Ethics Dunces: Right-wing activists Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer, Plus The Instapundit And Anyone Who Applauds Them.

Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer, adopting the censorious and antispeech tactics of those they despise,  disrupted yesterday’s evening showing of the  Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar” that features a graphic assassination of  a President Donald Trump version of Caesar.

Loomer rushed the stage shouting that the scene was an “act of political violence against the right,” and said the play was “unacceptable.” The play was briefly halted, and the crowd appropriately jeered as Loomer was taken away by security. Then Posobiec stood up and shouted, “You are all Goebbels! Goebbels would be proud!” He also also shouted that the blood of wounded Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was on the audience’s hands.

A play is free speech and performance art, in this case, political performance art. The actors have a right to present the play, and the audience has a right to watch it. Nobody has a right to disrupt the performance, no matter what the subject matter is, and no matter what the motives of the disrupters may be.

Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer are hypocrites. Glenn Reynolds, law professor and USA Today columnist, disgraced himself by writing,

“Is this dumb? Yeah, but that never stopped lefties and now they’re getting to see what it feels like to have your hair pulled.”

…thus endorsing a pure tit for tat, mob ethics, “you do it to us so we’ll do it to you” ethics death-spiral. A law professor. He should be ashamed of himself, especially as the Instapundit, an icon of the Right, a status I have seen him abuse too often already. Then he cites with approval this similarly ethics-free post by cult conservative blogger Ace of Spades, in which Ace  advocates the Right using the same tactics as the Left has been using, engaging in indoctrination, intimidation, and censorship. I don’t generally read this blogger because of this: his ethical values waft depending upon which side is breaching them.

If conservatives won’t fight for free speech and sink to engaging in the same thuggery the Left has been mastering of late, then free speech is doomed. The only question will be which ideologues determine what is “offensive” and “acceptable.”

Meanwhile, I have a diminishing storehouse of sympathy for performance artists and the theater community. With their hypocritical endorsement of the “Hamilton” cast’s flagrant violation of the traditional relationship of trust between performers and audience members by choosing to harass one from the stage for cheap political grandstanding,  they signaled their consent to suspend the rules when it suited their personal agendas. This doesn’t justify audience members striking back in kind, but it does limit my patience for listening to show business hypocrites as they complain about it. You opened that door, my friends.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

44 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Rights, U.S. Society

44 responses to “Ethics Dunces: Right-wing activists Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer, Plus The Instapundit And Anyone Who Applauds Them.

  1. No matter how much I disagree with the staging of this play in this manner, this was the wrong thing for these two people to do; Loomer and Posobiec are idiots.

  2. Curmie

    My favorite part of this episode is that the interruption occurred (of course) immediately after Caesar’s death, so that’s when the show was halted. After the intruders had been escorted out, the stage manager came on the God mic and told the actors to resume the play with the first speech after Caesar dies. So the entire audience as well as the cast heard “Cast, resume at ‘Liberty! Freedom!”. That apparently got a standing ovation.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    It was absolutely wrong. Unfortunately “direct action” has been a common tactic of the left for decades. After dozens of disruptions and bad street theater, often ending with dropped charges and strutting, it shouldn’t​ come as a surprise that their tactics get turned against them.

  4. Glenn Logan

    I can’t disagree with anything here. This is little more than tit-for-tat, and applauding tit-for-tat is weak.

    I get it. Everybody does. Revenge in kind always assuages anger and frustration, temporarily. But if you become what you purport to despise, in essence, you despise yourself.

  5. Inquiring Mind

    I don’t applaud what they did, but at this point, I cannot condemn it, either.

    Given what has happened in the last 15 months, the Left has made it clear they wish to silence those who disagree with them.

    When Democratic AGs were targeting those who disagreed with Obama’s “climate change” agenda, the Left did not speak up.

    When Trump supporters who attended a rally in San Jose were attacked, Hillary supporters blamed the victims.

    Operatives linked to the DNC were caught on video boasting they orchestrated disturbances at Trump rallies.

    Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Heather McDonald, and Charles Murray all had events cancelled by the threat of riots or actual riots.

    Portland had to cancel a parade because left-wing brownshirts threatened to drag a Republican Party group out of the parade.

    Each time, the Right raised concerns after these events. The continuations pattern of events shows they have fallen on deaf ears.

    Restraint can be admirable, and I understand where people like Ben Shapiro who criticized this action come from. But at some point, restraint becomes, for all intents and purposes, unilateral disarmament. I can see the point that Instapundit makes about that as well.

    Reason has not reached the Left. Perhaps deterrence and the threat of retaliation will succeed.

    It is either that, or accept what amounts to subjugation under those mobs.

    • This is the common argument for surrendering to the lowest common denominator. It’s an unethical argument, and always has been, leading to a break-down in civilization. It’s been used to justify torture and police beating in custody. It doesn’t belong in an ethics forum, or any forum. If you are old enough to write, you should know this. The Left’s freak-out and totalitarian tactics are doing a fine job guaranteeing its failure. They are moronic, thinking that silencing someone like Milo hurts him more than letting his talk.

      Unethical, stupid and disrespecting core American rights is no way to go through life, son.

      • It’s also amazing to me that anyone would write this comment directly under my link to the Ken White post, which definitively rebuts it. HINT: when the blog moderator says “read this before commenting further”, read it.

        • Inquiring Mind

          I did read his post. I just re-read it now, to see if I may have misread or missed something.

          I must apologize, Jack. I think my conclusion still stands. There comes a time when restraint – even the principled restraint – becomes unilateral disarmament. At some point, refusing to fight back becomes acquiescence to injustice.

          I initially discussed the last 15 months… but go back further, to where donors to Prop 8 were hounded out of jobs, had their property vandalized, etc.

          Look at the IRS scandal. Five years before Steve Scalise was shot, a gunman tried to carry out a domestic terrorism attack against the Family Research Council.

          Look at what’s happening to Chick-Fil-A at the hands of big-city mayors or on college campuses.

          In the wake of Citizens United, Democrats are on record as voting to truncate First Amendment protections for political speech.

          We’re seeing pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in California being forced to tell women where they can get abortions.

          Yet few, if any, voices on the Left have been raised against this pattern anywhere. Even when a fund-raising e-mail for Hillary Clinton stated that Breitbart News had no “right to exist,” there was no outcry from the Left.

          Who on the Left spoke out against the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups? Or of the hounding of Prop 8 supporters? Or even the state compelling pro-life pregnancy centers to tell people where they can get abortions?

          On that last one, by the way, when Planned Parenthood wanted those provisions, the lawmakers and authorities raced to do that groups’ bidding.

          Let me repeat the first six words on my initial comment: I don’t applaud what they did.

          But neither can I reflexively condemn those who have decided to fight back, because I cannot honestly say that appeals to reason and decency are working, and I’m losing hope that they will work.

          I’ll take a break from here for a while if you’d like, Jack, but I hope you can see why I cannot dismiss the arguments of Professor Reynolds.

          • Chris

            Inquiring Mind has a point, since violence has never once been carried out against members of the Left by members of the Right.

            Of course, if I’m wrong about that, then the premise of his argument completely crumbles.

            • Inquiring Mind

              Attacks on abortion clinics have been condemned by pro-life leaders and those on the right.

              This was after the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting:
              http://www.nrlc.org/communications/releases/2015/release112715/

              The difference – the leaders on the right condemn those acts.

              • Chris

                And leaders on the left didn’t condemn the shooter at the FRC? You are fooling yourself. Your post also conflates legitimate policy disagreements–like, should medical facilities be able to withhold information from patients if they think God wants them to–with actual attacks and violence, making it utterly useless.

                • I think there are people who “Get it” and give the right answer most (if not all of the time) on either side of the aisle… But it strikes me that someone would have to be exceptionally bubbled in order to not realize that the scales of people who have resorted to violence and censorship tilts heavily in one direction.

  6. I’m hoping there won’t be any right wing retaliation, but I would like to see some fight back at the time of the incident. Self-defense is legal and my guess is that right wing people are better punchers (twice as hard) when aroused to fight back.

  7. Rob Palmer

    I agree with you in principle and I think this was a dumb pointless stunt, but I don’t see how this is remotely close to liberal tactics. They didn’t pull a fire alarm, they didn’t threaten a riot, they didn’t assault attendees, they didn’t play music or blow airhorns to disrupt the play, or any of the other outrageous behavior that the left has been up to for years.

    When Republicans are shooting at Democrats on a baseball field in broad daylight then I will harshly condemn them.

    • valkygrrl

      Wait. So your line in the sand is profound disrespect of gods own cathedrals, the baseball diamond?

      Yeah okay I can see that. It’s one thing to shoot people, it’s quite another to profane a baseball field with blood sacrifice.

    • Rationalization. They interfered with free expression and the public’s right to hear it. The rest is all style and details. If that’s my production, or if I am in the audience, they are interrupting, the fact that they didn’t do any of those things will not mitigtae my fury one iota.

        • Yup. Disingenuous virtue-signalling partisan grandstanding. The letter basically says, “We liked Obama, we don’t like Trump.” There are thousands of such narrow interest groups on the government. Their job is to keep their topic on the radar screen. The President can’t make everything priority. They’re job is to work within the system, not quit and abandon the cause. Obama didn’t care about national defense, but the Pentagon didn’t quit. He didn’t care about illegal immigration, but ICE didn’t quit. The letter doesn’t back up it’s claim that the administration’s policies is hostile to HIV sufferers except for the generic attack on Obamacare over-haul, which is essentially “Sure, it’s a mess and is about to crash, but it’s good for our constituency, and we “don’t care” about anyone else.

          I thought it was transparent and embarrassing.

    • Chris

      “When Republicans are shooting at Democrats on a baseball field in broad daylight then I will harshly condemn them?”

      What if they’re shooting them at abortion clinics?

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Where were the Democrats when their own were shooting schoolkids (Registered Democrat and Christian hater), theater patrons (worked on the Obama campaign) and college students (wrote hate mail to GWB)? Where were the Muslims when their own were shooting down fellow soldiers and gay club patrons? Oh, that’s right, they were looking to make gun control hay, Islamophobia hay, and other identity politics hay,and condemn the GOP for letting those things happen, as though the GOP loaded the guns, handed them to the perpetrators, and then leaned forward in their chairs munching on popcorn waiting for the show to begin.

        Which of the four presidents who’ve died by assassin’s bullet was a target of the right? Not a one. Lincoln’s assassin was a deranged Confederate sympathizer. Garfield’s assassin was just plain deranged. McKinley’s killer was so far left he fell off, and Kennedy’s assassin had actually applied for admission to the USSR and been turned down. Even John Lennon’s assassin was farther into crazytown than into the crazy right.

        Of the 14 congressmen and Senators who have perished violently in office, three were killed in duels over personal slights, one was killed in the Civil War, one was shot dead by his insane son, one shot down in the Korean Airlines incident, one killed by a member of the KKK (and Democrat), one killed by the insane Jonestown cult, and the rest were mostly due to political disputes that got violent, but none straight up right on left. Four governors have been killed in office, one of whom overlaps with the Congressional contingent (Huey Long, killed by Carl Weiss, whose family were his political enemies), none of the other three right on left. Would you also like to talk about the 1954 mass shooting at the Capitol by Puerto Rican nationalists (decidedly not right of center) of Congressmen debating immigration?

        Not a one of the seven or so abortion clinic shootings that have happened in the last 25 years hasn’t been roundly disclaimed and condemned by the GOP and any conservative with a lick of sense. Certainly no prominent Christian, the Westboro Baptist kooks aside, has been all right with that. Not one single NRA or Tea Party member has ever been implicated in an act of political violence in the history of either of those organizations.

        Sorry, Chris, but you’re really barking up the wrong tree trying to equate the two parties in terms of political violence. If you want to talk about heavy-handed management vs labor stuff then we can talk. If you want to talk about heavy handed clamping down on freedom during wartime, then we can talk (Democrats and Republicans alike have gone wrong there). But the fact is that political violence from the right or the Republican Party in this country is less an issue than the left. You can of course try to conflate organizations whose prime purpose is racism with the right and the Republican Party, but that’s moral tarring and not factually correct.

        Not only that, but everything I’ve just talked about is just incidents in which bodily harm or death resulted, either by design or otherwise. If you searched the history of event disruption, vandalism, and so on, you will find huge numbers of “direct actions” on the left. You will find fewer on the right, and if you drop out events that are blatant racism (racist=/=conservative), you will find a dramatic difference. The political right is traditionally the party of law and order, of enforcement, etc. We generally believe in following the rules. The political left, especially since Vietnam, has been the party of selective enforcement, breaking rules that they view as wrong, doing absurd things to make a point, and so forth. There’s also that ever-increasing moral certitude we’ve talked about a few times, where the left becomes convinced they are on the side of right and no one can hold any positions but theirs. Some claim to be nonviolent, and restrict their actions to harassment, vandalism, property destruction, etc., but an increasing amount are perfectly all right with violence, giving themselves a moral pass because those opposed to them are just so odious.

        As I’ve pointed out, though, there’s a limit to what the abused and attacked will tolerate in the name of good order. The Protestants in Northern Ireland didn’t just step back and let the RUC or even the military handle the IRA. The right in the US, including a fair amount of camo-wearing hunters armed with high-powered, long range rifles, and a fair amount of young men who don’t have scruffy beards and man-buns who would scoff at wearing that stupid pink pussy hat, isn’t going to put up with this crap forever. We’re also not going to “just let the police handle it” if they don’t handle it to our satisfaction (i.e. quick arrest and quick release, charges getting dropped or pled down to a slap on the wrist). We don’t want this to turn into a full-on civil war or a low-level campaign of gangsterism, but it’s pretty evident the message to back off the incendiary rhetoric and violent action isn’t getting through just by words. If we have to use other methods to require that message is not only heard loud and clear but acted upon, we won’t hesitate to use them.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          P.S. I think this van attack on worshippers at a mosque in London is the opening salvo in the barrage that’s about to begin from folks like the English Defence League and Britain First, who are going to take this as a cue to start fighting back physically all over the UK. When mosques start getting bombed and imams start getting stabbed, and the police and government are put in the unenviable position of having to choose between groups who are their own citizens all around and groups that are mixed citizens and refugees, which is in some ways better, some ways worse than having to choose between citizens all of different faiths, they can’t say they didn’t see it coming. How you act when you see it coming is what really determines your place in history.

          • Chris

            This is a very troubling comment, Steve.

            P.S. I think this van attack on worshippers at a mosque in London is the opening salvo in the barrage that’s about to begin from folks like the English Defence League and Britain First, who are going to take this as a cue to start fighting back physically all over the UK.

            What do you mean “fighting back?” Do you see this mosque attack as “fighting back” against Muslims?

            When mosques start getting bombed and imams start getting stabbed, and the police and government are put in the unenviable position of having to choose between groups who are their own citizens all around and groups that are mixed citizens and refugees, which is in some ways better, some ways worse than having to choose between citizens all of different faiths, they can’t say they didn’t see it coming.

            I don’t understand this part at all. Why would police and government have to “choose” between citizens and refugees when dealing with terrorist attacks? Why wouldn’t they deal with such crimes the same way regardless of who committed them?

            How you act when you see it coming is what really determines your place in history.

            How do you think people should act?

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              You just need to look at what the driver said and did to know he saw it as a strike back against Muslims after far too many acts of Islamic terror.

              Eventually the police, and government, who are presumably all UK citizens are going to have to choose between coming down harder on the EDL et al when they start fighting back, or on the Muslim community, citizens and refugees alike, same as the RUC and British Army had to walk the line between the Irish Protestants, who welcomed them, but sometimes thought they didn’t do enough, and the Irish Catholics, who hated them, full stop. Eventually they may well side with the side that at least welcomes them, not the side that wishes they would disappear and stay out of borough sized safe spaces.

              How do I think government and law enforcement should act when they see a potential explosion coming? Hmmm, act to prevent it, maybe? Close mosques that are hotbeds of radicalism? Throw would-be successors to guys like Choudary into jail alongside him? Start rounding up refugees who are doing nothing productive and ship them back wherever they came from? It’s pretty obvious.

              • Chris

                You just need to look at what the driver said and did to know he saw it as a strike back against Muslims after far too many acts of Islamic terror.

                “Strike back” seems, to me, to be language usually used in order to justify something. Do you believe this attack was justified?

                Eventually the police, and government, who are presumably all UK citizens are going to have to choose between coming down harder on the EDL et al when they start fighting back, or on the Muslim community, citizens and refugees alike, same as the RUC and British Army had to walk the line between the Irish Protestants, who welcomed them, but sometimes thought they didn’t do enough, and the Irish Catholics, who hated them, full stop.

                I do not understand why this needs to be a choice. Police are not supposed to “take sides”–they are supposed to enforce the law. They should come down hard on the EDL when they break the law, and on Muslims when they do the same.

                Eventually they may well side with the side that at least welcomes them, not the side that wishes they would disappear and stay out of borough sized safe spaces.

                This particular mosque has been working with the police against extremism for at least a decade; you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                How do I think government and law enforcement should act when they see a potential explosion coming? Hmmm, act to prevent it, maybe? Close mosques that are hotbeds of radicalism? Throw would-be successors to guys like Choudary into jail alongside him? Start rounding up refugees who are doing nothing productive and ship them back wherever they came from? It’s pretty obvious.

                Ah. Pre-crime, then. Nice.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  Do I think this attack was justified? No. Neither do I think it was justified to suicide bomb a concert, plow into a crowd and start stabbing, or cut a priest’s throat during Mass (France). I also don’t think it’s ok to bomb a police station or shoot up a funeral as the IRA and UDA did, but I’m sure if you talked to folks in Ireland on either side you’d get reams and reams of gibberish justifying one while condemning the other, if you didn’t get punched out first. I see no evidence online that this mosque was working against extremism. Link please?

                  Pre-crime nothing. It’s called guarding one’s national security. The Nazi party is outlawed in Germany and Austria (and I believe several other nations) and Sinn Fein just escaped getting outlawed because of the Good Friday Agreement. The history of France (the Reign of Terror, the Paris Commune, etc.), of Russia (do I even have to explain?) and to a lesser degree the history of Portugal (the destruction of the monarchy and creation of the Republic, with a LOT of collateral damage), and of Italy (a bloody unification with a lot more collateral damage), should teach you that there’s a limit to what destructive ideologies a nation is required to tolerate within its own borders.

                  • Chris

                    I see no evidence online that this mosque was working against extremism. Link please?

                    http://www.macleans.ca/news/world/london-mosque-attack-no-ifs-no-buts-this-is-a-terrorist-attack/

                    Pre-crime nothing. It’s called guarding one’s national security. The Nazi party is outlawed in Germany and Austria (and I believe several other nations) and Sinn Fein just escaped getting outlawed because of the Good Friday Agreement. The history of France (the Reign of Terror, the Paris Commune, etc.), of Russia (do I even have to explain?) and to a lesser degree the history of Portugal (the destruction of the monarchy and creation of the Republic, with a LOT of collateral damage), and of Italy (a bloody unification with a lot more collateral damage), should teach you that there’s a limit to what destructive ideologies a nation is required to tolerate within its own borders.

                    What does “rounding up refugees who are doing nothing productive” have to do with “destructive ideologies?” And who gets to decide what “productive” means?

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      “This particular mosque has been working with the police against extremism for at least a decade; you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

                      According to that article, the mosque was once where the shoe bomber Richard Reid worshipped and was known as a hotbed of radicalism. It has since reopened under more moderate leadership that is opposed to extremism, but it makes no mention of liaising with law enforcement against extremism.

                      Hmmm, if they are in your country but non-citizens and not contributing to society, then just why are they there? Presumably the Home Secretary has some form of deputy for immigration policy who would make the call as to who is an asset and who needs to be sent on their way.

        • Chris

          Where were the Democrats when their own were shooting schoolkids (Registered Democrat and Christian hater),

          Um…condemning school shootings?

          theater patrons (worked on the Obama campaign)

          Huh?

          and college students (wrote hate mail to GWB)?

          Wait, WTF? Are you actually now comparing real acts of violence with…hate mail? What are you talking about?

          Where were the Muslims when their own were shooting down fellow soldiers and gay club patrons?

          Condemning the attacks, you supremely ignorant person.

          Oh, that’s right, they were looking to make gun control hay, Islamophobia hay, and other identity politics hay,and condemn the GOP for letting those things happen, as though the GOP loaded the guns, handed them to the perpetrators, and then leaned forward in their chairs munching on popcorn waiting for the show to begin.

          That you don’t agree with the proposed solutions of certain identity groups that you blame for certain attacks does not mean they did not condemn those attacks.

          Which of the four presidents who’ve died by assassin’s bullet was a target of the right?

          Uh…none…but none were a target of our modern conception of “The Left,” either.

          Not a one. Lincoln’s assassin was a deranged Confederate sympathizer.

          Do you really think “a deranged Confederate sympathizer” in any way falls on what is now known as “The Left?” Would that be the same Left you condemn for tearing down statues of Confederates? That Left?

          Are you fucking kidding me?

          Garfield’s assassin was just plain deranged.

          Yep.

          McKinley’s killer was so far left he fell off,

          In 1901. Are you seriously going to say this is any kind of comment on the modern left?

          and Kennedy’s assassin had actually applied for admission to the USSR and been turned down.

          This does not in any way make him a leftist.

          And I’m still mystified as to what any of this has to do with an unruly protest by a couple of conservatives? You seem to be saying it’s justified because some Democrats have killed people and then other Democrats (or people who are seen as likely Democrats) proposed to make it harder to kill people in ways you disagree with? Is that your argument? If not, then please tell me what it is, because your comment is wildly incoherent.

          Of the 14 congressmen and Senators who have perished violently in office, three were killed in duels over personal slights, one was killed in the Civil War, one was shot dead by his insane son, one shot down in the Korean Airlines incident, one killed by a member of the KKK (and Democrat),

          The Democrats who founded the KKK are absolutely nothing like the Democrats now, and certainly cannot be conflated with “The Left.”

          Would you also like to talk about the 1954 mass shooting at the Capitol by Puerto Rican nationalists (decidedly not right of center) of Congressmen debating immigration?

          Why? What would be the point? If you would like to talk about this topic in a coherent manner, with a clear and justifiable main argument on your side, then sure. But this has just been empty ranting so far.

          Not a one of the seven or so abortion clinic shootings that have happened in the last 25 years hasn’t been roundly disclaimed and condemned by the GOP and any conservative with a lick of sense.

          And the same is true of shootings by Democrats against Republican targets. That was not my point.

          Rob’s comment implied that Republicans never shoot Democrats over political issues. I pointed out that this was not true. Whether those shootings are condemned by their respective sides is a non-issue; no one is arguing over that.

          Sorry, Chris, but you’re really barking up the wrong tree trying to equate the two parties in terms of political violence.

          That was not what I was trying to do.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Where were the Democrats when their own were shooting schoolkids
            (Registered Democrat and Christian hater),

            Um…condemning school shootings?

            *Yup, and quickly pushing HARD for gun control and saying the GOP had blood on their hands.*

            theater patrons (worked on the Obama campaign)

            Huh?

            *The nutcase who shot up the theater in Colorado had worked on Obama’s campaign*.

            and college students (wrote hate mail to GWB)?

            Wait, WTF? Are you actually now comparing real acts of violence with…hate mail? What are you talking about?

            *No, you moron. I’m pointing out that that Korean kook who cut loose with a pair of pistols at VA Tech was NOT a righty. If anything he was a lefty who hated Bush.*

            Where were the Muslims when their own were shooting down fellow soldiers and gay club patrons?

            Condemning the attacks, you supremely ignorant person.

            *And making certain the shooters’ Islamic status and motivation got played way, WAAAAAAY down.*

            Oh, that’s right, they were looking to make gun control hay, Islamophobia hay, and other identity politics hay,and condemn the GOP for letting those things happen, as though the GOP loaded the guns, handed them to the perpetrators, and then leaned forward in their chairs munching on popcorn waiting for the show to begin.

            That you don’t agree with the proposed solutions of certain identity groups that you blame for certain attacks does not mean they did not condemn those attacks.

            *A few crocodile tears before launching into “yes but…” or “we have to do…” isn’t really a condemnation.*

            Which of the four presidents who’ve died by assassin’s bullet was a target of the right?

            Uh…none…but none were a target of our modern conception of “The Left,” either.

            Not a one. Lincoln’s assassin was a deranged Confederate sympathizer.

            Do you really think “a deranged Confederate sympathizer” in any way falls on what is now known as “The Left?” Would that be the same Left you condemn for tearing down statues of Confederates? That Left?

            Are you fucking kidding me?

            *No, I’m not “fucking kidding” you, Chris, and back off that language. John Wilkes Booth wasn’t anywhere near the political right.*

            Garfield’s assassin was just plain deranged.

            Yep.

            McKinley’s killer was so far left he fell off,

            In 1901. Are you seriously going to say this is any kind of comment on the modern left?

            *I don’t think the idiots now clamoring for elimination of policing and other dismantling of order come from the right.*

            and Kennedy’s assassin had actually applied for admission to the USSR and been turned down.

            This does not in any way make him a leftist.

            And I’m still mystified as to what any of this has to do with an unruly protest by a couple of conservatives? You seem to be saying it’s justified because some Democrats have killed people and then other Democrats (or people who are seen as likely Democrats) proposed to make it harder to kill people in ways you disagree with? Is that your argument? If not, then please tell me what it is, because your comment is wildly incoherent.

            *I’ll get back to this below.*

            Of the 14 congressmen and Senators who have perished violently in office, three were killed in duels over personal slights, one was killed in the Civil War, one was shot dead by his insane son, one shot down in the Korean Airlines incident, one killed by a member of the KKK (and Democrat),

            The Democrats who founded the KKK are absolutely nothing like the Democrats now, and certainly cannot be conflated with “The Left.”

            *Two words: Robert Byrd.*

            Would you also like to talk about the 1954 mass shooting at the Capitol by Puerto Rican nationalists (decidedly not right of center) of Congressmen debating immigration?

            Why? What would be the point? If you would like to talk about this topic in a coherent manner, with a clear and justifiable main argument on your side, then sure. But this has just been empty ranting so far.

            *I’ll come back to this below also*

            Not a one of the seven or so abortion clinic shootings that have happened in the last 25 years hasn’t been roundly disclaimed and condemned by the GOP and any conservative with a lick of sense.

            And the same is true of shootings by Democrats against Republican targets. That was not my point.

            Rob’s comment implied that Republicans never shoot Democrats over political issues. I pointed out that this was not true. Whether those shootings are condemned by their respective sides is a non-issue; no one is arguing over that.

            Sorry, Chris, but you’re really barking up the wrong tree trying to equate the two parties in terms of political violence.

            That was not what I was trying to do.

            *It sounds pretty damn close to what you were trying to do. Whenever there is a shooting by some kook, usually a leftist or anarchist who finally went off the deep end, the left is always trotting out abortion clinic shootings in an attempt to shut the right up or say that we are just as bad as them and have no standing to criticize, so then they can segue into gun control and say it’s all really our fault because we believe in the 2nd Amendment. If’ you’d bothered to read the rest of what I wrote you would get my point, but it doesn’t seem like you did.*

            • Chris

              *The nutcase who shot up the theater in Colorado had worked on Obama’s campaign*.

              I can’t find any evidence of this, even on Conservapedia. Holmes did receive a grant from the NIH as a PhD student, and he believed he was hearing voices from Obama; but he had no connection to the Obama campaign as far as I can find.

              http://www.conservapedia.com/James_Eagan_Holmes

              (By the way, that page’s attempts to find links between the shooting and “liberal moral relativism” as well as pornography are hilarious.)

              *No, you moron. I’m pointing out that that Korean kook who cut loose with a pair of pistols at VA Tech was NOT a righty. If anything he was a lefty who hated Bush.*

              Oh. Well, you should have made that clearer. There was no indication in your comment that you were referring to the VA Tech shooter, and not being able to read your mind to figure that out doesn’t make me a moron.

              *No, I’m not “fucking kidding” you, Chris, and back off that language. John Wilkes Booth wasn’t anywhere near the political right.*

              No one ever said he was! You were the one who seemed to be implying that he was on the left…if that wasn’t your implication, then you need to be clearer.

              *I don’t think the idiots now clamoring for elimination of policing and other dismantling of order come from the right.*

              Again, no one said they were, and that has nothing to do with McKinley’s assassination, which you brought up.

              Are you OK today? You’re bouncing from one thought to another with absolutely no connective tissue.

              *Two words: Robert Byrd.*

              What is this supposed to prove? Are you one of those idiots who either doesn’t know or pretends not to know about Byrd’s conversion, his rejection of the KKK, his fight for civil rights, and his 100% ratings from the NAACP? People who try to use Robert Byrd’s existence to prove that the Democrats are still the party they were when the KKK was founded are fucking morons, Steve. You’re many things, but you’re not a fucking moron. So why are you acting like one right now?

              *It sounds pretty damn close to what you were trying to do. Whenever there is a shooting by some kook, usually a leftist or anarchist who finally went off the deep end, the left is always trotting out abortion clinic shootings in an attempt to shut the right up or say that we are just as bad as them and have no standing to criticize, so then they can segue into gun control and say it’s all really our fault because we believe in the 2nd Amendment.
              If’ you’d bothered to read the rest of what I wrote you would get my point, but it doesn’t seem like you did.*

              I mentioned abortion clinic shootings because Rob implied that only Democrats shoot Republicans, and never the other way around. This was clear. Your writing is absolutely not clear, and is nothing but an unhinged partisan rant.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                I’m perfectly OK, Chris, thank you very much. I’m glad you think I’m not a “fucking moron,” although that’s really not worth very much.

                Holmes was a registered Democrat, although the meme that he actually worked on Obama’s campaign may indeed be just that, a meme which has made its way around the internet. John WIlkes Booth was also a registered Democrat, which should come as no surprise. Anarchism a la Leon Czolgocz is about as left of left as you can get.

                The main point that got lost I think, in all of this forest-for-the-trees stuff, which maybe was not the best tactic for me to use, is that no act of political violence has ever implicated the NRA, the Tea Party, or even a member of the Republican Party, unless you count these abortion clinic shootings, which are never directed at political figures, only at abortion-performing doctors and support staff, which is still wrong.

                I find it troubling that you didn’t address this main point, and I find it troubling that you essentially ignored the final three paragraphs of what I wrote.

                • Chris

                  Holmes was a registered Democrat, although the meme that he actually worked on Obama’s campaign may indeed be just that, a meme which has made its way around the internet. John WIlkes Booth was also a registered Democrat, which should come as no surprise. Anarchism a la Leon Czolgocz is about as left of left as you can get.

                  But none of this tells us anything about the Left today. Holmes’ shooting was entirely apolitical. Booth was a Democrat who supported slavery and was a Confederate sympathizer–absolutely nothing like today’s Left. Today, those who glorify the Confederacy are pretty exclusively members of the Right. Czolgocz is the closest example you gave to a modern leftist in your examples of people who have shot presidents, and that was over one hundred years ago. Why even go back that far? It’s useless guilt by association.

                  The main point that got lost I think, in all of this forest-for-the-trees stuff, which maybe was not the best tactic for me to use, is that no act of political violence has ever implicated the NRA, the Tea Party, or even a member of the Republican Party, unless you count these abortion clinic shootings, which are never directed at political figures, only at abortion-performing doctors and support staff, which is still wrong.

                  It’s still politically motivated violence, aka terrorism. My only point was that Rob’s implication that only Democrats engage in political violence was nonsense. I was not trying to draw any type of moral equivalence or say that violence from Republicans is more common, or even as common as violence by Democrats.

  8. Jack,

    I understand it is unethical to lower yourself to the Left’s tactics. You said: “i>If conservatives won’t fight for free speech and sink to engaging in the same thuggery the Left has been mastering of late, then free speech is doomed.”

    I have watched the GOP and the right play by civilized rules (for the most part) my entire life. There is a case to be made that if 40 years of tolerance does not work, but actually loses ground, then a change is needed.

    What do you recommend the right do? Civil discourse? Not effective. Debate? EA is the only place I have seen a progressive even recognize the need for debate in 15 years. ‘The science is settled’ as far as most progressives are concerned. Their way is the only way, and they are willing to mock, marginalize, belittle, misrepresent, lie, cheat, steal, assault, and even kill anyone they perceive as their opponents.

    Most common Americans cannot articulate the resentment and anger they feel at this treatment. ‘Doing unto others as they have done unto you’ is a natural (incorrect) response.

    What can we tell them to do as an alternative? How do we help them choose a different path? I have lost so many to this madness, and these scoff at doing the same thing that has failed for so many decades.

    It is not your responsibility to answer that question, if it can be answered at all. You are stating that such behavior is unethical, within the mandate of this blog. I agree.

    What choice do we have?

    • Chris

      slickwilly,

      The right currently controls all three branches of government in this country.

      By what possible measure can one rationally suggest that the right has “no choice” but to engage in unethical activity in order to fight the left? You’re already winning.

      • Chris, that is a good question, and a wonderful insight into how our world views differ.

        You see yourself as on the losing side. Wow. This perspective would never occurred to me, and it puts some of the progressive angst into focus for me. Thank you for the insight. Seriously.

        The difference is how you define winning.

        From conservative’s point of view, the Left has been taking over for decades. The GOP Establishment has not carried through on campaign promises, and holds us in contempt. They did not resist Obama in the slightest, and went along with the socialist agenda any time their base couldn’t stop them.

        We have the House and the Senate. Yet all of the unfounded investigations are permitted, where nothing would see the light of day when Democrats hold these cards. Examples are Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS suppression of conservative political groups under Obama. The GOP, in large part, is progressive. They want to be the elites who rule by fiat: they just have to be careful, as their base would toss them out if they act too much like Democrats.

        So they simply don’t resist Democrat pressure. They make excuses and plan to fail instead of acting like they have a mandate. The House under the GOP passed bill after bill repealing Obamacare. They knew Harry Reid would never entertain these bills, and it looked good to the peons back home who voted for them. Yet, when fate handed them the opportunity, they did not have a plan to replace Obamacare? They were caught flat footed. They never intended to fight for their base!

        So, this is all tangential to the point I was making in my post. My point is that Trump DID engage the Left on their terms, and won. Now my former colleagues have seen how to finally take progressives down, without pesky ethics and morals, and they like it.

        My plea was for another argument, other than ‘play by the ethics rules your opponents will not follow’ as we have the past 50 years, to stop MY side from going full on tit for tat. What can I crusade on, when talking to these once allies, as an alternative to the slimy but successful ‘they did it first!’ path?

        We are losing ourselves to defeat our opponents, and the results will be tainted.

        Jack has not responded to my post. I hope he missed it, as otherwise he chose not to respond because he has no answer to the quandary, I assume.

        Chris, our respective sides are dragging us down this path to bloodshed. We both seem to be powerless to stop it. I am out of options over here on the right.

        • Chris

          If you really believe that the GOP “did not resist Obama in the slightest,” I think our differences are about more than just world views. More like different realities.

          In my reality, Benghazi was the subject of eight different congressional investigations. These lasted years. How can you use this as an example of Republicans not investigating Democrats during the Obama administration?

          The GOP had no workable plan to replace Obamacare because they’re idiots, not because they’re “progressive.” Is there anything progressive about the health care bill they’re proposing at the moment? Granted, we can’t actually *see* much of it, as they’re being much more secretive than Democrats were about Obamacare…but early previews have not been good, and have revealed that they’re more concerned about it being a tax cut bill than a healthcare bill. In what way is that progressive? In what way is that caving to what the Left wants?

          • “Resist” has a different meaning than “oppose.” Boycotts? Sit-ins? Walk-outs? Constant references and appeals to impeachment? The GOP engaged in the standard, traditional tactics of the opposing party, nothing more or less, until the foolish refusal to vote on Merrick Garland. Because Obama was too arrogant, ideological and politically inept to deal with it and preferred to resort to undemocratic means, these tactics blocked his agenda. What the Democrats are doing is different in kind, and you should stop enabling it by using false equivalence as a rationalization.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Dunno if I’d call the Garland refusal foolish, Jack. Was it a departure? Yes. Was it wrong? Probably. Was it risky? You bet your bookshelf. But, in the end, it was a successful tactic that seated a conservative for a conservative, and didn’t break a single law or rule. A politically skilled liberal like LBJ or Bill Clinton would have swung a deal that would have seated a justice before Easter. The Democrats will call that a stolen seat from now until the end of time, when they’re not spewing fantasies about how President Bernie Sanders will appoint 3 liberal replacements for Thomas, Alito, and Roberts. In the meantime, they are going to keep pushing back against everything that’s not to their liking.

              • It was more than foolish, it was stupid. Merrick was a moderate choice, Clinton’s victory looked like a lock, and the likelihood was that she would appoint someone far more extreme. That it worked to the party’s advantage was pure moral luck.

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  “That it worked to the party’s advantage was pure moral luck.”

                  Amen. Not sure Clinton looked like a lock in February, though, since it wasn’t clear who she’d be facing. By June she looked like she was on a glide path, certainly.

          • Again, all the above were show trials intended to mollify their constituents, not intended to actually make any difference. There is NO doubt of the facts, just an acceptance of “what difference does it make?”

            And calling the GOP idiots when you have Maxine Waters and company anywhere near power is the pot calling the kettle black.

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