By Mickey McClain
This Fourth of July, it is almost impossible for me to focus on the joy and honor of the holiday, what with Americans being so bitterly divided, and all. The Congressional Charity Baseball Game shooting and its aftermath is an embarrassing example of the depths to which we have fallen. Liberals and Conservatives wasted no time in blaming each other.
And some of the most powerful Liberal voices in the world got it wrong. Mightily wrong. Only one day after four people were shot at a practice game and left clinging to life, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives for the United States of America wasted no time in blaming the party which was not the party with which the shooter had affiliated himself. Nancy Pelosi stated, "It didn't used to be this way. Somewhere in the 90s, Republicans decided on a politics of personal destruction as they went after the Clintons, and that is the provenance of it, and that is what has continued.” For God’s sake, somebody buy this woman a history book. Start with the chapter on the presidential election of 1800, Nance. (This statement she made came right after the statement she made in which she stated “On days like today, there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans united in our hopes and prayers for the wounded,” and right before the statement in which she announced, “We are all Team Scalise.”) This is why critics of politicians bandy about the word “hypocrite” so frequently.
Still other Democratic leaders chose to politicize the shooting by offering us screeds about gun control. Let us start by pointing out that Illinois has some of the stricter gun control laws in the country, and that the gun the shooter used was illegal in Illinois, thus giving traction to the old argument that when a crazy person wants a gun, they generally find a way to get one. And even if there might have been some logic to the liberal premise that a lack of adequate gun control laws was a part of the tragedy, the timing was inappropriate, and the tone was distinctly that of an attack on Republicans. Republicans had just been shot at en masse, perhaps as many as a hundred shots fired from an SKS rifle and a Smith & Wesson handgun. Isn’t that enough? Can we give it a break? For a day, at least, while we breathe and pray and wish each other well?
The irony of it is, by the way, is that there was a perfect and subtler way to bring policy matters into it--to politicize it, if you will--that was right in front of liberal politicians the entire time, yet they chose to not see it: this was not a gun control issue. This was a mental health issue. And the reality that Congress is seriously contemplating slashing mental health care in this country is as terrifying as what happened at that baseball field.
The liberal rhetoric in some corners was unconscionably ugly, coming from a party that prides itself is promoting peace and understanding.
Chelsey Gentry-Tipton, a Nebraska Democratic Party official, wrote in a Facebook thread about the shooting, “Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?”
The Twitterverse abounded with people saying that these people got what they deserved for taking campaign money from the NRA. Celebrating the shooting of a human being because they take money from the NRA is grotesque and wrong, no matter what your politics. We must force ourselves to entertain this thought: many people take money from the NRA because there exists a cluster of statistics which shows that crime goes down when people can protect themselves with guns. The issue here is not whether this claim is true or false. The devil created statistics, and part of their evil is that they can be manipulated to prove anything. The issue is whether you really believe that people who take NRA money are bad people who deserve to be shot at. If you believe this, then you can understand why people think PETA is evil because PETA members have been caught stealing animals who they believe deserve to be euthanized, and because they are vigorous advocates of euthanasia in general. Why is it that we are always ready to believe outrageous things about the enemy, but never our own ilk?
The issue is not that Kathy Griffin held up a mock bloodied Trump head.
Can I repeat that: The issue is not that Kathy Griffin held up a mock bloodied Trump head.
The issue is that it actually occurred to her, that she bandied the idea about, and that nowhere in her brain nor in her circle of colleagues was there a filter that said, “Hey Kath, this is a tasteless, ISIS-like, and a generally horrible idea.” More to the point, for Ms. Griffin, it is not funny. If we can get angry at Fox’s Greg Gutfield for hiding behind the moniker of humorist when he makes fun of the Canadian military at the same time that the Canadian military is burying three Canadian soldiers who died fighting ISIS alongside of their U.S. counterparts, then we must get equally angry at Kathy Griffin.
As for Madonna threatening to blow up the White House--that is right up there with Berkeley protesters, (furious because Ann or Milo want to visit), causing 100,000 worth of damage to private property that does not belong to them, and does not belong to the enemy, because someone who does not agree with their politics wants to come visit them and stand on a stage and say things. (Although, in fairness to Berkeley, these acts are often committed by unknown masked perpetrators who seem to have little connection to the hundreds of students marching peaceably.) But if you are marching, rioting, burning, looting, and destroying property, it does not mean that you are a social justice warrior. It means that your brain is too stupid to come up with scathing comebacks and logical refutations to the dildoic comments that Ms. Coulter makes on a regular basis. How hard would that be?
An actual Twitter: “It’s a shame more Republicans weren’t shot.”
Now ask yourself this: surely there must be somebody in your life that you have come to cherish ….. It could be a beloved grandfather or aunt, a neighbor you’ve known for years and years, a man of the cloth, the lady who babysat you or your kids….and they are a Republican. Now picture them dead in a pool of blood from a gunman who wants all Republicans dead. Really?
Now go sit in the corner, and think about what you did.
By Eve Ryman
Following the tragic shooting at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for a freeze on the incendiary rhetoric. Fox’s smarmy bad boy Greg Gutfield immediately violated this reasonable and long overdue truce by announcing that “yesterday, a left-wing creep opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for tonight’s game.” Why does this instinctively strike all reasonably minded people--both Republicans and Democrats--as a gross attack designed to ratchet up the rhetoric to dangerous levels once again? Simple. When the bulleted (no pun intended) headline or opening to a tragic news story breaks, we rightly expect it to contain, in briefest form, the significant facts, with a particular emphasis on aspects of the story that may carry forward into the immediate future. This is why phrases like “active shooter” or “lone gunman” or, in less PC times, “crazed gunman” are so often used. “Active shooter” serves as a chilling warning, particularly to those who may be in the area. “Lone gunman” soothes us the slightest bit, because we are being told that it is not part of some larger, spreading plot. “Crazed gunman”, although it is not particularly acceptable any more (“crazy” not being a proper clinical diagnosis of a troubled brain), nonetheless has a somewhat clarifying impact, in that we understand this is not a declaration of war or another 9/11.
To put it simply, those first critical words of a news story should reveal crucial information, tell us what is relevant. The fact that the shooter, in the case of the Congressional Baseball Game shooting, supported Bernie Sanders is not initially relevant. What is relevant is that he was almost immediately stopped--he died at the hospital, and that he was a mentally ill man acting alone. His politics are irrelevant, because millions of “left wing” people would never pick up a gun and shoot it at people, so the fact that he was a Bernie Sanders fan has no real impact on anything. But for Greg Gutfield, who will eschew all logic and reason in pursuit of a cheap laugh from his mini-audience in the studio, the fact that the shooter was not a Republican is of earth shaking importance. “A left-wing creep?” Really? Why not focus on the fact that he was from Illinois? Yes, let us, by association, vilify all the great citizens of the Land of Lincoln. Or wait, how about the fact that the shooter was a home inspector! Yes, that’s it. Let’s make life hell for all home inspectors, they will by unemployed writ large by next week; nobody will allow a stranger into their home with a clipboard when that clipboard is surely hiding the semi-automatic they plan to use to shoot up our foyer.
No, Greg. We are on to you. You will do anything you can to make half of America look ridiculous and sound dangerous, even when the best and brightest of your two tribes (pundits, Republicans) have called on you to PLEASE NOT do exactly what you just did.
Hey, wait. I got a good one for you. The next time you decry fascist leaders, why don’t you reference “that vegetarian Hitler.” After all, the man who masterminded the death of 6 million Jews shied away from a nice thick pork chop. See, Greg, not only did you manage to remind us of the evil of Hitler. You made us all think badly of vegetarians.
Kind of the same shit you pulled with the tragedy of the Congressional Baseball Game shooting tragedy.
Greg, you are so infantile. Yet they give you that paycheck and everything.
Duelling blogs are over. Mickey and Eve are going to go have cocktails and skinny dip in the pool, while watching the fireworks from the lake on the edge of their property. Happy Fourth of July.