CHARLES C.W. COOKE: The Left’s “Climate Of Hate” Hypocrisy.
Consider, if you will, the recent behavior of Salon’s Joan Walsh, who yesterday suggested in earnest that the conservative-led condemnation of the “climate” that supposedly provoked the shootings in New York City represented the unconscionable “politicization” of murder. “To blame the peaceful movement against police brutality that’s emerged nationwide,” Walsh wrote, is “the worst in demagoguery.” “Right wingers,” she added, “are using a terrible tragedy to make sure that no one can find middle ground.” Prima facie, I concur with Walsh, of course. But what, we might ask, has finally led her to this conclusion? After the shooting of Gabby Giffords in 2011, Walsh fretted dramatically about “the rhetoric of violence”; asked aloud, “Will any prominent conservatives denounce ‘reload’ and ‘crosshairs’ imagery?”; inquired dishonestly, “Is it really controversial to suggest that the overheated anti-government rhetoric of the last two years, with its often violent imagery, ought to be toned down?”; described Sarah Palin’s pretty standard political-campaign map as “unconscionable”; hoped that Republicans would find it in their hearts to “listen to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who denounced ‘the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about the government’ at a Saturday night press conference”; played a remarkably dishonest game of “But Anyway . . . ,” repeatedly noting that there was “no evidence” that Jared Loughner had reacted to any right-wing rhetoric before insinuating in the next breath that he must have; and, when her well was running dry, went so far as to suggest without any attestation at all that the shooter was a registered Republican.
Later, talking characteristically out of both sides of her mouth, Walsh proposed that “even if Tuscon exists in a vacuum,” it would still be the case that the “Tea Party’s violent rhetoric is dangerous.” Naturally, these accusations were part of a trend. Two years earlier, Walsh had cynically blamed conservative talk-radio for a shooting at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The perpetrator turned out to be a neo-Nazi.
If it weren’t for double standards the left would have no standards at all.
A little over a week ago, a group of people marched down the streets of Manhattan and called for police to be killed. But exactly who cried out for violence has been something of a mystery as New York goes through its most tense moment in more than a decade.
Evidence from photos, videos, social-media posts and interviews suggest that a group—the New York chapter of the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee, or TMOC—might have been involved. There is no definitive proof that TMOC led the call for dead cops, but there is a web of circumstantial ties with the group at its center.
TMOC’s own social-media posts put them near the scene of the cry for police blood. Some of the slogans used that night—including “arms up, shoot back!”—are the same as the ones used by TMOC. And recently TMOC has been soliciting money for the legal defense of people it calls its “comrades” who were arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge, just hours after the “dead cops” chant was recorded.
The bedrock of TMOC’s politics, judged by their social-media output, is hatred for police and endorsement of violence against them. The group seems to blend “black bloc” anarchist street violence with social-media campaigns. Keeping their organizing online, members can plan and incite without coming out from behind their digital masks until they hit the streets. (The group did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)
Finding TMOC started with an interview of the man who shot the video showing marchers chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” . . . It would be interesting to find out more about the radicals whose slogan is “shoot back.” What we know now is that, out of the people arrested on the bridge, one is a Harvard-educated poet and another was making more than $100,000 a year working for one of the most the most powerful unions in New York City.
I think further inquiry is worthwhile. And if this were a Tea Party event, every journalist in New York would be tracing all the connections. But the Tea Party famously leaves places cleaner than it finds them. The left, not so much.