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Tone Down The Rhetoric… Mr President

Obama in 2008: “If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun”

Steve Watson
Tuesday, Jan 11th, 2011

Tone Down The Rhetoric... Mr President 110111feature

The use of words and phrases like “take aim”, “reload” and “shoot down”, despite their metaphorical intention, is to blame for the random act of violence committed by one psychopath in Arizona on Sunday, according to scores of frothing media hacks and political lawmakers. If this is so why not highlight a speech given by then presidential candidate Obama in 2008, in which he triumphantly stated “If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun”?

Obama made the comments at a fundraiser in Philadelphia in June 2008 in the run up to the November elections as he squared off against John McCain for the presidency.

“…from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Obama added at the time, referring to the political “battle” his party and the GOP were waging.

Of course, these are just words – used metaphorically and illustratively. Obama did not mean he was going to gun down John McCain in cold blood anymore than Sarah Palin meant she wished her supporters to go out and literally kill her political opponents.

To any rational and sane person, even having this debate is completely asinine, however, the seizure upon the Arizona shooting for political point scoring, mostly by left leaning hacks and politicians has centered upon literally blaming their political and ideological opponents’ words – in a desperate and despicable attempt to use the actions of a psychopath as a way of giving credence to their political agenda.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s comments provide an overview of the kind of unmitigated crap that is being spewed to this end:

“…if there are crosshairs over a Congresswoman’s name in October, and a former Vice Presidential candidate congratulating herself on her ‘bullseye’ campaign in November, and on a Friday the Congresswoman trades e-mails with a Republican about the need to tamp down the divisiveness and rhetoric, and on the Saturday she gets shot using a gun magazine that would’ve been unavailable if the Assault Weapons Ban hadn’t expired, the idea of ‘coincidence’ becomes increasingly irrelevant. The crazed do not need much to set them off.”

That’s right, you see, leaving aside the fact that there is no indication he had any discernable cause, Jared Loughner was pushed over the edge by their words, rhetoric, vitriol, extremism, “the climate of hate” – so, naturally, I was right all along and my political agenda should be advanced.

Olbermann’s sentiments have been amplified tenfold by leftist bloggers, and in a sickeningly ironic turn of events, have translated into a call for more violence on behalf of halfwit twitterers.

Sorry Keith et al, it doesn’t hold up.

The fact that the statist left-wing blog Daily Kos used identical “bullseye” rhetoric has also been quietly ignored.

The following comments by Martin Medhurst, a Baylor University professor of rhetoric and communications, in a Washington Post article sum up this sorry state of affairs succinctly:

“We have 24-hour coverage and if you let your political opposition have 12 or 15 hours unanswered, they have already determined what the conclusion of the story is… To the extent we politicize tragedies, whether it’s by the left or the right, it’s unfortunate, but it has to be, because of the system we live in.”

The great danger to emerge from this frothing insanity is the potential for such opportunists to pitch “solutions” that in any normal context would be immediately identified as intrinsically harmful to a free society and everyone’s way of life, throughout the entire country and across the political spectrum.

The fallout of this tragedy highlights just how much of a death grip the false left/right political paradigm has on the nation. Any significant event is now distorted beyond all comprehension and used to whip up yet more division and polarization among the American people – and that’s just the way the elite power structure likes it.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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