Saturday, March 27, 2010

More conservative violence: Tennessee man attacks car with Obama-Biden bumper sticker

Once more, we turn to the violent consequences of conservative speech. These may be unhinged individuals to start with, but they are also internalizing what they are told by Republicans and the conservative media, growing ever more unhinged as they do so, and acting out against liberal targets identified by their masters.


As you may have heard, a Tennessee man on Thursday used his SUV to attack another car -- a car with a man and his 10-year-old daughter inside, a car with an Obama-Biden bumper sticker on the back:

A Nashville man says he and his 10-year-old daughter were victims of road rage Thursday afternoon, all because of a political bumper sticker on his car...

[Mark Duren] said Harry Weisiger gave him the bird and rammed into his vehicle, after noticing an Obama-Biden sticker on his car bumper.

Duren had just picked up his 10-year-old daughter from school and had her in the car with him.

"He pointed at the back of my car," Duren said, "the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute."

But it didn't end there.

Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign.

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, "I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me."

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car.

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, "He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk."

Police say Harry Weisiger is charged with felony reckless endangerment in the incident.

Responding to the attacks on Democratic offices around the country, as well as the threats against Democrats and their families, I addressed this development in a post on Wednesday (also posted at HuffPo). As I put it then:

[W]hat do you think is going to happen when you call the president illegitimate, a foreigner who essentially stole the election? Or when you stoke fears of a socialist-fascist takeover of government and of government assault on freedom? Do you not think that some out there will convert your speech to action -- hording guns, building bunkers, and otherwise preparing for violence? And do you not think that some will actually take to the streets to wage whatever war they think you're calling on them to wage?

At C&L, responding to the Tennessee story, Logan Murphy gets to the heart of the matter:

As hate radio, corporate right wing media and GOP politicians ramp up the violent rhetoric against Democrats, the nutjobs who follow them like zombies are becoming more and more unhinged and posing a threat to society...

I don't think it's a matter of if, but when, one of these nutjobs are going to seriously injure or kill a Democratic politician or citizen. Apparently, that's what it will take before we see some form of crackdown on the violent propaganda being thrown around by Republican politicians and their media outlets.

Don't just let these unhinged individuals be scapegoats. Trace their actions back to their source, which is with those who are creating a culture of violence and hate on the right, within the Republican Party and throughout the conservative movement generally.

This wacko certainly deserves to be punished to the full extent of "felony reckless endangerment." But he and those like him -- and there seem to be more and more like him -- do not act alone in some personal vacuum. They are puppets, in a way, and those moving them must be held accountable.

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