Remember how liberals are anti-abortion, spew Paulist rhetoric on the gold standard, hate government, and stash guns and ammo so they can fight back against an evil government? They're not?
Well, that's why conservatives are desperate to create a climate of false equivalencies, where "both sides do it". And the media, of course, is always happy to play along. So on one side, we have this:
Not to mention this stuff, from Gabby Gifford's opponent in 2010:
That's all about peace and love and not violence! Unlike those LIBERALS. But of course, liberals don't fetishize guns and violence, and don't talk about locking and loading before going out to do political battle, and don't use pictures of themselves shooting up human silhouette targets (unless you're Joe Manchin, and then you're shooting up the cap and trade bill). So when trying to come up with false equivalencies, wingnuts didn't have a lot to work with.
So this is what they scraped up:
First of all, this piece I wrote in 2008 with a broad look at potential primary targets.
Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district. If we can field enough serious challengers, and if we repeat the Donna Edwards and Joe Lieberman stories a few more times, well then, our elected officials might have no choice but to be more responsive. Because if we show them that their AT&T lobbyist buddies can't save their jobs, they'll pay more attention to those who can.
Yup. Pass the smelling salts! Because a call to target districts for primary challenges is JUST LIKE saying, like CNN contributor Erik Erikson:
"At what point do the people ... march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?"
See? One is call to electoral action. The other one is a call to violence. So just the same!
Of course, this example was so lame, that some resourceful wingnut bloggers took to photoshopping in target graphics on that piece, to try and make it look more incendiary than it actually was. If reality doesn't conform, right wingers will do what they always do -- change it to suit their agenda.
The other "example" is, of course, BoyBlue's "Giffords is dead to me" piece. In fact, by Sunday, the wingers had convinced themselves that BoyBlue was the shooter. Really bizarre.
Of course, as John Judis wrote:
Bai’s examples are ridiculous. Palin’s crosshairs, aimed at Giffords’s district, certainly conjure up a rifle or bomb sight. But the metaphor on Daily Kos—that Giffords after a vote is “dead to me”—is straight out of family wills. It is what a parent says to a prodigal child. The metaphor has nothing to do with killing.
No shit. Not to mention that BoyBlue has a heart, unlike the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, Sarah Palins, and the rest of the lot happy to use eliminationist rhetoric when it suits their agenda, but then run from responsibility when the chickens come home to roost.
BoyBlue took down his original Giffords piece, which has led to the creation of yet another right-wing fantasy -- that I spent the weekend "scrubbing" the site. Neither I, nor anyone working for this site, has deleted a single bit of material. I'm not sure why they've convinced themselves otherwise, but there you have it.
Bottom line, there's a movement fixated on guns and ammo and the Second Amendment and locking and loading and violence as a solution to their problems. Liberals don't talk about "Second Amendment remedies". And while many liberals own guns, they don't use them to validate themselves as men and Americans. As Judis writes:
Now, it may turn out that Loughner was inspired by some nutty far-left blog that advocated killing Democratic Blue Dogs, of which Giffords was one. But if you look broadly at today’s political discourse, as Bai purports to do, what you find is that gun, warrior, murder, mayhem, and generally Armageddon-like, apocalyptic rhetoric is virtually monopolized by right-wing organizations, talk-show hosts, and politicians. That is not saying that the right always monopolizes the rhetoric of violence. Certainly it has in the South, but in different eras, the left rather than the right has had the franchise in the far west and the north. Think, for instance, of the late ‘60s. But in the last two years, there is no contest.
Here at Daily Kos, there's not much tolerance for violent rhetoric. Our rules are clear:
Do not make threats or calls for violence. Threatening to beat up or kill someone, or suggesting that people should kill themselves, or saying that poison should be put in somebody's crème brûlée, or making similar remarks, even as a joke, is prohibited and can lead to banning. This does not mean that all forms of cartoon violence, literary references, metaphors and the like are barred.
Admin Moderation: A single warning. Second offense: Banning.
We take real calls for violence seriously, but really, it might be the least common cause for banning on this site. I could probably count them on one hand in the almost-nine years this site has been around.
Fact is, one side is obsessed with using violence as a solution to their political frustrations, and the other side is not. There is no equivalency. Not even close.