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Punching Back Twice As Hard Against Charges of Dangerous Conservative Rhetoric

Posted on January 10 2011 5:00 pm
Scott Spiegel blogs at He can be reached at

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What do the following quotes have in common?

If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.

If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.

I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I’m angry.

I want you to argue with them and get in their faces.

I’m itching for a fight.

Fight for it!

We’re gonna punish our enemies.

Our job is, keep our boot on [their] neck.

We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.

[Republican victory would mean] hand-to-hand combat.

That’s right—they were all shouted at Tea Party rallies by Sarah Palin supporters resentful over a black President!

Actually, they were all uttered by our Commander-in-Chief or members of his administration in reaction to electoral, ideological, and other political opponents.

All are also apparently examples of the “civility” Democrats keep demanding conservatives display when engaging in political discourse. This command was most recently circulated after Jared Loughner attempted to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people at an event in Tucson, Arizona.

Leftists are up in arms because last year Sarah Palin’s website featured a map pinpointing the locations of Democrats in conservative districts who voted for Obamacare, with a crosshair symbol over each one. Giffords was one of the Democrats Palin targeted.

The map was accompanied by a pep talk from Palin that included such violent, blood-soaked rhetoric as:

“Let’s not get discouraged. Don’t get demoralized. Get organized!”

(Palin considered putting Hello Kitty images over her targets, but her handlers decided crosshairs would better fit her brand.)

To make the case that Palin/Tea Party rhetoric inspired Giffords’ shooter, a thinking person would ask whether Loughner was a Palin/Tea Party follower, and thus whether he could possibly have been inspired by them.

Anyway, moving on to what Democrats did, they instinctively shrieked that the right wing was creating a “climate” of vitriol and hate that was erupting in spontaneous acts of violence. (We know how good Democrats are at making climate predictions!)

In fact, what we learned about Loughner is that he “favorited” a creepy YouTube video showing a terrorist lookalike burning the American flag. (Remind me: Is flag-burning one of the major planks of the Tea Party platform or just a minor recommendation?)

Former classmate Caitie Parker wrote of Loughner:

“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

Loughner’s favorite works of literature include The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

Some commentators have argued that Loughner was not consistently right-wing or left-wing, since the Manifesto is left-wing but Kampf is right-wing.

In fact, Kampf’s author—Adolf Hitler—and his party were dyed-in-the-wool socialists, as in Nazism = Nationalsozialismus = National Socialism.

Closer to today’s leftists than today’s conservatives, the Nazis believed in an all-powerful government with centralized power held by smarter-than-everyone-else elites, not a limited government distributed among many sources and concentrated on the local level.

Chapter 12 of Volume One of Kampf is called “The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” Volume Two is titled “The National Socialist Movement.” The Nazi platform included such gems as:

“That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished”

“We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions”

“The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.”

I think it’s safe to classify Kampf as a left-wing publication.

Maybe Loughner’s mental illness led him to embrace such extremist works. But I notice that paranoid schizophrenia somehow never induces people to become feverishly obsessed with The Road to Serfdom or the collected works of Milton Friedman.

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