I should not have to say that a mass murder and attempted assassination by a wackjob who did everything to advertise his wackjobbery short of renting the Goodyear Blimp had nothing to do with political discourse, but it appears I must. Even before we knew Jared Loughner’s name, members of the progressive commentariat and the MSM blamed his crime on the so-called violent rhetoric of Sarah Palin and/or the Tea Parties. That didn’t happen by accident nor was it merely an intemperate reaction to a sudden tragic event.
One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”
This is a political game, folks. As much as it disgusts me to say so, progressives have no interest in mourning the dead. They’d much rather dance them around like gruesome marionettes to stack a couple more points onto their plummeting approval ratings. As Jazz Shaw eloquently wrote, we don’t need to play that game.
I understand the anger. I do not appreciate being called a murderer by the ideological descendants of eugenicists and fascists because I use the millenia-old rhetorical device called a metaphor any more than you do. However, we should understand that their insults aren’t emotional reactions but calculated attacks designed to put us on the defensive and take our attention from thrashing them in the halls of Congress. Do you really think that the professional left-wing bloggers like Kos and John Aravosis and Jane Hamsher, who just happen to be singing the same tired hymn about conservatives, came up with that all by themselves just off the tops of their pointed little heads? On a Saturday? The first weekend after the GOP took power in the House?
Pull the other one. It has bells on.
But consider this question from Tim Carney.
What if we could go back in time, six years, and change only our political rhetoric, with the sole aim of preventing this massacre. Can anyone prescribe a course of action with any confidence they could reduce the probability of Loughner doing what he did?
I’ll extend that question a step farther. Let’s say we outlawed the use of crosshair imagery in politics, like this Democratic member of Congress now wants to do, five years ago. Do you think it would have mattered one bit? I don’t think any reasonably intelligent person (and I’m defining that as someone who can feed themselves without assistance and put on a pair of pants without getting both legs jammed into one leg hole) would think so. Yet this is exactly the path down which the left wants to lead us.
Now that’s a question I bet you can answer.