Political Discourse Can Be Tacky, Ugly, Nasty, Vile, But Is Rarely Violent


Please follow the bouncing ball….

A Pink Flamingo colleague is annoyed with me for my reaction against the tea parties.  I don’t give a durn about the tea parties.  My personal opinion is that I agree with 80% of their economic agenda.  I think their tactics are deplorable.  They are immature, pathetic, and have absolutely no class.  Their tactics put them on the level with the far left.

But…. they will never live down to the standards of the far left, no matter how hard they try.

Talking Points Memo
Talking Points Memo

Much is being made of the extremism of the far right and tea parties (alleged) by the far left.  The far left is blaming the right. The usual bottom feeders are after the usual suspects. The far right is defending themselves, going after the far left. The usual suspects are rounding one another up with their usual fervor.

The Week
UK Daily Mail

There are times when one should rise about petty slanders, differences, slings and arrows, and act like a responsible adult. The Tea Party supporters are a little hypersensitive. Perhaps they should be a bit defensive. Take this appearance by Florida Radio Host Joyce Kaufman at a tea party in FL. (H/T Jamie Sanderson)

From Commentary:

“…Today, with a nation awash in personal tragedy and people in hospital beds fighting for their lives, the political spin of yesterday’s horror marks a new low. Indeed it is no small indignity for conservatives to have to join this unseemly debate in order to refute liberal analysis. The preposterous George Packer writes, “for the past two years, many conservative leaders, activists, and media figures have made a habit of trying to delegitimize their political opponents. Not just arguing against their opponents, but doing everything possible to turn them into enemies of the country and cast them out beyond the pale.” And so it feels frankly indecent to point out that it was President Obama who called Republicans “enemies” in the run-up to the November elections. If the shapeless massacre in Arizona devolves into nothing but another round of sound-bite ping-pong, then all the hopes of 2011 being a fresh start with a new Congress are for naught. For even as our elected leaders now act with a somewhat restored sense of dignity and unity, talking heads have waged a civil war….”

Patrick Beck, of the Mohave County Tea party:


All of this is a thing of beauty.  The Pink Flamingo may be rightly accused of being terribly harsh on the tea parties and the far right.  I consider conservatives better than liberals.  I hold myself and anyone else who calls themselves a conservative to a much higher standard that I do liberals.

This said, we Americans are a wonderful lot.


Such slander and political character assisination is NOTHING new.

“…Anti-Grover Cleveland political cartoon of 1884 (cropped from the front page of “The Judge” magazine), captioned “Another voice for Cleveland”. Reference is to the story that Cleveland had had an illegitimate child (giving rise to the infamous campaign chant “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?” by Cleveland opponents, to which Cleveland supporters replied “Gone to the White House, Ha! Ha! Ha!”)….”

“…On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol. When Jackson was leaving the Capitol out of the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed and deranged housepainter from England, either burst from a crowd or stepped out from hiding behind a column and aimed a pistol at Jackson, which misfired. Lawrence then pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. It has been postulated that moisture from the humid weather contributed to the double misfiring. Lawrence was then restrained, with legend saying that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him. Others present, including David Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence….”

It is all about the rhetoric.
It is all about over the top rhetoric.
Perhaps in American politics those with the most hyperbole wins.
American discourse has NEVER been civil.

We are a rowdy and noisy people who have always been annoying when it comes to politics.  Today’s noise is NOTHING new.

The beauty of our loud and annoying political scene is that rarely is there violence.  When it happens – it is always someone who is mentally ill – seriously ill – who does the vile deed.

To think that the headlines of today are new – you just don’t know history!