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October 25, 2004

More Calls For Assassination from the Left

A lot of people sent me the link to the story at the Guardian which formerly appeared at this URL; apparently now they've taken down the piece.

The offensive passage (apart from the typically offensively dumb and unfunny leftist shillery):

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?


They issue a bullshit "apology" in place of the column now:

The final sentence of a column in The Guide on Saturday caused offence to some readers. The Guardian associates itself with the following statement from the writer.

"Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."

I didn't blog about this for a couple of reasons. First, it was on Drudge, so everyone knew about it anyway.

But more than that, I didn't blog about it because the only good response to this piece is to say something that I don't want to say, and from which I recoil. But let me try to say it delicately:

Our democracy -- and I extend the idea of "our democracy" to Britain; I mean that we share a political tradition and national affinity -- is predicated upon the idea that we vote to resolve our differences, and if we lose, we still accept the regime which wins, no matter how much we might dislike it. The idea of peaceful democratic government is more important than which particular government may be in office at any moment.

Or at least that's more important to some of us-- some of us apparently still have faith in small-l liberalism, the procedures and practices of a working democracy. Some of us still think that democracy is worth preserving.

Others of us apparently don't, and want to win political power at any cost, including by inciting political violence. Some of us apparently do not distinguish between ballots and bullets; any method of removing a hated political opponent is, it seems, quite fair in the eyes of some.

This would seem to be the bright line between conservatives and sensible, principled liberals and the vicious thuggery of true leftism. The former two remain staunch supporters of small-l liberal democracy. The latter believe that the ends justify the means, and the "end" is always the accumulation of political power of others by any means necessary.

There is such a thing as a social compact. This bastard has violated it. I would never suggest that any political opponent be assassinated. But Brooker has.

He's violated the compact. If he no longer feels the need to respect the small-l liberalism's committment to peaceful resolution of political differences, why should I respect his? If he can "joke" about murdering my president, what possible objection can he have to anyone making a similar joke about him?

Whenever these bastards are caught doing something like this, they claim it was all "ironic." That's not what irony means. For it to be "ironic" it would have to involve Brooker meaning something close to the opposite of what he was saying. Quite clearly, Mr. Brooker would not be among those grieving should harm come to my President, so it's not ironic at all.

At best, it's "kidding on the square," as Al Franken once said. He's an idiot, but I like that phrase. "Kidding on the square" just means joking about something you're sort of serious about.

Is this talk of political violence irresponsible? Of course it's irresponsible. Any time you make a "joke" like this, you take the chance that you are encouraging an unhinged person who is a potential assassin. But apparently Mr. Brooker is quite willing to run that risk with respect to the life of my President, so I can't see how I can possibly be expected to care much about the risk to his own life.

I hate having to write that. The suggestion disgusts me. But time and time again we find that leftists simply will not observe the rules as regards the avoidance of inciting political violence. Appealing to their sense of principle and fair play, and understanding of history, does not seem to work.


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posted by Ace at 11:42 AM

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