Of course, if you ever tried that with your Mama, you found out quickly not only that everybody else isn’t doing it, but also that hardly anybody is doing it. And got asked, “If everybody else was driving their car off a cliff, would you do that too?” (Not that this is the voice of experience or anything like that.)
Nevertheless, “everybody else (meaning Democrats) is doing it” seems to be part of the Republican Party’s defense for the violence and threats of violence against Democrats surrounding the health care vote (See Note). As is normally the case with Republican Party claims, there’s not much there but intellectual dishonesty.
I heard a particularly egregious example today–something that has kept me awake tonight. I was catching up with podcasts after the Big Final Move and listened to the Radio Times political roundup from last Friday. From the website (follow the link to listen to the show):
This week saw the passage of the biggest domestic legislation in a few generations, in a narrow partisan vote, when President Obama signed the landmark health care bill into law. It also saw Republicans launch a campaign to repeal the Democratic agenda and Obamacare, as well as a rash of threats that caused great consternation in the Beltway and beyond. Joining Marty to make sense of it all are MATTHEW YGLESIAS, a Fellow and blogger at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and CHRIS STIREWALT, political editor, columnist and blogger for the Washington Examiner.
I have no idea who Chris Stirewalt is. Never heard of him before.
Nevertheless, he tried to excuse wingnut Teabagging brick-throwing, vandalism, and threats by saying, in essence, that “Democrats do it too” and, as an example, cited the “9-1-1 Truthers“–those folks who think that the September 11, 2001, attacks were an inside job by the U. S. Government. (Frankly, Truthers make the Area 51 folks seem restrained.)
I don’t know the voting patterns of the “Truthers”; no doubt somewhere along the line the some of them have voted for a Democrat here or there; some of them have no doubt voted for Republicans or even Zoroastrians for all I know.
To imply, as this bozo Stirewalt did, that the Truthers are in some way a manifestation of or subset of the Democratic Party in the way that the Teabaggers represent Republicanism, is unsupported by anything.
I can see three possible explanations for Mr. Stirewalt’s doing this:
- He is robotically repeating claims he has heard elsewhere and therefore should not call himself a journalist because he is unwilling to research facts.
- He actually believes his claim and therefore should not call himself a journalist because he is incapable of researching facts.
- He knows his claim is a lie, but is desperate to find an “everybody else” that “is doing it” and any old everybody else will do.
I’m betting on the last one.
The other part of the Republican defense seems to be, “You shouldn’t be complaining about the violence. Doing so just fans the flames.” It’s sort of like the abusive husband who claims, “Well, she made me hit her.”