A reader writes:
Of course, the shouting of "Kill him!" in relation to any public official (or private individual for that matter) is deplorable, and scary. But I do hope that your outrage at these isolated incidents gained equal purchase when calls for the assassination of George W. Bush were infinitely more profligate, and far more mainstream. A simple Google search could most probably draw up results, but I certainly recall offhand Randi Rhodes, The Guardian, and numerous other liberal media outlets bandying about the necessity of his extermination.
Even likenesses of his were often used as effigies in New York City, where I was at the time. Now, some may maintain that because these gestures were at the hands of a cosmopolitan intelligentsia, their intended audience was restrained and savvy enough not to take their sentiments to irrational extremes. This is outrageously hypocritical and condescending. Regardless of Bush's incompetence, manipulations, and grand iniquities, this country's coastal set indulged in behavior that, were it practiced at the hands of Appalachian middle Americans towards a sitting President Obama, we would all throw our skirts over our heads and panic for the country's health. And simply because the mock documentary that chronicled the hypothetical killing was intended as intellectual grist for the mill, it is nonetheless morally dubious in its seemingly masturbatory aesthetic for the Huffington Post set.
Agreed. And there has been some pretty ugly stuff about McCain and Palin too on the violence front. But there is something particularly menacing about supporters in a crowd for a candidate yelling to assassinate the opponent. In an election campaign. With the backdrop of the candidates describing Obama as "palling around with terrorists" and equating him with treason.
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