My own thoughts on conservative threats towards Walker opponents, public employees

Earlier today Blogging Blue Senior Fellow Jeff Simpson shared his thoughts on a threatening letter that has been mailed to a number of public employees and opponents of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my own thoughts, as well as some related information regarding the letters.

First, here’s a report by Today’s TMJ4 about the letters, in this case a letter that was sent to a public employee living in St. Francis.

And here’s a copy of the letter:

Thug Letter

I understand as much as anyone that our state’s political climate is highly charged (and that might actually be putting it mildly), but since when did it become acceptable to attempt to intimidate one’s political opponents? I’ve been on the receiving end of some rather nasty threats made towards me and my family via email or as unapproved comments to this blog, and I know I’m not the only blogger who’s been on the receiving end of such threats, so here’s my question for those conservatives out there reading this blog:

When did threats and intimidation towards one’s political opponents become acceptable?

I’ve long believed there’s absolutely nothing wrong with disagreement – even passionate disagreement – but threats, intimidation, or God forbid actual physical violence should have no place in our political discourse.

Democurmudgeon has more on this, as does capper.


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11 thoughts on “My own thoughts on conservative threats towards Walker opponents, public employees

  1. Threats of violence became acceptable when the Tea Party and their discourse became acceptable as merely another viewpoint, at least that’s how most media treated them.

    1. Jeff, if you don’t see the problem with what Miles Kristan did to Robin Vos, then I don’t know what to tell you.

      If we’re going to win this struggle, we have to win the hearts and minds of our fellow Wisconsinites, and we won’t do that by pouring beer on legislators’ heads.

  2. I have never condoned it. What i am in awe of is that everything that has happened, and we have chronicled alot of it, the beer pouring seems to be the one thing that got everyones attention and people cant believe it and are appalled by. I dont think he should have done it but that being said of everything that has happened its about 2567 down the list.

    1. Jeff, the beer pouring incident got a lot of attention because it fits the particular narrative the media is trying to use to frame the anti-Walker movement as a bunch of crackpots, freeloaders, and extremists.

  3. The beer pouring was in the tradition of MLK, Ghandi, and Jeremy Ryan.

    Remember that time Ghandi rode his segway into the British constitutional reform commission dinner and put plastic vomit on Sir John Simon’s lunch plate?

    That was inspirational.

  4. I agree that the right has considered this sort of thing acceptable for a long time (“Don’t retreat. Reload!”). It is a fire that has been fanned by Fox News, local right-wing talk (all over the country), and Tea Party rhetoric. If someone from another country (or a Muslim) did this, it would be called terrorism. I call it un-American and anti-democracy. I also agree that pouring beer (or pies in the face, etc) on people–even those as despicable as Vos–should not be done. We need to show more class than they typically do.

  5. I was a political activist for about 15 years in this state from the mid 1960s to 1980 until ill health sidelinded me. I can’t even count the number of death threats, acts of vandalism and stalking incidents that I had to put up with from right wingers. It is in their DNA. They believe they have the God given right to intimidate and terrorize opponents. For a number of years I found it necessary to keep a shotgun in the house, just in case.

    I couldn’t go out to my local watering hole without being called a traitor, being bumped by some drunken thug who wanted to fight it out in the parking lot or being told that my head would be blown off. The best response was always to laugh in their faces. Truth is the ones who talk the loudest aren’t the ones you have to worry about. They are like little school-yard bullies trying to puff themselves up into bigger versions of their cowardly empty selves.

    As far as the Voss incident is concerned I look at it as two drunks arguing in a bar and one throws a beer. How often does that happen in booze happy Wisconsin? Having heard Voss lie and slander opponents from the floor of the Senate, I’m pretty sure he’s an obnoxious drunk. Many people with a glass of suds have probably had to restrain themselves over the years. The corporate media will pick any incident to slander Republican opponents. If necessary they will make one up, such as the recent State Journal story about policians being tired of the nasty citizen protesters. The horror! Which way to the fainting couch?

    Unfortunately the Republicans believe they can further intimidate people by arming every deranged wingnut with a concealed weapon. When these Republican gun thugs are out and about things will really get interesting and people will yearn for the days of thrown beers . Keep a sense of humor and don’t let the psychopaths intimidate or provoke you.

    In the end we will win because we are pure of heart and they are rabid dogs.

  6. Where was all the fuss when Dave Zien ran over people with his wheelchair and his buddies punched a protester in the mouth ? I didn’t hear Vos complaining about that!

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