag remnants and traces of accelerant. Can they show who sent it, and if it was a garden-variety right-wing whacko or a nefarious lefty operative? While I might put my money on the political element most inclined to throw bricks and foodstuffs, wreak property damage and to falsely cry “victim”, there’s no proof at this point and there are no reasonable people on either side are saying that such behavior is acceptable. Trying to point fingers at others, especially in the media, is irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

    Example: Mitch’s garage burned down. That’s a fact. Mitch is a locally prominent conservative with a radio show. That’s a fact, too. When the fire occurred Mitch laughed off the possibility that the fire was the result of malicious intent (though one local lefty all but wet himself thinking that he’d been accused). Perhaps Mitch merely has a healthy dose of perspective, or maybe he realizes how quickly irresponsible words and actions can lead to something out of control. Even if the culprit is a lone, crazed zealot of whatever party, the backlash against a larger group, and end result, can be devastating.

    As an example, one might Google Herschel Grynszpan.

  29. Fromg the credentialed journalists at CBS news:
    http://wcbstv.com/local/white.powder.anthony.2.1590058.html


    Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, who is against abortion, was getting threats from pro-life callers.

    “You will rue the day you did this, Mr. Stupak,” one caller said.

    “I hope you die,” said another.

    The story has no byline. Whoever wrote it needs to look up the word “threat” in the Funk & Wagnalls.

  30. Slander retracted:
    http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100328/OPINION/3280339&template=page3

    White Pride

    Don’t blame the Tea Party.

    Last Sunday, the New Hampshire Citizens’ Alliance sent out a press release accusing the New Hampshire Tea Party of “celebrating White Pride” by waving Tea Party flags alongside White Pride flags at a demonstration at the State House. “The activities locally mirror the national display of disrespectful, racist and homophobic behavior that has characterized Tea Party activities over the last several days,” the alliance wrote.

    Turns out, it wasn’t the Tea Party. The small rally was organized by the Massachusetts-based white supremacist group North East White Pride.

    “The Citizens Alliance seems like they were in error,” said former Democratic Party chairwoman Kathleen Sullivan, who had called on local Tea Party-affiliated candidates to denounce the rally.

    Sarah Chaisson Warner, director of the New Hampshire Citizens’ Alliance backtracked somewhat. “I don’t think the Tea Party coalition organized it. I don’t think they had anything to do with it,” she said. But Chaisson Warner added that she did see a man holding a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag next to a White Pride flag. Though the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag has a history dating back to the country’s founding, it has most recently been used by the Tea Party. “It’s concerning to see a Tea Party flag at an event being hosted at white pride nation,” Chaisson Warner said.

    The stupid woman does not what a Gadsden flag is outside of the context of the tea partiers.

  31. The stupid woman does not what a Gadsden flag is outside of the context of the tea partiers.

    Or maybe she DOES and is just trying to make an extremely tenuous connection purely for smear points.

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