Krugman on political violence

The calls for civility following the weekend’s event’s in Arizona are all very well, but Krugman sets out the contrast plainly between the parties:

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

I couldn’t agree more.  The most bizarre moment this weekend was having Sarah Palin’s spokesperson claim the infamous cross hairs on her boss’s congressional target map didn’t actually have anything to do with guns.

19 Comments

  1. Jeff

    January 10, 2011 at 9:59 am

    OK… Let’s assume that everyone who listens to O’Reilly, Beck and Limbaugh is incapable of original thought. I tend to believe it myself. And to be politically correct here, since this is the Progressive Pulse, I’ll throw those listeners/adherents of Olbermann, Maddow and even Krugman in the same group of people who can’t think for themselves.

    This shooting was commited by an individual, motivated by his own demons and his own self interests. To suggest otherwise without proof is misleading at best and yellow journalism to the extreme.

    Condemn the act… certainly. Condemn the individual, by all means. But, to accuse anyone else without evidence is foolish. It would be the same as if I blamed you for this article (Will NC state legislators who vote against health reform give up their own free taxpayer-funded health coverage?) posted here on Jan. 5th, for any act that someone may commit against a member of the NCGA.

  2. Tothepoint

    January 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I agree 100%.

    The facts now show that this nutcase was neither influenced by rhetoric from the right or left. Those darn facts eventually get in the way of the agenda! Its not Sarah Palins fault. Nor Glen Beck or Rush.

    A tragic situation created by a distrubed and crazy individual.

    Yet this is no more tragic than a family being gunned downed in an intercity neighborhood by a driveby shooter.

    But one only has to look at the reaction from progressives and left leaning media on the Ft Hood suspect as comapred to this tragic situation. It was the same with the Duke Lacross players. It shows the hypocisy that is a consistent theme in progressive rhetoric.

    And while this is a tragic siutation, it clearly does not rise to the level that it currently possesses in the 24/7 media. We are now starting to see the media frenzy and reporting the story becoming more than the tragic story itself.

    I mean, ABC goes and gets the parents of the 9 year old killed girl to do an interview? Less than 24 hours. Thats just wrong.

    It is pretty pathetic how liberals are attempting to use a tragic event to try an make a case. Pathetic all the way around.

    I guess they are still searching for why they lost in November because they still don’t want to accept the reasons they lost so badly (worse drubbing of a political party in 80 years for the house).

    As for what Paul Krugman has to say. Most poeple really don’t care.

  3. missedPoint

    January 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Is is it unreasonable to believe that a charismatic leader can intentionally or unintentionally be a catalyst for violent behavior in a group of followers? Is it unreasonable to believe that a leader and his/her team know that their may be “nut cases” hanging on every word that they say? If those are reasonable things to believe. Would it be irresponsible to intentionally or unintentionally incite followers with rhetoric that could bring about a violent response?

    There a ton of extreme examples in history. Some examples are Jim Jones, Stalin, Lenin, Adolf Hitler… etc. All of these people came to power because followers listened to there words first. The rest came later. It never ceases to amaze me, when followers actually carry out actions that may or may not be implied, that the leaders are not held accountable and do not accept responsibility for their own complicity. In this country, we hold the planner guilty when they have someone else kill for them. Just as if they pulled the trigger themselves.

    When is it appropriate to intentionally or unintentionally promote violence?

  4. Adam Searing

    January 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Jeff – in my “legislator’s own health insurance” I didn’t put gunsight cross hairs on members legislative districts, I didn’t (like Boehner) call a fellow state Congressional rep a “dead man” for their health care vote, I didn’t (like Angle) talk about “second amendment remedies”, I didn’t (like Beck) joke about poisoning Pelosi. It’s that sort of behavior that creates a climate where nutcases think it’s OK to go shoot members of Congress.

  5. Jeff

    January 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Exactly my point Adam. Nothing you wrote would incite any normal being to shoot another. It may cause them to spew a few expletives in your direction, but never shoot at you. And I don’t recall anyone shooting at W or any other federal official based on whats been printed or said over the past several years.( Dick Cheney was the shooter, not the shootee. )
    The guy was a nut-job and he was going to shoot someone regardless. I don’t think his politics (bed wetting collectivist) attributed to the act at all, just his choice of victim.
    As to Boehner-Angle-Beck, there have been sites on the other side depicting the same rhetoric, so don’t play “Sticks or Stones” or any other word game second-graders resort to… and for Pete’s sake don’t ask me to come to their defense again.

  6. Tothepoint

    January 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    There is absolutely no proof what-so-ever that any of the rhetoric from Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any other so called “right wing” talking head had anything to do with the tragedy.

    Not one ounce of proof. Not one shred of evidence.

    Oh! But it must say it does cries the liberal press and TV talking heads. How else would you explain such a tragic event? There could be no other rational explanation.

    What this is, is a case of shameless liberal/progressive conjecturing on the back of a tragic event.

    Its pitiful & pathetic.

    Down with freedom of speech because some nut case at some time might go off and do something crazy!

  7. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Stryder, Follow Sarah Palin. Follow Sarah Palin said: Krugman on political violence – The Progressive Pulse http://goo.gl/fb/k6g8n #palin #teaparty [...]

  8. Huey Patton

    January 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Sure, there is no proof the gunman was carrying water. I am sure he wasn’t.

    The problem is, the rhetoric of Beck, Palin, and Angle, is indistinguishable from the gunman. They sound like they are cut from the same cloth.

    Maybe Beck, Palin, and Angle should have smarter rhetoric?

    The smartest thing was said by Alan Grayson

    “I know nothing about the man who shot Gabby, and what was going through his mind when he did this. But I will tell you this — if he shot Gabby out of hatred, then it wasn’t Gabby he was shooting, but rather some cartoon version of her, drawn by her political opposition. Because there is no way — no way — that anyone who really knows Gabby could hate her or hurt her. She is a kind, gentle soul.”

  9. Tothepoint

    January 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Huey.

    That is absoluetly incorrect. There is absolutely no correlation what so ever. Those are the facts and as I have said before, progressives hate facts because they don’t support what they want to say.

    While I am not a progressive, neither do I support the political positions of the people you mention. But that is not the point. The point is hypocracy that is on display by many if the left who, in their self righteousness of the hatred they have for Palin, Beck, and others, are doing exactly what they are crying about.

    The facts are that this mentally ill individual had absolutely no political connection to anyone, anything, and anywhere.

    Progressives, like Krugman, have shown such a patheic desire and desperate hope that this mentally disturbed individual was somehow tied to the Tea Party, that describing it as shameless panadering doesn’t even begin to touch it.

    And quoting Grayson, who himself has been the most prolific purveyor of hate speech, really displays the one-sided, blinded perspective that many progressive have.

  10. Matt

    January 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Jeff said, “there have been sites on the other side depicting the same rhetoric, so don’t play “Sticks or Stones” or any other word game second-graders resort to… and for Pete’s sake don’t ask me to come to their defense again.”

    The difference here has been painted clearly by Adam. I don’t know why it’s so hard to grasp.

    Adam was comparing mainstream media leaders to mainstream media leaders and mainstream politicians to mainstream politicians. While the right and GOP see absolutely no problem in violent rhetoric, you don’t see that same type of talk among the left and Democratic Party. Bring out all the boogey men you want and dredge up all the crazies from the blogosphere, but the point remains that violent rhetoric has been legitimized and mainstreamed ONLY by the right in this country.

  11. Huey Patton

    January 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

    It is Tothepoint who both fails to see my point and is wrong with the facts.

    Let put some facts on the table:

    Angle: “2nd amendment”. enough said.

    Palin: Note that former Minn Gov Pawlenty (GOP) has just come out against Palin’s crosshairs ad. Does Tothepoint think Pawlenty is a hypocrite?

    Beck: the killer’s views on the gold standard are the same. Of course, that doesn’t make Beck a killer or advocating the gold standard wrong. But there is a lot of paranoia in that spectrum of thought. But Beck said: ““I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore” (May 17th, 2005)

    Sorry, as Stephan Colbert says “Reality has a well known liberal bias”.

    Nobody is saying these individuals are accomplices to the murders. But their rhetoric is the same as the killer’s. That was my point, maybe if they had better rhetoric,when the crazies do stuff like this, people won’t compare Palin to the crazies? Nobody is making this comparison with the conservatives Mitt Romney or Gov. Huckabee. Right? If you can’t see the reason for that, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

    Instead of criticizing me, you should be thanking me for giving constructive criticism.

    Your comments on Grayson fail to prove Grayson’s statements wrong. Instead, you just present ad hominem statements.

    As for Krugman, on further review, he is a courageous American hero. Krugman is one of the people that makes the USA the greatest country of the world.

  12. Matt

    January 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Tothepoint said: “Progressives, like Krugman, have shown such a patheic desire and desperate hope that this mentally disturbed individual was somehow tied to the Tea Party, that describing it as shameless panadering doesn’t even begin to touch it”

    That’s not what I’ve seen. That’s just what people on the right are trying to put on progressives. The progressives I’ve seen and read in the past few days have only done one thing: Bring up the obvious flaws and potential harmful effects of the right’s violent rhetoric. Having that discussion in no way says people on the right are responsible for or are accomplices to the shootings; instead, that discussion simply brings up important items that need to be addressed in our public, political discourse.

    That those on the right don’t want to have this conversation reveals just how married they are to their violence.

  13. Tothepoint

    January 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    The point is that this discussion about the “rights” rhetoric leading to violence is false.

    Even before the blood that was spilled on the ground in this random, tragic event was cold, Paul Krugman on Saturday was saying that there would be a Tea Party connection to the shooter. Guess what. He was flat wrong!

    Oh! But now that the facts are out, it doesn’t matter because we still feel this is true therefore it must be.

    Same with the Sheriff (Demorcrat by the way) who made a political statement as a fact before he had the fact. So quick to proclaim judgement. Ok as long as it fits his position. Shameless.

    These progressive “talking points’ about “responsible” discourse is nothing more than complaining about things they don’t want people to hear.

    It is an extension of the “political correctness” doctrine.

    I can still remember the Ft Hood tragedy and how quickly the left came out and said “you can’t blame this on muslims”. “Its wrong to rush to any judgement” they cried!

    My sense of things is that most Americans clearly see the hypocrisy of the left and the so called “mainstream” news media’s attempt to place blame where no blame can be placed.

  14. Tothepoint

    January 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Excellent Washington Post Op-Ed Column

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011003002.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    It says what needs to be said, no rhetoric or right wing violent rage.

  15. Won Wise

    January 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    The Post is nothing but straw men.

    Quote me a statement from Krugman’s column that is factually false.

  16. Tothepoint

    January 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    “When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen? Put me in the latter category.”

    “But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate. ”

    Guess what? It was an isolated event by a mentally ill individual. And it had nothing to do with political rhetoric.

    John Stewart, who I don’t think anyone can claim is a “straw man” makes the point.

    http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1101/stewart_rhetoric_isnt_to_blame_.html

    And thats all for this conversation.

  17. Won Wise

    January 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Krugman’s first statement is absolutely true. He in fact wasn’t surprised. Nor was I.

    The 2nd statement is not really falsifiable. He is saying “can or should”. Not really related to facts true or false.

    But in any case, whether your like it or not it is not being treated as an isolated event. It is having something to do with our national climate.

    It is great to see conservatives on the defensive.

    Where is Sarah? Why is Sarah hiding? She has such a big mouth, and it is very quiet now.

  18. Tothepoint

    January 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    And Sarah emerges.

    And the progressive professional left screams in disgust!

    Why oh why is she talking! Has she no respect?

  19. Chu Montgomery

    January 13, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Wow, you are right, Calamity Sarah coming out with words for all of America to live by.

    Yes, the left screams in disgust, because she is marginalizing herself. The left was looking forward to her running against Obama in 2012.

    That will no longer happen.

    Now, not even the GOP is stupid enough to nominate her.

    The left is sad.

    Time for Newt to step to the plate!