A friend of mine who has used terms such as "tar and feathers" and the like to describe the hoped-for fate of incompetent, corrupt, officious, and occasionally evil politicians and government officials related to me that he is ashamed of his rhetoric in light of the tragic and barbaric assassination of Judge John Roll and a nine year old girl, and the grievous wounding of many others, including the apparent target Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
To which I ask, "Why?"
I'll admit that I've used terms "Rope!" like "up against the wall" in discussing corrupt and incompetent government officials, as a metaphor. I don't actually wish to see corrupt government officials hung from streetlamps, or shot by firing squads, because I oppose the death penalty. But I would like to see them impeached, imprisoned, and sued straight into a bankruptcy court.
"Rope!" is just a handy, one-word metaphor. I'll say this one time, in case anyone reading this is such a moron as to think I actually mean that you and a gang of your fellow citizens should lead the next congressman who's found taking bribes for favors, or molesting sixteen year old pages, from his house and hang him from the tree in his front yard: I don't. I only endorse hanging and firing squads, literally, in places like Romania or, to choose a more contemporary example, Belarus.
I really mean that I'm outraged, and that I think he should be disgraced and voted from office. If you think I mean it literally, you're a moron.
And I refuse to be ashamed of myself, or of others who may read and enjoy this site, just because you're a moron.