During a discussion with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir about the GOP’s rising disrespect for President Barack Obama, the Rev. Jesse Jackson veered away from politics to a grim warning that the fiery rhetoric could incite a shooting at the White House. What?
Bashir rattled off a laundry list of Republican bad behavior, from Arizona governor Jan Brewer pointing at the President to Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “you lie!” to Newt Gingrich using the term “food stamp president.” “Why do Republicans think this is acceptable behavior in public?” Bashir asked
“Demonizing the President is both morally wrong and dangerous,” Jackson began, citing “the continued demonization and then somebody shoots an AK-47 in the White House … to demonize him and demonize the poor is unacceptable.” Noting that there wasn’t much of an explanation here, Bashir pressed on, asking whether Jackson was predicting “some sort of terrible outcome.” “Ignorance and hatred and violence is in a certain pattern,” Jackson continued, citing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and noting that “George Wallace never hit anybody.”
Jackson is right to be concerned about the president’s safety, but in this forum he appears to be inciting fear and loathing. Perhaps he should put on his reverend’s hat and encourage lawmakers to tamp down the rhetoric.
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