Let's go back to 2012, when talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh called "women's reproductive rights" advocate Sandra Fluke a slut. Remember the reaction?
There were calls for Limbaugh's head. Some sponsors pulled out of his show. He was soundly criticized, and rightly so. I was one of the critics.
Fast-forward to late December of 2012, when an American newspaper published an op-ed piece in which the writer calls for the government to declare a perfectly legal organization whose members had broken no laws a terrorist group and make membership in it illegal.
The writer further suggests leaders of the opposition party in Congress be chained to pickup trucks and dragged around until they changed their views to those of the party in power.
As sort of a coup de grace, the writer then suggests that Americans unwilling to surrender their firearms to the government be summarily executed in their homes.
If that sounds like the writer was advocating a totalitarian state with a government that commits mass murder, that's because that's precisely what he was advocating.
Now imagine a supposedly mainstream newspaper runs that column. If some of Limbaugh's sponsors abandoned him, shouldn't the paper's advertisers yank their ads?
The paper in question here is the Des Moines Register. The writer is indeed one Donald Kaul.
So that I'm not accused of misquoting Kaul -- as some have done, alleging that he advocated the government kill National Rifle Association leaders -- I'll cite verbatim portions of the column.
"Here, then, is my 'madder-than-Hell-and-I'm-not-going-to-take-it-anymore' program for ending gun violence in America:
"Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It's badly written, confusing and more trouble than it's worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a 'well regulated militia.' We don't make the militia bring their own guns to battle. And surely the Founders couldn't have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.
"Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization's headquarters, clear the rubble, and salt the earth, but that's optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing works for me.
"Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
"And if that didn't work, I'd adopt radical measures."
Anywhere wondering what happened to the soul of departed Soviet Union tyrant Josef Stalin after he died now knows where it went: straight into Donald Kaul's body.
Now let's briefly recap: Limbaugh calls Fluke a slut, gets universally condemned and has sponsors abandon his show. Fluke gets a call of support from President Obama.
Kaul falsely accuses NRA members of mass murder, suggests the NRA be declared a terrorist organization for no other reason than that the views of said members are different from his and wants membership declared illegal.
Then he suggests we give Senate Minority Leader McConnell and Speaker of the House Boehner the James Byrd treatment by having them dragged behind a pickup truck.
Neither Kaul nor the editors of the Des Moines Register have received the condemnation Limbaugh did. Neither McConnell nor Boehner should hold their breath waiting for that call from Obama. Kaul's vitriolic invective will be viewed as good old left-wing civility.
If liberals and left-wingers get any more civil, conservatives and Republicans might have to start wearing body armor.
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.