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Jimmy Hoffa & Tea Party Zombies Game “Take Out” Civility

In Koch Industries, New York Times, Paul Krugman, Political Rhetoric on September 8, 2011 at 12:16 am

Screen shot of "Tea Party Zombies Must Die" game

Was it not just eight months ago, after Tuscon, people on the Left decried “eliminationist rhetoric” and the military technology common in many political campaigns?   

It was.   So where are those New York Times columnists today? 

There is a double standard in the silence from the Left about an online video game called “Tea Party Zombies Must Die”, featuring prominent Tea Party members such as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and even the Koch Brothers.  The gamer is instructed to kill each Tea Party member with weapons like a gun or a crossbar.  [1] [2]  In January, Paul Krugman opined, “It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.” [3]

US Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said Tea Party Members of Congress want to see blacks lynched and “hanging on a tree”.  [4]  Let us refresh ourselves of the January words of Paul Krugman: “Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized” [3]  The Times’ Matt Bai wrote,  “the problem would seem to rest with the political leaders who pander to the margins of the margins, employing whatever words seem likely to win them contributions or TV time, with little regard for the consequences. ” [5]

I provided many other recent examples of uncivil Left-wing rhetoric in my recent post: https://econscius.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/giffords-the-era-of-civility-bidens-terrorists/.

President Obama just attended a Labor Day rally where James Hoffa, head of the Teamsters Union, said:

“We’ve got to keep an eye on the battle that we face — a war on workers. And you see it everywhere. It is the tea party.  And there’s only one way to beat and win that war — the one thing about working people is, we like a good fight.”

President Obama, this is your army, we are ready to march.  But everybody here’s got to vote. If we go back, and keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out.” [6] [7]

Much has been made about the historic Teamster-Mafia connection and the fact James Hoffa’s father was reportedly “taken out” by the Mob.  Whether “we like a good fight” and “let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out” is intended as speaking purely of elections or not, it is ironic this is akin to the sort of Republican militaristic rhetoric like “take back our country” or “targeted” races that left-wingers like Krugman used to say would cause political murder.  Yet, when a prominent Labor leader makes these sorts of statements, neither the President nor his Press Secretary will raise a word against the violent imagery.
 
Again, let us refer to Krugman in January: “So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?” [3]
 
I ask Mr. Krugman, will he stand up against “eliminationist rhetoric” when it comes from the Left? 
 
The silence is deafening. 

Do you disagree?  Feel free to post your comments below.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20102619-503544.html

[2] http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/09/07/2011-09-07_tea_party_zombies_must_die_video_game_gives_political_groups_enemies_a_virtual_b.html

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10krugman.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=giffords%20shooting%20rhetoric&st=cse

[4] http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62396.html 

[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09bai.html?scp=5&sq=giffords%20shooting%20rhetoric&st=cse

[6] http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/62795.html

[7] http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/62661.html#ixzz1XKWKVZxdl

[8] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09capital.html?scp=9&sq=giffords%20shooting%20rhetoric&st=cse p

Picture of Jimmy and James Hoffa from Wikipedia Commons.

Quiz: What’s This NYT Stimulus Editorial About?

In New York Times, Political Rhetoric on August 12, 2011 at 12:45 am

Guess what this editorial is about:

“An Effective, Responsible Stimulus” by the New York Times:

“[The President] got more specific yesterday about what he wants to do to help the economy… It was a promising start, and the administration should now start working with Congress to deliver a stimulus package as quickly as possible.”

“Under the president’s plan, the total stimulus would amount to 1 percent of gross domestic product, enough to give the economy a good shot in the arm. But its effectiveness will depend on how the relief is delivered….”

“To help businesses the president suggested a range of tax breaks, including temporary tax credits for new investment, accelerated write-offs for spending on buildings and equipment, and a cut in the corporate income tax. The first of these is the best, since it would directly encourage companies to start spending. Accelerated write-offs are less precisely targeted. They would cut the cost of existing assets as well as new ones, and companies’ savings might or might not be used for growth. Of least use is a cut in the corporate income tax, which would have little if any effect on businesses’ decisions on investment and employment.”

“To help consumers, the president suggested extending the duration of cash benefits and health coverage for the unemployed, more tax rebates and accelerating his existing 10-year package of tax cuts. Extending unemployment benefits is important…”

“Tax rebates would certainly give consumers a boost, especially if the rebates went to lower-income Americans whose purchases are most constrained by their earnings.” [1]

What was your guess?  Did you think it was a January 2009 editorial in support of President Obama’s Stimulus plan? 

The answer is it was an October 4, 2001 editorial in support of… President Bush’s Stimulus plan. 

A portrait shot of a smiling older male looking straight ahead. He has short gray hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a blue styled tie over a white collared shirt. In the background is an American flag hanging from a flagpole.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/04/opinion/an-effective-responsible-stimulus.html?scp=10&sq=bush+responsible+unemployment&st=nyt

Pictures from Wikipedia commons.

New York Times Hypocrisy: Recall For Thee But Not For Me

In New York Times, Political Rhetoric, Wisconsin Recall Elections on August 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Readers of the New York Times know its editorial board supported yesterday’s recall votes of Wisconsin Republican state senators.  You could be forgiven for thinking the New York Times was a strong backer of citizen initiatives to recall legislators and governors – even if only a few months after their election.

But you would be wrong.

Today’s NYT editorial applauds the recalls and even gives strategic advice on how to structure a recall:

“Five months after Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin pushed through a law stripping public unions of their bargaining rights …. Mr. Walker’s opponents did not succeed in turning over the Senate, but it was still an impressive response to the governor’s arrogant overreach.”

“It was probably a stretch for union supporters to go after six incumbent senators, rather than concentrate their forces on the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, voters around the country …  should draw strength from Tuesday’s success, not discouragement.”
 

Back in March, the NYT editors sounded no alarm bells whatsoever about the nascent recall efforts against Governor Walker and Republican state senators:

“It could have serious consequences for the Wisconsin Republicans who voted to do so. Recall efforts against Mr. Walker and several Republican senators are already under way… The place to exercise some power of their own is at the voting booth.” [2]

Contrast the glee over Wisconsin’s “impressive” recalls with New York Times editorial positions in the last major American political recall attempt.  Back in 2003, the NYT editorialized twice against the recall election of California Governor Gray Davis.  In “Wrong Remedy In California”, the NYT wrote:

“Californians have reason to be angry…. Recalling Governor Davis, however, is not the answer. It is an unwise move with potentially damaging ramifications.”

“Allowing wealthy, opportunistic politicians to overturn fair elections when politicians fall out of favor with the public is unhealthy.”

“The state’s Constitution says a recall election is mandated if the effort’s organizers collect enough signatures. Yet Californians can still avoid a political quagmire by voting to keep the governor they already have — at least until the next general election.”  [3]

In “California Chaos”, NYT editors opined:

“California is now rolling inexorably toward a rendezvous with potential political chaos that it does not need in its present fragile condition and that somebody in authority should have found a way to avoid.” [4]

Why the double standard on recalls? 

The answer is obvious:  Walker is a Republican and Gray was a Democrat.  The overtly partisan New York Times hypocritically says ‘Recall for thee, but not for me’.

 

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/opinion/wisconsins-warning-to-union-busters.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=wisconsin+recall&st=nyt

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/opinion/11fri2.html?scp=3&sq=wisconsin+recall&st=nyt

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/11/opinion/wrong-remedy-in-california.html?scp=14&sq=gray+davis+recall&st=nyt

 [4] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/26/opinion/california-chaos.html?scp=3&sq=gray+davis+recall&st=nyt

Pictures from Wikipedia commons.