Sunday, May 01, 2011

The New Tone: California Democratic Party Chairman Urges Jerry Brown to Shoot Republicans

Imagine my surprise to discover there are actually some Republicans left in California.
John Burton, the state Democratic Party chairman, came under fire Friday for suggesting Gov. Jerry Brown "try shooting" a Republican to persuade them to vote for taxes.

In an interview with Bay Area News Group this week, Burton said Brown "can try shooting somebody and tell the next guy, 'You don't want that to happen to you, you better step up and vote.' "... What's Jerry going to do unless he took out a gun?"

The comment, made on the eve of the state party's convention kickoff, went over the line, said Mark Standriff, communications director for the state GOP.

"Is it open season on (Republicans) now?" Standriff wrote in a Twitter message.

"Having a salty reputation is no excuse for poor judgment," Standriff later said in an interview. "I'd ask him for an apology, but frankly all I'd expect in return was a well-directed expletive."

The California GOP, Standriff added, is making it "our mission to travel the state with open and civil discourse and we'd hope we'd get the same from the other side. To have this happen doesn't seem to be advancing civil discourse."

Conservative radio talk show host Eric Hogue asked in his own Twitter message: "Is this rhetoric unbecoming of a party chair?"

Sensitivity over violence-laden political remarks has come under scrutiny since the assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, that some believe was incited by heated political rhetoric.
Paul Krugman was unavailable for comment.

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