Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rachel Maddow: I am the Mob

Rachel Maddow on the growing anger which the right wing anchors and politicians are inflaming; and the fact that the threat of assassination is now being used as a political tool.

Maddow: What is not politics as usual is that opponents of health care reform have chosen to fight at this time with force and with threats of force. Not just fringe talk show hosts, but members of Congress telling their constituents that Barack Obama is like Hitler; members of the United States senate telling their constituents that they are right to be afraid, that health care reform really is a plot to kill the elderly. Corporate funded conservative P.R. operations promoting those lines of attack and then telling their activists to go put the fear of God into members of Congress.

Are we now operating in a political environment which is not just politics as usual, which is not just a rowdy debate? Has enough kerosene been poured on the flames that the possibility of violence-even assassination-is being posited as a real political tactic in the United States?

It's not a rhetorical question. It's not even a question about rhetoric. Because there are people in this country-people in the health care field, in fact-who have faced the actual threat of assassination as a political tactic.

Two and a half months ago, Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was assassinated and the man who's charged in the case purportedly believe that assassinations were justified because of his own beliefs about abortion. That belief in justified political violence was cultivated by the extreme anti-abortion movement that Scott Roeder is known to have extensive contact with before Dr. Tiller's death.

As the anti-health reform protestors flirt with the same exultation of violence, that same excuses and purported justifications of violence, that echo in the extreme anti-abortion movement in this country, it is worth remembering that the possibility of American politics turning to violence and terrorism-at the fringe-is not all theoretical.
Watching this unfold from across the ocean, I cannot state enough how appalling this looks. And it appears to get more serious and more threatening the longer the healthcare debate goes on.

Certain right wingers are in danger of finding themselves with blood on their hands if this continues. You can't keep inflaming the crazies and then disassociate yourself when the crazies do something crazy.

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