Friday, February 19, 2010


How charming that we had this at CPAC this morning:

Less than an hour before Tiger Woods was set to explain himself in a press conference, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty urged conservative activists to follow the golfer’s wife and "take a nine iron and smash the windows out of big government."

... Joking about Woods' looming press conference, Pawlenty said. "I think we can learn a lot from that situation. Not from Tiger, but from his wife."

"She said she'd had enough, and we've had enough," he said. "I think we should take a nine iron and smash the windows out." ...

The quip came, of course, less than 24 hours after this:

A software engineer furious with the U.S. tax agency launched a suicide attack on it Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building housing....

Flames shot from the building, windows exploded, a huge pillar of black smoke rose over the city, and terrified workers rushed to get out....

"It felt like a bomb blew off," said Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who was sitting at her desk. "The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran."

... Michelle Santibanez felt the vibrations and ran to the windows, where she and her co-workers witnessed a scene that reminded them of Sept. 11.

"It was the same kind of scenario, with window panels falling out and desks falling out and paperwork flying," said Santibanez, an accountant.

...The blaze at Stack's home ... caved in the roof and blew out the windows....

(Emphasis mine throughout.)


One thing I learned during the busing years in Boston is how eager some people are to have a moral justification for their violent rage. It struck me that most violent haters don't really want to be evil -- they want to believe their rage is virtuous. They want someone to give them the moral license to hurt people. (The people who threw rocks at school buses really had themselves convinced that they were doing it to preserve the concept of neighborhood schools; injuring black children, they'd all have told you, wasn't the point at all.)

The craving for a license to commit violence (personally or vicariously) is why so many right-wingers absolutely wallowed in 9/11. It's why they love the "smoking gun" scenario that seems to justify torture. It's why a lot of them enjoy imagining that criminals on the rampage will compel them to retaliate with their own firearms.

Pawlenty's remark seems to be lighthearted, but it's still tapping into the notion that violence against the hated group is moral and necessary. And it's addressed, of course, to people who "came unarmed (this time)" -- or maybe just last time.

(Clip via Right Wing Watch.)

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