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Monday, January 10, 2011

The unseemly rush to blame Palin, Tea Party & Reps for Arizona tragedy

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, by all accounts an outstanding public servant and person, is battling for her life in hospital after being shot by a 22-year-old man at close range at a “Congress On Your Corner” event in her home district. Six people are dead, including a judge and a girl of nine, and a dozen others are being treated for their wounds.

It is, as President Barack Obama said, an “unspeakable tragedy”. It is also, as he added, “a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society”. That much we know and the President wisely did not seek to make political capital out of the carnage or jump to conclusions about the motivations of the gunman, named as Jared Loughner.

That, of course, hasn’t stopped some on the Left clamouring to blame Sarah Palin, the Tea Party or Republicans in general for what happened.
Paul Krugman of the “New York Times” suggests darkly that Giffords was shot because she was “a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona” and “violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate” (those reponsible for such a climate being, of course, Republicans).

TBogg of FireDogLake wades straight in and blames Sarah Palin for the shooting because of a graphic of crosshairs placed on the districts of moderate Democrats who voted for healthcare reform. Was the Palin graphic clever? No. But martial imagery is standard political fare and, as Matt Lewis points out, there’s no shortage of Democrats who’ve engaged in it (VerumSerum has found a Democratic Leadership Committee target map).

Jane Fonda pins it on Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party.

Even the local sheriff (a Democrat) has been getting in on the act. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (a Democrat) said:
When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
Well, we’ll see. Personally, I’d be more reassured by a sheriff who concentrated on facts rather than over-heated, sweeping generalisations. (Continues here)

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