Friday, April 13, 2012

So, are we done with the "No Violent Rhetoric" meme?

Remember the months after the the tragic shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords? The media was ablaze with calls to tone down the violent rhetoric of the Right. Democrat politicians, from the President on down, chided the Right for using violent imagery and words in their attacks on their ideological foes. Here's MediaMatters on the issue, "the Right's Rising Tide of Violent Rhetoric":
But rather than unequivocally condemn, or even rationally discuss how the violent rhetoric had become increasingly indefensible, and rather than encouraging partisan activists to dial it down before somebody got hurt, conservative pundits urged followers to forge ahead with their calls to arms, even blaming Democrats for bringing the deadly threats and acts of violence upon themselves by voting in favor of health care reform.
That was in January of last year. Now, a little over a year later, we find this at MediaMatters: Republican "War On Women" Is Not A Left-Wing Invention. And this from the Vice President:
“I think the war on women is real,” Biden said in an interview he sat for with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz as part of a campaign trip to New Hampshire to talk up the Buffett rule. 
The "War on Women" is actually all over the place; the term is being used by multiple pundits and politicians, far too many of them to list. And it's actually not all that new. Here's former Speaker Nancy Pelosi from April of last year, three months after the Giffords shooting:
“There is actually a war on women,” the California Democrat said Thursday in Washington, taking aim at House Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to abortions, among other measures.
The double standard on display is staggering, yet it appears not to register among Democrat politicians, in the least. As the 2012 elections near, they are ratcheting up their use of such language. And why is that?

Short answer: it works, it always has. Violent rhetoric and imagery in politics has been around since day one. There never was any "rising tide" of such talk on the Right or the Left. There was just a period of spin after an horrific event, in the hopes of using that event to score political points. And the truth of this is readily apparent after the fact, as those who clamored for "dialing it down" are the first to "dial it up" on other issues.

Cheers, all.