Hypocrisy on Steroids

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Obama Administration

A televised town hall meeting in Tucson, moderated by ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour, has given righties their Grievance du Jour. One of the people in attendance was J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee last Saturday. According to local news

When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated. Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”

When State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) rose to explain and clarify current and proposed gun legislation in the state, several people groaned or booed her. One of those booing, according to several witnesses, was Fuller. Witnesses sitting near Fuller told KGUN9 News that Fuller was making them feel very uncomfortable.

The event wrapped up a short time later. Deputies then escorted Fuller from the room. As he was being led off, Fuller shouted loudly to the room at large. Several witnesses said that what they thought they heard him shout was, “You’re all whores!”

Now, Fuller’s anger may be understandable, but this behavior is the last thing anybody needs. It’s been reported that Fuller has been arrested for making death threats, and I think more people who make threats ought to be charged with something. I really dislike intimidation from anybody.

[Update: CNN says Fuller was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. I hope someone on the staff can talk some sense into him.]

And naturally, the entire Right Blogosphere, Lulu on down, is going ballistic over this. The ever brilliant Jim Hoft has asked people to pray for the safety of Trent Humphries. These are the same people who have been screaming all week that there is no connection between hate speech and violence; and these are the same people who have equated requests that they tone down their rhetoric with “silencing” their opinions. George Will actually called such requests to tone it down “McCarthyism of the Left.”

So, by their own logic, Fuller was just exercising free speech, and Trent Humphries doesn’t have a thing to worry about. Funny how threats and hate look different when they’re aimed at you, huh, righties?

That said, I don’t want anyone hurt. And if your opinions can’t be properly expressed without threatening to kill someone, I’d say you have a problem. And that’s true no matter where you fall on the opinion spectrum.

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23 Comments

22 Comments

  1. JR  •  Jan 15, 2011 @11:02 pm

    Yes, but in this particular news cycle we said it first, which means we’re the hypocrites when it’s later found on our side. Can’t denounce it’s importance now; only thing to do is condemn it just as vigorously for the next few news cycles.

  2. maha  •  Jan 15, 2011 @11:07 pm

    Yes, but in this particular news cycle we said it first

    Who’s “we”? I didn’t authorize Fuller to speak for me, and I’ve got posts going back several years criticizing some lefties for angry speech and behavior.

    Can’t denounce it’s importance now

    Did you actually read my post?

  3. JR  •  Jan 16, 2011 @1:48 am

    Yes I read it, and I wasn’t talking about you specifically I was more just musing out loud Maha. After Arizona a large portion of the public and political left brought up right-wing violent rhetoric as a bad thing. Now with stuff like this the right is going to say “they do it too” so we have to condemn it just as loudly as we do the right (when it happens which of course is not nearly as often as with the right). All I’m saying is politically our outrage has to be just as strong when a lefty uses violent rhetoric as when a righty does. It was not at you specifically – I have no qualms with what you wrote.

  4. maha  •  Jan 16, 2011 @8:21 am

    the right is going to say “they do it too”

    They were saying that, anyway, all last week. In fact, a number of rightie bloggers have yet to stop arguing that Jared Loughner was a leftist. In their minds, in fact, a tendency to violence is one of the things that defines a “leftie.” Right-wing violence is such a rare aberration that it apparently never happens. To them, politically motivated violence by definition is a leftist act.

    All I’m saying is politically our outrage has to be just as strong when a lefty uses violent rhetoric as when a righty does.

    Yes, but that won’t stop righties from calling Fuller our new “hero” and making him the poster child for all leftism.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 16, 2011 @9:12 am

    I don’t think ANYONE said that we on the left don’t have ANY loon’s on the left side of this country’s great divide.
    It’s that the ones we may have aren’t running for statewide, or national office, winning primaries, and then major elections.
    It’s that the ones we may have aren’t on some right wing talk radio station somewhere on the dial in this country 24X7X365.
    It’s that the ones we may have aren’t on TV with one hour slots to bloviate from on a purported national news channel.
    It’s that the ones we may have aren’t standing in front of rallies with thousands, or tens of thousands of people shrieking about some Islamic Center being built over a former coat factory in NYC, or weeping while mendaciously suckering the rubes in DC, on the same spot a great leader gave a dream of a speach.
    And it’s that the ones we may have aren’t state or nation-wide political leaders and pundits threatening that if ballots won’t work, bullet’s will.
    So yeah, we got ’em, too. Everyday people who’ve lost some critical part of their brain that calls for restraint.
    But maybe it’s also that our loon’s are genuine loon’s, and not grifters and sleazy politicians out there irresponsibly pumping up the violent rhetoric to increase book sales, TV and radio ratings, or votes, and who hide behind gates in their communities, or securitry guards out in public, just in case one of their rabble turns out to have bad hearing, forgets which way is left, or deems their former hero insufficiently conservative, violent, or crazy enough anymore. Oh sure, they claim they need protection from all of the nuts on the left, but that’s part of the grift – to get your audience worried for you. But I don’t know of too many Liberals who have an armory in their basement, or who post pictures of politicians and use them for target practice. I’m not sayin’ there ain’t any, but I’m sure that they are far outnumbered by their cohorts on the right.
    So sure, one loon’s too many. I think we might be able to agree, no? Well, maybe not. It seems to me that there are people out there on the right who really don’t care, as long as they have plausible deniability. I hate to generalize. And I hope I’m totally wrong.
    And maybe the right learned a little lesson after all. As maha said, “Funny how threats and hate look different when they’re aimed at you, huh, righties??
    Not funny at all, is it?

  6. Bill Bush  •  Jan 16, 2011 @10:21 am

    At least this time there was an appropriate response: mental health care!

  7. PurpleGirl  •  Jan 16, 2011 @10:57 am

    I wonder about the show bookers who had Fuller in the audience. Humphries’ ideas were known (that’s why he was booked). I’m sure the other guests were also known quantities. But why have Fuller there, if not for the possible explosion? The man was shot and hurt the previous weekend… how else did they think he’d respond? He may not have gotten the help he needs to deal with the shooting, I hope he does now but I think arresting him was over-reaction. He shouldn’t have been there. (Yes, maybe he should have realized that himself but the bookers are at fault too.)

  8. IntelVet  •  Jan 16, 2011 @11:13 am

    and so, Fuller is branded yet another loose cannon, committed to an insane asylum when the insanity is all around him, the entire state of Aryan-zona.

    It is not lone “shooters”. It is a broken society. The entire group of extremists need to be committed.

  9. Coffeemuses  •  Jan 16, 2011 @11:44 am

    Could he have been making a non-violent comparison and using his camera as a gun…Showing them just how easy and quickly it could happen? Not a totally rational thing to do. But, apparently, it effectively made the point.

    And again the newsertainment folks get a story.

  10. Rick Massimo  •  Jan 16, 2011 @11:54 am

    Funny how threats and hate look different when they’re aimed at you, huh, righties?

    Kind of like how it took staunch freedom-loving Republican Peter King about four minutes after the shooting to try to declare a complete and total weapons ban within 1000 feet of, um, himself.

  11. karl  •  Jan 16, 2011 @12:25 pm

    Don’t know if anyone else got this impression, but my first thought was that Fuller was showing the (ostensibly pro-gun) Tea Partier how easy it is to shoot someone — just as easy as taking his picture. Without film to hear his tone and see his gestures it’s difficult to know what he meant (although everyone seems to have already accepted the official explanation).

  12. uncledad  •  Jan 16, 2011 @12:56 pm

    Isn’t it odd that their local news affiliate is KGUN 9 news? As has been mentioned here before, I never really heard the left blame anyone on the right directly for the shootings, most were just pointing out how gunplay rhetoric has no place in public discourse, the wing-nuts get overly defensive. I wonder why?

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 16, 2011 @1:28 pm

    A list of the craziness over the last 2+ years.
    http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline

    Let’s play ‘spot the Liberal(s)’ on this list.

    You first, I’m going to go and watch me some football. *

    I’m rooting for the Pats. I don’t particularly love them, but I can’t stand the Jets and their fat blowhard of a Head Coach.

    *If you find one, do let me know. I looked and looked, but maybe I missed one.

  14. ronspri  •  Jan 16, 2011 @1:54 pm

    “in fact, a tendency to violence is one of the things that defines a “leftie.”

    Do you really think they believe this? I often hear them say that the liberals are the ones that just want to sit around and sing kumbaya until we all die.
    The fact is they have no consistent line of thinking. It’s all mush that fits the moment.

    My thought on this is the same as it was at the beginning of all this. Why is it so hard for people to just say my philosophy does not include pre meditated murder as a solution. See…now was that so hard?

  15. maha  •  Jan 16, 2011 @4:04 pm

    Do you really think they believe this? I often hear them say that the liberals are the ones that just want to sit around and sing kumbaya until we all die.
    The fact is they have no consistent line of thinking. It’s all mush that fits the moment.

    I’ve been looking at right-wing websites almost daily for lo these past nine years, and you are right; it’s all a mush that fits the moment. But yes, they sincerely believe that being hateful and violent defines whatever they think “leftism” is. In their minds, the hostility and death wishes they express to us are justified because they are defending themselves from us. I realize that makes no sense, but it’s clear to me that’s how most of them think.

  16. Uzza  •  Jan 16, 2011 @2:32 pm

    The one bright spot in all this, maybe, is that he ended up in a hospital. I wish there was a way to transform all this concern over guns into concern over people. Instead of keeping guns away from crazy people, we should keep crazy people away from guns, and get them help instead.

  17. erinyes  •  Jan 16, 2011 @3:06 pm

    UZZA, if only it were possible.

  18. moonbat  •  Jan 16, 2011 @6:03 pm

    “KGUN9” news? What the hell is it with people in Arizona? Any wonder that Loughner acted like he did?

  19. Linda  •  Jan 16, 2011 @8:28 pm

    Uh, for the record I, as a conservative, certainly don’t have any death wishes fer anybody. Any lower grade hostility I have tends to be the result of being insulted by sweeping generalizations.

    Anyhoo:

    “So, by their own logic, Fuller was just exercising free speech, and Trent Humphries doesn’t have a thing to worry about.”

    That’s not quite my logic. Mine goes like this: I don’t want my political wing blamed for Loughner any more than you want yours blamed for him.

    “That said, I don’t want anyone hurt. And if your opinions can’t be properly expressed without threatening to kill someone, I’d say you have a problem. And that’s true no matter where you fall on the opinion spectrum.”

    Fair enough statement, fair enough.

  20. maha  •  Jan 16, 2011 @10:19 pm

    I don’t want my political wing blamed for Loughner any more than you want yours blamed for him.

    Loughner is a schizophrenic, which isn’t the fault of any “political wing.” The question is whether living within a culture roiling with conspiracy theories and eliminationist rhetoric — which is coming much more from the Right than the Left these days — had any impact on the shape of Loughner’s “issues.” That’s an impossible thing to prove, but it is possible, according to at least one prominent psychiatrist who works with paranoids. And the fact is we’ve had other political murders and attempted murders in recent years, committed by people who really WERE hopped up on right-wing hate speech. See Recent Shootings by Right-Wing Paranoids and More Recent Shootings by Right-Wing Paranoids

    So, instead of being outraged that anyone would accuse the poor, innocent Right of anything wrong, a little self-reflection and contrition would be in order. But I’m not holding my breath. See also:

    Will We Remember Tucson? Was It Enough? Is Anything?

    The Voices in Jared Loughner’s Head Shall Not Be Respected.”

    So I’m sorry if your feelings are being hurt, but several people are dead. Why don’t you suggest to people on the Right that they at least stop punctuating their political opinions with death wishes? Thanks much.

  21. Doug Hughes  •  Jan 16, 2011 @10:41 pm

    The results of an AP poll on HCR and the proposed repeal are out. The numbers show a lack of support for repeal – even among republicans (49%). Among those who want to change the law, the movement is to do MORE to strengthen the law, rather than have it do less.

    The poll straddled the Tucson shooting – it would be interesting to see if the results prior to the shooting differed from the results AFTER.

    http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/pdf/AP-GfK%20Poll%20011411.pdf

    Other tidbits. I heard that Boehner did not attend the memorial even though he was offered a seat on Air Force One. Somewhere else, I read he passed on an invitation to a State dinner – China is in town. So the strategy for Boehner is to appear bipartisan while never getting his picture taken with Obama. This is leadership?

  22. vjbinct  •  Jan 17, 2011 @5:49 pm

    Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”

    Sounds like he was mocking the gun lovers by snarking use of the camera on his phone. Would the use of one of those old-fashioned joke pistols that put out a flag that said, ‘BANG’, be a threat? Sadly, in these days, yes.

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