Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"old times there are not forgotten...."

"look away, look away, look away...."

As bad as Rick Perry was, and Greg Abbott is, I've never heard them say anything as insane as this:

Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, "Do you think it's possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it's possible that we'll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a nation? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away."

That's the sitting governor of Kentucky.  That's not some loose-mouthed yahoo on Alex Jones, or even David Duke or some darling of the "alt-right."  That's the current governor of a state of the Union.

And Charlie Pierce is right; it sounds familiar:

Waddell and the men present at the press destruction then re-formed their lines and returned to the armory. There, Waddell counseled the men: "Now you have performed the duty you called on me to lead you to perform. Now let us go quietly to our homes and about our business and obey the law, unless we are forced in self-defense to do otherwise."35 But Waddell's cautions fell on deaf ears for there were already roving clusters of armed men in a state of recklessness throughout the city. The white supremacy monster that he and other members of the Democratic Party had spawned, and previously held in check, had exceeded their control.
That's from a report on the coup and slaughter in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898.  What struck me was the language about "self-defense," which can mean just about anything you want it to mean, and has gone from being a simple idea upheld by the Supreme Court, to being an assertion that you must be able to carry a gun in public spaces in Texas even if the building includes courtrooms.  Self-defense now means your "castle" walks around with you, wherever you go.  It's a loose, amorphous concept that starts out sounding like repelling burglars from your home and ends up meaning shooting anybody you perceive to be a threat.

And who is that?

Wasn't that long ago a man here in Houston went to his neighbor's house and complained about the party, and proceeded to shoot several people who he confronted there.  He was carrying a video camera, filmed the whole thing, including his voice saying "I'm being threatened" as he opened fire.  Despite the number of witnesses, the lone gunman, and the complete lack of justification for what he did, the prosecutor said he would have been convicted but for that videotape.  People died needlessly and justice would have said "self-defense."

Another man shot two men running across his lawn carrying items they'd stolen from his neighbor's house.  The two men posed no threat at all the the shooter, and yet he stood in his doorway and shot them both.  The grand jury refused to indict him.

Things really haven't changed that much in 100+ years.

But, of course, the burning questions of the day are:  Hillary's pneumonia:  what did she know and when did she know it?  And:  "Deplorables":  insulting and out of bounds, or deeply insulting and a game-changer?

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