Monday, January 31, 2011

Lakin, Loughner, and Responsibility

lakin serious

As of this writing, it has been well over a month since I challenged Birthers to pay the former LTC Lakin back for his having dared, and lost almost everything, on their behalf. I told them they should fork over as much money as they feel comfortable doing to ensure that Lakin and his family are well looked after.

As of this writing, all we hear from those Birthers I name-checked (that would be Joseph Farah, Orly Taitz, Rev. Manning, and Alan Keyes) are crickets. Bumpkiss. Nada.


I haven't even seen them stump for the web site that someone else made to see to Lakin's welfare. It's unfortunately too-connected to site that now exists to raise money using Lakin for their own uses -- which Farah last fronted for -- for me to really front for it in good conscience, but at least it's there.

So I can, at this point, call the mega-Birthers on their perfidy. Lakin is in jail tonight because of them, and they won't help him out. Not at all.

Nice bunch of folks, huh? Quick tip: don't do any favors on their behalf -- they will literally hang you out to dry.

However, having said all that, I must revisit something else I said lately. This was concerning a certain Mr. Loughner of Tucson, Arizona. Maybe you've heard of him?

What I said was this: Even if it turns out (Loughner) was was Beckhead, and a Palinator, and thought W was Wonderful, it still would not be anyone's fault but his own.

The fault for our output does not lie in our input, but what we decide that output will be. In Loughner's case, the output was an atrocity. But whether he was into Beck, Lenin, or the Teletubbies, the output is clearly his own fault, and no one else's.

Contrast that with my pronouncement on the Lakin matter, though:

While the decision to act on what (Lakin) "learned" from them was his own, and therefore his own fault, these people bear no small responsibility to having helped turn him into a victim of his own gullibility.

Birthers, I accuse you.

Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you .

A mother and child are going to spend this Christmas apart from the man they love because of you.

His personal and economic future is in jeopardy because of you.

I even made similar statements, directly to Joseph Farah, himself, not long after.

Sir, Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you.

He will be in jail for Christmas, because of you. He will be in jail for up to six months because of you.

And if someone chooses to remove his license to practice private medicine because of his criminal record, that will also be on your head.

On the surface, that seems like quite a jump. Lakin listened to a bunch of Birthers, and ruined his career, but while he's at fault, they're still responsible. But yet, if Loughner listened to the eliminationist rhetoric of Palin, O'Reilly, Beck, et al, then while he's still at fault, they're NOT responsible?

I must admit that I was hoping to duck this seeming contradiction behind the blinds of time and distance. However, I received a letter from the Hobgoblin Society of America just yesterday, pointing out this apparent discrepancy. And, given that I don't want any more enmity between myself and the Hobgoblin-American community after the last time (for which I am still very sorry, by the way) I thought it wise to publicly ruminate on the matter.

You know what the big difference between the two levels of responsibility in these two cases is? That would be Cheerleading, my friends. Cheerleading.

There is, to date, no evidence that Mr. Loughner was a FOX News devotee. I don't have to hand any proof that he was into Palin, or saw that graphic with the targets. I'm similarly evidence-negative on Beck, Orielly, Limbaugh, and the like.

But even if it turns out that he was a fan -- and let's say he was a gibbering, buy everything, parrot even more fanatic -- we have to ask one question: did any of those people tell him he was right and correct to shoot a Congresswoman?

No, they did not. And I'm pretty sure that, if he'd written to them and said "hey, guess what I want to do," they'd have dissuaded him from doing so, and possibly even turned his correspondence over to the authorities. And if he'd gone on the web and stated his intentions, I bet they would have shuddered in fear and done their best to distance themselves from his homicidal plans.

Because, for all their stupidity, prejudice, and other various and sundry problems that act to separate them from wonderful people like thee and me, I remain convinced that Palin, Beck, OReilly, Limbaugh, and those folks are not monsters who want Lefties dead. They'd just rather we shut the hell up and moved away, somewhere, so they could get on with the business of running America their way. That it would run America into the ground is one of the many reasons I stick around and keep my mouth open... But I digress, as I am wont to do.

Now, let's contrast that with Lakin. Lakin shot to prominence after he taped a rather ill-considered video saying that he was going to disobey his order to deploy because President Obama had failed to prove (to Lakin's standards, anyway) that he was a Natural Born Citizen, and therefore eligible to be the Commander In Chief.

And what happened then? You guessed it. He became a Birther cause celebre. The Birther cognoscenti went "atta boy" and cheered him on. They called him an American hero. They called his detractors rude things. They rooted for him, and talked him up, and encouraged him to stay that mighty course, so that he might arrive in the safe harbor of truth, justice, and the American way.

That they have failed to help him after his failure to navigate his ship past the shark-infested reefs of the legal consequences of his actions is another matter, entirely. But I think we'd call that excessive and omnipresent cheerleading "abetting" if this was a court of law situation, wouldn't we?

Yes, I think we could.

So there, my friends, is the difference between the two subjects. In one case, the "encouragers" had no direct contact with the person who did the crime, and certainly did not cheer him on in his goals. In the other, they did, and they did. And that's why the Birthers have a special responsibility in the Lakin matter, whereas the FOXies do not in the Loughner matter.

I hope that clarifies matters up for my Hobgobliny friends.


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