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Civil discourse

Perhaps the liberals can tell us one more time about how the conservatives are the ones who drag down civil discourse. The FBI has recently arrested Theodore Shulman for persistent threats "transmitted across state lines" against a whole range of pro-life writers and bloggers. In the course of the threats he taunted his victims by telling them that the FBI would do nothing about his actions. Frankly, given the current administration, I'm rather pleasantly surprised that he was wrong.

Let's hope he's put away for a good, hard stretch.

(Cue commentators saying that Shulman isn't a liberal and that this has nothing to do with politics.)

HT: Scott W.

Comments (13)

Since you asked, just yesterday I read a comment from a person at a mainstream financial blog who wrote the only way for states to balance their budgets would be to round up all union members and liberal parasites and exterminate them. Which seemed a bit extreme. So I agree that this Shulman nut is clearly dangerous and ought to be imprisoned but I'm curious about where you think the line gets crossed. Some degree of vilification is inevitable for most public discourse and this was true for centuries before Godwin's law was espoused. Vilification often implies more than rejection, it can also imply eradication.

I've concluded that certain liberals are far less interested in what is the case than they are in what they think should be the case. It should be the case that all of the violence is being perpetrated by crazy prolifers, whether it is or not. Just like it should have been the case that the Arizona shooter was violent right wing tea-partier, and it should have been the case that the fort Hood shooter acted for purely psychological reasons that had nothing to do with Islam. This is also how our president knew that the police acted stupidly in the Henry Louis Gates case even though by his own admission he didn't have all of the facts. It should be the case that when a white policeman arrests a person of color he is doing so for racist motivations. The important to think is to never ever dwell on what is the case. Instead, you need to ask what should be the case given that liberalism is true.

"The important to think is to never ever dwell on what is the case. Instead, you need to ask what should be the case given that liberalism is true."

Recall what Evan Thomas said about the Duke Lacrosse case: "The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong." To the race-class-gender crowd the narrative is of much more importance than the facts.

Exactly, Rob G. It should have been the case that rich white males on a Lacrosse team would sexually abuse and attempt to discredit a poor black female stripper. It doesn't matter what the actual flesh and blood human beings did. A few lives and reputations ruined on the basis of some self-serving lies? Small potatoes. Those are just accidents of history. The only thing that matters is the "narrative" of white oppression and denial. So what if it gets concretized in ways that are objectively unjust are untruthful?

The only thing that matters is the "narrative" of white oppression and denial.

True. And as Lydia pointed out elsewhere, consider the narrative of intangible racism that surely causes so much societal harm that every innocent employee and student is pestered with awareness programs and other burdensome nonsense; yet if we suggest that same-sex marriage also causes societal harm, watch progressives turn into cold empiricists demanding hard proof showing demonstrable and direct causation of harm.

Golly, Scott, did I say that? That's a really good point, and I don't remember ever having said it. :-)

Detailed, personal death threats against Wisconsin lawmakers:


Ah yes. Where were the protests when that vile creature Eliot Spitzer eviscerated our financial sector? Where were the protests when factory after factory was shuttered? Where were the protests when private union shops were forced to make DEEP concessions? Not a peep.

Touch so much of a penny of their own, that's when they they protest. Greed and envy, and more sickeningly foul because they are supposed to be the ones who "care". May this law pass.

Thanks for the links. Is there anything in them that you think the Tea Party and its supporters didn't do, including death threats after the health care bill was passed? Because your position seems to be that selective outrage is something only liberals engage in, at least that is the most charitable interpretation I can think of. Of course I harshly criticized parts of the health care debate, but it was because of the misinformation campaign and the absolute reversal and demagoguery on positions that many Republicans had supported when they were Republican ideas. Protesters carrying offensive signs, in-your-face tactics and shaming politicians just doesn't bother me very much.

Yes, the 2002-2006 time period was when Wall Street nearly collapsed under the weight of Spitzer's legal terror. Just look at how their bonuses only doubled, it was a horrible travesty.

Also, it is hilarious that you think nobody on the left protested the negative effects of globalization. What do you think all those WTO protests have been about? Ever heard of Naomi Klein?

Do, Step2, tell us about the Tea Party mob storming a state capitol building, the detailed, personal death threats the Tea Party has sent to lawmakers, and their blocking the access of a Democrat legislator to his office. I'm all ears.

So here’s a short recap. Lydia started off with a classic guilt-by-association argument, which conservatives always reject as a fallacy when used by liberals. In my comment, I condemned this Shulman guy as a dangerous nut, ignored the fallacy and asked a serious question about the extremist tendencies of vilifying political opponents. Lydia has yet to answer my question about where the line should be drawn, but has been dutifully vilifying the Wisconsin protesters with more guilt-by-association examples and refusing to admit any comparisons between the Tea Party and the pro-union protesters, even though both are acting against what they perceive as tyrannical oppression and have shown similar if not always identical tactics and an informal style of organization.

Okay, so where was I? Oh yes, “storming" the capitol building has a nice ring to it. I can almost imagine the pitchforks and tear gas clouds from riot police. I would characterize it more like an extended disruptive campaign, perhaps a more extreme version of shouting out nonsense at Town Hall meetings for a few weeks, as Tea Party members were instructed to do. As for detailed, personal death threats, the Politico article tells of death threats made against lawmakers, their spouses, their children, even their grandchildren. How detailed does it need to be before it becomes uncivil? Is Leiter over the line by suggesting political terrorism or would it be Tea Party members who suggest armed rebellion? I did watch the video of the senator, as far as I could tell he wasn’t blocked from the building by the protesters, it looked as if he couldn’t find an unlocked entrance. He was maneuvered around to a limited extent but nobody touched him. The senator later said on Fox News that he didn’t feel like he was in any danger and that some of the crowd was friendly and courteous, so I’ll take his word for it.

Finally, we've agreed before that war should have some rules and limits, do you think the same thing of politics?
“War is nothing more than the continuation of politics by other means.” Karl von Clausewitz

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