Sunday, January 9

Asshole Culture

DAVE "Apolitical" Weigel works the Rolodex:
[Patrick] Beck [the Top Teabagger in Mojave County] wasn't looking forward to the coming "finger-pointing" over this incident, which has definitely claimed the life of a judge, John Roll, who'd been protested over an immigration ruling. "People blame the right for Oklahoma City," said Beck. "People blame the left for the Pentagon being bombed. I don't know this guy who did this, but there are crazy people in all walks of life. One rotten apple does not make a bad batch."

An on and on and on; the first member of the Indiana Congressional delegation to announce he moderately deplored the shooting of Rep. Giffords was Danny Lee Burton. The Arizona Teabaggers are resolute; Weigel himself, their Boswell, is just covering the story. They're all against shooting political opponents in the head. Afterwards. Sorry if the occasional lone nut got the wrong impression.

It's the pathetic remorse of the sniveling habitual drunk who's finally managed to run down an elderly woman in a crosswalk.

And let's be clear about this. I'm not here to say it's Sarah Palin's fault. Quite the opposite. She, and her stupid asshole map, should be seen for what they are. She didn't intend to put Rep. Giffords in some literal crosshairs, and in a better world we'd all admit that.* She didn't cause an "unstable" 22-year-old with a history of run-ins with police to target Giffords, or spray a crowd with semi-automatic weapons fire. Nope. What she did, like any number of others, is help create and perpetuate a society where no one even bothers to ask how an unstable 22-year-old comes to be in possession of a weapon whose only purpose is to kill and maim human beings as efficiently as possible. Because he's an American.

We don't even ask. We don't have to.

So, you know, Mr. Weigel, just fucking spare me. Mr. Other Beck, don't ask "What can we [possibly] do to stop (the worst nutjobs of our 'movement')?" Twenty-four hours before Rep. Gifford took one in the brain Chuckles Krauthammer was blaming the Democratic party for some forty-five-year-old flag burning that still rages in his head. Let's just all play by the same rules for a while and see how we like the change. What Do We Do, Mr. Beck? To begin with, we can stop listening to people who think they can equate domestic right-wing terrorism with a patently hallucinated version of 9/11 and call it square. We can stop listening to people who manage to swallow their deep distress at the virulent sputum which has marked their movement since the beginning right up until the day they're forced to try to distance themselves. We can stop accepting translucent lies just because they're all one side has to hide behind.

What we can do is to expect people who hide behind subsistence hunting and traditional woodcraft while serving as the bagmen for gun nuts and arms traders to eat anything their dog trees. We can stop pretending that "we have enough gun laws on the books". We can stop pretending that dumdum bullets and automatic weapons are an unambiguous Constitutionally-protected right, and that every nutjob steeped in the cold-steel penis-replacement culture is just an unfortunate aberration.

(We can stop this "Oh my god, people on the internets blamed Sarah Palin!" shit, too. In other news, the sun rose in the East sometime this AM.)

As I've said here before, I own guns. I've never fired at anything but a target, in part because there's plenty of food in the supermarket. I don't impugn those who do. I've eaten game on occasion. Let's quit kidding about this. If you'd like to go on being a 2nd Amendment absolutist, do so, but stop hiding from the results.

And no, you ain't responsible for the actions of a nut. You are responsible for not bothering to distance yourself until some of the stink rubbed off on you.


* Just as, in a better world, she'd had never uttered the phrase "Death panels".


D. Sidhe said...

Well said, though I may be a little more willing to place some blame on the idiots who say stupid shit where any nutjob can hear it, knowing how many nutjobs are out there. If we're going to act like our language has some part in whether the disabled children of politicians are bullied, or if we worry that TV aimed at adults may cause teenagers to have sex, we need to at least consider the possibility that what we say may influence the emotionally unstable.

But you know what's getting me? The people who say "Well, we're all to blame. We can't just blame the republicans or the democrats, it's everybody's fault." (This is a direct quote from some triangulating twerp on Washington Journal this morning, a sentiment echoed by others.)

Okay, if you're someone who's spent the last year listening to your party leaders demonizing democrats with violent and paranoid rhetoric and are now honestly horrified by what's happened, I can understand wanting to distance your party from the nutjob who took it all a little too seriously when the saner among you knows politics is just a game and this kind of talk is just how you pump up the base.

But how in hell do you manage to make this a both-sides-are-responsible thing? What the hell do the democrats even have to distance themselves from here? Are we still blaming them for the Unabomber as a way of pretending they can be just as good at inciting the unhinged? Michael Moore may say mean things, but last I looked no Marxist was out there shooting Wall Street titans to jump start the revolution.

Actually, no, what's getting me is that I still can't fucking believe it's now officially a talking point that this specific attack on a democratic congresswoman and the crowd of people around her is the excuse for republicans to beef up their own security and announce that they just want us to know that they're Taking One For Democracy, Too. Cynical, vicious, assholes.

R. Porrofatto said...

Magnificently put as usual. But okay, I know it's tough to come up with a comment about an event like that doesn't sound lame, but one particular boilerplate formulation always sounds lame to me:

Obama: ...such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.

Napolitano: There is no place in our society or discourse for such senseless and unconscionable acts of violence.

Biden: ...there is simply no justification, no rationale for such senseless and appalling violence in our society.

Boehner: Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society.

Just once I'd like to see a politician tell us naive bambinos who they are lecturing just so this bullshit would make sense. Or are there countless people who do think that senseless acts of violence have a place in our society? ... Umm... Okay, waitaminnit...

R. Porrofatto said...

Wow, ditto on the magnificently put to D. Sidhe.

satch said...

Well, at least Loughner wasn't a "terrorist".

Kathy said...

We know the words of the 2nd Amendment, and they aren't "In order to keep the Government from encroaching upon our right to bear arms, all Americans may arm themselves to the teeth with the most murderous firearms available to them."

2nd Amendment is about State=Government militias, that is, the traditional Army of the time. NRA and other greedy maniacs have twisted it out of recognition.

So far as Palin & her target crosshairs map goes, she may not have intended anyone be killed, but I bet she secretly hoped for violence. She's that narcissistic.

Kathy said...

D. Sidhe: your insights & writing talent are right up there with Doghouse & Roy E.

Jim said...

Excellent points. We have completely taken gun control out of the discussion about violence in this country, much like we ignore the defense budget when talking about government spending.

My standard position on guns is that we should repeal the 2nd Amendment and immediately order everyone to turn in their firearms. Anyone then found in possession of a gun is a de facto criminal subject to arrest.

This of course makes gun owners apoplectic. My response is "you won't accept even reasonable restrictions on guns to keep them out of the hands of homicidal lunatics so you leave me no choice but solve the problem for you. Since I don't own a gun *any* gun removed from the general population incrementally makes this a safer society for me".

The gun lobby has staked out such an extremist position the only response must be equally as extremist.

John Daly said...

"My standard position on guns is that we should repeal the 2nd Amendment and immediately order everyone to turn in their firearms. Anyone then found in possession of a gun is a de facto criminal subject to arrest."

Obama might want to soften 'em up first with a proposed slavery reparations tax (I'm thinking 5% of the first $100,000 of AGI, 25% of AGI between $100,001 and $1,000,000, and 50% of AGI above $1,000,000) to be levied on all persons of white ancestry. Y'know, just to see if there's any pushback, resentment, or "I told 'ya so."

M. Krebs said...

"The gun lobby has staked out such an extremist position the only response must be equally as extremist."

That's sure to work out just great.

ice weasel said...

In a better world, Sarah Palin's biggest career move is getting the prime time weather gig for the local wasilla station. Instead, about a third of country and just about all of our media are obsessed with the ravings of this failure, this loser, this empty shallow cartoon of impotent rage that is palin. Like most of her fans, she's the poster child for people who can't really do the job they claim to be born for.

But it's definitely not that "better world."

D. Sidhe said...

Yeah, so, Doghouse, I riffed on what upon reflection I thought you might be saying over at my place. But because A) I adore you, B) It's only fair that if I got you wrong you should be alerted to my hamfisted revisions, and C) I have rarely been sorry I took the time to try to understand people better, I just thought I'd let you know I namechecked and linked you, and if I totally got you wrong, feel free to point out I'm a moron over there where it's in my moronic context. :-)

Not so much blogwhoring, but I suppose that too. Anyway, whether you meant to poke people that way or not, thanks for making me think. I gotta get some use out of it, after all.

Meanwhile: Kwillow and R, aw, thanks, you guys. Y'all can dig into my box of chocolates any time you like.

StringonaStick said...

The current attempt at revisionist history is that those were not crosshairs, they are surveyors marks. Let's see how long they try to flog that one into reality.