I include the former in the title because, as the token “rightie” on MSNBC, it didn’t particularly surprise me to see him fold like a cheap paper box to the culture there and utter these moronic thoughts about the Zimmerman/Martin case:
Because there is no defense for shooting down a young black man in a middle class neighborhood with Skittles. Armed with Skittles.
The man works for a news organization, for heaven sake (or one that claims to be a news organization). There is no excuse for he or any other MSNBC employee to be this incredibly ignorant about what happened to the point that they think they’re credibly describing reality. Here’s a clue, Joe … Martin didn’t attack Zimmerman with Skittles. He attacked him with his fists. Oh, and key point – Martin initiated the violence. Got it?
And people are now claiming two other things that have no basis in reality. One, that “stand your ground laws” are new and should be repealed and two, it was the stand your ground law that got Martin killed.
Dealing with the last first, no, what got Martin killed was choosing (notice the word) to attack George Zimmerman by hitting him in the nose and breaking it and then jumping on top of the man and bashing his head into a sidewalk. Grow up people … Martin was the aggressor and it had nothing to do with “Skittles”. Pretending otherwise is just willful ignorance.
But to the “stand your ground laws”. Andrew Branca over at Legal Insurrection does a little research about the law and provides us with this:
The tendency of the American mind seems to be very strongly against the enforcement of any rule which requires a person to flee when assailed, to avoid chastisement or even to save a human life . . . [Therefore,] [t]he weight of modern authority . . establishes the doctrine that when a person, being without fault and in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel force by force, and if, in reasonable exercise of his right of self-defence, his assailant is killed, he is justifiable.
That’s from an Indiana case ( Runyon v. State, 57 Ind. 80) in 1877 where the court found that no one is required to “retreat” when faced with what they surmise is a deadly assault.
In fact, the late comer to the game are these so-called “duty to retreat” laws. Branca notes:
Stand-Your-Ground has been around a very long time. Indeed, it has always been the majority doctrine in the United States, with only a minority of states adopting a generalized duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense. Even today, only 17 states apply such a duty.
And, as with most stupid laws, common sense tells you the law provides perverse incentive to criminals:
A criminal who knows he can seize physical control of his immediate surroundings with no fear of death or grave bodily harm being visited upon him is emboldened to do exactly that. You get more violent aggression from the criminal element of society, not less, when you force law-abiding citizens to cede control to violent criminals. It’s Heinleins’, “An armed society is a polite society,” turned topsy-turvy.
Check out hot burglary statistics in the UK since guns have been banned. They make the case.
Everyone has a right to self-defense up to and including using the force they feel is necessary to preserve their life. No one has a “duty to retreat”. Because doing so only encourages criminals to up the ante. The fact that supposedly bright people are unable to understand that and insist victims further endanger themselves and their lives instead of defending themselves speaks to a cluelessness about human nature that is really difficult to comprehend.
But we all know they’re out there — and they look a lot like Joe Scarborough.
Aw, Bunkie doesn’t like his job? The smartest guy in the room?
You know I think back to all the times in the past three years I’ve pointed out the man has little if any leadership skills and now, it seems, even liberals are having to admit it, even if obliquely and wrapped in spin. Check out this transcript on Morning Joe with Tina Brown:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Tina, what has happened to this president, the president from hope and change? What has happened?
TINA BROWN: Well it’s so interesting. I think that Obama doesn’t like his job, actually. I think that he is genuinely of a professional disposition in the sense that I think that he’s interested in chewing over the pros and cons, and he doesn’t like, he doesn’t like power and he doesn’t know how to exercise power. And I think knowing how to exercise power is absolutely crucial. He doesn’t understand how to underpin his ideas with the political gritty, granular business of getting it done. And that kind of gap has just widened and widened and widened. And so that every time there is a moment, a window where he can jump in, like something like a Simpson-Bowles as well, he just doesn’t do it. He hangs back at crucial moments when you have to dive through that window.
SCARBOROUGH: And regardless of your ideology, it is very safe to say, I think most people would agree: LBJ he is not, Bill Clinton, he is not, when it just comes to understanding how to make Washington work.
MIKE BARNICLE: It appears off of what Tina just said, you just said, it appears that you could make a case that Barack Obama doesn’t like politics. [emphasis mine]
He doesn’t like power? Nonsense. As Ace says, this is just a way of spinning failure. It is an apologia. He loves power. He thought this was all about power. All he had to do was win and have his way. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Oval Office. He found out he had to lead to wield his power and he hasn’t a clue about what that entails. You see, he never thought he’d have to actually do the “political gritty, granular business of getting it done” … i.e. lead. He’d just wave his hand and demand it be done.
Just check his reliance on executive orders and executive branch agencies to see how he’d prefer to do business. Dictate.
And this claim just floored me:
He doesn’t understand how to underpin his ideas with the political gritty, granular business of getting it done.
State Senator and US Senator and he doesn’t understand the basic nature of politics today, the process and what it requires? And he’s the smartest guy in the room? That’s just absurd. He knows full well what it takes, he just doesn’t want to have to do it.
As the discussion continues, Tina Brown agrees with Mike Barnicle’s claim that Obama just doesn’t like politics:
BROWN: Right. I absolutely feel that.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well who would today? I mean, I think it’s great that –
SCARBOROUGH: Oh come on. If you don’t like medicine, don’t be a doctor. If you don’t like politics, don’t put yourself out there to run the free world, Mika.
BRZEZINSKI: You know what? Politics today need to be changed.
SCARBOROUGH: Stop the apologizing!
BRZEZINSKI: I’m not apologizing.
SCARBOROUGH: You’re apologizing. [Sarcastically imitates Mika’s voice] Who would like politics today? You know what?
BRZEZINSKI: Who would?
SCARBOROUGH: He is running the free world. He better know a lot of people love politics. Bill Clinton loves politics. FDR loved politics. Ronald Reagan loved politics. Great leaders love what they do. So who would love politics?
BROWN: Isn’t it really also about, well the other word for politics is just doing what it takes to get it done. Like, one of the things that’s interesting about Obama is that he kind of, and I think he does believe in this, that his idea of being a transformative figure who can cross many persuasions and orientations and aisles. And yet when it is actually taken to reaching out and really bringing that in, and trying, I don’t think that it really –
SCARBOROUGH: He doesn’t do that.
If he doesn’t like politics, why did he run? If the first word that springs to your mind is narcissism, I think you’re on to something. As many have already noted, to include authors on this blog, he took over in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and what did he do? He immediately began working on his legacy – healthcare. He waved away what was important and concentrated on legislation and the politics it took by the way, to get it passed. Meanwhile, the real crisis was ignored. For two years he had a Democratic Congress and he did nothing to address jobs or anything else economic.
Brown would like to spin his narcissism as his belief that he’s a “transformative figure” who just can’t be bothered with doing the mundane stuff necessary to get things done. Again, and once more for the slow among us, ObamaCare. It gives lie to the premise. His problem isn’t that he doesn’t like politics, it’s that other than jamming through his health care fiasco, he’s been a failure.
His withdrawal now, spun as “staying above it all”, is because he’s never been an obvious failure in his entire life. Remember this is the guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize without ever doing a single thing but winning a presidential election. And he took it as his due.
Obama’s biggest problem is he thinks he’s smarter than he is and he had a misconception, for whatever reason (for, you know, such a smart guy) of the role and demands of the presidency. Apparently the unicorns and moon ponies deserted him, he found out it is damned hard work that demands a competent leader and for the first time in his life, everyone wasn’t praising every little thing he did. In fact, instead his shortcomings were being headlined. And he has plenty of them. Additionally, he’s now forced to actually run on a record of accomplishment if he wants to be reelected. Of course, that’s slim to nonexistent.
No, he and his apologists are beginning to understand that they’re going to have to spin everything – everything – to try to make him the attractive candidate he was in 2008. He’s really not cooperating which is what prompts people like Tina Brown to begin spinning like she does. Its fairly obvious that even the liberal elite are having problems dealing with his failure and are in full “explain it away” mode.
Unfortunately, Obama has finally bumped up against “hard America” after spending most of his life in “soft America”. Soft America is where everything done is touted and worshiped as wonderful and performance really doesn’t matter as much as just showing up.
Hard America demands performance and accomplishment. He has precious few to show for his time in office and plenty of failure. Its not that he doesn’t like politics or power. Its that he is inept at both and is just now discovering that for himself. Reaction? Pull back. He’s never “failed” before and doesn’t really know how to handle it.
And thus we have our present situation … a president who refuses to lead, tries to stay aloof and is seen to be withdrawing from his duties.
Gee, sure wish I could have seen that coming.
Oh, wait …
It appears that as President Obama tries to “move to the right” with his op/ed in the WSJ today, POLITICO is also engaged in such a move with the hiring of Joe Scarborough as the righty on the site. It is meant, one supposes, to help “center them up”. I guess. Joe Scarborough hasn’t ever impressed me as a good representative of the right on his MSNBC show, so I’m not sure how he’s going to help POLITICO in that regard. But hey, it’s their call. Maybe they don’t want a real righty, just a pretend one.
Anyway, Scarborough has decided these last two days to carry water for the “right-wing rage” crowd. Apparently if you don’t sound like mewling mush-mouthed compromiser, you’re in a rage and Joe is here to call you out on that. So taking on the big boys and girls (Beck and Palin), Morning Joe – who’d love to have Beck’s ratings, I’m sure – announces that he gets it. They weren’t responsible for the Tucson shooting. However:
But before you and the pack of right-wing polemicists who make big bucks spewing rage on a daily basis congratulate yourselves for not being responsible for Jared Lee Loughner’s rampage, I recommend taking a deep breath. Just because the dots between violent rhetoric and violent actions don’t connect in this case doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the possibility — or, as many fear, the inevitability — that someone else will soon draw the line between them.
Uh, Joe … if the dots don’t connect in this case they don’t connect at all. Got that? It means whatever you’re babbling on about concerning their supposed “violent rhetoric” (yup, that’s a right-wing talking point isn’t it) is irrelevant. They aren’t a part of that scene. At all. Nada, zip, zero to do with it. Whatever their rhetoric it wasn’t a factor.
So I recommend you take a deep breath and back off. There’s a possibility that a freakin’ meteor may hit the earth, however given how slight it is, I think I can afford to ignore that possibility. At least until new information becomes available that says I should pay attention again, right?
Well, that’s kind of where you are with this act. You’re spouting off about a “possibility” which has no real history to support it and certainly isn’t something that was a part of this most recent tragedy.
Scarborough goes a little schizoid after his nonsense above and acknowledges the right’s righteous anger at the way the media and the left immediately blamed the usual suspects on the right (Palin, Fox News and Beck) but then says:
Now that the right has proved to the world that it was wronged, this would be a good time to prevent the next tragedy from destroying its political momentum. Despite what we eventually learned about the shooter in Tucson, should the right have really been so shocked that many feared a political connection between the heated rhetoric of 2010 and the shooting of Giffords?
Well, yes, the right most certainly should have been shocked. Ok, maybe not – after all we did watch the left melt down for 8 years – speaking of violent and vile, hateful rhetoric – but I haven’t seen anything to this point to even compare to that on the right. So maybe the shock was how the left woke up in a new world in January of 2008 (along with Scarborough it appears) and suddenly discovered “violent rhetoric” exists – at least as they define it. Most of the right, however, understands “violent rhetoric” as a lefty code phrase for “shut the right up”.
Of course the right’s “violent rhetoric” is, in comparison, a pale shadow of what the left pitched during the Bush years as has been amply demonstrated by any number of bloggers and right wing media types.
So show me the history Joe – where there has been right-wing violence precipitated by “violent rhetoric”. And no McVeigh doesn’t work – he stated unequivocally that the reason he detonated that horrific bomb in OK City was because of Waco – not Rush Limbaugh, not Fox News, not right rhetoric. In fact there really isn’t much history of political assassination associated with “violent rhetoric” from the right in this country, is there?
And what sort of whack job associates a campaign stunt such as firing a “fully automatic M16” with her political opponent as a threat to Giffords – except you and the left, that is? What you can’t break the context out on that? It was a campaign event. It was meant to draw people in to do something they’d find cool or enjoyable. It wasn’t, pardon the word, aimed at Giffords, for goodness sake.
But waterboy Joe can’t leave it there, oh no:
And who on the right is really stupid enough to not understand that the political movement that has a near monopoly on gun imagery may be the first focus of an act associated with gun violence? As a conservative who had a 100 percent rating with the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners of America over my four terms in Congress, I wonder why some on the right can’t defend the Second Amendment without acting like jackasses. While these types regularly attack my calls for civility, it is their reckless rhetoric that does the most to hurt the cause.
Joe, you’re about as conservative is Barack Obama is centrist, but that aside, perhaps the right can’t defend the 2nd Amendment without acting like jackasses is because the real jackasses on the left are constantly trying to nullify it. Sometimes you just have to be blunt about what’s happening.
As for the nonsense about not understanding why the right would be immediately associated with a shooting crime that’s simply a predisposition for the left that Scarborough wants to excuse. And it jumped right out there after Tucson embarrassingly enough, didn’t it Joe?
Facts, pal … facts. That’s what matter. And the fact of the matter is the right or its rhetoric had nothing to do with the tragedy in Tucson. Not what it has said, not its literature, not its stance on guns. Nothing.
That’s the fact, sir. And jackasses like you who keep this crap rolling based in nothing but your own “rage” need to be called out on it. “Civility” is just another in a long line of lefty attempts to shut the right up. Racist is losing its sting so now the way to shut down debate, to shut your opponent up and to dismiss or wave away any argument they may make, is to call them “uncivil”. That’s what the left is attempting. Nice to see it has fellow travelers who claim to be from the right carrying water for them, Joe.
UPDATE: Ah, now I know why waterboy Joe is still ranting. Ed Koch explains. Ed Koch for heaven sake.
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