SELF-INTEREST DEFINED

I am not trying to be lazy here, but today's post will be relatively brief. Just a couple of follow-ups on Monday's post about the Giffords shooting in Tucson.

1. Glenn Reynolds gives us excellent evidence, as usual, of everything that's wrong with the right wing in American politics. Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, who is attempting to position himself as one of the "mainstream" presidential candidates in 2012, made the following statement about Sarah Palin's "crosshairs" advertisement on Good Morning America:

"(I)t wouldn't have been my style to put the cross hairs on there."

That's it. That's what he said. He even followed it by noting that there is "no evidence to suggest that it had anything to do with this mentally unstable person's rage and senseless act in Arizona." Criticism any milder than that would, of necessity, involve a handjob. Here's how Ol' Perfesser Shit-for-Brains responded to Pawlenty's slice of milquetoast:

TIM PAWLENTY DEMONSTRATES THAT HE’S NOT MAN ENOUGH TO BE PRESIDENT.

He links some no-name hack on Pajamas Media – in other news, PJ Media apparently still exists – who states that Pawlenty "preemptively caves in to false lefty narrative" and "I’m tempted to scratch him off my 2012 short list" (which I'm sure is tragic, tragic news to former Gov. Pawlenty).

Glenn "Manly Man" Reynolds and his keyboard chickenhawk allies will have none of Pawlenty's namby-pamby talk, which is a perfect example of why nothing remotely sane comes out of the GOP. You tell 'em, tough guy!

2. Rep. Peter King, the hardcore wingnut from New York, is suddenly in favor of "gun control":

With that in mind, Peter King, the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning proposed federal legislation that would prevent people from knowingly bringing guns within 1,000 feet of an event at which members of Congress and federal judges are appearing.

I guess the 2nd Amendment isn't quite so sacrosanct when King thinks about the possibility of someone shooting him.

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29 Responses to “SELF-INTEREST DEFINED”

  1. Turok Says:

    In Pawlenty's defense, he's just being adept at politics. If he gets the nomination, there is a strong chance Palin could pull the idiot vote for him, so it's not really smart to throw her away so soon. As much of a kick I get from trolling the right wing about Palin's poster, it's intellectual irresponsible to *insist* there be some definite connection, as if without that graphic Loughner wouldn't have opened fire.

    As for this Peter King guy, yeah that's a real bitch move.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Although I've not yet done the tourist bit in D.C., my understanding is that visitors to Congressional buildings have been screened for years for weapons, so it doesn't surprise me that neocons are in favor of gun control in those places where *they* are, and content to let the proletariat continue shooting one another and devolving into a giant Lord of the Flies scenario.

  3. Jude Says:

    Here's how much of a bitch move Peter King pulled–he advocated a ban on guns at particular public gatherings, not on, say, 30-round-capacity magazines for pistols. So he can still suck the NRA's taint and say that he didn't do anything to infringe on anyone's right to buy any kind of weapon or accessory that they want.

    What a cockmonger.

  4. Tim H. Says:

    For Palin, a little sackcloth and ashes could go a long way. "I never meant it to go this far" would mean so much more than "Those weren't really cross hairs". Can she be an American and a Republican simultaneously?

  5. KarlinNH Says:

    And in other news, the batshit crazy Repubs in New Hampshire, just voted to allow guns to be carried in the State House, by anyone, even on the floor and in the visitors gallery.

    Before Nov. we had one R-Senator, with 1-D Senator, 2-D Reps., and Dem House & Sen who were starting to bring some fiscal sanity to the state. That's been completely reversed and the first act of the new state legislature (2 days after Tucson) is to allow anyone to carry. Should make for interesting debates.

  6. TacosOne Says:

    The idea that the shooter's insanity excuses anyone from bearing the responsibility of influencing him with their words is ludicrous. It's not like you have to be careful of what you say for the sake of the people capable of reasonable discourse. Yeah, he could have done it because his cheerios told him to. But this man already believed that the government was trying to control his mind. It's just that much more likely that he did it because Sarah Palin told him to. And really, how right was he?

    Look at advertising. Look at McDonalds. To try to claim that all that target and shooting imagery in campaign rhetoric had little to no bearing on his actions goes against how many decades of psychological, advertising, and PR research? Intellectually irresponsible to insist there's a connection? Come on! It's intellectually irresponsible to insist there's not.

  7. HoosierPoli Says:

    Here's the best example of what's wrong with the American right wing: When you said "Perfessor Shit-for-brains", I had no idea who you were talking about. "Shit-for-brains" is not NEARLY specific enough to tell.

  8. Matt Says:

    Somebody must have told Peter King that you don't need to declare your Christian faith to buy a gun.

  9. sluggo Says:

    I have never understood how scared someone has to be in order to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a gun. Man, these cats must be scared of there own shadow. Too much TV brainwashing or something. Go figure. I am not talking about crazy people or gun nuts. Just the average soccer mom/plumber/teacher etc. Just how does someone get that bat shit scared??

  10. jazzbumpa Says:

    sluggo -

    Listen to Beck. Listen to Limbaugh, Hannity – any of them. Shit – O'Reilly has been telling his audience for years that TEH LIBRILLS Hate America!

    Through in a few death panels, declare the Obama adminsistration to be more dangerous than Al Quada, add that OMFG – they're coming for you guns! and yeah- it's really, really scary.

    JzB

  11. Zach Says:

    On a barely tangentially related note – they're started screening visitors to Indiana's statehouse. The gun nuts, though, weren't happy they couldn't carry their piece into their office. So they exempted anyone from going through the screening if they have a concealed carry permit.

    The best part is now all the lobbyists are rushing to get concealed carry permits just so they can skip the metal detector lines. Classic.

  12. Southern Beale Says:

    I guess the 2nd Amendment isn't quite so sacrosanct when King thinks about the possibility of someone shooting him.

    Yes I noticed that as well, but that is quite typical. Here in Tennessee we have pretty much allowed guns everywhere: bars, restaurants, parks, etc. Oh, except one place: the Tennessee state house. No guns allowed in the legislature. The rest of us can dodge bullets while our state representatives hide out in the safety of their offices. Assholes.

  13. Tosh Says:

    @TimH: "I never meant it to go this far" would constitute a thinly veiled admission of the barest modicum of culpability… AINT GONNA HAPPEN.

  14. Tosh Says:

    The PR effort is "I didn do nuff'n"
    My personal opinion is that really is not going to fly, but she may up the game in the next few days.
    Read NPR piece I linked.

  15. Tosh Says:

    … And the offense: How dare you suggest I did'n not do nuff'n.

  16. xynzee Says:

    @Tosh:
    Followed your link from previous post. F—ME!!! F—ME DEAD!!!
    If half of that crap is true You guys are seriously, F—ED!!! and I would be gettin' outta Dodge if I were you.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court handing them carte blanche on the rhetoric, there's almost nothing the Fed can do now to stop this without setting off the powder keg. Go arrest a group for tax evasion Try to break up a group of doing untoward things with young children (or so the Gov't says, but we know diff'rnt)

    However, the anger with the TSA and HSD (?? we have a diet beer over here with that acronym), as well as the "anti-terrorism" acts that are "taking away their liberties" being aimed at the Obama Gov't. WT…!!! They were all in favour when Shrub brought them in, but now… Oh, yeah! It's us white (actually I'm more pinkish) folks gettin' treated this way now…
    The irony is, is that it's their violent rhetoric is what brings them to the attention of the authorities in the first place. Duh!!!

    The sad thing is, is what I hear in their rhetoric is a frustration with their situation. They've been fed a lot of lies, and now they feel the hollowness of them. However, they want the fantasy to be true that if they work really, really, hard they too will be the next Trump or Gates – despite their lack of education, wealth, smarts, social collateral, etc. They use many of the same words that we use, eg "serfdom". But here they are, in serfdom and slavery to their debts etc. It wasn't supposed to be this way…

    Let the wookie win.
    Why isn't anyone ever concerned with upsetting droids?
    Because droids, don't rip people's arms out of their sockets if they lose.

  17. Paul W. Luscher Says:

    So what's Professor Concrete-Head saying? That even after this, a True Conservative ought to be saying things like "Lock and load!"? Another one whose IQ–such as it is–is mostly in his mouth instead of between his ears.

    And as for Peter King: Well, that's the courage of a loudmouth politician for you.

    They're all for being rough and tough, and for "Second Amendment freedom"–right up to the point where it looks like their own fat little pink bodies might be in the line of fire.

  18. Nick Says:

    Whattadouche. I'm a gun nut and even I think that's a bitch move. The whole reason I'm against gun laws is because they don't do anything to stop the criminal, the insane, or the criminally insane–I suspect the nutjob in Tuscon probably would not have thought "Well, I'd really like to kill Giffords, but I'm not allowed to carry a gun within 1000 feet of her…Damn. Guess I'll just go get mental help instead." Writing a law like this a) Pretends that a law can be passed that will make these people think twice and b) Suggests that such a law should only apply to Very Important Congressmen. Dick move, King. Dick move.

    That said, reading the comments I do find it amusing that people who apparently think all 80 million gun owners in the US are one bad morning away from mass murder, act as though we're the paranoid ones.

  19. comrade x Says:

    In regard to the proposal by some congresspeople to restrict sales of high- capacity magazines ( and don't call what goes into a Glock or an AK a " clip" for crissakes- it's something completely different)- the cat is allready out of the bag. Gun nuts of all stripes, speculators, and survivalist types are buying them up like crazy.
    All anti- gun regulation does is make a shit ton of money for gun dealers. Its an easy way out for a problem that is more about social inequality, lack of healthcare for the mentally disturbed, and states with feeble background check regulations for firearm purchases.

  20. Southern Beale Says:

    I know the gun nuts like to imagine themselves the hero of every movie, which is why they want to carry their guns everywhere — "Wolverines!" — but here's a must-read post over at First Draft about the tragedy that almost happened when a 24-year-old gun carrier came upon the Tucson scene in full "rescue" mode.

    Chilling. Talk about dodging bullets.

    And it's simply not true that gun laws do nothing to stop the criminal, the insane, or the criminally insane. A better background check might have stopped Loughner from getting his hands on a gun. Are gun laws 100% effective Of course not, but no law is. If that's your barometer, then hell let's repeal all laws against rape, murder, burglary, corruption etc.

    Righties always want to live in a world of absolutes, where everything is 100% assured, predictable, known, and structured. That's just not how the universe rolls.

  21. xynzee Says:

    @Nick:
    Some of the pro-gun paranoia I read from people I would consider balanced is all of this, they're going to take my guns!!!

    Q: Are you a felon or considered mentallly ill?
    A: No.
    Q: Are you involved in any form of illegal activity eg. running a meth lab in your basement?
    A: No.
    Q: Are you planning on using said weapon to take the life or inflict damage upon another person and/or their property? (non-self defense)
    A: NO!!
    Q: Are you involved with a group that is actively plotting against any portion of government?
    A: No!
    Q: Do you have the proper registration, permits etc.?
    A: Yes.

    Well then other than knowing that you have the weapon(s) and that they are in your *responsible* hands the Government really doesn't care.

    And personally I can be safe in saying that the majority of us non-gun owners feel the same as above, and believe that the majority are like you.

    To illustrate, my neighbour's kid and some his friends were F—in' about with one of the hunting rifles they owned. Seeing who could load and ready the weapon the fastest. One of the kids discharged the weapon into the chest of our neighbour's kid, yes he died on the scene. The police didn't take their weapons. Sad and stupid tragedy, and shouldn't have happened if the parents had been more responsible in storing the weapons etc.

    What *IS* concerning to myself is when the supposedly sane and responsible leaders of the NRA (ie LaPierre) say: The people with the guns, make the rules.

    What sub-text am I to draw from this?
    What I get is that even though the majority of people elected in a government to deliver to them certain policies, these people are going to have a tanty and start shooting everyone. Therefore we go from the democratic rule of law to the rule of intimidation and fear.

  22. Tosh Says:

    HoosierPoli: Perfessor Shit-for-brains is generic and I know da guy. He/she are well paid.
    Has anyone noticed that the morning network shows are increasingly drifting toward the right? Matt and Meredith have found bibles between their legs. After the first 15min of national news (on a good day), the remainder is boring bullshit. The rest are just as bad.
    xynzee: A well documented essay… I pleased someone actually read the thing.

  23. Tosh Says:

    But in all fairness, all this is nothing new, just new to us. WR Hearst started a war with yellow journalism at the turn of the century, strictly because he could. He marshaled his Judith Millers and Phatbois, and beckerheads of the day and created a climate by the force of his will. The modes of production may be new, but not original.

  24. Shane Says:

    On NPR tonight there was a great piece (one of their audio essays) from a female Hispanic professor in AZ. She admitted that as she listened to the initial coverage of the shooting she actually breathed a sigh of relief that the shooter's last name was not Hernandez or Ramirez, but that the shooter was just a Gringo. Her primary point was that the only reason we are even discussing political rhetoric or gun control is because the shooter was white. Had he been Hispanic, even if he was a fourth generation legal right winger Hispanic, all of the discussion would be about immigration and the need for more draconian measures to get the brown people out. Sadly, she's right.

  25. Southern Beale Says:

    Had he been Hispanic, even if he was a fourth generation legal right winger Hispanic, all of the discussion would be about immigration and the need for more draconian measures to get the brown people out. Sadly, she's right.

    Yes, I thought of that too. If he had been Muslim, if he'd been named Abu Abdallah Mohammed Al-Whatever we'd be hearing screeching about how "OBAMA DIDN'T KEEP US SAFE!"

  26. Nick Says:

    Southern Beale: First off, I'm not a "rightie." I'm in favor of gun rights, gay rights, socialized healthcare, high taxes, etc. Boiling the debate down to "you support X, therefore you must also support Y and Z, therefore you're an 'other'" cheapens the discussion. That aside…

    If you can think of a way to check someone for a proclivity to murder little girls, I'd love to hear it. As it is, the current background check system does check for both criminal records and mental health history. As for 100% effectiveness, that's not what I'm asking for. However, the CDC (which has traditionally been pro-gun control) studied hundreds of gun laws throughout the US and couldn't find evidence that a single one had any measurable impact on crime rates. That's not "less than 100% effectiveness." That's 0% effectiveness.

    Also, you have to admit that Red Dawn is a pretty fucking sweet movie.

    xynzee: There are definitely some stupid people with guns–just as there are some stupid people with knives, or fireworks, or liquor. I'm hesitant to assign legal blame to parents whose kids find their guns and wind up shooting themselves, just because I can't imagine a punishment worse than knowing that your child is dead because of your own irresponsibility, but I do think that every one of those kinds of tragedies is preventable. As with most things, the answer is education. Unfortunately, in the political debate over gun rights, even things like safety get turned into political issues. I really think that basic gun safety should be taught in schools–not to encourage kids to have guns, but because the reality is some of them will be around guns. Abstinence only is never the answer, regardless of whether the issue is sex or firearms.

    As for the "people with the guns make the rules" bit, I hadn't heard that from LaPierre, nor do I know the context. I imagine, however, that the point of such a statement is a defense of the Second Amendment. If the government or the military are the only ones with guns, they make the rules and there's nothing that we as citizens can really do about it if they stop deciding to pay lip service to democracy. The right to keep and bear arms exists, to my mind, as a part of the system of checks and balances–the ultimate right of the people is the right of revolution, the right to dissolve the social contract if such an extreme measure becomes necessary, and as important as the right to revolution is the means for it. Not that I'm advocating a revolution in the foreseeable future, but guns do level the playing field, so to speak.

  27. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    "If the government or the military are the only ones with guns, they make the rules and there's nothing that we as citizens can really do about it if they stop deciding to pay lip service to democracy. The right to keep and bear arms exists, to my mind, as a part of the system of checks and balances–the ultimate right of the people is the right of revolution, the right to dissolve the social contract if such an extreme measure becomes necessary, and as important as the right to revolution is the means for it. "

    Actually plenty of historical precedents say that you don't have a Constitutional right to revolution or sedition, rights to bear arms notwithstanding. But good luck taking on the US military with Mini-14s, really.