A View From the Cheap Seats

May 9, 2010

Hate Speech Just Ain’t What It Used To Be

Filed under: Illinois,Politics — trzupek @ 7:00 pm


By Rich Trzupek

Sometimes those anti-government protesters go too far. Take this quote, for example, that was uttered in front of a frenzied crowd that roared their approval:

“They can run, but they can’t hide. We’re gonna be over there this afternoon, and we’re gonna find you. And if you try to leave town without doing your job, we’re gonna chase you. And when you come back home, we’ll be there.”

Surprising, isn’t it, that a quote like that didn’t get a lot of play in the mainstream media? That’s just the sort of inflammatory rhetoric that they are constantly accusing the right of spouting and the kind of sound bite that they desperately scour tea-party rallies in search of, almost entirely in vain. So why wasn’t this bit of anger called out by CNN, MSNBC and the like?

Perhaps it has something to do with who said it: Henry Bayer, director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union. Bayer and thousands of AFSCME members rallied in Springfield last week in order to urge lawmakers to – can you guess? – raise taxes.

Mind you, I don’t have an actual problem with what Bayer said. I rather have a problem with the double-standard that the mainstream media employs when it comes to rhetoric like this. Sarah Palin tells conservatives that it’s time to “reload” and the paranoid left, with the full cooperation of their pals in the MSM, decides that the ex-Alaskan governor was issuing a call to arms, when it should be patently obvious to anyone with an IQ above fifty that Palin was talking about political battles, not those involving firearms.

Bayer promised legislators that “we’re going to chase you” and “we’re going to find you,” which – if taken literally – sounds pretty darned ominous. Imagine if someone from the right had employed the same words with regards to Nancy Pelosi or president Obama. The left would be hysterical, certain that violence was nigh.

Surely, Illinois legislators don’t have to worry about their safety following Bayer’s angry words. For one thing, Bayer and his followers are Democrats and are therefore both afraid of guns and also unlikely to expend the energy necessary to chase somebody, particularly if doing so might cause them to miss an episode of “Two and a Half Men.” Still, the blatant hypocrisy of the mainstream media is a sight to behold, ain’t it?

The rally itself was remarkable in its own right. One can only assume that AFSCME members and Bayer have been living in a cave for the last year. Illinois is bleeding jobs and red ink and their self-serving solution is a tax hike? What planet do these people come from? Not only do state legislators know that they will get their butts booted out of office so fast that their shoes wouldn’t catch up for two weeks if they approved a tax hike, the mood of the people – who have been taxed dry – is plain to see.

Illinois doesn’t need more cash, it needs to manage the cash it has like responsible adults. Don’t take my word for it. Instead, consider the words of a Democrat: state senator Jack Franks who said this in a letter published in the Chicago Tribune:

“Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. State revenue this year is at the third-highest level in the history of Illinois. We have more money than we had in 2007… Those who see an income tax increase as the only solution do not understand the problem… We have to shrink the size of government through better accounting and restrained spending.”

Let’s be clear on this, since experience has shown that some of the Cheap Seats’ more liberal readers can be a little slow on the uptake. Illinois doesn’t have a revenue problem. When you compare state revenues in 2010 to revenues in 2000, you will find that the state takes in fifty per cent more bucks into its coffers today than it did a decade ago. The reason – the only reason – that this state is massively in debt, can’t pay its bills and borrows like mad to make up for ever-increasing shortfalls is out of control spending that is entirely the responsibility of the Democrats who have been in sole control of state government for the majority of the decade.

Kudos to Franks, who said what needed to be said. He is something of an exception among Dems – a guy who doesn’t mindlessly toe the party line, a la senator Mike Noland. Franks called out Blago over questionable state purchasing practices long before it was fashionable to do so and he spoke to the truth when it comes to spending. In certain circles, Franks has the reputation of being something of a gadfly. I don’t know the man, so I’m not qualified to comment, but it doesn’t really matter. If more Illinois Dems were willing to call out the obvious failings of their leadership, instead of mindlessly following the commands of “Chicago First” politicians like Mike Madigan, Prairie State conservatives like me would have a whole lot less to complain about.


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