Former Rep. Kanjorski, who Called for the Execution of a Gubernatorial Candidate, on Civility in Politics

Here's former Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), writing in today's New York Times:

We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.

Absolutely.

If Kanjorski, who was not re-elected in November, is familiar to people outside the district that let him go, it's probably because of the comments he said last fall about Florida Republican Rick Scott, who went on to win the Sunshine State's gubernatorial race. Here's Rep. Kanjorski:

"That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."

In the same piece from the October 23, 2010 Scranton Times Tribune, the newly minted advocate of civility and respect also called health insurance bigwigs "blood suckers" and said President Obama was "a terrible wielder of power, terrible."

Kanjorski's other claims to fame include admitting that Democrats in 2008 "kinda stretched the facts" about their commitment to ending various wars and being at the center of what Politico called "A twisted tale of congressional earmarking," involving $9.25 million steered to a company in Kanjorksi's district. 

Here he is, being confronted about the former:

Hat tips: Washington Examiner blog and CEI's Hans Bader.

I don't have a particular issue with Kanjorski's rhetoric, which is incredibly graphic in a way that more generic "targeting" talk is clearly not. But it seems odd that the former elected official who called for the execution of a candidate wouldn't mention that in an op-ed about the need for civility. As someone who taught remedial writing and freshman composition, I would argue that sort of mea culpa would have made his piece more persuasive. At least Kanjorski did stress that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' "attacker had no grand political point."

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  • PIRS||

    "He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."

    So how is he any different from most incumbent members of Congress?

  • ||

    As I told my brother when he asked why I was voting for Scott, "Better the corrupt business man than the corrupt politician." He agreed.

  • PIRS||

    Well said. Unfortunately the LP/BTP candidate did not get on the ballot because of some technicality. I held my nose and voted for Scott.

  • Esoteric||

    Given what Scott's trying to do with the school system down there right now, it seems like that turned out to be the right choice.

  • Kristen||

    You don't have write-ins in FL?

  • PIRS||

    The problem is this person was not registering as a write-in candidate. That was not his goal. He wanted to be a full fledged candidate on the ballot. That is where he failed.

  • ||

    I wrote in Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck for FL Governor as a protest vote. Even holding my nose, I couldn't bear to vote for any of the real candidates.

  • Brett L||

    I voted for the other corrupt one just so it wouldn't be (R)s all the way. However, from what I've heard, Scott doesn't seem to feel the need to play nice. He knows most of the elected Rs supported the other guy, and he won anyways. [See the sale of the state planes] We'll see once the session starts.

  • Juice||

    We should elect corrupt businessmen into office because they wouldn't be corrupt politicians.

  • ||

    Specifically, how is he any different than Kanjorski who steered millions into a now defunct corporation that his daughter and nephews ran that never created anything?

  • paloma||

    Wow. A millionaire AND a billionaire?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Yep. A million in walking around money, a billion in the bank.

  • ||

    Technically, every billionaire is a millionaire.

  • ||

    Can't we all just get along and call him a Thousandmillionaire?
    Oh...your right...that is awful.

  • Ted S.||

  • Paul||

    "That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."

    PIRS kind of beat me to it, but this is a tough one. If you're an official elected to federal office, you have, by definition stolen billions of dollars from [the American People]. The "shoot him" comment is of course, harsh. Lengthy prison sentence, maybe.

    I've long suggested that we should hold an election and anyone who signs up to run for office should be thrown in jail.

  • PIRS||

    I clicked on your link and I LOVE the sign "U.S. out of Economy NOW".

    Brilliant! I want that on a bumper sticker!

  • ||

    I remember that--El Salvador, right?

  • Esoteric||

    Well, it's been recycled for pretty much every American overseas venture since the days of our Central American exploits. "U.S. out of Iraq NOW" was a pretty common slogan over the past few years.

  • PIRS||

    Would have worked then too. Click on Paul's handle. The picture of the back window of a car.

  • Iran||

    Works for us.

  • Putin||

    Us too.

  • Paul||

    No, they just arrest everyone except the Ayatollah's top two 'favorites'. I suggest they arrests everyone.

  • a||

    On a related note, is there a bigger pussy in punditry?
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....hairs.html

  • Mike M.||

    You've got to love all the civility concern talk from the weird creep who's obsessed with Palin's two year old daughter.

  • Baby Trigg||

    What do you mean pussy? It isn't like he's challenging a baby

  • ||

    Palin must be a man.

    Read my blog.

  • Fuck off ||

    heller

  • cynical||

    Apparently he can't distinguish the difference between a nameless crosshair, one of many, used as a map marker without any mention of individuals; and one superimposed over a person's face. Although both are protected speech, one is a bit more aggressive.

  • prolefeed||

    LOL. Strong work ferreting out the hypocrisy, Nick.

  • ||

    In the same piece from the October 23, 2010 Scranton Times Tribune,

    Did anyone else read this and see "scrotum"? Seems fitting, anyway.

    No homo.

  • hmm||

    It seems like the left has spawned a shit ton of concern trolls.

  • Special Sauce||

    After the left was routinely proven fraudulent in their myopic attempt to attribute culpability on the lunatic right, they now wish to amend their falsely construed outrage and package it as "CONCERN".

    Fucking twats.

  • Number 2||

    What about the alleged Gray Lady of Journalism, the Paper of Record, that allowed him to run his op-Ed on civility and not mention his own contribution to "vitriol?"

  • Paul||

    It's the New York Times and it's an OpEd. Doubly proceed with caution.

  • ||

    It's the New York Times and it's an OpEd. Doubly proceed with caution. Use to line your parrot cage only if the parrot can't read.

  • Parrot||

    *Caw*Caw*Starve the beast!!!*Caw*

  • ||

    The New York Times doesn't have comments for most of the articles on the website, including this op-ed. If the comments were open, I'd bet that "Put him against the wall and shoot him" would appear there often to seriously upset NY Times readers.

  • Nelson||

    Ha ha!

  • WMS||

    He's from the same neck of the woods as Biden. Must be something in the water causing food and mouth disease.

  • WMS||

    make that foot in mouth disease.

  • Formula 409||

    Oh, it's fluoride. "Let's see...how can we get rid of toxic waste AND get paid for it...I Have it! Sell it to municipalities as a tooth decay preventative. Damn the health effects, Lets' do this."

  • Old Mexican||

    "Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation."

    "Of course, it is incumbent to all Americans except us, the privileged few, the elites, the chosen ones to lead you: the stupid ones - who else, for crying out loud?"

  • ||

    Every Reasonoid knew that when the team blue fanboys started blaming this tragedy on Palin/Tea Party/GOP incivility in political discourse that this kind of shit was going to come out.

    Every single one.

    I am at a complete loss to explain why the team blue pundits and politicians didn't.

  • Brett L||

    This is the same group who lets Joe Biden near hot mikes.

  • ||

    Sure. But getting Kanjorski of all people to write this Op-Ed is a spectacular failure on the NYT's part. The vast majority of Democrats haven't been quoted saying "Put him against the wall and shoot him" about a Republican.

  • ||

    Hubris.

  • ||

    Because, in the end, they'll prevail. The right has Fox and some talk radio. The left has pretty much everything else. They can repeat their lie often enough that it will simply become truth.

    And, before long, the right will bleat about 'civility' and 'concern' right along with them.

  • ||

    I am at a complete loss to explain why the team blue pundits and politicians didn't.

    I don't think they've quite internalized the reality of the internet world; that everything you've said can and will be instantly accessible.

    When they were coming up, stuff you had said a week ago was entombed in newspaper archives, and you were pretty safe from it.

  • Brett L||

    So like squirrels who turn the wrong way when crossing a busy street, its going to take a couple generations to breed it out of politicians?

  • Turdtacular||

    Yeah, but make that about 5 generations. Squirrels have better genetics than politicians.

  • ||

    It's as if these people didn't live in this country when Bush was president.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Oh, they knew too. They just didn't care. Because what they're actually saying isn't the point. The actual goal is to make certain that by the time this is all over, everyone has "Tucson shooting" and "Tea Party rhetoric/Palin target map" inexorably linked in their minds.

  • ||

    If I was Sarah Palin, I'd do another map for 2012, with exactly the same graphic (actually a surveyor or editing mark, but whatever).

    Then, when the outrage erupts, use it to remind everyone what total asshats these people were back in 2011.

  • ||

    They're trying to repeat their success in the aftermath of the 1995 OKC bombings, when they were able to effectively squelch anti-govt (and in particular, anti-Clinton) sentiment by linking it to Timothy McVeigh.

    Problem is, McVeigh was quite explicit about his anti-govt motivations, in particular divulging that the bombing was in retaliation for the ATF raid at the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco.

    Loughner is going to be much harder to connect to the Tea Party movement than McVeigh was to the "Republican revolution".

  • Spur||

    Hans Bader Meinhof?

  • CousinDave||

    Kanjorski is one to talk about stealing from the government. This guy used his office to funnel millions of dollars to his family.

  • ||

    CNBC has that buffoon Kanjorski on all the time; for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.

  • ||

    "I'd rather be assassinated than see a single star removed from the American Flag!" -- Abraham Lincoln

  • ||

    Yeah! Fuck him for talking about civility!

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