July 29, 2008
For decades now, right-wingers have made a cottage industry out of turning atrocities into political fodder.
Whenever a gunman shoots up a school or a public event, wingers come flapping to announce that this proves the need for more people to go around packing heat.
When Susan Smith drowned her little boys in South Carolina, when the halls of Columbine High School ran red with blood and when a vicious freak shot down students on the Virginia Tech campus, the smoke barely had time to clear before Newt Gingrich waddled in front of the nearest television camera to announce that liberalism was the root cause of each horror.
And, of course, when Al Qaeda fanatics murdered thousands on 9/11, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell wasted no time in blaming the mass murder on feminists and secularists. Last year, career winger Dinesh D’Souza excreted a whole book devoted to the proposition that the mere presence of Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton so inflamed Muslim sensibilities that “the cultural left” had to accept responsibility for the destruction of the World Trade Center. In each case, a widely known spokesman for the conservative movement let it be known that mere words spoken by liberals had the magic power to create horror and catastrophe.
So to Newt, Dinesh, Pat, Jerry (wherever he may be roasting right now), Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and every other cynical crap-spewing wingnut out there, I say: let me introduce you all to Jim D. Adkisson, your new BFF. He’s the out-of-work Tennessee truck driver who walked into a Unitarian Universalist church where parents were watching their children perform the musical Annie and started blasting away with a shotgun.
What possible motive would a man have for doing such a thing? The answer is as close as your dashboard radio:
A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson’s small SUV indicated he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because, the police chief said, “he hated the liberal movement” and was upset with “liberals in general as well as gays.”
Adkisson, a 58-year-old truck driver on the verge of losing his food stamps, had 76 rounds with him when he entered the church and pulled a shotgun from a guitar case during a children’s performance of the musical “Annie.”
“It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement,” Police Chief Sterling Owen said.
Adkisson “stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country’s hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of the major media outlets,” investigator Steve Still wrote.
As David Neiwert and a few others have indicated, Adkisson’s words could have been lifted whole from a transcript of your local conservative radio squawker, or a sample of comments from FreeRepublic.com, or some of the flakier entries in National Review, The Weekly Standard or The American Spectator. Like the title character in the 1970 movie Joe, they jes’ loves to talk about gettin’ together some of the boys and a few shootin’ irons and headin’ off to hunt them some liberals. Hey, it’s all in good fun!
Check out this item I recently received from a winger movie blog, about how Ted Nugent shot and gutted a rabbit while on the set of a movie. I couldn’t care less about the hunting aspect: rabbits don’t have good career prospects, and the bunny could just as easily have been killed by a fox or a coyote as by an over-the-hill rock star. (Though I marvel at the assiness of a guy firing off an arrow at a moving target on a crowded film set.) What amazes me is the eager codpiece-licking tone of the post, and the commenters crowing in triumph as though the Nuge had wrestled a cougar instead of just putting a shaft through something about as dangerous as a Teddy Ruxpin. And note how long it takes for the commenters to start fantasizing about killing and skinning libruls and “Hollyweird” types. Woo hoo!
Say, do you think Jim Adkisson was a Ted Nugent fan? Maybe he saw this video:
Harr dee harr harr, doncha love it when a draft-dodging flake gets up on stage to fantasize about making Barack Obama suck on a machine gun? We know the guy loves his venison — maybe his skull has turned into a storage bunker for mad-deer prions. It isn’t too hard to imagine him kicking back and talking guns with Jim Adkisson.
Jim Adkisson was a man with problems, no doubt about it. He was also the very picture of a conservative values voter, and when his problems finally got the better of him, he knew just where to take out his rage. After all, the directions had been written out for him and reiterated many times by venom-spewing wingnut creeps.
So, wingers everywhere, stand up and take a bow. Jim Adkisson had a dream — your dream — and he made it a reality. Read his words, follow his reasoning and ask yourself where it all went wrong — assuming you’re capable of that level of self-examination. Take his words into your hearts.
I almost wrote “Take his words and choke on them,” but I decided to refrain. After all, I wouldn’t want to sound like a conservative.