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Only minutes after last week’s Technocracy column went live, a small army of leftist trolls and self-proclaimed “independents” began bleating that the article was a lie. In the piece, I condemned a Labor Day speech by union leader James Hoffa in which Hoffa encouraged union members to commit acts of violence against the tea party. Through WND’s Facebook application, several prolific “top commenters” – who are, in fact, simply persistent contrarians trolling WND’s pages – whined that Fox News’ clip of Hoffa’s speech had been selectively, manipulatively edited to create the impression that Hoffa said something he truly did not.
Amidst the urgent squeals of “Fox! Fox! Fox! Smear! Smear! Smear!” these media watchdogs forgot to include, as targets of their ire, ABC News, which also aired the clip. Still, the stupidity of “compressing” the sound bite by eliminating the only piece of possibly mitigating verbiage is obvious. I have written previously about leftists’ breathless desires to demonize Fox News. Editing the clip in this manner simply hands the network’s enemies more ammunition, while doing Fox – arguably the only major news organization not already a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee – no favors.
Neither the alleged perfidy of Fox News nor the casual inclusion of a reference to voting excuse, rationalize, justify, or even sufficiently modify Hoffa’s comments, however. Neither point, even if the former were true, makes any difference whatsoever.
Hoffa was given every opportunity to decry the “selective editing” and supposed mischaracterization of his comments, which liberals have screamed were taken “out of context.” Hoffa, instead, was proud of his speech. He said, “We didn’t start this war -– the right wing did. … As I said yesterday in Detroit, we all have to vote in order to take these anti-worker politicians out of office.”
In other words, in Hoffa’s world, the political dispute between leftist labor unions and everyone else is a war. As he said in his public statement defending the Labor Day speech, he and his allies are “under attack,” and therefore his comments echo the “anger and frustration of [unionized] American workers.” Hoffa essentially told the world, “Screw them, I meant it.” He did not say, “Obviously I wasn’t talking about killing anyone. I was talking about voting.” Instead he said, in his best John Rambo, “They wanted a war; I didn’t!”
When a Republican speaks, Democrats are all about tone and context. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, Bill Clinton tried and failed to blame Rush Limbaugh and talk radio for creating a “climate” that somehow, vaguely and magically, induces bad people to do bad things. (Clinton’s operatives later recanted, mostly because they had obviously overstepped in trying to stifle free speech. Condemning dissent as a precursor to violence is a favorite lib tactic for silencing conservatives.)
When Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a deranged assassin, libs were quick to blame Sarah Palin for again creating that bothersome tone, that viciously evil atmosphere. Between the OKC bombing and Giffords’ shooting were countless other examples of liberal ghouls eager to pin random acts of violence on conservatives as a group. It doesn’t matter that a conservative or libertarian never says, explicitly, what liberals claim he or she is implying. Democrats’ political opponents are presumed to speak in a complicated code that only lib augurs can interpret correctly.
When Jimmy Hoffa speaks, by contrast, he must be taken at his literal word, because he is a Democrat who supports Democrats. If he does not say, “we must physically assault our opponents,” he must, we are told, be given the benefit of any doubt the rest of his violent rhetoric generates. Why, he even went so far as to mention voting in the “full clip,” which was so scurrilously edited by the ever-nefarious Fox News to “smear” poor, innocent James P. Hoffa. How dare Fox paint him as a firebrand exhorting his followers to perpetrate violence?
The problem with Hoffa’s original speech, and with his follow-up comments, is that his words are laden with violent metaphor and pregnant with threats both implied and credible. When an aggressive man speaking before an organization with a history of aggressive protest aggressively invokes deliberately aggressive imagery, then says, “of course, not aggressively,” I don’t believe him. If Hoffa had said, in the middle of his original speech about “taking out” those “son of a bitches,” something like, “… but of course through nonviolent means,” a disclaimer so explicit would still be insufficient to soften the loaded rhetoric surrounding it.
Imagine if Al Gore gave a speech and said something like, “These climate change deniers … we’ve got to destroy them. They came on our turf; we didn’t go on theirs. We are a gang. President Obama, we are your street gang! Everyone here has to drive a hybrid. We’ve got to take these climate change denying bastards out.”
Is there any rational person who would look at that and think, “Well, clearly, the way we ‘destroy’ these evil ‘deniers’ is to make sure we all drive hybrids.” I think it is much more likely that the throwaway line about driving “green” vehicles would be lost in the rush to take to the streets and destroy one’s enemies. In much the same way, Hoffa’s casual and incongruous caveat about voting was lost in the volume of his hateful call to violent action.
In an inconvenient but illustrative bit of irony, almost immediately after Hoffa’s Labor Day speech, thugs from the International Longeshore and Warehouse Union occupied and vandalized the Port of Longview, Wash. The Star Democrat euphemistically refers to six guards being “detained,” but what this actually means is that six security guards were taken hostage by a violent union mob.
This is precisely the sort of violence and thuggery to which Hoffa incited his audience on Labor Day. This is exactly the kind of violent action we can expect from cowardly libs as the presidential elections approach. This is specifically the kind of threat liberals adore making – and for which Hoffa and all his thug supporters should be held accountable.