When the institutional Left first began to grapple with the emergence of the Tea Party, it reacted by smearing the peaceful, law-abiding movement as an "angry mob." When that didn't quite do the trick, liberals ratcheted up their hysterical rhetoric, slandering grassroots conservatives with every name in the book -- from Nazis to lynch mobs to terrorists. Now that Leftists are rekindling their own dormant love affair with public protest (this time without the point), some of their sympathizers and leaders are gleefully encouraging exactly the sort of violence they mendaciously imputed upon the Tea Party. Take the smirking "comedian" Bill Maher, for instance. He appeared on Rachel Maddow's very, very intellectual program and suggested that Occupiers might do themselves some good by throwing a brick or two through Rupert Murdoch's window:
Note the demented logic Maddow trots out as the basis for her question: Maybe the Tea Party was so powerful because of its implicit threat of violence! Therefore, she hints, 'Occupy's' violent streak might actually prove rather effective. Maher wholeheartedly agrees, then takes it a step farther by floating the idea that the Lefty mob might as well follow through on the underlying threat and really put a scare into evil rich folks (so long as they're not tossing projectiles through his bedroom windows, I'd imagine). No worries, though -- Bill Maher is just a gratingly smug limousine liberal. He's not actually out on the streets openly advocating bloody revolution, so there's nothing to worry about, right? Over to you, Soviet-sounding Occupy LA hooligan:
"Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody. India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty. So, ultimately, the bourgeoisie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class. Long live revolution! Long live socialism!"
Reminder: The DCCC has officially cast in its lot with this crew, as has Nancy Pelosi. And click through to watch top Obama advisor David Plouffe assure Occupiers that the president is with them in spirit. Good to know.
UPDATE - If this report from ABC News were about the Tea Party instead of the 'Occupy' scourge, Janet Napolitano would be issuing frantic homegrown extremism alerts left and right. Chilling:
An online "Occupy Threat Center" created by ListenLogic says the company's analysis of "over one million social media posts" indicates a significant increases in all of the following:
-Social media activity from Occupy supporters and activists promoting physical destruction and violent action.
-Direct and specific threats from Occupy "hacktivist" groups against specific financial and law enforcement targets.
-Social media posts, videos and images targeting: financial institutions that issue mortgages and student loans and that initiate foreclosures; corporate entities that received bailout money or government subsidies; companies that pay high executive salaries or bonuses; and companies perceived to be paying extremely low taxes. There still are postings that talk about taxing the 1 percent more severely or even throwing them in jail. "But then," says Schiavone, "there's an increase in 'let's kill' them. We see 'eat the rich,' 'kill the wealthy.' There are images circulating of senior executives being decapitated, images of blood. Artists are releasing images of banks on fire."
Remember, Leftists were so desperate to discredit the Tea Party that they fabricated instances of racism and intimidation. It's so true that what liberals accuse conservatives of is what many of them harbor in their own hearts. Classic, destructive projection.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography