Assassination as a political Strategy

“Elected Republican officials  are whipping up the sick and delusional to assassinate the president!”

Sound extreme?  Unfortunately, it isn’t.   Just think of Sarah Palin (OK, former elected) on Obama’s death panels.   In the video below, Rachel Maddow recounts some of the extreme rhetoric from the Republicans, and details some recent actions linking support of Obama’s health care with violence and threats of death.

This is very scary.   And of course behind it all is insurance companies.  And the very big bucks involved.

In an article today entitled, “Republican Death Trip,” Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman remarks:

Last week, [Senator] Grassley …  told an audience that “you have every right to fear,” that we “should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”

Again, that’s what a supposedly centrist Republican, a member of the Gang of Six trying to devise a bipartisan health plan, sounds like.

…. The truth is that the factors that made politics so ugly in the Clinton years — the paranoia of a significant minority of Americans and the cynical willingness of leading Republicans to cater to that paranoia — are as strong as ever. In fact, the situation may be even worse than it was in the 1990s because the collapse of the Bush administration has left the G.O.P. with no real leaders other than Rush Limbaugh.

O right.  Limbaugh is another unelected one, but then he’s de facto a leader.

There’s a second video here where Maddow looks at parallels to the assassination of abortion providers.

 Thanks to Calypso for catching a mistake!

8 thoughts on “Assassination as a political Strategy

  1. Maddow’s piece inspired me to look up the definition of domestic terrorism according to US Code.

    Here it is:
    (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
    (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
    (B) appear to be intended—
    (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
    (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
    (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002331—-000-.html)

    I am not a lawyer, but the parallels are striking.

  2. I don’t think you mean “Assignation” in your headline here. However, that would make for another interesting post.

  3. Rob, there was such an uproar over her comment about Bobby Kennedy, which never seemed to me to bear the interpretation Olberman and others gave it; in light of that uproar, i’m really very surprised as your describing her as making multiple references to it.

    For the record, when Olberman designated Couric as one of his worst persons in the world for saying the coverage of Clinton was sexist, I stopped watching him.

    Calypso, thanks so much! Both are well known political strategies, but you are right about my intentions.

    Alpha: i do not understand why this is allowed to go on. Obama is getting criticized for not acting with more outrage, but it is quite possible he reckons that could finish off any possibility of a bi-partisan vote at any point.

  4. JJ: I hyper-linked the Olberman piece not because I’m any sort of fan of his, but because he points out her multiple references and allusions to assassination, and the indignation with which he does so struck me as a not unreasonable reaction.

    (Admittedly, I also did it because, though the reasons I would adduce for my dislike of Clinton are, I believe, non-sexist, I’m still uneasy about my attitude towards her and quite paranoid about the power of implicit bias; and so I thought that invoking what was for me the last straw [after that fourth mention of assassination, I had decided not to vote if she won the nomination] might attract some personally useful criticism , since I recall a good deal of support for her on this blog, leading me to positively reassess my attitude towards her.)

  5. Rob, well i broke my policy and looked at the Olberman piece – at least the first 4 minutes of it. His ranting about HC is hard to listen to for me. So we really disagree about this all. I think Olberman is wrong to say that she must never use the word “assassination” in a political campaign.

    i think one needs to remember that she lived with the very live possibility of assassination for at least 8 years on a daily basis, and she was probably getting lots of death threats as she campaigned. Democrat’ assassinations must to her be object lessons, not just those known but also those suspected (Wellstone). It’s a terrifying reality but, for her, not a terrifying word, I would think. And even if it were, the idea that in discussing primaries extending into June she cannot mention Kennedy’s seems to me odd at least.

    I have to say I totally fail to see why she has to be held to this standard. In any case, what she is saying is a far cry from what’s going on today.

  6. I guess I’m also biased in this matter by virtue of currently residing in an incorrigibly red state, in a city of “hard working Americans, white Americans” where both HC’s husband and daughter made separate visits in the Spring of last year, and where I regularly heard “concerns” from locals over the prospect of a Muslim getting elected and/or his getting assassinated if elected. You might be surprised by how much this kind of crap was floating around rural Red State Land. So the impression I got was of Clinton appealing to this base element of the most benighted segment of the American electorate. Maybe I’m projecting my unease with my environs on to her; or mayb she really was so unscrupulously zealous for the presidency.

  7. Thanks, Rob. I’ve got a much better idea of where you are coming from, and your interpretation makes more sense to me (even if I don’t share it, which at this stage isn’t important).

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