On Friday, April 16, 2010, former President Bill Clinton marked the upcoming 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing with a major speech to the Center for American Progress, in which he compared the TEA Party movement with the kind of hatred that allegedly incited the Oklahoma bombing.
In his speech, Clinton warned that “the words we use really do matter, because there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike.” He also argued that today’s TEA Party protesters are not comparable to the Boston Tea Party. The latter was in response to taxation without representation, whereas the TEA Party movement is challenging taxation by elected officials. Moreover, unlike the Boston Tea Party, today’s protesters have the power to vote officials out of office.
The next day, in an interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper which airs tonight (Sunday, April 18), Clinton again accused conservatives and Tea Partiers of “demonizing” government officials and that this could trigger violence similar to the Oklahoma City bombing. He said:
“we ought to have a lot of political dissent — a lot of political argument. Nobody is right all the time. But we also have to take responsibility for the possible consequences of what we say. We shouldn’t demonize the government or its public employees or its elected officials. We can disagree with them. We can harshly criticize them. But when we turn them into an object of demonization, you know, you — you increase the number of threats. I worry about these threats against the president and the Congress. And I worry about more careless language even against — some of which we’ve seen against the Republican governor in New Jersey, Governor Christie. [A recently leaked memo from a New Jersey teachers union contained a joke suggesting that Governor Christie should die.]
I just think we all have to be careful. We ought to remember after Oklahoma City, we learned something about the difference in disagreement and demonization.”
So now we’ve come to this. In a country that was founded on popular sovereignty –where The People are king and the source of the government’s right to rule — it is now “demonization” and “inciting to violence” if The People criticize the president and Congress!
Have we lost our constitutional right of freedom of speech? Where in the Constitution is it written that The People must remain silent between elections? Where was Bill Clinton when the Left, who lost the 2000 and 2004 elections, demonized George W. Bush throughout his entire two terms of office? By Clinton’s logic, shouldn’t they have stayed silent and simply waited their turn until the next election?
Politicians who are demagogues typically traffic in vagueness of language. While accusing conservative critics of “demonization,” Bill Clinton conveniently neglects to define what “demonization” is and how “demonization” differs from legitimate “criticism.”
It is Bill Clinton who is doing the demonizing. As Rush Limbaugh rightly observes, Clinton’s comparison of TEA Parties to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is invalid and invidious:
McVeigh was motivated and upset by the Waco invasion of the Branch Davidian compound. Attorney General Reno ordered tanks to be used against American citizens. McVeigh was not inspired by rhetoric. He was angered by action taken by the Clinton administration.
I have news for Bill Clinton and his ilk:
Our times are even worse than those of the Boston Tea Party. Then, it was taxation without representation. Now, it is representation without taxation for the 47% of privileged Americans who do not pay income taxes while the rest of us who pay the taxes are ignored and treated with contempt.
We are Americans who are well-informed, with eyes that see through the lies.
We are Americans who are intelligent and can think for ourselves, without being told what and how by you or Obama or Congress or the state propaganda media.
We are not sheep.
We will not be silenced!
We will not go quietly into the night while those in government — who are supposed to be our servants — trash the Constitution and tear this country apart before our very eyes.