My first article is up at David Horowitz’s FrontPage.com where I look at the real motive behind Bill Clinton’s sudden interest in political speech inciting violence:
Mr. Clinton’s concern for the quality of our nation’s political discourse is touching, if not a little curious. Apparently, the avalanche of hate, violent rhetoric, and invective against President Bush for 8 years didn’t pose much of a danger in his mind. Otherwise, he would have said something, right?
During the Bush years, major figures on the left referred to the “Bush regime” as “fascist,” while insisting that the president was trying to set up a dictatorship. Mr. Bush was regularly hung in effigy at protest rallies, and something of an “assassination chic” arose where the killing of the president became a parlor game for some of the president’s more hip critics.
I don’t recall Mr. Clinton — or anyone else on the left for that matter — raising the specter of political violence as a result of that fantastically exaggerated, hateful rhetoric. Few, if any in the mainstream media raised an alarm that such unscrewed looniness would incite or enable some left wing kook to act out his violent impulses. Not even as the left en mass were screaming about Bush “destroying the country” did we hear a peep from the former president about “demonization” of Bush by his liberal allies.
The point being, Mr. Clinton is engaging in an effort to silence and delegitimize critics of President Obama by hinting at violence that hasn’t occurred yet. He is, in effect, setting the stage for a massive backlash against the right and tea partiers if, God forbid, some nutcase were to listen to the voices in his head telling him to kill people and act on those impulses. If this were to occur, we would once again be treated to the entire left playing amateur psychologist and trying to guess the insane person’s “motivations.” The fact that most crazed gunmen don’t need any outside stimuli to perpetrate their crimes is beside the point. Even the idea that the fringe right character plotting mayhem cares what some internet blogger has to say about Obama gains currency when the left engages in its politically motivated hunt for blame.
I don’t discount the idea that speech can lead to violence entirely. I detail the Warren Commission’s efforts to quantify the extraordinary hatred directed against Kennedy in the months leading up to the assassination. Did Oswald feel enabled by the level of vitriol directed against JFK? In the end, the Commission took the politically expedient route and only made passing mention of the idea.
But it is nuts to equate the atmosphere in Dallas with anything having to do with opposition to Obama today among mainstream conservatives. Clinton is trying to cut off debate while setting up a huge backlash against the right if any nutcase decides to act out his radical impulses in a violent manner.
Read the whole thing.