Monday, January 10, 2011

Dana Loesch's Metaphors

Loesch has started a cute movement on Twitter called No Metaphors, ostensively mocking the idea that nonstop right-wing extremist rhetoric might play a role in anti-government violence. It features tweets like this:

Given Loesch's new fascination with metaphors that I'm sure she'll be pitching as she does her whine-to-the-media-about-how-the-tea-party-are-the-real-victims-here tour, I thought it might be worthwhile to go back to one of Loesch's most interesting metaphors.

In the week before the health care reform bill finally passed, Loesch's St. Louis tea party co-founder Bill Hennessy was openly writing about revolution:
Today, the House of Representatives voted 222-203 to dispense with yea and nay voting on the most important laws. That action effectively ends the contract between the United States and the People. “Screw you, America. We’re Congress. We’ll do whatever the hell we want. And you’ll gladly pay for it, you swine!”

But if Congress cut the ties to the contract WE wrote, aren’t we, the people, free from any obligations to the federal government? It would seem that we are citizens of our states and we owe no allegiance, legal or moral, to the government in Washington...Now, what do we do about it?
He then cites the Declaration of Independence, and specifically bolds the following:
it is their right,
it is their duty,
to throw off such Government,
Two more notable quotes from his post:
If Congress continues on its present course – to inflict socialized medicine on America by decree – the reaction from the people will be something that we have never seen before.
But if this bill passes, all bets are off. Every aspect of the government in Washington is fair game.
In a different post, Hennessy said the following:
It would seem that the American Experiment is over. It’s time to choose between freedom and tyranny, and no one will be spared the decision.
Here are some of Hennessy's tweets from that same week:

So then, on the day Congress was voting on the bill, the tea party holds a rally outside of Russ Carnahan's office. As a "metaphor," they had a picture of Russ Carnahan, which they beat with various objects:
And Dana? She was at the rally:

And her clever metaphor was to say, "I love the way a fire smells when it's burning tyranny" while her tea party friends set the photo of Carnahan on fire:

The following day, the tea party (minus Loesch, who nevertheless advertised the event) carried a coffin to Russ Carnahan's house. Don't worry, they said, after they were called out, it wasn't meant to be threatening. They only did it because they needed to have a prayer vigil for "all the babies who would be killed under Obamacare" and apparently their prayer at the office 20 minutes earlier wasn't strong enough.

So maybe while Anderson Cooper or whoever are letting Loesch cry about how unfair it is to suggest that the tea party uses violent and vitriolic rhetoric, they can ask her to explain what the point was of burning a photo of Carnahan and carrying a coffin to his lawn. Can Loesch really pretend that these actions are not poisoning the political atmosphere?

If you'd like to see Cooper ask this question, you can fill out this form or send him a message via Twitter.


  1. Clearly there is a right wing conspiracy to induce violence against any and all political opponents. This conspiracy's strategy is plain as day: lie, exaggerate, shake, lie, exaggerate more, stir, shake, throw out metaphors of violence, lead the ignorant and the criminally insane down the stairway one crazy metaphor at a time, and then just let them take the last step on their own. I'll call it what it is: It is not a very nice thing to do. These people must be held to account. They are guilty as the day is long.

  2. I agree. I have been around for longer than I care to admit and have always followed politics closely. I have to admit the level of vitriol and threats makes me more scared for our country than I ever have been. It scares me more than when National Guard troops were shooting at college students in the 60s. The unbridled, deliberate dissemination of misinformation and lies is rivaled only by the apathy and/or stupidity of the people that are too lazy to check out the veracity of the claims for themselves. There may not be a direct link between the right wing and this event, but it can be argued that unstable types can read justification of violence into the rhetoric. Instead of civil disagreement, it has become "you don't agree with me so you are my enemy."

    When Loesch and her toadies go so far as to teach their children that it's okay to throw shoes at their opponents (in effigy) in public and drag coffins to their homes, it's not a big leap to violent acts toward those who disagree with them.

    "So let us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness..." John F. Kennedy