Careerist sociopaths

I’ve been taking in a lot of right-wing media the last few days because I was curious to see how the wingers would defend the death threats and so on that some on the right have been making against Democratic Congressmen. So I had Laura Ingraham on the radio this morning as I drove to work.

She was ranting and raving about how the threats weren’t really happening and if they did happen, they didn’t come from the right, and if they were happening and they did come from the right, then they weren’t as bad as ACORN or the guy who threw the shoe at George W. Bush. She had a guest named Jake, who seemed a little more reasonable than her but who didn’t dispute anything she said and said things like “Well, I’m sure you’ve received threats too.”

When Ingraham suggested that Hoyer scheduled the news conference to discuss the threats in order to score political points, she asked Jake what he thought, and he said “I only report the facts, but I do have an opinion”, suggesting he agreed with Ingram but couldn’t say so explicitly (you probably have to listen to the tape to see what I mean about this).

Turns out it was Jake Tapper.

I doubt Tapper is that much of a right-winger, but he knows which side his bread is buttered on. He knows that national tv news is a dying medium and that he may have to jump on the Murdoch crazy train at some point in order to pay the bills. In short, he’s a careerist sociopath, ready to dance on the graves of Congressmen if it means he can keep a Fox gig lined up down the road.

Update. One thing in particular that Ingraham said, and which Tapper didn’t dispute was (I’m paraphrasing) “if you defy the will of the people, you have to expect that a few weird malcontents will come after you.”

Update update. I will try to post audio of this time so you can make up your own mind about the segment.

Law Enforcement is in on the Smear

While the usual suspects are spinning away the latest round of death threats by the right-wing lunatics, someone appears to believe it isn’t just hype pushed by the liberal media and the Democrats:

More than 100 House Democrats met behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon with representatives of the FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police. The lawmakers voiced what one senior aide who was present described as “serious concern” about their security in Washington and in their home districts when they return this weekend for the spring recess.

Usually only the congressional leadership has regular personal protection from the Capitol Police. But at least 10 lawmakers have been offered increased protection by law enforcement agencies, said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).

This is nothing new for these guys- while Sarah Palin is literally putting crosshairs on congressmen, law enforcement has had to deal with this before:

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

We lucked out the last time, and hopefully we will luck out again this time.

This, though, is what infuriates me about the glibertarian response at Reason that DougJ pointed out last night. The entire economic theory of the glibertarian, boiled to its essence, is the belief in the causal relationship that tax cuts + deregulation = free market magic! They ignore everything else, hundreds of years of evidence and economic theory that it just isn’t that simple, and just keep talking about less taxes = MOAR FREEDOM.

But then, when there is a honest to goodness obvious causal relationship right in front of their very eyes, what do they do? Ignore it, or excuse it, or dismiss it as just a couple lunatics.

It’s inexcusable. There is a direct relationship to the rhetoric of the Republicans in congress, right-wing leaders like Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and others, the right-wing media at Fox and the various wingnut welfare venues and Rush Limbaugh, and the recent uptick in threats and vandalism. You don’t have to trace it. You don’t have to wonder why some people are acting up this way. Again- Sarah Palin is literally putting crosshairs on congresscritters. Rep. Neugebauer screamed “baby killer” during Bart Stupak’s speech, and all of a sudden Bart Stupak’s voice mail and fax machine are overflowing with threats calling him a baby killer. Republicans screamed “socialism” all year long, and what do you know- a two-thirds majority of Republicans think Obama is a socialist. It really is crazy how this shit works, isn’t it, libertarians?

This does not take much effort to realize that the Republican leadership, both elected and unelected, are ramping up the rhetoric from the already fevered pitch, and the people are reacting. Meanwhile, Reason magazine sits around with their finger in the wind and their thumbs up their collective asses mumbling “no one is dead yet” and “hoocoodanode!” Not one breath will be wasted condemning the behavior or noting why it is happening, though. They will offer some better ways to protest, so thanks for that!

At this point, these hacks are looking like the idiot tobacco industry executives who denied for years that tobacco was addictive. Which, considering Reason’s long relationship with big tobacco, is kind of fitting.

Early Morning Open Thread: Elections Have Consequences

The only way to improve on this…

… would be to have painted Boehner’s appearances in his natural usual bathtub-rust-orange. But perhaps the creators were afraid of inducing flash epilepsy attacks in unwitting viewers.

Garrison Keillor sums up the Disloyal Opposition:

The Republicans fought long and hard for people’s right to wait three hours in an emergency room for someone to take their blood pressure, and they went down to defeat, and now they should stop and rethink their Waterloo strategy. The picture of the grinning GOP congressmen holding “Kill the Bill” posters was not an attractive one. Those guys all get excellent [healthcare] from the government, at bargain prices. If you choke on your shoe during a speech in the House of Representatives, you’ll be whisked away to Walter Reed, and specialists will extract your hoof from your mouth and your head from your colon and clean you up and all for a tiny annual premium. It does not behoove men who are enjoying a huge pork sandwich to deny a few pork rinds to others and to grin in the process…
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Thick as a brick

No one could have predicted that the Reasonoids would side with the brick-throwers and noose-faxers:

There’s a lot of hyperbole out there about Mike Vanderboegh, an Alabama militiaman who reacted to the health care bill by urging all patriots to break windows at Democratic Party headquarters around the country — a suggestion that a handful of brick-throwers seems to have embraced. It’s a lousy idea, but it isn’t a sign of racism, anti-Semitism, or any of the similar maladies being diagnosed by some of Vanderboegh’s critics. I’ve been aware of Vanderboegh for a while. His chief claim to fame is being one of the more vocal anti-racists in the militia milieu, a guy who went out of his way to antagonize the neo-Nazi types who tried to hitch their wagons to the movement back in the ’90s.

In fairness, Walker doesn’t mention the noose-faxing and gas-line-cutting. On the other hand, the gas-line-cutting was widely reported before Walker wrote the article, so it’s not to his credit that he chose to ignore it.

I do agree with Walker about this however:

Comparing his brick campaign to Kristallnacht is ridiculous.

Update. And some more (via TPM)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Colorado member of Congress has received threatening calls at her Washington office, according to NBC News. Rep. Betsy Markey’s (D-Colorado) chief of staff confirmed her office had reported two separate incidents to the Capitol police and asked Fort Collins police to step up patrols around Markey’s home and her district office.