Sunday, August 30, 2009

Conservative Death Wishes for Obama

Sen. Ted Kennedy, the brother of two assassinated political leaders, was always a marked man -- the target of every kook who wanted to be known for getting the last Kennedy brother.

So as we mourn his death due to natural causes, it's appropriate to note that the torch of being a marked man has been passed to a new generation -- specifically, to President Obama.

With sickening frequency, opponents of President Obama are suggesting that he should die or that they would like to shoot him.

For example:

The pastor of a man who brought an assault rifle to an Obama appearance in Phoenix, Arizona, prayed the day before the event that Obama would die and go to hell.

A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Idaho has joked about getting a license to hunt Obama.

And then there was the man who held up a "Death to Obama, Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids" sign at a town hall meeting.

And a Democratic lawmaker received a fax with a picture of Obama made up as the Joker with the words "Death to all Marxists, Foreign and Domestic."

Let's not forget the armed protester who showed up outside an Obama event with the sign referencing Thomas Jefferson's quote about the "tree of liberty" needing to be watered with the blood of tyrants.

Or the man carrying a knife who made it past security into an Obama town hall meeting and was found to have a loaded gun in his vehicle.

With so much public talk linking death and Obama, it's no wonder that the Secret Service is dealing with 30 death threats a day against the president's life.

The Idaho congressman may think it's just sarcasm to joke about getting a license to hunt Obama, but the danger is that this constant linkage of Obama and death will come to be seen as a call to action by some kook. With multiple authority figures, including a politician and a preacher, endorsing Obama's death, somebody may decide to be the hero who does what others are calling for. Add in the lunatic claim that Obama is not a legitimate president because he supposedly wasn't born in Hawaii, and there is even further "justification" for some nut case who thinks he's a real "patriot" to take action.

The Secret Service does a better job than they did in the 1960s, but even they make mistakes. And if the kooks can't get to Obama, there are plenty of members of Congress who would be easy targets, especially with commentators like Glenn Beck acting out an assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Political assassination is not funny. Conservatives are playing with fire and we could all get burned.

1 comment:

kevins said...

Your criticism of the death wishes/"jokes"/suggestions, etc. is valid. There is nothing funny nor responsible about such garbage talk.

But as usual you take it too far when you use Teddy Kennedy as an example. What kooks targeted him? None. He was afraid of that...and understandably so...but I know of no known attempt on his life.

In fact, until he settled down after his second marriage, the biggest threat to Ted Kennedy's life was...Ted Kennedy.

His reckless behavior was well known. He drank to excess, he chased women, he was a dangerous driver. He could easily have died in the accident that killed Mary Jo Kopeckne. As a supposedly mature man, he was chasing skirt and getting drunk with his nephews the night of the rape allegation in Florida.

I admit he had a lot of pressure on him as the youngest Kennedy brother. I sympathize that he had to endure the murder of two older brothers. I admire the role he played for the children left childless by those murders. I respect the great role he played in the Senate.

But you diminish all that with your baseless claim of "every kook" who wanted to kill the remaining Kennedy brother. There were no such instances. In fact, it was Ted himself who took a life. It was tragic, and his actions at the time were reprehensible and inexplicable. He was either drunk or he and Mary Jo were heading out to the ocean..his "wrong turn" story has never made sense. After the accident, he clearly tried to cover up his actions. It was a sorry story and an example of how he and him family expected to get out of trouble by using privilege unavailable to the common man they supposedly fought for.

And they did fight for the common man. Admirably so. He was a great man...but seriously flawed. That he accomplished so much despite his flaws probably says a lot more about him than the fables some apologists try to peddle.