Barack Obama assassinated, age 46.

That’s what was written down.

It was envisioned. It was contemplated. Then it was written down.

I completely understand controversial and catchy headlines – being a fan of them myself – but this seems to cross a line even with me. I understand the point that Tim is trying to make and it’s no secret he and I are friends and I think he does some of the best stuff around when he’s on.

But it made me sad that he decided to go here. To take what you and I once railed against even for hinting at and turn it into a headline for a post of your own doesn’t sit right with me. There are other ways to make your point and the rest of the post is really very good despite the headline. People will still read it. I’ll still link to it. You’ll still get your point across.

We do all have to be more diligent in calling this shit out and banging away on those who would whisper and insinuate. Whether it be blogger, campaign, surrogate, or candidate, the bigotry and passive racism being whispered and winked is something that we must be diligent about. I don’t really think calling out a big group of bloggers on the left is fair either. We all decide for various reasons what we think is important enough to blog on and that’s an individual decision. We’ve been down this road of “why didn’t you think this important enough to post on” and it always ends badly.

I have no problem with you making your point about the toxic nature of the narrative building on the right.

Just don’t say the “A word”.

Please.

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  • standing by it, dude.

  • Shalom Eric,

    I’m barely old enough to have a hazy memory of President John Kennedy’s assassination on 22 November 1963.

    My memories of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on 4 April 1968 and Robert Kennedy on 6 June 1968 (my brother’s seventh birthday) are sharper.

    I recall 15 May 1972 when Governor George Wallace survived five bullets fired by an assassin’s pistol.

    I recall both 5 and 22 September 1975 when President Gerald Ford survived two assassination attempts.

    I recall 30 March 1981 when President Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt.

    We are a nation that during my lifetime has known too well the power of assassins. As a nation we know there is a tiny, but ever present, minority that believes that the solution to their particular problem can be found in assassinating what their twisted mind perceives as the source of that problem.

    I know that there is no team of Secret Service agents in the world today more vigilant than the men and women protecting Senator Barack Obama and his family. They know that the assassin is out there. They know that the assassination has been planned. They know that the attempt will be made. They know that they are what stands between The United States of America, tragedy and yet another infamous date.

    Avoiding the word is meaningless.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

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  • Michael Berger

    I think he’s pushing the boundaries Eric, but pushing – not crossed over just yet.

    Look at what happened in Tennessee… that’s going over the boundary, and I think that’s what inspired Tim to wave the warning flag.

    And if we all think about it for a moment, Tim’s almost certainly gotten more than just your full attention with this, has he not?

  • @2: Thanks for the comment Jeff. I don’t mean to imply that we avoid a discussion on the safety of BOTH our Presidential candidates, but I do think we should avoid sensationalizing it with a blog post title presuming it has already happened.

    I’m not a big “avoid the word” guy, but in this instance I disagree with how Tim went about this.

    Let’s talk about racism. Let’s talk about hate. Let’s talk about the poisonous political climate on the right.

    But let’s not talk about Barack Obama already having been assassinated.

  • @4: I think Tim’s writing gets my full attention. He doesn’t need to sensationalize a hypothetical. Especially not one this ugly.

    Knoxville was certainly a poignant reminder that rhetoric can turn into violence. I’m just not sure the approach Tim took is any better.

  • bill sloat

    Tim Russo is one of the sharper interlocutors around, and I use the word interlocutor with the meaning he is a person involved in conversation and dialogue. I think he wanted to take issue with those he considers pinheads — those he views as stupid and silly people who write inflammatory rightwing blogs. And he wanted to argue, as I see it, that progressive bloggers should push back hard.

    But he was inflammatory himself with that headline, way too over the top for my taste. It was almost taunting. Some words, and the thoughts that go with them, are just too strong, too stinky, too loaded.

    Besides, many people in the public eye are obviously at risk of violence. Public buildings have metal detectors in them for a reason. So do schools, unfortunately.

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