Today’s opining on the public discourse.
How unhinged have the Cons in the House become? They’ve decided that violent rhetoric is part of a responsible public discourse:
The Chicago Tribune reports today that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is considering running for Illinois governor, saying his interest is the result of “so much corruption in our state.” Responding to reports that Gov. Pat Quinn (D) will raise income taxes to patch a crippling budget deficit, Kirk suggested shooting Quinn:
“I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide,” Kirk said of Quinn’s proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. “I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree.”
These irresponsible fuckwits are going to get a lot of people killed. There are too many unhinged SOBs out there buying up guns for elected leaders to go around flapping their yaps like this.
And it’s not like Kirk’s the only one:
Richard Poplawski recently gunned down three police officers, in part because he feared the non-existent “Obama gun ban.” In the wake of tragedy, I’d hoped some of the less responsible voices on the right might be inclined to lower the temperature a bit, especially since the administration hasn’t made any efforts to pursue new gun control measures.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said this week that the administration will try “all sorts of things” to chip away at the individual right to own a gun, warning of gun control policies aimed at “disarming us.”
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Cushing, Oklahoma, Coburn warned that Attorney General Eric Holder “doesn’t believe in the second amendment” and “doesn’t even know what an assault weapon is.”
“He doesn’t believe in our right to own and hold a gun,” Coburn said of Holder, whose nomination he vigorously opposed. “He doesn’t believe the Second Amendment means it’s a right for me to have a gun to protect myself.”
First, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller wasn’t “unanimous”; it was a 5-4 split. (Coburn was only off by four justices.)
Second, what possible good could it serve to have a sitting U.S. senator tell a group of voters that the administration is pursuing policies aimed at “disarming us”? A report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security, which was requested and prepared by Bush administration officials, just told us that irrational fears of gun control are stirring political radicals and extremists.
Indeed, but of course they don’t worry about things like that. Apparently, if it’s people they don’t agree with who are in danger, that’s fine. And despite abundant evidence, they’ve got some bizarre idea that right-wing fanatics would never do bad things. No, it’s always those evil Mooslems:
Today on MSNBC, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) used the release of the DHS assessment to advance his well-documented anti-Muslim agenda. King told Joe Scarborough that, instead of discussing the threat of anti-government radicals, DHS should focus on the threat emanating from “Muslims” and “mosques” at home:
KING: [Napolitano] has never put out a report talking about look out for mosques. Look out for Islamic terrorists in our country. Look out for the fact that very few Muslims come forward to cooperate with the police. If they sent out a report saying that, there would be hell to pay.
Could that be, maybe, because Muslim Americans aren’t quite as psychotic as the extreme right-wing fringe that report focused on? And so maybe it wouldn’t be appropriate to target a minority group just because they’re not good white Christian gun nuts? Just a thought.
For some insight into their thinking, let’s turn to Mike Allen:
Just because the Politico’s Mike Allen appears regularly on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show does not necessarily make Allen a conservative. Hewitt is pretty far to the right, and has a history of saying some pretty nutty things, but that shouldn’t necessarily reflect poorly on Allen. (I’ve appeared on Oliver North’s radio show a few times, and I’d hate to think of anyone associating me with his views.)
It’s not unreasonable, though, to judge Allen by the comments he makes on the air.
HEWITT: Let’s turn to the other major story, it has been on talk radio, it will be on the cable channels tonight and it will probably go on for some time, the Washington Times story, Mike Allen, about the extremism assessment [from the Department of Homeland Security]. How big of a story is this?
ALLEN: I think it’s a big story — I don’t know, I think some bureaucrat who wrote this report like misstated in a way that doesn’t comport with your or my observations about the real America. I think it was somebody, who written inside the Beltway, who maybe has fantasies about what happens outside in the real America. But I think it was obviously overstated that I can only get so like excited about that.
Ah. I see. Right-wing fanatics are real Americans, so that’s all right, then. We don’t have to worry about them living up to their violent, secessionist, hate-filled rhetoric because they’re “real” and everyone else is “fake.” Gotcha.
And what are these supposed “real” Americans doing? Talking about how to stop being Americans:
Yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised the specter of his state seceding from the Union “if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.” Today on MSNBC, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay offered a staunch defense of Perry’s statement, saying the Texas governor was “standing up for [Texas’s] sovereignty.” DeLay elaborately explained how Texas could secede:
Q: You can’t secede from the Union!
DeLAY: Texas was a republic. It joined the Union by treaty. There’s a process in the treaty by which Texas could divide into five states. If we invoke that, and the last time it was voted on was 1985, the United States Senate would kick us out and nullify the treaty because they’re not going to allow 10 new Texas senators into the Senate. That’s how you secede.
And, of course, Glenn Beck’s all down with that:
Last night on Fox News, Beck seemed to agree with Perry’s call, insisting that “Texas does America best“:
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, from here, Glenn, listening to Governor Perry last night and watching your crowd and listening to the things that are coming out of Texas — I don’t want to be too dramatic, but it almost seems like Texas is going to secede from the rest of the nation.
BECK: I mean, I don’t know– can we get this back here? [Points to a banner] This is on the jib back over here. This says “Texas independence.” … And the reason is — correct me if I’m wrong — these people love America. They just think Texas does America best!
America – love it or leave it, eh? Don’t let the door hit ya’ll in the ass…