Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cooling the Rhetoric

As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing some liberals have seen fit to use it as a reminder to everyone (conservatives) to cool their rhetoric lest it occur again in this charged environment. Opined Bill Clinton:
"Most of them have been well within bounds," Clinton said. "And they're harsh but limited criticism; in other words, they're not advocating violence or encouraging other people to do it.

"But I just think that we have to be careful," the former president added. "We've been down this road on more than one occasion before. We don't want to go down it again."
Like accusing tea party protesters of being racists? Jack Cashill of Kansas City has been one of the web journalists exploring the Washington "spitting and N-word" incident, primarily since it involved Kansas City's own black congressmen Emanuel Cleaver.

In challenging the narrative--which almost every mainstream outlet ran with, including a few using the N word in the headline--Cashill discovered a troubling event that occurred in the Country Club Plaza section of his city over the past two weekends:
This past Saturday even the Kansas City Star had to take notice when, according to a Plaza spokesman, some 900 youths roamed the Plaza streets, “ destroying property, pushing people as they walked down the sidewalk and spitting on people.” Spitting on people? The Star does not mention whether the people were spit on because they were white or beaten because they were white or robbed because they were white. In fact, in a 2,000-word summary article, the Star does not mention race in any which way at all.
Hmm. Whether this kind of thing was responsible for the attack on Bobby Jindal's chief fundraiser and her boyfriend in New Orleans recently is anyone's guess, but the internet makes it possible to organize such things quickly--as Clinton warned. So surely if chaos breaks out again this weekend in KC or elsewhere using such tactics then Clinton all the mainstreamers (and the WaPo's ombudsman) will jump right on it, making the required inferences to race then calling for calm, right? Or maybe they'll just circle around and blame it on the spitting incident.


Clinton sat down with Jake Tapper in an attempt to rearrange the history of the 90s to fit his political narrative:

A few takeaways: One--he's right about inflamed rhetoric and demonization. ALL politicians should be careful in how they word things and should resist demagogueing situations for their own political gain as Clinton seems to be doing here. Calling right wing protesters racists comes to mind. This should also apply to so-called objective media figures, but I apologize for the redundancy.

Slick said the rise of Rush Limbaugh came after his presidency, which is only partially true. The first time I heard Rush on a national show was in 1991 during the run-up to the Gulf War, nearly 2 years before the inauguration.

As to McVeigh, he was fueled largely by Waco. That was Clinton's decision and cannot be completely eliminated from the calculus. Children died. But neither he nor the formally intrepid Tapper mentioned it. For the record, I backed both him and Reno on it because we can't have people simply picking off federal agents and starting wars over warrants. Koresh was a nut. But the abhorrent end-game firestorm debacle was shameful--apparently they didn't even bother to check a weather forecast (strong winds + ordnance = disaster). McVeigh was also fueled by Ruby Ridge, which occurred during Bush 41.

So Slick is largely blowing smoke again but nobody in the media except Limbaugh dares to challenge him on it, and Limbaugh has long ago been placed neatly in his box.

No comments: