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Low Hanging Fruit: “Have You No Shame?!” Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve regularly checked Blue Oregon. Once Obama moved into the Oval Office, got rid of some dusty old bust of Winston Churchill, and made himself comfortable, the wind kind of left their sails. The zeal for victory that had seemingly been the trademark of all Democrats before January 20th faded and what replaced it was so much sore-winner chest-pounding and a sudden disdain for that “highest form of patriotism” which they’d long championed through those long, dark years of incipient fascism between 2000 and 2008.

Long gone were the optimistic slogans of “Hope and Change” and “Yes we can!” In their place are petulant demands for “haters” and “racists” to shut the fuck up and let the President do whatever he pleases and malignant smears like these posts by Blue Oregon’s own Carla Axtman. Carla’s “outrage,” if one can even dignify her mixture of disingenuous “have you no shame?!” posturing and political opportunism as “outrage”, is the result of a boneheaded attempt at a joke by two-bit “long-shot” Idaho gubernatorial candidate and political nobody Rex Rammel. Rammel apparently responded to some audience member’s comment question about the availability of “Obama tags” by saying he’d buy some of them. He later was quoted as saying that he “was just being sarcastic. That was just a joke. I would never support him being assassinated.” [emphasis added]

Classy? No. Clever? Not really. Funny? Only if you’re being really charitable. Still, the guy was pretty unequivocal about where he stands.

But never mind all that! Axtman sees right through Rammel’s smokescreen, detecting in his comments support for “eliminationism” (that is, assassinating the President), adding that “[i]n other words, these guys are stoking outright civil war in the U.S.” Then she goes on to rattle off a list of what people who are in favor of limited government actually want (“Basic law and order gets trumped by vigilante style old west “justice”: the guy with the biggest and baddest guns wins.”) and concludes that what they’re really after is a “national tear-down”.

Err. Alright, then.

Not content to attack just limited-government conservatives, she then attacks even “mainstream Republicans” (who’re not particularly known these days for their small-government sympathies) for not eradicating this festering, “eliminationist” cyst bleeding away at the core of the party.

Remember what I said yesterday about “clumsy and transparent attempts to de-legitimize people with different points of view”?

The game Carla is trying to play here is childish. By her own standards of, err.. . “logic”, she herself, Blue Oregon, and the entire Democratic Party spent the last eight years stoking the fires of civil war by their stubborn refusal to loudly condemn “eliminationist rhetoric” emanating from their own midst. Carla’s blade might be a bit dull, but it still cuts both ways.

But Carla isn’t really concerned about “civil war” or “eliminationists” in the Republican Party. She knows as well as anyone that it was a dumb, off-the-cuff joke by a powerless nobody and represents exactly nothing at all. She’s just feigning her horrified gasp and affecting a pose of “concern” and moral outrage because it’s politically convenient to paint Republicans and conservatives as an out-of-control mob of vicious lunatics itching for a bloodbath. It’s the tactics of the vacuous and the dishonest.


On the other hand, I see that Jeff Golden is now blogging for Blue Oregon. While I certainly don’t agree with Jeff on a lot of issues, I was always really impressed by the way he hosted the Jefferson Exchange on Jefferson Public Radio. As far as I can tell, he’s a genuinely thoughtful guy who, if his radio style is at all representative, willing to have an honest, lengthy debate with people he disagrees with.

So kudos to Blue Oregon for bringing him on.

  1. Vincent says:

    Perhaps the consistent

  2. Carla Axtman says:

    Carla, his exact words were

  3. Carla Axtman says:

    First, this Rammel dude did not

  4. Vincent says:

    Oh, Carla… a couple of points for you to mull over (or not).

    First, this Rammel dude did not “call for the assassination” of President Obama. In fact, he explicitly said that he did not. I know it’s tempting to see it as all part of that shadowy lexicon of right-wing “code words” we keep hearing about, but in this case I think you’re just grasping at straws for the sake of grasping at straws.

    But since you want an example of what a complete non-story this is, John Kerry’s infamous declaration on the Bill Maher show that he could have gone “to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone” seems directly comparable. Unless we’re to believe that he was using some sort of slang to describe having sexual relations with Laura Bush, it’s pretty clear what he was joking about.

    Was Kerry “stoking the fires of revolution” and encouraging people to murder Bush? No, of course he wasn’t. And anyone who thought that’s what he meant was a blithering idiot. Or totally dishonest. Sounds pretty familiar.

    As for the Idaho Republicans’ response, you’re probably about right. They probably didn’t renounce Rammel because they thought what he said was “extreme and disgusting”. That’s probably because what Rammel said was not, in fact, “extreme and disgusting.” It was a stupid, un-funny gaffe.

    Nevertheless, the Idaho GOP no doubt realized that folks like yourself were going to make political hay out of it one way or another, so instead of letting the whole matter drop, they came out and issued a by-the-numbers condemnation. It’s entirely consistent with the way politicians act whenever political hacks try to make a big deal out of non-scandals. As such, it’s entirely unremarkable except to political hacks.

    Really, the only people who saw in this “incident” the seeds of an incipient terror campaign by racist squads of redneck Sturmabteilungen are people like yourself — the “progressive” version of the people who’re taking their kids out of school in “protest” of Obama’s “propaganda” speech.

    Most everyone else — that is, people who don’t thrive on perpetual, howling outrage, can see that Rammel’s “joke” was just that — a classless, un-funny attempt at humor.

    Get a grip, lady.

    Oh, and as a final note: “equivocating” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. You were looking for “equating.” Sometimes those extra syllables don’t make you look smarter.

    However, in the spirit of promoting the “great national dialogue” I’d like to ask you a straightforward question (and a follow-up):

    Do you think I’m a “hater” or a “racist”? If so, on what do you base that judgment?

    I eagerly await your reply.

  5. Carla Axtman says:

    Wow…I get my own post! Neat. LOL

    Equivocating idiots in the crowd at a march with a guy RUNNING FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE is a quaint attempt at ducking the issue. This isn’t just some random guy in the crowd.

    But to be clear, many Democrats have pushed back against Code Pink and other, similar groups who float to the fringe.

    An equivalent scenario would be an individual running for STATEWIDE OFFICE who was, whether real or “sarcastically”, calling for the assassination of the President Bush. Please, feel free to cite examples of this happening.

    You’ll note that it took the Idaho GOP stalwarts a full 24 hours to summon the courage to actually say something against Rammell. But NOT because they necessarily think he’s wrong or saying something extreme and disgusting…but because it might make the rest of the country think that the GOP of Idaho is a bunch of whacknutters.

    Rammell’s excuse of “sarcasm” is beside the point and really, you should know that. The fact that he (or anyone else) thinks that joking about murdering the POTUS is the way you get around actually saying it to stir your base is pretty rank. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what’s going on here.

    And yes, these wildly fringe conservative organizations who are stoked by the rhetorical diarrhea of guys like Rammell are being funding by ostensibly mainstream GOP organizations. That’s already well into evidence. The fact that the mainstream GOP of Idaho couldn’t be bothered to call it out Rammell immediately only reinforces what I’m saying.

    So please, take shots at me for calling out “haters” and “racists”. And please do so loudly and often. It only makes my point.

  6. Vincent says:

    Are you for real?

    I mean, I know who you are in real life… so is this some kind of act?

  7. Orev says:

    Jeff Golden is a tool and a liberal pansy. He can’t even leave Ashland, where his show is broadcast from, because he knows that any self-respecting Southern Oregonian would take a shot at him from the 12 gauges in the back of our pick-up trucks.

  8. Vincent says:

    I understand your vapidly pejorative use of the term…

    Whether she’s a “registered” Democrat or not is entirely irrelevant to any of the points being made here.

    And who was using “Democrat” pejoratively anyways?

  9. Let’s be clear here: Carla is not a registered Democrat.

    I understand your vapidly pejorative use of the term, but it doesn’t apply here.

  10. Vincent says:

    You meant “shilling”. But yeah, her stuff’s pretty dire.

  11. CJ Ciaramella says:

    I was going to leave a comment on one of Axtman’s other posts to the effect of: “I come to Blue Oregon to read the shameless schilling for the Democratic Party and the soft-headed attempts at argument, and Carla Axtman never disappoints.”

    She’s seriously one of the worst political bloggers in Oregon, and that’s saying a lot.

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