Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shots Fired at Cantor's Office

The House minority whip, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), has reported that bullets were fired at his office in Virginia. Obviously, this is very scary and needs to be investigated. And the perpetrators should be caught and punished. But Cantor's attempt to both link and detach this from the rhetoric of political violence would make a contortionist proud:
He also accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland - a member of the Democratic House leadership - of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons."

"Legitimate threats should be treated as security issues, and they should be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement officials," Cantor told reporters on Capitol Hill. "It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. ... Enough is enough. It has to stop."

So on the one hand, Rep. Van Hollen is "fanning the flames" of violence ... but he's doing it by noting that rhetoric promoting violence has, in fact, been leading to violence? And he should stop doing that because it makes political violence ... political?

I know enough about the left to know we have our share of crazies who would do shit like shoot at a Congressman's office (particularly, it must be said, a Jewish congressman). But the difference here is that there hasn't been any concerted campaign by the national Democratic party to portray the Republican position as totalitarian, to cast GOP members as enemies of the state, and to openly advocate "revolutionary" measures soaked in blood-drenched language. It isn't Democratic cartoonists who have presented their adversaries as gang-rapists of the Statue of Liberty.

The apocalyptic turn the Republican Party has taken is a scary thing, and one they need to get under control. But if they insist on just seeing it as another political battle to struggle against the Democratic Party with, what hope is it that they'll take steps to remedy the problem before something more serious occurs.


PG said...

Have you been keeping up with the twists in Cantor's story?

David Schraub said...

Yes. But the general points still stand. And in general I try to not immediately question folks when they claim to be the victims of a crime unless clear information pointing counter to their story emerges (which here, it did. But it hadn't yet when I wrote this post).

Anonymous said...

Evidence of racial slurs at congressmen need be varified before the media runs the story as though the story is true with no evidence.Unfortunately we can't believe anything the media and politians say unless it is backed with facts.Wheres the facts?

Barry Deutsch said...

I just came across the headline to this post and thought "oh, geez, where did the anti-semites do that?"

Then I clicked through and remembered that "Cantor" is someone's last name. :-P