Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Assasination fantasies

Every cause, no matter how noble is certain to attract some fools. (I remember that as a Niven quote but Google wouldn't help me out.) That means that there is very limited value in judging large movements by the fringe kooks. Even the 'assassination fantasies' don't paint the whole left. From Instapundit:

LEFTY ASSASSINATION FANTASIES: Various people, oddly, deny that such existed. Try Death of a President by Gabriel Range, or Nicholson Baker's novel, Checkpoint, just to start.

Similar Obama assassination fantasies, should they appear, won't get this kid-glove treatment from Big Media, I suspect. "It is not the first time a novelist has chosen fiction to express their point of view about American society or politics. Upton Sinclair did it. So did John Steinbeck. Nick Baker does it with more nerve and fewer pages."

UPDATE: Here's Salon, in 2003, on a play entitled I'm Going to Kill the President, "one of the most amusing plays currently running in New York . . . a madcap farce about terrorism and apathy in John Ashcroft's America whose performance may or may not be a federal offense."

ANOTHER UPDATE: "Snipers Wanted."

Follow the links if you want to. Look, any major political figure in America is going to attract loonies and death threats. The difference here is that the media was mostly silent about this during the Bush years but a few yahoos at campaign rallies and suddenly the Right is ready to boil over.
I think a serious assassination attempt on Obama would be one of the worst possible things to happen in our countries history. I hope that his secret service contingent is top notch (or more optimistically that they won't be needed). I just don't think that some negative comments about him will really inspire that type of reaction. Sorry, I don't buy that.


Blogger James Colby said...

Thanks for the examples, it wasn't what I was asking for but I'm sure I'm not you're only reader. I was asking you to demonstrate that there was more with Bush than with Clinton and I see no attempt to make that comparison at all.

I'm not surprised by any of the examples, as I said before, I imagine there are some, but these are pretty weak.

-Death of a President, I've seen this movie and it is about a fictional assassination of Bush, but it is not what anyone who has seen it would characterize as an "assassination fantasy". It doesn't say anything negative about him, or anything positive about his death. I felt the only reason they used Bush in the movie was to promote a more realistic feel to the topic which was a presidential assassination in general. Another possibility was that using Bush might provoke free publicity for an independent film with a low marketing budget. I just didn't get any anti-Bush sentiment from this film.

-Checkpoint(I did not read this book), it really wasn't about Bush, it was about a deranged person who wanted to kill him but never did. The plan's he considers are not realistic, not even close; things like bullets that are trained to find their target by soaking them with photos of the target, or hypnotizing scorpions you know, really strange stuff, that could never happen. Some have called the plans to be so "cartoonish" that no one could find it threatening. The author is known for writing stuff that explores the psyche, which is what this is. The difference between this book and the movie your source mentions is that this book has serious criticisms of Bush, but to call this an assassination fantasy is not accurate.

-"I'm going to kill the president" this seems like one that might fit the bill, I just don't know.

- The photo "snipers wanted” was not a fantasy, but this was a great example of unacceptable behavior. Clearly this was a poor attempt at humor, but aside from the fact that it's not funny, the way it is received is the problem, not how it's intended. Being that it's on network television also lend a certain credibility that makes things worse, you can't allow that type of thing to be an acceptable form of speech. Once again, this isn't a fantasy.

We have no disagreement that any significant political figure will attract these feelings from the less stable among us. My point was you can't compare what is said about a president of 8 years to what is said of a candidate. When you find these actions towards McCain or Palin, then you have a point. Until then, realize it’s not equal.

1:27 PM  
Blogger -Peder said...

I'm not arguing about the quantity of venom spewed at Bush versus that spewed at Clinton. If you're looking for a breakdown of that, then you'll have to go somewhere else. None of what I'm writing is to argue that the left or right is worse than the other. There are bad elements in any large movement, that was the point of the previous post.
My argument is that the bad elements in the right are treated as dire threats by the media while the ones on the left get a pass. If you'd like to point out examples where the MSM takes the left to task, I'd love to see them.

6:32 PM  
Blogger James Colby said...

I appreciate the discussion even though we seem to be missing each other's points here. We really do see this differently. You were making a broad generalization that the MSM only targets the right and give the left a pass for the same actions. I was suggesting that you can't compare the treatment of a candidate to a President. I understand these lines of thought do not intersect.

But I owe you an answer; I don't think the MSM is treating these examples as dire threats, but rather as people who are not acting rationally and that either the fringe is working it's way into the mainstream of the Republican party or it's just appalling to see this behavior tolerated at such high levels and frequency.

I see the MSM regularly go off on Code Pink, an extreme lefty group, and they should. You know, they seem to make a big deal anytime a lefty group protests anything. They made a big deal when Hillary supporters spoke of voting for McCain which doesn't seem rational if you are a Democrat. They make a big deal if we protest the war in Iraq. They make a big deal because we were upset about the florida 2000 fiasco. They made a big deal about Democratic president who got a hummer on the side, such a big deal that we heard very little about a war we were fighting in the Balkans and very few Americans knew the name Osama Bin Laden even though he was number 1 on the most wanted list and our president considered him our #1 threat.

They made a pretty big deal when a protester of a Kerry speech yelled "don't taze me bro" before he was brutilized by security for the lefties. I'm pretty sure a woman by the name of Cindy Sheehan got some bad press for protesting and saying a few things about a particular Republican.

I could go on for a while, maybe you don't think the examples I gave are equivalents, and I agree, but it's because we act differently. I believe you won't see as much threatening behavior from the left as you see from the right. We are not the party of guns, we aren't the party that always wants to go to war. We are a more peaceful party in general.

We got caught up a little in assasination fantasies and you might feel better knowing that a well known Florida Republican sent one out in a mass email and it doesn't seem to have been picked up by the national MSM, here is the link:

another things of of note, getting a pass:

And I can't find a link to this but I saw it yesterday. Diane Fidele, president of the Chaffey community Republicans of San Bernadino printed a bunch of humorous "food stamps" with a picture of Obama in the middle(like on a dollar bill) and surounded by the foods; fried chicken, watermelon, Kool-aid and ribs. There was no other food pictured. And not suprisingly, she says it wasn't racist, not at all. Seems the MSM gave your side a pass on that one too.

I'm not trying to pile it on, I'm just trying to demonstrate my point of view.

2:38 AM  
Blogger -Peder said...

James, I think we are talking past each other. We can keep throwing examples at each other ad nauseum. I'll just state clearly that I believe that there are violent elements both left and right in this country. I also believe that it's natural to view the other side as a real danger while minimizing the ones that vote with you. (BTW, I did see pictures of the food stamps and I can condemn them as racist pretty easily.)
Anyway, we've probably exhausted this topic. Check back some time if you want to read some more. I do try and be reasonable. I know that people, both red and blue, come by their values honestly and want good things for the country.

1:47 PM  

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