Friday, March 26, 2010

If King George will not listen....Does that mean Erick Erickson is advocating armed insurrection by right wing crazies?

I'm not even sure how I found this Red State blog post by Erick Erickson, but I'm just amazed at how wacked out it is. The post that Erick Erickson wrote is titled "If King George Will Not Listen...."

This is one of those posts that has to be written and has to be said, though I know going in to it I’m going to get beaten up from all sides, though especially from a left particularly out to get me right now.

Nonetheless, this must be said.

The threats, potential acts of violence, and violence against those who voted for the health care legislation must be condemned. They are neither helpful to those seeking repeal nor the acts of a civilized society. I comfortably say I speak for all the front page posters here condemning the violence and threats. The people who think this country has descended into the darkness do in fact send us down a dark path themselves with these actions.

Clear? Good.

Here comes the controversial part that still must be said: I have heard the audio of some of the threats. I get worse stuff routinely. Rush Limbaugh gets worse stuff on a daily basis. Republican members of Congress have gotten similar and worse stuff. Thank God this wasn’t a free trade vote or a variety of left wing groups would have half the country in flames right now. I do believe the 24 hours of threats, many of which were pretty weak, has gotten more national coverage than the leftist anarchists in Texas who molotov cocktailed the Texas Governor’s Mansion — for which arrests have never been made.

First I want to say that Erickson starts his post condemning threats and violence--The threats, potential acts of violence, and violence against those who voted for the health care legislation must be condemned. Erickson even claims that not only does he receive "worse stuff routinely," but that threats are sent to Rush Limbaugh and Republican congress members. And they are supposed to be worst than the threats that the Democrats have received. Of course, Erickson doesn't bother backing up his claims of threats by making public either the email threats, the phone voice mail threats, or both. I doubt that Erickson has bothered to send his threats to law enforcement for investigation. Of course, as Erickson is condemning these threats, he then criticizes Democrats for "running to the nearest microphone in an effort to play the victim and generate sympathy as they try to steer poll numbers back in their direction." Erickson even claims that the protesters "yelling racial epithets at Congressman Lewis" did not happen, since Erickson confirmed from reporters that the events didn't occur.

I wonder which reporters Erickson was talking to? Consider that these papers:

The Washington Post; 'Tea party' protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs

The; CBC member: Health bill protesters called lawmakers the N-word

Huffington Post; Tea Party Protests: 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot' Shouted At Members Of Congress

McClatchy News; Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman

CBS News; Rep.: Protesters Yelled Racial Slurs

And Fox News (Although Fox calls it an allegation); Black Lawmakers Allege Health Care Protesters Hollered Racial Epithets at Them

Finally, The Washington Times is the only news organization, that I could find, which disputes Congressman Lewis' claim of protesters hurling racial slurs at him. The Washington Times includes this YouTube video to support its dispute, but it is rather difficult to hear anything over the chants "Kill the bill," and boos. The comments in this YouTube video claim they hear the N-word between 41-45 seconds. I've listened to the video numerous times, especially between the 41-45 seconds, and I can't pick up the racial slur. However, there are several commentators in the Washington Times article that also claim to hear the N-word at around 41-43 seconds. The YouTube video ends at 48 seconds, so I really don't know if the slurs were said after the video ended.

So I'm starting to wonder if Erickson's "reporters" were from either Fox News, or the Washington Times--both are very conservative news organizations. Fox News is considered the propaganda arm of the Republican Party, and the Washington Times is Moonie newspaper.

But that is not the real kicker in Erickson's post. Erickson continues saying that "a great many Americans who truly believe the Democrats shredded the constitution on Sunday night," after the House passed the health care reform bill without a single Republican vote. Erickson claims that Democrats pushed the bill through the House "before congressmen could go home and face their angry constituents every poll showed were opposed to this legislation." Of course, Erickson has forgotten all the town hall meetings that congressmen faced, with conservative groups packing town halls of Democratic lawmakers with protesters against health care reform last year. While Erickson claims that the opinion polls show a majority of Americans were opposed to the health care legislation, he's probably cherry-picking the poll numbers to support his claim. I look at the poll numbers at on health care reform, and the basic question of "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling health care," does show a majority of Americans disapproving by around 3-5 percentage points. Then again, a majority of American trust President Obama in handling the health care changes over the Republican congress. It is a matter of how the question are phrased in these polls to elicit specific responses on the health care issue. That makes it easy to cherry-pick whatever poll number you want to support or defend health care. I would say that Americans are very divided on the issue of health care, and will need time to digest this law, and determine whether they are for or against it.

But this part of the blog post is where Erickson enters the Crazyland:

I’ve said for weeks I was a bit fearful of what would happen as a result. I sincerely pray we are not on the cusp of some group of angry and now unhinged mob lashing out at congressmen for a vote in the Congress. But something seems to be brewing and I frankly don’t think the Democrats should at all be surprised. They were and they knew they were playing with fire to advance legislation many Americans see as the undoing of the American Experiment. Some of those Americans will now conclude that, like with the founders, if King George will not listen, King George must be fought. [Emphasis is mine.]

Acts of violence against congressmen for behaving as congressmen are wholly inexcusable. We should be vigilant to police our own side because as we’re already seeing through a series of breathless and inaccurate reports, the press and Democrats are going to be quick to run most any story and the retraction will never be as significant as the initial report.

But let’s not act surprised. The only people surprised by the rage are the ones who refused to venture outside Washington to understand first hand what the voters were actually thinking before congressmen voted.

Frankly, after all the leadership threats and bullying against swing Democrats to vote for leadership, I think it is a bit ironic Democratic leaders are now decrying threats and bullying of swing state Democrats by their constituents who very clearly did not want them to vote as they did. [Emphasis is mine.]

They were and they knew they were playing with fire to advance legislation many Americans see as the undoing of the American Experiment. Some of those Americans will now conclude that, like with the founders, if King George will not listen, King George must be fought. Erickson is trying to draw a parallel between the issues of the health care debate of today with the issues of the American Revolution, 200 years ago. It is even more surprising how Erickson equates President Obama as King George III, while the Tea Party activists(?) or right-wing extremists(?) take on the role of the American colonists. During the time leading up to the American Revolution, the American colonists believed that the British government were imposing incendiary legislation against them--mainly taxes, the Navigation Acts, the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, the Intolerable Acts, and such. The American colonists complained to the British government, saying that they lacked direct representation in the British Parliament, thus denying their rights as Englishmen. Therefore, the laws the British Parliament imposed on the American colonies were unconstitutional. This was especially so on the taxes that the British Parliament imposed on the colonies, thus giving us the phrase "no taxation without representation." When push came to shove, the American colonies declared their independence, fought the American Revolutionary War, and gained their independence to become the United States.

Erickson turns the entire American Revolution into an enormous, misleading lie to fit into the right-wing rhetoric.

First is this absurd idea of comparing President Obama as King George III, and by extension, the Democratic Congress as the British Parliament. The crux of Erickson's argument is that both President Obama and the Democratic Congress is imposing this health care legislation down Republican constituents throats, without providing listening to the conservatives complaints and anger against this health care legislation. This makes it convenient for conservatives to cry out "no taxation without representation," especially since the Republican leadership has been consistently telling lies on the health care reform. But what Erickson fails to realize is that all Americans are represented by their senators, representatives, and the president, and that all Americans had a chance to select their representatives to go to Washington and govern on their behalf. How did Americans select their representatives?

By voting!

In 2008, Americans were given their civic opportunity to vote for their presidential choice between Democratic candidate Barack Obama, or Republican candidate John McCain. Obama received a majority of the votes cast to be elected president (I'm not going into the entire Electoral College system for electing the president.). Americans also had the opportunity to vote for their congressmen, state and local candidates for office, and various state propositions. Some Americans chose to participate in voting--other Americans chose not to participate. President Obama and the Democrats campaigned on a platform of reforming this country's health care system. The American people chose to select more Democratic candidates for Congress than the Republican candidates. Americans who selected the losing candidate for office are still represented by their Senators or House Representative. They can still present their views on issues to their senators or House reps.

Since President Obama campaigned on health care reform, he was going to attempt to fulfill his campaign promise. Obama offered bipartisanship to the congressional Republicans for working on the health care reform bill. The Republicans said no, and proceeded on a campaign of obstructionism, becoming the Party of No. The Democratic leadership decided to go-it-alone in crafting the health care reform bill, since the Republicans refused to work with bipartisanship. The GOP threw every lie, threat, fear-mongering, and political spin in order to derail the health care reform bill, and failed. Not a single Republican voted for the health care reform bill. The Democrats passed health care reform, and President Obama signed it into law.

Erickson is claiming that conservatives are not represented in their government. Erickson is lying. Conservatives had their chance to vote for their candidates in the 2008 election. Not all of their candidates won--Democratic candidates also won in the election. Even in conservative-leaning districts of states. Conservative voters had a chance to voice their opinions to the Republican congressional leadership on reforming health care. Instead of working to provide a comprehensive, bipartisan, health care reform bill, Republicans used a short-term strategy of obstructionism, fear-mongering, hate, death panels, and Obamacare will be killing grandma, to whip up the right-wing extremist base, hoping that their extremist base could scare the Democrats from passing health care. Even more importantly, the Republican obstructionism was also a short-term strategy of driving this country into despair and economic recession so that Americans would elect the Republicans in Congress, and possibly the White House. The Republicans used hatred and fear to advance their political agenda. Even Erickson was responsible for presenting hate and fear-mongering through his blog. In the end, the Republicans failed.

Now in the wake of the Republican's failure to kill health care, and Erickson's own bloody hands in inciting such hatred and fear-mongering to the right-wing base, Erickson suddenly turns around to expresses fear that "some group of angry and now unhinged mob lashing out at congressmen for a vote in the Congress." Excuse me Erickson--you were responsible for inciting such violence with the hate and vitriol that you wrote in your blog. You are responsible even now--in this post--for planting the seed in these wing-nuts that they are American colonists taking up armed insurrection against a tyrannical Democratic Congress and King Barack Obama? If King George will not listen, King George must be fought? Sounds like you are advocating a violent revolution against the Democrats and President Obama. The scary thing about this post is that some crazy, right-wing, extremist will read your posting, and may take it upon himself to assassinate a Democratic Congressman, or Democratic Senator. The blood will be on your hands. But then again, why would you care? You'll continue to spout your hatred and filth with no compunction.


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