Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The latest lame attempt to assign blame on the VT shootings from that paragon of virtue, Newt Gingrich:

GINGRICH: Yes, I think the fact is, if you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are, in fact, endowed by our creator, that our rights come from God, that if you kill somebody, you’re committing an act of evil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what does that have to do with liberalism?

GINGRICH: Well, who has created a situation ethics, essentially, zone of not being willing to talk about any of these things. Let me carry another example. I strongly supported Imus being dismissed, but I also think the very thing he was dismissed for, which is the use of language which is stunningly degrading of women — the fact, for example, that one of the Halloween costumes this last year was being able to be either a prostitute or a pimp at 10, 11, 12 years of age, buying a costume, and we don’t have any discussion about what’s happened to our culture because while we’re restricting political free speech under McCain-Feingold, we say it’s impossible to restrict vulgar and vicious and anti-human speech.


What an idiot. Does anyone actually know any liberals who is not willing to call mass murder wrong? I don’t know of any. This isn’t just a straw man, it’s a baldfaced lie. And does Gingrich not realize that over the last 15 years, as violent video games have become the norm, violent crime by teenagers has actually gone down almost every year? Of course, we also have the absurdity of Newt Gingrich lecturing anyone on moral virtue. I suppose next he’s going to blame liberalism for the culture of permissiveness that led him to dump his dying wife while she lay in the hospital and cheat on his next wife as well.

Comments

  1. #1 Chuck
    April 23, 2007

    I consider hypocrisy among the most cynical and grevious of vices, and Newt Gingrich is among the vilest of hypocrites.

  2. #2 kehrsam
    April 23, 2007

    This sort of content-free analysis would work for any group. Just remove “Liberal” and insert whoever it is that needs to be demonized, no matter how implausible. What the hell does the proliferation of bad-taste Halloween costumes have to do with being Liberal? I thought Newt liked the free market?

    And where does Don Imus fit into the rant? While we’re at it, what does Don Imus think about the shooting, it would make at least as much sense as this mush. We already know what Imus thinks about the many, many progeny of the recently departed Don Ho.

  3. #3 Stuart Coleman
    April 23, 2007

    At first the media was listening to Jack Thompson, the anti-videogame asshole, but when they realized that the kid didn’t own any videogames and probably didn’t play any, they started to call him a tragedy-abusing asshole. I’m surprised the same didn’t happen immediately to Gingrich, but he’ll probably be blasted fairly soon (I’m sure there’s already a nice rant on Digg right now).

    I too love that statistic, that youth violence has been declining as everything that people say is wrong with our culture has been increasing. The sad thing is that no one bothers to look for the outcomes of their hypotheses, they just shout them loudly and forcefully and people believe them. Who cares about evidence when a proposed causal link makes you feel good?

  4. #4 daenku32
    April 23, 2007

    Does this mean Newt is going to finally hold Bush Admin responsible for 300,000 dead Iraqis?

  5. #5 MJ Memphis
    April 23, 2007

    I wonder what Newt thinks of recent reports that the shooter was bullied as a child by his Christian youth group?

  6. #6 NonyNony
    April 23, 2007

    Dear God – I’ve read more relevant and content-filled rants at Fark.com than that! Your average messageboard troll can rattle off a rant that is more coherent than that little spiel.

    And, really, if Gingrich wants to blame someone for 12 year olds buying inappropriate costumes, he should be pointing his finger at the parents of said children, not some fictitious “liberals”. We have a strong culture in this country of letting parents raise their own children (within the limits of child abuse, of course), and if Gingrich wants to start discussing state-imposed limits on how parents can raise their children, I’d like to see what he proposes. I don’t think I’d agree with it, but at least it would be a more honest discussion than blaming some fictitious “liberals” who are apparently buying other people’s children Halloween costumes and then forcing the kids to wear the things.

    I’d say Gingrich was losing it, but I’m beginning to think that he may have never had it to begin with.

  7. #7 decrepitoldfool
    April 23, 2007

    Oh, he’s still got it. Just look at the way they shine his apple on Faux News. He’s a big hero to the twisted-Right America crowd. As is Mr. “illegal-war” Ollie North and “hit me again” William Bennett.

  8. #8 Dave S.
    April 23, 2007

    So when did Conservatism become synonymous with belief in God and Liberalism well…the opposite?

    Now THAT’S framing.

  9. #9 Kristine
    April 23, 2007

    So, if you teach people that all the evils of the world, including natural disasters and diseases, are due to human sin, and that everyone deserves to go to hell because we’re all sinners, except those who accept Christ, and after doing so, the “saved” can do anything they want (like dump your dying wife and cheat on your next one) and still be saved – that will prevent people from sinning and killing off their schoolmates? Got it.

  10. #10 Sadie Morrison
    April 23, 2007

    Let’s be honest. Did we really expect anything more out of Newt?

  11. #11 Wonders for Oyarsa
    April 23, 2007

    Ed, I expect a written apology from you here. All those innocent victims at VT – how dare you do such a thing. Repent of your liberalism, vote for McCain in the next election, donate some money to the AFA, and maybe the nation will forgive you for killing those kids…

  12. #12 Alejandro
    April 23, 2007

    At least it’s not as nutty as the AFA:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9uNtvFSxYM

    Dear God,
    How come school shootings?

    Dear Student,
    I’m not allowed in schools.

  13. #13 ctw
    April 23, 2007

    to channel Bob Somerby (dailyhowler.com): the problem isn’t Gingrich – any sentient human knows he’s an integrity-free zone. it’s Stephanopolous and his cohort for passively accepting the dross oozing from his ilk – and for even inviting them onto the babble shows in the first place, thereby affording them a totally undeserved aura of respectability.

    (and to be fair, IMO within that corrupt cohort, GS is better than most.)

    -charles

  14. #14 llewelly
    April 23, 2007

    Alejandro, are you saying the AFA believes God will continue to shoot college students until he is allowed in schools?

  15. #15 Alejandro
    April 23, 2007

    llewelly, it seems that is so. We’d better let God into those schools or more kids will die. Don’t piss God off, he will bust a cap in your ass.

  16. #16 Wonders for Oyarsa
    April 23, 2007

    llewelly, it seems that is so. We’d better let God into those schools or more kids will die. Don’t piss God off, he will bust a cap in your ass.

    *rolls eyes*

    That’s certainly ONE interpretation of it, I suppose.

  17. #17 Raging Bee
    April 23, 2007

    …the fact, for example, that one of the Halloween costumes this last year was being able to be either a prostitute or a pimp at 10, 11, 12 years of age, buying a costume…

    I notice Newt doesn’t complain about the moral degradation caused/evidenced by people wearing Caesar or Napoleon costumes, despite the atrocities such rulers committed…nor does he mention ghost costumes, psycho-killer costumes, military costumes…

  18. #18 Wonders for Oyarsa
    April 23, 2007

    I notice Newt doesn’t complain about the moral degradation caused/evidenced by people wearing Caesar or Napoleon costumes, despite the atrocities such rulers committed…nor does he mention ghost costumes, psycho-killer costumes, military costumes…

    You aren’t about to employ the infamous argument from hypocrisy, are you? This is one of the most effective fallacies of our day.

  19. #19 Wonders for Oyarsa
    April 23, 2007

    Sorry folks – I’m getting a bit sassy here. I need a ten minute delay period between when I write and when it sends the post.

  20. #20 Sastra
    April 23, 2007

    What seems particularly bizarre about this silly rant against liberalism as motivation for murder is that in this particular instance, the school killer is claiming to have been provoked by the materialistic hedonism around him. You could make a much better case that it was this background of pissing and moaning about vulgar modern liberal culture which was used to justify the slaughter.

  21. #21 Mark
    April 23, 2007

    That whole halloween costume thing was a joke, by the way. A catalog featured a boy wearing a zoot suit and a girl in a flapper girl costume. Some guy hacked into their website, changed the captions, and moral panic ensued.

  22. #22 kemibe
    April 23, 2007

    “GINGRICH: Yes, I think the fact is, if you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years of age…”

    I wonder what he reckons the 9-, 11-, 12-, and 13-year-olds are up to. Do they go to radical atheist camp between forced bouts of violent video-game indoctrination or something?

    It’s really sad that in this day and age a proven moral cripple can blither and blather about morals being “God-given” and not only not be laughed at or punched in the face, but taken seriously. If I were to see footage of some purse-lipped bumpkin nodding his or her head while Newt is droning on about God or liberals or anything else, I would be horrified and wanting to shoot myself with the hugest available firearm at least six times.

  23. #23 Dono
    April 23, 2007

    Dear God,
    How come school shootings?
    Yours,
    Student

    Dear Student,
    I’m not allowed in schools.
    Best,
    God

    Dear God,
    I thought you were omnipotent and omnipresent and whatnot.
    Student

    Dear Student,
    Yes, until the Dobsons and the Falwells of the world need to use me to make a point. Then I’m just a sad ineffective little deity.
    G

  24. #24 Ed Darrell
    April 23, 2007

    Gingrich said what?

    Well, who has created a situation ethics, essentially, zone of not being willing to talk about any of these things. Let me carry another example. I strongly supported Imus being dismissed, but I also think the very thing he was dismissed for, which is the use of language which is stunningly degrading of women — the fact, for example, that one of the Halloween costumes this last year was being able to be either a prostitute or a pimp at 10, 11, 12 years of age, buying a costume, and we don’t have any discussion about what’s happened to our culture because while we’re restricting political free speech under McCain-Feingold, we say it’s impossible to restrict vulgar and vicious and anti-human speech.

    Who argues for situational ethics? Conservatives, especially businessmen who think profit-makers shouldn’t beheld responsible for sucking the guts (literally) out of a 7-year-old girl when they do it (that was John Edwards’ big case; Edwards convinced a jury it was wrong and the conservatives haven’t stopped howling). Not willing to talk about those things? You mean, like the “just say no to sex” campaign which allows, in fact, celebrates, programs that lie to kids about the effectiveness of condoms in preventing disease?

    Newt, Newt, Newt. You’re forgetting when to lie and when to tell the truth.

    Who promotes language degrading to women? Well, have you looked at the businesses that profit from it? Businesses aren’t generally known as being liberal organizations, and I think that accurately describes the parent corporations of ABC, NBC and CBS, not to mention CNN — and remember, Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who features bare-breasted women on page 2 of his newspapers in other countries. Clear Channel didn’t cut Howard Stern loose until the big, nasty, over-regulating liberals in government fined ‘em (never mind for the moment that it was a conservative-majority FCC; when they use the “liberal” tools of government, they’re liberals to Gingrich).

    And which liberals were behind the importing, distributing and sale of those Halloween costumes?

    We’re not saying it’s impossible to restrict vulgar speech; it’s just that Goering’s methods are usually not those I’d choose, nor any other liberal. We prefer to compete in a free market of ideas.

    But it’s tough to compete when the conservatives block the methods of making it a fair playing field. If you check to see who yelled most at any effort to clamp down on real vulgarity — racist speech, sexist speech, agist speech, denigrating speech — you’ll usually find a commercial interest claiming the right to do it.

    Of course, Newt fails to mention Tom Joyner. Ever wonder why?

    Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s remember Newt is the guy who tried to get rid of Big Bird, the other critters and humans of Sesame Street, and the rest of PBS. It makes my blood boil when I think about it: PBS is one of the greatest success stories in government, especially in children’s television. In children’s television there is no commercial equivalent to Big Bird, nor is there likely to be, though the sales figures and international reach of the Children’s Television Workshop indicates it would be a good, clean, moral, uplifting idea.

    No, Newt wants to keep kids from getting the good stuff, when the panderers pay him. How many pieces of silver did Newt take — anybody got a count?

  25. #25 jufulu
    April 23, 2007

    I guess that jumping the shark is addictive. He just connot stop himself.

  26. #26 doctorgoo
    April 23, 2007

    Dono, GREAT addition… so very true!

    Here’s my take on this exchange:

    Dear God,

    How come school shootings?
    Yours,
    Student

    Dear Student,
    I’m not allowed in schools.
    Best,
    God

    I know plenty of people who fully believe this exchange is 100% correct. The problem is that it’s a complete lie. (And also quite ironic that God is the one saying the lie in this exchange.)

    The problem is that there is absolutely NO law here in America that prevents God, reading the Bible, or praying in public schools. The laws basically say that religious activity cannot be made mandatory, and must be done in certain, appropriate ways (eg. not disruptful to learning activities).

    So if a kid wants to pray before lunch or read the Bible between classes, he most certainly is allowed to do so. There just cannot be any organized religious activity that is coercive towards non-Christians.

    Here is the classic letter in WorldNutDaily from an Evangelical Christian who found out the hard way that separation of church and state is a GOOD thing:
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46828

  27. #27 Bob Carroll
    April 23, 2007

    Thanks, drgoo, for clarifying that! God is a ***** liar.

    Bob

  28. #28 Dan McCausland
    April 23, 2007

    Can’t we just set Newt adrift on an ice floe?

  29. #29 Bruce
    April 24, 2007

    Dear God,
    How come school shootings?
    Yours,
    Student

    Dear Student,
    I’m not allowed in schools.
    Best,
    God

    Dear God,
    Hey? I’m praying to you from school now and the teachers aren’t stopping me? Are you lying?
    Yours,
    Student

    Dear Student,
    Yeah I am. If the AFA says it, then I’ll back it. I just don’t wanna piss those people off! Some of them bomb abortion clinics!
    Best,
    God

  30. #30 Bruce
    April 24, 2007

    Incidentally, we must be on the same page or something Ed. Ham on Irwin, Ham on VT (thanks to you) and now Newt.

    I hope this is as obvious the the general public, especially these people’s medieval intentions for public schooling.

  31. #31 Seth
    April 24, 2007

    I personally have to agree with Newt on this one, mainly because of extremists in the liberal party, like Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan (SP?), the ACLU, etc. which tarnish the name of all liberals (not that conservatives don’t have nut-jobs either, look at people like Ann Coulter). I know for a fact that the ACLU tries to do whatever it can do get even the slightest occurrence of Church and State being together (which I believe meant more of, Church does not rule the GOV and vice versa, not that the slightest reference of either being involved at the same time (EX. 10 commandments in courtroom, don’t we have laws similar to several anyway… don’t steal, don’t murder, no false witness, etc) is absolutely unacceptable as it seems to be used today. I’m not saying that the shootings are anyone’s fault, but I do believe that some individuals and groups can do things that eventually cause actions such as these. Just my $.02

  32. #32 Greta Christina
    April 24, 2007

    “What the hell does the proliferation of bad-taste Halloween costumes have to do with being Liberal? I thought Newt liked the free market?”

    Damn skippy, kehrsam. That’s exactly what I was going to say. Raunchy Halloween costumes, violent video games, snickering sex jokes on television, sex and violence in rap music, all the rest of the Bad Liberal Culture Destroying America that the right goes on about? They’re a direct result of the free market — the same free market that the right creams in its jeans over.

  33. #33 Heleen
    April 24, 2007

    That Newt might use English but not a coherent word. Does anyone really have any idea what he perhaps might intend to argue?

  34. #34 Godless McHeathenpants
    April 24, 2007

    Heleen> Libruls bad. Libruls make bad man go bang bang. Libruls hate Gawd and ‘Merka. Vote Republican and ignore the fact we are corrupt shysters who are turning this country into a third world anti-science oligarchy.

    Seth>Cindy Sheehan lost a son to an unsupportable war started on false pretenses. She’s a little strident, cut her some slack. ACLU extremists with an agenda to eliminate god in the public forum? Are you FN kidding me? The ACLU would represent your kid if his/her school said they couldn’t pray or read the bible during their lunch break. They do good work and they watch out for rights abuses, not push a secular agenda. And many of our laws are similar to those found in the Q’uran (sp?). Should we have some of those posted there too? And don’t give me that “we’re a christian nation.” We’re a secular nation populated mostly by christians. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig Difference.

    Any one who still thinks Newt still has any moral or ethical standing watches Fox News, and so is lost to reason, anyway.

  35. #35 Gretchen
    April 24, 2007

    kehrsam and Greta Christina, unless the people you’re talking about are trying to get raunchy Halloween costumes/sex jokes/violent video games/rap music banned (and I know some of them are), “It’s the free market, I thought you supported that” isn’t an argument. A supporter of the free market is no more obliged to approve of everything being marketed than a supporter of free speech is to approve of everything being said. Culture wars aren’t all about what should be legal or illegal.

    (I just say this because it chaps my hide whenever I criticize something being said and get countered with “But I thought you supported free speech” as if I had advocated outlawing it, and the same seems to apply here)

  36. #36 MJ Memphis
    April 24, 2007

    “we have laws similar to several anyway… don’t steal, don’t murder, no false witness”

    Well, if you add prohibitions on sexual misconduct and excessive use of mind-altering substances, you would have the basic Five Precepts of Buddhism, which fall under one part of the Eightfold Path. So I guess you’d be ok with it if we post the Eightfold Path and Five Precepts in courts and schools, right? Because otherwise someone may just suspect you are trying to push your particular religion onto people, and we can’t have that.

  37. #37 kehrsam
    April 24, 2007

    Gretchen: The people we were talking about were Newt Gingrich, who specifically referenced the Haloween costumes as examples of liberalism run amok. My response was that Liberalism doesn’t create trash culture, market forces do, so Newt might wish to redirect his ire.

    I do hope the chap gets better.

  38. #38 Gretchen
    April 24, 2007

    kehrsam said:

    The people we were talking about were Newt Gingrich, who specifically referenced the Haloween costumes as examples of liberalism run amok. My response was that Liberalism doesn’t create trash culture, market forces do, so Newt might wish to redirect his ire.

    But liberalism is a market force. All cultural factors are also market forces if they contribute in any way toward influencing what people buy. You can say that liberalism is not what what causes people to want Halloween pimp costumes, but it doesn’t make sense to say that liberalism doesn’t play a role in the market.

  39. #39 Raging Bee
    April 24, 2007

    Seth: can’t you even TRY to make your (idiotic) point using coherent sentences? You write like a raving street-loony.

  40. #40 Ed Brayton
    April 24, 2007

    Seth wrote:

    I personally have to agree with Newt on this one, mainly because of extremists in the liberal party, like Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan (SP?), the ACLU, etc. which tarnish the name of all liberals (not that conservatives don’t have nut-jobs either, look at people like Ann Coulter). I know for a fact that the ACLU tries to do whatever it can do get even the slightest occurrence of Church and State being together (which I believe meant more of, Church does not rule the GOV and vice versa, not that the slightest reference of either being involved at the same time (EX. 10 commandments in courtroom, don’t we have laws similar to several anyway… don’t steal, don’t murder, no false witness, etc) is absolutely unacceptable as it seems to be used today. I’m not saying that the shootings are anyone’s fault, but I do believe that some individuals and groups can do things that eventually cause actions such as these. Just my $.02

    If you paid 2 cents for that screed, you were ripped off. You bitch about the ACLU’s positions on church and state as something that might “eventually cause” mass shootings but you don’t even attempt to make an argument for why. If you’re going to make a causal argument, providing a mechanism linking cause to effect is kind of important.