Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pointing Fingers Doesn't Whitewash the Vitriolic Rhetoric of the Far Right

I know people who describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party.  They strongly stand behind Sarah Palin.  They are the people who live and breathe the words of Beck and Linbaugh.
After the senseless shooting on Saturday, they are also looking for someone to blame other than those who talk about putting public figures in the crosshairs.
In the New York Times article, parts of which are posted below, Carl Hulse and Kate Zernike predict this event will set off a wrenching debate over anger and violence in our political sphere.
They are right. 
This isn't a debate about the 2nd. Amendment, it is a debate about how far the fringe elements of our political system are allowed to take their "put my opponents in YOUR crosshairs" rhetoric.
A nine year old girl was killed on Saturday.  Was her life considered collateral damage in the far right's war on health care and other issues?
Yes there will be a debate. 
I, for one, know where I will stand.


Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics


By CARL HULSE and KATE ZERNIKE

WASHINGTON — The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a neighborhood meeting in Arizona on Saturday set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics.

While the exact motivations of the suspect in the shootings remained unclear, an Internet site tied to the man, Jared Lee Loughner, contained antigovernment ramblings. And regardless of what led to the episode, it quickly focused attention on the degree to which inflammatory language, threats and implicit instigations to violence have become a steady undercurrent in the nation’s political culture.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”

The image is no longer on the Web site, and Ms. Palin posted a statement saying “my sincere condolences are offered to the family of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.” (Late Saturday, the map was still on Ms. Palin’s Facebook page.)