The far-right blogosophere has been whipping itself into a collective frenzy over the last few days doggedly detailing an epidemic of union violence that's supposedly marring rallies across the country. The hysteria seems to be driven by a deep-seated hatred for union members as well as the right-wing's weird, embedded desire to play the helpless victim. Like, all the time.
Go read David Weigel at Slate who did a nice job last week knocking down this silly meme that union violence is on the loose from coast to coast.
But for a visual example of what I'm talking about, take a look at this clip that was posted at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government. Keep in mind the Tea Party activist in the white shirt who seemed to seek out a face-to-face confrontation with a union member and who was then briefly shoved in the chest, keep in mind that the Tea Party activist in the clip then went to the “the hospital for x-rays and treatment for the injuries sustained,” according to the breathless Big Government report.
I'm not making this up.
Also, keep in mind that this was how the Tea Party activist described the encounter to a local reporter. I'm assuming this was before the activist realized the incident had been recorded since virtually nothing in the description matched up with what appeared on tape [emphasis added]:
“He bum rushed across the street, came right at us, swung his bullhorn at me, hit me in the hand and then put his hand around my throat and started choking me,” Rodney Stanhope of Placerville said.
Go watch the video again. Did you see any of that take place?
Look, would it be better if people kept their hands to themselves at these rallies and didn't use profanity? Of course. And were the police in the right to cite the union member for the shoving incident and then release him? Yes. Violence has no place in political debate.
But c'mon, this non-stop whining from the right, and the hysterical reporting about poor Tea Party victims being “forced” to visit hospitals for x-ray and “injuries sustained” from split-second encounters like the one above are just dopey and they only add to the perception of a bullying right-wing political movement that cannot, or will not, take responsibility for its actions.