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Tea Party America and the Tragedy in Tucson

January 9, 2011

When asked if his 40-year-old daughter, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, had any enemies Spencer Giffords, 75, wept and replied “Yeah, the whole tea party.”

As we’re now seeing with the talking heads and pundits, mostly on Fox News and from conservative radio and press, there is an attempt to deflect the reality of what has happened in Tucson by trying to promote the idea that there is equal blame to be shared across the political spectrum for the rhetoric that seems to have brought us to this point. But of course, we all know that is utter and complete nonsense. On the basic premise that having one side tone it down is not enough, I agree. There is ugly rhetoric on both sides, and nothing will change till both sides change the tone of the debate and disagreement. But to suggest equivalence between the so called left and right is just disingenuous and quite frankly, insulting. Take an extreme progressive activist and gadfly like
Michael Moore. He considers those on the right and opponents like the Bush Administration enemies, and uses extreme rhetoric and ugly innuendo against them. But in his deeds and words, he attacks them with cameras and microphones, not guns. And he tells those who would be supporters or followers to do the same, as he did in the 2004 election when he urged people to go to the polls with cameras and notebooks to defend the right to a fair election, and not to go to the polls with guns and weapons. It really is one thing to go after those with whom you disagree with an intent to embarrass them, and quite another to go after them with the intent to eliminate them.

And let’s face it, violent gun rhetoric from the left would not be very effective since the incidence of tree hugging, granola eating progressives owning guns is a fraction of the Red State, red meat, conservative, Tea Party demographic which at its core is heavily populated with gun toting, gun loving, NRA worshipping people. Fine, that’s their right, but when those in positions of real or percieved authority, be they elected officials like Bachmann or messianic TV and radio personalities like Beck and O’Reilly actually instruct an audience armed with more firepower than the armies of some countries to take up arms against their government or those they disagree with, or carry guns to intimidate or threaten their enemies, or to actually take violent action lik eliminating political opponents or using second amendment remedies to influence congressional legislation, then what can we expect to happen?

And here’s the bottom line…violent death and injury has really only occurred from the right side of the political spectrum, and is likely to increase according to an April 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security Report.

But now the people who, as Sheriff Clarence Dupnik puts it, generate and promote “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people inthe radio business and some people in the TV business” are trying to feel better by making false equivalancies about what they are responsible for. I guess I would too if I were Palin, or Beck, or Murdoch, or O’Reilly, or Bachmann, or Coulter. Otherwise, it would be really hard rationalize their responsibility for what happened in Tucson, and I would imagine pretty hard to live with yourself.


76 Comments leave one →
  1. bob permalink
    February 24, 2011 1:38 am

    Living in Arizona a state that still believes in the Second Amendment I have a problem with two things 1. Is how this madman was able to empty his clip without someone killing him. 2. How your anti-American web sight as this one can blame this mad man’s sick actions on the Tea P arty. Let’s see how can I say this nicely. You are a deranged as the one who was pulling the trigger. Wouldn’t it be easier instead of promoting your agenda here to just grab a piece of wood and peddle south from Florida where your utopia awaits?

    • February 24, 2011 7:20 am

      Wow, thanks for the comment. It is a perfect example of the TP mindset; broad generalization and demonizing of anyone who disagrees with your one world view of what is American and what isn’t, intolerance for any form of dissent, and dismissing people as foreigners or anti-American if you don’t like them. In case it exceeded your reading comprehension, the post didn’t say the TP pulled the trigger, it questions why they don’t stand behind the words and imagery they use when someone essentially does what they say they want to happen. Nothing more, nothing less.

      But again, thanks for providing such a perfect example of TP dogma…hey, you’re not really a liberal plant writing a mean parody of the TP to try and expose them, are you?

  2. January 13, 2011 2:22 am

    I am a Brit and experiencing an anxiety state: the USA is the true engine of democracy in the world and the “knocking” I am now hearing from inside that engine is alarming in the extreme. We are sorry that you can’t undo your gun culture and deprive unstable and hormonal teenagers, drug addicts and other undesirables from legally obtaining weapons, but we are angry that you even think about giving us a “leader of the free world” like Palin, someone who uses cowpoke imagery and gun lore to talk about solutions! People of my age remember the years following Roosevelt and Eisenhower, and the kind compassion of American GIs. A time when we truly aspired to “be Americans”. Now the divide between the conservative and the compassionate has bred a level of vitriol that makes people compare the USA to countries teetering on the brink of a fascist takeover. The comments of people like Palin and Glenn Beck give us cause for true concern. America has no shortage of geniuses in the fields of science, literature and the arts, but it seems that no one of intellect can take on the political mantle and hope to persuade the US electorate to vote for a “third way” or even for uniting as Americans to defeat poverty and ill health and to pay off the Chinese and Japanese “mortgages” on your country. If your votes fall on the side of the Palins, you will drag us all down or thrust us into an economic war.

    • Mama Grisly Akhbar! permalink
      January 15, 2011 12:20 am

      from what I’ve heard and read, most of the GIs in combat are decent guys.
      it’s the Glenn Beck chickenhawk teacrazies who love seeing “the tree of liberty” watered on the streets of the USA.

  3. jerry wayne borchardt permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:41 pm

    The Monday following the tragedy in Arizona, our IT officer at work called me over to his desk with a grin on his face. He has a Miss Me Yet? pro-Bush sign on his door. He hated Bill Clinton, mistrusts Obama, and has encouraged others at work to watch Glenn Beck.

    He called me over to show me a new video someone had e-mailed him. It was a video of Pelosi handing the speaker’s gavel to Boehner. However, the video had been altered to show Boehner taking the gavel and then slamming it down on Pelosi’s head. After Pelosi falls to the ground, Boehner stands over her angrily and threateningly.

    The IT guy laughed out load and said he got a big kick out the video. This was only two days after a Democratic congresswoman was shot in the head. Incredible.

    Now I hear that Rush Limbaugh is telling his audience that Democrats and liberals wanted such a tragedy as that in Arizona to occur, for political reasons.

    Folks, things are getting really strange out there in the land of the Dark Right.

  4. Sue permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:38 pm

    I think all the bull going on in Congress may not be the official cause of this tragedy but it’s not that far away. A congress man showing his respect to our President by yelling out “You lier,” and instead of talking about facts of health care the Republicans make up “death panels.” One of the biggest problems in this country is the way our government chooses not to work. Our reps are more interested in selfish, political or monetary gains than running the country by and for the people.

    I have one solution. Put in term limits. Sure, no one is going to vote to put limits on themselves, but when our “leaders” in congress can get away with wasting time with games and lies something needs to change. If they only had two terms maybe they would get back to the business of running the country and not their mouths. Our congress is spoiled, rotten brats who need to be spanked and sent to their rooms to think about what they have done (or not done). It is ridiculous that Americans have put up with all of this crap.

    I have lots more to say but family comes first and they are yelling for attention.

    May God help us all.

    • cooldey permalink
      January 15, 2011 11:37 am

      enough said and said well thank you

  5. January 12, 2011 5:28 pm

    I’m a slow learner. It is now clear to me that this site
    is a site of negativity. The first word in the title is “DON’T”.
    Your site is prejudiced because it denounces ALL participants in the Tea Party
    in its title.

    My ignorance was I thought a young site might be able to talk about things
    rationally. Not so here, as far as I can see.

    Most who come to this site want to talk about blaming specific people
    and never once, have I seen in this tread a single issue discussed the way
    Rep Giffords would have wanted.


    • January 12, 2011 8:17 pm


      Ok, I hear you. We will not necessarily agree on many things, but despite how I’ve responded, whether it is as a smart ass or a jerk, I do appreciate your participation in the discussion, your passion for what you believe, and your willingness to put it out there. As Americans, we have a lot more in common than we do differences.

      Whether or not you choose to share again, thanks. I don’t hate you, I only disagree on some things.

      Thanks again.

      E. Gray.

  6. Jan Whitebear permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:50 pm

    Actually, he didn’t hire any high powered attorneys to represent him. He now has two court appointed attorneys. Free of charge to him. The state pays for this using tax money. So, actually, the tax payers of AZ are paying for his defense.

    • Annamarie Miller permalink
      January 13, 2011 8:11 am

      Hello Jan,

      The shooter does not have court appointed counsel. Look it up, he has a female attorney who is well known for defending “insane” attackers. She is very well paid too.

      Annamarie Miller

      • g crane permalink
        January 13, 2011 10:12 am
        Judy Clarke is a court appointed defender.

      • Ron permalink
        January 13, 2011 3:12 pm

        it’s so tiring to read comments and see “look it up” as a response. no, if you have facts or links or book titles, then by all means please put them up here for us to *start* building our own informed opinion. doesn’t matter what “side” you are on, we should be factually informing people and not simply stating our own opinions and falling back on “look it up yourself” as your research tool. stop this shallow behavior now.

  7. H8dogma permalink
    January 11, 2011 11:23 pm

    There are republican operatives that are paid to get on liberal blogs and push their ideology regardless of whether or not information is accurate. (Koch Brothers)

    This issue, about hate speech, is who gets to frame the debate. So far, the Tea Party is winning important. It is whether we will be able to keep our basic first amendment rights. Pre-Civil War
    rhetoric was outrageous from the South, so much so that thousands of murderous, some surely insane thugs surged into Kansas to force their pro slavery politics on Kansans.

    It seems the beginning of every fascist regime suffered this type of thugery in the early stages.
    Every major event seems to be pre staged by a fight over the media. Whether it is radio stations
    Printing presses or internet. Keeping this in mind, it is easy to see why the Koch Brothers, Murdock and others are so desperate to control the media. Because they can’t sell the idea of
    transfering all of the country’s wealth to the rich AND powerful to the general public, they
    resort to selling fear and obfuscation which many people subscribe.

    Add then to that the Supreme Court ruling endowing Corporations the status of “personhood”.

    Progressives, there is plenty to fear. This violence and violent rhetoric is intended to silence
    the opposition. When fear starts to creep in, people begin to measure what they say. Soon,
    they stop speaking.

    So my short opinion (HA!) is that this conversation is right on target. This is exactly the issue that
    should be discussed. E. Gray, thankyou for keeping this topic centered on the most important issue of the day, perhaps our lives. If one wishes to discuss politics or economics at this time
    don’t let them change the subject. there is always the Economist. I’d like to hear Ed’s comments some other time. I think he just wants liberals to change the subject. We need to stay focused, or lose it.

  8. Annamarie Miller permalink
    January 11, 2011 8:09 am

    Hello E. Gray:

    Who’s to blame when it’s a down and dirty game? It is interesting to observe that an individual with a history of drug arrest could purchase a weapon. It is also interesting to hear that the same individual has been described by his teachers from the college that expelled him, and others in his life, as unstable. Who is screening people who buy guns? The folks who allowed an individual such as this to “fall through the cracks” and become aligned with a hate group that encourages violence in order to achieve political goals, are partly to blame. Also, where is all the money coming from to fund this individual’s top flight attorney? It’s fascinating to think that if he’s completely insane and in need of psychiatric help — all of a sudden, that he could have the sense (and finances) to seek out the high powered defense attorney he’s got — all by himself. Remember the unstable, and paid, operative in Kentucky who stomped on a young woman’s head? Certain political groups will purposely seek out unstable people, and give them a sense of purpose, then use them for their “insane” behavior as a tool of intimidation. Certain political groups are well funded and can hire the expensive attorney to clean up the mess. Then, even if the defense attorney can’t win the case, oh well – the political group doesn’t take the fall because it was the “insane defendant” who did the shooting.

    The fact remains that every single American citizen has an obligation to pay attention, get involved and be on high alert for family members, co-workers or neighbors who have the potential of becoming tools for a large organization that is feeding hate messaging out. Violence, rather than reasonable debate, during political gatherings is being encouraged. Americans must all step up and recognize what is going on an work to restore all of our rights. Our nation is based on civilized debate for the resolution of internal issues!

    We must all become inspired to protect the U. S. Constitution and stop the misuse of our country’s laws before we completely witness the end of what it means to be American. Does anyone recognize what the Patriot Act and FISA have done to set us up for being kept silent “if someone in the government decides it’s necessary”? Does anyone recognize that we’ve put too much control into the hands of the FBI when they can determine whether someone’s Asthmatic kid should have Sudafed for a headcold or not? Does anyone recognize that we’ve put too much control into the hands of social case workers who close files, clock out for the day and go home while small children are trapped in homes where they are beaten to death (or worse)? Every one of us has the right to feel safe in our own communities, especially the most vulnerable among us. If the systems we have in place regarding the purchase of firearms allows people such as Ms. Giffords’ attacker to buy guns, then we’ve got a lot of work to do as citizens.

    Here’s one more observation before I sign off here. Remember the well paid Secret Service employees that surrounded former President Bush the day he had a shoe thrown at his face? Let me correct that, he ducked under the first shoe and then had to duck under a SECOND shoe! Every single American citizen should demand more from our paid government employees — especially those responsible for protecting us from unstable gun buyers. The unstable people are easily used as tools, just think about the mentality of a suicide bomber.

    Annamarie Miller

    • January 11, 2011 9:33 am

      Thanks. Good comment. Agree 100% about the issue of responsibilities, gun access, holding ourselves and others accountable. Perhaps there are some political or philosophical nuances that I a may respectfully disagree with you on, but that is the strength of our democracy and our right. Again, thanks for contributing.

    • michael sweeney permalink
      January 12, 2011 4:36 pm

      1963, 1968. what if they had the (legal) firearms they have now? Reagan? oh, his shooter was mentally ill (of course). This, JFK, is where it started, this is where it’s led. Conspiracy? look where we are compared to where we may have been. forget the much publicized personal indiscretions, this was the Man. they took him out, ‘Morning in America”. now we have murders, blanket threats of same, ‘outhouse’ innuendo, fear mongering Piggies. make no mistake, it’s been coming, they are making their move(s) and threatening the entire citizenry and our country. Stand up and be heard, a ‘hard rain’s gonna fall’.

  9. January 10, 2011 8:47 pm

    You don’t get the picture. It’s not about Palin, Beck, Sheriff, O, Schultz, or E. Gray. It’s about
    issues. If you continue to talk about people and not issues, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!

    Stifle it and talk about issues.

    Here’s a start.

    Do you think Social Security is the Best Possible Solution to WHAT problem?
    [2 questions in that one;
    What is the problem SS solves?
    Is SS best possible solution?]

    Make this site an ISSUES site not a Blame Someone site.

    • January 10, 2011 8:55 pm

      A 9 year old government program was not murdered in Tucson. A 9 year old girl was. Why the hell do you want to talk about SS? People died. People’s words and intentions, and their impact are what the discussion is about, not SS or abstract political philosophies.

    • Real American with no job permalink
      January 10, 2011 11:34 pm

      You sir ARE the problem. your Gods like rush and beck with
      their trickle down hate ARE an issue and THE PROBLEM. Heck you
      can’t even get your RIGHT WING SOCIAL SECURITY talking points
      correct. I would say you are a product of the right’s non-concern
      with public education but I fear nothing could educate
      you……especially not even the death of a child. HAVE YOU NO

    • michael sweeney permalink
      January 12, 2011 4:57 pm

      social security is a contract between the govt and its citizens that they will have SOMETHING when, if they can make it, in their later years to survive (try that on less than $2000 a month, before deductions for medicare, drug coverage, which is what my wife and I receive; and we get to pay taxes on it!). compare this to govt, federal/state, teachers, military, etc., pensions. and the audacity to cut off payment to system by the well to do, and give them a tax break while your at it. how’s that for starters?
      what’s ‘wrong’ with medicare besides unfair contributions by the wealthy, raiding ss funds by congress? gosh, I don’t know? I’m sure a lot more that 5 don’t know

    • skinyb permalink
      January 13, 2011 9:09 pm

      The topic today is not social security. The topic today is the tragedy in Tucson.
      Why do you want to get off the subject? Is it because you , as a conservative, want to avoid discussion of the problem? You must feel some guilt that it may be true that the hate talk from the conservative talk shows spew out daily. People who are on the edge are easily persuaded to do deeds for those who refuse to do it themselves. All this talk about the moral majority??????????????

  10. Wibble wobble permalink
    January 10, 2011 6:19 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how little people appreciate that one individual’s actions are the result of many, many factors. Of course it’s not the case that sarah palin might as well have pulled the trigger, but that crosshairs picture on her website lends fuel to the fire. It’s not the case that shock jocks alone make people angry enough to go out and start shooting people, but heck, if it was concluded that one particular radio station in rwanda played a disproportionately big role in the genocide there, how can you claim that the effect is neutral? Maybe it’s just naive old me, the misguided brit/european again, but at what point did people stop being affected by their surroundings, by the people they meet, hear, see and speak with? It’s pretty scary from this side of the pond just how nasty some of the rhetoric has got, and if I were an american, I’d be doing all I could to find a way to stop the current direction of travel some of you seem set on, because you’re doing your country no favours and right now the only place the bus seems headed is over a cliff.

    • January 10, 2011 8:25 pm

      A butterfly flutters its wings in Hong Kong, a hurricane happens in Miami.
      Chaos Theory.
      INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY is the only thing rational people should require of other rational people. I can find any number of asinine statements by Communists/Socialists/Leftists. You can find any number of asinine statements by Conservatives/Tea_Party_Types/…
      If, here, you don’t talk about issues, YOU [E. Gray] fuel the fire.

      Change the subject here now to ISSUES and not blame/Palin/Rush/People/Groups or you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      • January 10, 2011 8:28 pm

        Ed, you are so blinded by the obfuscation of Fox it is truly frightening.

      • January 10, 2011 8:35 pm

        You need to tone down BLAME. Either do that
        or lose your audience. People accept errors in others.
        What they do not accept is continuing hate. If you continue to just blame people for differing from your ideology, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
        Up your game, please. Stop talking about people and START talking about issues.

        ISSUES, not people.

      • January 10, 2011 8:44 pm

        No Ed, I don’t.

      • Real American with no job permalink
        January 10, 2011 11:36 pm

        Once again you are off in la-la land as sarah and rush and
        beck and your heroes have NEVER taken any personal responsibility
        but the sure like to preach it. Once again HAVE YOU NO

      • H8dogma permalink
        January 11, 2011 10:16 pm

        Ed, this IS the issue. When people are frightened by gun toting groups, and extremely dangerous, life threatening rhetoric, we all lose a major guarantee of our constitution. Freedom of speech. When citizens began to fear voicing their opinions, because of violent threats and actual attacks, our freedoms are diminished. I am sorry, but this sounds similar to pre-brown shirt actions in Germany.

      • Ron permalink
        January 13, 2011 3:18 pm

        chaos theory! lol. if that’s your definition of chaos theory, you need to study science more! oh right, you tea party people don’t believe in science!!

  11. January 10, 2011 2:51 pm

    “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out” – is a link. Just Google it actually, it’s better than your selected links because Google or Bing will find all references to it.
    “I hope Tony Snow dies” – is also a link.
    “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out” – also a link.

    That’s the new thing about the Internet. You don’t need long url’s with no information content to private locations, to locations you know about or selected locations that contain only your point of view. With my references anyone can read both sides. Up your game.

    Your references to murderers are references to murders. Are you saying those murderers were leaders of any political movements? that rational people listened to them?

    If you think Laughner is a disciple of the right, you make the same mistake “The police acted stupidly” made. Both statements are made with little or no knowledge and are examples of pre-judging people’s motives — something psychiatrists do only with great difficulty and you seem to do with great ease.

    This is a blame game — a pissing contest.
    Issues, not people.
    I quit.

  12. January 10, 2011 1:45 pm

    RE: “But to suggest equivalence between the so called left and right is just disingenuous and quite frankly, insulting.”
    I don’t suggest equivalence. I suggest the left has been more vitriolic than
    the right by far. All you had to do was see the hate targeting our President for 8 years
    and you would recognize that. All you had to see was “I hope Tony Snow Dies” on DailyKos
    or the Assassination of President Bush movie. All you have to do is look at the profane language and the name calling on AlterNet, HuffPo,MoveOn,DailyKos to see more hate than Glenn, Bill, Sarah, Rush, Michael, Mark, or any of the media people have ever said.

    If you thing anyone on Fox news or any other media has extolled people to buy guns and use them, please publish credible evidence. I read/watch all of the above sites and Fox,ABC,CBS,NBC,MSNBC and those sites above are by far more vitriolic than any of Fox or MSM.

    Cap that off with “if they bring a knife, we bring a gun”, “Republicans are our enemies” and O is cozying up to the far left flamethrowers. Recall, all the Dem’s went to the DailyKos convention the year it published and let stand “I hope Tony Snow Dies”.

    Beck says peaceful all the time.
    O’Reilly seldom talks about guns and never recommends violence.

    But the left has

    “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out” – Ed Schultz

    The truth is metrics have been taken and the left is more virolent that the right by far.

    Even on this blog, name calling happens. Attributing motivation to people you don’t know is a form of prejudice (“The police acted stupidly”). Ask questions. State facts. Identify the real problems, but don’t call people “moron” or vulgar terms unless you want to lump your self into the vitriolic class.

    STOP NOW and talk issues only. If you don’t know the facts, ask. I answer very simple questions politely and ask even simpler ones. Everyone is ignorant about something; I’m ignorant about a lot of things.

    • January 10, 2011 2:06 pm

      I have provided many links that show the dangerouos rhetoric of the right, you have provided none. And apparently you’ve decided to not reference the ones used to illustrate points made here. I will continue to respectfully disagree with you. Both sides have been ugly, but the disciples of the right have planned or initiated more violent acts (Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh Police killing, Capitol Police killing, Huratee Militia plan to kill Michigan State troopers, Tuscon). You cite out of context quotes and inappropriate statements from the left that can be matched easily by ones just as ugly from the right (remember what was said about Sen. Kennedy after his passing?). Sadly, you cannot produce the same body count though. That is a statistic that the right owns easily.

    • January 10, 2011 2:08 pm

      “Beck says peaceful all the time.”
      “O’Reilly seldom talks about guns and never recommends violence.”

      And BTW Ed, at the risk of coming off mean, the fact that you actually wrote those two sentences, just makes you look absolutely foolish, really, it does. I’m sorry.

      • Frank permalink
        January 12, 2011 3:58 pm

        E. Gray it does make him look foolish to write those sentences. It does however make you look petty for saying that.

      • January 12, 2011 5:09 pm

        You’re right, I’m sorry Ed.

    • Real American with no job permalink
      January 10, 2011 11:40 pm

      Are you talking about the little man w who took this nation
      from a balanced budget to TWO WARS and the DECIMATION of our
      economy? Why heck yes I can understand people hating him. What I
      can’t understand is how anyone could defend him or like him
      anymore. He is a little man, just like what you see when you look
      in the mirror!

  13. tso permalink
    January 10, 2011 11:58 am

    Mr. Bradford,
    What happens when you get picked for a traffic infraction and cannot show proof of insurance?

  14. Bonebag permalink
    January 9, 2011 6:31 pm

    And these are the folks who say that they are reasonable!

  15. Wibble wobble permalink
    January 9, 2011 2:17 pm

    As a Brit and european, dare I say it but you could learn a lot by looking across the pond. As far as I can see what you’re developing now in the states is a strain of nationalism, and an argument about who is truly american or not. Ffs, you intervened, thankfully in two wars in europe created by a similar strain of ideology, and if you can’t see the irony – and learn the lessons from that – then I don’t like the look of your future. Get over it or you’ll only suffer in the future.

    • Midge permalink
      January 9, 2011 3:59 pm

      I agree. It is a sad time in America, we are being derailed by the hatred of the right wing. How do we fix that? I know I have taken action with a national website with ground organizers in each state to hold our elected officials accountable.

      The website is I invite all who want to see change take place to join us as an activist for your state.

      The events of yesterday have left this country shaken. We all saw it coming, everyone was warned but no one in the right wing government listened.

      • al voxo permalink
        January 9, 2011 6:37 pm

        one g in progressive gets the link

      • January 9, 2011 6:52 pm

        Thanks for catching that!

      • January 10, 2011 1:49 am

        Over the span of time since the hanging chads, vitriole and hate has spewed forth from the left. Cross hairs on GWB, a movie about his assassination, “I hope Tony Snow dies” on the Daily Kos site, MMFA, AlterNet, HuffPo, all excede anything seen before in America. Palin’s cross hairs were on a political district, not a person. The leader since 2009 of the vitriole has been our President. He promised to bring American together but has, every step of his Presidency, divided. He can’t open his mouth without dis-ing the Chamber of Commerce, Banks, Auto Companies, Insurance companies, Fox news, Glenn Beck, Oil Companies, Las Vegas, and his own mother.

        It is President Obama who should stand down lead the nation in reconciling the divisiveness he has created.

      • January 10, 2011 10:30 am

        On the basic premise that having one side tone it down is not enough, I agree. There is ugly rhetoric on both sides, and nothing will change till both sides change the tone of the debate and disagreement. But to suggest equivalance between the so called left and right is just disengenious. Take an extreme progressive activist and gadfly like Michael Moore. By deed and and by statement he considers those on the right and the Bush Administration enemies, but he attacks them with cameras and microphones, not guns. And he tells those who would be supporters or followers to do the same, as he did in the 2004 election when he urged people to go to the polls with cameras and notebooks to defend the right to a fair election, and not to go to the polls with guns and weapons. And let’s face it, the incidence of tree hugging, granola eating progressives owning guns is a fraction of the Red State, red meat, conservative, Tea Party demographic which at its core is heavily populated with gun toting, gun loving, NRA worshipping people. Fine, that’s their right, but when those in positions of real or perceieved authority, be they elected officials like Bachmann or messianic TV and radio personalities like Beck and O’Reilly actually instruct people to take up arms, use guns, or take violent action intended to eliminate, and not embarrass those they consider enemies, it’s a whole other ball game my friend. And here’s the bottom line…violent death and injury has really only occurred from the right, and is likely to increase according to an April 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security Report. So if it makes you feel better to try and make false equivalancies, go ahead. I would too if I were Palin, or Beck, or Murdoch, or O’Reilly, or Bachmann, or Coulter. Otherwise, it would be really hard rationalize the responsibility for what happened in Tucson.

    • January 10, 2011 4:24 pm

      It is sad. Too bad Americans have decided that history is
      too boring and thus of no value.

  16. Sue Sutton permalink
    January 9, 2011 1:42 pm

    Back in when was it, the 90’s? Anyway, the time doesn’t matter, I had to think carefully as a union member with an excellent health plan what I really thought about the fact that my coverage might not be as rich if we went to single-payer, universal coverage. In the end, I decided that it was an acceptable sacrifice to cure an unacceptable ill in our society – the rationing of health care on the basis of insurance coverage. You have insurance or are fabulously wealthy enough to cover any and all costs – you’re OK. NO insurance? Nots so rich? Too bad – you lose. MOrally unacceptable in my book.

    My concerns with what you call ObamaCare are that it is a gimme to the insurance companies and that it will not fulfill its stated goal of providing coverage to all legal residents in the US.

    • January 9, 2011 2:37 pm

      Your union “benefits” might not be as safe as if they were in your hands.
      Prichard, AL is experiencing Union and Government “agreements” today and the
      outcome doesn’t look good. That is an example of other people managing your money.
      Union officials and local government officials where you are not at the top of their list.
      Had all that money been given to you AND R’s and D’s said you could put it
      only in T-Bills and it would be Tax free, you would be far better off that even with Social Security.
      They didn’t and Prichard public employees are screwed. Illinois is next on the list.

      It’s not going to be pretty this year.

      I’m not willing to go down the toilet to bailout Prichard, Illinois or CA UNLESS
      there is a permanent fix to the financial sustainability of HC, SS. It must be provably
      actuarially sound before I would stop denouncing plans and start supporting the solution.

      There are non-governmental or minimum-governmental solutions for both SS and HC. Until
      representatives propose and pass such laws, I oppose any further government involvement as it
      is just digging a deeper hole.

      All I can see is politicians wanting to control the money. When that problem
      is eliminated, problems like SS and HC will improve.

      • Bonebag permalink
        January 9, 2011 6:34 pm

        Sorry, are those the selfsame T bills that bankrupted Mississippi! Is this not the selfsame stock market that still gives large bonuses to corporate executives while stiffing stockholders?
        Yeah! Try again!

      • January 10, 2011 1:25 pm

        T-Bills refers to United States Treasury Bills. To my knowledge they have never bankrupted anyone. Those are what your SS $ are “invested” in. As for the stock market, if you have been in it for 34 years or longer and exited at the 64% mark of the recent crash (the lowest point) you would still have been better off with your investment than SS. Had you started investing in 1992 or later AND wanted to retire at the bottom you would have lost. I don’t consider any Retirement investment shorter than the 21-66 {=40+ years} metric of SS a legitimate RETIREMENT investment.

        In fact, investing in the “stock market” [DOW JONES Average] you always do better than SS if you stay in for 33 years or longer. Most of the time it’s 2 or 3x what SS gives you AND if you die, your heirs get something.

        No one in the “market” for longer than 33 years lost anything compared to SS “investment”. That statement is true for any 33 year period starting any month since 1906. SS is purely a Ponzi scheme designed to put low interest money in the hands or our legislators. It will fail under current design.

  17. E.B.Eichbauer permalink
    January 9, 2011 1:27 pm

    God forbid it comes to this – but if Congresswoman Giffords is unable to finish out the term she was elected to, I call on the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, to appoint a Democrat to fill the vacancy.
    Killing a Democratic Congressional person in a state led by a Republican Governor might just be the thought process of those far right lunatics as a method for undermining the electoral system.
    As TeaBag candidate Sharon Angle (NV) stated numerous times (google it) if we don’t get what we want then we need to take the remedies afforded us by the 2nd Amendment (Paraphrased).
    I firmly believe that Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman, Jesse Kelly (the TeaBag opponent of Rep Gifford) and other purveyors of advocating violence to achieve what they view as “right” for America should be held accountable for this senseless act of violence. Encouraging violence against a federal official is a crime. All of them facilitated leading this depraved young man to this horrific act.
    Hopefully, every Republican Governor, but especially Governor Brewer, will publicly vow to replace any Democrat unable to serve as a result of this type action will be replaced by another Democrat.

  18. January 9, 2011 10:44 am

    You must include in your denunciations the leader of the free world for saying
    “the Republicans are our enemy”
    “if they bring a knife, we bring a gun”
    “bring’em on”
    Consider also, that 1/2 of America opposed HC when it was passed and 60% do now. That
    kind of government is tyrannical and should be removed (peacefully). Nov, 2010 and Nov 2012
    will accomplish that, but until that happens, the leader of the free world should stand down on his offensive rhetoric.

    • C. Milse permalink
      January 9, 2011 12:11 pm

      Please will you publish where you are getting your figures from on opposition to health care reform?

      • January 9, 2011 12:22 pm

        He doesn’t use one because he wants to cherry pick things to support a point of view, and take quotes out of context by excluding the full statement and purpose. Here is another link. 14% No Opinion + 40% Vote to let stand = 54% either vote to let stand or no opinion versus 46% vote to repeal.

      • January 9, 2011 12:59 pm

        Rasmussen reports.
        However, polls are skewed by the questions.

        When one party passes a law no one in the other party supports and many American don’t support, (Nov, 2010), it is obvious a political agenda is being pursued, not a reasonable, workable solution to any HC problem.

        I read the bill and you don’t want to know what is in it. Nancy didn’t either.

      • Sue Sutton permalink
        January 9, 2011 1:35 pm

        I read the bill, and while I don’t entirely love it, it is a good start in the correct direction.

    • January 9, 2011 12:14 pm

      “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Helps to put in the whole quote in for accuracy. And ‘bring em on’ was Bush’s statement, which no doubt has contributed to military deaths. But yea, they equate to stated threats to take up arms, and carrying weapons to rallies, or throwing rocks through opponents campaign HQ windows. And BTW, 54% of Americans either oppose the effort to repeal HC or they have no opinion. Please try to be accurate.

      • January 9, 2011 12:55 pm

        It all depends on which polls you read and the kinds of questions they ask.
        Lots of people want free heath care. Lots of people want to pay for their own health care. Why is Gov forcing people to buy INSURANCE for something that is SCHEDULED. That is an oxymoron.

        If O had aimed at and attempted to solve the Health Care problem he would have found support. Instead, he aimed at controlling the money thinking he could shrink the costs. Price controls always result in scarcity and a black market. I predict HC law will drive Ins prices up (I think that is happening) and shrink the supply of doctors (we are 2-nd lowest in Dr’s/1000 people in NA and Europe, just above Canada).

        All my doctors I have talked with don’t like it.

        I don’t like Ocare for the following reasons:

        1. The “Secretary” can make regulations that are “beyond judicial review”, thus making your health care a function of the Secretary du Jour’s personality/politics.

        2. If I pay for my own HC, I can chose what is covered. With OCare, I cannot.

        3. I cannot pay for my own HC because I am penalized (taxed).

        4. I believe it highly unlikely privacy in the Gov databases can be achieved [recall all
        those FBI dossiers in the White House]

        5. Medicare/Medicaid is based on the same Ponzi scheme financing that SS is based on. SS is unsustainable. HC (Medicare/Medicaid) is more expensive than SS and is equally unsustainable. The unsustainability will almost certainly result in reduced coverage, bigger deficits and lines for health services.

        [There’s more, but you probably get my general gist]

        Why do you like it?

        Sadly, HC problems in this country (and SS) can be solved with minimal government
        involvement for all — including the very poor. However, it seems our R and D leaders would rather control the money than solve those problems. If almost anyone was given all the facts AND requirements, that person could come up with a better solution than SS. The same thinking applies to HC.

      • January 9, 2011 1:12 pm

        Here is a reason I support HC reform. Also, free market HC in the US has resulted in a corporate controlled and manipulated system that discriminates based on profits with the emphasis being to enrich those in power and not on helping individuals. Take a look at HC Insurance CEO compensation from 2008:

        Ins. Co. & CEO With 2008 Total CEO Compensation

        * Aetna, Ronald A. Williams: $24,300,112
        * Cigna, H. Edward Hanway: $12,236,740
        * Coventry, Dale Wolf: $9,047,469
        * Health Net, Jay Gellert: $4,425,355
        * Humana, Michael McCallister: $4,764,309
        * U. Health Group, Stephen J. Hemsley: $3,241,042
        * Wellpoint, Angela Braly: $9,844,212

        For context, Angela Brly earns around $39k PER DAY, so that means that on January 2nd she has earned more than 66% of American households earn in a year.

      • January 9, 2011 1:03 pm

        Re Offensive remarks.
        Context is irrelevant. Don’t change the subject.
        The remarks are offensive, divisive and inflammatory. O should not
        have made those remarks, just like he should not have said “the police
        acted stupidly” or “she was a typical white woman”. O has created the
        most divisive American in my lifetime. He can bring us together by simply
        acknowledging his mistakes publicly and sinning no more.

      • January 9, 2011 1:16 pm

        Yep, offensive, ill advised, and stupid. Hey no one’s perfect. But it falls short of most of the rhetoric and actual behavior of many in the TP, and many of their defacto leaders. During the left’s anger w/ Bush, there was ugly language and imagery, but I don’t recall threats of armed insurrection and brandishing arms to intimidate. Of course, the DOJ under Bush/Cheney would not tolerate it and they were not to be trifled with, as we now well know.

    • Real American with no job permalink
      January 10, 2011 11:45 pm

      Please stop quoting your made up percentages. Just cause
      you say it or repeat what some other idiot says does not make it
      true……except in your feeble mind.

      • EnglishmaninNH permalink
        January 12, 2011 5:38 pm

        I have been fortunate to never really have to interact with
        any of these, urm, patriots until the other day when they invaded
        en masse a thread on the Guardian which was drawing a parallel with
        the events in Tucson with the rhetoric on the right of Americas
        politics. Man, what a complete bunch of nutters! The above quote
        from The Untouchables must have been posted a thousand times (along
        with a number of other similar) to “prove” that the Democrats were
        just as “guilty” of violent rhetoric. And in some ways they have a
        point. But that point is then completely undermined by using
        dubious and down right incorrect facts. My favourite – the fact
        that amongst the list of books that Loughner had listed (on
        Facebook?) included Mein Kampf. This was time after time stated to
        be a “left wing” tract and that the Third Reich was politically on
        the left of the spectrum. Bugger me, I thought – here was me under
        the impression that you couldn’t get much right wing than Hitler
        but it seems that I (and most of the rest of the world) have been
        wrong all this time. If that is the accepted way of thinking
        amongst these people (and it would seem to be) why is anyone
        surprised by the blood libel remark?

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