Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Are All Presidential Assassins "Liberals"?

Ann Coulter, in her latest attempt to cash in on her hate mongering inanity, claims that most presidential assassins are liberals or communists. In a recent interview with CBS's Harry Smith, Coulter said:

...every presidential assassin -- or attempted presidential assassin in the history of the nation has either been a liberal, a communist, an anarchist, someone on the left, or there were two who had no politics whatsoever unless you count John Hinckley, who is certifiably insane.

Really now? Why do I have the feeling that Ann has pulled this factoid out of her anorexic, boney ass? On the surface, it sounds like she may have a point, after all, the most famous presidential assassin in recent memory was a communist (Lee Harvey Oswald), and anarchist Leon Czolgosz was President McKinley's assassin (how many people even know that guy's name?). But is Ann right when she says that every last assassin and attempted assassin was "a liberal, a communist, an anarchist", excluding John Hinckley, who gets off because he was insane?

Let's do a little fact-checking here...

The first and most famous presidential assassin effectively makes Coulter wrong. John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln's assassin) was a Pro-confederate, very conservative Episcopal, who was a member of the "Know-nothing party", which was an extremist religious conservative group whose platform would be familiar with many conservatives and republicans today. Here is a brief sample of what the party stood for:

  • Severe limits on immigration, especially from Catholic countries
  • Restricting political office to native-born Americans
  • Mandating a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship
  • Restricting public school teachers to Protestants
  • Mandating daily Bible readings in public schools
  • Restricting the sale of liquor

To call Booth a liberal is not just absurd, there is no way anyone can support such a notion, given the man's history. This one assassin, clearly the most famous in U.S. history, is plenty to demolish Coulter's notion. But I'm never satisfied with such a quick disposal of a conservative's idiotic ramblings, so if you will, let me rub it in a few times to make it even more dramatic a disposal.

Charles J. Guiteau (James Garfield's assassin) described himself as a Theocrat and was member of a strange Christian cult called "The Oneida Community". He Supported the Republican party, and President Grant's election, so technically, that makes him a conservative. He was arguably insane, and Believed that God ordered him to assassinate Garfield for being ungrateful for his work in helping him get elected.

Leon Czolgosz (William McKinley's assassin) was definitely an Anarchist. Well, here's one point for Coulter!

Lee Harvey Oswald (John F. Kennedy's assassin) was definitely a Communist. No Doubt about it. He actually defected to the former Soviet Union, lived there for a while, and then came back to live in the USA, where he became well known as a fierce supporter of Cuba.

There are a string of assassins and failed assassins whose names are largely unfamiliar to us, and likely to Coulter (mostly because she is a lazy researcher), because they either tried to assassinate presidents who are not well known to modern Americans, or who were not as popular or notable as Lincoln or Kenendy. Their names are all recorded in history, and you can easily find out about them. Ann Coulter apparently didn't even do the 5 minutes of research it takes to find them all, which is the most common problem for pundits like Coulter.

Richard Lawrence (attempted assassin of Andrew Jackson) was a British immigrant who believed that he was the King of England. He blamed Andrew Jackson for allegedly witholding money from him that was owed, which would allow him to realize his place as the rightful heir to the throne of England. He was certifiably insane.

Giuseppe Zangara (Attempted assassin of Franklyn Roosevelt) was an Italian immigrant who suffered from a variety of painful illnesses. He believed that Roosevelt was responsible for his medical pain. So he goes in the "Insane" category.

Griselio Torresola & Oscar Collazo (attempted assassins of Harry Truman) were Puerto Rican Nationalists. As political movements go, The Puerto Rican Nationalists were anti-communist, and their flag had a variation of a cross on it, so they don't fit into any of the molds that Coulter suggests (anarchists, communists, liberals). Reality gains another point against Coutler.

Arthur Bremer (attempted assassin of Richard Nixon)This guy was definitely Insane, and said that his attempted assassination of Nixon was supposed to impress a girl who dumped him.

Samuel Joseph Byck (attempted assassin of Richard Nixon) was insane.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (attempted assassin of Gerald Ford) was Insane, a member of the bizarre Charles Manson's "family", a religious cult, which preached an apocalyptic message. I don't know if that makes them automatically conservative, so we'll just put this in the "insane" category. Anyone who has seen Charles Manson being interviewed knows that he's insane.

Sara Jane Moore (attempted assassin of Gerald Ford) was a Communist, or at least a leftist, as she stated that her reason for trying to assassinate Ford was mainly because of Nixon and his "war against the left". So I guess Coulter gets another point.

John Hinckley, Jr. (attempted assassin of Ronald Reagan) poses a serious problem. Though he was very much insane, and Coulter said we could leave him out because of it. Hinckley was actually well known to the Bush family! He Supported George H. Bush's run for president against Reagan, and his brother Scott Hinckley is a close personal friend of Neal Bush!. He may have been insane, but the ties, the political background, and more, all point to him being conservative. No wonder Coulter wanted to excuse him! He demolishes her idea, just like John Wilkes Booth does.

Another insane assassin was Frank Eugene Corder (attempted assassin of Bill Clinton), who smashed a stolen Cessna aircraft on the white house lawn in an attempt to kill Bill Clinton. He was a Former Viet Nam vet, honorably discharged from the military, but was insane and suicidal. His assassination attempt on Clinton happened, ironically, on September 11th, 1994.

Francisco Martin Duran (attempted assassin of Bill Clinton) was the Gun nut who was pissed off at the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, so he took an SKS semi-automatic weapon to the white house, and started rattling off shots from outside the fence. He was an avid listener of the conservative Talk Show Host Chuck Baker. Reality scores again against Coulter.

So there you go, Ann Coulter not just busted, but owned. Coulter claims that all presidential assassins are liberals, communists, or anarchists, but with about 5 minutes of work (trust me, it took less than a minute to find all of the presidential assasins in a list), it's easily proven to be just another dumb, unfounded assertion. This is because Coulter is not a journalist, but a propagandist. She likes to call herself a polemicist, but as the word is defined, she clearly fits more into the "contraversialist" or "sensationalist" definition, because all she really does is make the most deliberately contravercial opinion she can, because she just wants your attention.


Derry said...

I'm not a liberal myself, so I find it funny that someone uses a blanket term like liberal and attaches it to...U.S. presidential assassins? Were they right-liberal, left-liberal, laizer faire liberal, what Coulter? Which one were they Coulter? Oh nevermind...

David W. Irish said...

Good point! If a person is socially liberal, but fiscally conservative, are they liberal or conservative?

Punditry is not about reality, facts, or accuracy. It's all about emotional vitriol and persuasion --manipulation, really. This is why Coulter, and nearly all other pundits tend to have ov ersimplified categories that they fit people into. It's probably the only way they can make sense of their world, because having a detailed, nuanced, complex understanding of reality is too much for their twisted little minds.

Derry said...

Of course, liberal is a far more complext term than even that, and the term conservative means something very different in every society, so what exactly is Coulter saying by claiming an entire "group" of people are liberals? By the way, her and people like her fit into a category of neo-liberal anyway, so this anti-liberal stuff is silly.

PersonalFailure said...

you know, i met somebody the other day who honestly believed that coulter is like stephen colbert, an act designed to point out the absurdities of the ultraconservative movement.

when i told him that coulter was, as far as i know, serious, or at least not in the category of colbert who does drop the act for interviews, he was absolutely shocked.

i find it hard to believe that she actually believes that stuff, too. i just think she's crazy.

Derry said...

Well of course she doesn't believe any of this stuff! She's a sock jock and a media troll is all!

When someone debunks something she says, hopefully they are not targeting it at her. They should be targeting it at the people who really do believe what she says. There are people who eat this hooie up, take it as gospel, and act on it.

But does she believe in it? Nope.

David W. Irish said...

I think it's a little bit of both.

I believe that she will say anything -- make up junk as shocking as she can -- to get the attention of the media, so that she can get interviews on TV, and get lots of free publicity. She's a media whore.

Unfortunately, she used to date several well-known crazy conservative pundits, so I'm willing to bet that even though she consciously and deliberately makes up stuff, she really believes a certain amount of it -- she bases her hatred of liberals on a bunch of myths and ideological differences, and she sees her job as "a polemicist".

Unlike Michael Moore (another polemicist), however, she does not check facts, and build cases against her targets, but rather just tries to get away with as much as she can.

She is a liar, but she also trully believes in the goodness of what she's doing, and she loves the publicity.

Derry said...

She actually got around? But she's so ugly...

Micgar said...

What about Sirhan Sirhan-I don't think he would qualify as a liberal. And, Oswald may have identified with Communists but really, he was insane in my mind. If you want to look at the conspiracy thing-(I don't but some do)Oswald was possibly set up to look like a Communist and ...etc etc.
Ann Coulter-that name is a joke, isn't it-people buy her books for the humorous content-they're about as funny as the Onion anthologies at times.

David W. Irish said...

Oswald was not insane, he was just a loser and a fuck-up... except as a former Marine corps marksman... But then again, two of the shots missed... Or was it one...

Anonymous said...

Remember that oh so short, yet very quiet moment, when her jaw was supposedly wired shut?

Modemac said...

Wikipedia notes: "On May 10, 2005, Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live hand grenade toward a podium where [President George W.] Bush was speaking at Freedom Square in Tbilisi, Georgia. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili was seated nearby. It landed in the crowd about 65 feet (20 m) from the podium after hitting a girl, but it did not detonate. Arutyunian was arrested in July 2005, confessed, was convicted and was given a life sentence in January 2006."

No mention of his political affiliation is listed.

Bruce Majors said...

What a moron you are Dave. First you don't have the balls to provide a link to Ann's article so we can see what she said ourselves.

Second you discuss John Hinkley as someone she overlooked when she discusses him in the small quote of her article you provide.

Third you get your frilly panties in a bunch because she says your sister communists and liberals (S. Fromme, Bernadette Dohrn, Bill Ayers etc etc) are assassins and you want to say many conservatives were. But even in the teeny quote you provide, she says assassins include anarchists and the insane. So she calls the people you want to call conservatives, anarchists or insane.

If you could ever make an argument about anything without telling lies, or about anything that is not picayune, you would be the slack jawed drooling whore that all of you demwits are.

Chew your Obama turd cud and shut your stupid trap bitch.

David W. Irish said...

Bruce, You're either a retard, or you can't read. Oh, and you can't spell common English words...

But hey -- you did an EXCELLENT job of impersonating a brainless conservative who doesn't read or click links before barfing all over himself with his own ignorance. Great job, Bruce!

Aaron said...

The Oneida community was a pure communist movement. I suggest doing some research. John Wilkes Booth was a Democrat and angry that Lincoln had freed the slaves. He had strong southern sympathies.

Michael (Mike) Bogar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael (Mike) Bogar said...

Assassins, Moore, Coulter, Dave--evidence that dogmatic fundamentalism is found in all ideologies. Pick your dogmatic poison and then line up with the psycho polemicists who best serve your current ego-driven point of view. And both parties--stop presenting yourselves in such triumphalistic, pompous, self righteous tones! Really, does your political schmekel (facts) have to be bigger than theirs? Yeah, of course it does—nevermind.

David W. Irish said...

Aaron,you need to learn the difference between "democrat" & "Liberal", and "Republican" & "Conservative". What each party stands for has changed over time.

The Republican party, for example, used to be more liberal, and prior to the 1950's the differences in the the ideologies of each party was pretty arbitrary. The 1960's polarized the Democrats and Republicans in their current directions, and the early 80's made the Republican party purge itself of so-called moderates.

As for John Wilkes Booth, you should read up on him. He was a member of "The KNow-Nothing Party", which was not liberal all. In fact, their platform reads like a who's who of current Republican values.

David W. Irish said...

Mike Bogar, your point is moot. It has nothing to do with the fact that Coulter was full of crap. I know that all ideologies have poisoned members who polarize issues. What's your point?