Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Monday, January 10, 2011

As Expected, but Wrongly: Left Blames Right for Tragic Shooting

Seeking to turn a terrible tragedy into political gain, many voices of the left wing of American politics, including the mainstream media, have put forth the idea that the Arizona shooting which took six lives and critically wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and hurt others, was incited by politicians of the right. Specifically, Sarah Palin is being blamed, since she had an electoral map showing targeted congressional seats with a crosshairs graphic.

But the left’s brush is big enough to smear not only Palin, but the entire Tea Party movement, Glenn Beck, and others.

“Progressive Arizona Rep Gabrielle Giffords is shot. In her ads, Sarah Palin had her targeted in a gun site. Inciting to violence.” – Jane Fonda on Twitter [1]

“In addition to issuing the map with cross-hairs on it, Palin told her supporters on Twitter: ‘Don't Retreat, Instead-RELOAD!’” [2]
Additionally, within minutes of the attack, hard left-winger Paul Krugman of the New York Times asserted that the reason Giffords was shot was because her seat was not turned over to Republicans. Despite that no political motive was at all known, Krugman immediately asserted that it was the fault of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

As to Andrew Sullivan, on his DailyDish blog for the Atlantic, Sullivan posted an unconfirmed and anonymous claim from “a reader” who claimed to have heard people in a store callously saying that they were glad that a Republican could be appointed to replace the wounded Giffords. This “reader” also claimed that one of them said, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.” [3]

This horrific incident is being exploited for political advantage in a way that is devious and desperate. The left has a new opportunity to falsely blame their opponents for something for which those being blamed have zero responsibility. The media will repeat the lie often and loudly enough that some will believe it.

Let’s consider a few relevant points:

1. Political partisanship has always been part of our culture. It is the main reason that we are not already enslaved by people like Barack Obama. It has never been wrong to use metaphors involving targets, guns, etc. for political purposes. That is taken by only the mentally unstable as being anything other than a metaphor. It is not anyone’s responsibility to make sure that what they’re saying won’t send some insane or mentally unstable person over the edge. Anything might do that for someone. Our Constitution designed our political structure to be an adversarial system on the belief that this would help prevent anyone from gaining too much power. Otherwise, we would have one-party rule and a communist-type government.

2. Extreme rhetoric is not nearly as much a problem as the extreme political positions and actions of radical fascist-socialists in positions of power in the federal government. Right-wing and Tea Party responses to government have necessarily and rightly been loud and strong. Our freedom is at stake. But none of this is responsible for the violence. The shooter is.

3. The Obama Administration has been steadily working to reduce and eventually virtually eliminate freedom of speech, especially political speech that opposes them. They will seize upon this as an excuse to try to force people to make their speech more friendly to the government, and to crack down on guns.

4. The person charged in these shootings cannot be classified as a right winger or Tea Party type. He appears to be a lunatic with political beliefs that are simply weird. He likes the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf , for example, and does not seem to have made any political statement that makes any sense. His alleged crime is on the order of that of John Hinckley, Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan, or Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into the IRS.

To try to link this crime to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, or the Tea Party, etc. is a disgusting display, and those who are doing it will not be successful. The American people (mostly) are able to see through this travesty.

Meanwhile, we express our sincere sympathy and offer prayers for all who have been hurt by this senseless and tragic event.

[1] Quoted by Boyce Watkins, Ph. D., “Critics Blame Sarah Palin, Tea Party for Shooting of Congresswoman,” 01/08/2011, BV Black Spin.


[2] Ibid.

[3] Warner Todd Huston, “As Arizona Shooting Story Unfolds, Media Already Blaming Tea Party/Sarah Palin,” 01/08/2011, Big Journalism. (Good analysis, recommended reading)

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4 comments:

The Conservative Leftist said...

You think that "people like Barack Obama" would enslave you if not for partisanship? Is this a sincere belief you hold, or is it just part of the game?

I agree that some bloggers and pundits that you could classify as liberal jumped to wrong conclusions in the aftermath of the shooting, but to say that some monolithic "Left" has uniformly acted in this way is wrong. Certainly I spoke out against it over at my blog. Certainly also the liberal president who you think wants to impose sharia socialism on America did not use this occasion to discourage freedom of speech or to propose gun restrictions. Quite the opposite.

I think your misguided views about your political opponents lead you to make predictions that don't come true. Perhaps that should tell you something.

Eddie said...

I think "people like Barack Obama" would have enslaved us already if not for strong partisan opposition. I'm not saying Barack himself will or can do it. It would be the ever-encroaching nanny-state, control-freak, busybody government Mr. Obama is so fond of that would, and may yet, do it. This is certainly no game for me.

"Many voices on the left" does not equal everyone on the left. But I'll stick by what I wrote.
I have not said that Obama wants to impose sharia socialism on us, it's mostly Western-European style socialism, with a strong dose of fascist corporatism, in a Marxist-friendly environment.

Obama's Tucson speech wasn't bad. But his actions show a definite disdain for freedom of speech as exemplified by ACT, COICA, "net neutrality," etc., and some of his friends, such as Rep. Clyburn wand to redefine freedom of speech. His Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagan is on record as favoring government deciding what is free speech and what isn't. Etc. As for gun control, hopefully the conservative House won't permit new restrictions.

Thanks for the comment.

Eddie said...

In the above comment, ACT should read ACTA. Also Obama wanted legislation to neutralize the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which struck down unconstitutional restrictions on free speech.

The Conservative Leftist said...

I enjoy your blog and I respect that you don't delete those comments of mine that are sometimes overheated and, more importantly, factually incorrect (I still regret failing to recognize the generational differences between us when I wrongly assumed your comment about "gangster government" was tainted with racism).

Nevertheless, we profoundly disagree on quite a lot. I am in favor of weirdness and eccentricities and I don't want a government based solely on consensus and solidarity. But guaranteeing some degree of well-being and basic needs does not represent some sort of freedom-destroying Marxist plot to take over our lives.

As someone on the left it truly is frustrating when people assume that taxation and regulation are the end and not the means. The point of this government action is to ensure that a diverse nation does not allow 1% of the population to create economic crises that will pull down the other 99%, and it is also to also ensure that in a society of plenty those who have failed to accrue capital won't starve on the streets or be sentenced to a life of indignity.