Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 23, 2011

WHEN THE RIGHT'S RHETORIC TURNS VIOLENT.... In the wake of last month's shootings in Tucson, it was common for folks on the left to suggest the right relied too often on violent rhetoric. Conservatives, invariably, were outraged.

There is, however, a rationale behind the assumptions. For example, incidents like these come up from time to time.

On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building--something that didn't end up happening--one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: "Use live ammunition."

From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police."

Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.

If there's a compelling defense for a state deputy attorney general to recommend use of "live ammunition" and "deadly force" against pro-labor protestors, I can't think of it.

On a related note, Jay Bookman reports this morning that the Service Employees International Union will hold a rally in Atlanta today, at Georgia's state capitol. Conservative activists have been encouraged to attend -- with firearms.

Update: The Indiana deputy A.G. has reportedly been fired.

Steve Benen 10:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

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= the systematic Nazification of America since the Supreme Court but George Walker Bush in the White House.

Posted by: Goldilocks on February 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

@RNCResearch:

Dems are now calling for violent union protests? This is outrageous http://bit.ly/feWoNQ #WIunion #tcot #teaparty

More great Rovian shit: turn it all around on the opponent...

Posted by: Todd for VT House on February 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

"Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana."

Perhaps this should be brought to the attention of his superiors.

The lid is going to blow off of this country. We're in for a horrible few years, I'm afraid to say.

Posted by: SaintZak on February 23, 2011 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

OT:
But Steve, you may want to post about this later.

It's nteresting, and devastating, if true.

Here’s a recording of a guy faking that he’s David Koch talking to Gov. Scott Walker.
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/scott-walker-koch-brother-crank-call-wisconsin

So, did Walker get “punked?”
Sounds like it to me.
If it's real.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 23, 2011 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

He's advocating deadly force against "political enemies."

How is that not completely totalitarian? Members of the opposition party are no longer the loyal opposition; now they're the enemy, and deadly force is recommended because they're exercising their first amendment rights of speech and assembly.

Posted by: Raenelle on February 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Excuse me but "fuckin A!".

I think somebody needs to STFU and find a new job!

Posted by: Trollop on February 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

This is one reason why I dislike the False Equivalency so much. There's an order-of-magnitude difference between the hard right and what passes for the left in America. The right is armed, intemperate, bullying, and as occasionally see, violent. When we say "both sides do it", we're really saying that there's nothing wrong with it. The sociopathic thugs on the right get whitewashed by the civility police time and again. This stopped being funny about the same time Jon Stewart started being smug.

Posted by: walt on February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

This needs more attention. That man should be fired or (if he has a decent bone in his body) he should resign.

Posted by: wilder on February 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe someone got confused and 'JCCentCom' is really Gaddaffi?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

From Todd for VT House:

http://bit.ly/feWoNQ #WIunion #tcot #teaparty

Are you serious? Exactly how is Congressman Capuano's words interpreted as a call for violent action, especially when put side-by-side with the likes of Beck and that embarrassment from Indiana?

Posted by: Josef K on February 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

If there's a compelling defense for a state deputy attorney general to recommend use of "live ammunition" and "deadly force" against pro-labor protestors, I can't think of it.

Other than it is a grand American tradition?

The history of the labor movement in this country is a history of business and government using deadly force against organizers. Pinkerton, National Guard or goons, deadly force against union sympathizers is condoned and encouraged.

Posted by: martin on February 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

He advocates using deadly force against protesters then accuses "leftists" of trying "to silence anyone who disagrees with you."

Some lawyer.


Posted by: jg on February 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

*SIGH*

Will this country ever learn?
We are re-fighting battles from 100 years ago... literally.

Problem is, the generations who fought these battles, who lived through the Great Depression, are gone. We now have nothing but brainwashed, self centered, greedy baby boomers that have no clue about sacrifice and a sense of common decency towards others.

I feel we should have let the recession take it's toll and not bail out the banks. Only when a substantial amount of Americans get a taste of true economic misery will we learn.

Posted by: citizen_pain on February 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

c u n d gulag and martin, you beat me to it. I was just wondering whether his most direct inspiration was Khaddafi or the robber-baron capitalists who used to send in the Pinkerton Men.

Posted by: T-Rex on February 23, 2011 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

This will not end well.

Tuscon offered "plausible deniability" in that the shooter really was crazy. So his imbibing of right-wing rhetoric and attitudes could be discounted.

And so after a brief break the rhetoric is again ratcheting up. It's a dead (you should pardon the expression) certainty that the next shooter, bomber, whatever, will not be as easy to dismiss.

Posted by: Basilisc on February 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Yes martin , the very reason this whole game is playing out, trying to take us back to the early centuries before there were labor rights.This isn't some haphazard occurrance, it has been in the works for years and years, and working better than evenn THEY, had hoped.Unless we can fix the message machine, ... big trouble ahead.

Posted by: Michael on February 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Some college kid on DailyKos said he wished George Bush had never been born so both sides do it but really only Democrats do and they were much worse just like the Nazis.

/wingnut /serious talking head on TV /narrative in the mainstream media

Posted by: trex on February 23, 2011 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

This guy should be fired immediately. How do we bring some heat to the AG's office?

I couldn't access the link to the LinkedIn website.

Can someone just tell me the name of this troglodyte?

Posted by: bdop4 on February 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

That jackass should be fired. He defends his right to free speech, okay, fine. But doesn't think the protesters has the right to assembly.

Some lawyer.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on February 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Are you serious? Exactly how is Congressman Capuano's words interpreted as a call for violent action, especially when put side-by-side with the likes of Beck and that embarrassment from Indiana?

That's just how they roll.

Posted by: Todd for VT House on February 23, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

As others have said, I hope you report this to the Indiana or Wisconsin AG and/or DOJ US Attorney's offices. A state official suggesting police kill peaceful protesters is a big deal.

Posted by: kahner on February 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

citizen_pain, you are a retard (apologies to Trig; actually to the entire Palin family).

Posted by: Dan on February 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

OT, but this just in: Gov Walker's office confirms the "Koch" phone call was real. This is going to get really, really interesting!!

Popcorn, please!!

Posted by: Michigoose on February 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Other than it is a grand American tradition?

The history of the labor movement in this country is a history of business and government using deadly force against organizers. Pinkerton, National Guard or goons, deadly force against union sympathizers is condoned and encouraged.

Thanks martin 11:23 , for the bloody memories .

Fighting and killing was a matter the delicate Carnegie delegated to the above mentioned pillars of community rectitude . Carnegie's constitution was so delicate that when he gave the orders for the cold blooded murders of folks , who held some sort of "moral" high ground , a term that has no modern Galtian equivalent and is thus untranslatable , he felt the need to retreat from America into the wilds of some historic backwaters .

Brave brave Carnegie , Brave brave deputy state attorney general's know of the real world where they are eager to commit terrorist acts in order to keep their privileges .

Posted by: FRP on February 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, thanks Dan. I guess you took offense to my comment about brainwashed self centered greedy baby boomers.
Truth hurts, doesn't it.

Posted by: citizen_pain on February 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Godwins Law confirmed in the first post! The rare Nazi Opener! Congrats.

Posted by: BrendanInBoston on February 23, 2011 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Problem is, the generations who fought these battles, who lived through the Great Depression, are gone. -- citizen_pain, @11:30

Indeed. Yesterday's New York Times had this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22union.html?scp=1&sq=Union%20Bonds%20In%20Wisconsin%20Begin%20to%20Fray&st=cse
In its last para, there's this quote from a clueless dimwit:
“I know there was a point for unions back in the day because people were being abused,” she said. “But now there’s workers’ rights; there’s laws that protect us.”
Never mind that those laws are there *because* the unions fought for them, that without the unions, we'd still be in 1900, regarding workers protections. She also has no idea that the laws which had been made, can also be yanked from under her, any time she's not looking...

Posted by: exlibra on February 23, 2011 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

What is it with Republicans state Asst. Attornies General? First it was that guy from Michigan who harassed the openly gay Univ. of Michigan student body president, now this assclown.

The lunatics are running the asylum and the criminals are running the justice system...

Scary.

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave on February 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Cue false equivelence from the right wing in 3...2...

Posted by: Gregory on February 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

The right's rhetoric turned violent a long time ago.

When four students were murdered by the National Guard at Kent State University in May 1970, during nonviolent protests against Richard Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, Ronald Reagan -- then Governor of California -- said, "If it's going to take a bloodbath to straighten this country out, so be it."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 23, 2011 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

So this jagoff is in the AG's office! He's a fucking GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE!!!! Fucking leach.

Posted by: dan on February 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

bdop4,@11:45

The name of the asshole matches its emissions: Jeff Cox.
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/indiana-dep-ag-use-live-ammunition-against-wisconsin-protesters.php#more

Posted by: exlibra on February 23, 2011 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I would say it's only a matter of time till one of the unhinged elements from the right wing nutz listens to the call and actually opens fire on the demonstrators. I would say that except it has already happened to Representative Giffords in AZ.

Now some assclown Assistant AG in Indiana thinks he can pop off and appear macho by proclaiming to love shoot to kill authoritarian types against demonstrators.

Tell me again that Teabaggers supported citizen rights and limited government but then act just like Col. Kadaffi when they actually hold power.

Posted by: kindness on February 23, 2011 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

No citizen_pain, I was no more offended than if someone had called an elephant a pussy cat. Yours was a retarded statement. It literally makes no sense.

Posted by: dan on February 23, 2011 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

It's been obvious the Right would turn to this sooner rather than later. This is the way these people think, and being surprised an Indiana Assistant Attorney General would say such a thing as "use live ammo" demonstrates either terminal Pollyanna-ness, or an unwillingness to admit the nature of the fascist beast we are in combat with. Either choice is a good way to end up dead.

Posted by: TCinLA on February 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Indianapolis. I can tell you that there will be no point in reporting this guy to his bosses, because Talibanesque Republicans control the entire state government. He'll probably get a raise out of it.

Posted by: Joe Bauers on February 23, 2011 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

To Goldilocks: it may go back to GHW Bush. He had a neo-nazi intern in the White House.

Posted by: jjm on February 23, 2011 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

We are re-fighting battles from 100 years ago...

... so we won't go back to the conditions of 1000 years ago.

Posted by: Howlin Wolfe on February 23, 2011 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I can tell you that there will be no point in reporting this guy to his bosses . . .

Then someone should file an ethics complaint to the professional responsibility board of the state bar's governing body. And don't threaten to do it, just do it, and publicize it.

Posted by: Howlin Wolfe on February 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

i can't believe no one has mentioned that the reason they are protesting is the governor is trying to get a bill passed to take away bargaining rights of unions. I'd protest too. The people are all on record saying they will take both a pay cut and benefits cut to help the state budget, but that's just not good enough. He wants to silence them as well. permanently.

Posted by: lordorwell on February 23, 2011 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Did JCCentCom feel the same way about Waco and Ruby Ridge (where those people had actual outstanding warrants and/or fired on federal agents)? Hypocrite...

Posted by: Alex on February 23, 2011 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

The guy isn't a republican deputy ag. In Indiana there are 140 deputy ag's. They are non political positions and they have collective bargaining rights.

Once again the gop has been smeared. Loughner hated bush and the gop and he was made out to be a republican.

Why don't facts count. The michigan guy was non political as well. There is no such thing as a deputy ag they are govt positions not political ones.

The dems don't care about facts.

Posted by: jason on February 23, 2011 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

The media has made this a one party nation.

They report deputy ag. There are 140 deputy ag's in indiana.

This guy is a government position who is there if there is a dem ag or a republican ag.

His position is non political.

The dems and the media have together gotten together to make sure facts don't count to make this a one party nation with their smears. The worst part it is working they get a huge bounce after their smears.

The media and dems have turned this into a one party nation.

Posted by: jason on February 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Capuano is an elected official from the dem party.

This guy has a govt job not affiliated with a party. He serves if there is a dem ag or a republican ag. He is one of 140 ag's.

I hate how the media doesn't report the facts.

Jared Loughner didn't listen to the news and supported kerry against bush and Obama gets a huge bounce.

The politics in this country are bankrupt.

Posted by: jason on February 23, 2011 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

His position is non political.

Which is exactly why somone in his position publicly expressiing such extremist political rhetoric is inappropriate.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on February 23, 2011 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jason,

You're posts are non sequiturs and you clearly need to take your meds.

There are only two facts:

1. A twitter user named JCCentCom advocated the use of live ammunition against peaceful protestors.

2. The account belongs to Jeff Cox, a Deputy DA who occupies a position of authority within the enforcement arm of the state of Indiana.

To make those kind of statements is completely irresponsible for anyone. For someone in a position of public trust, it's grounds for termination.

Whether his position is political or not is completely irrelevant. He is a public servant who is obligated to protect ALL citizens (even protestors).

Given the kinds of statements coming out of the GOP, it's up to the reader to determine whether this contemptible view is consistent with its current ideology.

But you're right: the media is trying to make this a one party nation, but it ain't the Democratic Party that is in control.

Posted by: bdop4 on February 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

JCCentCom?

So this loser fancies himself as some sort of pseudo-military Central Command? WTF?

How does a dipshit like this become a deputy AG?

Posted by: Winkandanod on February 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

posts are non sequiturs

In all fairness, we don't expect "jason" and his fellow conservative cultists to be able to defend Cox on the merits, do we?

Posted by: Gregory on February 23, 2011 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, "jason", you're late.

Posted by: Gregory on February 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"So this loser fancies himself as some sort of pseudo-military Central Command? WTF?"

Just to make sure, I checked his LinkedIn profile earlier this afternoon. Nope, straight from HS to college to law school, with nary a minute spent in uniform.

In other words, he's a typical Republican—a chickenhawk.

Posted by: bluestatedon on February 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

This guy has a govt job not affiliated with a party. He serves if there is a dem ag or a republican ag. He is one of 140 ag's.

But he's clearly not a liberal and he's a public representative of the state of Indiana -- whose boss, the State Attorney General, just found cause to fire him for those remarks, by the way.

The difference with Capuano is he immediately retracted his remark and issued an apology, and leftist groups in Mass and elsewhere jumped all over his ass for saying it. By contrast, after the Tuscon shooting Republicans all over the country defended the use of violent rhetoric, excused it away, and some even had the gall to say it needed to be amped up in order to protect their "first amendment rights," ostensibly to foment violence.

There is no equivalence. Liberals aren't blowing up government buildings or flying their tiny planes into them or hoarding weapons to kill Obama or assassinating abortion doctors or threatening second amendment solutions or cutting the gas lines or issuing death threats against congresspersons who voted for health care reform.

It's ALL your side, baby. Own it.

Posted by: trex on February 23, 2011 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez Dan I think you're a little obtuse there pal.

What part of we have already fought these battles do you not understand?? Are you not aware of 20th century American history?? Child labor laws? Breaking up monopolies? Food safety? Organized labor? You do realize the republican party in its current form is doing everything they can to undo the progress of the last century?

Are you that stupid?

Email me your address, I'll gladly send you a 10th grade American history textbook.

Dick.

Posted by: citizen_pain on February 23, 2011 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

What an ass. Did he watch the crowd scene coverage on video? It was filled with high school students and teachers, parents and children. This is one sick MF who should never be allowed to work in government or justice. He should be disbarred for comments like those made while holding a public position of authority.

The day we start using bullets instead of ballots is the day we actually are a Banana republic and the only ones suggesting this are republican tea bagger conservatives.

Posted by: bjobotts on February 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a link to a cached page of Cox's blog which has since disappeared (and it's clear why). Yes, he was a Republican, a hard right-winger who supported McCain and hated Obama.

What's interesting is that his remarks about using live ammunition on the peaceful protesters are right in line with the violent rhetoric on his blog. At one point he writes:

Killing a criminal is always a good thing. You murder, rape or steal, your life should be forfeit to protect the rest of us, which is indeed the purpose of government under the social contract. [emphasis mine]

Yep, the best solution to all criminality is killing and your life is forfeit merely if you steal. That's pretty harsh. Even in Saudi Arabia they only take your hand, right?

We have a legal system precisely because there are gradations of criminal behavior and the response to every crime is not to execute the perpetrator. From his writing it's clear Cox lacked the moral character and grounding in the nuance of the law to be a deputy attorney general. He was perhaps better suited to prison guard or member of a lynch mob.

Posted by: trex on February 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

citizen_pain, I agree with the analysis of what is wrong with too many in this country in your post @ 11:30 AM.
"Experience is the best teacher" is, I believe, the saying and it's just as true for 2009-11 as it was for 1929-32. I don't know whether these people suffer from the inability to empathize, or just refuse to try, but the results are the same. The ONLY way too many people learn is when reality, as it did during the Great Depression, slaps them up side the head.
Repeatedly...

Posted by: Doug on February 23, 2011 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

There is huge hypocrisy.

Jeff cox is one of 140 public service workers under the attorney general in a small state.

Paul Kanjorski a dem rep one of 435 congressmen in the whole country says a florida republican governor should be taken up against a wall and shot.

A dem president says he brings a gun to a fight.

Capuanon one of 435 dem congressmen calls to get a little bloody.

But the left doesn't react to obama calling people enemies and bringing a gun to a fight.

The left didn't say a word about kanjorski nor did the media.

But the right gets pinned on someone like loughner that was for kerry and didn't listen to the news. But the right gets pinned on a public service worker in indiana.

There is a huge double standard in this country.

One party's elected officials can say anything there is such hypocrisy in this country which comes from the fact that 85 percent of the media are liberals.

85 percent not 60 not 65 but 85 percent on this nation's media are liberals. What a sham.

Posted by: jason on February 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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