I did an interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC this morning — public radio. Congressman Perriello was on before me talking about the line cutting at his brother’s house — an incident that must definitely be condemned.
But what stood out was Perriello whining about John Boehner inadequately condemning the violence despite a clear condemnation and Lehrer then asking me if the title of my post “If King George Will Not Listen” was not an incitement to violence.
He said he’d read the piece. I tried to explain to him precisely what I meant, which can be found in this paragraph:
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.
A few things struck me:
(1) I repeatedly condemned the violence and Lehrer seems to think I’m egging it on.
(2) He wanted to delve into Republican rhetoric about the march toward socialism and how bad this bill would ruin the country as incitements to violence, but could only muster a “may” be harmful when I pointed out Alan Grayson going to the floor of the House to say Republicans want you dead.
(3) He just could not believe the anger, rhetoric, and hate directed at George Bush and the Republicans in 2003-2008 and during the Patriot Act debate were anywhere near as hateful, harmful, or inciting of violence.
Dwell on point three for just a minute.
He then jumped straight into whether this was leading to a resurgent militia movement and another Oklahoma City bombing. I dismissed that pointing out that the militia movement was never as widespread as feared and however bad the Oklahoma City bombing was, it was the result of the feds handling of the Branch Dividian compound, which is a different issue from passing legislation. Thus ended the conversation.
The circular conversation kept coming back to Republican “rhetoric” and included total dismissals of Democrat rhetoric. If the other side won’t have an honest discussion, so be it, but let’s not let them pretend they are being honest.