Princeton professor and Nation contributor Melissa
Harris-Lacewell talks to Keith Olbermann on Countdown about the threat
of right-wing violence in the healthcare debate. Olbermann references
Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher’s speech in which he said he’d like to
“beat the livin’ tar out of” politicians like House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, and the growing number of people carrying guns openly to Obama
rallies.
Harris-Lacewell notes that “political violence is not the exclusive
domain of any particular political ideology” and points out that even
while Democrats call for compassion and collective responsibility on
healthcare, the administration is still carrying on two wars. She
stresses, though, that rhetoric such as that coming from Wurzelbacher
and others has the effect of “dehumanizing the enemy” and that it
“sets the stage for the possibility of violence” and that the best
thing to do is note that while violence is part
of our history
, it is part that we can rise above.

Sarah Jaffe

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