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Megan McArdle at the Atlantic:

…Using the political system to stomp on radicalized fringes does not seem to be very effective in getting them to eschew violence.  In fact, it seems to be a very good way of getting more violence.  Possibly because those fringes have often turned to violence precisely because they feel that the political process has been closed off to them…

Athenae at First Draft responds (this is one of those writers and one of those times):

…Lady, are you smoking crack? Are you smoking crack while sitting in a cloud of crack-smoke wearing a T-shirt that says I HEART CRACK while waiting for your crackhead boyfriend to come home with more crack that you sent him out to get so that you’d have some crack when you were done with the crack you’re smoking now? Seriously? Because last I checked, “not being able to convince somebody else that you’re not a fucking lunatic and that your ideas about everything should be adopted by everybody” doesn’t qualify as “the political process has been closed off” to you. That’s not how this works, that’s not how this has ever worked, and to coddle domestic terrorists by saying they were just pushed to it because they weren’t handed everything they ever wanted is … special. Some kind of special. Some kind of something, that’s for sure. What the fuck, today? It’s like all the stupid were set free from their stupid-farm for some kind of idiot rumspringa of 24 hours.

For eight fucking years anybody to the left of Pinochet had to kick back and watch while sensible centrists and the Coalition of the Involuntarily Committable got together and raped the country and fucked up the whole world. For eight fucking years we were told that marching in the streets with giant puppets was the most horrific form of treason imaginable, was demoralizing our troops and hurting the debate and making the baby Pope Benedict cry. Not once did I ever in that time hear Megan McArdle or any of her other sensible friends discuss how maybe, just maybe, President Bush and his administration had PUSHED us to the edge, where we HAD to make those puppets because we felt the political process was closed to us.

No, back then it was “elections have consequences” and “you lost” and “look upon my works, ye mighty, and fuck off,” and anytime anybody had the temerity to say, “erm, dude, if you don’t mind I’ll be over here with this sign on a stick” they might as well have been plotting to shoe-bomb Air Force One the way the whiners in the nuttersphere howled and shrieked. There was none of this, “you just don’t know how hard it is to be on the losing end of everything including your soul” back then. Just them, partying with Free Republic on the White House lawn, waving their big foam fingers in our faces going “nyah nyah nyah.”

Now that they’re out of power, natch, what choice do they have but to go shoot up church lobbies in the hopes of bagging abortion doctors for their trophy wall of American apostates? Really, what else could they do? It’s not like they could vote, or convince other people to listen to them, or organize, or do any of the damn things I feel like we’ve been doing since before there was dirt in order to get a not-entirely-crazy in-another-life-he’d-be-a-moderate-Republican dude finally elected so a third of the country could act like Satan just put his feet up on their mother’s white-clothed dinner table. It’s not like they could do anything else, right? They had to start shooting…

We. Are. Not. Worthy.

Hilzoy at Washington Monthly also responds to Megan McArdle:

…That is, in fact, the way I felt for much of those eight years. And I had a lot more excuse for feeling that the political process had been closed to me: after all, my candidate for President actually won the election in 2000, for all the good it did him. And yet, somehow, I managed not to kill anyone. Funny thing, that.

We are not worthy.