Paul Waldman at The American Prospect makes an excellent point about what passes for political discourse in this country recently:
The rhetoric of violence is not the only kind of rhetoric that encourages violence. The apocalyptic rhetoric we’ve seen from some on the right, most notably Glenn Beck, should be part of this discussion too. When Beck portrays Barack Obama as the head of a socialist/communist/Nazi conspiracy whose goal is the literal destruction of America, he is implicitly encouraging violence. If that really were the nature of the administration, and our liberty really were on the verge of being snuffed out, violence would be justified.
I find this kind of “ginning up the natives” way more dangerous than things like drawing targets on a map. Statements claiming that Obama or some other politician is going to kill your grannie with “death panels” or will destroy your freedom or take away your guns, or otherwise threaten you with harm is purposely designed to scare the pants off of people and push them toward Sharon Angle’s “second amendment remedies”.
Indeed, as Waldman points out, if Obama really was threatening to do half the things that the right-wing have claimed he is doing, then I would likely be out there with them employing those remedies. But just because you don’t like a politician (who was elected by a majority of voters), doesn’t make them a tyrannical despot who deserves assassination. Instead, we have elections.