Let Us Not Bicker About Who Killed Who

Ken AshfordCrime, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Wow.  This paragraph is astounding:

In other words, the Adkisson case provides a case study in the secular demonology of the left. We’re seeing the politics of hatred in action. It’s marked by demands for vengeance and modes of discourse seeking to protect the perceived purity of the liberal sensibility. It is irreligious and opportunistic. It is the repudiation of decency. It is the absence of divine soul. With it, we see the Bush adminstration, John McCain, Bill O’Reilly, and Fox News attacked as the manifestation of the Fourth Reich.

He’s talking about the killing in Tennessee the other day, where Jim David Adkisson walked into a Unitarian Church and opened fire, killing two.  Adkisson wanted to commit suicide-by-cop, and chose that church for one reason and one reason only: because it was "liberal" (it welcomed, for example, gays).  Adkisson’s home was later searched and found to have the standard conservative fare — books by O’Reilly, and Michael Savage and so on.  Adkisson hated liberals.

And liberals on the Internet, myself included, have pointed out this fact.

Liberalhuntingpermit_thumbnailBut somehow by making this point, it is the liberals engaging in the politics of hatred, not the man who shot at liberals because they were liberals.  That’s what the above paragraph is trying to say.

No, sir.  The "politics of hatred in action" happened on Sunday in a little church in Tennessee.  Not on the Internets.  Adkisson’s actions were the by-product of an entire market — in books, radio, and television — to demonize liberals.  It’s a market replete with eliminationist rhetoric, like the time Ann Coulter quipped (as a "joke", of course) that "we need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee"

Or when Limbaugh said (as a "joke", of course):

"I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus — living fossils — so we will never forget what these people stood for."

Try as they might to plead that nobody point out the obvious, conservative pundits simply can’t escape the fact that Adkisson, while clearly mentally ill, was a creature of the rightwing hate machine industry.  And it’s not a stretch to lay indirect blame at the feet of those incidiary conservatives who talk (you know, as a joke) about killing, maiming, incarcerating, deporting liberals.  When you start hearing this stuff enough, it’s not surprising when some people stop thinking you’re "joking" (because, after all, it isn’t funny to begin with), and starting thinking it’s serious.