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.