I don't mean that. Or do I? How seriously should I be taken when I say Sarah Palin or any grinding, screeching cog in the Right-Wing Noise Machine has the blood of ten people, including a Congresswoman and judge, on their hands?
The answer, in question form: How seriously should we take the Republicans?
The soundtrack to the past two years has been a cacophony of fear-mongering about Socialism, Fascism, Terrorism, Death Panels, Totalitarianism, and any other number of menaces to civil society supposedly foisted on America by Obama and the Democrats. These were not scribblings by marginal nutters who live in isolated cabins with shotgun boners. They were said, loudly and often, by high-profile public figures and members of Congress.
New Speaker of the House John Boehner:
“If we pass this bill, there will be no turning back. It will be the last straw for the American people.
“And In a democracy, you can only ignore the will of the people for so long and get away with it.
“And if we defy the will of our fellow citizens and pass this bill, we are going to be held to account by those who have placed us in their trust.
“We will have shattered those bonds of trust."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
"By preventing the accumulation of excessive power, the Constitution is designed to reduce the risk of tyranny or abuse at either the Federal or state levels," McConnell told the audience of conservative legal scholars. "The health care bill would remove an important bulwark of this protection."
Representative Michelle Bachman:
“What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.”
“This is slavery,” Bachmann said after claiming many Americans pay half their income to taxes. “It’s nothing more than slavery.”
Former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin:
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."
If these figures are to be believed--and many people do believe them--America faces the prospect of undemocratic, tyrannical, evil slavery. You don't vote tyranny out of office or write it a letter of disapproval. You don't go to a tyrant's town hall meeting, unless it's with the intention of opening fire on the dastard and his enablers. Sic semper tyrannis.
Ezra Klein wrote about the consequences of dire rhetoric last night. And people are actually surprised this happened? Words have meaning. Either the Democrats or tyrants or they are not. If the Republicans did not actually think the nation is at risk of creeping tyranny, then they are not credible but empty and cynical actors, unfit for elected office.
Boehner and the rest are currently mouthing horror and condemnation in the most serious of words. But people have been taking them and their words seriously for awhile now, with Jared Laughner, the suspected gunman, the most serious of all.