Yes, A Call For Calm Applies All Around

Mainstream media has not yet picked up this story, so the only place I can find it this morning is on conservative blogs and the Washington Times.  Make of that what you will.  However, it’s utterly obnoxious. Our speaker here is Mike Malloy,on his syndicated talk radio show.  Malloy may not have as big an audience as Beck, O’Reilly, or Limbaugh but we should judge him primarily by what he says to his audience. 

Clearly operating in an irony-free zone, Malloy is decrying Republicans and conservatives who are engaging in intemperate rhetoric, likely in reference to the nutjob in Nashville who (allegedly) intentionally rammed into a car sporting an Obama sticker, and then addressing his right-wing talk radio counterparts:

…you rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah federal building explosion, you are. And then – what is Beck – maybe at that point Beck will do the honorable thing and blow his brains out.

Maybe at that point, Limbaugh will do the honorable thing and just gobble up enough – enough Viagra that he becomes absolutely rigid and keels over dead.

Maybe then O’Reilly will just drink a vat of the poison he spews out on America every night and choke to death! Because that’s what’s gonna to happen, that’s what they are pushing these right-wing, nut case, fringe, militia jerk-wads to doing!

On the Washington Times article, the very first comment was a defense of Malloy in that he was calling for these conservative pundits to suicide rather than for someone else to kill them. This would be a good example of what those of us in the legal profession call “picking a bad argument.”  Nothing productive happens when you call for people to die. 

Guess what, my friends on the left — just because you hear my friends on the right indulging in intemperate, sky-is-falling, even fringe-of-violence type language does not give you license to do the same thing.  The First Amendment does not relieve you of your social obligation and ethical responsibility to engage in responsible, mature public discourse.  Conservatives may be outspoken in their very different vision of America from you but they have just as much right as you to articulate it.

Part of what it is to live in a free democracy is a commitment by everyone to tolerate the differing opinions of other people, to submit those disagreements to the court of public opinion and, within Constitutional limits to guarantee individual liberties, the rule of the majority.  This necessarily excludes calling for the death of people who happen to disagree with you.

Now, will everyone please calm the hell down?

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Well, this is just sad. Doesn't this guy know his liberal communication protocols? We leftists are supposed to do glib, ironic, disdainful humor. (See: Stewart, John.) We never do well by cribbing from the other team's playbook.And yes, I agree that this guy is a Grade A lunatic. I'd be happy to be rid of him. though I'd never heard of him before.

  2. Nothing productive happens when you call for people to die.My understanding is reserved attorney vs. attorney relationships

  3. "We leftists are supposed to do glib, ironic, disdainful humor. "Oh who are you fucking kidding. How much "bush is hitler, kill bush, bush is the devil" crap did I have to swallow for 8 years from people like you? How many "waah but halliburton" replies to anything under the sun, including the arrest of William Jefferson when he was CAUGHT WITH BRIBE MONEY IN HIS FREEZER?I get really tired of this old lie about how the democrats, especially as taken over as they are these days by the Looney Insane Left (including their leader-in-office), are "different" from the republicans somehow. Democrats/Leftists are WORSE. They say worse things, they are more violent, and they literally want to "shut people up" for disagreeing with their insane ideas.

  4. Well, Mike, since you're putting such a very fine point on it, you had to put up with precisely no comparisons between Bush and Hitler from the likes of me, as I never made comparisons of the sort, and anyone who did so is actually very unlike me. William Jefferson was a consummate disgrace, and I was delighted to see his departure from Congress. Rather a broad conclusion you seem to be drawing from a two-paragraph comment, don't you think? Shall I assume that you're a die-hard Michael Savage fan from the tenor of your comment, or would that be unfair of me?The point I was trying to make (if there's any utility in trying to clarify) was that the more successful political commentary from the left, as far as cultural penetration is concerned, comes in the form of comedy. Perhaps you'd like to argue that Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck et al don't comprise the bulk of the right-wing cultural commentariat, but I doubt you'll be all that convincing.

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