Now it's Eric Cantor -- against health care reform and the target of a nut. Just like it was Bart Stupak -- for health care reform and the target of a lot of nuts.
Nuts don't distinguish. So, I'm wondering, why should we?
I want to make three things very clear, and I want to make them clear right now:
One: Threatening to kill someone over a political issue is reprehensible.
Two: Attaching an entire cause or group to someone who does is inexcusable.
Three: Selectively cherry-picking those causes or groups to suit your own biases is unforgivable.
What first brought this to light is the justifiable rage over threatening phone calls made to Congressman Stupak after he indicated he would vote for the president's health care plan.
The Media were quite properly all over that, but oddly silent over the just as scary and threatening calls the congressman said he was receiving when he was against the health care plan and life, as he put it, had become a "living hell."
Those calls didn't warrant attention when he was against the bill, only the ones he got when he did a 180 and was for the bill?
Death threats are always wrong. Threatening violence over a political issue is never right. And consistently pounding both should never be disputed.
So how is it the actions of a few nut job health care protesters speak for all health care protesters?
Would we have said the same about the few extreme Iraq war protesters who called for murdering President Bush, and in one surreal image, even holding his severed head as a trophy?
So hanging him is fine. Praising a mock documentary film featuring his assassination in "Death of a President" is fine. Defacing Republican Congressman Mike Rogers' office and splattering it with red paint because he voted for the Iraq war is fine. All that is fine, because that protest was OK. Health care protest is not OK?
No, not OK — and not fair.
Just as it's not fair to say all Iraq war protesters were so violent or all health care protesters are so dangerous. They weren't then, they aren't now.
Look, causes bring out crazies, but crazies aren't causes.
What is crazy is the media selectively choosing what defines crazy. What is crazy is saying one ass spitting on a congressman speaks for all those railing against that congressman. What is crazy is taking some nutty racial epithets thrown by a few and assuming they speak for thousands. And what is crazy is choosing how you define crazy.
Because if you say threats of violence are wrong, then say they're wrong when death-screaming protesters are descending on the homes of financial executives who had nothing to do with a banking crisis.
You don't; but waste not a nano-second making a big deal out of a tiny fraction of health care protesters threatening the same — and you do.
Violence is violence, nuts are nuts. Call it when you see it; not just when you prefer to report it. Because not all health care protesters are lunatics, just like not all Iraq protesters were dangerous.
Few are, few were. This much is: Cherry-picking the cause to suit your bias, and the nuts to suit your cause.
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