June 07, 2011

Assassination Humor Isn't Funny

I'd like to start with two disclaimers.

First, I understand having deep contempt for certain politicians -- and the willingness to express it.

Second, I'm certainly not suggesting that expressing disdain for those politicians is a bad thing.

However, that does not mean I won't express a serious concern about the tendency of some to publicly wish for or threaten the murder of political opponents -- even when they try to label it as "humor".

We saw it during the Bush years, in more ways than I'm willing to enumerate, as prominent "liberals" expressed a desire to physically harm both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. For that matter, we saw it prior to that time, for example when a prominent celebrity suggested dragging certain conservative politicians and their families from their homes and murdering them for their involvement in the Clinton impeachment. While there have been threats against Barack Obama, they certainly have not come from opinion leaders or other public figures -- indeed, such things are condemned by responsible conservative leaders.

Now we see a willingness on the part of the Left to engage in preemptive threats of assassination of one particular potential presidential candidate -- Sarah Palin.

You know what man? I am going to literally if she gets elected president, I am going to hang out on the grassy knoll all the time, just loaded and ready because you know what? Its for my country. Its for my country. If I got to sacrifice myself, its for my country.

That is "comedian" Chris Titus, talking on the Adam Carrola Show. This isn't a joke -- it is an outright threat to murder a political opponent. Yep -- it is the liberal "new tone" of the post-Tucson liberals turning out to be the same as the "old tone" of liberals prior to the Gabby Giffords shooting.

Frankly, political assassination humor isn't funny. Now I'll grant you that I found it mildly amusing when I heard someone refer to Joe Biden as Barack Obama's life insurance policy -- but even then, I was uncomfortable with it, because while the joke was at Biden's expense it came perilously close to suggesting that it might be acceptable to kill this (or any other) President if there were a better alternative waiting in the wings.

Assassinations and attempted assassinations have marked my lifetime. I was nine months old when President Kennedy was cut down in Dallas. The murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy are memories of my childhood, as were the shooting of George Wallace and the two attempts on Gerald Ford. I beat the crap out of a classmate one awful afternoon my senior year of high school, when he said that as a Democrat he hoped that Ronald Reagan died of the wounds he had received a couple of hours before. Indeed, 9/11 itself included a bold plan to decapitate our government through the mass assassination of our national leadership. So let me make my position clear:

The assassination of our leaders is not a joke.
Jokes about assassinating our leaders are not funny.

If there is nothing else we as Americans can agree on, let's all agree on this.

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