The Giffords shooting has truly separated the wheat from the repugnant chaff.
Paul Krugman in the NYTimes? In a column released on the NYTimes online before the last body was cold, and indeed looks pre-written? Chaff:
A Democratic Congresswoman has been shot in the head; another dozen were also shot.
We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was.
Krugman goes on to give no evidence that Loughner was politically motivated in any way.
She’s been the target of violence before.
And in Paul Krugman’s world, correlation equals causation – even if there’s no correlation!
And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.
Watch for the drumbeat over the coming weeks; “Rhetoric” will be targeted. Oh, just certain kinds of rhetoric; political “crosshairs” bad, “war” on obesity good.
Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary.
Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.
And there, finally, Krugman is right.
The left, shredded nationwide in the past election, needs a Reichstag Fire. Oklahoma City helped give Bill Clinton the horrible, emotionally-wrenching distraction he needed to regroup after his drubbing in 2004 (and by that I’m calling him an opportinist, not a conspirator); Krugman knows not to “waste a crisis”, too.
You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
“When did you stop beating your wife”.
Update: I see that Sarah Palin has called the shooting “tragic”. OK, a bit of history: right-wingers went wild over anyone who called 9/11 a tragedy, insisting that it wasn’t a tragedy, it was an atrocity.
And with that noxious tu quoque, we’ll move on to a more local example.
“Matt McNeil” is a “host” at AM950, a liberal talk “radio station” in the Twin Cities. He popped up on Twitter a few times yesterday:
The rhetoric of the right is playing out. I can’t wait for the righto’s saying “Who could have…”
As we’re all shocked, every Republican is meeting with their staff right now to figure out how they can seem sympathetic but not critical.
Oh screw you – all of those who are now saying “don’t rush to judgement,” We all know where this rhetoric was headed, don’t act surprised
All three before we knew who the shooter was, much less that Loughner is apparently insane.
Never waste a crisis, I guess. There are enemies to tar.
And yes, there are really depraved people on the fringes of every issue. We know that.
But when the New York Times gives space to someone whose only act is to fraudulently slander his political enemies, what does that say about the Times’ “rhetoric?”
More on “rhetoric” tomorrow.