A call to violence

I stumbled across an interesting article this morning over at the War Room at Salon, that highlights the differences between the left wing and right wing elements in the US right now as far as rhetoric is concerned. Tim Grieve found a clip from a recent Ted Nugent show that is very interesting. As most people probably know, Ted is a fairly vocal supporter of the Republican party, and Bush’s policy in the War on Terror and Iraq/Afghanistan, and during a recent show he attacked both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which wouldn’t be too unusual, if not for the content of the attacks.

Nugent urges “piece of shit” Barack Obama to “suck on” a machine gun and then suggests that “worthless bitch” Hillary Clinton should ride on one?
from War Room on Salon – video link here

Its interesting to speculate on how much worse the backlash against the Dixie Chicks would have been had they actually called for George Bush to “suck on” a machine gun, rather than just saying they were embarrassed he was from Texas. We can also wonder what the reaction from people like Sean Hannity would be to a liberal artist (say the Dixie Chicks again) making threatening statements about sucking on a gun barrel about any Republican candidates or media types.

I bring up Hannity, because thanks again to Tim Grieve, we are also reminded that we don’t HAVE to wonder how Hannity and Nugent react to violent threats from the other side. In July, Nugent was on Hannity’s show, and they discussed the (fairly innocuous in comparison) comments made on a liberal blog that claimed “‘dibs’ on Rush Limbaugh if it ever became legal to shoot him.” The article went on to offer rights to Nugent himself to anyone who cared to take them up. Predictably, Nugent was pretty harsh on the comments.

“You know, I’m an American. I love all Americans. And I would help any American pursue their dreams and their pursuit of happiness,” Nugent told Hannity. “But you find that the left, there’s a lunatic fringe on the left that literally are trying to force us to comply to their outline of life. And I find it just reprehensible that they would recommend violence, not to mention murder and shooting people and assassinating people. This is bizarre.”
from War Room at Salon

So, it seems pretty clear that when other people talk about attacking vocal political supporters on the right, Hannity and Nugent are very against the idea. As Nugent says, he finds it “reprehensible that they would recommend violence, not to mention murder and shooting people and assassinating people.” One wonders why he then feels its OK to suggest that one of the leading contenders for President “suck on” a machine gun. This incident proves one thing … there is a different standard for right wing supporters over left wing supporters on the level of rhetoric allowed. The Dixie Chicks incident proves that left-wing performers can barely criticize anything or anyone without a huge backlash, whereas apparently right wing performers can actively call for full-on gun-play with little sanction. Ironically, the same person can even call such behaviour reprehensible when engaged in by the left, but then go ahead and make the same kind of violent comments himself, apparently without noticing the hypocrisy. The right wing in the US has never really been known for consistency of position, but that hypocrisy is rarely so clearly on display.


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