Elements on the left are now connecting the dots—the words of Palin and Fox News—to the deeds of accused mass murderer Jared Loughner.
This is not political hardball. This is political dirt ball.
Do any such dots exist in reality? Or only in the embittered minds and malevolent motives of those unreconciled to the defeat they suffered on Nov. 2?
Undeniably, political rhetoric is hotter than it has been since the 1960s and ought to be dialed down. But Barack Obama, talking tough in 2008 about how he would deal with Republican attacks, himself said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. ... Folks in Philly like a good brawl.”
In 2010, Obama called on Hispanics to join him and “punish our enemies.” Harry Reid in 2009 called Tea Party critics “evil-mongers” who disrupt town-hall meetings with “lies, innuendo and rumors.”
It is easy for journalists to imply or impute a causal connection between hot words and horrible acts. Simply twin the two in a story, or ask an interviewee if he thinks these words and those deeds are not connected. And then let the public imagination do the rest...
From the comments:
[Tom:] I don’t know anything about this particular congresswoman, but I find it ironic that the elites are up in arms over 1 nut taking a few shots at a member of congress, when our elected officials and their handlers are swimming in innocent blood. And their answer to the situation is to circle the wagons and threaten the American population with further erosions of our civil liberties. In the end, that could well be the legacy of this whole incident. Either way, it shows that the two political parties and their monied handlers really stand together against the people who elect them.
I also love how it is the fault of average Americans for the “heated rhetoric” that supposedly caused this incident. The elites are far more radical, paranoid and violent than the population at large! These people use the U.S. military (which they and the children rarely serve in) around the globe with disasterous results, force radical demographic and social change at home that few want, destroy our economic/employment base and spend massive amounts of money that will have to be paid through generations of higher taxes, with practically no input from citizens, and claim to be surprised that they are disliked! I’m not advocating violence, but what do these people expect? Average Americans are at least as alienated as the radical left was 40 or 50 years ago.
And why are there separate laws for shooting at a national politician or government worker? Are the penalties stiffer?
War is the ultimate act of political violence, and our elites don't think twice about starting unjustified wars of aggression that kill untold numbers of innocent soldiers and civilians, waste massive amounts of money and cause unnecessary damage. I don't advocate political violence, but I also understand that our elites, and the politicians who do their bidding, are not innocent are niave. Sometimes they get shot at, too. Unfortunately, actual innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire, whic is the real tragedy.
And another one:
[Bb]: "Undeniably, political rhetoric is hotter than it has been since the 1960s and ought to be dialed down."
But it won't be. Never before have the stakes been so high. We have an obtrusively "in-your-face" government, run on debt to the detrement of the citizens' wealth (and to the benefit of the well-connected), full of increasingly insular politicians and their hirelings, whose disdain towards "petition for redress of grievences" has grown into an air of untouchability.
Well, this past weekend, some nutjob touched 'em.