Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pete Sessions defends hate speech

A few weeks ago, one of our Sessions Watchers who served as an observer in Northern Ireland commented that the rhetoric on right-wing radio was similar to the hate speech broadcast on TV and radio during "the Troubles":
Ian Paisley would preach sermons referring to the Pope as "the Antichrist," and later, somebody would throw a petrol bomb through the window of a Catholic home. Two human rights lawyers were killed--Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane--and shortly before I went over, three little boys were burned to death in their beds after a Loyalist firebombed their house. I used to discuss the issue of our First Amendment rights with Irish people, talking about the right to anything you want in a public forum, tempered by the responsibility to tone down inflammatory speech that might prompt an unstable person to take direct action...this teabagger stuff is getting out of control, and I think Congress should take the lead in telling these "town brawl" protesters to knock it off before somebody gets killed!
Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did just that, comparing anti-Obama rhetoric to the hate speech in the 1970s that lead to the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone:
Pelosi, responding to a question about anti-Obama sentiment, said that partisans on all sides of an issue have the right to voice their opinion. But after pausing, she added: "I have concerns about some of the language that is being used, because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place...Our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe. But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause," she said.
And, speaking in support of the haters, our own Pete Sessions, who either doesn't get it, or pretends to not understand how a mentally unbalanced person might be moved to react by a fiery speech at a tea party rally:
"The speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination," said Rep. Pete Sessions (Tex.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda..."The speaker's verbal assault on voters accomplishes nothing other than furthering her reputation for being wildly out of touch with the American people," Sessions responded."
What an embarassment. It's all political point-scoring with our congressman. Pete Sessions should tend to his own affairs before calling someone else "wildly out of touch with the American people." One of his constituents, blogger alaprst, just wrote this piece for Burnt Orange Report: TX-32: Sessions Defends Extreme Teabagger Rhetoric:
Excuse me if I get a bit emotional, but I couldn't be more ashamed that Pete Sessions represents my congressional district (TX-32) than I am now.
It's bad enough that Sessions dishonestly claims that healthcare reform has been rejected by the American people when in fact poll after poll shows the completely opposite conclusion...

...Now Sessions has, in effect, allied with those who have toted guns during presidential events and have made hints of violence in placards seen during last week's teabagger protests.

Folks have a right to express their opinions, including those that strongly disagree with President Obama's policies and those of the Democratic leadership. But when my area's representative who also happens to be one of the main House Republicans made the statements that he did, it requires more than just mere comment. It requires that strong action be made to assure his defeat next year...
Read the whole piece at Burnt Orange Report, and be sure to give the writer a recommend.

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