Saturday, November 07, 2009

Moderate GOP legislator receives death threats by self-styled patriots

Fallout continues to rain down in the aftermath of the 23rd Congressional District of New York special election. The far right spin is that the 23rd was a victory for them that a registered Republican with a national following and funding lost a two-person race in a region with huge Republican advantage that hadn't sent a Democrat to Congress since before the Civil War to an unknown supposed Nancy Pelosi clone.

And that speaks volumes. It was more important for the far right jihadists to purge the party of infidels than to win the race with a candidate who agree with them on most issues.

That's why the far right ran not against Dede Scozzafava and the now-elected Bill Owens, but against the presence of moderates in the GOP and against the House Speaker. And it didn't work. Even in conservative (but pragmatic) upstate, the "Owen=Pelosi" smear wasn't enough to overcome the far right candidate's strident ideology, hatemongering and often bald-faced lying national backers and wilful ignorance of local issues.

Upstate NY Republican Assemblywomen Scozzafava and Janet Duprey both gave interviews to North Country Public Radio in which they wondered if there were still a place for moderates in the GOP. A third, Teresa Sayward, seems to wonder the same.

Sayward, Scozzafava and Duprey align with the Republican mainstream on most issues. But to the jihadists, politicians are judged solely on two: abortion and gay marriage. Anyone who varies from theocratic orthodoxy on either of those two issues is a "liberal" heretic to be burned at the stake. By contrast, "pro-life" frauds not only have no problem supporting pols who advocate state murder (the death penalty) or bloody wars of aggression without the slightest sense of contradiction, but do so eagerly and with startling regularity.

What's most notable is that all three of these Assemblywomen voted in favor of gay marriage during the last legislative session, Sayward famously giving an impassioned plea based on her status as the mother of a gay son. And yet none of the three received either a primary or general election challenger in last November's race. Further evidence that upstate may be conservative temperamentally but without the frothing-at-the-mouth ideological fervor that the far right wants to believe.

Probably the most disturbing part of the Duprey interview is her claim that she's received not just hate emails, but threats of physical violence. This is the edge to the far right that is extremely disturbing. According to media reports, President Obama has received far more death threats than any previous president. There certainly are strident left-wing ideologues, but they are typically derided by opponents as pacifists and sissies, not the groups most likely to commit violence to achieve political objectives. If the far right wants to marginalize the Republican Party into irrelevance, that's certainly its democratic prerogative. But it's one thing to threaten to take a politician out at the voting booth. It's quite another to threaten to just take him/her out.

And while there's certainly tension and harsh words within the Democratic Party as well, I don't know of anyone who's threatened to kill against Joe Lieberman or Max Baucus.

Update: Just to show that nastiness and vitriol is not unique to the right. From a newsletter...

We're not pulling punches. We need to turn up the pressure on any senator who might be a Turncoat Democrat who supports a Republican filibuster. It's time to bring back our hard-hitting ad pressuring Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to support a public option. If we raise $100,000 by Thursday, we can blanket the airwaves and turn up the pressure for Mary Landrieu back home before she decides how to vote in D.C.

Does it make me a "turncoat progressive" that I don't support the Democrats' HMO bailout that would fine people for being poor?


PlanetAlbany said...

I've been busy writing death threats, spreading jihad, hatemongering, bald-faced lying and otherwise spreading my fraudulent far-right mouth-frothings, along with my new Facebook ally Anh "Joseph" Cao. So you think "There certainly are strident left-wing ideologues," eh? Nothing like that in this blog post, though.

Brian said...

I have a long record of being strident against violence, intimidation and hatemongering. And my stridency in that regard is much more consistent than that of many self-described "pro-lifers," whose opposition to murder is often spotty at best.

Now if you don't mind, I'll go back to eating fetus salads with shredded embroyos and preaching the gospel of why abortion should be mandatory, like a typical liberal.

PlanetAlbany said...

Being strident against straw men, more like, with a fashionably grotesque joke thrown in.

Brian said...

Dear Pot,
This blog is not intended for those who love to dish it out but become fragile, hypersensitive flowers when someone dishes it back.

Black Kettle