Anna’s Video Pick – Joyce Kaufman, “If Ballots Don’t Work, Bullets Will”

by on January 10, 2011 · 36 comments

in Anna's Video Pick, Media, Popular

Since I started this column a few months ago, I have concentrated upon the quirky, the intriguing, the aesthetically pleasing. No cute animal videos, no heavy political messages. I have felt that OB Rag needs to expand its presence into the world of arts and culture because the arts are where we voice what it is to be free, to explore, to experience, unfettered of social convention and regulations.

I also exist in a very real world in which the left as well as the right has been exhorted to reconsider the rhetoric engendered by the shooting of 19 people (which left 6 people dead and a congresswoman wounded in Tucson.)

So take a look at this video and decide for yourself about the toxic environment in which we live and try to pass just laws. “If Ballots don’t work, Bullets will.” She really gets going around the 6 min mark.

This would all descend into the Florida swamp of bullshit if it weren’t for the fact that Joyce Kaufman initially served as chief of staff to Congressman Allen West and is a Florida Radio personality at 850WFTL.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 10:22 am
avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

There is no balance here, Ian. On one hand, Obama was plainly being rhetorical during the Presidential campaign, and on the other hand, Joyce Kaufman was being literal. She really was saying what she was saying. If ballots don’t work, then bullets will. She meant that. Obama was exaggerating for the sake of argument. Anyone who heard or read what he said would understand immediately that he was not advocating bringing a gun to a debate. Apples and watermelons, dude.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

Well, I agree that she sounds like a raving nutcase, appealing to the lowest denominator (forgive me, I didn’t watch the entire video, just around the 6 min. mark); but she is correct that the Second Amendment is a part of the Constitution to allow the people to overthrow the government in the unlikely case that it becomes so corrupt that the normal means of change (voting) no longer is effective.

It is a huge stretch to say that she is advocating people start shooting politicians if they don’t get their way at the poles, as you would like to infer.


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

Try watching more than a few seconds, Ian. She really gets into at the end, and threatens to lead an insurrection, “drum up the militia” if she doesn’t get her way.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

Honestly, I try not to waste my time with such drivel (which has me questioning why I am posting here, and engaging in this conversation), and I don’t agree with providing such a nutcase with a platform.

I’ll leave you all to stir up more hate and divisiveness…. have fun.


avatar Danny Morales January 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Stay tuned as Ian contradicts himself while trying to rationalize and equivocate on political violence


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Stay tuned as Danny posts more nonsensical left-wing drivel, in an attempt to bolster his radical dogma.


avatar annagrace January 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

I think it is a fair request to ask our president to talk about that comment. What do you think he should say Ian?


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

I think that it is an analogy. It doesn’t bother me, as I can discern the difference, between analogy and real threats of violence.

I just think that for the sake of balance, we should be clear that the “right” isn’t alone in this type of speech. And while the Obama example is rather benign, there are other examples emerging from the left that are more extreme.


avatar annagrace January 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

Ian- so YOU don’t feel compelled to ask Obama to comment upon his own rhetoric, you simply want to convey the need for “balance.” Your concept of balance lacks any meaningful relationship to degree and context and intent. As such it is a mind numbing game of semantics.

You want balance? Try Fox News- you know, Fair and Balanced.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

You, Frank, and Andy are the ones who wants to turn this tragedy in to a political grandstanding blame game. I see it for what it is, a deranged lunatic reaching his breaking game.

I am just countering your semantic game. You know nothing of balance.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

…. breaking point.


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

No, Ian, you are wrong. It’s called analysis and discussion about how America got this way. If we can’t use this bloodbath to learn something about where we’ve gone, it will be for not. Your reluctance to give your Tea Party friends any credit for where we are today demonstrates how far we have to go – and you are one of the tea partiers most willing to engage in dialogue with progressives.

You and we can agree that the banks and the corporations have taken over too much of this country, but where we go from here is the basis of any future dialogue. We are still grieving and we’re grieving because of the vitriol displayed by the Tea Party extremists, and others, in their campaign to bring fascism to this country.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

First, I am not a part of the Tea Party.

Second, I agree about the political climate. I just think that you, the OB Rag, and much of the liberal blogisphere are a part of the same problem. This does not mean that the extreme right isn’t worse than the extreme left, it just means that you are a part of the radicalization of political discourse.

I have spent enough time now trying to help you guys tone down your rhetoric, and it is only because you are fellow Obecians. But since I am not getting anywhere I will leave you to your echo chamber.


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

Here’s Paul Krugman on “balance”:

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.


avatar Patty Jones January 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

Honestly Ian, in my opinion, I don’t think we are about balance. We want to tip the scales towards a place where people are more important than corporations, health care is a right of all citizens, where people don’t need to worry they will be killed for being who they are, whatever that may be.


avatar Danny Morales January 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Ian-Please provide recent examples of left wing hate speach.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Danny – My examples have been conveniently moderated out….


avatar editordude January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

In all fairness to Ian, Danny, we did moderate out Ian’s links to two extreme rightwing websites, where one at least had a list of alleged “left” violent rhetoric and actions. One of the listings, for example, alleged that leftwingers (plural) attacked Hummer dealerships (plural). And I do recall one attack up in Orange County I think years ago. One website exists to “prove” how left biased the mainstream media is (cough, cough).

But not one example provided showed that mainstream leftwing groups, media or politicians have called for violence against the government or anyone else for that matter.

Again, we are not a platform for extreme rightwing views, websites, blogs, or individuals. If someone cannot advance their argument without relying on such, then they don’t get to leave their links to more vitriol.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

If you are not a platform for extreme right wing views, then why have you posted this video? (I can tell you why…. because it fits your narrative, but the links I provided do not)

Also, all of the links I posted were via quick google searches; I cannot vouch for the radicalism, or not, of those sites, as I had never visited them prior to my google searches. But if I recall correctly, the incidents that these websites catalog were all linked to other sources.

So much for intellectual discourse. OB has it’s own version of Fox News.


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm

… and to think I was beginning to feel sorry for you, Ian, being so isolated and surrounded by progressives as you are. Look, there are plenty of places where the right can spew its rhetoric, and you are welcome to join them anytime. We had agreed to try to keep our discourse here at least on a civil level, but you have violated that agreement.

Why you have taken the extreme right’s position during this discourse and have not tried to stake out an independent libertarian position, I don’t know, but you have for the last couple of days basically defended the extreme right on this website. Your attempts to paint the left with the same broad brush strokes in criticizing the right goes against reason and reality. Your denial of the culpability of the extreme right in Saturday’s bloodbath has basically undermined any true libertarian philosophy that you have maintained here over the last few months.

Your accusation that the OB Rag is OB’s version of Fox News – while knowing that Fox News is the handmaiden of the extreme right – is an empty slap in the face of all of us trying to figure out what is going on, and a slap in the face of the community, and of the nation.

I have one word for you – adios!


avatar Ernie McCray January 10, 2011 at 11:05 am

Whoooo, we better watch out or the next thing we know we’ll be “all caught up in HOPE and CHANGE! Whoooo, we don’t want that nonsense. America, America, where art thou?


avatar Andy Cohen January 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

NooooOOOoooo…… one’s advocating violence and the overthrow of government here……..Nothing to see here……..move along……..


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

And what this clearly shows is that All conservatives, republicans, and tea-partiers advocate violent revolutions, and they are all responsible for the Laughners acts….


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 11:41 am

No, again Ian. True conservatives understand, and mainstream republicans get it. It’s the tea partiers, the militias, and people like Joyce Kaufman, and their corporate allies who have not accepted the election in 2008, and who are using violent rhetoric in threatening “revolution” and the violent overthrow of the government.


avatar Ian January 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

OK, then I look forward to your future articles condemning such rhetoric from the left.


avatar Ernie McCray January 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Ian, why don’t you write the piece?


avatar Danny Morales January 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Ernie-He can’t because of lack of material. He won’t because he’s too busy providing cover for the murderous bastards of the right as libertarians are prone to do.

1. Attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate: “she couldn’t rationalize her urge to return to the cottage”.
2. Convert (a function or expression) to a rational form

Verb: Use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.

Any questions?


avatar Danny Morales January 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Ian-No, it strips bare the racism that lies at the foundation of the political right!


avatar OB Joe January 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Wow, you were very restrained in saying goodbye to Ian. I would have said, “Adios, motherfucker!”


avatar lane tobias January 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I couldn’t help but draw the parallels between this raving woman spewing vicious language, with an American flag on her chest…and her “namesake”, Abbie Hoffman, a yippie with similar talents for drumming up a “revolution”, with his American flag shirt, that back in the 60’s and 70’s was considered a “desecration” of the flag by the CIA and others interested in shutting down his peaceful movement. It is important not to draw too many lines in the sand at a time when we need to be as united as possible, but the aforementioned parallel seems to typify the current climate: This Kaufman wants bullets, while Abbie once “attempted” to lift the Pentagon off the ground using the “brain power” (and a little LSD…) of a couple thousand people sitting cross-legged, with their eyes closed, meditating. I say “attempted” because much of the foundation of the revolutionary spirit of the far Left comes from tongue in cheek educational, activism, while the Far Right seems to be content settling on assault rifles. It just doesn’t seem right that this is where our country is now.


avatar annagrace January 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Like you Lane, I trying not to draw too many lines in the sand, and like you, I can’t stop juxtaposing memories from other times onto the zeitgeist. When the Republican convention came to San Diego, protesters were confined to a chain link fence bullpen far far from the convention center. I know because I was there. Fast forward to today and it is just a-ok to to tote your heat to a town hall meeting, even one with the President in attendance. And in Arizona, anyone with a pulse can get a concealed weapon without a permit. It’s apparent to me that today’s “real” Americans wouldn’t stand for a bullshit protest bullpen. I am left wondering- why did we? And I also say- never again.


avatar Frank Gormlie January 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

As lane would say, bump ^


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