Monday, July 28, 2008

Did A Culture of Right-Wing Hate Lead to Church Shootings?

A man who is accused of shooting and killing two at a Tennessee church apparently targeted the congregation "out of hatred for its support of liberal social policies," police said Monday.

One might ask: where would such extreme hatred of Liberals come from?

To get the answer, turn on Right-Wing talk radio any day.

There, on a daily basis, you'll hear the most amazingly vicious bashing of Liberals imaginable.

From Savage to Limbaugh to Hannity to the rest of HateWing radio, every day, one hears the most extraordinary demonization of Liberals and Democrats. If you get all your news and views from HateWing radio (as many Dittoheads do), you'll be convinced that Liberals are traitors who are working hand-in-hand with Al Qaeda to undermine the American nation.

Along with the hate, there's a hefty of dose of violent threats against Liberals on the AM radio dial these days.

Take right-wing nutcase Michael Graham, for example. In June 2007, he said he wanted to see someone "whack" the Clintons in a Sopranos spoof. And in 2003, Graham said of Hillary Clinton: "I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron."

Such inflammatory language is nothing new for the right-wing. Recall how Ann Coulter once wrote that the debate over Bill Clinton should be about "whether to impeach or assassinate."

Such seething hatred and threats of violence have ricocheted around the GOP echo chamber for at least the past couple of decades. And it hasn't been limited to right-wing talk radio.

Recall the comment by Jesse Helms in 1994: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

Or G. Gordon Liddy's comment in 1995, when discussing how he'd used stick figures of the Clintons for target practice. "Thought it might improve my aim," he said.

Given this toxic stew of hatred and violent threats that poisons our nation's political discourse, we really shouldn't be surprised that there are many people out there who harbor extreme hatred toward Liberals.