Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yes, vitriol fuels violence

The Arizona shooter was clearly crazy. Have you ever known a mass murderer who was not?

The divide in this nation just got deeper with the senseless killings in Tucson. The right wing will try to dance away from the mass murders while the left portrays the vitriol as fuel for violence.

I’m with the lefties. And I’m guilty of hot thoughts. You cannot imagine what I want to scream at Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party cranks who display their guns at public events as a sign of patriotism.

Madness. Where is the balance?

Of course the guy was a nut. But who knows how all the nasty campaign rhetoric played inside his head? Words have consequences, as Congresswoman Giffords said in a sad prophecy after the Sarah Palin website put a rifle sight on her district and named her by name.

Only a fool blinded by ignorance cannot see the cause and effect. The very act of taking down the offending Palin web site acknowledges it was wrong from the start.

I would suggest, Speaker Boehner, now is the time to cry – for our nation.

And hold tight to our thoughts for the dead and the wounded.


George said...

Read the New Yorker article: "It doesn't matter why he did it."

And read the comments. This is what I'm talking about

The South Plainsman said...

Poor Palin. She "targeted" a number of Congressional Districts where the Republicans could win, and now she is to blame for that shooting.

The left ignores the fact that in 2008 The Daily Kos "targeted" that district to be "primaried" because the Congresswoman wasn't liberal enough.

And nobody mentions the vitriolic post on Kos criticizing the Congresswoman that was taken down immediately after the shooting.

We have had political disagreements in our country since it began. Sometimes both sides escalate the differences to an extreme.

I would bet that the shooter never even saw either Palin's post or the ones on Kos.

Our problem is that there are lots of deranged people running around, but you can't put them all away. They have the break the law first.

It is very sad that the Congresswoman and the others were victims of that looney toons. None of them deserved it. It is a real tragedy.

But I think it is wrong to blame it on political discourse. Blame it on the shooter.

George said...

I blame Palin's hate speech for creating the climate that nurtures hate crimes.

Angle, Beck, Tea Party -- all of them are fostering hate.

Treasonous. Dangerous.

How many more people have to die before you will admit there is cause and effect?

The South Plainsman said...

Another former high school classmate said that Mr. Loughner may have met Representative Giffords, who was shot in the head outside the Safeway supermarket, several years ago.

“As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”

“He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was ‘stupid & unintelligent,’ ” she wrote.

George said...

Politico writes:

By MAGGIE HABERMAN | 1/9/11 9:46 AM EST Updated: 1/9/11 11:55 AM EST

The feds are reportedly probing whether shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner has ties to an anti-Semitic, anti-government hate group that has ads for tea party organizations on its website.

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance.

The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says.

It’s not immediately clear that Loughner is actually a member.

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

The group’s website features what appear to be paid advertisements for tea party versions of the “don’t tread on me” flag.

Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, made clear in an interview with Fox News that the group considers itself a think tank of sorts with a conservative circular that’s available by subscription.

Asked about the memo, he said, “That is complete nonsense. I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about.”

He told the cable channel that his group checked subscriber lists for its circular and found no record of Loughner subscribing or attending events.

Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, described the American Renaissance’s journal as a “kind of white-collar, white supremicists outlet, better described as white nationalists” that is read by “pseudo intellectuals” and “academic racists.”

He said the group focuses on race and IQ issues, specifically that African Americans are not as intelligent as whites.

The group had a debate about whether they should also concentrate on Jews, but the majority “was not into that,” Potok said.

“Jared Taylor is not an anti-Semite,” Potok said.

George said...

I just read this at Salon by Joan Walsh. Very telling.

"Sadly, to my knowledge, no conservative leader has yet called for dialing back the rage on the right in the wake of the Giffords shooting. Sarah Palin sent condolences to Giffords' family, but said nothing about her unconscionable SarahPAC map putting 20 House members, including Giffords, in actual crosshairs for supporting healthcare reform, or her infamous Tweet telling conservatives "don't retreat, reload." Giffords' 2010 Tea Party challenger, Jesse Kelly, hasn't apologized for inviting supporters to "shoot a fully automatic M16" to "get on target for victory" and "remove Gabrielle Giffords from office." Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle hasn't yet recanted her statement about the need to pursue "Second Amendment remedies" if political change lags behind the Tea Party's dreams."

paula said...

Well said, George. None of this rhetoric has anything to do with differences in political policy. What you hear day in and day out from the right is a call to arms, with little regard for the consequences of that call.
What political disagreements are we talking about, SP? Arguments are conducted between serious, thoughtful people who show respect for each other. These threats are against people, not policies, and they're couched in the language of death and destruction, not the merits of certain policies or pending legislation.
We've got people who entertain the thought of running for high office actually saying they want to "take out" the opposition, remove that person from office using any means necessary, etc. That's the talk of war and thuggery, not political discourse. There's no place in a serious democracy for personal threats, even empty ones designed to attract attention and make the speaker look bigger and more powerful than he or she actually is.

Nance said...

Paranoid schizophrenia will find its narrative in the paranoid preachings of the day. It will find its narrative, regardless, but its secondary victims will be specific: they will be the enemies identified by those preachers.

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