But back to my point about doublespeak or dog whistle politics. Republicans like Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Michael Savage exploit these rhetorical devices to encourage political violence in our country while escaping legal--and at least in conservative circles--moral responsibility for the tragedies they cause. The list of their victims is not short: the Knoxville church shootings, the assassination of the Arkansas State Democratic Chairman Bill Gwatney, and the ongoing pattern of threats against Democratic politicians. Whenever someone is murdered by the "fans" of these Republican "leaders," they are quick to say "I was joking," or "I was just using a metaphor!"
In Mr. Hinkle's world, when Ann Coulter calls for the bombing of the New York Times it's just satire. In my world, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City it was mass murder and domestic terrorism. It's no mystery what motivated McVeigh, and right-wing radio hosts use McVeigh's list of grievances as crib notes for their hate speech. Writers like Coulter, radio hosts like Savage, and politicians like Bachmann are well aware of the fact that they are speaking to a mixed audience that consists of people who understand concepts like "metaphor" and people who take their exhortations to violence quite literally. They count on people like Mr. Hinkle to make excuses for them when someone acts on their violent rhetoric.
I've written quite a bit about the growing problem of Republican inspired terrorism against liberals and Democrats. Mr. Hinkle can try and pretend it doesn't exist, but it does.
To which I sent him my farewell message:
I see now that it is a waste of time to engage you in reasoned debate, or even to expect you to move beyond pontificating about that which you know nothing to gather information.
To quote Dorothy Parker, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."
You are what you are -- a collectivist political hack, obsessed with a party dialectic that lies in ruins, tilting at straw men of your own device, oblivious of facts. The GOP (I refuse to call them "Republican") and the Democrat parties are two wings of the same bird of prey, as Pat Buchanan said. You act as if any of the inter-party jockeying for power MEANS anything anymore. Events are about engulf it all.
You have no knowledge of those you denounce, imputing wrongly connections and alliances that do not exist, and eliding any differences that are obvious on their face simply to fit your world-view.
I am disappointed but not surprised.
But here's the thing I've always wondered:
When did so-called "liberals" become sychophants of the FBI, and fans of utilizing the power of the state to enforce political compliance in contravention of conscience? This is not liberalism. It is collectivism of the worst sort.
Just because you control the regime now does not mean it cannot turn on you and devour you.
The Founders understood this, especially those who lived long enough to survive the crisis posed by the Alien and Sedition Acts. Never pass a law that you wouldn't be willing to see your own worst political enemy enforce upon you.
You know, from our point of view, Bush was the best Democrat president the Republicans ever elected. We despised him. And somehow, in your party-obsession-beclouded brain, you can impute any sort of connection between the GOP and us? It must be nice to be so haplessly, willfully, clueless.
Brecht wrote, "He who laughs has not yet been told the terrible news." The other day, a friend of mine said, "Brecht was an optimist." I'm afraid he's right.
When your universe collapses under the weight of its own misconceptions, try not to get crushed by the falling reality. And take a moment, when you can, to remember the "violent paranoid right-wing militia nutbag" who tried to warn you of the consequences of your ignorance.
-- Mike Vanderboegh