Labrador

Last Sunday Raul Labrador appeared as one of five panel members on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’   Three on the panel were Democrats: Reps Cleaver (D-MO), Grijalva (D-AZ), and Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL); the remaining two from the GOP, Reps Trent Franks(R-AZ) and Mr. Labrador (R-ID).  David Gregory billed them as ‘five of Rep. Giffords colleagues’ with the topic of conversation being the “vitriolic rhetoric” (using the words of Sheriff Dupnik in Tucson) and its contribution to violent behavior aimed at lawmakers.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik, a Democrat, continued.

Being a freshmen member of the House, I really doubted Mr. Labrador had yet met Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and as he pointed out he was the only one of the panel “who doesn’t know Rep. Giffords.”  Somewhat confused  I couldn’t quite grasp the point of his even being on the panel.  Then it struck me – his ‘tea party’ backing. And finally the conversation rolled around to just that.

GREGORY: Congressman Labrador, the–comment on that.  You’re a tea party candidate.  A lot of sentiment in the tea party is to be very concerned about some of the government policies pursued by this president. How do you see the discourse being in any way a contribution to some of the security threats that members of Congress can experience? Congressman Labrador, the–comment on that.  You’re a tea party candidate.  A lot of sentiment in the tea party is to be very concerned about some of the government policies pursued by this president. How do you see the discourse being in any way a contribution to some of the security threats that members of Congress can experience?

LABRADOR: We have to be careful not to blame one side or the other because both sides are guilty of this.  You have extremes on both sides. You have crazy people on both sides.  And I think what I have done in Idaho when we have some vitriol or maybe some political rhetoric that is going beyond the pale, your job as a leader is to talk to the people in a reasonable way, to have a rational conversation with, with the people in your district.  And I think that brings down the level of rhetoric quite a bit down.  So those are some of the things that we have to do.  But I just, I just need to–you know, the American people need to understand that during the Bush administration, we had a bunch of people on the left who were using the same kind of vitriol that some people on the right are using now against Obama So it’s, it’s not something that either party is guilty by themselves or either party is innocent of.  And we have to make sure that we, we take care of it.

This is someone whose political views I’d consider undoubtedly extremist merging into reactionary territory.  Someone nowhere near the domain of centrist or moderate.  Someone who enjoyed the political backing of a group whose very nature appears as the awkward epitome of that Sheriff Dupnik (Pima County, AZ) referenced when stating vitriol of the political atmosphere had reached the point of being expressed violently.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik, a Democrat, continued.

I have a difficult time understanding why the likes of Mr. Labrador is even in Washington.  How can you be ‘part’ (as a congressional representative) of the very government whose influence and impact you want to alleviate? How can you claim to be supportive of the Constitution of that very government?

An anti-government zealot, he backed bills which seek to reaffirm Idaho’s sovereignty from the federal government, to limit “Congress’ power under the commerce clause,” and to stop the federal government from enforcing gun laws.

Something early on in the conversation struck me as baffling and that irritated me greatly, something I couldn’t quite name until after viewing Sarah Palin’s latest taped message.  Prior to the actual airing of MTP, Rep. Labrador had relayed to David Gregory that his wife was “shaken” by the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords the day before.  If true – which I have no reason to doubt – I’m sure she was; many were.  However his point was lost on me in relaying this information.  Was it to garner sympathy, paint himself as a potential victim. Who the fuck is going to shoot Raul Labrador, I thought?

I don’t think this was about his wife’s concern. I think it’s about painting ‘the left’ as the perpetrator – again.  It’s along the very lines Sarah Palin pulls with her self-centeredness.  It wasn’t about  Gabrielle Giffords who talked last year about the threats she had received during the health care debate, whose Tucson’s office door was shattered by a bullet, and who reflected in an interview with MSNBC on the reactionary rhetoric freely flowing day-in, day-out that painted everyone from the president to local Democrats as a threat to ‘the republic’ – not to mention the 2nd Amendment.  It was during that same interview Rep. Giffords specifically brought up the map on Sarah Palin’s website of upcoming elections naming the representative to target.

Raul Labrador along with his reactionary views is the darling of the so-called ‘tea party.’   He’s one of their golden boys.  Anti-government, anti-woman, pro-gun.  Who’s going to target him?  Some disgruntled ‘socialist’ who voted for Obama irritated that  Guantanamo hasn’t closed yet?   Mr. Labrador can totter out the argument it’s “both sides.”  However, there is decidedly one side that predominates the conversation with venomous speech and perpetuates most of the threats against Democratic lawmakers and others.

A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.

I don’t know; I think it wise Mr. Labrador worry about his ‘own.’

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: