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Abusive Democrats.

Some of you are getting very exercised by this idea that I don't think Democrats could ever be as vitriolic as Republicans! I am not THAT naieve ( though I do think the Dems could do with a bit more vim and vigor sometimes!) My point is, and has always been, that the threatening and violent language aimed at our President by a free- speaking people has never been taken up, encouraged and even echoed by elected representatives of the Democrat party to the extent that the Republican Party is taking up this dangerous rhetoric in it's official capacity. I have referred to Palin, Steele, Boehner etc. specifically. There is a world of difference between an angry mob outside the palace walls, and the same kind of treasonous mutterings on the inside. We all remember how, during the Bush presidency, any congressman or senator who argued against Bush's " My way or the Highway" decisions was branded as un-patriotic and seditious, because we were "at war." Well, as far as I can see, we still are "at war," yet the Republican brass are lining up to undermine our President. Wasn't this "giving comfort to our enemies"? Or was Dick Cheney reserving that accusation for ONLY when it concerned a Republican Presidency?

Only Connect!
Charles Shaughnessy


  1. Charlie, as I go back and read your previous 2 blogs, I can see where the confusion lies. We are ALL stressed beyond measure about this issue. It seems like everyone who replied read it the same way..even those who agreed with you were talking about "angry mobs, racists, spitting, bricks" etc. If that's what you MEANT, why didn't you say so when you took the time to post a 2nd reply on the blog, saying that is ONLY Republicans,which only reinforced the theme? You have said many times on your blogs "Show me ONE EXAMPLE" of Democrats being disrespectful to Bush like this..threatening his life and calling him Hitler...and we show you, with no response. We show videos of the "non-spitting" incident and Democrats threatening revolution and violence.and it is met with silence. I think it's only natural for us to "assume" that's what you were speaking about once again.
    All that said...I think you are sincere in your belief that the "Republican" leadership is not doing anything to stop this. Palin,Beck,Rush, etc though are NOT elected officials, they are private citizens. Sarah's crosshairs thing made me cringe...only because I could just see the liberal wheels turning. Beck and Rush are entertainers, admit it, and TELL their fans not to take what they say, but to research it themselves. They are NOT leaders in the Republican Party. As for the actual elected officials, it's human nature to "see" things through a lens of bias, past experiences, prejudices,etc. You and I can watch the same video clip and sincerely SEE 2 different things. Tom Tancredo suggested a CIVICS literacy test...yet you left the word "civics" out of your blog, *AND* said he wanted it because we have a black president, which wasn't accurate in the's because we are a nation of political illiterates. And you just fanned those flames by telling your fans that the Republicans want only people who can read to be able to vote??!! You want John Boehner to come out and "demand" that the people stop speaking out against this President...but where was the Democrat leadership when Bush was being threatened at rallies(I can post the link again if you'd like)? Where was Nancy Pelosi and her crocodile tears over memories of Harvey Milk's assassination when those protests were happening in San Francisco? Why did the Dem politicians criticize Bush,in public, while forgetting to mention that THEY VOTED YES FOR THE ACTION? That's how *I* see it.
    Part of the anger of the "I don't like Obama's policies" crowd is just this issue...being told to shut up and support him. Not only is it our right to protest, it is scary to think that any dissent against the poor oppressed Dear Leader who is trying to do what's best for us, will not be tolerated. One of your own Dems(Rep John Dingle) said, about this HC bill.."it's taken a long time to control the people". How are we supposed to take THAT? I mean besides the fact that he's 102 yrs old and can be forgiven for choosing bad words when he was exhausted(which is how I see the incident).
    I'm sticking with that bastion of Republican thought...Hillary Clinton, who told us:
    "I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."

  2. Again, you are lumping all Republicans together. Why do you insist on blaming an entire group for the actions of a few? Please tell me what office Sarah Palin and Michael Steele hold--the last time I checked, neither of them hold public office.

    It is not unusual--or exceptional--for members of the minority party to object to the policies of the majority party. In fact, it is part of the American political tradition. The impeachment hearings and trial during the Clinton administration and during the Andrew Johnson administration in the 1860s provides us with extreme examples of how partisan politics can go too far. And Joe Biden certainly has not been quiet in his support of the president (and has provided us with some rather colorful language in the process).

    As an example, prosecutions following the passage of the Sedition Act of 1798 (passed by the Federalist Congress to punish opposition to the federal government) certainly heightened political passions. The written and verbal attacks against the federal government led to several cases in which Republican newspaper editors were arrested for violating the law by publishing editorials and articles that challenged the President's authority (along with one Congressman). In each of the trials, Federalist judges ruled in a partisan manner against the Republicans (before anyone gets excited and thinks "another example of rogue Republicans," these are not the same Republicans as today; these were Jeffersonian Republicans who are somewhat ancestors of the modern-day Democratic Party). So what the Republicans are doing now in their attacks against Obama is nothing new.

    In the meantime, I must go and figure out how opposing a president's domestic policies is "giving comfort to our enemies." If that were the case, then anyone who opposed LBJ's Great Society programs of the 1960s also wanted the Viet Cong to take over South Vietnam (which obviously was not the case, because defense spending during the 1960s far exceeded spending for social programs). I can understand the argument if someone is attacking the President's foreign policy or national security policy, but not domestic policy. Plus, it's not just Republicans who are doing objecting to Obama's actions; it's also the "Blue Dog Democrats."

  3. I forgot to address an important item in my reply...the Dick Cheney "unpatriotic" comments. At the time, I was not one of your fans and you may have discussed it on your soapbox. When Bush/Cheney made those comments, I thought it was WRONG and I still do. I think they wanted the WWII victory gardens/ladies give up your nylons/meatless days to reappear...which ain't gonna happen after VietNam. I didn't want to give the impression that I condoned Cheney's comments(really, even today he makes me cringe). But, the same can be said of the Dems today...why is dissent "bad" when it's Obama, but "good" when it's Bush? Same you-know-what, different smell.

  4. Just because someone does not hold public office does not mean they are not a leader and don't exert influence on the party faithful. They do not get off the hook that easily. If someone's words can rally/inflame the masses, then they have a leadership role. It's fair to ask those in leadership positions, whether official or de facto, to choose their words carefully and take responsibility when these words incite reaction. Either apologize for the mistake or own up when your purpose was to antagonize. You were not misunderstood or misquoted.

  5. Democrats have a long history of getting what they want and then splintering off on how to get it done. Republicans vs Democrats, unfortunately everyone has their own agenda rather than work together for the common good of everyone, which is the President's point. Too bad people just don't listen to what he says rather than being disrespectful to him and his office. And why for the love of God, would anyone listen to or give credibility to anything Sarah Palin or Dick Cheney says? We need to stop listening to the rabble-rousers, wasting four more years, fighting with each other and accomplish something.

  6. It is so sad to watch a once great and powerful country implode like this.

    The problem is that America is still powerful…it’s just not so great. Instead of the star Quarter Back who’s mere presence in the hall ways would induce whispers of *ooh and ah* you’ve become the School Bully, who beats on the weak behind the bike sheds during lunch. Sure we’d all pick you first for a game of football but as soon as you’re not around we make fun of you because you’re from a broken home, and your socks don’t match.

    I think the problem is (over the past 10 years especially) the American people have seen, and been ‘taught’ that the way to solve problems with those that think differently to you is with acts of violence. The fallout of the attack on your country 9 years ago is to distrust those who are different to you and react violently to those that speak against you. The same thing happened in 1941. Your country was attacked and you went to war against your attackers. The difference is you won. You retained your powerful authority against the world. Your leader took into battle and you defeated your enemy.

    Leap forward to 2010 and your enemies still exist. There’s been no victorious defeat; no end to this battle that you can wave your flags about and so these feelings of fear, and terror have just brewed and developed until you have no choice but to attack each other. And you have this pre-existing split that exists in your country that makes it easy. Politics. From my point of view I see Americans attacking each other. From your point of view it’s Republican’s v Democrats. And that’s what’s so sad is that you lose sight of each other. There are men and women fighting overseas, and losing their lives in the most frightful of circumstances for your ongoing safety, wellbeing and protection and you dare to attack each other on your own soil.

    I really enjoy these blogs because here is a good example of intelligent political debate, and it’s crucial to have that. Free speech is so important, but you can’t hide behind it and attack people, be it with words or sticks. And I know an outsider’s opinion is not always welcome, but I can’t even begin to tell you how upsetting it is to watch a country of people capable of so much turn against each other like this, and because of what…a health bill that will give you long-term care? You should be embarrassed. And I’m not speaking about Democrats or Republicans, I’m speaking about Americans. You’re better then this.

  7. Could this be any more frustrating? I've gotten to the point that I just want to scream, "Everybody knock it off, behave yourselves, and go to your rooms." I've never seen the likes of the hatefulness that is erupting in this country.

  8. I'm just as upset as everyone else about how people are responding to the current situation. Violence never really solves anything, and rational discussion (such as we're having here) provides more long-term solutions to problems. From my perspective, I'm angry at the way the legislative process was abused with the passage of the health care legislation, but I'm certainly not going to throw bricks through windows (that's the waste of a good brick) or spit at people (as someone with a compromised immune system, it appalls me that anyone would think spitting on another person solves anything).

    I am DEFINITELY not against having the government involved in assisting the American public in providing affordable health care. Having spent several years as one of the "uninsured" after graduate school, I know the expense of a personal policy, and I chose to eat and have a roof over my head instead of paying for insurance. This was not an easy decision for someone with a chronic illness to make; I constantly worried that my illness would come out of remission (or that I would require emergency surgery). I ended up taking a job that had little relevance to my academic training so that I could have benefits, in case something happened (I have fortunately moved on to do something that is much more enjoyable and appropriate for my degree). So, I fully understand the need for a universal health care plan, and, if government intervention is what it takes for it to be affordable, I'm all for it.

    However, the plan that was passed by Congress--and the one that President Obama is now trying to sell to the American people--is not a plan that I support. There are far too many loopholes in this law that turn it into pro-insurance company and pro-pharmaceutical industry and anti-common person. One of the problems that I see with the law is that it mandates that people have health care. Again, I'm not against health care; I just think that a person should have the right to choose if they want it (with the understanding that if they opt out, they are responsible for all of their medical expenses, not the American public). I don't agree with the logic that "it's better than nothing" and "we can fix it later." Would you be comfortable with a mechanic calling to tell you that your car is ready to be picked up at the shop, and when you arrive you are told, "Oh, don't worry, we are returning your car to you; we'll take care of the faulty brakes later"?

    By the way, I'm a registered Republican (we actually have to choose a party in my state in order to vote in the primaries), but I have voted for Democrats in my lifetime. In fact, I voted for President Obama in November 2008 (I decision that I often regret), mainly because I saw the selection of a vice president as a sign of the candidate's decision-making process--and the thought of Sarah Palin one heartbeat away from the Oval Office scared me (with good reason, it appears). I was genuinely looking forward to seeing change in the political system to make it work better for the American people; I just didn't expect the change to lead to an overhaul of the legislative process so that proper procedures aren't followed when a law is passed. The Democrats weren't opposed to filibusters when Huey Long and Strom Thurmond did them; why would they object to Republicans filibustering? Is there a reason why they would not permit debate on such an important issue? Is there a reason why they refused to listen to Republicans who offered alternate plans?

  9. (sorry--ran out of room with the last post) The nice part about all of this is that it is an election year, and this November will effectively be a referendum on President Obama's administration, like it or not. It could potentially be another 1974, when in the midst of Watergate, the Democrats increased their majority in both the House and Senate (indicating popular approval of Obama's actions as president), or it could be another 1994, when Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" led voters to elect Republicans to Congress (partly because they were expressing their displeasure with the Clinton version of health care reform).

  10. Just received a link to this article(warning:conservative website), that while sarcastic, explains how a lot of us feel.
    These "protests" are not about the health-insurance-life-support-law(since there's no CARE involved)'s much bigger than that, and it's been brewing for years. The first bailout(it was a Democrat controlled Congress who ran that show)made the "snowball" grow larger as it rolled downhill. I don't need to repeat the laundry list of concerns we already had about Obama's shady connections, his hidden past, the secrecy while bragging about "transparency". People awoke from their slumber and complacency, on BOTH sides.
    Obama needs to look in the mirror if he wants to see "vitriol"...'bring it on', 'get in their faces', 'we're keeping score'???? He's making Beck/Rush/Sarah the scapegoats for the anger against his policies...cuz it couldn't possibly be REAL, now could it? How he can insist that the "right wingers" are inciting hate, yet "didn't hear a thing" when sitting in Wright's church for 20 years??!! 20 years and he called the guy a mentor and quoted sermons he didn't hear in his books. And does Harry Smith ask about that? Nope.
    I'm not saying that there isn't angry, inappropriate vitriol coming from the fringes, but it's disingenuous for Obama to be saying "some mean people are picking on me and calling me Hitler and it has to stop". Where was he when the left was calling Bush Hitler and drawing graphic cartoons of him with blood dripping from his decapitated head? Did he speak out, ask the liberals who were doing this to tone it down?
    Andrew Breitbart also took on the "racism" charges at the rally that Sunday. There are miles of underground tunnels in DC, so that the politicians can move safely. The DC police(and I assume Secret Service) were there at the rally...if it was "sooo volatile", why did they allow the Black Caucus to do their little "let's see if we can catch a racist" routine? If the Caucus was treated so badly, why did they then allow Nancy Pelosi to strut through the crowd with her gavel and her little parade of merry men(including John Lewis, who has been a race target for decades)? Why did they? Because apparently the law enforcement on hand HAD NO CONCERNS.
    We need to get back to common sense and logic here, and to LOOK at the whole story before repeating a biased news clip. The politicians want nothing more than for us to keep up the that they can continue their corrupted behavior. Both parties are a mess, and they are both working for their wallets and not the people. I think sometimes they meet for lunch, and say "I can't believe we're getting away with this".

  11. Yesterday I was pretty outraged to find on the streets in San Francisco, albeit, in a pretty conservative district - a little "Impeach Obama" petition campaign table setup. What was most infuriating to me was not so much the impeachment movement itself which I am opposed to on political grounds, (we had one against Bush), but it was the picture of Obama with a little Hitler mustache that ticked me off! I heard this was going on somewhere in America, but I had no idea it would appear on the streets of San Francisco (where on election nite the spontaneous singing of the national anthem by thousands of people could be heard in the heart of the city).
    The idea of comparing Obama to Hitler on the one hand and being scared to death of "socialism" is incongruous and ridiculous. I make the presumption that this is the Tea Party influence and the crazy right who obviously have no historical perspective or education.

  12. @Kathy...I know it's disconcerting to see Obama made to look like Hitler, and it's WRONG. Violence and threatening rhetoric is always wrong. However, if you are shocked that it's happening, heard that it was somewhere in America, and think that the right is crazy for it, you need to take a look at these photos from SanFrancisco back in the last administration. Not only Hitler/Nazi references, but threats and violent images. I know you weren't part of this, but it's hard for us to take "the left" seriously in their outrage, when apparently threatening the President and calling him Hitler was acceptable before.

  13. @Kathy: Perhaps you should take a look at your own city's history of opposition to politics and national political leaders. The people of San Francisco certainly were not in support of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, so this is not the first time that the people of San Francisco have expressed their displeasure with a presidential administration. Democrats WERE just as vicious in their attacks against President George W. Bush because of his actions, yet you didn't see many complaints about them portraying the president as Hitler then. Again, we're getting back to the idea that "our revolution" is okay, but "their revolution" is not--in other words, it's acceptable for the left to criticize a Republican president, but don't anybody even think about hurling the same accusations against a Democratic president, or else he/she will be accused of being a racist (among other things).
    Why do Democrats have a hard time accepting the fact that free speech is a right guaranteed in the Constitution, and this includes the right to express your displeasure with a Democratic president in a lawful manner? Is part of the problem that the same things Democrats accused Bush of doing that led to impeachment threats are being condoned by the present administration (such as renewing the Patriot Act)?


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