March 26, 2010

Well here we go with the latest round of Republican talking points defending their hate-filled rhetoric we've been hearing for the last year. John Pelosi-Will-Be-Breaking-Arms Shadegg explains to Chris Matthews how everyone should just play nice and get along now and attempts to paint the Democrats of acting as badly as the Democrats have. When Eugene Robinson points out that the Republicans were holding up a "Don't Tread on Me" sign and egging on the protesters outside of the Capitol last weekend, Shadegg defends it by saying that there were Democratic lawmakers over with the pro-health care bill side of the event as well. Yeah, that's exactly the same thing John. I don't believe anyone there to celebrate the bill passing was calling members of Congress racial epithets and spitting on them. As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out tonight, the Republicans are playing their usual game right out of the Karl Rove playbook, take your main weakness and accuse the other side of doing it as well.

Oh and that supposed attack on Eric Cantor's office they're all carrying on about, looks like it was nothing more than a stray bullet.

Police: Bullet that hit Cantor campaign office window was randomly fired in air a long way off:

Richmond police say the bullet that hit a window of Republican Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor's office had been randomly fired skyward.

Amid reports of threats and vandalism against Democrats who voted Sunday for sweeping health care reforms, Cantor said at a Washington news conference Thursday that a bullet was fired into his Richmond office.

In a news release, Richmond police said that the bullet had been fired into the air early Tuesday. It hit the front window of a building that houses Cantor's campaign office as it fell to back earth at a sharp angle.

The round landed on the floor of the office a foot inside a broken window pane. No one was in the building, and police say an investigation has yielded no suspects.

I don't suspect this will be changing the GOP's views on gun control laws any time soon but they're going to use it to claim they're being threatened.

Transcript via Lexis Nexis below the fold.

MATTHEWS: Congressman Shadegg, your fellow members, Neugebauer and his "Baby killer," line thrown out there, Joe Wilson and his line, "You lie" -- I`ll admit, Eric Cantor got a shot at his headquarters the other -- this zeitgeist out there, this atmosphere of throwing bricks through windows, this sort of scary stuff that`s going on -- and the weekend`s coming and booze is now going to be added to it Friday and Saturday night. I know what happens in this country. If you`re going into a weekend with craziness in the air, it ain`t going to settle down at Friday night at 9:00. Your thoughts?

REP. JOHN SHADEGG (R), ARIZONA: I actually think it is going to settle down Friday night at 9:00. I think it`s going to settle down the minute Congress leaves town.

I think the reality is that this goes on in politics, Chris. My first job in politics was working for the governor of Arizona taking phone calls, and I always got the phone calls from the crazies.

The answer is we need to move away from this kind of rhetoric. This was a huge piece of legislation. It was intensely debated for almost a year. Intemperate comments were made on both sides. And it`s not surprising that perhaps more were made on the minority because the minority felt very shut out.


SHADEGG: And I can make the case that they were shut out. There`s no excuse for this. But as a prosecutor, I don`t think you`re going to see this go on. I don`t think you`re going to see it escalate. I think people have had their moment. I think that, quite frankly, there`s the focus of the press on it and everybody saying this is a bad idea, and people, quite frankly, being disgusted at anybody who isn`t saying that this is unacceptable I think is going to cause this to dissipate. The American people are interested in getting on with their lives, and I think they`re going to get on with their lives.

MATTHEWS: What about your colleagues waving the Gadsden flag, the "Don`t tread on me" flag back of the republic back in the early days of our country, over the side of the House wall there at the protesters, waving the flag, and then apparently doing the "cut your throat" line, mentioning Nancy Pelosi?

What do you make of that kind of behavior by your elected colleagues?

SHADEGG: Well, I -- I -- the flag they flew...

MATTHEWS: I`m looking at it now.

SHADEGG: OK. The flag they flew, I understand, was the "Don`t tread on me" flag? Is that the flag you`re talking about?

MATTHEWS: The Gadsden flag from South Carolina, yes, from the -- from the early days of our country, sure.

I love that flag. But it used at our enemies overseas. We used it at the London people running our country when we fought for independence. It was never used against our own country before. That`s the difference, Congressman.

SHADEGG: Oh, I agree.


SHADEGG: I don`t think anybody was advocating that it be used against our own country. I think what they were talking about is that there was a sentiment in the crowd -- and, if you were here, there was 250, 350, maybe 5,000 people, I don`t know, 1,000 people, outside that side of the Capitol, off of what`s called the beach.

And members were standing out there. I don`t think they were trying to incite the crowd. I think they were saying, yes, some of us agree with you. This is an intense debate. People on both sides feel very strongly.


SHADEGG: It`s the part of the debate that you happen to like. It`s the part of the debate where we don`t just degree on the little stuff that we do on a bipartisan fashion. It`s where we articulate our arguments.

And I think it`s worth noting, Chris, that never before...

MATTHEWS: OK. Well, the part I like the argument. But let me just try this by you.


MATTHEWS: Here`s something I don`t like.

SHADEGG: Let`s talk about the policy.

MATTHEWS: Here`s Glenn Beck. Here`s Glenn Beck today on his radio show saying that the speaker of the House and other Democratic leaders walked out of the Capitol on Sunday in a way aimed at encouraging people to kill them, to kill them.

Here`s Glenn Beck today on the radio saying this. You say the Democrats are inciting. Look at this. Listen to this.


GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": I can guarantee you, they walked out and said, what the hell do you have to do to these people to get them to kill us?


MATTHEWS: "To get them to kill us." What do you make of Glenn Beck?

SHADEGG: No excuse for that kind of rhetoric. There`s no excuse for that kind of rhetoric. I told you I began my life as a prosecutor. That kind of rhetoric is not good for the nation, not good for the dialogue.

But that does not mean that we ought to be focusing people on the out- of-the-bounds, the over-the-top rhetoric. What we ought to be focusing on is, where do we go from here? The reality is, some of us believe this legislation won`t solve the problem. And we want to go in and work on, OK, how do we fix the things that need to be fixed?

And, quite frankly, the American people understand that this was not the final bill. Republican ideas on how to fix health care didn`t disappear when this bill passed. Life goes on. Reform goes on. And this is a country in which the people, including the minority, have remedies.

They have the election, and they have all kinds of remedies other than violence.


SHADEGG: And we ought to be talking about the fact that they have remedies other than violence.


Gene Robinson is with me from "The Washington Post."


MATTHEWS: Go ask Congressman...

ROBINSON: Well, Congressman, I was there on Sunday. And the Republican members who came out on the balcony did whip up the crowd.

And my question to you is, as a prosecutor...

SHADEGG: Well, of course they whipped up the crowd, but they weren`t urging the crowd to violence. I mean, come on.


ROBINSON: But here`s my question to you.


ROBINSON: Congressman, here`s my question.

SHADEGG: Well, wait. Wait. I walked across the street on the opposite side where the pro-legislation people were chanting, and they were whipping up the crowd as well.

That`s a part of what happens in this kind of discourse in America. Just holding up the flag is not saying, go throw a brick through a window or shoot through a window, for God`s sake.


ROBINSON: No. No, it`s not.


ROBINSON: But here`s my question.


ROBINSON: Let`s assume that 99.9 percent of those -- of the people in that crowd or in the Tea Party movement are -- are absolutely law-abiding, sensible people who make their policy argument and then go home.


ROBINSON: It`s crazy people who do crazy things. And you look out there. When you use the specific rhetoric and the specific symbols that are -- that have been adopted by the crazy wing, by the people, you know, who are sitting at home waiting for the black helicopters to swoop down and confiscate their weapons, and you are giving those people permission to have that fantasy and to act out that fantasy, are you not?

MATTHEWS: OK. What do you make of Neugebauer`s comment, "baby killer"? What do you make of Joe Wilson`s comment, "You lie?" -- both delivered on the floor of the House? What do you think of them?

SHADEGG: I think both are inappropriate. I think both are out of line.

And I think the exploitation of those comments by both sides since then is inappropriate. Look, you know as well as I do that there are people out there fund-raising right now on the violence that`s already occurred, people on the left using that for a fund-raising device...


SHADEGG: ... people on the right using it for a fund-raising device.

My point is, we should condemn that. And you and I, as people talking to that audience of American people, which may include some crazies, ought to be reminding them that that is not what this society is about, that, in point of fact, they have the ballot. They have the right to peaceably assembly -- peaceably assemble -- and they have the right to get involved in the process.


SHADEGG: And I don`t think -- I don`t think that because they choose to wave a particular flag, that means that people who share their views shouldn`t wave that flag because there`s some nutcase in the audience?

You know, I can`t control what nutcases are in the audience are on the right, the left can`t control what nutcases are in the audience on the left.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s hope you`re right. Let`s hope you`re right.


MATTHEWS: Let`s hope you`re right. But just remember, you and I growing up in this country, we knew that a very terrible incident in this country occurred a couple of days after a U.N. ambassador -- our U.N. ambassador, Adlai Stevenson, was spat upon in Texas.

These things sometimes escalates from words to actions, and where the passions create a kind of a Zeitgeist, where a left-winger kills our president in a right-wing atmosphere. I mean, you never know what nut is going to come out of the closet when the atmosphere reaches a certain pressure point. It does happen. I hope it doesn`t happen this time.

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