Newt and Company Fire Up The Violent Rhetoric
Employing suggestive language is akin to a dog whistle for the crazies
What a difference a year makes! Just over 365 days ago, politicians were calling for civility in the wake of a shooting that left six dead and a congresswoman severely injured.
Last year, the repercussions of the healthcare reform vote and the looming shutdown of the federal government became a safety concern for some members of Congress. Today, it’s the presidential race we have to worry about.
Instead of seizing the opportunity to tamp down on violent rhetoric, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich just about encouraged it during a town hall in South Carolina. See video below:
Of course this makes sense for Gingrich. He’s doubled down – hell, tripled and quadrupled – on using speech that encourages racial resentment. And Gingrich is proud of his knack for playing to voters' fear and anger. His campaign used the incident as a ploy to solicit donations via email:
From a campaign email titled "A Bloody Nose Just Won't Cut It:"
"This is exactly why Newt Gingrich is the candidate who must face Obama! He is the only candidate with the right combination of experience, leadership, and bold solutions to draw stark contrasts with Barack Obama, and he is far and away the best candidate to debate Obama and do more than just bloody his nose. Newt Gingrich can - and will - knock him out!"
While it’s dishonest to tie last January’s shooting at Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ political event to nasty political speech, the incident provided a window of opportunity. America seemed to take stock of the tenor of its politics.
And then we forgot about all that lovey-dovey stuff a week later. Here’s a few reminders of what preceded the nation’s brief wake-up call:
‘Kill the bill’ chanted at huge Tea Party rallies
Black congressmen endure slurs and are spat upon
Gifford eerily foreshadows tragic incident in Tucson (at 2:10)
Pray for peace.