I hope not to have to spend too much time on this topic. I’ve already said my piece, the data stands on its own.
I am going to point out some of the inadvertent arguments a few pundits have brought up to disavow any responsibility for this tragedy, and how they make a really strong for argument taking some.
First up, the real victim in all of this: Sarah Palin
After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
There’s two things that jump out of this statement, both very revealing and hopefully enough people will see how dangerously hypocritical this woman is.
First up…the explicit acknowledgement that “blood libel” serves only to incite hatred and violent, and that it is reprehensible. Think on this for a moment, in Palin’s dismissal of any responsibility for the violence associated with her own heated rhetoric, she cites the hatred and violence that might be directed at her by heated rhetoric.
For her point to hold any water here, it would have to have been her, not Giffords who was the actual victim of violence.
Second, and to understand how absurd Sarah Palin’s claim is here, you need to understand a few things. One, Gabrielle Giffords was Jewish. Two, Sarah Palin targeted Giffords in the campaign, both with fiery rhetoric and images. Three, Giffords, and not Sarah Palin, was shot. That last bit is important. Sarah doesn’t seem to have quite yet processed that essential piece of information.
The jewish lady being the target of the physical violence after repeated irresponsible statements is not nearly as a big a victim of “blood libel” as the Christian lady who repeatedly directed that heated rhetoric that way (and who now is afraid of attacks inspired by people pointing out her history of vitriolic rhetoric….can you taste it? The hypocrisy is so thick here I am choking on it).
How much blame should Palin take? Charles Krauthammer (noted Republican apologist and general douchebag) makes it very clear here (after you wade though a bunch of half-statements and accusations against liberals).
Furthermore, the available evidence dates Loughner’s fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform.
I see…so Loughner is fixated on Giffords since 2007, but doesn’t get the gumption to reload and use a second amendment solution until 3 years later in 2010 after Palin takes her bulldog act to the national stage, and the Tea Party storms the Capital (unarmed…this time)…at the urging of Glenn Beck, and the political discourse in this country descends below the sewer, largely driven by the continued irresponsible statements of one Sarah Palin.
Thanks Chuck. I know you didn’t mean to, but you have layed out the most concise reasoning possible for why Palin should, at the very least, quit attacking others verbally after they’ve been attacked physically. And for once, just once, admit that maybe, just maybe, she’s a bit over the top and should take it upon herself to try and tone down the volume.
But no. None of that. She’s the victim here of the those vicious liberals who, BTW…ect.., etc.., etc..
David Brooks, on the hand, while still dismissing any sort of responsibility for anyone or anything in this, appears to have completely forgotten recent history when he offers some solutions…
If the evidence continues as it has, the obvious questions are these: 1) How can we more aggressively treat mentally ill people who are becoming increasingly disruptive? 2) How can we prevent them from getting guns? 3) Do we need to make involuntary treatment easier for authorities to invoke?
1) Universal Health Care
2) Sane Gun Control
3) Expand state power and control? Really?!
This wouldn’t be such a bad list of suggestions (except for that last one), David, if the response to them wasn’t already known and goes thus;
1) DEATH PANELS COMING TO GET YOU!!!
2) OBAMA IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!!!!
3) SOCIALISM, SOCIALISM, SOCIALISM!!!
In conclusion, I’m going to re-iterate Krauthammer’s inadvertent point with Palin’s text…
There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated?
If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for for all of us. Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?”
A four-minute video montage of the the “tweets” — apparently sent after Saturday’s massacre in Arizona that left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
The video montage, set to the tune of The Beatles‘ “Imagine,” had nearly 400 views of as Thursday afternoon.
Attempts to reach some of the Twitter users who posted the messages were unsuccessful, but one claimed she is a “Reagan conservative” whose intent was taken out of context.
BTW, this is going to be used as another one of those examples on how “both sides are bad”, even though only one side keeps getting shot.