Crawford, TX newspaper pays the price for endorsing Kerry

This is really ugly. Welcome to the age of bush Republicanism — threats, harrassment and vengeance.

We expected that perhaps a few readers might cancel subscriptions, and maybe even ads, but have been amazed at a few of the more intense communications, some of which bordered on outright personal attacks and uncalled-for harassment.

We have been told by several avid Bush supporters that the days when newspapers publish editorials without personal repercussions are over. As publishers, we have printed editorials for decades, and have endorsed candidates, both Republican and Democrat. When Bush was endorsed four years ago, the Gore supporters did not respond with threats, nor did Democrats when we endorsed Reagan twice. Republicans did not threaten us personally or our business when we endorsed Carter and Clinton for their first terms.


When you think about it, editorials are often displayed in people’s yards with campaign signs. These are endorsements by residents. Is it proper to persecute them for stating their opinions in this manner if you disagree with their choices? Should they be harassed and threatened? We don’t think so.
Unfortunately, for the Iconoclast and its publishers there have been threats — big ones including physical harm.

Too, some individuals are threatening innocent commercial concerns, claiming that if they advertise in The Iconoclast, they will be run out of business. We consider this improper in a democracy.

How did this happen? How did we let politics make us so mean and deranged? I know many papers will endorse the Republican ticket, and I won’t urge you to boycott their advertisers or threaten them with physical harm. But somehow this mentality has become routine among bush Republicans. Those who disagree are bad and they need to silenced, and then punished.

There were a couple of examples of Democrats being assholes last week, when a Republican office was ransacked. That’s equally reprehensible. But when it comes to harrassing those who disagree and reacting with thuggishness, I’m afraid the Republicans definitely take most of the prizes. For doubters, Orcinus has been chronicling examples of this all year — there is abundant evidence.

Link via Hoffmania.

The Discussion: 11 Comments

Considering how rabid the attacks are on anyone who supports Bush, I find this posting totally disingenuous. Once again, it’s a case of “if we do it, it’s fine” but if it gets done to us, then it’s “oh, how could they?” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … the blinkered postings on this website concerning American politics are such that anyone who already agrees with you will nod their head and say “yes yes” … and everyone else will skim over it and dismiss it as the partisan rhetoric that it is, and feel less inclined to listen to you when you do have a valid point to make.

October 10, 2004 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

Li En, I am truly sorry you see it that way. I always try to back up my assertions about our president with facts and examples, not blind attacks. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, and even endorsed, at first, his war in Iraq. But the evidence is against him, and one by one all his promises have been broken. If you don’t see it that way, there’s nothing I can do. But I am calling it as I see it, which is what I always try to do with this blog, whether I’m writing about Jiang Zemin or John Ashcroft. If you feel bush has been noble and that the tragedy of Iraq was an example of good governance, what can I do? I always appreciate your viewpoint; we simply see bush very differrently.

October 10, 2004 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Stinking, I think there is a world of difference between words of criticism or praise of a candidate and lies about a candidate, threats or actions such as pulling advertizing or organizing a boycott against someone you disagree with. You can read what you want into statements or comments in blogs, but to try to muzzle a messenger, tends to show the weakness of the muzzler’s position and their disbelief in freedom of speech.

October 10, 2004 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

“Democrats being assholes”?!
“office was ransacked”?!

Shooting up a campaign office. Using real guns. With real bullets. If Republicans were doing that, how would you describe it?

everyone else will skim over it and dismiss it as the partisan rhetoric that it is, and feel less inclined to listen to you when you do have a valid point to make.

I tried to make this point back when the anti-war groupies were displaying such idiocy, and several times since, as the left seemingly abandoned all opposition to theocratic fascism (one of the ideals that attracted me and many others to the left in the first place). But the rhetoric was too overheated to get through. Now, it’s hard to find a single cheer for the election in Afghanistan, I guess for fear it might yield a point to Bush’s gang.

From a position of apparent moral, intellectual, and political advantage, the left has been declining for roughly 30 years. Now, the Dems are within a whisper of losing the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and seats on the Supreme Court. Whether they blame it on the Right Wing Attack Machine(tm), or wake up and take some responsibility for their own shortcomings, will indicate whether they have any significant future as a political force.

Frankly, I’d prefer a brighter and more principled left. It would sharpen up everybody’s game.

October 10, 2004 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

Sam, you’re one to talk about balance! You swallowed the Smear Boat Veteran’s crap like it was gospel and helped them spread the word. And you’re gonna say it’s my side that needs to be more principled!! Funny.

About the shooting of the GOP office: It’s reprehensible. It’s also the only instance I’ve heard this year of such violence by the Democrats. There will always be assholes on both sides. But the GOP has institutionalized harassment and supression, from jamming the Democrats’ phone lines in New Hampshire to forcing attendees at bush rallies to sign loyalty oaths to not allowing attendees to wear a Kerry button to physically attacking and kicking protestors at GOP rallies to stealing campaign signs to….well, you know how it is. Any action like this is inexcusable, and when Dems went after Karl Rove’s house some months ago I attacked it. But being fair and balanced, we have to give the prize to the GOP for actually making threats, violence and dirty tricks an integral part of the campaing, and not an abberation like the recent ransacking.

Next point: I’m glad the elections in Afghanistan were relatively smooth. I’m still not sure what it means in the long-term, but I see it as a great first step and an historic occasion. I didn’t post about it because I’m only posting nowadays about the US elections, Iraq and China. I’m also not convinced there’s much hope for democracy there. It’ll be interesting to watch.

October 11, 2004 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

Sam, you’re one to talk about balance! You swallowed the Smear Boat Veteran’s crap like it was gospel and helped them spread the word. And you’re gonna say it’s my side that needs to be more principled!! Funny.

Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t remember “swallowing” anything about them except that they believe what they’re saying. Nor helping them spread their word. Either a)you’ve confused me with someone else or b) I’ve burned off more brain cells than I suspect (and I’m open that either case could be true).

As to vile behavior, I understand your perception that it’s unilateral, but as Filthy mentioned above (I love that handle, by the way), it seems your perceptions are heavily shaded by belief. The New York Times, not normally a Republican organ, mentioned;

the left seems to be winning the vileness derby this year. Maybe the bloggers who encourage their readers to send this sort of thing to The Times might want to ask them instead to say it in public. I don’t think they’d dare.

Not that I agree with blaming it on bloggers, but there you have it.

October 11, 2004 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

I’ve read all the stories on both sides, Sam. I’m fairly compulsive about that. The physical attacks and stifling of protest and the attempts to block voters from registering — it is virtually all coming from the right. There’s simply no comparison.

About the Smear Boat vets — at the time of their moment in the sun you were here shoring up their arguments, telling me Kerry commmitted atrocities, remember?

October 12, 2004 @ 7:49 am | Comment

I remember making a (deleted) comment about “who kerrie murdered” in response to another poster who mentioned the shooting of a Vietnamese teenager. Call that shoring up, if you like.

And since you’ve read all the stories, how many Kerry supporters have you read about having their homes vandalized, or their campaign offices robbed, vandalized, and shot up?

October 12, 2004 @ 8:50 am | Comment

I’ve read of scores, probably hundreds, not being permitted to attend speeches. Lots of stories of beatings. One woman fired for having a Kerry bumper sticker on her car. I saw the video of a woman at a bush speech wearing a Kerry button being pulled to the ground by her hair and repeatedly kicked by a young Republican. As I said, the GOP win this one by a landslide — a far more regimented, institutionalized approach to not only silencing the opposition but taking vengeance as well. I know of one instance of some Democratic a-holes ransacking an office, and that’s it. Did you hear about the phone-jamming in New Hampshire? The sign-pulling? These aren’t random acts — the guy behind the phpne jamming has been indicted, a Republican official. Simply no comparison with the way the Dems are treating the opposition. Maybe the GOP is smarter, because intimidation can work. But I think it’s inexcusable, as I thinkwhat the Dems did to that office is inexcusable. But again, it’s appleas and oranges. With the GOP, it’s sanctioned, approved, choreographed and executed by those at the top, and you know it.

October 12, 2004 @ 9:27 am | Comment

With the GOP, it’s sanctioned, approved, choreographed and executed by those at the top, and you know it.

Actually, I don’t know enough about it to pin it on the “top”, though I suppose they could be guilty of something so stupid, being the diabolical geniuses they are. I also can’t really believe you’ve only heard of one instance of Democrat violence.

October 12, 2004 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

Sam, I have heard only one or two instances of Democratic violence during this campaign, really. Yesterday at InstaPuppy I saw a long list of attacks on Republican offices all occurring over the past few days, but no one was blamed (i.e., it wasn’t known whether it was Democrats who committed the break-ins). Of course, we all know the story of the bug in Karl Rove’s office — so I want to see proof the Dems did it before I pronounce them guilty.

October 13, 2004 @ 1:22 pm | Comment

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