"The part that sickens me is that if lefties were getting SWATted, fringe right people would say the same kind of crap. We’ve reached the point where many don’t even see political opponents as people."
Many folks have talked about these issues for what they are; the badass nasty dangerous tactics of some pretty awful (and likely not quite sane) people, and in the case of Aaron especially, attacks on free speech. (To be honest, I've spent alot more time following and commenting about Aaron's situation because there was a clearly identified villan and the whole thing was much easier to understand. The rest is pretty speculative, with shadowy characters that all sound a little too Truther/Birther conspiratorial to get a handle on...)
For too many others though, the whole thing has become a convenient way to attack the left, which makes it that much harder for libs to stand up for free speech and no threats, SWATting, or lawfare for all. Anon--who writes in an awful familiar tone, btw--is just one example of the kind of attacks we on the left face when talking about this. Anytime folks try to talk about these attacks in a non-partisan way--or God / FSM / heaven forbid, actually say these are NOT left vs right, lib vs con issues--there is some pretty intense pushback, including from some of the more involved players (My most recent run-in was with Lee Stranahan, who jumped into a Twitter conversation stream between Liberty_chick and I, just to assert that we were wrong, and it IS a left vs right issue.)
Partisanship has it's place, but not when people are having armed units sent to their houses and having their free speech rights curtailed. Those who insist on making these attacks on (mostly) rightwing bloggers into examples of just what all eeeeevil commie-nihilist liberal leftists are like... ...Well, all I can say is, you may be helping your cause, but that cause isn't justice for the folks who've been SWATted or sued by these dangerous individuals. Far be it for some crazy lib like me to tell you what to do here... ...but if you're making this a referendum on liberals, instead of a war for free speech and safe congress for all of us, you really ought to rethink what you're doing, and why. (Don't listen to me if you suspect my motives or my sincerity are not up to your exacting standards; instead, listen to the many voices on your own side of the partisan fence preaching from the same gospel as I am. It ain't about left v right... It's about right v wrong.)
No one, no matter their politics, deserves to have the police sent to their house under false pretenses, period.
No one, no matter their politics, deserves to be threatened with acts of violence to themselves or their families, or acts of vandalism to their property, period.
No one, no matter their politics, deserves to be repeatedly dragged into court under false or frivolous pretenses in an effort to keep them quiet, period. (...though here, I blame the legal system almost as much as the serial litigants themselves. Anti-SLAPP laws and a more informed judiciary would go a long way, here.)
I don't think I could be any more clear as to where I stand, but if I was the slightest bit vague, I'll do what I can to clarify... (FWIW, I got SEK's initial comment, eventually... but it took several readings to figure out his meaning and intent in posting what he did. I have faith that his blog post will be far more clear.)
Posted 6/26/2012 @ 1:29 am PP blog time.