Questions for Alex Seitz-Wald and ThinkProgress

Friday, January 21st, 2011

USA Today reports:

Police have seized a Boston-area comic book dealer’s arsenal and suspended his gun license over a blog post that suggested other members of Congress and their aides should be targeted in the wake of the shooting of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In a post titled “1 down, 534 to go,” Travis Corcoran of Arlington, Mass., wrote: “It is absolutely, absolutelyunacceptable to shoot ‘indiscriminately’. Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.” The blog,TJICistan, is no longer accessible, but affiliates have emerged.

“We certainly take this as a credible threat, and credible until we prove otherwise,” said Arlington Police Capt. Robert Bongiorno. Officers confiscated a “large amount” of weapons and ammunition, he said, without offering specifics. A source told WBZ-TV 11 guns were taken.

Corcoran, 39, who runs the online comic site HeavyInk and calls himself an “anarcho-capitalist,” has not been arrested or charged with any crime. Local and federal authorities are investigating.

I don’t know how specific his threats became. Personally, I don’t think what Corcoran wrote above should be criminal, but it’s certainly stupid, ill-advised and, frankly, immoral.

Corcoran calls himself an anarcho-capitalist. Which is fine I guess. I’ll leave it to anarcho-capitalists to figure out if they want him. But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.

That said, someone under the handle “TJIC” has posted comments here numerous times. I vaguely remember deleting some comments under that handle in months past, and I know I ultimately banned the user “TJIC” last month after an inflammatory comment he made to this post. (I deleted that comment, too, although you can see it referenced by someone else in the thread.)

But I will say this case is illustrative of the dangers of trying to draw connections from idiots like Corcoran to the people they read, follow, or claim as an influence. Cue this post about Corcoran by Alex Seitz-Wald at the lefty site ThinkProgress. I obviously join Seitz-Wald in condemning Corcoran’s stupidity. But Seitz-Wald goes further. He also notes that on his Twitter account, Corcoran once re-tweeted another Twitter user’s comment about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and civil liberties.

He also appears to be a fan of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), re-tweeting a positive message about him in May: “Lefties: Before you start fringe-baiting Rand Paul, note that he’s better on civil liberties than most Democratic senators. And Obama.”

As it turns out, I’m the one who wrote that original tweet. It was a reference to Paul’s positions on the drug war, torture, indefinite detention, and a number of other issues–issues where Paul at the time was closer to leftists like those who work at ThinkProgress than Obama was. (Unfortunately, Paul has since walked back or abandoned his libertarian inclinations on many of those issues.)

So I’ll ask Seitz-Wald straight up: What exactly was your point in including that retweet in your post about Corcoran? Do you believe my praise of Paul for what I thought at the time were admirable positions on civil liberties was “dangerous rhetoric”? Do you think the positions I take on civil liberties are extremist, and prone to incite people to assassinate politicians? Do you think I should stop writing about and documenting government abuses of civil liberties, lest like Corcoran get angry and commit an act of violence? Do you hold me personally responsible for the fact that Corcoran followed my Twitter feed, once reposted something I wrote, then later called for the assassination of elected officials?

If your answer to all of those questions is no (and Jesus, I would hope it is), then I don’t see how to interpret your mention of Corcoran’s retweet as anything other than a cheap, partisan, and groundless attempt to link an idiot who endorses political assassinations to a prominent Republican politician.

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79 Responses to “Questions for Alex Seitz-Wald and ThinkProgress”

  1. #1 |  M. Steve | 

    I’m sure you know this Radley, but it bears repeating: Libertarian politics is grounded in actual philosophy. The very fact that we *have* fundamental principles is what separates us from both the American neo-left and neo-right. Both of those sides are basically playing a game, the game of political power, and hackery is just one of their many, many tools. You cannot attack either side for lapses in logic, because neither side has a philosophy that can be logically described, and neither side uses logic as a political tool. They are both power-seeking ideologies, and like all power-seekers, power is the end, and any and all means are fair game.

    The sad and bitter irony is that we Libertarians may never be able to keep up with the neo-left and neo-right, precisely because we *do not* seek power, we seek anti-power, and anti-power just does not present the kind of self-interested motivation that drives the people at places like ThinkProgress, Balloon Juice, et al.

  2. #2 |  claude | 

    “1 down, 534 to go,” Travis Corcoran of Arlington, Mass., wrote: “It is absolutely, absolutely unacceptable to shoot ‘indiscriminately’. Target only politicians and their staff, and leave regular citizens alone.”

    Not exactly the brightest bulb in the lamp.

  3. #3 |  sebastian | 

    “Guilty until proven otherwise”.

  4. #4 |  Gordon | 

    I think Seitz-Wald is just continuing the narrative (these “anti-government” types are dangerous!) by throwing some more mud against the wall and hoping that some of it, somewhere will stick.

    M. Steve is right on the money, IMHO. There are pretty much just two scripts; one for the party in power and one for the party out of power. They just swap scripts as necessary.

    The talking points in the scripts are held together by sophistry, flim-flam, emotional arguing, sneering, histrionics, vitriolic ad hominum, and concerted efforts to de-legitimize alternate narratives.

    We have a long campaign ahead of us…

  5. #5 |  Alex Seitz-Wald (of headline fame) | 

    The answer is most certainly ‘no’ to all of those questions as the post had absolutely nothing to do with you. I do think Paul has been better on civil liberties than most Republicans, and support strong protections of civil liberties myself.

    The point of mentioning the Paul retweet, along with the other tweets, was simply an attempt to try to understand this man’s political beliefs, as his motives were clearly political and “anarcho-capitalism” doesn’t really mean anything to me or most people. He wrote a post explaining his beliefs, but it was taken down with the rest of blog, so I had to rely on fragments and bits and pieces from the rest of his digital life. There’s nothing at all wrong with your tweet or the fact that he retweeted it, but it simply suggested that he supports Paul — something that helps us understand his beliefs. I by no means hold all libertarians responsible for the actions of one whackjob, but was simply exploring his beliefs to try to understand that whackjob. Hope that answers your questions, thanks for reading!

  6. #6 |  Andrew S. | 

    I think you got it in that last paragraph, Radley. From reading the article, it seems that’s exactly what he was trying to do: Link Rand Paul and Travis Corcoran in the minds of the readers. And given the echo chamber that a site like ThinkProgress (or Balloon Juice, or WND, or any number of hyper-partisan sites) is, I’m sure the connection is well made in the eyes of most readers of that site.

  7. #7 |  Gordon | 

    @Alex. Uh-huh. This ain’t my first rodeo, pardner.

  8. #8 |  Andrew S. | 

    So what you’re saying, Alex, is that yes, you were linking Rand Paul and Travis Corcoran in the minds of the reader? Just checking.

    Saying “I’m not trying to link libertarians to the whackjob, I’m just exploring his beliefs” is akin to all the articles we’ve seen in the past two weeks saying “I’m not trying to link right-wing rhetoric to the Arizona shootings, I’m just exploring” or “I’m not trying to link marijuana/salvia/etc. to the Arizona shootings, I’m just exploring”. It’s a disingenuous excuse.

  9. #9 |  Mario | 

    I think they’re absolutely wrong to seize his “arsenal” and suspend his gun license. This is just an example of what is wrong with licensing to begin with: you operate at the pleasure of the powers that be as a privilege.
    Are they prosecuting him with anything? No. He hasn’t been arrested or charged with any crime. But, “local authorities are investigating.”
    Either he’s committed a crime, presumably “inciting” something-or-other, or he hasn’t. If he hasn’t, he should be left alone.
    I’m not endorsing what he’s said. Nevertheless, I’d like to think I live in a free country where I have the right to wish people dead.

  10. #10 |  Andrew S. | 

    And Alex, as for your “I by no means hold all libertarians responsible…”, why is the link to the article http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/20/libertarian-guns-boston/? Why highlight “libertarian” in the URL? Why highlight anarcho-capitalism as a “subset of libertarianism” if the term doesn’t mean anything to you?

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    Sorry, Alex. I’m not buying your excuse.

    Noting that Corcoran once tweeted something vaguely positive about Paul isn’t an honest attempt to get at Corcoran’s beliefs. His Twitter feed, which you linked to, actually details his worldview quite well. He talks a great deal about why he’s anti-war, for example — over about a dozen posts. He talks about how he believes assassination is justified because of government policies that kill innocent people. That is a pretty good insight into his worldview.

    But you skipped over those posts. Instead, you chose to go way deeper into his feed to highlight the few tweets where he explicitly says something negative about liberals, or something positive about someone on the right. You were looking to link him to your political opponents. Noting that he once retweeted something I wrote about Rand Paul tells you absolutely nothing about why Corcoran thinks it’s okay to assassinate politicians.

    What it does do is imply that there’s something about Rand Paul’s ideology that people who think it’s okay to assassinate politicians find encouraging. If you believe such nonsense, have the courage to come out and say so outright. If you don’t, stop making the implication.

    And as a prior commenter noted, the fact that you used the word “libertarian” in the URL to the post makes it hard for me to believe you weren’t trying to link Corcoran to libertarianism.

  12. #12 |  CyniCAl | 

    He was no anarchist. By definition, an anarchist can’t endorse aggressive violence. There’s a word for that kind of person — statist.

  13. #13 |  Gordon | 

    @Radley – But all that doesn’t fit the narrative or serve the overall political goal. So it gets ignored.

    We have two authoritarian factions, each living in their own delusional, distorted perception of reality. It truly appears as though their epistemology is warped and they’re now in a kind of feedback loop, accepting only inputs that feed it, and nothing that dampens it.

    And they’re running the country. =:-O

  14. #14 |  JThompson | 

    I can’t answer for Seitz-Wald, but as far as I’m concerned the answer is absolutely not. If anything the left should be cheering you on, and many were and are. They’re just being opposed by the authoritarians that will follow anyone in power that claims to be on their “side”. Many so-called left leaning message boards have had huge member purges over the last two years because of people calling the president out on civil liberties abuses.

    What Corcoran said was very unpleasant, but unpleasant isn’t illegal, and it shouldn’t be. It wasn’t a direct threat, so how many guns he owns is irrelevant. Claiming someone has the means to carry out a threat they never made is a dangerous road to go down. The left has already been down that kind of road with McCarthy, and that alone should make us very hesitant to drag anyone else down it.

  15. #15 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I’ll leave it to anarcho-capitalists to figure out if they want him. But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.

    This is generally true of anarcho-capitalists as well, the non-initiation of violence. Most of the anarcho-capitalism stuff I’ve read take that position as pretty much a necessary condition–i.e. you can’t be an anarcho-capitalist if you reject it.

  16. #16 |  Tweets that mention Questions for Alex Seitz-Wald and ThinkProgress | The Agitator -- Topsy.com | 

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  17. #17 |  Phelps | 

    Just as a point of order, the state has no existence outside the use of force, so I’m not sure how it is possible to initiate force against an agent of the state. I don’t think violence is a proper response to a duly elected representative in a constitutional republic, but I never understood how you initiate force against an entity who starts the day by saying, “Do X, Y, and Z, or I’ll send men with guns to your house to throw you in a cage or kill you trying.”

  18. #18 |  Brandon | 

    I get the impression that Corcoran just thinks “anarcho-capitalist” sounds cool.

  19. #19 |  InMD | 

    Rand Paul is a libertarian?! Radley is right wing?!

    All joking aside I think this may all illustrate precisely why the labels have become useless. I can’t help but feel that more and more I read the term “libertarian” as describing views to which few libertarians I know subscribe.

    Alex’s excuse, as demonstrated by Mr. Balko is pretty weak.

  20. #20 |  Steve Verdon | 

    By the way Seitz-Wald just blew his credibility out of the water in linking to David Friedman’s book The Machinery of Freedom without even bothering to check to see if Friedman would think assassination is justifiable. When it comes to assassination Friedman would reject the notion. In fact, Firedman’s positions on assassination can be derived from where he mentions it in various writings. Further his overall view regarding anarcho-capitalism is not that we should get their via assassination, but incrementally. By slowly stripping away the power of the State…perhaps that is foolishness and wishful thinking, but to even bring up the possibility linking Friedman with Corcoran is just…well stupid.

    Good job Alex at making yourself look….stupid.

  21. #21 |  RobZ | 

    “But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.”

    Suppose that Cocoran believes that the US Government has passed unconstitutional laws which it enforces at a point of a gun, which makes them initiators of force and that he’s attempting to persuade people to fight back. Would that make him remotely libertarian?

  22. #22 |  Berr | 

    To argue the purely theoretical point, I don’t think it’s fair to differentiate responsible libertarians as represented by this blog from irresponsible whatever-this-guy-claims-to-be based on the principle of non-initiation of violence. From the perspective of this guy and many anarcho-capitalists and libertarians, the state has initiated and continues to perpetuate violence against its citizens. Radley’s blog is, if anything, a testament to this fact. Violence against the state, by way of its elected representatives, is thus reactionary.

    The point of contention between Radley’s view and that of this Corcoran fellow is not on the initiation of violence but on the point wherein reactionary violence becomes justified. What scope of government violence, how directed and how abused the reasoning, justifies wholesale violent opposition to the state? While Radley and most “reasonable” people (including myself) believe we have not crossed that line, the line itself is nonetheless inherently arbitrary. All libertarians, and I would posit the vast majority of Americans and a large percentage of people in general, would claim that there is a point whereupon violent resistance to the state, including assassination, is not merely moral but a moral imperative. While many would reserve that behaviour for the realm of strongmen with stupid mustaches, the point of contention is not a matter of principle but a matter of scale.

    Stupid? Perhaps. Ill-advised? Most certainly. But frankly immoral? I think that’s a bit of a stretch. And it should also be noted that, while I haven’t read it or any context, the “threat” in question was almost certainly not an actual call to violence but a not-particularly-funny manner of jest, similar to those frequently expressed on the blogs of libertarianism’s erstwhile colleagues from Alabama (although, not really to their credit, they always qualify such posts with an explicit “we don’t really ever condone violence” disclaimer)

  23. #23 |  Radley Balko | 

    Suppose that Cocoran believes that the US Government has passed unconstitutional laws which it enforces at a point of a gun, which makes them initiators of force and that he’s attempting to persuade people to fight back. Would that make him remotely libertarian?

    I think the individual mandate in the new health care law is unconstitutional. It is also ultimately enforced with violence. Refuse to get health insurance, you get fined. Refuse to pay the fine, you ultimately go to jail. Refuse to go to jail, you start down a road that eventually gets you shot.

    The proper response is to argue against the mandate. It is not to go out and start killing the people who voted for it.

    This really isn’t that difficult a point to understand.

  24. #24 |  Walter Sojaks | 

    Pacifism isn’t something to hide behind, Radley.

  25. #25 |  SB7 | 

    Do you think I should stop writing about and documenting government abuses of civil liberties, lest like Corcoran get angry and commit an act of violence?

    Corcoran didn’t actually commit an act of violence. He bloviated unpopular and occasionally violent ideas in public. I think this seizure has far more to do with the fact that he was constantly critical of his local PD than anything he said about Tucson. I’ve read his posts that followed, including a lengthy post about his politics and reasoning vis-a-vis violence and having done so I don’t see how Corcoran deserves to have a license summarily revoked. In totality they do not seem threatening in a specific, actionable way.

    I would repost his philosophy statement, but it’s down now, maybe by his own intention, and I don’t want to contravene that. I will say that to my eyes it looks like a micro application of the non-pacifist interpretation of Catholic Just War Theory.

  26. #26 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Whatever you believe, odds are that somewhere there’s a person who’s bat-shit insane who believes at least some part of what you believe. That it no way invalidates your belief. It’s really that simple.

  27. #27 |  Ken Hagler | 

    “Proper” is a bit too vague to be meaningful, but arguing against the mandate is exactly as likely to result in its revocation as shooting politicians who voted for it: in other words, not a chance of it happening. On the other hand, at least arguing won’t be used as an excuse to make things worse.

  28. #28 |  Roberta X | 

    No, it isn’t difficult to understand; but speech isn’t action.

    If the po-lice had marched up to Cocoran’s door with a warrant, I’d still be irked but it would be a thicket that has a path out of it and a clear resolution at the end of it. But that’s not what happened; the State disarmed him without charging him and did so in a way that allows him little, if any, legal recourse.

    That strikes me as problematic. Chilling. He’s had his 2nd and 4th Amendment rights trounced on the mere suspicion of abusing his 1st Amendment-protected right to speak freely.

    I don’t endorse shooting politicians; I’d much rather see them laughed out of office, or hounded out for abusing the rights of citizens, or impeached on the zillion-and-one illegalities the breed seems to have a predilection to commit. But I believe robust political debate includes harsh viewpoints (wasn’t there a feature film made about assassinating the most recent Mr. Bush?) and I believe the State’s action in Arlington infringe upon free speech.

  29. #29 |  Ken Hagler | 

    “He’s had his 2nd and 4th Amendment rights trounced on the mere suspicion of abusing his 1st Amendment-protected right to speak freely. ”

    But only if, by “abuse,” we mean “used exactly the way the Founding Fathers intended.” Or has nobody here ever read anything they had to say about tyranny in general, or the British in particular?

  30. #30 |  Brandon | 

    There does seem to be too much focus on “he advocated violence” here and not enough on “The police have seized the property of someone who has not actually committed a crime or made a specific threat to do so.”

  31. #31 |  Ariel | 

    I haven’t read Corcoran’s blog in about three years. While I’d agree with the description of anarcho-capitalist, as well extreme, he has never struck me as one to go off the deep end and call for political assassination. Obviously, if this isn’t a tongue-in-cheek reference to the worth of Congress (and Balko’s following of Corcoran’s tweets may show otherwise), then he has simply lost it in frustration over what he can’t change. >Insert Serenity Prayer here<

    I am not impressed with the implication that he had an arsenal, "a large amount" of weapons and ammo, as I know people who have many more weapons than 11 because of their fascination with the art of gunmaking, no different than my fascination with the art of the motorcycle. One of the first things we hear when government moves to protect itself is "arsenal", "cache", etc.

    My own view of this is that this falls under political speech unless he had the means and intent to carry out the "534 to go". Intemperate, yes, a clear sign of intent, no. I am biased, I admit, because I am sick of government making special rules for themselves (various immunities for example) and protections for themselves. Gabby Giffords was shot because Loughner likely felt she dissed him in 2007. And, thankfully, he botched the job and she is making a swift though guarded recovery (may it continue so). However, Congress looks at the others as just "shit happens", after all they aren't members of Congress.

  32. #32 |  MassHole | 

    You have to understand the environment of Arlington, MA to get what happened here. Firearms laws are ridiculous in MA. The local police chief can pick and choose whom to issue the various levels of permit based on “suitability”. Basically the chief can revoke or refuse your license based on any arbitrary issue and his say is final. Doesn’t like your mustache, no permit. Thus, there are towns where the chief is liberal with carry permits and other towns where you will never get one.

    I’m sure there are thousands of idiots in MA that post stupid things on the intertoobz just like this guy did and never get a knock on the door. This guy just made the wrong enemies and gave them the opening they were looking for to stick it to him. In my experience here, most people have never handled guns and are afraid of them. So I’m sure the powers that be in Arlington were just waiting for a good reason to get this guys guns. He’s an idiot for giving them the opening they were waiting for.

    It’s a damn shame that MA is able to get away with this. But here we are until the laws change. I have heard that Alan Gura of Heller fame is bringing a case in MA. I hope he is successful and we can get rid of some of these draconian laws.

  33. #33 |  MIkeS | 

    Frankly, I don’t understand the point of Alex’s post. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Corcoran was a down-the-line conservative in every way. So what? This does not make conservative view illigitimate or necessarily violent any more than an eco-terrorist discredits Al Gore’s ideas (Al Gore’s idiocy discredits his ideas).

    It’s one thing to argue — even if incorrectly — that some of the rhetoric about Obama or the Democrats could provoke violence. But you cross into something else when you try to argue, based on this, that right-wing or libertarian or whatever ideas in and of themselves inspire violence. Apparently, because you put them all under the “anti-government” aegis, that’s legit.

    I’m also getting a little bit fed up with people yakking about “anti-government rhetoric”. Everyone is, to some degree, anti-government. Whether you’re anti-government-controlling-the-economy or anti-government-controlling-women’s-wombs or anti-government-going-to-war, you’re anti-government something. No one in his country approves of *everything* the government is doing. And very very few oppose everything the government is doing. We’re all arguing in the middle ground.

  34. #34 |  brent | 

    This is why I’ve begun answering questions about my political philosophy with the term “Brentarianism.”

  35. #35 |  pierre | 

    I’ve been following this since the initial outrage to his comment.

    This is thoughtcrime.

    You are essentially taking away a mans guns for this statement…

    “I fucking wish an asteroid would fall from the sky and decimate Washington DC while congress is in session.”

    It is the exact same as…

    “I fucking wish some nutjob would walk into congress and shoot everybody”

    Neither is illegal, neither is incitement.

    This country is so fucked, you cant even have unpopular opinions now without the pigs coming and taking your guns away.

  36. #36 |  CyniCAl | 

    #17 | Phelps — “Just as a point of order, the state has no existence outside the use of force, so I’m not sure how it is possible to initiate force against an agent of the state.”

    This is the best justification for all violence directed at the State being defensive that I have ever read.

    That being said, I don’t think that justifies open season on State agents without them singling out a specific individual first.

  37. #37 |  Justthisguy | 

    @Miss X at # 28: Du hast recht! If I ever get to Indy, I’d like to shake your hand. Tam’s, too, but she strikes me as being kinda scary, to be approached cautiously.

  38. #38 |  jacob | 

    I know plenty of libertarians who think it is morally justified to shoot politicians, or that joke about it at the very least. They would justify such acts of aggression as self-defense against a state that initiates violence.

    You can’t seriously tell me you have spent time in libertarian circles and you are not familiar with libertarians of Corcoran’s beliefs.

  39. #39 |  cApitalist | 

    “The proper response is to argue against the mandate. It is not to go out and start killing the people who voted for it.
    This really isn’t that difficult a point to understand.”

    I agree, but this only answers the boring question:
    Should we start shooting politicians right now for transgression X?

    No we shouldn’t. No shit. Anything that replaced the current federal government would likely be even worse and we’d all likely be killed. But, you argument doesn’t serve as a rejection of tyrannicide, only of tyrannicide right now.

    The state is “a band of thieves writ large” per Rothbard. Thursdays post “How is this different from armed robbery” suggests Mr. Balko is at least a little sympathetic to this view, and I endorse this view as well. So, is it moral to shoot and kill thieves? Yes. Thus, it is perfectly moral to violently resist the state.

    Be aware, I’m only dealing with morality. There are many scenarios where resisting a robber would be foolish. One might be outnumbered, outgunned, or intoxicated. In these scenarios resistance, while moral, would be foolish. It would likewise be ill advised, yet entirely moral, to violently resist the state at this time. Remember, the American revolution was fought over levels of government intrusion we can only dream of these days. Was it immoral to violently resist the British crown as the chains of its tyranny were so light?

    I’m interested to see the reaction of libertarians in the media. Are we so scared of being labeled “crazies” that we will stand by as someone gets railroaded? This will be uncomfortable (see Rand Paul on the civil rights act) but the only reasonable answer is, “Mr. Corcoran is a victim and he’s being bullied for holding unpopular, yet morally acceptable, views.”

    Also Cynical,
    You’ve made the above comment before equating all violence with being a statist. Can you please explain how you, or someone else, derived this position? It seems to me you’re contending pacifism is a necessary condition for being an anarchist. I don’t believe this is correct.

  40. #40 |  Episiarch | 

    It is perfectly logical to go down the road of “the state is initiating violence against me every day, thus I now have the right–morally–to initiate violence back”. However, there are two aspects to this.

    1. The simpler one is that the state is overwhelmingly powerful, and though you may technically have the moral right to initiate violence back, it would be foolish to do so.

    2. The more complicated one is that the state is not an individual; it is composed of individuals. If you initiate violence against someone in the government in general, you are blurring the lines of your belief in individualism because you are creating a collective guilt situation. Is the dogcatcher as guilty of initiating violence against you as the policeman who tasers you for questioning him? We must guard at all times against collectivism, and collective guilt is a pernicious road to go down.

    The easy answer for aspect 2 is that if an agent of the state directly initiates violence against you (policeman beats you with a nightstick), then you obviously have the right to strike back (assuming that you think doing so won’t make it worse). But random violence against randomly selected state agents…that starts to get very murky.

  41. #41 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    “Corcoran calls himself ‘an anarcho-capitalist’ and while his blog has been taken down, based on his Twitter page, he appears to hold views similar to those of many in the anti-government libertarian wing of the conservative movement, like many tea party activists. Anarcho-capitalism is a radical subset of libertarianism, and is often referred to as ‘libertarian-anarchy.’ For example, echoing calls from many on the right, Corcoran tweeted, ‘it is unconstitutional for the Feds to even run a department of education.’”

    Yes, clearly this wasn’t a guilt-by-association hit piece. Whenever I read a story about someone who’s had his 1st, 2nd, 4th and 14th Amendment rights trampled on by overzealous cops, the first thing I ask myself is: “What does this guy think about Rand Paul and the Department of Education?” Thanks for all the answers to the pressing questions nobody asked, Alex. Your Pulitzer should be in the mail any day now.

  42. #42 |  Radley Balko | 

    I know plenty of libertarians who think it is morally justified to shoot politicians, or that joke about it at the very least. They would justify such acts of aggression as self-defense against a state that initiates violence.

    You can’t seriously tell me you have spent time in libertarian circles and you are not familiar with libertarians of Corcoran’s beliefs.

    If you know a libertarian who thinks it’s morally justified to shoot a politician who isn’t actively in the process of killing someone else, then you don’t know a libertarian.

    Yes, I do know libertarians who joke about killing politicians. I know non-libertarians who do, too. I also know people who make jokes about killing lawyers. And members of their favorite sports team’s rival. What’s your point? From the excerpts, Corcoran seemed to be trying to rationally justify assassinating members of Congress. I find that repugnant. If context somehow makes the quotes seem more like an attempt at humor, then they’re merely tactless and crass.

    My point is that any libertarian who seriously advocates killing public servants in the name of libertarianism fundamentally misunderstands what libertarianism actually means.

  43. #43 |  Roberta X | 

    Radley, the Libertarian Party renounced the non-aggression principle some years ago. On that basis — and the lack of a consistent philosophy among small-l libertarians — I would suggest that arguing who or what is or isn’t “libertarian” runs perilously close to the “no true Scotsman” logical fallacy. (An-cap is even less clearly defined; you are if you say you are, I guess, and if the other an-caps invite you over on poker night).

    The guy wrote some harsh, harsh stuff, with which a lot of people disagree. Some version of the Wm. F. Buckley line, “Please stay off my side,” is a reasonable response.

    But–! Should he be deprived of certain of his rights on mere bureaucratic say-so? He has not been charged with a crime. They just came and took his guns. ‘Cos he might not be a “suitable person.”

    Who’s unsuitable next? We’ve already got “unsuitable” religious beliefs. Does mere speech make someone “unsuitable,” and if so, what other of such persons rights can be violated with impunity by the State?

    You don’t have to approve of what he wrote to look askance at the official reaction.

  44. #44 |  Roberta X | 

    (I will point out, for those supporting diffuse-State-force justification that one of the best arguments against voting from the rooftops is utility: name one time in U.S. history when such actions have made things better. Conversely, the success of such action, at least in this country, appears to be directly proportional to the insanity of the perpetrator; the number of actual assassinations of public figures with even middling clear political motives stands at, what, 2? 1.5? These are fool’s odds).

  45. #45 |  kishnevi | 

    I followed Travis’ blog for a while. He’s posted things like that before; I think he believes that the current political setup is corrupt beyond remedy, and the only way to keep our society from crashing down under the weight of that corruption is armed revolution, to eliminate the corrupt ones. I tend to share that view, and I think it’s quite consistent with libertarian values. Where I apparently differ from Travis is the belief that all politicians share in that corruption; probably most of them do share in it, but most of them sincerely think they are working to improve our country. So I don’t go around suggesting, even as a joke, killing random politicians. I limit myself to suggesting they should all be in jail.

    There are reasons I quite following his blog–I found him to be somewhere between callous indifference and active dislike of people who were not like him, and at least a couple of times he said things I could only interpret as racism (aimed in his case at blacks).

    But the real point here is not how libertarian Travis is. The real point is that his Second Amendment rights were trashed by the Arlington PD as punishment for exercising his First Amendment rights.

  46. #46 |  Ken Hagler | 

    Let’s not forget that what Corcoran actually wrote was that it’s totally wrong to go up to someone you don’t like and kill them, then kill a whole bunch of random innocent people who just happened to be standing nearby at the time. And I think any libertarian would agree.

    You know who _wouldn’t_ agree? The U.S. Government. It randomly murders innocent bystanders _all the time_.

  47. #47 |  SB7 | 

    Thanks for bringing up the True Scotsman, Roberta X. I was thinking in the same direction.

  48. #48 |  eddie | 

    #39 Capitalist and #40 Episiarch:

    You rightly point out that even if violence against the government were moral, it is certainly foolish.

    Travis Corcoran goes you one better. He believes that _because_ it is foolish, it is also _immoral_.

    To understand why he believes this, you need to read the explanation of his beliefs that he posted after his initial comment started getting noticed by more than the handful of his regular blog readers. Unfortunately, that explanation is offline right now. The short version is that Catholic Just War Doctrine (as he understands it) only sanctions war – or revolution, or assassination – if the war is going to cause less harm than it cures. It’s patently obvious that armed rebellion against the U.S. government would kill a lot of people and be doomed to fail; therefore, he concludes, it is wrong (absolutely wrong, according to the God and Church he believes in) to kill politicians.

    No matter how much the bastards might deserve it.

  49. #49 |  demize! | 

    Wait, don’t insurrectionistd believe that certain violent acts will hasten the fall of the state? From what I understand they mostly make manifestos, but they certainly advocate property destruction of organs of the state and their corporate surrogates. Self defensive violence is a major tenet of most anarchist thought as I understand it, although this is inherently “non-coercive”. I’ve been exploring the Nexi between anarcho/libertarian thought and the more “leftist” anarchist/libertarian strains, so this may be a point of contention among others. Just food for thought.

  50. #50 |  JOR | 

    Libertarianism is not pacifism.

    Griffords is directly responsible for far more innocent deaths than Loughner. Whatever it is justified to do to Loughner, so much the more so is it justified to do to Griffords.

  51. #51 |  Matt | 

    “My point is that any libertarian who seriously advocates killing public servants …”

    Wait, could someone explain to me what a “public servant” is? I’m aware of public schooling – is the state now offering free butlers? Because I could get on board with that, my libertarian principles notwithstanding. Even if it’s a bad idea, the butlers can seek private employment – we don’t need to kill them.

  52. #52 |  Bill | 

    Okay, here is what bothers me. Obama can not only joke all day long about murdering American citizens with Predator Drones (Jonas Brothers) but also murder Americans all day with Predator Drones, and no one (except us) cares, but if one regular guys makes some unfortunate comments about killing politicians, he is treated like he is worse than Hitler.
    None of us should joke or make comments about killing people or kill people, but we need to hold our elected leaders to the same standard.

  53. #53 |  Bill | 

    Anyone who advocates violence should be suspected of being an agent of the FBI. Violence can be tempting to some, especially after a few cups of coffee and/or bottles of beer, but it is the tool of the State, evil, and counter-productive. We must reject it and be about human freedom and ideas alone.

  54. #54 |  Joe | 

    How can they just take your guns and licence without any sort of hearing? I am not defending what this guy wrote. If he was serious about targeting members of Congress for attack and taking steps to do so he deserves worse than firearm access. But there should be a hearing and a process for reviewing evidence against him.

  55. #55 |  CyniCAl | 

    #39 | cApitalist — “Also Cynical, you’ve made the above comment before equating all violence with being a statist. Can you please explain how you, or someone else, derived this position? It seems to me you’re contending pacifism is a necessary condition for being an anarchist. I don’t believe this is correct.”

    First let me say that I thought the rest of your comment was excellent, Capitalist.

    I set a very high bar on the use of any violence, even defensive. While I cannot justify pacifism as a necessary precondition of anarchism, I do believe that only through the complete refusal to resort to violence under any circumstances can humans make the leap from violent control to voluntary cooperation.

    Resorting to violence — even defensive violence, as necessary to survival as it may be — is a continuation of the State. Should the individual have moral recourse to violence in pursuit of self-preservation? I cannot argue against it, but I cannot argue for it either. That is the essence of individual sovereignty. There are consequences when one resorts to violence, even defensive violence. Gandhi and MLK understood this. Responding to the State with violence only strengthens the State and it is atrocious game theory for the individual.

    There are non-violent tactics that an individual can use to counter Statism. Shunning is one. Association with like-minded non-violent individuals in a defensive league is another.

    I think it’s important that sovereignty rests with the individual, even if that individual resorts to aggressive violence. Human nature appears to be constant — violence is an integral part of the system of survival. Humans are an extremely violent species by design. The basic principle of survival is control of the environment. It was only a matter of time before humans began regarding each other as part of that environment to be controlled — the birth of the State.

    The State concentrates violence in the hands of the few and amplifies it out of all proportion. Eliminate the mega-State, distribute power back to the individual and create 6 billion mini-States, and the violence in the system remains constant, but the dangers that attend with the mega-State vanish. Of course, an individual in this system would spend quite a bit of time and energy defending oneself.

    Over time, violent collisions between sovereign individuals will either lead to a system where individuals recognize the true costs of violent conflict and learn to cooperate peacefully or it will lead right back to where we are with rampant mega-States and the threat of permanent global war. But it couldn’t possibly end up worse, could it?

    Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I believe in individual sovereignty, which is predicated on free will to choose violence or non-violence, more than anarchism. And it is paramount that each individual should bear the direct consequences of his/her decisions (an idea that the mega-State subverts). I am a pessimistic person and I believe that violence is a human core characteristic, but I see this as the only way that has any chance of leading to a truly peaceful future for mankind. But I do concede that when humans aggregate, all roads seem to lead to the State.

  56. #56 |  Athena | 

    All of this, “He doesn’t belong to my political party, the crazy whack job belongs to you” is pretty pathetic, whether it be Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. I don’t subscribe to ALL of the ideologies of any political party, and if I did I wouldn’t be a free thinker would I? I would be a follower. Let’s do this. If there is an apparent need to place whack jobs with a political party, we will just form the Whack Job Party and throw them all together. There, done!

    Who cares? Whack jobs are whack jobs, I am me and you are you. Get over it!

  57. #57 |  cApitalist | 

    #54 CyniCAL,
    Thank you for this response. I especially appreciate the bit about humans regarding one another as part of the environment. This is incredibly insightful and I’m in damn near total agreement with everything you said. But, here’s where I take issue:

    “Resorting to violence — even defensive violence, as necessary to survival as it may be — is a continuation of the State.”

    I don’t think this is correct. The defining characteristic of the state is its geographic monopoly on the legal initiation of violence against others. The crux of the morality of violence is “Who started it?” Don’t get me wrong, its horrible when any kind of violence occurs, but we can’t confuse things which are sad with things that are immoral. Resorting to violence is sad, while initiating violence evil. So, I don’t think you can go so far as to say its “a continuation of the state.” I could get behind something like “its a continuation of a sad and unevolved state.”

    Anyway, don’t take this the wrong way, I enjoy your posts immensely and I appreciate the discussion.

    #42 Mr. Balko,
    “If you know a libertarian who thinks it’s morally justified to shoot a politician who isn’t actively in the process of killing someone else, then you don’t know a libertarian.”

    I hope this is just a flippant comment and not a representation of your actual position. Suppose Mao or Stalin never actually killed anyone with their own hands. Does that mean no one should have advocating killing them? You can’t be a libertarian if you think someone should assassinate Kim Jung Il? This is preposterous. The moral acceptability of tyrannicide is well established, even among statists. If a private citizen were responsible for murder and plunder on this kind of scale (which they couldn’t be), everyone would shake the hand of the individual who eliminated him. The difference between an American politician and an African warlord is merely one of degree. Both are responsible for murder and theft. Again, I’m not saying any of this is advisable and I’d rather everyone throw pies and rotten fruit instead of grenades*, but you’re no less a libertarian for defending the morality of tyrannicide. I realize this position is incredibly unpopular and lends itself “look how crazy the libertarians are” comments, but when did we start trading logic for popularity?

    *disclaimer: no one should throw anything, but booing and mockery are strongly encouraged

    Thanks to all for the discussion.

  58. #58 |  Ken Hagler | 

    cApitalist, the popularity of that position depends on which politicians exactly are in question. I’m fairly sure, for example, that nobody who went to see “Valkyrie” (or read about the historical events it was based on) was criticizing how terribly immoral the would-be assassins were for trying to kill a politician who wasn’t actively in the process of killing someone else when the bomb went off.

  59. #59 |  Windy | 

    Slightly related, an idea I think needs spreading around:
    http://bumpyroads.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=politics&thread=262&page=49#29842

  60. #60 |  CyniCAl | 

    #57 | cApitalist — “The defining characteristic of the state is its geographic monopoly on the legal initiation of violence against others. The crux of the morality of violence is “Who started it?” Don’t get me wrong, its horrible when any kind of violence occurs, but we can’t confuse things which are sad with things that are immoral. Resorting to violence is sad, while initiating violence evil. So, I don’t think you can go so far as to say its “a continuation of the state.” I could get behind something like “its a continuation of a sad and unevolved state.”

    Thank you very much for the kind words, Capitalist. I enjoy getting these ideas out every once in a while, and I appreciate the viewpoints of others in correcting my errors. I admit that the real world imposes limitations on the application of pacifistic ideas. I tend toward philosophical idealism and practical pessimism, a bit of a duality and a contradiction.

    Practically speaking, I agree with your contribution above. The only correction I would offer is that the State is that entity which has a monopoly on initiation of violence in a given territory, without reference to legality, for the “legality” of the State is tautological (the biggest gang on the block gets to make the laws).

    In individal sovereignty, each individual would have to decide if resorting to violence, initiated or reactionary, is warranted. Most people I know abhor violence, except for the State-sanctioned anonymous violence of voting or general political participation, so this would present little trouble. The costs of violence are very expensive, but no doubt there would be those who would resort to violence. Could a non-violent society deal appropriately with violent individuals? Well, there’s the rub, and frankly, humans are too fearful and superstitious a lot to find out the answer to that. So, back to square one it is.

  61. #61 |  Roberta X | 

    cApatalist writes “…The moral acceptability of tyrannicide is well established, even among statists.”

    It kind of isn’t. In fact, the very same FedGov that claims the right to assassinate U.S. citizens has a history of promising to not bump off tyrants. (See http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21037.pdf Linked for some info).

    Professional courtesy, perhaps?

    The message is clear: we are nothing. The powerful and their pets are everything.

    Are you on the side of blind power or individual freedom? –Are you sure?

  62. #62 |  cApitalist | 

    #61 Roberta
    I should have been clearer. Tyrannicide is generally accepted by statist philosophers and by various world religions. You’re right about the US government’s position and I dig the professional courtesy bit.

    #57 CyniCAL
    “Legal” does muddy the waters. Maybe “generally accepted?” One has to account for the fact that private criminals can initiate violence as well, but when they do people appropriately condemn it. I’m not sure how to do that.

  63. #63 |  J.S. | 

    Radley: “But he isn’t remotely libertarian, an ideology where the non-initiation of force is a pretty fundamental principle.”

    Sigh, and this is where I break away from libertarianism or whatever the proper term is. When is it ok to initiate force? When they’ve bashed your own door in after all your neighbors? We have a government that has said its legit for them to assassinate citizens without a trial. To specifically go after them.

    Anyway, after reading this story any idea of writing my Dem congressman in response to his publically calling Limbaugh and Beck hate mongers and people angry with his policies “whack-jobs” seems pointless.

    I figure just quoting Virginia’s state motto or mentioning it would get me a visit by the local constabulary. Sic Semper Tryannis.

    Not that the staffers would bother to look up its meaning. Hell, our Oregon state motto works even better, “She Flies With Her Own Wings” to argue against more state power/involvement.

  64. #64 |  Les | 

    When is it ok to initiate force? When they’ve bashed your own door in after all your neighbors?

    You wouldn’t be initiating force at that point, but responding to it. There are, of course, a variety of responses. Some are reasonable and some are not.

  65. #65 |  Gordon | 

    I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Virginia’s State Seal.

  66. #66 |  Brandon | 

    This is an absolutely fascinating discussion.

  67. #67 |  CyniCAl | 

    #62 | cApitalist — “#57 CyniCAL — “Legal” does muddy the waters. Maybe “generally accepted?” One has to account for the fact that private criminals can initiate violence as well, but when they do people appropriately condemn it. I’m not sure how to do that.”

    I offer “tolerated,” or “accepted as a fact of life, much as forces of nature are accepted as a fact of life.”

  68. #68 |  RWW | 

    Radley’s position here is an untenable, gross absurdity. Others have been doing a pretty good job of pointing that out, but I am still a little taken aback. Sadly, this has been happening more frequently lately.

  69. #69 |  Greg C | 

    I just find no reason to label myself as a “libertarian” any longer. While I am in philosophical agreement with libertarianism, I haven’t had anything to do with “Big L” Libertarian Party or any other politics since 2004.

    This post with all the arguments about political killings being consistent with libertarianism shows just one of the many reasons there is no point. I can’t spend 23 Hours a day explaining why I am not one of those libertarians who ( pick one or more) is: blue, racist,anti-semitic, truther, birther, stockpiles weapons, and/or advocates killing politicians.

    I dont need a label to support the work that Radley does. The positions advocated by “The Agitator” aren’t necessarily libertarian- they are correct, just, humane. Hell, there are celebrated “libertarians” who SUPPORT police brutality. Why even take the chance of being mixed up with those nuts? If anything, I’ll just say I’m “liberal”- I just won’t spend any time arguing who the “real” liberals are. It’s not like anyone can really smear me as a “commie” or anything stupid like that. Politics is bullshit, anyway.

    As far as the “anarcho-capitalist” nutjob with the guns. Yes, he should be allowed to say what he did. He should be allowed to keep his guns. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me to say it’s stupid. I can support the KKK’s right to speech, but that doesn’t mean I can’t protest them, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean I’m going to march with them.

  70. #70 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    This is the Internet! Why isn’t everyone an expert on Ancap?

    Just to get it clear, it appears to be acceptable (widely) to be pro-war and against any violence against the state. But the reverse marks you immediately as crazy. This from a state that has a long history of conducting political assassinations. Have we forgotten all of politics is theater…all of the time with no exceptions?

    I wish a rational discussion could take place, but it seems to be not allowed in the USA outside a very few places.

    BTW, violence just never gets you what you want in the long run…much like torture.

  71. #71 |  Davebo | 

    Radley,

    If you ever needed an example for why no Libertarian will ever be elected to a position beyond perhaps House of Representatives this thread should provide it.

    There is a reason why Ron Paul is a representative and Rand Paul sold his soul, if he ever had one, to be a Senator.

    I’d never vote for Ron Paul but I respect him. Sadly he can’t say the same for his own son.

    (To say Rand walked back his alleged libertarian principles is such an understatement as to be laughable).

  72. #72 |  Weekend reactionary link round up « Foseti | 

    [...] I doubt Borepatch considers himself "libertarian." But this seems much more libertarian to me than this. [...]

  73. #73 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Davebo, as I look at the $14trillion debt I say the USA doesn’t deserve a libertarian. Take that how you want.

  74. #74 |  David | 

    Radley: If you know a libertarian who thinks it’s morally justified to shoot a politician who isn’t actively in the process of killing someone else, then you don’t know a libertarian.

    That’s a remarkably facile statement coming from someone of your sophistication. This philosophy would condemn the American Revolution.

    Now, I don’t want to suggest that one should kill politicians over any perceived injustice. But you are claiming that ANY exercise of political power is of less import than a single act of murder. You imply that violent resistance to any political act, no matter how heinous, cannot be justified. I think that is not a reasonable position. The Declaration of Independence provides an excellent argument that sufficient political abuse is just cause for insurrection:

    …to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…

    Violence is fundamentally unavoidable in society. According to your philosophy, only the government is permitted violence (except in cases of immediate defense); everyone else must resort to discourse. That is a statist philosophy. A society based upon these rules will devolve into tyranny, since uncivil violence trumps discourse as a means of persuasion. Relying solely upon the benevolence of government to ensure government’s benevolence is folly.

    I maintain that violence imposed by government has no such special legitimacy.

    If a despot orders his military to confiscate all food in a province in order to starve the populace, is he really untouchable according to your philosophy? I think there is a very reasonable argument that he has initiated violence, as have those who enable the order to be carried out.

    Perhaps instead the despot were to increase taxes in this province to the point that the populace is malnourished. At what level of starvation are the people entitled to fight against their oppressors?

    If you delay in responding with violence until a corrupt government reduces life to serfdom and rounds up the undesirables, then you have waited too long. If you only use force against the agents that break down your door, you will lose. A philosophy which requires such pacifism has limited utility and virtually no ability to effect social change. And such a philosophy does not encourage liberty, no matter what name you call it.

  75. #75 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #69 Greg C:

    “I dont need a label to support the work that Radley does. The positions advocated by “The Agitator” aren’t necessarily libertarian- they are correct, just, humane. Hell, there are celebrated “libertarians” who SUPPORT police brutality. Why even take the chance of being mixed up with those nuts? If anything, I’ll just say I’m “liberal”- I just won’t spend any time arguing who the “real” liberals are. It’s not like anyone can really smear me as a “commie” or anything stupid like that. Politics is bullshit, anyway.”

    Thank you for that response, Greg. I don’t think I could have said it any better myself. I don’t have to try, because you pretty much summed up how I feel about this thread and many discussions on The Agitator these days.

    What you said above also should be a lesson learned by people who read this blog. Politics IS bullshit. Labels are, by and large, bullshit. Often times these labels–libertarian, anarchist, progressive–are utilized as an excuse to stop thinking or, worse, stop learning. They are used as a bludgeon: “I am a liberarian/anarchist and your are a filthy scum sucking statist. I don’t have to listen to your kind. You aren’t worth my time, etc.” In other words, I am going to deny you my time, as well as your humanity and your dignity because you have not accepted my creed or because support more gubmint than I do or because you work for the goddamned gubmint (grrrr).

    Anyway, Greg, I call myself a liberal to for many of the reasons you discussed. Thanks again.

  76. #76 |  albatross | 

    The most common use of political labels is in a kind-of magic-word argument, to demand that the other side stop thinking/arguing in whatever evil or wrongheaded ways they’re thinking/arguing in. You label their argument as liberal or neocon or racist or unscientific or whatever. The best outcome from there, for the labeler, is that you shut up. The second best outcome, still good, is that the argument stops being “is this stuff you’re saying true or not” and becomes “are you really a liberal or are you still one of us?”

    Tribalism came with us out of the trees. It turns every question into one of “whose team are you on?” That’s a spectacularly dumb way to actually understand the world you’re living in, or to communicate usefully about any ideas.

  77. #77 |  Matthew Brown | 

    I’ve followed Travis Corcoran’s blog for some time. I disagree markedly with him in several respects, but law enforcement agencies taking his blog posts to mean that he intended to commit any crime involves a lot of either not bothering to read them, over-reaching and grandstanding, or simply using it as an excuse to harass someone they don’t like.

    Probably something from all three columns.

    Eleven guns is not “an arsenal”, either. It’s a pretty normal amount for someone who likes firearms and has the money to pursue their hobby, especially if they like to shoot in several different ways, since different specialties require different weapons. Someone who likes to both hunt and practice their pistol marksmanship, for instance; or someone who legally carries concealed and has gone through several pistols in turn looking for one that’s easy to carry and effective.

  78. #78 |  The Travis Corcoran Saga - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine | 

    [...] On Friday, I put up a post on my personal blog about Corcoran and about the reaction from ThinkProgress blogger Alex Seitz-Wald. Seitz-Wald and I discussed Corcoran, partisanship, and violent rhetoric yesterday on The Alyona Show. You can watch video of our discussion below. [...]

  79. #79 |  The Travis Corcoran Saga | 1ST Amendment Domain Revenue Recovery Services | 

    [...] On Friday, I put up a post on my personal blog about Corcoran and about the reaction from ThinkProgress blogger Alex Seitz-Wald. Seitz-Wald and I discussed Corcoran, partisanship, and violent rhetoric yesterday on The Alyona Show. You can watch video of our discussion below. [...]

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