January 11, 2011 |
We tried to go beyond the whom is to blame besides shooter Jared Loughner for the 6 dead and 14 injured Saturday. We were largely successful, sidetracked for 10 or so minutes by a caller.
Neither Ryan nor Mike expected more than a one-week delay in the new GOP-majority House symbolic flurry of attempts to undo President Obama and Congress’ progressive legislation, including health-care reform. However, Mike is hopeful that the attention already paid to the threats of violence — both against individuals and with the theme of physically overthrowing the national government at the whim of the voters disappointed with this or that election result — will winnow the thoughtful wheat from the incendiary chaff.
Mike also cites a powerful Salon piece by Prof. Glenn LaFantasie on America’s long, broad history of political violence. It calls for us to own up to the frequent and recurring assassinations and attacks, and stop viewing them as rare. They aren’t and we can’t control them without admitting the problem.
Our caller is worth bearing with to stay away of the themes and memes he displays. He cites Obama’s metaphorical attempt to show fortitude in a Philadelphia speech. When he spoke of standing up to GOP campaign tactics with, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans,” he clearly was trying to break his mold of the boring and overly conciliatory pol. Yet, in the rightwing radio, columnist and blogger world, that supposedly equates or surpasses Senatorial candidate Sharon Angle’s calls for violent overthrow of the government, Sarah Palin shooting, reloading and targeting slogans and such.
The caller also returned relentlessly to winger talking points about all lefties trying to blame Palin and the Tea Party for the Arizona murders and maiming. That is the chatter out there in winger land, portraying themselves as victims again. Mike and Ryan wouldn’t play and Mike eventually muted the call when the circular comments repeated too many times.
You can listen in below to hear what we think may be the effects on politics of the shootings. Ryan also provides some remedies.