Republicans need to jump off the victim-blaming train

Not only am I shocked that people are getting so violent about health care reform, but I’m shocked that some Republicans are trying so little to make their condemnations of the violence actually seem sincere. I mean, you expect to have bricks thrown through your windows and threats of sniper attacks after passing health care reform, right?

On Fox and Friends, the hosts shared e-mails from people who agree violence is bad but it’s secretly OK if the people getting hurt are people you don’t agree with:

KILMEADE: Over in Kentucky, J says, “while I don’t condone the threats in any way, what do they expect when they basically stole from the American people? What do they think 1776 was all about and wasn’t there some violence back then?” But true, but that was a revolution against an occupier.

CARLSON: Uh huh.

KILMEADE: This is a policy.

DOOCY: Meanwhile, in New Jersey, one of the original 13 colonies, Koz writes, “I don’t like violence and it is wrong. Having said that, why should Democrats be surprised? Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground bombed the Pentagon and now he is a respected speaker of the left. Why should Democrats expect anything differently?”

(From thinkprogress.org)

This reminds me of the Bill Mahers of the world after 9/11, who said something along the lines of “Well, this is tragic but we kind of had it coming/I could see why they’d do something like that” — and those people were shunned almost immediately for even trying to condone or qualify such a tragedy, and Republicans were doing a lot of the shunning, not to mention it helped their image to have liberals on video saying the U.S. got what it deserved.

It also reminds me of when someone says, “No offense, but you suck” — just because you preface it with “No offense” doesn’t mean I’m not going to get offended, and just because you preface it with “I don’t like violence and it is wrong” doesn’t mean you can get away with then condoning the violence.

Now, we have people shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Well, what’d you expect?” Um, how about civility? I mean seriously, why the hell are people mad enough to threaten to kill people because of this legislation? They got their abortion provisions, they got the public option removed, and the individual mandate everyone is complaining about actually carries a much cheaper penalty than health insurance actually costs.

Is it tax increases? Is it that people think it will cause a deficit? Is it that people wanted Obama to focus on job creation? I am just so confused about why this level of violence — the I’m-going-to-call-you-on-your-phone-and-threaten-your-life-and-family kind — has erupted out of health care reform. And if someone tells me it’s because of “socialism,” I might hit that person over the head with a dictionary. Pardon the violence.

Victim-blaming isn’t good for anyone’s image. Neither is the argument of,  “Well, why didn’t he get in trouble for the violent things he did? I should be able to do violent things, too!” Let’s just agree violence is bad and then not try to justify death threats to Congresspeople.

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