When you read THIS about a protester encouraging others to bring guns and also to get violent you have to ask — isn’t it clear where this is heading? And then there’s THIS threat from an apparent protest saying if things keep up the town hall proponents are going to find out about the second amendment.

This is a classic escalation. Can’t we just envision the future headline now?

Note the role of talk radio hosts (Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh) in helping to get out listeners, after getting them angry with their depictions of the town halls and heal care reform. Talk radio is the real town hall for partisans of the left and the right and a rallying point. In this case, the talkers are helping to get angry people out to the events (Limbaugh giving out the address) who in some case don’t want to discuss points of health care reform.

The real question now seems to be this:

Which side will discredit itself first?

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Lit3Bolt

    Only in America will you have people killing each other over health care.

    • mudslinging101

      who has been killed so far?

  • lurxst

    I don’t think they have been moving people through metal detectors at these events. I am sure the hosts can prohibit people from bringing their guns in, but its a lot bigger issue to plan for. Isn’t terrorism wonderful.

    The most painful issue about this is the misinterpretation of the 1st and 2nd amendment by these agitators. The first amendment only means that the government can’t restrict your speech, it doesn’t mean we can’t think you’re stupid for your opinions. The 2nd amendment isn’t about the right the bear arms to intimidate your neighbor when he thinks your opinions are stupid.

  • AustinRoth

    Obviously, this is so far over the line that it crosses into criminality. No excuse for these people.

    But don’t try claim it is a mass uprising of gun-nuts going Liberal-hunting. It is a few obviously disturbed people with no sense of proportion.

  • Let me say it for you this time. . . .” Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worst. “. . . .Phew!

  • Kastanj

    Whenever anything really messed up happens, those responsible will blame it on the democrats anyway. After all, comparing people to nazis means that you are not exactly meeting those that disagree in good faith.

    Basically, if the democrats would stop wearing such short skirts and dancing suggestively, then the fact-phobic and solipsistic phalanx that is a part of the reform opposition wouldn’t threaten to kill them.

  • $199537

    I’m all for the second amendment but this sounds like a really really bad idea.

  • While there is a certain amount of astroturfing going on (and let’s face it, you can’t have a politically charged event any more with any chance of attracting cameras that doesn’t get astroturfed to a certain degree) much of the confrontation and vigorous debate here seems to be genuine. Particularly in the more Democratic leaning districts, these reps are holding town halls populated by liberals who are enraged that their public option isn’t going to happen and conservatives who are enraged that we’re busting the national piggy bank.

    The really unfortunate part is that, while activists on both sides may be energized and occasionally loud and angry, most of them are there to make a point about something they feel very strongly about. The media picks up on this, and that one in ten thousand unstable loons out there see it as low hanging fruit in terms of a place to put on their self-destructive show. Because if the fringe on both ends likes anything more than attracting police, it’s attracting cameras.

    I hate to be a pessimist, but this is going to end up with somebody getting seriously injured or killed,and then the entire debate (which the country very much needs and deserves to have) gets washed away in a discussion of the loon with the gun and what that supposedly means.

  • DdW

    But, but, but…

    I am sorry, I thought I could come up with an excuse, a rationale, a reason, a justification.

    But I am sure someone will

  • SteveK

    For republicans/conservatives (from RINOS to Wing Nuts) to keep spewing this “activists on both sides” / “the fringe on both ends” crap instead of reigning in the weirdos on their side is exactly why the republican party is, at this moment, leaderless and directionless.

    You folks on the right have a bunch of maniacs out there talking guns and violence thinking that they are representing you and your methods / views and you’re sitting here throwing out ‘you, too’ caveats… worried more about partisan one-ups-man-ship than right and wrong.

    Good god people put these maniacs in their place or expect to be out in the wilderness for a long time to come.

  • SteveK

    Guess a moderator didn’t like me using the long form of BS but ‘crap’ (though not nearly as poetic) will do just fine. πŸ™‚

  • CStanley

    I’d love to rein in people like this but I have no clue how you tell an anonymous guy tweeting in NM to knock it off.

    • SteveK

      CStanley wrote: “I’d love to rein in people like this but I have no clue how you tell an anonymous guy tweeting in NM to knock it off.”

      I knew you’d feel they needed reining in and I believe that most of the conservative commenters here feel the same.

      It would seem that one of the ways to ‘tell them’ would be to just out-and-out TELL THEM… It’s not just us normal folk that read and pay attention to blogs. Maniacs need the love and they’re out there reading the blogs looking for acceptance. So… to quote Nancy Reagan, “Just say NO.”

      Say it here, say it on other blogs where you post and recommend to your friends to do the same. But when saying it don’t add “but the lefties would do it, too!” They will take it as a ‘wink wink’ and assume you might say they’re wrong but you really approve. If the tables were turned I’d be all over any liberal / progressive advocating a “bring your gun” solution to our differences.

      This is beyond our daily left vs. right… tit for tat word play these FEW maniacs (yes, it’s just a few) are dangerous people. Dangerous to US ALL.

      • CStanley

        Steve, by definition a crazy person who advocates violence in a situation like this is not rational.

        I disagree with you that someone of that definition is going to be swayed by what I, or any other rational conservative, might write or not write on a blog.

        I do agree that over the top rhetoric about the bill’s faults might contribute to that- so, I have no problem giving a blanket statement condemning that.

        And I’m cutting this comment short in order to not appear to be qualifying that condemnation toward a few actors on the other side because I know you’ll feel that that would weaken the condemning statement I’m making toward some dishonest extremists of the left. I also happen to disagree with you though that such statements give ‘winks and nods’ or nullify any of the sentiment that I’m willing to express toward my own side of the aisle. Personally I think we’d be all much better off if we did apply scrutiny to both parties, and particularly on a blog where there are people from left and right, it helps people feel that one side isn’t getting examined constantly while the faults of the other side get ignored. If the main bloggers here would pick up on stories that are critical of the left as often as they do so toward the right, then the conservative bloggers wouldn’t feel such a need to mention those stories in response to the ones that are critical of right wingers. There doesn’t even have to be an equivalency- just some indication that left leaning readers and bloggers here are even aware of such occurrences. If you’re only reading about right wing loons, of course you’re going to have a feeling that the imbalance is so skewed- but I assure you that conservatives who only read right wing blogs get the same impression in the other direction.

  • Silhouette

    And all this is a giant puppet show by MedMob trying to whip a hysterical reaction in people against the public option. Their hope is that if they get their hired protestors to really act in hugely emotional ways then others will follow the herd. It’s all they’ve got. They’re desperate and digging at the bottom of the bag. They know what is on the horizon.

    And for all that it is still worthless. We will BY GOD have our public option or there will be a massive reaction in ways they’ve not banked on.

    Gotta ask yourself, if the public option is such a failure then why are they fighting it so? Do you actually think they care about people? Me neither.

  • wiserindependent

    A simple matter of observation is that the Obama administration has a major problem to contend with. Setting and agenda is one thing. Lack of being open to the public is another. That Obama promised an open government, and now all the health care agenda being formed behind closed doors is a major factor in this new type of discontent. To have town hall meetings on health care intitiatives, which are hidden and not complete, invites a backlash from all Americans. All groups are competing because of a sense of fear of what may be come law, without knowing what is actually proposed, since the elected representatives do not have a complete proposal to discuss, and what has been discussed is still being formed behind closed doors back in Washington. For either side of the issue to fight the other on the issue of health care reform, when neither side actually knows what is truly proposed, represents that there is a frustration since the election of enormous context. Americans do not trust the Obama administration. This lack of trust comes from a transparency of government which was promised during the campaign, but not delivered after winning the election. In short Obama and his minions have contriubted largely to the cycle of ignorance we are currently witnessing in town hall meetings throughout our nation.

    • SteveK

      wiserindependent wrote: “In short Obama and his minions have contriubted largely to the cycle of ignorance we are currently witnessing in town hall meetings throughout our nation.”

      Phooey!
      Your “closed doors” and “which are hidden and not complete, invites a backlash…” are nothing but silly talking points. There’s a thing called fire codes that limit the number of people allowed in a room.

      This lack of trust comes from a transparency…

      The “lack of trust” you SHOULD BE worried about it the lack of trust that more and more non-political Americans are starting to have about Republicans in general all because of the transparency of a small number of Glen Beck / Rush Limbaugh ‘nutters’.

    • elrod

      Cough, cough ****BS***** cough cough.

      Seriously, this is one of the most asinine rationalizations for violence I’ve ever seen. The health care bills under consideration – all of them – are wide open for the public to read. What’s happening here is that a few well-paid liars like Betsy McCaughey are twisting the words of some of the clauses to convince the hairbrained out there that Obama is going to kill their grandma. Or Baby Trig.

      Don’t try and blame Obama for this. We had an election and that’s why one side gets to present the proposals first and vote on them. There is nothing secretive here about this process. Those who distrust Obama never liked him in the first place. The unfinished nature of Congressional sausage-making is not an excuse for political terrorism.

  • Kastanj

    “To have town hall meetings on health care intitiatives, which are hidden and not complete, invites a backlash from all Americans.”

    Yo, don’t you think that’s why a town hall is being had, so that information can go out to the people? The bad eggs among the protestors know their demands and obsessions won’t survive intelligent scrutiny, so they show up to chant slogans, as if that is relevant.

  • JasonArvak

    This is a classic escalation. Can’t we just envision the future headline now?

    Unfortunately, yes. One far right nutcase is going to shoot someone and either get arrested or shoot himself. Then the entire left side of the blogosphere is going to pick up the story as an indictment against ALL conservatives.

    I sure wish it were possible to “rein in” these people. Every conserative around here would love to, SteveK. Ask Rick Moran or Pete Abel or Ed Morrissey, if you don’t believe me. But unless you have some suggestion as to HOW reasonable conservatives can “rein in” the far right whack jobs, I don’t think it is reasonable to hold ALL conservatives accountable for their actions any more than it would be reasonable to blame YOU for the vandalism and violence of the far left fringe.

    • SteveK

      I don’t think it is reasonable to hold ALL conservatives accountable for their actions

      Reread my comment… Nowhere in it did I (or do I) hold ALL conservatives accountable.

      I do however believe that responsible, reasonable, rational conservatives will try to rein it in, while others would rather waste time playing word games with the “enemy”.

      to blame YOU for the vandalism and violence of the far left fringe.

      Your cute little caveat is the type of thing that makes the maniacs think you’re with them.

  • Hi SteveK.

    There’s a auto-moderate feature for certain swear words and they are automatically replaced. I’m watching it carefully to make sure it doesn’t make folks’ words sound too crazy. “BS” to “crap” ain’t bad. LOL!

  • JSpencer

    Americans do not trust the Obama administration. – wiserindependent

    Bullcrap. That’s just another lazy generalization. Some do some don’t.

    As to the subject at hand… why is it the political extremists in this country who most often go off their nuts and threaten (or commit) violence against other Americans seem to come from the rightward end of the spectrum???

    • mudslinging101

      to Jspencer’s comment about political extremists threatening (or commit) violence toward other Americans coming from the Rightward end of the spectrum. one of Obama’s best friends and now a college professor was an leftist extremist that promoted terrorism and actual bombings and threats to Americans ,back when Obama was a ” Civic Organizer” whatever that means.there are liberals moderatesand conservatives , then you have the “extremists” on both ends that terrorize and commit violence.These people are the true enemies of Democrocy.

  • SteveK

    100% OFF TOPIC

    It’s Friday night and tonight our local PBS station is showing “Leonard Cohen – Live in London”. I was fortunate enough to see Leonard perform this show in Oakland a few months back and it was the best live concert I’ve ever seen.

    IMO – Well worth watching… there’s more to life than politics and bickering. (check you local PBS station a friend in another area said it wouldn’t be on till Sunday.

  • rudi

    LOL In Canada they can’t carry hand guns to a meeting to shoot those looney Liberals. But if the Liberal is shoot, his medical treament is nearly free…

    • mudslinging101

      In America you can not carry a firearm to a “public” gathering such as this case.even with a concealed weapons permit.as for Canada’s nearly “free” health care , isn’t there a line 5 miles long waiting for that so-called health care. and it isn’t free. your taxes pay for it.

  • elrod

    Sam Houston is probably banned by now. If not, he should be. He’d fit right in at a birther/teabagger/Palin rally.

  • Leonidas

    When you get hit report it to the police, don’t try to “hit back twice as hard” as long as you have another option.

    Now of the two twitters

    The first one is acceptable. There is nothing wrong with encouraging someone with a license to carry to carry into a situation that may be potentially dangerous for them. Sure they might be exaggering the threat, then again, maybe not after the SEIU members attacking Kenneth Gladney for selling “Don’t Tread on me Flags” and for being an “Uncle Tom”.

    The second one is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. It is not advising to look to your safety but is advocating initiating violence, there is absolutely no excuse for that.

    This is one potentially dangerous Libertarian.

  • mlhradio

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sam Houston, a proud example of the extremist right. Let’s give him a hand, everyone!

    Stay classy, Sam. Stay classy.

  • jwest

    Although Sam Houston is justifiably frustrated by the lack of balance and misinformation evident on this website, the language is over the top.

    In his defense, the point that the only violence has been by leftist union thugs against concerned citizens is something that could only have been left out of the original article on purpose in order to deceive the readers.

    What is it about the truth that makes liberals do everything in their power to avoid telling it?

  • Commenter moderated from this thread. Please people, I understand this is a WHITE HOT issue, but let’s try to keep things “warm” at the highest in the language. This doesn’t apply to the vast majority of your that are just fine.

    Thank you very much.

  • nomoreleftygoonsquads

    Union goons are the ones doing the violence, and they are of the Left.

    Clean up your act, lefties. We disagree with you, and have a right to do so. We don’t appreciate leftists spying on us from the WH, or organizing goon squads to assault us on the streets.

  • rudi

    Unfortunately, yes. One far right nutcase is going to shoot someone and either get arrested or shoot himself. Then the entire left side of the blogosphere is going to pick up the story as an indictment against ALL conservatives.

    The wingnut crazies already killed a doctor and three cops because Obamama will give away abortions and take away your guns. But Limpbaugh wants these nuts at the doors of the SL SEIU…

  • casualobserver

    @@Hi SteveK.

    There’s a auto-moderate feature for certain swear words and they are automatically replaced. I’m watching it carefully to make sure it doesn’t make folks’ words sound too crazy. “BS” to “crap” ain’t bad. LOL!@@

    SteveK, I would suggest you appeal this matter to a higher authority. Yesterday, Rahm Emanuel called lefties who are overtly critical of blue dog Dems…”f__ing stupid” and no one censored him.

    • SteveK

      casualobserver wrote: “Yesterday, Rahm Emanuel called lefties who are overtly critical of blue dog Dems…”f__ing stupid” and no one censored him.”

      Hi CO… Thanks for the heads up… I hate it when Rahm uses the “Dick Cheney Playbook” without checking with me first.

      caveat: link posted contains ‘adult’ language. (the ‘f’ word) Though it IS a direct Cheney quote I thought a heads up was in order.

  • Well I turned that moderate feature off. Darn thing doesn’t work right and feels a little too big brother-ish. I’ll just continue being “Comment Dictator with Empathy”.

    Ok jwest and casualobserver, run with it! LOL!

    • AustinRoth

      T-Steel –

      Why can’t everyone be more like me, and stick to calm, rational discussion based mutual respect for our fellow commentators?

      Bad language, insinuations against and impugning of the character of other commentators only leads to discord, and distracts us all from our shared Socratic goal of reasoned debate.

      πŸ˜‰

  • SteveK

    mudslinging101 wrote: “In America you can not carry a firearm to a “public” gathering such as this case.even with a concealed weapons permit…”

    Absolutely. Even Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke) made you check your guns at the door.

    mudslinging also 101wrote: “… as for Canada’s nearly “free” health care , isn’t there a line 5 miles long waiting for that so-called health care. and it isn’t free. your taxes pay for it.”

    NO… There are not 5 mile long lines AND YES it isn’t free BUT the taxes they pay is a smaller percentage of income then either buying their own health insurance OR participating in an “employer provided” (sic) health plan.

    If employers pay their employees the money (both employer and employee contributions) and the government provided health care (as is done in Canada) provided through increased taxes: a) the unemployed indigent would have health care; b) middle class America would be money ahead; and, c) the wealthy, as always, would not be affected.

  • JSpencer

    ms101, one anecdote does not a trend make; you’ll need to do better… perhaps something within the last couple decades?

  • StockBoySF

    From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    Terror: “violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands”.

  • gigster

    Oh please, a couple of wing nuts say or write some stupid shit and suddenly it’s a trend? Unlike like these knuckleheads, If we ever really need the Second Amendment, no other Amendment will do. The historical record on denial of firearms to lawful, peaceable citizens is unanimous. We ignore world history at the peril of our liberty and our way of life.

    • StockBoySF

      gigster, “Oh please, a couple of wing nuts say or write some stupid shit and suddenly it’s a trend?”

      Let’s see what we have… representatives receiving death threats, representatives needing police escorts to cars, conservatives in many districts all up in arms over Limbaugh’s urging to shout down their own elected representatives at town halls. Some wingnuts may be calling for violence against representatives and Democrats in general, but…

      Where are the Republican leaders trying to tone their crowds down? Oh, I forgot…. they’re joking along with the wingnuts that Democratic elected officials almost got lynched….

      Last year it took the Secret Service to step in before McCain and Palin denounced the people at their rallies shouting death threats towards Obama.

      Yup, that’s real Republican leadership these days.

      Last year when the crowds at Obama’s rallies started to get a little rowdy, he calmed them down and told them to “just vote”.

      As an American, which party would you rather belong to? A party that promotes violence (if not explicitly, then implicitly) against fellow Americans or a party that believes in the power of the ballot box?

  • gigster

    Stockboy you are hallucinating, There is no call to violence from leadership, therefore no dogs to call off. This is a first amendment issue. You can conveniently attempt to blame Republican leadership for this opposition, but if you talk to those actually showing up, you’ll find there is no conspiracy.

    Half the country, perhaps the same half that didn’t vote for the president, is legitimately opposed to the approach on health care by this administration. Ad hoc attacks on the motivation and sincerity of the opposition seems to be the play of the day with the authoritarian, busy body, know-it-all, morally unassailable left.

  • gigster

    THERE IS NO CALL TO CARRY ARMS, except from an anonymous caller, whom the left is hoisting into an imagined position of leadership. This is a pure straw man tactic, build up an imaginary foe to demonize all of those who don’t like it YOUR way. It won’t work, but I do hope the left continues with these transparent, sophomoric attempts at manipulating public opinion. One can no more force the truth about themselves upon another than they can ever, ultimately hide it from them. And like most truths, it cuts both ways.