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Dark Horizon: The Next Movement of Left Wing Political Violence

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Since the Tea Party Movement was formed early last year, the Left has been tirelessly shouting warnings of the "potential dangers" that may arise from such "right wing extremism."

As we all know, no violent acts of note have sprung up from the Tea Partiers as of yet — and thankfully so. However, quite a bit of violence has sprung up from the leftists that predicted an onslaught of horror from America's recent uprising of fiscal conservatism.

Take the Honorable Representative Bob Etheridge, Democrat of North Carolina, for example. When approached by a student journalist earlier this week, he lost it — to say the least. After being asked if he supported the Obama administration's political agenda, he attempted to knock the journalist's camcorder to the ground. When that effort failed, he proceeded to grab the journalist by his arm and demanded his identity. As the journalist attempted to respond, Etheridge took hold of his neck and began to ramble incoherently. Eventually, the journalist was able to break free and the Distinguished Gentleman from North Carolina scurried away.

Unbelievably, this was topped by an extremely disturbing event that took place over the weekend. Strangely enough, it concerned North Carolina as well. Just what is it with the leftists that come out of that place — are they all crazed militants? During a peaceful Tea Party rally in downtown Greensboro, the chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, a Nathan Tauber was punched in the face by an enraged anti-Bush activist who was attempting to disrupt the event. Both Tauber and the man who assaulted him have since filed charges against one another. Judging from the footage taken of the altercation, I cannot see how Tauber could be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

These incidents, while horrid in their own right, are symptoms of an infinitely larger problem. The problem is that when the Left begins to see its political influence wane, it resorts to violence. We saw this happen over 40 years ago with the anarchist countercultural movement and more recently with the horrific urban riots of the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

We are on the dawn of a new phase in leftist violence, and if what happened this week is any indicator, it will be a particularly destructive one.

For more information, watch the video of Rep. Etheridge's assault:

Also, see the footage of the altercation in Greensboro:

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Doug Hunter

    As far as examples of ‘horrid’ violence go, those are pretty piss poor.

    I’d much rather have a congressman come out and directly punch me in the face, than for them to enslave my children with another few $trillion in debt behind closed doors.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Yes indeed. These 2 incidents demonstrate the left’s organized and finely tuned attacks against the right. It’s obviously a conspiracy of violence – probably promulgated by some secret lefty oath taken while inhaling the burning embers of an arugula plant.

    You know, I don’t see or hear of the left telling their adherents to arm themselves, or to “take aim” at their common enemy (that being us evil leftists.) I don’t see leftists roaming the Michigan woods every week end playing army and planning for Armageddon. I don’t see leftists showing up at political ralleys armed to the teeth.

    A couple of guys getting pissed off and punching somebody hardly counts as brand name “leftist” violence. I don’t particularly condone the actions of either Etheridge or the other fellow, but neither incident can be fairly extrapolated as “leftist violence.”

    How many leftists have set off bombs during the Olympics? How many leftists have taken it upon themselves to murder doctors and nurses? How many leftists have chosen to blow up a Federal building or to fly their airplane into another? Let’s add them up.

    B

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’d much rather have a congressman come out and directly punch me in the face, than for them to enslave my children with another few $trillion in debt behind closed doors.

    Doug. I think the problem here is that they have enough time on their hands to do both.

    How many leftists have set off bombs during the Olympics? How many leftists have taken it upon themselves to murder doctors and nurses? How many leftists have chosen to blow up a Federal building or to fly their airplane into another? Let’s add them up.

    You seem to have forgotten the Unabomber, the ELF, the SLA, the Weather Underground, the Black Panther Party, etc, etc.

    But the real authors of terror here in the US aren’t the little groups or the lone nuts. They wear suits and ties and wield pens and computers and destroy lives with the click of a pen or the stroke of a key.

    Dave

  • Mark

    The Senate ‘limits’ support for the unemployed and you talk of left wing violence. What a load of crap.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I agree with Baronius – poor “example” of violence. Still, Etheridge’s behavior was inexcusable. What it does show is the arrogance of politicians.

    I surely hope he gets sued for assault.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Not to say, Mark, I agree with where Cotto’s going with this.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And perhaps unemployment benefits out to be cut to bring things to a peak. How else are you going to energize the underclass?

    It’s too early though for such a radical move. We haven’t sunk low enough.

    Timing is everything.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    ought to . . .

  • Mark

    The ‘ought’ thing.

    If the contradiction is deep enough and we double dip, the possibility of radical change increases — but in everyday life this translates into suffering.

    old dilemma in need of transformation

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No pain, no gain. I don’t envisage any shortcuts. It’s like having to rebuild from the ashes. Especially in US where we still think as individuals and me, me, me – no sense of solidarity.

  • Mark

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to transitioning horses from shod to barefoot. The European school advocates the ‘no pain – no gain’ dictum; the US approach is to avoid causing pain in the process.

    American exceptionalism

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This may be due to different circumstances and histories. The European countries are more bonded than we are in terms of ethic unity and national purpose. Indeed, even the EU hasn’t quite obliterated the individual commonalities and the financial model in place reveals structural stresses of late.

    Still, I do think they have a better shot than we do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another consideration, we have to wake up from our sense of unreality. Consequently, Europe is ahead of us on that score.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yet another article by Mr. Cotto wherein he will refuse to even try to defend his views.

    Ah, but I forget! He’s really patriotic, and Real American Patriotism excuses anything a Patriot does, right? Just ask Bush/Cheney, who invaded a nation on false pretenses at a cost of over 5,000 U.S. servicemembers, well over a trillion taxpayer dollars, and over 100,000 Iraqi citizens.

    See? Bush and Cheney were Real Patriots, so they need not fear being held accountable for anything! Mr. Cotto, the Real Patriot that he must be, is merely following their example.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    No Dave, I hadn’t forgot about them. However, to characterize the Unabomber as a true leftist is a stretch. As to the SLA, I knew 3 of them personally. They were nut cases. And relatively speaking all of these groups are ancient history, and none of them were either a part of nor condoned by the main stream left.

    However, even the most “out there” right “wing nuts” have garnered at least tacit approval from the main stream Republicans and other rightys. Abortion doctor assassin George Tiller essentially got an “Atta-boy” from many on the right. O’Reilly fell just short of dubbing him a national hero.

    There are literally dozens of right-wing pols using violent rhetoric – thinly disguised threats – and proudly displaying a plethora of armaments in their campaign ads and elsewhere. Oh, but I guess it’s all in good fun, right? Just good old red blooded American politics.

    B

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Roger – #5 – Who is it you agree with?

    BARITONE

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    You seem to have forgotten the Unabomber, the ELF, the SLA, the Weather Underground, the Black Panther Party, etc, etc.

    As with all other comparisons between the wrongs of the Left and the Right, Dave, it’s a matter of degree…and the wrongs of the Left don’t even approach the degree of the wrongs by the right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I didn’t care for Etheridge’s behavior – no excuse. But as I said, poor example of violonece.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    18 – (You wrote Baronius instead of Baritone.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now I see why he was up in arms.

    B-man – go back to your acronyms.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Speaking of the Carolinas, what does everyone make of this unknown, Greene, who won the South Carolina Democratic primary for the Senate?

    Does SC have open primaries? Could Greene’s victory be down to Republicans voting strategically for the worst Democratic candidate?

    Or were the voting machines rigged? Or was there some other kind of skulduggery going on?

    Or did the SC Democratic voters just think, “Fuck it, DeMint’s going to win anyway, let’s just have some fun”?

  • Cannonshop

    #15 Is it? Anti-Technology, Green agenda, random (wandering) targeting and incompetent bomb-making. I read UnaBom’s manifesto when it was published, it looked pretty much Left to me-just not necessarily Statist left, and I can’t help but remember how the Left tripped over themselves defending Mr. Koczinski, saying how he had a “point” and “Worthy views”.

    The difference between what Timmy McVeigh did and what the Weather Underground were TRYING to do, is that Tim’s bomb worked without killing him first (More’s the pity that…), and the side of midnight he came from-that’s all.

    (Well, that and he didn’t have a billionaire daddy to bail his ass out w/the lawyers like a certain Ex-Weather professor in Chicago did…)

  • Dan

    I guess the black Obama supporter savagely attacking the peaceful tea party protesters is an example of that racist violence we keep hearing so much about.

  • Cannonshop

    #23 Nope, that’s just political speech-ask any democrat.

  • Jordan Richardson

    What’s the purpose of this pissing contest? My “side” is less/more violent than your “side.” Wow. Yay. You’ve all come so far.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    No Dave, I hadn’t forgot about them. However, to characterize the Unabomber as a true leftist is a stretch. As to the SLA, I knew 3 of them personally. They were nut cases. And relatively speaking all of these groups are ancient history, and none of them were either a part of nor condoned by the main stream left.

    Actually, the ELF is still active and has committed acts of violence within the last year. And let’s throw in Greenpeace as well, since they’re still currently active. And as for acceptance by the mainstream left, we have only to look at the relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers. There’s more acceptance than you’re willing to admit across the board for these groups.

    However, even the most “out there” right “wing nuts” have garnered at least tacit approval from the main stream Republicans and other rightys. Abortion doctor assassin George Tiller essentially got an “Atta-boy” from many on the right. O’Reilly fell just short of dubbing him a national hero.

    I saw none of this tacit approval you talk of from anyone but other extremists in the Tiller case. I saw overwhelming condemnation.

    There are literally dozens of right-wing pols using violent rhetoric – thinly disguised threats – and proudly displaying a plethora of armaments in their campaign ads and elsewhere. Oh, but I guess it’s all in good fun, right? Just good old red blooded American politics.

    Sorry, I don’t see this as a bad thing. People are waking up and are fed up. And the anger is directed at government, and governmement remains the main source of suffering, terror and oppression in our nation. Maybe all the extreme rhetoric means that finally something will be done about a government so out of control that it may well destroy us all.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Got to grant it, Dave. BP is also out of control, and so is Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

    “Out of control” seems to be the defining characteristic of our age, and there are offenders aplenty.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Concerning the SC primary, think about it – while it is true that whoever’s at the top of the ballot tends to get more votes, the percentage of those who vote thusly is not enough to move the results to any significant degree.

    What’s more, this was a primary…and those who vote in primaries tend to be the more politically-active i.e. those who are further to the left are more likely to vote in a Democratic primary, and those who are further to the right are more likely to vote in a Republican primary…and in both cases, those who take the time and effort in a primary are MUCH more likely to know who the heck it is they’re voting for.

    On top of that, SC holds open primaries, where one’s party affiliation makes no difference as to whom one may vote for – which sounds quite good and right in theory…but it also enables one side to skew the voting for the opposing party. Remember Rush Limbaugh and “Operation Chaos” wherein he encouraged Republicans to go vote for Obama so that they could stop Hillary?

    There was certainly election fraud in SC. Whether it was done by getting Republicans to skew the election by voting for whatsisname, or whether it was done by ‘adjusting’ the voting machine results (since they have NO paper trail, the voting machine manufacturing/operating company is a right-wing company, and the results are utterly unverifiable), I don’t know. If it was the former, we’ll know in time since such secrets tend to become known. If it was the latter, then America has a real problem on its hands – one that the Republicans will do their utmost to protect.

    Check out the Brad Blog for more. I haven’t checked it lately, but I’m sure Brad Freidman’s all over this issue.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    This article from the Washington Post attempts an anecdotal “analysis” of what happened in the S.C. primary. The first name on the ballot syndrome seems to have played a big part, and a perception that the Democrats wouldn’t put someone like Greene on the ballot anywhere probably played a part as well; something akin to shock is expressed by those interviewees who admitted having voted for Green that the Democratic Party didn’t do anything at all to vet him; neither, apparently did any other Democratic Party candidate.

    It is conceivable that it was a result of a Republican Party dirty trick, but with their own shoe-in candidate, that seems rather unlikely.

    Conspiracy theories are fun, but sometimes stupidity and lack of awareness are more likely explanations of weird events.

    Notwithstanding all of the above, Greene might become an outstanding member of the Congress, at least comparatively, should he win.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I saw none of this tacit approval you talk of from anyone but other extremists in the Tiller case. I saw overwhelming condemnation.

    Bill O’Reilly demonized Tiller. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Tiller was operating a “death mill”. Both seemed to think that they held no responsibility whatsoever. One of the leading lights of the Religious Right – Randall Terry, of Operation Rescue – called Tiller a “mass murderer”.

    Most professional journalists know that words have consequences, Dave.

    By your own words, you apparently have no problem with the extreme and violent rhetoric of the right. You also call yourself an historian. I really do hate to do this to someone who – like myself – holds the knowledge of history as something to be treasured, to be honored. But the occasion calls for it.

    In the days up to and during the American Revolution, did the patriots publish such extreme rhetoric against the British as the Right has been doing to the Left for so long?

    No.

    But when can we recall instances of extreme rhetoric meant to demonize and dehumanize people? Of course we can, in the years leading up to every genocide in modern human history – and these genocides were not always based on race or religion, but also on political viewpoint or even academic achievement, as we know from the Gulag, from the Great Leap Forward, and from the Killing Fields.

    Dave, I’m not saying for a moment that extreme rhetoric in America will lead to genocide…but it WILL lead to violence, to the deaths of innocents; indeed, it has done so already. Anyone who supports or encourages such extreme and violent rhetoric has the blood of the innocents on their hands.

    You once accused Obama and his administration of deliberately sabotaging the economy…essentially, of treason. Above, you said,

    government remains the main source of suffering, terror and oppression in our nation. Maybe all the extreme rhetoric means that finally something will be done about a government so out of control that it may well destroy us all.

    You didn’t have a problem with an illegal invasion of Iraq – heck, you wanted to EXPAND it! You apparently didn’t have a problem with the deaths of over a hundred thousand INNOCENT Iraqis and the ongoing displacement of hundreds of thousands more. But I digress.

    Do you, therefore, have blood on your hands because of the extreme rhetoric you’ve used? Perhaps it’s better metaphorically – each extreme statement by a media figure is like a drop of rain which, by itself, is not at all harmful or of great consequence. But when there are too many millions of such raindrops, the flood comes and death and destruction follows in its wake. All that death and destruction is not caused by any one raindrop…but each and every raindrop surely played its part.

    Dave, you can have whatever political views you want. But the encouragement of extreme rhetoric leads to the needless deaths of innocent people. As an historian, you of all people should know that.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    If your suppositions were true, then such anomalous elections would occur much more often. Please consider my points in comment #28.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Glen, I did read your Comment #28 before writing my Comment # 29; mine was intended to be responsive.

    Meanwhile at the site you mentioned in your Comment # 28, the Democratic Party Executive Committee has rejected the challenge of Judge Vic Rawl to the primary results and he has announced that he will not appeal.

    I suspect that at least some creditable evidence of fraud may be necessary to support speculative conspiracy allegations and that the Executive Committee may be just a tad embarrassed that no steps were taken to vet Mr. Greene.

    Why is it that when something unfortunate happens, it’s seen as the fault of somebody else?

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    I appreciate your response, and while I do agree that my argument is based on no solid evidence whatsoever, there does come a time that the sheer ludicrousness of an event in the lights of history and human nature begs, nay, demands cynicism.

    This is one such time.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Strangely my previous comment seems to have disappeared. To reiterate, I suggest Glenn go read some history and then come back and apologize for insulting the intelligence of our readers.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    You’re telling me to go read some more history…yet you don’t think that extremist rhetoric poses a real danger to society?

    As I’ve told you before, there’s those who know history, yet don’t understand history. If you don’t see the danger of allowing extremist rhetoric to run amok through our media, then you, sir, do not understand history.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    The Democratic Party primary results in the Texas 22nd congressional district may cast a bit of light on what happened with Senate Candidate Greene. The party heads are trying to figure out why Kesha Rogers, whose platform strays rather dramatically from Democratic Party orthodoxy, won 53% of the vote, beating the cumulative total of the other two candidates, 48%.

    Bewildered, the party is distancing itself from her. It has resolved that there will be no party support for her; “District 22 has also been stricken from the party’s official online list of congressional races.”

    Oh well.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Glen, re Comment # 35 — the danger of allowing extremist rhetoric to run amok through our media — who gets to decide what rhetoric is “extremist” and who gets to “allow” or disallow it? You? Me? A Federal Department of Information? A new czar? The Wizard of Oz?

    I don’t like it (what ever “it” is) from the conservative side, because I think it hurts the conservative cause. I don’t mind it at all from the leftist side, for precisely the same reason.

    This, of course, is not presented an answer to the question posed above. Having no answer, I prefer to decide for myself what is “extremist,” for others to do the same, and to take it for what, if anything, it is worth. That’s one of the “dangers” of free speech and some of the other perhaps archaic freedoms we think are worth having.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    There’s a difference between ‘disallowing’ extremist rhetoric…and openly using it, encouraging it, or simply allowing it to fester without speaking out against it.

    For example, remember how Sarah Palin did nothing at all when someone at one of her political rallies shouted “Kill him!” in obvious reference to Obama? IIRC, that was the same speech where she said he “pals around with terrorists”.

    Remember the boos that John McCain got at a Republican political rally when he had the courage to speak out against extremist rhetoric?

    Remember how two Republican congressmen and RNC chair Michael Steele all had to apologize to Rush Limbaugh after making statements against his extremist rhetoric?

    And do you think it was mere coincidence that death threats against Obama before he even took office were %400 higher than what Bush was receiving, despite Iraq, Katrina, and the Great Recession? As I said above to Dave in so many words, the more extremist rhetoric is tolerated, the more it will feed upon itself and grow and leave death and destruction in its wake. This is a lesson of history that I hope we don’t need to learn once more.

    Dan, there is no need to violate the First Amendment by ‘disallowing’ extremist rhetoric. All that is needed is for the elite among the Republican politicians to band together and speak as one against such extremist rhetoric in the same way that Reagan admonished the Republicans to not speak ill of one another. Reagan’s admonishment worked and is still largely in effect, if you’ll recall.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Glen, obviously shouts of “kill him” are perverse and should not be encouraged. As to saying that President Obama “pals around with terrorists,” I don’t know what else one could term William Ayers and a bunch of others. Mr. Ayers, in addition to being guilty as hell and free as a bird, has enthusiastically proclaimed the virtues of Venezuelan President Chavez, who has done more harm to Venezuela than any other dictator in recent history. I can’t say much about Rush Limbaug, because I have never heard him speak; I understand that he is a humorous entertainer, and I see him, rightly or wrongly, in that light. I saw the various entertainers who mocked Governor Palin maliciously and without restraint during the 2008 campaign in much the same light.

    Personally, I think that President Obama is an incompetent and far overrated narcissist and that to the limited extent that he is capable of leading anything is leading the country to ruin. I hope that he ceases to have a compliant Congress after this year’s election and that if he runs for office in 2012 he will be soundly defeated. So? Is that “hate speech?” I don’t think so, but if you do you are certainly entitled to your view.

    As to “disallowing” hate speech, you wrote of “the danger of allowing extremist rhetoric to run amok through our media.” (emphasis added) It was clear to me based on common English usage that if what you consider hate speech is dangerous and should not be “allowed,” then you must want it to be disallowed. If it should not be “allowed,” the obvious step is to disallow it. There have been more than enough arguments from those on the left that this should be done; I cited a satirical article I wrote about one in my comment. There have been others.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    If you’ll look at the last paragraph of my comment #38, you’ll see that I plainly described how to discourage extremist rhetoric. ‘Disallowing’ is not necessary. Courage is quite necessary.

    As far as Obama ‘leading the country to ruin’, I wonder how you’d compare him to the previous occupant of the White House who drove us to an illegal trillion-dollar war in Iraq (which will cost at least a trillion more as time goes on), passed Medicare Part D, and hundreds of billions’ worth of tax cuts for the wealthy, all of which were NOT paid for!

    Remember, Bush did all of that with the happy help of the Republican-controlled Congress…yet somehow you’re thinking that it’s Obama who’s ruining the country?

    I think Obama said it best when he pointed out how the Republicans drove our economy into the ditch and now they’re wanting the keys back…and no, the Republicans can’t have the keys back.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Glen, re #40 — we could argue all day and it would be repetitious.

    1. As between President Bush and President Obama, at this point I would prefer President Bush.

    2. If Your Comment #38 backs off from the position stated in your Comment #35, as it seems to do, good.

    3. I shall be very surprised if the conservatives — not the Republicans necessarily, the conservatives — don’t “get the keys back” in November. Whether by then a salvageable car will remain is another question. I don’t know who will be the presidential candidate of either party in 2012.

    Dan(Miller)

  • mrsaxde

    Interesting that the video of the “altercation” in Greensboro seems to be missing a segment that showed what occurred prior to the punch being thrown. The man is told to “keep your hands off my property, and don’t touch my wife” but where is that in the video?

    I know this is an old article, and I am probably writing to myself, but show me where in recent times there has been any political violence from the left that equals: 1) a Unitarian church being shot up, 2) an abortion provider being murdered, 3) the Holocaust Museum being shot up, or 4) a congressman or woman being shot?

    You guys like to go back to the 60’s for your examples of political violence from the left, but you conveniently ignore the fact that there was this thing going on called Vietnam, that was not too popular in our country. That was the motivation for the violence from the left. And even then, when during those times were Republican members of congress shot at or murdered?

    The right owns the crazies. You use them as your political tools, and when the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, or Hannity see what their rhetoric has caused, they wash their hands of any responsibility for stirring it up!