Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Shooting of U.S. Rep. Giffords

If Rep. Giffords survives her injuries, and hopefully she will, it will be because of the brave actions of her staff. Democratic aides around the country have been concerned for over two years about the violent rhetoric that has been coming from the Republican right wing. There have been acts of violence and even Giffords' office was attacked early last year. And yet I notice three things:

1. Many members of the media are somewhat whitewashing the violent rhetoric and calling it just 'normal' politics.
2. A number of Republicans, though with significant exceptions, are also denying a relationship between the rhetoric coming from the right and the violence in Tucson.
3. A number of Tea Party people are saying they will continue using the same rhetoric.

Of course, a fourth thing is going on. The attacker, Jared Lee Loughner, is painted as mentally unstable, meaning somehow that he's not really responding to the violent rhetoric of the last two years. And yet, why should anyone be surprised when those who first respond to violent rhetoric are mentally unstable? Certainly millions of Americans are not surprised. Certainly the hundreds of Democratic aides around the country are not surprised. Certainly law enforcement officials are not surprised.

Look, there's a brutal truth about violent rhetoric in this country: the rhetoric of fear and anger, which is just a step short of violent rhetoric, has always worked well for Republicans. Fear and anger pushes many moderates and independents to the right, and it pushes conservatives even harder to the right. Hardball Republicans like Lee Atwater knew this. Today, Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich know this.

In the case of Gingrich, have people so easily forgotten the militias of the 1990s? And of course, there are fools like Sarah Palin who cranks up the rhetoric more than most. People like Gingrich appreciate the Palins of the Republican Party since they make him look so much more, well, statemanslike?

In days like these, we need more Edward R. Murrows who can state the plain truth and not worry so much about their careers.

One of our smartest journalists is E. J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post. Here's what he has to say:
In an interview last March, the Arizona Democrat anticipated almost everything being said now and explained why what happened on Saturday is a violation of our national self-image as "a beacon." Our pride, she said, is that "we effect change at the ballot box" and not through "outbursts of violence."


Read the whole article.

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3 Comments:

Blogger L K Tucker said...

The rambling nonsense posts on YouTube say he was having a mental break.

The fact is that this shooting was probably preventable.

Forty years ago designers and engineers found a problem with human physiology capable of causing a mental break for office workers. Today home computer users can create the same "special circumstances" for Subliminal Distraction exposure.

There is evidence that the Atlanta Day Trader shooter, the Virginia Tech shooter, the Redlake school shooter, and the Jokela Finland school shooter created this problem and exposure.

There is no evidence in this shooting yet except those YouTube videos.

VisionAndPsychosis.Net has pages with this circumstantial evidence including suicides in China and France.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"In days like these, we need more Edward R. Murrows who can state the plain truth and not worry so much about their careers."

Now we have CNN's Jon King, in a nauseating effort to not seem partisan or take sides, claiming equivalence in the overheated rhetoric of left and right. As if any elected officials or candidates on the left have made the kind of too-cute-by-half statements intimating gun violence is called for, the way Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and others on the routinely do.

Then, there are the irresponsible rants of right-wing noise machine personalities like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage and so on.

We're so far from the ethical journalism and legitimate, muckraking commentaries of Murrow that there's no comparison.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Thanks for your comments, S.W. I've been over to your blog a couple of times and appreciate the aptness of your posts. I hope any readers who read this head over there.

You're right about Murrow. There are journalists who remember him but can't quite reach that level. For once, Olbermann almost reached that level tonight. He calmly (sic) demolished Sarah Palin's video in the second hour of his show. It's astounding that with six people dead, several people wounded, and Giffords severely injured but extraordinarily lucky to be alive, Palin chose this opportunity to claim victimhood.

11:14 PM  

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