Friday, November 17, 2006

Home to roost

Have you noticed how conservatives -- you know, the folks big on "personal responsibility" -- squeal like little mandrakes whenever someone calls attention to their culpability in engaging in irresponsible rhetoric that specifically encourages violent and criminal behavior? Especially when the chickens come home to roost?

Rush Limbaugh started this back in 1995 when he protested that the anti-government hate-mongering in which he had specialized for the previous five years had nothing whatsoever to do with the Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building -- and Bill Clinton saying so was just an attempt to silence him.

Nowadays, you've got guys like Rick Moran whining the same tune: "That's just a smear." Even when whacked-out Freepers who are expressly fans of Coulter and Malkin commit acts of domestic terrorism against the same liberals those two constantly demonize.

Well, here's the thing: To be a smear, the charge has to be untrue. Otherwise, it's simply a matter of straight accountability.

And anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that there's a causal connection there. It may not be a matter of legal culpability, but there is a larger moral culpability at issue here that is inescapable.

Now comes today's news that someone sent a batch of poisoned cookies to the Supreme Court:
The news: Each justice on the United States Supreme Court received in the mail "a wonderful package of home-baked cookies" that contained "enough poison to kill the entire membership of the court."

Which, I'm sure the Rick Morans of the world will tell us, has no possible connection to the following remark from Ann Coulter earlier this year:
"We need to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media."

As I wrote at the time:
I've noticed that, for some strange reason, doing away with liberals is a recurring joke for Coulter. Not just recurring -- it's a defnitive obsession.

Take, for instance, all the "jokes" reported in a talk in Texas from Coulter before a hostile college audience:

"This free speech thing is a canard. ... How about not letting traitors teach at universities? Yes, I realize I've just proposed firing the entire Harvard faculty. These institutions can be shaken -- look at Dan Rather. He's out. Or, as I look at it, one down, two to go. We're going to need a much bigger trophy case for all these stuffed heads."

"Some liberals have become even too crazy for Texas to execute, which is a damn shame. They're always saying -- we're oppressed, we're oppressed so let's do it. Let's oppress them."

"Liberals have been attacking America for 30 years and now we've got to hit back."

Among her other notable "jokes" were the time she wished that journalists were targeted by the military, or the time she urged Clinton's assassination as a topic of public discourse, or of course the infamous wish that Tim McVeigh had driven his truck bomb up to the New York Times Building.

Or some of her other notable bon mots:

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too."

"They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn't slowed them down."

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

"I have to say I’m all for public flogging."

"I think [women] should be armed but should not [be allowed to] vote."

"Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."

"My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."

Why, exactly, do we continue to let these hatemongers spew their bile over the national airwaves? Why, exactly, are they not relegated to the far fringes of our discourse?

Because we're just now starting to see the results of allowing them onto the national stage.

NOTE: Yes, it's true that the poisoned cookies were sent in 2005, and Coulter's remark was in January of this year. The point is this: Coulter is one of the leading luminaries in a sustained program of demonization against liberals and government generally -- including so-called "judicial activists" -- for several years now. The "poison" remark was only the capper in a long series of attacks by Coulter on these judges. It was reaching a real fever pitch at the time the poison cookies were sent.

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