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January 08, 2011


Very nicely put. I agree completely. Thanks for posting this.

Brian, for someone who claims to place the safety of humanity over "inflammatory" political rhetoric, it sure didn’t take you long to politicize this senseless tragedy. Blaming ideological influence and inflammatory political rhetoric for the actions of this nutcase is like blaming JD Salinger for the actions of Mark David Chapman. By your thinking, Catcher in the Rye should have never been published.

Now that it’s clear your “if this and if that” ideological speculation about this nutcase is off by 180 degrees – do you have any words for your fellow progressives about THEIR rhetorical public statements? If you still think political messages caused this idiot to pull the trigger, don’t you at the very least want to take to task your fellow Democrats and lefty progressives for using the very same inflammatory rhetoric you accuse the right wing of using?

DJ, I'll let blogger PJ Myers do most of my responding to your comment. I'll just add that if you can find progressives carrying guns to rallies and talking about engaging in "second amendment remedies," please pass on that info. Please make it as detailed as this Insurrection TImeline that shows what the righties have been up to:

Here's an excerpt from Myers' blog post, "Don't politicize this tragedy!"

"What we have here is an attempted assassination of a politician by an insane crank at a political event, in a state where the political discourse has been an unrelenting howl of eliminationist rhetoric and characterization of anyone to the left of Genghis Khan as a traitor and enemy of the state…and now, when six (including a nine year old girl) lie dead and another fourteen are wounded, now suddenly we're concerned that it is rude and politicizing a tragedy to point out that the right wing has produced a toxic atmosphere that pollutes our politics with hatred and the rhetoric of violence?

Screw that. Now is the time to politicize the hell out of this situation. The people who are complaining are a mix of lefty marshmallows whose first reaction to the fulfillment of right-wing fantasies by a lunatic is to drop to their knees and beg forgiveness for thinking ill of people who paint bullseyes on their political opponents, and right wing cowards who are racing to their usual tactic of attacking their critics to shame them into silence. This is NOT the time to back down and suddenly find it embarrassing to point out that right-wing pundits make a living as professional goads to insanity."

Right on. No time to back down. Sorry DJ, you'll have to suck it up and get used to being on the defensive until right-wingers come to their senses and stop with the hate, vitriol, and gun-toting threats.

[Update: can't resist adding this additional excerpt from Myers' post:
tanfill has also collected a short list of brief comments — and I agree with every one of them.

If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web with crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking. - Michael Moore

A physician cannot treat an illness s/he willfully refuses to diagnose. Violent political rhetoric is not fault of "both sides." - Tom Tomorrow

Inspiring that our media pundits are so quick to reach for "everyone's to blame" when no conservative events have been terrorized by gunmen. - Jeffrey Feldman

Weird: rightwingers say movies, video games affect behavior -- but real world violent rhetoric from leaders & radio talkers have NO impact! - Tom Tomorrow

Jared Lougnner: drug arrests, too crazy for Army or for college or anything else, but getting a legal gun? No problem. - Tom Tomorrow

I find it abhorrent that Sarah Palin would stoke the coals of extremism with dangerous messaging, then delete it when something bad happens. - Jason Pollock

Sure, Sarah Palin didn't pull the trigger. But then, neither did Charles Manson. - auntbeast

Christina Taylor Green was Born on September 11, 2001, and killed today by terrorist fuckheads in Arizona. Irony much? - geeksofdoom

Sarah Palin rummages online frantically erasing her rabble-rousing Tweets like a Stalinist trimming non-persons out of photos. - Roger Ebert

I'll say this, if your first instinct after hearing about a tragedy is to scrub yr websites, you have a problem as a political movement. - digby56

CNN's Dana Bash says "this could be a wake-up call." THIS ... ? The whole Tea Party, carrying guns to rallies WASN'T?? - hololio2

Teaparty asses have been asking for this to happen, and how they're pissed off that we're calling them out on it. - TLW3

STOP SAYING"BOTH PARTIES"!! The Left has not been advocating Violence. @CNN assholes. - YatPundit


Your brain has melted down into a morass of political bias. You should be embarrassed.

The shooting occured near where I live. My son used to work at the
Safeway where this thing occured and go to the same school as the shooter. The shooter did this because he is a paranoid psychopath and for no other reason. He was well known for his erratic, disruptive, incoherrent behavior for years. Before Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. He was into conspriracies of all kinds and the world was closing in on him. He finally snapped. You are a fool for blaming this on political vitriol.

Tie your knee down so it doesn't jerk before you hear what I say next.

Calmly listen to O'Reilly's commentary on the Arizona shooting from his broadcast of Jan. 10...


tucson, the Congresswoman's shooting has touched off a healthy nationwide discussion about the dangers of inflammatory, over-the-top vitriol such as is pervasive in Arizona.

The killer, as with all of us, doesn't exist in a social vacuum. We all swim in the sea of our culture. As many others have noted, both the mentally ill and the mentally healthy are affected by the messages they/we hear -- on the airwaves, in person, in writing, on the Internet, and otherwise.

When someone is paranoid, mistrusting the government, yearning for the gold standard, etc., and he hears Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Michael Savage, and other right-wingers talking about Second Amendment remedies and the duty of citizens to defend themselves against a socialist (or communist) Muslim president who isn't even an American citizen, those words, crazy as they are, make crazy people even crazier.

Yelling "fire!" in an arsonist's ear isn't going to make him rush to a fire extinguisher; it's going to make him think of starting one.

There's a reason Sarah Palin scrubbed all signs of her infamous "crosshairs" posting from her web site: she's ashamed of it. But if language has no consequences, no effect on mentally unbalanced people like the shooter, why is Palin doing this? Because she knows how bad it looks for her to have been targeting Congresswoman Giffords through a gun sight.

I'm hoping that this tragedy leads this country into a much greater respect for civility, facts, and open balanced discussion, not screams of "You lie!" or "Death panels!" One way this will happen is for each of us to refuse to put up with the aforementioned vitriol. That was why I put up this post -- to play my small part in saying "No more" to those who carelessly talk about Second Amendment solutions and armed insurrection.

These people are for real, as documented in a link I posted on another comment:

Brian, still waiting for you to post my comment from yesterday, repeated below. I'll assume you made an error and that it has nothing to do with your inability to respond.
Whoa there, Brian. One lefty premise at a time. What's the matter, can't defend your original post? Time to escalate the rhetoric?? I'll answer your question if you first answer mine without changing the topic or answering a question with a question.

Do you still - or do you not - stand by your original premise that political messages caused this idiot to pull the trigger? If so, don’t you want to take to task your fellow Democrats and lefty progressives for using the very same inflammatory rhetoric you accuse the right wing of using?

Blogger Brian said: "When someone is paranoid, mistrusting the government, yearning for the gold standard, etc., and he hears Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Michael Savage, and other right-wingers talking about Second Amendment remedies and the duty of citizens to defend themselves against a socialist (or communist) Muslim president who isn't even an American citizen, those words, crazy as they are, make crazy people even crazier."

--This guy was going to snap. People said he was getting worse all the time. I'm in the community. People know about this guy. At Pima College he did all sorts of bizzare stuff and had to be removed. In the old days he would have been "committed" and hauled off in a straight jacket. If it wasn't Giffords it would have been the post office or a Wendy's, or the college campus. These loner sociopaths have to act out to validate themselves and their neurosis. They are so weak they have to destroy in an attempt to get power.

You talk about Sarah Palin's crosshairs. Go back to the O'Reilly link and find Bernie Goldberg's comments. He shows a democrat's campaign with bullseyes on key areas that must be won. Democrats weren't railing about the evils of that were they? It's all so hypocritical. Politics sucks.

Take the muslim military doctor who went on the shooting spree. It was considered unfair to blame muslim extremism for what he did. Yet that is exactly what you do when you blame the heated political rhetoric for what happened in Tucson.

The fact is that people go nuts. To make political hay out of it is a cheap shot.

When Reagan was shot people weren't running around saying there is too much vitriol and that helped set the shooter off. These types are wack jobs that march to their own drummer.

The left is desperate because their vision is failing and will grasp every opportunity to make the other side look bad. The right sees its values threatened and seizes every opportunity to make the other side look bad.

It's a sick game.

DJ, I've published all of your comments. Yes, I stand by my post. The right is way crazier than the left. You won't find progressives speaking about Second Amendment remedies and carrying guns to political rallies.

This is one of the best pieces I've read on this subject, on our own Blue Oregon. The author says it well in "Own It, Tea Party."

It starts out this way:

"If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.” – Sharron Angle

For a good deal of America, the Second Amendment represents freedom – freedom to protect yourself, freedom to hunt. For many, it also represents freedom to protect your family from the government, if and when such a time comes that it's necessary to take up revolution.

Make no mistake – the message has been clear. From Glenn Beck's "If you must shoot, shoot to kill," to Sarah Palin's "Don't retreat, reload," there's been an thinly-veiled pushing of a right-wing agenda for revolution, a coddling of the notion that everyone has their limits, an embracing of the idea that sometimes, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.

So here's where I get confused. The war drums have been pounding for almost two years, with the implication that sometimes, armed revolution is justified. Then someone goes and follows through, someone gets just enough crazy in them to start shooting at a congresswoman and a federal judge and a little girl, and somehow they've crossed the line?

The Tea Party is having it both ways! You can't in one breath say there's a time and a place for warfare, and in another breath disown it every time it happens.

The host writes: "Then someone goes and follows through, someone gets just enough crazy in them to start shooting at a congresswoman and a federal judge and a little girl, and somehow they've crossed the line?"

--You are misinformed and ignorant of the psychology of these types and more impotantly of this individual. The shooter didn't "follow through" on anything. By all accounts of those who knew him he was apolitical. He wasn't there to shoot Giffords because of her politics or her stance on border issues. He was there because he wanted to make a name for himself by getting someone famous. This is simply the case of a desperate act of a psychopath paranoid schizophrenic to validate himself in a world where he felt disconnected and rejected, and not because Giffords supported Obamacare, etc. He felt he was nothing and this would make him something.

Are the Beatles responsible for Charles Manson? Is Ozzie Osborne responsible for the acts of the Night Stalker? I guess if someone shoots Sarah Palin we'll blame columnist Paul Krugman.

There are always those who want to exploit this angle and it is disgusting and hypocritical. When some on the left said they hoped Cheney would die from his heart problems where was the outcry from the rest of the left about the inflamatory rhetoric of their bretheren? I guess its OK if its from the side you're on.

To exploit this current shooting as the fault of political rhetoric by the tea party or conservative commentators and republicans is just plain opportunistic, dishonest, malicious and repulsive. Frankly, I am disinclined to associate with those who stoop to this level.

tucson, my condolences for the pain your gem of a little city is enduring. You’re right about this guy being a lone wolf killer. As this forensic psychiatrist points out, political civility will do nothing to reduce lone wolf attacks.

Brian, since you stand by your original post, please finish answering my question and explain why you do not equally condemn Democrat/lefty/progressive use of the very same type of inflammatory rhetoric.

1) Why do you not condemn West Virginia’s Joe Manchin for the commercial ad where he took aim and unloaded on a “cap-and-trade” target? Is it because he’s a Democrat?

2) Why do you not condemn the Democratic Leadership Council for their “Targeting Strategy” map with a “BEHIND ENEMY LINES” caption? Don’t their ‘words have consequences’ too? http://usactionnews.com/2011/01/democratic-leadership-council-had-target-map-in-2004/

3) Why do you not condemn the 1/06/2011 Daily Kos post by BoyBlue about Rep. Giffords that he titled, “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!”

4) Why do you not condemn Daily Kos for subsequently “scrubbing all signs” of BoyBlue’s post from Daily Kos immediately after the shooting? Is this not too a ‘sign of shame?’ (The above is from Google’s cache).

5) Why do you not condemn Markos Moulitsas himself for a post in which he created a “target list” of Blue Dog Dems and placing a “bulls eye on their district” – including on Rep. Giffords? Do you ‘delight’ in his comments? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/25/1204/74882/511/541568

6) Why do you not condemn Gabriel Range for writing and directing the movie, “Death of a President” that depicted the assassination of President GW Bush? Do you ‘consider it cute?’ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0853096/

7) Why do you not condemn then Senator Obama for his inflammatory political rhetoric: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” His comment’s context was that he would escalate any rhetoric Republicans brought to the 2008 presidential campaign. Do you condemn such escalation, especially given the violent imagery of the metaphor? What would you have said if someone had subsequently sprayed a crowd with bullets at John McCain’s next ‘knife fight?’ Would you have blamed Obama or the shooter? http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/06/14/obama-if-they-bring-a-knife-to-the-fight-we-bring-a-gun/

8) Why do you not condemn Pima County Sheriff Dupnik for inflammatory political rhetoric of his own? His comments are the perfect example of a chief investigator violating the “no comment” rule and creating potentially damaging pretrial publicity in doing so. Why such an idiot move from a veteran law enforcer? Is it because he knew the coming criticism his department would soon be taking? Dupnik’s department encouraged several victims who reported death threats from the pothead lunatic shooter to NOT PURSUE CHARGES – charges that may have prevented/revoked his legal possession of a gun. Who had more direct control to prevent the tragic events of that day – The Tea Party or Dupnik? http://thechollajumps.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/jared-loughner-is-a-product-of-sheriff-dupniks-office/

Now, Brian, to your question about “Second Amendment remedies” and progressives:
1) Your claim is, “You won’t find progressives speaking about Second Amendment remedies…” Really, Brian? If most progressives don’t believe in Second Amendment remedies – then why are “well-regulated militias” the only interpretation of the Second Amendment most progressives support? Surely a well-regulated militia is better prepared to administer a “Second Amendment remedy” than the individual gun owner. You yourself lamented progressive opposition to individual gun rights here: http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2010/07/progressives-should-support-gun-rights.html

2) Your claim is, “You won’t find progressives…carrying guns to political rallies.” Really, Brian? (Again, YOU YOURSELF favor the right to carry a gun in public, so why not to a parking lot political rally?) Well I didn’t have to look far…it turns out one of the heroes on Jan 8th was retired Army colonel Joe Zamudio, described by his wife as someone who “just loves Gabby.” Joe rushed to the scene from a nearby store and with gun in hand took the proper steps to discern the good guys from the bad guy before jumping in to help. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/11/2011-01-11_if_they_hadnt_grabbed_him__i_would_have_shot_him.html?r=news

If I ever attend a progressive political rally, I want a true Second Amendment gun carrying progressive like Joe standing next to me.

Thanks DJ. This tragedy is a blow to me, this community and to this country.

I do not agree with Giffords' politics at all, but I would never wish this upon her. As a human being she is well thought of by many of those who know her.

Yes, Brian. What DO you have to say about the points DJ and I raised? He especially put in the work and deserves a response.

Mr Hines,

I very much agree with Tucson, you are way off-base. Its obvious you have some sort of axe to grind, and its clear that you are clueless. It would behoove you to educate yourself more about the real facts, instead of remaining so blatantly ill-informed, mislead, ignorant, politically biased, and downright hypocritical about this tragedy and its perpetrator. I suggest you start here:



streaming audio:



Don't bother looking at infowars.com, it is just a right-wing scree website run by Alex Jones, another inflammatory right-wing radio talker and conspiracy theorist.


Your're dead WRONG Nw. You clearly don't have any clue about Alex Jones. You have probably never even listened to his daily 4 hour radio program, or studied the information on his websites, or seen his many films. Your comment shows how ignorant and uninformed you are.

First of all, Jones is not "right-wing" or "inflammatory" or "conspiracy theory".

( a) Jones is a liberatarian and a constitutionalist.

(b) His views are sober and his information is factual and well documented.

(c) If you really want to know about Alex Jones, then go listen to what the man himself has to say, not to some lame, biased, and second or third-hand wikipedia article. If you don't anything know what the man actually says, then you have no right to label or criticise him. You are just another dim-wit who is brainwashed by the MSM.

Alex Jones is just another right-wing talk radio blowhard. Look at this Youtube video of Alex Jones "New World Order": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPy8SnzRsqc

Look at 2:25: "Getting rid of our borders...merging our social security systems and police and military...Deals have already been signed...Peace keeping is the disarmament and enslavement of the people". None of those statements are true and are in fact a lie.

We Americans who can think for ourselves do not accept this crap.

Snaggletooth, you are the one who is brainwashed.

Politicizing this tragedy like you have is deplorable and disgusting. You should be ashamed.

Sam, I'm proud to stand up for American ideals of honesty and civil discourse. It's the Tea Party'ers who should be ashamed of lying and shouting down others.

Here we have opposing points of view from Sam and Blogger Brian.

One of them may be telling it like it is.

One of them may be coming from a place of ideological prejudice.

No one will convince the ideologue of his misperceptions and his view through distorted glasses. No matter what is said will the ideologue see differently because he is a blindly partisan advocate of a certain political point of view.

Ideologues are highly emotional and will not easily be shifted with logic and facts. The irony is that the ideologue believes his viewpoint is logical and factual because he selectively chooses information based on his prejudice. He can't understand why those who disagree don't see things as he does and is very frustrated with these people.

This furstration ramps up the tone of his rhetoric and causes him to be ever more stubborn in his point of view.

It is rather a vicious circle. The more you show the ideologue to be wrong, the stronger he holds to his beliefs.

Who is the ideologue of the two? Sam? Brian? Both? Neither? Insufficient information to decide?

Your call.

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