Friday, June 22, 2007

Violent Rhetoric About The Clintons Falls On Deaf Ears At Secret Service---But Watch What You Say About Bush

By MARC McDONALD

Right-wing nutcase Michael Graham's latest controversy---in which he said he wanted to see someone "whack" the Clintons in a Sopranos spoof isn't the first time he's used violent rhetoric when discussing the Clintons. In 2003, Graham said of Hillary Clinton: "I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron."

Such inflammatory language is nothing new for the right-wing. Recall how Ann Coulter once wrote that the debate over Bill Clinton should be about "whether to impeach or assassinate."

Recall also the comment by Jesse Helms in 1994: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

Or G. Gordon Liddy's comment in 1995, when discussing how he'd used stick figures of the Clintons for target practice. "Thought it might improve my aim," he said.

I guess the right-wing nutcases excuse the above inflammatory comments as "humor."

The problem is, the Secret Service isn't an organization known for its sense of humor.

What's baffling is that right-wing nutcases can continue to use violent inflammatory language when discussing the Clintons and face no repercussions.

But when you talk about George W. Bush these days, you really need to watch what you say. Or else, you're going to get a visit from the Secret Service.

Case in point:

In September 2005, a North Carolina high school teacher assigned her senior civics and economics class "to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights."

One of her students took a photo of Bush and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb's down sign with his own hand next to Bush's picture, which he photographed and pasted onto a poster.

The student took his film to a local Wal-Mart to be processed. The Wal-Mart promptly called the police, who turned the matter over to the Secret Service.

On Sept. 20, 2005, two Secret Service agents showed up at the high school and confiscated the poster and interrogated the teacher. At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident "would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted."

Although no further action was taken in this particular case by the Secret Service, I find it interesting how an innocent student project about the Bill of Rights could spur such a frightening and intimidating visit from the Secret Service.

And meanwhile, right-wing nutcases continue to use the nation's airwaves to spew violent rhetoric about the Clintons, which apparently falls on deaf ears at the Secret Service.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

.
Bush continues to be handled with kid gloves by the media (just as he has been all his life).
I wish for ONCE the New York Times would do an investigation about Bush that was as comprehensive and in-depth as the massive, multi-part Whitewater series that the N.Y. Times did on Clinton in 1992.

Anonymous said...

It is time for WE THE PEOPLE to march on Washington, D.C. and occupy it until WE get what we voted for last November from our elected representatives in Congress. If Congress won't impeach and remove Bush and dick Cheney, then WE will. If Congress won't end the illegal occupation of Iraq, then WE will.

WE THE PEOPLE have a Constitutional right to peaceably assemble around the White House, around Congress, around the Supreme Court and around the Pentagon until WE decide to leave, which should not be until both Bush and dick Cheney have resigned and President Pelosi has declared an end to the illegal occupation if Iraq to steal their oil.

WE THE PEOPLE are the true government. Our elected representatives in Washington just work for us and serve at our pleasure. They are not the boss of us, WE THE PEOPLE are the boss of them.

http://marchofthepeople.org

Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA

Anonymous said...

This story is years old, where have you been? It's a little late to get upset about it now. Janis Joplin died, did you hear about that? Probably not.

Zee said...

Yes, but the hate talk about the Clintons isn't "old news," unfortunately, you moron. Thus, revisiting this issue. There was a man in the midwest arrested for making a joke about Bush, too, as I recall. Let's not forget that one. Thanks for including the Jesse Helms quote. We need to remember this "old" news and rub it in thugs' faces, preferably while they are in public stocks.

Anonymous said...

The crusade against the Clintons was orchestrated by republicans when William Clinton's name first came up as a POSSIBLE candidate to oppose HW Bush. They have never stopped trying to spin, spew hatred and brainwash Americans against the Clintons. As the Clintons left the White House, the Bush administration tried to continue the assults by accusations that the Clintons trashed the White House and stole gifted items. That got under the Dem's skin and they fought back. In the end, the accusations were proven false or as normal wear and tear. Why do republicans continue the swift boating of the Clintons? They are scared to death of them. Think about it. When Bill Clinton's last term was up, the US had enjoyed the best economy in history. We were not at war. The stock market was riding high. The US had a surplus and Clinton left with a 65% approval rating, all of this in the face of adversity trumped up by the republicans. Does this mean that Clinton had no faults? He would be the first to tell you that he did, but it is for sure Bill Clinton continues to rate in the top 20 best presidents. The only Americans who don't think that way happen to be hateful, back-biting republicans

Anonymous said...

"This story is years old, where have you been? It's a little late to get upset about it now."

This might be true if it were only about Clinton. But every person who arises as an opponent of the Republicans- Gore, Kerry, Pelosi, Michael Moore, Ambassador Wilson, is subject to a campaign of character assassination and smears designed to destroy them. At the same time, violent abuse is directed toward anyone who tries to discuss the reality of Republicans (e.g. Bush's desertion in a time of war).

When Republicans, with the complicity of the corporate press in this country, cease using these contemptible tactics, we will stop talking about it.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I think it's a little more about fame than party. I think the Secret Service has taken the attitude that a famous person can't possibly be serious but who knows what some student somewhere is trying to say. Unfortunately, it's the famous ones that get the unknown and unstable ones riled up enough to do something violent.

Anonymous said...

BushCo and all the right wing conservative religious wingnuts are out of control.

They believe they can do all the bad things they want, cause God will forgive them on sunday.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Zee, thanks for stopping by. Now that you mention it, I do now vaguely recall that case in which a man was arrested in the Midwest for making a joke about Bush. I don't think that story got much play in the media (they were too busy chasing Paris Hilton).
And now that I think about it, I also recall the man in the film "F911" who got a visit from authorities after he made some comment like "Bush is an asshole."

Ron Southern said...

Everyone bites it, that's all there is. I cannot otherwise speak intelligibly on the subject.

Red Hog Diary said...

You may be thinking of Stephen Howards who was arrested for merely criticizing the war to Dick Cheney. Read it here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=664_1177008835&c=1
You don't even have to threaten to be arrested by the jack booted thugs of the Bush administration.

Anonymous said...

Looking for a non-violent solution to this administration? Have you heard about HR 333? I urge you and your readers to take a few minutes to look at:

http://www.usalone.com/cgi-bin/transparency.cgi?paper=1&qnum=pet45

It's a list of the 25 most recent comments made by real Americans participating in an online poll/letter-writing campaign concerning the impeachment charges recently filed against Vice President Cheney, which are now being evaluated by the House Judiciary Committee. Comments can be sent to elected representatives and local newspapers at your option. The participation page is at:

http://www.usalone.com/cheney_impeachment.php

Since this campaign began, several members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors, in part due to hearing from their constituents. Has yours? Make your voice heard, and let others know!

--Blue Girl said...

Heh. Thanks Wally World and Secret Service for cementing Junior firmly in our camp for life.

Batocchio said...

Your larger point is well taken. Jess Helms' comment was unbelievable. In a West Wing episode, Aaron Sorkin had a GOP politician make a similar comment and Toby Ziegler asked the Secret Service to investigate the politician for threatening the president.

That said, I can confirm that some of this has been going on for a long time. I knew a kid in high school in the 80s who was a bit shady and talked of killing Reagan and the Pope. The Secret Service paid him a little visit. The kid was a bit nuts, actually, but likely not a real danger, just a scrawny headbanger with some bluster. The Secret Service may in some cases just be trying to scare the hell out of kids, but as a rule, they have absolutely no sense of humor and probably have a directive to give even implausible threats a cursory review. All that said, Helms and the folks like him should get some review if they say something that stupid.