The next assassination attempt

The shooter in Tucson is an obvious paranoid schizophrenic, uninterested in and ignorant of political rhetoric.

Ashleigh Banfield said that Loughner “disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right,” according to an interview on “Good Morning America.” Loughner wasn’t shooting at people, “he was shooting at the world,” Banfield said, according to the report.

The next shooter will probably be very interested in the hate-filled rhetoric coming from the left and directed at talk radio and Fox New, plus of course, Sarah Palin.

I fear that the torrent of hate and slander that has poured from the left, including the “paper of record” the New York Times, will agitate some leftist radical and we will have an ugly incident. Libertarian (and gay) Dutch politician (and professor), Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002, three weeks before the next election, by a Green and “animal rights” activist.

However, words have power and if someone is called a racist often enough, an impressionable mind may decide that saving the world from the latest Hitler will require that person’s murder.

Some version of that scenario appears to have taken place in the Netherlands on May 6, 2002, with the political assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a rising star in Dutch politics who could possibly have become the next Prime Minister. A man identified only as an “animal rights activist” shot him down in the street near a radio station.

Certainly Professor Fortuyn’s notoriety played a part in his being targeted. Both the media and Dutch politicians in the ruling party attacked him mercilessly in the most disparaging language. Prime Minister Wim Kok called him a fascist, as did the European press. Anyone who objects to massive Muslim immigration is branded automatically as a racist, xenophobe and fascist. Mr. Fortuyn was regularly compared with real right-winger Jean Le Pen, although aside from the immigration issue, the men had nothing in common.

The assassin was a typical leftist activist.

A vegan animal rights activist accused of the murder of the controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn has confessed, public prosecutors said on Saturday. Volkert van der Graaf is reported as saying he saw Mr Fortuyn’s far-right views as a threat to vulnerable sections of society.

Note that Fortuyn’s speeches were principally concerned about Muslim immigration. For that position, he was called “far right” and a fascist. This person who did the killing that was obviously being called for by leftist politicians and the media, had nothing to do with Muslims. He was responding to the rhetoric from the political left.

I fear we may see a similar attempt this year as the next election begins to raise the temperature of political speech. I hope Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin have good security. She is probably the most vulnerable and I really worry about her safety.

17 thoughts on “The next assassination attempt”

  1. I agree. The left seems to be trying to incite the assassination of Sarah Palin just as happened with Pim Fortuyn.

    I am also concerned that some non-lunatic, deadly serious and rather competent people will, if Palin is assassinated, retaliate in kind against a number of the vulnerable and notorious lefty inciters of attacks on Palin.

  2. Hi Michael:

    I understand that there is concern on the right that Sarah Palin might be assassinated, as there was concern on the left that Barack Obama might be, that both Sarah Palin’s PAC and the DLC have used maps with cross-hairs / targets on them to indicate vulnerable districts in elections, that different parts of the population make different use of the phrase “blood libel” and so on and so forth.

    I understand, too, that if every value you cherish appears to be under attack from powerful groups within your own nation, that’s in some ways more troubling even than an attack from outside enemies — but that’s a feeling that seems to be running strong on both sides of the “red-blue” divide.

    The First World War had just ended when Yeats published “The Second Coming” in 1919 with its ominous lines:

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    In this instance in Tucson, the victims included a judge and a child, the target was a Democrat, and the assassin was clearly, how shall I phrase this, “not of sound mind”.

    I happen to believe in prayer, if only for the way in which it releases me from my own concerns. I pray for peace: for the dangerously crazy, in the maelstroms of their minds; for those who represent us, on both sides of the house; for the nation, and for the world.

  3. Why should advertisers support media who are seditious?Why not look for other outlets?

    In my neighborhood a local wine bar had a notice in their window that they were collecting a petition for Obamacare. I told the proprietress,politely, that while she was certainly within her rights to so it was not a good idea to alienate customers for no good reason. She was a young kid, and I don’t think it had even occurred to her that there was any kind of controversy on the issue. The next day the sign was down ,however.

  4. Charles, have you seen Henninger’s piece in todays WSJ ?

    I have five children, three of whom are pretty left oriented. One is a trial lawyer and the family thinks that if I were to vote for Obama he would join the John Birch Society so that one is a mystery. I have a daughter, who is also a lawyer but is in law enforcement, who has surprised me by sticking to her leftist slant. We don’t talk politics. My middle daughter is a gentle soul, still in grad school, who has a sort of student reflex leftism but she is very smart. She went to Cuba about 8 years ago and saw through the propaganda, partly because she is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and Arabic. We can talk a little but I am waiting for her good sense to kick in when she goes out into the world. She has had jobs since high school and is pretty sensible.

    I think the left, the moderate left, has sincere beliefs but they don’t work. A wealthy society can indulge in a bit of socialism but we can no longer afford this. Those who have steady jobs and common sense will eventually, maybe grudgingly, recognize reality. Far too late but hopefully not when it is irretrievably lost. There is however, a radical left that is a pretty large group and which is beyond recall. You see them at DU and Kos and Washington Monthly, plus MSNBC. I used to participate actively at Washington Monthly when Kevin Drum ran the blog. He is far to my left but has commonsense and balance. Mother Jones, where Kevin now blogs, has a good piece on the shooting. That was Monday when Paul Krugman was still out of control.

    The right has fringe groups. I don’t see them because I don’t read some of those blogs. There is also a lot of anger on the right but I think there is a good reason. The Health Care bill was rammed through in a very odd fashion. The Justice Department looks to be going off the rails on voting rights and some other areas. Now we have the EPA planning to bypass Congress on rules that Congress has rejected and which most business oriented economists think are disastrous. I feel as though I am living when the 1000 economists begged Hoover not to sign Smoot Hawley.

    I think the right’s anger is rational and will be reduced if the Congress can get control of spending. The independents seem to agree.

    The left’s anger, it seems to me, to be more about losing control than fear for the economy or the country. This is a bit like 1938 when Churchill was alone. That was a close call and so will this one be. I’m old enough that it won’t harm me. But I have five children and three grandchildren with one more on the way. I am very worried about them.

  5. Max Weber says that America was built because of the Protestant Ethic. Individuals spread across this country and without any help from the government they killed off the buffalo, plowed up the prarie, cut down the forests, killed off the Indians, ripped apart the mountains to find coal, gold an iron, polluted the lakes, dammed the rivers, and built churches everywhere they went. In less than 100 years they built the richest, most powerful nation that ever existed and created science, literature, poetry, art and music vastly superior to that from anywhere else or from anywhen else.

    Now we have laws and a government thst will keep them from doing that again.

  6. One slight addition to the Pym Fortune killing. The assassin, Volkert van der Graf, was not only approaching it from the perspective of an animal rights whacko. From the London Daily Telegraph is this report of the the first day of his trial.

    The London Daily Telegraph reported:

    “Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr. Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as ‘scapegoats’ and targeting “the weak parts of society to score points” to try to gain political power. He said: ‘I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself.'”

    To return to the subject at hand, the Henniger piece cited by Mr. Kennedy is very much on point. For some time I have been positing that we are in fact two hostile nations inside one geographical entity. Leaving aside the traditional marker of ethnic homogeneity as inapplicable to what has been the world melting pot [discounting that factor emphasizes the relative importance of differences in what remains]; nationality can be considered as being to to a great extent defined as a common language, a common culture, a common history, a common view of how it stands relative to the rest of the world, and a common piece of territory viewed as a homeland. This may not be all inclusive, but I think it covers a majority of the ground.

    One of the things that differentiate not only what [for lack of a more concise term] can be called the Left -v- Right but also the Political Class [of both parties] from the mass of the population is that we are using the same words in English, but we assign different meanings to them. Further, it is a hallmark of the Left and the Political class that everything is relative and there are no set truths or meanings. The Left takes this the farthest with their insistence that meanings are just “constructs” and each is equally valid. And that facts are only valid when they support their construct. If there is no agreement on the basic meanings of words or what is a fact, there is no common language.

    The Left and the Political Class draw their cultural basis from modern Europe’s Socialist movements from 1848 on, with deeper roots in Plato’s writings [Plato, with his view of “Philosopher Kings” was a totalitarian elitist] and the “rationalist” Philosophes of the French Revolutionary era. The mass of Americans still draw their culture from the Judeo-Christian tradition. The contempt between the two is palpable and is on the verge of hatred. That, incidentally, is not the sole cultural divide. The very founding of our country divided in great part along the lines of the English Civil War of the 1640’s [Look at the state names, north and south. The southern states were named for kings and queens. Northern states had non- royalist names; reflecting the ideology and origins of the settlers.] The English Civil War itself reflected in part the cultural split between the Celtic peoples and the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.

    We no longer have a common history, because each side views the events of our history through very different lenses. The Left and the Political Classes tending to something akin to Dialectic Materialism, while the mass of the country [or at least those who have any knowledge of history in these debased times] tend to more traditional views. n.b.– I do Living History re-enacting presentations for schools, and I may be prejudiced about the level of knowledge.

    The two versions of history do not match up or get along well; which leads to a conflict over the view of the place in the world. It may be summed up as the traditional view of what is called “American Exceptionalism” and that the existence of America as a net positive for the world. The Left and the Political Classes tend to view American Exceptionalism as a deliberate lie, and that the US is neither a benefit to the world nor a good thing. In fact, the Left and the Political Classes tend to consider the US to be a force for evil and in need of being subdued by foreign influences.

    This contributes to a difference in views of the piece of territory we both occupy. The mass of the American people lean to the traditional concept of national sovereignty of our laws within our borders and the control of those borders. While they may be more than willing to welcome immigrants, they want those immigrants to be admitted under our own laws, requirements, and with the plain intent that they become Americans and not resident foreigners. The Left and Political Classes favor more supra-national restrictions on the US and believe that borders are fictions. And that foreigners who come here are to a great extent exempt from the requirements of our laws, but deserve the benefits of them.

    Looking at that; we are in fact two separate, ultimately incompatible nations within one set of borders. This is not a stable condition.

    I would note that unlike the events of the 1770’s and 1850’s-65; the obvious geographical splits are not along state boundaries. There is a divide between the coasts and the midlands, and most especially along the lines of urban -v- rural. Many so-called “Blue” [Leftist-Democrat] states are really a case of a few urban areas overwhelming the votes of everywhere else. In Lame Duck tax raising Illinois, I understand that the Democrat governor won 3 counties … out of 102. This has implications for the future too.

    Given these, I would not be at all surprised to see the Left/Political Classes engage in deliberate, premeditated violence against Conservatives, the TEA Party, or any other apostates against the almighty State. And because I am cynical, and understand that those whose believe in Hofstadter’s formulation do not regard their enemies as either fully human or equal citizens; I do not rule out the possibility that such acts may be by an organized group, private or …. official. I am not sanguine about the results.

    Sorry about the length of this, but I tried to define the level of division we face as concisely as possible.

    Subotai Bahadur

  7. >Looking at that; we are in fact two separate, ultimately incompatible
    >nations within one set of borders. This is not a stable condition.

    Welcome to 1855.

    The Americam Left’s “Volkert van der Graf” will be met by the American Right’s John Brown.

    A whole lot of John Browns, point in fact, for he is an American Archetype.

  8. Subotai Bahadur, I don’t see the will to violence no either side yet. Hopefully we never will. We are not anywhere near the level of civil unrest we saw in the 1850s. We are not two separate and ultimately incompatible nations. We are nation of mostly comfortable suburban people who mostly want material security, which is good. The number of ideologically motivated extremists is small, despite what the hysteria of the television and internet would lead you to believe.

  9. Lex,

    >We are not two separate and ultimately incompatible nations. We are nation
    >of mostly comfortable suburban people who mostly want material security,
    >which is good.

    Folks were saying the same sorts of things before the American Civil War.

    I have a different perspective.

    I was AFGE Union local 2128 President the day that happened (April 19, 1995). I got to call around and find out if anyone in the local had been killed (None, Thank God).

    I was also in the Dallas/Fort Worth area gun shows the months running up to that day looking for a good high capacity magazine pistol deal before the Clinton Administration Assault Weapon Ban went into effect.

    “Waco/Ruby Ridge” were the catch words and the anger was so palpable you could cut it with a knife. It was quite literally lethal. I was telling Tom Holsinger several months before the Oklahoma city bombing there would be high body count violence from it.

    And it came.

    I am seeing with Sarah Palin a hate campaign that rivals that aimed at Pym Fortune and there is an answering echo brewing on the Right.

    That you do not want to see what is coming does not mean it won’t arrive.

    It just means you will be surprised and shocked when it does, while I will simply be saddened.

  10. “Folks were saying the same sorts of things before the American Civil War.”


    There was a lot of open violence in the years leading up to the Civil War. We have nothing remotely like bleeding Kansas or John Brown. Most people have a lot to lose and don’t want that. there is no one openly calling for violence against their political opponents.

    It is nothing like the period before the Civil War, even if some people want to fantasize about that.

    This is more apocalypse porn, where a small number of people pretend to want violence to break out so that the annoyance of politics can be dispensed with.

    It is unlikely to happen.

  11. Lex,

    You live a sheltered life.

    Go read the Volkert van der Graaf wikipedia page:

    He was a main stream euro-activist who bought the Euro-elites demonization bilge water hook, line, and sinker.

    … During the trial, Van der Graaf described again his reasons for killing Fortuyn. He said how he had hoped that the leaders of other political parties would deliver substantial critique on Fortuyn, but that it never happened. Instead, Fortuyn had the talent to channel criticism so that it never touched him. He said again that he had never spoken to anybody else about his plan to act against Fortuyn, and only made a definitive plan to act on the day before the murder. He said that he was wrestling with feelings of regret for the killing, finding the killing of somebody morally reprehensible, but that on May 6 he had felt himself justified, wanting to fight the danger of Fortuyn, not his person. He explained that his lack of outward emotion was due to being somebody who didn’t find it easy to talk about feelings. Asked about the danger of accidentally injuring somebody other than Fortuyn in the attack, he said that he had been confident that that wouldn’t happen. …

    To the argument that Fortuyn would have been chosen through democratic means, Van der Graaf said that that was also the case for Hitler. Indeed he compared the rise of Fortuyn to the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.[1] In his final argument he said that he had acted from his conscience, but that didn’t justify it, and that it was absolutely not normal to shoot somebody to death.

    Van der Graaf also said he murdered Fortuyn to defend Dutch Muslims from persecution. He claimed his goal was to stop Fortuyn from targeting “the weak parts of society to score points” and exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats” in an attempt to seek political power.[3][4][5]

    The people playing Pym Fortune demonization games with Sarah Palin will not stop, any more than the Pym Fortune demonizers stopped after he was dead.

    The Left in America has run out of other people’s money to spend so, like the Euro-Left, they have to do something to keep their base stirred up.

  12. Michael Barone had a good piece on this topic.

    So far, while both claim, or pretend to believe, that their opponents are willing to murder people for political purposes, so far that has not been true.

    The attempt to use the Tucson massacre as a pretext, ala the Kirov Murder or the Reichstag Fire, was not undertaken by anyone with official responsibility. And it so far it has misfired. So far.

    Things are bad enough without imagining them worse than they are.

  13. A quick word of thanks to Michael for his response to me.

    In another online context, I’m currently discussing the “modeling” of social movements, and the question of modeling both statistical likelihoods and outliers – black swans – has come up. I don’t think any of us much enjoy thinking there are people who “go to extremes” with the same basic ideas we have, whether we disapprove of abortion and wish to distance ourselves from clinic bombers, whether – how shall I say this, whether it’s Sarah Palin or Barack Obama we don’t trust, I’m hopeful that we wish to avoid the routine assassination of our political enemies.

    It’s obviously important to know where the bulk of a given population – or a major division of a population – is, and not to confuse that with more extreme manifestations. But it’s also IMO important to keep an eye on the extremes, and not to write them off too hastily, which is why I think knowledge of Waco is important in understanding Oklahoma City, and why I keep a weather eye on Mahdist trends in Islam, too.

    As to the degree of tension in the US between “red” and “blue” factions, I don’t think I’m in a position to assay it, but I trust Lex is right.

  14. Lex, Charles,

    Barone is being historically short sighted.

    Dueling was and personal violence were the Southern slave holder class’ means of assassination prior to the American Civil War.

    See the beating South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks applied to Senator Charles Sumner.

    However, Brooks’s attack on Sumner was regarded in the North as the act of a cowardly barbarian. One of the bitterest critics of the attack was Sumner’s fellow New Englander, Congressman Anson Burlingame. When Burlingame denounced Brooks as a coward on the floor of the House, Brooks challenged him to a duel, and Burlingame accepted the challenge. Burlingame, as the challenged party, specified rifles as the weapons, and to get around American anti-dueling laws he named the Navy Yard on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as the site. Brooks, reportedly dismayed by both Burlingame’s unexpectedly enthusiastic acceptance and his reputation as a crack shot, neglected to show up, instead citing unspecified risks to his safety if he was to cross “hostile country” (the Northern states) in order to reach Canada.[1] Brooks remained in office until his death from the croup in 1857. He was buried in Edgefield, South Carolina.

  15. >>Things are bad enough without imagining them worse than they are.


    Things are far worse than you are willing to admit.

    This was a post from Shannon Love here on ChicagoBoyz from about 15 months ago:

    What the Limbaugh Quote Hoax Really Tells Us

    Posted by Shannon Love on October 20th, 2009 (All posts by Shannon Love)

    So we have to ask: Just how seriously deluded is the mainstream American left that they believed it credible that Limbaugh actually said the things attributed to him in the fake quotes?

    Let’s be clear about what they believed Limbaugh actually said:

    I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.

    You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.

    How can anyone believe that a mainstream American figure would believe such things, much less speak them aloud? As a practical matter, how do they imagine that a celebrity such as Limbaugh, who is one of the most recorded people in America, managed to keep these quotes hidden for so long? Why isn’t there audio or video of him making these or similar statements? How has he managed to be on the air for 20+ years without making more than these two slips?

    Only someone seriously immersed in a deep fantasy about Limbaugh’s beliefs would swallow such quotes without checking them or thinking about the practical possibility of Limbaugh making such statements without every person in the world knowing about it within the hour. More troubling, not only would they have to believe that Limbaugh thinks that way but that his audience does as well.

    They fell for the hoax because their fantasy about the evil of non-leftists tells them that most non-leftists think this way.

    They didn’t need to check on the provenance of the quotes any more than the rest of us need to check an assertion that the sun came up in the East this morning. It was just that obvious to them.

    So, we come back to the main question: What methods could these deluded leftists justify using against the rest of us if they really believe we hold such beliefs and values as are inherent in the fake quotes? What couldn’t they justify doing to drive such people from politics or even the nation itself? We even have to ask, what level of violence could they justify using against us?

    This isn’t about Limbaugh. They clearly view Limbaugh as just the most visible manifestation of tens of millions of Americans pining for the good old days of slavery. Make no mistake. They aren’t just targeting Limbaugh as someone so evil that they can justify any extremity in fighting him.

    They are targeting the rest of us as well.

    Lex,in 1860 there were huge policy differences and economic issues and moral issues but with the exception of whether blacks were valid citizens or not, both sides pretty much agreed on a common reality. (Such as that ‘N*****s aren’t human beings, mind you.’)

    They could have a war, settle the issues on the battlefield and more or less get the fuck over it.

    What Shannon’s post underlines is that there is no basis in functional reality between the American hard Left and the Right.

    Most of the Right cannot agree on basic facts of hard reality with most of the Left.

    That is not something healable with even a very big Civil War.

    It requires people coming, again, to some basic agreement on reality. Utter revision in world view. By people who, each in their own way, hold to their world-views religiously.

    If we slide into some sort of pseudo civil war/insurgency/Low Intensity Conflict, it will not, essentially, be a civil war. (And it will be, I suspect, most uncivil.)

    It will be a religious war.

    So, let us assume a Palin versus Obama election and we get SEIU/ACORN types doing massive voter fraud with and mob violence MSM and AG Eric Holder Justice Department support.

    Think DoJ prosecutions of the victims of the violence and of people posting/broadcasting evidence of both the voter fraud and violence on the net with continuous MSM blood libel attacks on Palin.

    And a Leftie nut kills Palin.

    Who on the Left would be there for the Right to trust?

  16. I was in northern Idaho during the Ruby Ridge standoff and later after the shootings. The local anger was very apparent. One of the reasons for the anger about Waco and Ruby Ridge is the fact that there was serious question about the motives of federal agents in both instances. The Ruby Ridge case began with an attempt to frame Randy Weaver to force him to become an informant on the white supremacy group that had settled in Hayden Lake, a wealthy resort otherwise.

    The Waco case occurred during hearings on the ATF budget and there were serious questions about whether they were trying to provoke a big confrontation for publicity purposes. Both events backfired badly but the motives of the feds were the cause of the anger. The local grand jury exonerated Weaver and indicted the FBI shooter who would still be well advised to avoid Idaho.

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