Tragedy Strikes Arizona: Fuck off, Sarah Palin. Seriously. Just Fuck Off.

I hope you’re happy, you vile malevolent joke of a human being.

I just got a panicked call from my mother asking me if I had heard what happened.  I hadn’t checked the news yet today because I’m frantically working on a brief.  She said that there had been a shooting.  My first thought was “Oh my god, they got him.” So I checked the news and found out that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, a federal judge, a 9-year-old, a Democratic aide and multiple others were killed.  Shot in the fucking head.  Killed.  Dead.  Where did this happen?  Tucson, Arizona —

ONE MILE FROM WHERE MY PARENTS LIVE.

A gunman opened fire Saturday onto a crowd at a public event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., killing at least five people and critically injuring the congresswoman.


The dead included U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl, President Obama said in a brief statement Saturday. Giffords, who was shot in the head, was among at least 13 people injured, according to the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office.

This is where our country is heading, and this is where certain politicians and pundits want this country to go.  When politicians and pundits talk about revolution, and rebellion, and the fucking tree of liberty being refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.  Political idealogues convince themselves that what they are doing is right, and just, and patriotic.  And when tragedy strikes, those who have actively created an environment where such tragedy is inevitable throw up their hands and say “Aw, what a shame.”

I remember writing about being outraged by Sarah Palin’s cross-hair map. I remember thinking what an absolutely stupid move it was.  And now some crazy fuck has put her plan into action, and she has the nerve to say “Wha?!  What’d I do?”

That’s what pisses me off  the most —  the utter hypocrisy of those who wanted this to happen — or at the very least, created an environment where this was bound to happen — now claiming to be sorry and to offer support to the friends and family of the dead.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin issued a statement on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, writing on Facebook:

“My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. 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.”

Ms. Palin is receiving criticism over her past call for supporters to “reload” and “take aim” at Democrats. Ms. Giffords was amongst a group of Democrats “targeted” by Ms. Palin’s SarahPAC.

The Alaska Republican’s Facebook page, at one point, carried a map featuring 20 gun sights, one for each of the Democrats targeted by her political action committee.

Ms. Palin defended the choice of words at the time, “Those are fine. They’re used all the time.”

The former Alaska Governor has repeatedly tweeted to her Twitter followers: “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: ‘Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!’”

No.  No. No.  You don’t get off that easily.  You don’t get to foment racism, hatred, and anger, and then when the shit goes down, sit back and play dumb.  You don’t get to say “I didn’t mean it.”  You don’t get to say that “people use those words all the time.”  You’re a goddamn public persona.  You don’t say those things, and if you do, you reap what you sow.  It becomes your responsibility.  YOURS.  It happened when Bill O’Reilly called Dr. Tiller a baby killer over and over and over until finally someone murdered him in cold blood — walked into his church in the middle of service and shot him in the head.

And it has happened again.

This is what Jon Stewart was talking about at the Rally for Sanity about toning down violent rhetoric:

“I can’t control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate–just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more. The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker–and perhaps eczema.

And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, calmly good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month old pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day!

The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundations that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do—often something that they do not want to do—but they do it–impossible things every day that are only made possible by the little reasonable compromises that we all make.

Look on the screen. This is where we are. This is who we are. (points to the Jumbotron screen which show traffic merging into a tunnel). These cars—that’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high. He’s going to work. There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now. There’s another car, (referring to the Jumbotron blowing in the wind) swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it—the lady’s in the NRA and she loves Oprah. There’s another car—an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car’s a Latino carpenter. Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan. But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear—often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by conscession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay—you go and then I’ll go.

And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst.

Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.

If you want to know why I’m here and want I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted.

Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you.”

I can’t say that I feel “strangely calmly good.”  I feel expectedly pissed off and angry, not only because this tragedy occurred a mile from where my parents live, but also because the sensible among us– the Jon Stewarts among us — are losing.  The Palins, O’Reillys, Coulters, Limbaughs and Becks — they are the ones who have a frightening stranglehold on the consciousness of America and they are winning!  People are scared, and rather than alleviate those fears, these thugs seek to exploit those fears for their own monetary and political gain.  These thugs don’t give a fuck about helping their fellow man; they are crabs in a barrel clawing up to the light and pushing other crabs down in their desperate bid to have the light shine only on them.  They want a reality show, or a gig as a Fox News correspondent, or to hold office just long enough so they can launch themselves into a cushy lobbying or Wall Street gig.  These people don’t care about America.  They say they say they do, but their disdain for Americans and our problems is palpable, and it’s disgusting.


So while you may want to sit around and gripe about who Obama chose for his Chief of Staff, think about what you stand for.  Then think about what the other guy or gal stands for.  Think about whether you have more in common with your neighbor than you do with the talking head on the teevee. Then pull your head out of your ass and let’s work together to make sure that the O’PalinBeckbaughs don’t drown us all in a whirlpool of hateful rhetoric.  Let’s kick these fuckers to the curb because if we don’t, we’ll have only ourselves to blame.

UPDATE: Apparently the following statements were on Jared Lee Loughner’s now deleted Myspace page (From the entirely unreputable source, WND which I’m not going to link because fuck them–they are calling him a left-leaning liberal because of course they are):

On his now deleted MySpace page, Lougher wrote a series of disjointed rants, including:

“If there’s no flag in the Constitution, then the flag in the film is unknown. There’s no flag in the Constitution. Therefore, the flag in the film is unknown. Burn every new and old flag that you see. Burn your flag!”

“I bet you can imagine this in your mind with a faster speed. Watch this protest in reverse! Ask the local police, ‘What’s your illegal activity on duty?'”

“If you protest the government, then there’s a new government from protesting. There’s not a new government from protesting. Thus, you aren’t protesting the government.”

[cross-posted here at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]






311 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Don’t forget the current tagline on the map: “We’ve diagnosed the problem… Help us prescribe the solution.”

    The final solution Sarah?

  2. 2
    gravie says:

    This is the same kind of rhetoric that fed Timothy McVeigh’s twisted worldview and we all know how that ended up. Bastards.

  3. 3
    IronyAbounds says:

    Lighten up Francis, the guy was just exercising his 2nd Amendment rights.

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    I don’t know, and almost don’t care, if today’s shooter was motivated by Palin; I do know that using rhetoric such as “reload” and “target Democrats” is fucking dangerous and staggeringly irresponsible. Fuck Palin for her quotes and her imagery; if it turns out this nutjob was motivated by her, maybe a monster civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages will shut that greedy bitch up.

  5. 5
    Jon H says:

    And now some crazy fuck has put her plan into action, and she has the nerve to say “Wha?! What’d I do?”

    Or “It was for the show.”

  6. 6
    Cassidy says:

    Oh noes! Speculation is wrong! Both sides do it!

  7. 7
    sherifffruitfly says:

    Have we gotten the “oh he’s sick and needs treatment” bullshit that we typically hear about white terrorists in this country? Or are those calls still in the works?

  8. 8
    Cermet says:

    Don’t forget first, and foremost who funds these monsters of hate! Yes, wallstreet, select billionaires (especially the owner of fake news) and other wealthy low life’s that will feed any hate, race baiting or as we now see, anything to get all the gov money to themselves – pigs one and all – these are the ONLY terrorist that really threaten amerika.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    Notice what’s missing from Palin’s statement? Any hint that her words and graphics might have been …poorly chosen, shall we say. Nothing about how violence is not an appropriate form of political speech.

    (that’s her complete statement, by the way. The newspaper didn’t cut out a single word)

    dms

  10. 10
    KCinDC says:

    For a few brief moments this afternoon I thought maybe there might be a little self-reflection on the right—well, maybe not that, but at least more reluctance to use violent rhetoric. But it’s becoming clear now that the line is that this guy was crazy and the shooting says nothing at all about our political environment. So tomorrow we’ll move on and it’ll be back to business as usual. No need to feel uneasy about liberal-hunting licenses, crosshairs, or calls for “2nd Amendment solutions”.

    Aside from that, the media will condemn extreme rhetoric “on both sides”.

  11. 11
    Tractarian says:

    If I have to hear one more screed indirectly blaming Palin for Giffords’ shooting, I’m gonna puke. I mean, I despise Palin, but seriously. This guy wasn’t even a tea partier, he was (to use Andrew Sprung’s terminology) a sui generis psycho.

  12. 12
    Scott says:

    Well, we know the press will shrug it off with a giggle. “Oh well, just a lone nut! Up next, sports!” I’m hoping the FBI is more on-the-ball.

    I’m sure Palin, Beck, and the teabaggers think they can get “lone nuts” to help them shoot their way into ultimate power.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tractarian:

    You don’t know that. None of us do.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Dennis G. says:

    I share your anger and call to action. These fucks have to be confronted and one can not let them hide behind their thin veil of weasel words.

    These are fucksticks encouraging the unhinged that violence in pursuit of fantasy is justified. Palin has worked for years now to create a culture that excuses hate and violent rhetoric. When folks act on her advice she does not get to be surprised by the results. When crazy folks embrace her message that your individual fantasy justifies any action, she does not get to pretend she never went there–especially when she celebrates the use of guns as a political tool.

    A nine-year old child is dead tonight. She was the same age as my daughter. The rage I feel towards those who treat inciting hate as a game is hard for me to measure right now.

    Palin did not kill that child today, but she did provide the space for the shooter to think any action in the pursuit of his goal was justified. Her promotion of hate as a tool does not get a pass. Fuck her and the McCain she road in on.

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    I remember writing about being outraged by Sarah Palin’s cross-hair map.

    One of two things could happen: the map with the cross-hairs will suddenly vanish and Palin will stupidly deny it ever existed in the first place, or she’ll dig in her (high) heels and angrily ramp up the insanity and resentment.

    My bet’s on the latter. Then FOX News analysts will sit around and muse about what the judge might have done to provoke his murderer.

  17. 17
    meh says:

    say what you want but the guy that did this is batshit crazy. Looking less like it’s politically motivated and more like crazed gunman…

  18. 18
    LT says:

    What if the guy never heard of Sarah Palin? This is way too early for this.

    (Palin’s crosshairs and Giffords’ opponents M16 shooting party were wrong in any case. We don’t need actual violence to support that.)

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Another magfuckingnificent rant, ABL. My only quibble is in the thread title “Tragedy Strikes Arizona.” It took place in Arizona, but the tragedy has struck the entire country.

    It’s been hours since the first news broke and my tears have dried, finally — but I find myself still shaking with rage and bafflement and just horrible sadness for what could have been — maybe someday still can be? — a great country.

  20. 20
    Jon H says:

    @Tractarian: “This guy wasn’t even a tea partier, he was (to use Andrew Sprung’s terminology) a sui generis psycho.”

    No. He was clearly a gold-buggy constitution-fetishizing tea partier – as filtered through mental illness.

    Treat the mental illness, and he’d probably still be on about how the government should accept only gold for debts, and yapping about some idiosyncratic concept of the constitution, but the “mind control” stuff would go away, and he might not have been disturbed enough to kill.

  21. 21
    Sko Hayes says:

    @Cassidy:
    There was quite a bit of speculation after that Muslim Army doctor shot and killed several soldiers at Ft Hood, most of it being that he was a terrorist. Even after the investigation revealed this guy had snapped and was not on a one man terrorism spree, the media continued to call him a terrorist.
    This afternoon, I turned on NPR’s weekend edition, and they’re saying there are no indications that this was terrorism.
    Oh sure, muslim doctor kills several people at an army base and he’s a terrorist. White guy shoots and kills several people at a political event and he’s not a terrorist.
    Got it.
    ETA: Thank you, ABL for a righteous rant.

  22. 22
    Maude says:

    The NYT blog comments is full of talk about the Palin crosshairs on her map. She owns this one and can’t get away from it.

  23. 23
    LT says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    Have we gotten the “oh he’s sick and needs treatment” bullshit that we typically hear about white terrorists in this country? Or are those calls still in the works?

    Yeah, I hated it when everyone said that about McWeigh.

  24. 24

    This guy wasn’t Byron Williams, he’s Alex Jones/Ron Paul-fed Travis Bickle.

  25. 25
    gwangung says:

    This guy wasn’t even a tea partier,

    IT.

    DOESN’T.

    MATTER.

    Palin legitimizes violent behavior. No one should be surprised if other people sees it as acceptable behavior.

  26. 26
    Jon H says:

    @LT: “What if the guy never heard of Sarah Palin?”

    In Arizona? Doubtful. He was politically interested enough to talk to Giffords at an event in 2007, apparently before his mental condition went downhill.

    And given his interest in gold, guns, and the Constitution, and being in Arizona, I doubt he could have avoided hearing about Palin.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    mmmm, what are the odds we going to to see an attempt at the Phase 1: “It’s too early to talk abut this,” immediately followed by the Phase 2: “We have to look forward not back,” playbook?

  28. 28

    @sherifffruitfly: twitter is blowing up with the “mentally ill” claim.

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @sherifffruitfly: Oh yeah, those calls are out there already. Check Sully’s site for details (Sullivan himself is not making that claim).

  30. 30

    @Maude: she absolutely owns it.

    I’m so angry. My parents could very easily have been at that event. I was just at that whole foods two weeks ago.

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @gwangung: Gonna second this with hearty abandon. The man made the decision, rational or otherwise, to carry out this act. Whoever influenced that decision is indirectly responsible for six deaths and twelve maimings. The rest is fucking details.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    azlib says:

    The only thing that will shut the Right Wing noise machine up is to cut off their money. As long as they can make millions with the rhetoric of fear and vengeance, it will continue.

  34. 34
    sherifffruitfly says:

    Oh – and Shannyn Moore put it very well also, I think:

    http://twitter.com/#!/shannynm.....2843142144

    Osama Bin Laden didn’t fly planes…he incited others to do it. #justsayin #it’sterrorism

  35. 35
    NorthernMNer says:

    From what I have read, he’s not truly a political person, just plain nuts.

    These are, however, the exact people that we need to be concerned about when Sarah (Don’t Retreat, Reload) Palin or Glenn (let’s poison Nancy Pelosi) Beck use violence as a metaphor. Rational Tea Parties won’t do this for the sheer political optics of it; nutbars that run with conspiracy theories are the ones that do this–and derive inspiration from Palin, Beck, et al.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, of course he’s mentally ill.

    So is Palin.

  37. 37

    @SiubhanDuinne: good point. i’m just focused on arizona because my mom called me in a panic about it. my first thought was “they got obama.” then when she explained i got scared, sick, and then pissed off.

    i’m so pissed off and upset.

  38. 38
    LT says:

    @Yutsano: “Whoever influenced that decision…”

    And we have no idea who that is.

  39. 39
    Peter says:

    Palin’s website and twitter have been scrubbed clean, as if that would make us forget ‘Don’t retreat – reload’.

    Disgusting.

  40. 40
    Darkrose says:

    @gwangung: This. Thank you.

  41. 41
    Kilkee says:

    Man, MSNBC is running old tape of Rep. Giffords after the HCR vote and her office window was smashed. She cited the Sarah Palin “crosshairs” flyer and essentially said “Words have consequences, this is not good…there are crazy people out there.” Expect to see many replays.

  42. 42
    Ajay says:

    You know how it is: Wing nuts on Faux and blogs would say how its done for freedom and saving the white christian nation. CNN will let the villagers present both sides of the story to make sure this has a bipartisan angle.

    Besides, they will soon claim that the shooter was a liberal democrat. Case closed.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @meh:

    Looking less like it’s politically motivated and more like crazed gunman…

    Actually, it looks like a both/and — crazed gunman has a political motive for going on his spree as opposed to, say, wanting to impress Jodie Foster.

    I mean, it’s theoretically possible that it will turn out that this guy had a completely non-political motive for his actions, but judging by his Facebook and YouTube pages, that seems very, very unlikely.

  44. 44
    Cassidy says:

    @Sko Hayes: I remember that. Pissed me off. The whole thing.

    What bugs the hell out of me is the “let’s not speculate” crowd. Here’s the thing, if a woman gets killed, law enforcement look at the boyfriend/ husband first. It’s normal and statistics make it valid. So, if a Democratic congresswoman is shot and earlier had crosshairs placed over her to be “taken out”, it’s completely valid to look at that direction first.

  45. 45
    kth says:

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a professed Communist. But there was a miasma of atavism and paranoia around Dallas circa 1963, which is why the assassination happened there and not in Austin or Berkeley or Boulder or some other commie haven (and not incidentally, why nearly all of Oswald’s associates in the preceding year or so were proto-teabaggers).

    Same with Loughner: his personal political manifestoes and whatnot are entirely irrelevant. What matters is the environment that emboldened him to do what he did, and the party that has fostered that environment.

  46. 46
    gwangung says:

    And we have no idea who that is.

    BULLSHIT.

    Right wing says to put people in crosshairs. They say to use your 2nd Amendment rights. Elected officials say this—and they disclaim responsibility?

    BULLSHIT.

  47. 47

    cueing up Broder bipartisan op-ed in 3 … 2 … 1

  48. 48
    LT says:

    @gwangung: You obviously want this all to be true, so, I don’t know, go for it. let us know what you get out of it.

  49. 49
    Ajay says:

    @gwangung:

    They say to use your 2nd Amendment rights. Elected officials say this—-and they disclaim responsibility?

    Nothing will happen. Bill O Reilly called Dr Tiller the killer several times and said something to the effect that he should be taken care of. After Tiller was shot I thought that was open and shut case but nothing happened. Hey, its free speech….

  50. 50
    LT says:

    @Cassidy:

    What bugs the hell out of me is the “let’s not speculate” crowd. Here’s the thing, if a woman gets killed, law enforcement look at the boyfriend/ husband first. It’s normal and statistics make it valid. So, if a Democratic congresswoman is shot and earlier had crosshairs placed over her to be “taken out”, it’s completely valid to look at that direction first.

    Good fucking christ. YOU’RE NOT A FUCKING COP, you…

    Jesus. good fucking jesus

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @LT: You seem to have a vested interest in the opposite. So you’re contrarian just to be a dick or a secret right-wing ratfucker.

    @Ajay: Unfortunately, this. Fucking Uncle Rupert.

  52. 52
    Jon H says:

    @Mnemosyne: “but judging by his Facebook and YouTube pages”

    The Facebook page is a fake, put up after the shooting. The name is, or was, spelled wrong. When I saw it it used the incorrect spelling that came out first from the AP.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    as folks have pointed out on the earlier threads

    1. the fact that the kid was mentally ill DOES NOT MEAN he wasn’t guided and influenced by hatred and violence-mongering from Palin, Beck, and their ilk. No, we don’t know yet if he was — but those two causes are far from mutually exclusive.

    2. Even if it turns out that he wasn’t, there is nothing “wildly speculative” about connecting his action to their filthy rhetoric. That all eyes instantly turn to them when a thing like this happens is the logical result of their grotesquely irresponsible, playing with fire tactics — and if that were not true, they wouldn’t be frantically scrambling to cover their asses now.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    Some crowd was really into speculating rather than waiting for more evidence concerning the existence of weapons of mass destruction in a certain country once upon a time unless I’ve finally gone entirely round the bend. Funny how 1% doctrines (and a lot of other suspicions) only work in certain directions though.

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    @Angry Black Lady:
    OMG. Thank the FSM your parents weren’t there.
    Your mom was right to panic. This is scary and I just don’t have any words for it.
    All the hate spewers of talk radio and cable tv are in a real bind now.
    I despise all of them.
    ABL, this isn’t going to fade away any time soon. Too many people are outraged.

  56. 56
    cat48 says:

    Wow, Msnbc just showed Gifford being interviewed about being
    “targeted by Sarah Palin” by Chuck Todd in March after the HCR Vote after someone shot the glass door out to her office in AZ.
    Isn’t that where they can walk around carrying AK47s around??

    She was concerned about the hateful rhetoric spewed by everyone. I imagine it’s going to be hard for the “Toddler” to watch himself ask her if it isn’t common tradition to combine War & Political rhetoric? Idiot!

  57. 57
    Face says:

    @Tractarian: THIS. Palin takes the blame for what some nutjob does? Dont gimmie this “she used incendiary grafikx!” bullshit. This guy was a psycho and that’s that.

  58. 58
    Alex S. says:

    It doesn’t even matter if there is a direct connection between Palin and the shooter, the indirect connection is just as fatal. Her hate speech creates an environment that makes these violent actions seem more reasonable than they are. This kind of atmosphere, the pitched-up rhetoric can push certain people over the edge. And it’s not just about the loss of lives, it’s also the destruction of campaign offices, the intimidation of voters, the tribal mindset of us-vs-them, the proud ignorance of conservatives with Palin and Bush Jr at the top.
    As I said in the other thread, I don’t think that there is a direct connection, but that doesn’t make it allright. But hopefully there will finally be a discussion of how far the demagoguery has gone (which should have happened after the killing of Dr. Tiller already…).

    Edit: Well, a direct connection would matter, but since that one is hard to prove I do not want to see an absolution of Palin and her ilk.

  59. 59
    Cassidy says:

    @LT: Ummmm….that’s a pretty normal fact anyone can find.

  60. 60

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I’m curious to see how Ross Douthat is going to work a defense of the Catholic Church and tsk-tsking abortion/gheys in his column on the shooting.

  61. 61
    wmd says:

    Sarah needs to say she was wrong to put cross hairs on that graphic.

    She won’t unless she can find a way to claim she’s still protecting her 2nd amendment loving cubs.

  62. 62
    AxelFoley says:

    @Tractarian:

    If I have to hear one more screed indirectly blaming Palin for Giffords’ shooting, I’m gonna puke.

    You might as well go and upchuck right now, because you damn skippy I lay blame with the rhetoric that Palin and her ilk have used in the last few years.

  63. 63
    TooManyJens says:

    Yutsano: LT is a friend of Rep. Gifford’s.

  64. 64
    sherifffruitfly says:

    @eemom:

    Locutions like “wildly speculative” are how we white folks like to preemptively cover for each other. We love saying shit like that, and “wait for all the facts to come in”, and that kind of crap.

    You’ll never catch us preemptively covering for brown folks that way, naturally. Because clearly they’re evil bloodthirsty killers. And they want our white women.

  65. 65
    Mark S. says:

    Palin’s toast. The picture of the crosshairs will haunt her for the rest of her miserable political career.

  66. 66
    Maude says:

    @Peter:
    Out, out damn spot.

  67. 67
    gwangung says:

    @LT:

    Right wingers have said that it’s OK to consider using violence as a political behavior. That’s a fact.

    You shouldn’t be surprised when someone takes them up on it.

  68. 68
    Ajay says:

    @Mark S.:

    Palin’s toast. The picture of the crosshairs will haunt her for the rest of her miserable political career.

    I dont think so. I think her stock goes up among wing nuts. She will probably make even more money.

  69. 69
    Yutsano says:

    @TooManyJens: I thought that was TR. At least that’s who I saw making that claim. I could be mistaken however.

    @wmd: She will more than likely say that the shooter misinterpreted her words but stand by what she says. Trust me her handlers are working on that script as we speak.

  70. 70
    Oliver says:

    What a bunch of moronic comments here! The guy is a paranoid psychotic whose favorite books are likely ones also beloved by many of the crack pot commenters here. Geesh.

  71. 71
    Tractarian says:

    @gwangung:

    One of his favorite books is the Communist Manifesto, and he’s a former left-wing pothead according to an old friend. Do you really think Palin’s crosshairs were what pushed him over the edge?

    Now, I agree Palin is responsible for this killing because of her support of the NRA and it’s opposition to any form of gun control. But that puts her in the same boat as every GOP politician in the country, and half of the Dems too.

  72. 72
    LT says:

    @Yutsano:

    @LT: You seem to have a vested interest in the opposite. So you’re contrarian just to be a dick or a secret right-wing ratfucker.

    The opposite? I’m invested in “I don’t know.” That’s not the opposite of all this.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark S.:

    Do you think that it’s a Greg Stilson moment for her?

  74. 74
    TooManyJens says:

    Oh, you’re right, it was TR. Nevermind.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jon H:

    And? The YouTube page is not fake AFAIK.

  76. 76
    AxelFoley says:

    @meh:

    say what you want but the guy that did this is batshit crazy. Looking less like it’s politically motivated and more like crazed gunman…

    Bullshit. Why is it when a white guy does some shit like this, he has mental problems, but anyone else it just a criminal?

    Fuck that noise. He ran up to her and shot her execution-style. This shit was planned.

  77. 77
    Mike M says:

    I understand the argument that you can’t be held responsible for what crazy people do, but extreme political rhetoric has an effect on everyone including the mentally ill. Here in Phoenix, the broadcasters have been trying to make some sense out of the ramblings of the alleged gunman — it appears that he had only a loose connection with reality — but he certainly was vehemently anti-government.

    He was photographed recently by a local Tucson newspaper when he volunteered for a book fair. In the photo, he looks very clean cut, and not anyone’s idea of the lunatic fringe.

  78. 78
    LT says:

    @gwangung: I won’t be. But I won’t pretend I know a single event is linked to that rhetoric when I don’t. Especially in the stupid-multplying blogosphere.

  79. 79
    Jon H says:

    @Tractarian: “One of his favorite books is the Communist Manifesto, and he’s a former left-wing pothead according to an old friend.”

    That old friend hasn’t seen him since 2007, when he was 18. If he declined into paranoid schizophrenia since then (18 is the usual onset age in men) who knows where his politics have gone in the past three years.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Oliver:

    “The guy is a paranoid psychotic”

    Pretty much the mental profile of the teabaggers in general, given their totally out of synch with the real world take on so much.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Oliver:

    “The guy is a paranoid psychotic”

    Pretty much the mental profile of the teabaggers in general, given their totally out of synch with the real world take on so much.

  82. 82
    AxelFoley says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Fuck her and the McCain she road in on.

    This. Truly, madly, deeply, this.

  83. 83
    hueyplong says:

    The shooter listed Mein Kampf as well as the Communist Manifesto, so the list of books goes both ways.

    The gold nut stuff and the distrust of government thing really run in only one direction. As does the grammar.

  84. 84
    Coastal Mike says:

    Millions of whacko righties are not so secretly celebrating (again) and hoping for more. Watch, some reasonable person will suggest that crazy people shouldn’t have guns, and the response will be that we will see legislation to make gun laws even more permissive in Arizona.
    See this summary of the gun laws in AZ.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....41445.html

  85. 85
    ProsecuteDomesticTerrorists says:

    I see that the rightwing astroturf fuckheads are already on this issue.

    Fuck you, fuck Palin, and fuck your billionaire masters. You are all terrorists and should be rounded up and sent the way of Timothy Mcveigh.

  86. 86
    sunsin says:

    @LT:

    The ranting against suggesting the gunman was mentally unbalanced (which may or may not be true; we don’t know yet) is out of line and frankly very stupid.

    An explanation is not an excuse. Everything has a reason. Discovering that reason is essential to preventing things of the same nature happening again.

    I understand the objection that when a black guy does something like this, he’s a criminal, but when a white guy does it, he’s sick. But that racist inequality can equally well be resolved by calling both of them sick as by calling both of them criminal (or calling both of them both, the best solution).

    Moreover, if the shooter is unbalanced, that does not diminish the culpability of those who may have inspired him. Politicians making statements can be absolutely sure that their words will fall on the ears of unbalanced persons. It’s a statistical certainty. They therefore need to avoid the rhetoric of violence at all costs, and if something happens, they share the responsibility.

  87. 87
    merrinc says:

    @Kilkee:

    I watched that. Did you see Rep. Gifford’s response when the female interviewer asked if Democrats were playing up the violent incidents to paint all Republicans as nutcases and score political points? The irony of her blaming false equivalency is just heartbreaking.

    ABL: thank you for expressing a rage that leaves me incoherent.

  88. 88
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Tractarian: Even if THIS particular nutbar was or wasn’t a Sarah Palin fan, bandying about metaphors of shooting or violence is unacceptable, obscene, and Palin/Beck et al. should rightly be called out for their irresponsibility.

    Also, excellent point about the gun control angle. This seems to just be a repeat of the Virginia Tech shooting, and it seems absolutely nothing happened to prevent the mentally ill from getting deadly weapons–a non-hunting firearm, I might ad.

  89. 89
    sukabi says:

    @Mike in NC: she’s scrubbed the image from her website… is being silent on it’s existence…. tomorrow’s another day, she’ll probably have some asinine statement regarding it in the next week or so…

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tractarian:

    One of his favorite books is the Communist Manifesto, and he’s a former left-wing pothead according to an old friend. Do you really think Palin’s crosshairs were what pushed him over the edge?

    Yes, because he’s also spouting Tea Party/Paulite crap about the gold standard and the illegitimacy of the US government. He’s not a pure political thinker, to say the least.

    He doesn’t have to specifically worship Sarah Palin to be influenced by the violent rhetoric she deals in. Assuming that he is suffering from mental illness that made him paranoid, he was naturally going to be more drawn to the apocalyptic “don’t retreat, reload” talk coming from the Republicans than he was going to be to the “hope and change” talk coming from the Democrats.

  91. 91
    amk says:

    Looks like first amendment as well as second amendment, by their limitlessness, has done enough damage to american body politic.

  92. 92
    gwangung says:

    @LT:

    But I won’t pretend I know a single event is linked to that rhetoric when I don’t. Especially in the stupid-multplying blogosphere.

    This is kinda silly. I’m not pretending that Palin et al is making all that rhetoric. It’s out there. It was said. Saying that it has not effect or that you can’t “know” it legitimizing is denying the obvious.

    Ratchet down the rhetoric. That’s all it takes.

  93. 93
    Obliterati says:

    Holy shit people, calm down. Paranoid schizophrenics go crazy sometimes, it happens.

    You may WANT him to be a right-wing Beck-loving teabagger, but the shrieking clamour of voices in his head was probably a lot more influential than any of Sarah Palin’s websites.

  94. 94
    West of the Cascades says:

    I am glad to see someone front paging this blog finally engaging in some speculation …

  95. 95
    Peter says:

    The Mental Illness defense of violent rhetoric like Palin’s is weak as all hell. Is he mentally ill? Most likely. But the actions of the mentally ill do not take place in a vacuum. They respond to rhetoric and other outside stimuli, just like other people, but they respond differently and often in a more extreme manner.

    Far from exculpating Palin et al for blame when this happens, if anything it enhances it: saying that no rational person would take what you say literally is a bad faith excuse when you know that, as a public figure, lots of people who are NOT rational are also listening.

  96. 96
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Oliver:

    What a bunch of moronic comments here! The guy is a paranoid psychotic whose favorite books are likely ones also beloved by many of the crack pot commenters here. Geesh.

    Fuck off and find another bridge to sit under, you shithouse troll.

  97. 97
    LT says:

    @Peter:

    The Mental Illness defense of violent rhetoric like Palin’s is weak as all hell.

    “The Mental Illness defense of violent rhetoric like Palin’s.”

    Beautiful.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s amazing how Sarah Palin’s words mean nothing in the wake of an incident like this.

    According to some, at least.

  99. 99
    Dennis SGMM says:

    By next Tuesday half of America will believe that Giffords is a Republican and that the shooter was a Latino Democrat.

  100. 100
    AxelFoley says:

    @Obliterati:

    Holy shit people, calm down. Paranoid schizophrenics go crazy sometimes, it happens.
    You may WANT him to be a right-wing Beck-loving teabagger, but the shrieking clamour of voices in his head was probably a lot more influential than any of Sarah Palin’s websites.

    What I want to know is, all you motherfuckers saying calm down and shit, how the FUCK do you know this asshole has mental issues? Fuck that shit.

    Dude knew what the fuck he was doing. Stop making excuses for these kind of assholes.

  101. 101
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Peter:

    Yes. You can’t say, “Oh, my remarks were specifically addressed to the sane people when I said that crazy shit back then.”

  102. 102
    Cain says:

    I guess I don’t want to be as widely speculative as right wingers were to the muslim medical doctor. Of course those fuckers are crazy and probably start shooting random muslim people which is not what we’re going to be doing.

    That said, crazy people are easy prey to right wing rhetoric. Simple messages and conspiracy are easy to fall into and get themselves ramped up.

    I don’t agree with making an association without evidence. But there is quite enough evidence I think to show (like that video by MSNBC) that the rhetoric being done by Sarah Palin is harming this country. The FBI have warned that these things were on the rise. So absolutely we need to damn Sarah Palin for this attack on Democratic representative.

    cain

  103. 103
    Maude says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    He was certainly aware enough to plan this attack.

  104. 104
    debbie says:

    I thought I’d check out what they were saying over at Althouse, and this was the very first comment:

    Blogger Freeman Hunt said…

    I think he’s a nut. He didn’t just shoot at Giffords. He went on a shooting spree after he shot her. That’s not what a sane person attempting an assassination does.

    And then it’s on to bitching about liberals for always blaming the far right…

    It may be worth watching Fox Sunday News just to see what those clowns on the roundtable have to say.

  105. 105
    scav says:

    well, at least we’re getting a better class of troll scrubbing-bubbles squad tonight.

  106. 106
    Jon H says:

    @AxelFoley: “how the FUCK do you know this asshole has mental issues”

    The dude posted videos on YouTube, consisting of text, some of which dealt with mind control.

    Dude had mental issues. I think he was mentally ill with illness-modified Tea Party ideas. But dude was definitely mentally ill.

    He did know what he was doing, however. His posts on YouTube and MySpace definitely suggest that he was planning something and expected to die.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Dennis, when I first heard about this, not being familiar with AZ politics, I went to the CNN web page to find out if Giffords was a D or an R.

    I had to read well into their article on the shooting to find out which party she was a member of.

    If she were an R, I don’t think I would have had to read very deeply to find that information.

  108. 108
    stuckinred says:

    From Alan Grayson

    I know nothing about the man who shot Gabby, and what was going through his mind when he did this. But I will tell you this — if he shot Gabby out of hatred, then it wasn’t Gabby he was shooting, but rather some cartoon version of her, drawn by her political opposition. Because there is no way — no way — that anyone who really knows Gabby could hate her or hurt her. She is a kind, gentle soul.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Peter says:

    An example: if you are talking to your neighbour, and say ‘Man, the mailman is late every day. Someone ought to shoot him in the head’, then you and your neighbour have a little chuckle, knowing that that you weren’t being serious and don’t literally mean someone should shoot him in the head.

    If, on the other hand, you say that and know that your neighbour is a mentally ill man with violent tendencies and a cache of weapons, you don’t know that your neighbour understands that you are not being serious. You don’t know how he will respond. So by saying that you are playing with fire.

    Public figures like Palin are speaking to everyone simultaneously, the rational and irrational. They should keep that in mind, because their words have power.

  111. 111
    Cacti says:

    Maps with crosshairs, talk of “second amendment remedies”…

    Let’s not pretend that the Teabagger politicians didn’t help create the atmosphere for something like this to happen.

  112. 112
    Cricket says:

    The mental health claims are not just because Loughner is white. There are youtube videos where he talks about secret mind control plots and invisible birds speaking to him.

    He really sounds insane.
    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/Th.....d-loughner

    I find it interesting that Palin has been scrubbing her website and Twitter. It’s a tacit admission that her rhetoric crosses the line, even if it takes a crazy person killing a bunch of innocent people to make that line apparent.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Obliterati:

    Paranoid schizophrenics go crazy sometimes, it happens.

    That’s probably the saddest commentary I’ve ever seen. “Hey, schizophrenics are constantly running around shooting politicians in the head — what’s the big deal?”

  114. 114
    debbie says:

    Sorry about the formatting.

    I thought I’d check out what they were saying over at Althouse, and this was the very first comment:

    Blogger Freeman Hunt said…I think he’s a nut. He didn’t just shoot at Giffords. He went on a shooting spree after he shot her. That’s not what a sane person attempting an assassination does.

    And then it’s on to bitching about liberals for always blaming the far right…

    It may be worth watching Fox Sunday News just to see what those clowns on the roundtable have to say.

  115. 115
    Mark S. says:

    @Oliver:

    The guy is a paranoid psychotic whose favorite books are likely ones also beloved by many of the crack pot commenters here.

    My favorite books are Peter Pan and Mein Kampf as well.

    Go fuck yourself.

  116. 116
    AxelFoley says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s amazing how Sarah Palin’s words mean nothing in the wake of an incident like this.
    According to some, at least.

    I know, right? If say, Louis Farrakhan was saying shit like this the past few years about GOP officials, first of all, the media would have been calling him out from Day One and trying to pin his words on President Obama, and second, if a shooting happened and a GOP Congressperson or Senator was shot, they’d be calling for his head.

  117. 117
    Keith G says:

    The ranting against suggesting the gunman was mentally unbalanced (which may or may not be true; we don’t know yet) is out of line and frankly very stupid.

    Not actually.

    Moreover, if the shooter is unbalanced, that does not diminish the culpability of those who may have inspired him. Politicians making statements can be absolutely sure that their words will fall on the ears of unbalanced persons.

    Politicians must be careful with their speech as should we all. As it is we do not know what motivated or inspired this horrible human being. I have been continually outraged by the rhetorical games and outright hate speech ginned up by those on the right and given a pass by many in the media, but I am not omniscient.

    There is no harm in reflecting on our speech and no harm in waiting until more is known about the shooter.

  118. 118
    Peter says:

    @LT: Do you actually have anything productive to say?

  119. 119
    Raenelle says:

    No one could have predicted that crazy violent rhetoric might set off a crazy violent psychopath.

  120. 120
    Moses2317 says:

    We don’t know the motivation of the shooter yet, but I have to say that Sarah Palin’s response is one of the lamest things I’ve seen. All she’s managed to do is offer her “sincere condolences” on her Facebook page? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Winning Progressive

  121. 121
    Very sad says:

    @LT

    I feel stunned and disconnected. I worry that this is the way wingnuts feel inside all the time. In moments like these, I understand why those who crave some authority to come and make everything better are so willing to abdicate any independent thought for a promise of revenge. That scares me.

    You must feel it, too? In this phase, those who we perceive have encouraged or applauded egregious acts are grouped in to the set of those responsible. It’s obtuse of you to pretend not to understand that. The other actors won’t go to jail & its very hard to win judgment against them in US without a direct link, but they do earn our contempt for their actions.

    Imagine how you would feel if a certain book peddling grifter and a child that happened to be near her were gunned down. I shouldn’t have to fill in the back story that some other entity had in the past included her on a hit list for you to make the connection, but you can if it helps you find some empathy.

  122. 122
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jon H:

    @AxelFoley: “how the FUCK do you know this asshole has mental issues”
    The dude posted videos on YouTube, consisting of text, some of which dealt with mind control.
    Dude had mental issues. I think he was mentally ill with illness-modified Tea Party ideas. But dude was definitely mentally ill.

    And? You know how many people post stupid, crazy shit on the internets these days?

    I think people are too quick to write it off as mental illness.

  123. 123

    I love how all of the right-wingers are pointing out that one of his favorite books was The Communist Manifesto while conveniently ignoring that he also listed Mein Kampf and Ayn Rand’s We the Living.

  124. 124
    Rathskeller says:

    Look, I can’t agree with this being politically motivated. I think about politics all the time, and my viewpoint is far left on most issues. I hate Palin, etc., and could not agree more strongly that the crosshairs image was far beyond the pale. End credentials for entering a countering viewpoint.

    But I’ve read and listened to this guy, and he was plainly mentally ill. I think anything at all could have set him off, both Palin’s irresponsible advocacy but also any random input from anyone. I think this quickly vituperative discussion about the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf is utterly beyond the point. Stop it! Stop insulting each other!

    In our brief exposure to him, this man could not write single sentences that didn’t reek of mental illness — nothing scans quite right, nothing makes sense. He was crazy. The obvious bottom line is that he shouldn’t have been allowed to get a gun, but I’ve long ago decided to grow numb to that. I live in a country where people love guns, and they will never restrict access to them, no matter how many children or innocents die. I wish I was wrong, but let’s check back in a month, and see if a single law has changed.

  125. 125
    cathyx says:

    Why are all these deranged psychotic killers politically right leaning? Have you ever heard of one who was far left leaning?

    Probably because right leaning mind frames are inherently antisocial and selfish.

  126. 126
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Raenelle:

    +1

  127. 127
    Cacti says:

    And as a resident of Arizona I will also say that this state deserves every bit of scorn and bad publicity heaped upon it.

  128. 128
    Peter says:

    @Rathskeller: Is anyone actually saying that it was politically motivated in a way that runs counter to claims of mental illness?

  129. 129
    Persia says:

    @Cain: What you said. Whether or not you can draw a line, the atmosphere is poisonous.

  130. 130
    sunsin says:

    Saying “he was mentally ill, therefore Palin was not responsible” is like saying “I wasn’t responsible for the fire; true, I was throwing gasoline all over the place but hey, that light switch shouldn’t have sparked.”

    Politicians cannot avoid speaking to the mentally ill. They need to remember that and act accordingly.

  131. 131
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @cathyx:

    Oh, I think the Unibomber is pretty lefty, in fact.

  132. 132
    Jon H says:

    @AxelFoley: “I think people are too quick to write it off as mental illness.”

    As opposed to what, an elaborate joke?

    It’s not actually hard to tell the difference between mental illness and “someone posting weird stuff on YouTube as a joke”.

    I don’t know what you mean by “write it off”. I’m not writing anything off. You’re harboring a fantasy that he’s a lucid criminal mastermind or something, and that’s simply not supportable.

  133. 133
    Elizabelle says:

    From NYTimes summary story on shooting:

    During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots [maybe “districts”, NYT?] where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map, which later removed the crosshairs symbols. [When? And why not report the scrubbing of Palin’s online sites?]

    A statement posted on Ms. Palin’s Facebook page Saturday expressed her “sincere condolences” to the family of Ms. Giffords and the other shooting victims. Ms. Palin said that she and her family were praying for them “and for peace and justice,”

    and later

    Sarah Palin, the former Republican governor of Alaska who had encouraged her supporters to try to unseat Ms. Giffords in the last election, issued a statement on Facebook.

    “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona,” Ms. Palin said. “On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

    They’re not editing well, but got to get that Palin Facebook statement into the mix.

    Twice.

    Nancy Pelosi gets mentioned once in the roundup.

    As someone Giffords did not support for minority leader.

    Ms. Giffords had clearly heard the message that constituents were dissatisfied with Democratic leaders in Washington.

  134. 134
    Carol says:

    IF this guy were muslim, would we just say, “he’s crazy?”. There’s a guy in Yemen who is doubtless moving from house to house because his emails encouraged Major Hassan into killing 20-odd soldiers. True, his involvement was more direct, but that guy didn’t kill anyone either. Hitler spent years saying crazy, hateful things (and took over a country), and we hold him responsible for all of the violence he incited. Why should Sarah get a pass?

    Another thing to remember is that she’s an authority-and that can give other people a reason to believe that they would be allowed to do what they do in their name.

  135. 135
    PanAmerican says:

    Well hand guns are made for killin’
    They ain’t no good for nothin’ else
    And if you like to drink your whiskey
    You might even shoot yourself
    So why don’t we dump ’em people
    To the bottom of the sea
    Before some ole fool come around here
    Wanna shoot either you or me

  136. 136
    celticdragonchick says:

    This was snt to Sully’s email about 3:30 today from a service member at a Costco in Arizona.
    *******************

    I am standing in the aisle at Costco when I found out my Congresswomen, Gabrielle Giffords, has been shot dead up on the north side.

    While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”

    And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”

    I did not trust myself to speak. I’m a Soldier. Please remind me what country I am fighting for? At least seven people are dead. She happens to be the only member of Congress married to an active duty military — he’s a Navy officer serving as an astronaut.

    *********************

    No comment from me.

  137. 137
    burnspbesq says:

    @Maude:

    He posted a picture of an extended magazine on his MySpace page on Christmas Eve. How much more evidence of premeditation does anybody want?

  138. 138
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @PanAmerican:

    There has to be someone who works for the NRA whose job it is to craft their response to something like this. Can you imagine being that person? Talk about soul-sucking jobs.

  139. 139
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jon H:

    I don’t know what you mean by “write it off”. I’m not writing anything off. You’re harboring a fantasy that he’s a lucid criminal mastermind or something, and that’s simply not supportable.

    Fucker was lucid enough to go to a meet-and-greet that a Congresswoman was having with her constituents, roll up on her and shoot her point-blank in the head, shoot 17 other people, and then try to run away.

  140. 140
    harlana says:

    I don’t know folks. This is pretty big stuff. All the facts aren’t in, but regardless, it’s big stuff.

  141. 141
    Jon H says:

    @Rathskeller: “Look, I can’t agree with this being politically motivated.”

    There’s political motivation, and then there’s political motivation.

    I don’t think anyone’s under the impression he tried to kill her so that Brewer could appoint a Republican replacement, or some other highly tactical, cold-blooded calculation.

    But a more hazy kind of political motivation strikes me as being possible. Even an *insane* political motivation.

    It’s like when someone crazy kills their “possessed” child: it’s a religious motivation. Not a *sane* religious motivation. But a religious motivation all the same.

  142. 142
    Seebach says:

    I swear, praying is literally the least you can do for someone. There is nothing that requires less effort or sincerity.

  143. 143
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @meh:

    In which case I want to know if and why Arizona’s gun laws allowed him to carry.

    Don’t forget it was in Arizona that some 2nd Amdt idiot brought an assault rifle to an Obama event. Perfectly legal.

  144. 144
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: A criminal case is not as cut and dried as Law & Order portrays it to be. Sometimes the trail of the actual crime and finding all those responsible is like a trail of breadcrumbs that you hope don’t get eaten.

  145. 145
    Citizen Alan says:

    And another thing — don’t make the mistake of thinking this started with that map with the crosshairs on it. Throughout the summer of 2008, that evil bitch Sarah Palin gave speeches all across this country in front of packed crowds of proto-Teabaggers accusing Obama of “paling around with terrorists” because he was once in a room with a guy who was in the Weather Underground before I was born. I am utterly convinced that her game plan was to fire up some of her crazy cultists until somebody tried to kill Obama. I believed it then, and I believe it now.

  146. 146
    Keith G says:

    @Rathskeller:
    This!

    I appreciate over wrought feelings at a time like this, but it’s the other side that I tag with giving in to reflexive emotionalism not my side. ABL isn’t helping.

    Shame that.

  147. 147
    AxelFoley says:

    @Carol:

    IF this guy were muslim, would we just say, “he’s crazy?”. There’s a guy in Yemen who is doubtless moving from house to house because his emails encouraged Major Hassan into killing 20-odd soldiers. True, his involvement was more direct, but that guy didn’t kill anyone either. Hitler spent years saying crazy, hateful things (and took over a country), and we hold him responsible for all of the violence he incited. Why should Sarah get a pass?
    Another thing to remember is that she’s an authority-and that can give other people a reason to believe that they would be allowed to do what they do in their name.

    Bingo. Fucking bingo.

    Non-white male goes on a shooting spree, motherfucker’s a criminal. White male does it, oh, he’s got mental issues. Even some folks on the left will excuse that shit.

  148. 148
    stuckinred says:

    @Seebach: No shit, but there it is. Over and over and over. Followed by “my heart goes out. . ” whatever the fuck that means.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: I am perfectly comfortable with the First Amendment being virtually limitless. The Government should not forbid people from speaking. I also think that people should be responsible for what they say. If what I say harms you (e.g., defamation) you should be able to seek redress. If you make vicious statements, your reputation and your political prospects should suffer.

  150. 150
    Anya says:

    I hate Sarah Palin with the intensity of thousands of raging fires, but linking her to the actions of this deranged young man, is a stretch and premature. Unless you have some hard proof, hold your breath. So far, we have no proof he was fascinated by her, or was inspired by her disgusting talk.

  151. 151
    iriedc says:

    @Ajay:

    “I dont think so. I think her [Palin’s] stock goes up among wing nuts. She will probably make even more money”

    Sadly, yes.

  152. 152

    @Oliver:

    What a bunch of moronic comments here! The guy is a paranoid psychotic whose favorite books are likely ones also beloved by many of the crack pot commenters here.

    Nice spin, but 99 percent of the crazy fuckers out there are right-wingers. We’ve got Scott Roeder, who gunned down George Tiller, Jim David Adkisson, who shot up a Unitarian Church during a children’s performance of Annie, Richard Poplawski, who murdered three cops in Pittsburgh in 2009, Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber.

    If you look at the history of domestic terrorism and violence in American history the overwhelming majority of it has been committed by white conservatives, from the Ku Klux Klan to the Aryan Nations to the latest nuts being encouraged by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the rest of the right wing hate mullahs. Compared to their pervasiveness and body count the actions of the Weathermen, the SLA or crazy fucks like Ted Kacynski are minor.

  153. 153
    Zach says:

    @cathyx: “Why are all these deranged psychotic killers politically right leaning? Have you ever heard of one who was far left leaning?”

    The Discovery Channel bomber… sort of. And Glenn Beck made hay out of a liberal shooting up a Florida school board a couple weeks ago. However, most of the more powerful often-crazy folks on the right (Beck, Malkin, all of RedState) are pretty good about not blaming the left writ large, although anytime it’s a liberal is a good time to whip out false equivalences.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rathskeller:

    But I’ve read and listened to this guy, and he was plainly mentally ill. I think anything at all could have set him off, both Palin’s irresponsible advocacy but also any random input from anyone.

    Um, no, that’s not how mental illness works. Getting an input that it’s a bright sunny day is not going to have the same effect as an input of “Don’t retreat, reload.”

    If someone has violent tendencies, they will respond to violent rhetoric. In fact, they’ll seek it out. It is absolutely not a random response to whatever input that person happened to get that day.

  155. 155
    Ross Hershberger says:

    It’s going to be tough to make the case that people like Rush, Beck and Palin who use violent rhetoric are in some way responsible for this horrific act of violence. We live in an atmosphere of enhanced crazy thanks to those on the Right who bolster their status by riling up the weak minded. This state of perpetual near panic is so pervasive that it’s impossible to get outside of and analyze, and easy to deny.
    They’ll skate this time. And probably next time. And there will be a next time.

  156. 156
    JGabriel says:

    Rathskeller:

    I live in a country where people love guns, and they will never restrict access to them, no matter how many children or innocents die. I wish I was wrong, but let’s check back in a month, and see if a single law has changed.

    All afternoon I’ve found myself wishing Tarantino would do a film called Armed & Liberal. I bet the laws would change pretty darn quick if Republicans thought the guns would be pointed at them.

    .

  157. 157
    Maude says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Thank you.

  158. 158
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Seebach:

    One could argue that it is the least that could possibly be done for somebody too, since it’s completely, you know, useless.

  159. 159
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    True, but this is going to be one of the easy ones. It’s a slam dunk to prove intention and premeditation in the attack on Giffords. Even if she survives, that’s attempted first-degree murder under Arizona law, and all of the other deaths are second-degree (intentional but not premeditated). And it is extremely difficult to mount a successful insanity defense in Arizona; the defendant has to prove that they were incapable of determining whether what they did was right or wrong.

  160. 160
    Jon H says:

    I have to say, Arizona was the place I figured was most likely for something like this to happen.

  161. 161
    eemom says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map, which later removed the crosshairs symbols. [When? And why not report the scrubbing of Palin’s online sites?]

    OMFG.

    As I understand it, the take down of the map and other scrubbing took place TODAY, AFTER this happened……and they are not SAYING that??

    [headdesk] [headdesk] [headdesk]

  162. 162
    Tlachtga says:

    @celticdragonchick: That’s the truly nauseating aspect of all this–the shooter might be schizophrenic, but there’s plenty of people who will think she got what she deserved just for being a Democrat.

    My “favorite” is the 5:35 update:

    Your knee-jerk reaction to attach that madman to the tea party is disgusting. You are vile Sullivan, absolutely vile! May God damn you with a bullet of your own.

    Yep, no dangerous right-wing rhetoric here! Peaceful people, them.

  163. 163
    Mike in NC says:

    @Cacti:

    And as a resident of Arizona I will also say that this state deserves every bit of scorn and bad publicity heaped upon it.

    Right now the networks are probably falling all over themselves to try and book a certain introverted senator from Arizona to appear on TV tomorrow to talk about “extremists from both sides who’ve coarsened the political discourse in this great land” and who’ll wrap up his bullshit tap dance with a hug for that wonderful patriot Sarah Palin. David Broder and Michael Gerson will weep.

    Just going out on a limb, you know?

  164. 164
    icecreammang says:

    This was the fucked-up consequence of mental illness mixing with an atmosphere of awful, dangerous rhetoric that increases the likelihood of something like this happening.

    The odds of something like this happening go up when there is poison in the air. The poison only comes from one side, and that side continues to not just suffer no negative consequence but profoundly benefit from it.

    Unfortunately, looking at the stuff posted by the shooter online, it seems to show there isn’t, and probably won’t be, anything coherent enough to be the “gotcha” statement that proves political motivation.

    That will result in a verdict of “move along, nothing to see here, just another whack job with a gun, which is the price we have to pay for the freedom to bear arms.”

  165. 165
    burnspbesq says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The extended magazine may not be enough by itself to support a first-degree verdict for all of the deaths, but it is a pretty damning piece of evidence of premeditation. The extended magazine for the Glock 19 holds 33 rounds. If all you are planning to do is kill one person, why do you need a 33-round magazine?

  166. 166
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not to mention the fact that he was able to find Giffords at an event she publicly advertised, came up to her, and shot her in the head. She was also the first person he shot. He’s almost certainly psychotic, but he knew exactly what he was doing.

    Asking how much Palin/Beck have inspired this young man is going to be hard to quantify, especially after medication is administered and he is at least semi-cognizant again. But violence metaphors matter when we are talking about somebody that was thinking about conspiracy theories, gold standard currency, etc. That part at least certainly sounds Beck-equse to me.

  167. 167
    celticdragonchick says:

    @JGabriel:

    All afternoon I’ve found myself wishing Tarantino would do a film called Armed & Liberal. I bet the laws would change pretty darn quick if Republicans thought the guns would be pointed at them.

    There are rather a lot of us who lean left and are also well armed.

  168. 168
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Truthfully, that list is so long and so all over the map I suspect that at least parts of it it consist of stuff he read while at Sagebrush Junior College or wherever the hell he went.

  169. 169
    Ross Hershberger says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If someone has violent tendencies, they will respond to violent rhetoric. In fact, they’ll seek it out. It is absolutely not a random response to whatever input that person happened to get that day.

    Palin and others on the right created a powder keg and then raised the temperature. They certainly are responsible when things explode.

  170. 170
    Rathskeller says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can’t agree; the facts known so far doesn’t force us to conclude that the rhetoric was involved in what he actually did. Because he shot a Congresswoman (and a Federal judge), it seems political, obviously so. We’re all here because we’re political junkies, and that was our first conclusion, as well.

    But if he had gunned down a teacher or his mother, then it would seem random and apolitical. This happens every single day, and doesn’t even have to appear in the papers. If I wasn’t avoiding work right now, I could even find some words that Palin had said that mean “go out and start shooting teachers.”

    You’re certainly right that mental illness is not so completely random. A sunny day didn’t send him down this path, and political discussions did. However, I’m asserting that he was triggered to kill by things that were essentially random, and not specifically caused by things like the Palin campaign against the 20 reps. Any attempt to slot him into a right-wing bucket or a left-wing bucket is incorrect.

  171. 171
    IM says:

    Funny that these mad man always are able to find a politician on he left. Three-Quarter of the congressional delegation Arizona is republican and he just happens to attack a democrat.

  172. 172
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There are many western democracies doing very well (much better than us of a) with limited free speech and zero right to access to arms. The fact america leads in the no. of assassinations and gun violence is a food for thought.

  173. 173
    Cacti says:

    @burnspbesq:

    True, but this is going to be one of the easy ones. It’s a slam dunk to prove intention and premeditation in the attack on Giffords. Even if she survives, that’s attempted first-degree murder under Arizona law, and all of the other deaths are second-degree (intentional but not premeditated).

    Disagree. Arizona has a transferred intent statute, and under that, it would likely be sufficient that the accused went to the crime scene with the specific intent to commit premeditated murder.

  174. 174
    Carol says:

    @burnspbesq: I bet that it won’t be Arizona. Killing a Federal judge and attempted murder of a Congresswoman doubtless has some Federal laws attached here. He could find himself on the same cellblock as McVeigh was on in Indiana.

  175. 175
    Alex S. says:

    Any updates on that list of names the shooter was shouting while shooting? That would be a clear evidence of a twisted political motivation.

  176. 176
    Cacti says:

    @icecreammang:

    This was the fucked-up consequence of mental illness mixing with an atmosphere of awful, dangerous rhetoric that increases the likelihood of something like this happening

    And easy access to firearms by the mentally unstable.

  177. 177
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Rathskeller: Not seems; he shot Giffords first, and in the head. He didn’t randomly open fire inside the grocery store. This was most definitely political. The only question to me is to what extent did the violence metaphors legitimized and used by Palin/Beck influence or guide this psychotic young man.

  178. 178
    cathyx says:

    @Rathskeller: I agreed with you up until your last sentence. If it was so random, why wasn’t it a republican congressperson targeted? The left doesn’t incite such extreme violent acts. The right does all of the time.

  179. 179
    KCinDC says:

    @Alex S., the report that he was shouting names may be yet another false rumor that was floating around earlier. Later reports I heard said he was silent, but I imagine it’ll be a while before we have a reliable story.

  180. 180
    msskwesq says:

    @Oliver: troll alert. You are not a psychiatrist, so don’t diagnose and thereby excuse his behavior – and therefore his ideological sponsors…

    ABL: You hit the nail on the head in this thread, although it isn’t just Palin with blood on her hands….

  181. 181
    Jon H says:

    @Alex S.: “Any updates on that list of names the shooter was shouting while shooting? ”

    I don’t believe that actually happened. At least, I haven’t seen concrete reporting of it. Someone might have overheard someone other than the shooter crying out the names of the people who had been shot.

  182. 182
    henqiguai says:

    @Dennis SGMM (#98):

    By next Tuesday half of America will believe that Giffords is a Republican and that the shooter was a Latino African-American Democrat.

    Fixted, I betcha.

  183. 183
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals :Also my first thought….

  184. 184
    Alex S. says:

    @KCinDC: @Jon H:

    Thanks, wait and see, I guess.

  185. 185
    John O says:

    Sanity can be graphed perfectly on a bell curve, and the right wing rhetoric flattens that curve. People on the edges are chock full o’ risk.

  186. 186
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cacti:

    Disagree. Arizona has a transferred intent statute, and under that, it would likely be sufficient that the accused went to the crime scene with the specific intent to commit premeditated murder.

    Bingo. You already have pre-meditation, and it doesn’t matter that the judge and bystanders were merely targets of oportunity. He went there to kill, and all the murders will be charged as first degree.

  187. 187
    PhoenixRising says:

    This isn’t easy to say, y’all, but: the TV station getting the links from Tucson is KGUN. The Congresswoman responded to a Teabagger of age letting a handgun fall out of his waistband last spring, at an event in Douglas, with the true statement, In my district which includes the OK Corral, nothing surprises me.

    Yes, the crosshairs are over the line. But the issue to me is the number of homes in Arizona where there are more firearms than phone lines. We are a well armed people. And the crazies are among us. That’s reason enough to confront the violent rhetoric.

    I cannot wait to hear from my workout buddy tomorrow–he’s a psychotherapist at the VA. Rumor is the shooter was in ISAF.

  188. 188
    Maude says:

    @efgoldman:
    Beck is going off WOR in NYC on the 17th. His ratings tanked.
    Palin is not liked by women and her poll numbers are not good.
    The Republicans who are disgusted with her have been trying to get support away from her.
    Look, there comes a time when someone like Sarah Palin goes too far.
    People associated the shooting with the Palin crosshairs right away. Some went to her site and saved the map because they figured she’d remove it.

  189. 189
    Cacti says:

    Suspicious package found outside of Giffords’ Tucson office.

    Bomb squad called in. Developing.

  190. 190
    Jon H says:

    @NorthernMNer: “Asking how much Palin/Beck have inspired this young man is going to be hard to quantify, especially after medication is administered and he is at least semi-cognizant again”

    Unless he has stuff that he kept at home and didn’t post.

  191. 191
    Citizen_X says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    99 percent of the crazy fuckers out there are right-wingers. We’ve got Scott Roeder, who gunned down George Tiller, Jim David Adkisson, who shot up a Unitarian Church during a children’s performance of Annie, Richard Poplawski, who murdered three cops in Pittsburgh in 2009

    I cut it off there, just to highlight the shit that’s happened in just the last 2 1/2 years. There was also the Holocaust Museum shooter. And now this. Of these crimes, only the Unitarian Church shooting took place before Obama took office.

    So yeah: proving a clear causal path from Palin’s rhetoric and the Glenn Beck show through this guy’s twisted brain to today’s shooting? Not gonna happen. But we are in times of violent right-wing rhetoric, and increasing real right-wing violence, no matter how deranged. That is no coincidence.

  192. 192
    icecreammang says:

    @Cacti:

    And easy access to firearms by the mentally unstable.

    Indeed. It’s such a given I forgot about it. The guns and the crazy are always gonna be there; the poisonous rhetoric is the only variable in the equation subject to improvement.

  193. 193
    MTiffany says:

    @Rathskeller:

    I could even find some words that Palin had said that mean “go out and start shooting teachers.”

    But can you you say the same about any politician on the Left? Are there any Congressional or other high profile Democrats out there exhorting people to take violent action against Republicans or anti-choicers or other people with whom they have political disagreements?

    The exhortations to violence (I don’t fucking care if they are only “implicit;” Bachmann, Palin, and the others know damn fucking well what it is they are doing) are only coming from the Right, directed at the Left. And holy fuckballs! Some Right-leaning wackjob shoots a bunch of Democrats! And a nine year old girl! Hoocoodanode!

  194. 194
    JGabriel says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    Truthfully, that list is so long and so all over the map …

    It’s not really all over the map. Politically, yes, but there’s a strong theme of persecution that runs through Loughner’s selection — the oppression of authoritarianism in the Orwell books he cites, the persecution of the capitalist elite in Rand’s work, the falsely accused in To Kill A Mocking Bird, the oppression of workers in The Communist Manifesto, fantasies of persecution by a Jewish conspiracy in Mein Kampf, accusations of insanity in Gulliver’s Travels, institutionalization in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, etc.

    .

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: I was only speaking of the 1st Amendment. As I would interpret the 2d, significant regulation is allowable.

  196. 196
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Jon H: Right, or if he read websites that endorsed violence but didn’t download anything, or cleared his history/cache so they aren’t in his computer.

  197. 197
    Cacti says:

    @henqiguai:

    By next Tuesday half of America will believe that Giffords is a Republican and that the shooter was a Latino African-American illegal alien Mexican citizen Democrat.

  198. 198
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Maude: We shouldn’t forget Sharron Angle and her “second amendment remedies”.

    ABL: Righteous rant. I hope your parents are okay and are coping with the (probable) atmosphere. It must be awful for them and you.

  199. 199
    Mike in NC says:

    Sarah Palin gave speeches all across this country in front of packed crowds of proto-Teabaggers accusing Obama of “paling around with terrorists” because he was once in a room with a guy who was in the Weather Underground before I was born. I am utterly convinced that her game plan was to fire up some of her crazy cultists until somebody tried to kill Obama.

    I was quite pleased on election night back in 2008, yet at the same time I knew they’d need to construct a 30-foot high electric fence and a 20-foot wide moat around the White House to keep out the wingnut zombies who’d be attacking the place 24/7, not to mention quadrupling the size of the Secret Service.

  200. 200
    rikyrah says:

    thank you ABL.

    tell it.

  201. 201
    Mary G says:

    I am just so saddened by this. My congressperson wouldn’t be caught dead talking to regular people in a supermarket parking lot, especially right after he won re-election. Nancy Pelosi either, probably.

    Giffords sounds like a wonderful woman and we have too few politicians you can say that about to spare one. I don’t want to diminish or dilute that by thinking about a waste of space like Sarah Palin.

  202. 202
    Jon H says:

    @NorthernMNer: “Right, or if he read websites that endorsed violence but didn’t download anything, or cleared his history/cache so they aren’t in his computer.”

    My point was that the cops are going to be going over his home with a fine-toothed comb, so they’ll find physical things that won’t be available to mere web surfers.

    Also, his own lawyers could conceivably try to use any Beck/Palin/Tea Party material in his defense, or at least in the sentencing phase to plead for a lighter punishment. (“In his diminished capacity he was easily misled by the inflammatory rhetoric of Mr. Beck…”)

  203. 203
    MTiffany says:

    Oh God, if there is one;
    Save my soul, if I have one.
    And oh yeah, one other thing,
    If you would be so kind,
    could you please “call home,”
    all of your followers who are so devout,
    that they would murder, maim, or torture
    anyone who disagrees with them?
    ‘Cause it’s getting kind of crazy down here,
    and really,
    truly,
    it is totally their fucking fault.
    And being omniscient,
    you already fucking knew that;
    and being omnipotent,
    it’s totally within your power to fix it;
    so, you know,
    get off your incorproeal ass
    and clean up your fucking mess.
    These are YOUR followers, after all.

  204. 204
    Karen says:

    This seems to be more personal for Congress because it could have easily been one of them or their staff. Congresswomen Giffords’ aide was killed. And a Federal judge was killed. Congress is basically on hold because no legislation will be brought forth this week.

    Because it is more personal, it will be harder for Congress to just blow this off and atrribute it to some “crazy liberal.”

    By the way, it was just announced on “Countdown” that a package was found in front of Giffords’ office. Considering the packages in Maryland and DC, I wonder if all this is connected somehow. It’s just too coincidental.

    The Sheriff of Tuscon has mentioned the radio rhetoric, by the way.

  205. 205
    Jon H says:

    @Karen: “Because it is more personal, it will be harder for Congress to just blow this off and atrribute it to some “crazy liberal.””

    Wait until someone puts a microphone in front of Gohmert or Steve King.

  206. 206

    […] of a map using rifle-scope crosshairs to mark states with Democrats who displeased Mama Grizzly, now wants to offer her “sincere condolences” to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (one of the Dems Palin marked with the crosshairs) and the other victims of the Arizona […]

  207. 207
    Rathskeller says:

    @Citizen_X: yes, I totally agree. And in fact, I expected worse violence than this thus far.

  208. 208
    gelfling545 says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: I would be amazed to find that he had actually read those books. It sounds exactly like a list of books someone once told him everyone should read and he used it on his social networking space to make himself seem like an intellectual.

  209. 209
    NorthernMNer says:

    @Jon H: Ah, I understand your point. Yeah, the results of the Capitol police investigation (I understand they are in charge of this) will be a good way of knowing what might have influenced him.

  210. 210
    Cacti says:

    Hmm…

    Sheriff Clarence Dupnik states during the press conference that PCSO does not believe the shooter acted alone.

  211. 211
    J says:

    @Rathskeller: Agreed, but only in part. The guy is presumably seriously deranged. He might have done this, or something like it, without Sarah Palin and her ilk polluting his mind. But even if that is so–and we don’t know, one way or the other–I don’t think the hate mongers are off the hook completely. Look at it this way. Suppose that you have been relentlessly slandering someone or a whole group of people, lying about what they are doing, what there motives are in something, say, like the way our right wing compatriots have been lying about the health care act and its proponents. Suppose further that you have been flirting with recommendations of violence against this group. You don’t really mean what you say. You know some of it’s false, and you certainly haven’t made the slightest effort to find out what the truth is; that’s never been of the slightest interest to you. All the lies, the slanders, the hints about gunplay have been in good fun, just ways of increasing your prominence in the public eye, your standing among the fruitcakes and, of course, promoting the interests of the people with the money, who will be happy to see that some of it comes your way in return. Then someone kills and/or injures some of the people you have been badmouthing. Surely there ought to be a moment when you think OMG, did something I say encourage this nutter? And even if it turns out that nothing you did had anything to do with it, shouldn’t you feel at least a momentary pang? The people I’ve been slandering, against whom I’ve jokingly been urging violence, are now dead or seriously injured. Maybe, just maybe, as a prominent citizen of this country, a holder of high public office who aspires to still higher office or simply as a human being with a scrap of decency, I could find a better use for my time than calumny and falsehood against people who are guilty of none of the things I’ve accused them of (all in good fun of course).

  212. 212
    MTiffany says:

    @Jon H:

    Wait until someone puts a microphone in front of Gohmert or Steve King.

    And somehow it’ll be the fault of: illegal immigrants, fags, abortionists, “that BLACK guy in the WHITE house,” libruls, and excessive taxation of rich people and corporations.

  213. 213
    Jon H says:

    The Army has confirmed that the perp tried to join, but was rejected.

    Man. Rejected by the Army? In the last decade? Ouch.

  214. 214
    NorthernMNer says:

    @gelfling545: So True!
    Phantom Tollbooth and The Communist Manifesto? Very odd combination, for a very disturbed individual.

  215. 215
    Rathskeller says:

    @MTiffany: Of course, not, there’s no comparison. There is a strong element of eliminationist rhetoric coming from the right, and has been for a long time. I have some unfortunate in-laws who told me before the election that liberalism is a disease. That’s not a healthy start for any conversation.

    I just think it’s simpler with this guy: he’s really nuts, and his political affiliations shouldn’t be parsed too finely. Yes, he did clearly try to kill an individual politician, with forethought.

    To compare it another way, the Holocaust museum shooting and the Oklahoma City bombings were right-wing acts of terror, planned and executed by individuals with an explicit political motive. This was just a nut with a gun. It would have meant as much if he shot his parents because they had demons in them.

  216. 216
    Mary G says:

    Wow, the sheriff is really calling out the “vitriol” and “bigotry” that contributes to our political atmosphere. And says soon no decent person will be willing to go into public service. Good for him.

  217. 217
    Maody says:

    The local AZ sheriff is busting bad on prejudice and bigotry on MSNBC right now. He is pissed. Good.

  218. 218
    Jon H says:

    @Cacti: “Sheriff Clarence Dupnik states during the press conference that PCSO does not believe the shooter acted alone”

    It sounds like they think the shooter got a ride. Which doesn’t remotely mean that driver had any idea what was going to happen.

    He used a concealable weapon, and, hell, it was at a grocery store. “Can I get a ride to the store?” doesn’t exactly sound as out of place as “Can I get a ride to the Federal Building?”.

    So… I doubt that’ll turn into anything. Seems to me he’s just keeping that option open.

  219. 219
    Elizabelle says:

    @eemom:

    yes, it’s my understanding that the sites were scrubbed today.

    And that is news, if it is true.

    Is it not?

    Or it used to be.

  220. 220
    Mike in NC says:

    Arizona was the place I figured was most likely for something like this to happen.

    In the early 1980s the Navy stationed me for a year in California, which I really enjoyed as much I thought it a pretty odd place.

    Then they transferred me to the Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, VA and I had to drive through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. I seldom stopped longer than it took me to gas up the car as even back then it seemed like I was venturing through wingnut land.

  221. 221
    Rathskeller says:

    @J: It would be heaven-sent if any politician or political commentator had any real act of remorse on the basis of this tragedy. I flatly cannot believe this will happen, certainly not from the people like Palin or Beck or the zombie haters at Fox news. Maybe some anonymous staffers will be sickened and move on. We’ll never hear a high-level person take responsibility in any way for this. You cannot say or even think the things Palin or Beck says without being amoral and irresponsible.

    p.s. Paragraphs are your friend, J. Embrace the carriage return. Grace it with a loving caress, and untold wonders will result.

  222. 222
    Kilkee says:

    @merrinc: I was mezmerized by the whole thing. And as I said, we’ll see it a million times. Including, as someone noted, Chuck Todd pooh-poohing the criticism of the “cross-hairs” flyer. Prescient in the extreme.

    And now the Puma Sheriff is making a pretty moving series of comments about the event, the toxic atmosphere of AZ politics, and more. One might hope some good could come of this.

  223. 223
    morzer says:

    This deranged man sounds like a Beck fan to me, with the list of books for self-education through a distorting prism, paranoid beliefs and mind-control, an obsession with a currency backed by gold and silver. I agree that the vile Palin has stoked the fires of hatred with her thinly-veiled fantasies about violence, and the Tea Party fascists have eagerly followed her, but let’s not forget that Beck went there first. Sarah Palin is more of a follower than a leader as a rule. If you want to point the finger, start with Glenn Beck.

    Consider the list of things he talked about in his Youtube rants:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....1211.story

    In his profile on YouTube, he said that he’s an avid reader and included in a long list of favorite books “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “The Communist Manifesto,” and “Mein Kampf.”
    His profile said he has attended Pima Community College. One of the videos rambled for several paragraphs, suggesting that Loughner had once been removed from campus for “talking.”
    He wrote of creating a new system of currency and designing coins. “You’re distributing your new currency lethally to people or you’re distributing your new currency non-lethally to people,” the video reads. In another video he wrote: “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!”
    Loughner expressed a deep interest in the dystopia that made up the plots of his favorite books.
    “I know who’s listening: Government Officials, and the People,” read one video. “Nearly all the people, who don’t know this accurate information of a new currency, aren’t aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn’t have happen.” [sic]

    This is classic Beck fan territory. Yes, Palin made matters worse, but Beck is where this craziness begins.

  224. 224
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mark S.: Yeah, because even though she’s taken off her website, I guess a million or so people have downloaded it to their hard drives and it will live on and around the internet forever.

  225. 225
    JGabriel says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    This was snt to Sully’s email about 3:30 today from a service member at a Costco in Arizona.

    […] While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”
    __
    And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”

    To the people who have advocated for Second Amendment Remedies like Sharon Angle, or used eliminationist and gunplay rhetoric in their political advocacy like Sarah Palin and Jesse Kelly: This is what Second Amendment Remedies look like — blood, death, the wounded and the maimed, and murdered public servants and innocent bystanders.

    Your condolences, sympathies, expressions of sorrow and dolour, your excuses that the shooter was crazy and not influenced by you, all of this is hypocritical.

    It doesn’t even matter if the shooter was deranged. This is what Second Amendment Remedies look like. You have no business saying anything but “Good, that’s what I wanted. That’s what I advocated for.” At least the people quoted above are honest in their sociopathy.

    .

  226. 226
    CDWard says:

    OK, so NOW can we arrest Sarah for incitement to violence? How many people have to die before she gets stopped?

  227. 227
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: 1st amendment has only encouraged corporate owned press (supposedly the fourth pillar of democracy !!!) spew lies and stir shit among the populace. Brits, French, Germans and Canadians specifically prohibit hate speech. And the citizenry there seem perfectly ok with it.

    As I would interpret the 2d, significant regulation is allowable.

    You were kidding, right ?

  228. 228
  229. 229
    sunsin says:

    @JGabriel:
    Even though I’ve very little patience with the gun-fetish common among Americans of all political leanings, you do have a point. You never see a Republican suggest that low-income or ghetto neighborhoods would be improved by a massive influx of up to date weaponry, after all.

  230. 230
    suzanne says:

    My family and I literally sat in front of our televisions and cried today. I can’t believe it’s come to this here. It makes me sick.

  231. 231
    Ajay says:

    @CDWard:

    How many people have to die before she gets stopped?

    No one, including SCOTUS, really cares. Only goal is the control of nation by Rs at any cost at all levels. Then everything will be hunky dory.

  232. 232
    Mike B says:

    @AxelFoley: The guy has a YouTube channel that is still accessible (though I don’t know for how long). You can see it here.

    It’s bizarre. The guy is clearly deranged. However, amidst all of the incoherent babbling about “sleepwalking” and strange references to the flow of time, there are also rants about how America needs to return to the gold standard, as well numerous rants about the constitution and our “treasonous” government. The guy was crazy, but he also clearly internalized some of the rhetoric on the right.

  233. 233
    IronyAbounds says:

    Christ almighty, the obtuseness of those just saying “he’s a nut and therefore right wing incendiary talk gets a pass.” The facts: A guy deliberately shoots a Congresswoman, point blank in the head, at a political function. There are two options, and two options only. Either the shooting was somehow politically related or it was not. Hmmmm, which is the most likely option? I recognize the guy is bat shit crazy, but that is almost an irrelevant fact. Anyone committing such a heinous act would be bat shit crazy. The issue is what set the guy on his course of action. If it was politics, of course the hateful rhetoric of Palin, Beck et al. contributed to pushing the guy into doing what the guy was doing. If it wasn’t politics, then that isn’t the case. But what are the odds politics had nothing to do with this? The “he’s just nuts” theory really doesn’t account for the facts: the intentional killing of a politician at a political event (particularly one who just in a tight race with a wingnut teabagger). Occam’s Razor suggests the most likely explanation is the guy was influenced by today’s overheated rhetoric.

  234. 234
    Mike B says:

    I’m sure we’ll soon be hearing pundits telling us how it is unfair to ascribe this violence to the right, and how the left does the same thing.

    When wingnuts on the right go bonkers, they kill people.

    When wingnuts on the left go bonkers, they throw pies.

    So clearly the left and the right are equivalent.

  235. 235
    jetan says:

    @Cassidy:

    You said it. I am so fucking sick of this phony equivalence. And it’s not even time for Broder yet.

  236. 236
    MTiffany says:

    @Rathskeller:

    This was just a nut with a gun.

    Until someone gave him a target. And who would that be? Palin? Sharon Angle? Bachmann? Gomert? Steve King? Glenn Beck? Limbaugh? Those are all voices on the Right. Not the Left. One side engages in this sort of inflammatory rhetoric: the Right. And to a certain extent, I think more than a few of them count on the fact that there are mentally ill and unstable “just a nut with a gun” types out there who only need to be goaded with some plausibly-deniable “It’s my First Amendment Right to Spew Hate” and a target. And they get away with murder when they get someone else to commit it. They did again today.

    @Angry Black Lady: And yet in a way it isn’t.

  237. 237
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Anya: But she DID say lots of things that could be seen as promoting violence. She set the tone. That’s what she is responsible for… setting the tone and the nature of the comments. Don’t retreat, RELOAD. (What do you reload? A gun.) Using crosshairs as markers? All that stuff set the tone of violence. Palin also supported Jesse Kelly who held a rifle shoot as a FUNDRAISER! His ads had him in army cammo holding an assault rifle! Again, the tone of the campaign rhetoric was violence. They are responsible for setting the tone.

  238. 238
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rathskeller:

    To compare it another way, the Holocaust museum shooting and the Oklahoma City bombings were right-wing acts of terror, planned and executed by individuals with an explicit political motive. This was just a nut with a gun. It would have meant as much if he shot his parents because they had demons in them.

    Here’s the thing, though — I absolutely guarantee you that if he had shot his parents because they had demons in them, you would find that he had been heavily involved in a church that used that language a lot. Even insane people don’t draw their delusions from thin air.

    Take a non-political case like Andrea Yates, who killed her 7 children to prevent Satan from corrupting them. She and her family were religious nuts who followed the teachings of a guy who lived in an old school bus. If they hadn’t been, she wouldn’t have been worried that Satan was going to corrupt her children.

    Delusions don’t rise out of nowhere. This guy is too crazy to place cleanly on a left/right spectrum, but he was influenced to take this action by the violent political rhetoric that’s the current Republican mode of speech. I’m not saying that he’s a follower of Sarah Palin or that he thought he was taking direction from her, but it’s very clear that he was influenced by political speech like and including Palin’s.

    I do think morzer is right, though — if you want to draw a direct line, that line leads more clearly to Beck than Palin. But that doesn’t let her off the hook.

  239. 239
    amk says:

    @Anya: Ever played the game of connect the dots ? Or are you that naive ?

  240. 240
    JCT says:

    @Elizabelle: @eemom

    Yes– they were pulled immediately after this hit the press. One of her acolytes must have realized that this might not “look good” I would guess.

    She’s just despicable on every level and as I alluded to in the original thread, the video of Giffords’ calling Palin out for that horrible graphic is just fucking chilling today.

    Wow, I am still tweaked.

  241. 241
    TVL says:

    How is this post any different than anything I’ve seen from the wingnuts on memeorandum?

    Hint: It’s not.

    Instead of waiting for facts to emerge, you all are jumping into the spin game. Look must be palin’s ad!!

    Where has he mentioned Palin, the Tea Party, Conservatives or anything other than some random shit about grammar.

    Nowhere.

    And for fucks sake

    Apparently the following statements were on Jared Lee Loughner’s now deleted Myspace page (From the entirely unreputable source, WND

    Really? Apparently this is proof now. Quote some shit WND says and caveat it? How is this not exactly what is mocked daily here when the traditional media does it.

    All of you, faping in the post GOT THE GOODS ON PALIN NOW!! and especially you ABL know nothing, yet you’re making shit up. Period. It’s fucking disgusting. Seriously fucking disgusting. People are dead and seriously injured and the lot of you are leaping over yourselves to point fingers.

    Fuck you.

  242. 242
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: No, I was not kidding. My reading of the Amendment based on its history and purpose would allow for significant regulation. I am not a Supreme Court Justice, so my reading is not the one used by US courts.

    Corporate ownership of the press has allowed the shit spewing, not unfettered freedom.

  243. 243
    Alex says:

    Oh wait? What was that I hear? All of his friends considered him incredibly left-wing? One of his listed favorite books was The Communist Manifest? Obviously, he’s not a tea-partier, but sarahpalinrightwingextremismgunnuts…and stuff! [Echo]

    Chalk this up under Reason #7684 ABL should not be able to comment on the front page.

  244. 244
    Jason says:

    Palin’s influence on the shooter, rhetorical or otherwise, doesn’t actually matter much in terms of the rightness/wrongness of using the SarahPAC post against her. This is where the news media is going to take over, whether the association is tenuous or not – the connection between the target on the ad and the target of the shooter is too strong to be forgotten by news media, and the fact that MSNBC is playing the victim’s televised response to the ad is just an indication of the momentum.

    You can say “don’t speculate, he’s just a nut” as much as you want, because that no longer matters. There will never be any direct relationship between Palin and the shooter, even if they find a tattoo with “Palin/Bachmann 2012” on his arm. There doesn’t need to be: not for the purposes of justice or moral investigation, but because that’s not what condemnation of political celebrity is about. It’s about how Palin used her celebrity as rationalization for any action, position, and attack she uttered. Joe Manchin, for instance, put a target on some paper with cap and trade printed there and shot it in a political ad; there is no way that he will even feel the remote breeze of this shitstorm.

    The self-fulfilling media narrative that Palin has exploited from DAY ONE turning against its host and consuming it is the better point of ABL’s post, and frankly it couldn’t happen to a nicer family. Live by the media, die by the media, whatever: I say this sticks to her for life, and whether that’s rightly so or not, doesn’t matter to me one bit.

  245. 245
    gwangung says:

    Oh wait? What was that I hear? All of his friends considered him incredibly left-wing?

    You hear wrong.

    Now go piss off.

  246. 246
    Kobie says:

    @Alex: From what I gather, “all of his friends” consists of one person on Twitter who hadn’t seen him in three or four years. Next.

  247. 247
    AxelFoley says:

    @TVL:

    Man, FUCK YOU.

    Palin and her partners in crime have brought this climate of hate in our political discourse on us. Yes, I will hold that bitch and her bitch-ass cronies responsible for today’s violent acts.

  248. 248
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TVL: Actually, most people are commenting on the fact that a cultural climate in which violent and eliminationist rhetoric like that of Palin and Beck makes violent and eliminationist behavior more likely. It creates and environment where one’s political opponents are dehumanized and, thus, easier to attack. So fuck you too.

  249. 249
    Keith G says:

    Take a non-political case like Andrea Yates, who killed her 7 children to prevent Satan from corrupting them.

    Dear lord. Now, don’t let the facts get in the way of a pleasing narrative. Yates happened literally in my part of town and I and many others suffered through the wall to wall coverage.

    She drowned her five children as a result of a psychotic break, not her first. Her apparently chronic psychosis aggravated by an acute postpartum depression.

    Delusions don’t rise out of nowhere

    Actually, I think that they can, by definition.

    Come on folks. Step away from this silly process for a bit and let the facts accumulate.

  250. 250
    amk says:

    @TVL: Hey moron. Redstate is that way. ===>

  251. 251
    MTiffany says:

    @TVL:

    People are dead and seriously injured and the lot of you are leaping over yourselves to point fingers.

    You’re right, we should be disgusted with ourselves, since there are voices of hate all over the political spectrum exhorting people to commit acts of violence against their political enemies…

    So we shoudln’t point fingers.

    Unless it’s the victims we’re pointing at, right? Amiright?

    So, it was that stupid nine year-old girl’s fault for getting herself killed because she didn’t go out and buy a gun (like a real ‘murikan) to bring with her whenever she went out in public (for her own protection), right? And it was that dumb-twat Congresswoman’s fault for not being rich enough to hire Blackwater (or Xe or whatever the Republican Party’s paramilitary wing is calling itself these days) to provide adequate security for her public appearance, right?

    @amk: It’s spelled ‘moran.’

  252. 252
    morzer says:

    @Keith G:

    Actually, delusions do have triggers. They don’t arise from nowhere. The delusion you get depends on your environment and upbringing to a significant extent. Then there’s the material culture that supplies the things you can use to act out the delusions you get. If Lougher had lived in a country without guns, you wouldn’t have found him shooting people. Similarly, if he hadn’t lived in an atmosphere saturated with political paranoia about government, the gold standard etc etc then he would have focused on something else.

  253. 253
    Cecilia says:

    This Loughner is not a “left-leaning liberal.” From what I’ve read about his worldview he is a libertarian (and, no doubt, nuts). Libertarians may share some views with liberals (e.g.legalizing marijuana) but just because there is some overlap on distinct issues doesn’t mean that liberals and libertarians are even remotely allied in their over-arching vision of what this country should look like. No, this guy’s views are probably very Ron Paul-ish. Loughner would feel comfortable in the libertarian wing of the Tea Party (but probably not the social conservative or god wing). I think we need to make sure that people know the truth about his views (obviously, once we know more) – from what I have read, no way is this kid a progressive or a liberal.

  254. 254
    Peter says:

    @Keith G: The behavior of the mentally ill does not happen in a vacuum. They respond to what people say and do, they simply do so in extreme, unusual, or otherwise ‘crazy’ ways.

    Is it possible that he would have reached all the crazy conclusions he did on his own? Yes. But the violent rhetoric on the right could have very easily pushed him more towards that, and reinforced it in his own mind.

  255. 255
    Keith G says:

    @morzer:
    I’m sorry, I should have eschewed brevity and been more precise. Of course societal context plays a role in most if not all perception healthy or “un”. Sure, Son of Sam needed to live in a society where there were dogs in order for him to be ordered by Sam to kill people. Unless maybe Sam could of been a grackle. Sick people do sick things.

    Yet if I remember correctly, back in the day I was taught that a delusional belief is one that this held as incontrovertible despite clear and abundant evidence to the contrary – a belief so ungrounded in any facts that it is unlikely to be held by others in the same peer culture.

    And it is not that I think it is unlikely that all those mentioned above may have had an influence here. It’s just that we do not know and I do not like a rush to judgment – not in 2001 and not now. We have time. Let’s keep our powder dry and act like wise and responsible beings.

    Edited

  256. 256

    […] of a map using rifle-scope crosshairs to mark states with Democrats who displeased Mama Grizzly, now wants to offer her “sincere condolences” to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (one of the Dems Palin marked with the crosshairs) and the other victims of the Arizona […]

  257. 257
    morzer says:

    @Keith G:

    The problem here is that ours is no longer a culture which seeks to establish facts. Instead, we privilege opinion, even when the facts contradict it. That’s another reason why I think your definition of delusion is not operable here. The real point though is that Loughner lived in an atmosphere saturated with paranoid fantasies of the sort he compiled on Youtube. To him, his beliefs must have seemed factual, and constantly reinforced by what he saw and heard on a daily basis. I suspect that we can no longer tell what is delusory on a daily basis as a society.

    Yes, we should avoid rushing to judgment – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t make a judgment on the basis of the evidence. FWIW, I don’t see Sarah Palin as directly responsible, but as a contributor to the rhetoric of violence and a focuser of it on targets, feeding off the paranoia and hatred fostered by Beck and talk radio.

  258. 258
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G: For what it is worth, it is possible to be both mentally ill and legally sane.

  259. 259
    firestarter says:

    @Seebach:

    I swear, praying is literally the least you can do for someone. There is nothing that requires less effort or sincerity.

    A-fucking-men.

  260. 260

    @Yutsano: Does this “people who think we shouldn’t jump to conclusions are secret Republican operatives” thing apply to Cole for the post awhile back literally *begging* people not to make assumptions before we know what happened?

    Yeah, the only possible reason someone might think it’s best not to jump to conclusions about a horrible tragedy is that they’re secret ratfuckers sent over here by the Koch brothers to undermine the bold consensus that Those People We Don’t Like Are Clearly Responsible For This. Is there anything you BJ cool kids can’t turn into an “agree with me or admit that you want to destroy the Dems” false dichotomy?

  261. 261
    mclaren says:

    Why don’t you just call it what it is?

    Terrorism.

    The entire goddamn Republican party is a terrorist organization.

    Round ’em. Into the steel cages at Gitmo. End of problem.

  262. 262

    @gwangung: “When,” huh? Sure you don’t mean “if?” Can’t you at least wait until there are some settled facts about this to do this little dance? Is everything political theater?

    Kos came out today and tweeted “Fucking American Taliban” before the suspect’s name was even released. But you know, the GOS is a big bad place full of reactionary people who don’t think things through unlike all you level-headed mofos over here who’re, yknow, behaving exactly like him minus the book plug.

    @mclaren:

    Yes, clearly the proper way to fight overheated rhetoric is to call for your political enemies to be locked up.

    Man, a lot of you are really small-minded, viciously reactionary bastards. We have no idea what happened here. We have a few scattered facts, some of which is self-contradictory ie. being a fan of both Mein Kampf and Marx. We have some dead and some wounded. And we have a bunch of people who want this to be attributable to Palin, etc. so badly that you’ve already turned the *distinct possibility* that it is into an absolute “fact” and are now using that “fact” to flog anyone who suggests that you might benefit from calming the hell down until you at least know what happened.

  263. 263
    CHARLES says:

    Until theres a political price paid for acting like this.Nothing is going to happen to Sarah.

  264. 264
    morzer says:

    @johnny walker:

    That’s some mighty hard work you’ve put in to create a false dichotomy and then to attribute it to others. Maybe you should find a glass of water and take a nice long lie-down in a dark room.

  265. 265
    Smedley says:

    @Tractarian:
    And of course, YOU know that for a fact.

  266. 266
    Ross Hershberger says:

    It’s too soon to know what effects this tragedy will have but I’ll go on record stating one outcome that won’t happen: stiffer gun control. Because that’s not just off the table, it’s not even in the building.

  267. 267
    Smedley says:

    @meh:
    And YOU know this because.
    A null post without fact or evidence.

  268. 268
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @johnny walker: You are right; we should all sit quietly until all the facts are in and an official report has been filed. Or should we wait until after the trial? Oh, wait, it’s a blog and people are spouting off; I am ever so shocked.

  269. 269
    mclaren says:

    @johnny walker:

    …clearly the proper way to fight overheated rhetoric is to call for your political enemies to be locked up.

    Hey. Jerkoff. When your “political enemies” are running around shooting people in the head, this is not `overheated rhetoric.’ At that point, it has gone beyond `overheated rhetoric.’

    Also, people who shoot elected representatives in the head are not `political enemies.’ They’re criminals.

    Let’s get clear here, shall we? Shooting people in the head is out of bounds. That does not make you a “political enemy.” That is not “overheated rhetoric.”

    It’s fucking assassination. If you think you can have a working democracy when your representatives are getting assassinated, well, good luck with that one, skippy.

  270. 270
    The Raven says:

    On and on and on….

    Crooks and Liars is on fire on this–Neiwert is doing a great job of covering the broader issues and there’s commentary on many aspects of the case.

    Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik calls out hate speech (video at C&L.) He is also looking for a “person of interest,” a person in the Tea Party demographic of white male in his 50s.

  271. 271

    @AxelFoley:

    So your point is that nobody knows whether or not the guy was mentally ill, and your followup is that he clearly was not?

  272. 272
    morzer says:

    @johnny walker:

    And so far you’ve contributed insults and mindless yapping. What would we do without you?

  273. 273

    @mclaren: What part of “you don’t actually know what motivated this guy” are you having so much trouble with?

    Also, I was replying to a post that said all Republicans should be locked up. Do you generally have trouble distinguishing between one specific individual and broad generalizations?

  274. 274

    @morzer: Well, if this thread’s any indicator you’d jack yourselves off about how you “know” that your favorite right-wing villians are responsible for this when in reality all you have are suspicions. And you’d do really sensible and logically-consistent stuff like following up a condemnation of overheated rhetoric and inducement to violence with a suggestions that all Republicans should be locked up. And judging from the other thread at least a few of you would see the appropriate response as, “It’s on,” “Time to start packing myself then” and “This is Civil War.”

    But you know, rightwingers are completely responsible for violent rhetoric because they’re the only ones who ever go overboard. *we’re* perfect. Everyone knows that.

  275. 275
    morzer says:

    @johnny walker:

    Judging by your sexual obsessions and total incapacity for intelligent debate, I’d say you were a very lonely human being. You have my sympathy, but not my respect. Now, the adults on here are talking about serious issues, so I don’t intend to waste more time on you.

  276. 276
    LiberalTarian says:

    @Ajay: I disagree. She’ll never live it down.

    While good judgment is too rarely a qualification for electoral votes, obvious poor judgment will get you shit canned.

  277. 277
    morzer says:

    @LiberalTarian:

    Also too, she won’t be able to go her default rhetoric of extremism and violence without people remembering what happened in Arizona. That’s a serious blow for someone who relies on communicating in those terms.

  278. 278
    Mary says:

    Thanks ABL for saying what I was thinking.

  279. 279
    Anya says:

    @PurpleGirl: I agree! We need to condemn and highlight Sarah Palin’s incendiary rhetoric, but this case is still unknown. The shooter could have been influenced by many things, including Sarah Palin’s contemptible words and actions, but we still don’t know. All I am asking is that we wait and not indict anyone — no matter how tempting — until the dust settles, and we have all the facts.

  280. 280
    Anya says:

    @amk: Not naive, just judicious.

  281. 281
    Sixers says:

    The guy is crazy and this post was written waaay too soon.

  282. 282
    Sixers says:

    The guy is crazy and this post was written waaay too soon.

  283. 283
    amk says:

    @Anya: No, you’re just painting (not just applying) the lipstick on the pig, as it were. This bending over back to accommodate extremists is what emboldens them.

  284. 284

    […] Black Lady, blogging at Balloon Juice, gave the least reasonable, shrillest attempt to link Palin to the shooting (just gaze at the title if you don’t have time to […]

  285. 285
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    She drowned her five children as a result of a psychotic break, not her first. Her apparently chronic psychosis aggravated by an acute postpartum depression.

    Read more carefully. I’m not saying — nor did I say — that Yates’ psychosis was caused by her religion. I’m saying that the form her psychosis took was shaped by the fact that she was in a religious cult.

    You know, the same way this guy’s psychosis was validated and given shape by Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Palin, etc. etc. etc. They didn’t cause his psychosis, but their violent rhetoric validated his beliefs.

  286. 286
    morzer says:

    @amk:

    It isn’t accommodating extremists to ask for more facts before reaching a verdict. If anything, it’s the reverse of their behavior. Should we rush to judgment and get it wrong in our haste to be “right”? FWIW, I think Sarah Palin has some responsibility via her rhetoric of violence and killing, but the issues that obsessed Laughner look much more like standard Glenn Beck paranoia material to me.

  287. 287
    mclaren says:

    @johnny walker:

    What part of “you don’t actually know what motivated this guy” are you having so much trouble with?

    Excuse the hell out of me for ruining your pity party, buckaroo. But I don’t give a damn what motivated the guy.

    The guy is shooting people in the head. That’s unacceptable. I don’t give a flying fuck what motivates somebody who walks around on the street shooting people in the head. I want him off the street. And I want people like him off the street.

    Getting through now?

  288. 288
    Karen says:

    @daveinboca:
    I pray for your heart because it’s obvious you have none. Now go run and play on Freeper ok?

  289. 289

    @daveinboca: oooh crazy black cunt! that has a nice ring to it. unforch, i’ve grown attached to angry black lady, but i’ll give that one some thought.

    thank you, come again.

  290. 290

    @daveinboca: “mad crazy black bitch” has a nice ring to it as well, but i need some clarification: do you mean angry crazy, or like, “really crazy.”

    as in, “that bitch is mad crazy, son!”

    it matters. please advise.

  291. 291
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Can I just point and giggle? That’s my typical reaction when this pest shows up.

  292. 292

    @Yutsano: you sure can. i’m cracking up. :)

  293. 293

    i’m still laughing. who uses [sic] when they’ve spelled shit wrong outside the context of a quote?

    man alive. i love crazy people.

  294. 294
    morzer says:

    @daveinboca:

    You really are making progress. You even spelled some of the two-syllable big words correctly right. The parole board will be delighted very happy.

    (Note to self, delete long words and replace with ones that the inmate can understand).

  295. 295

    @daveinboca:

    Another tough talking right winger who in real life is a total fucking wimp. How much do you want to bet that Dave’s another crazy fucker who talks tough but either never joined the military, joined but was dishonorably discharged for fucking chickens, joined, but was medically discharged for wetting the bed or wanted to join but was rejected for being stupid, insane or molesting children? Any takers? C’mon, I need some easy money here because I’m kicking myself for not taking out a bet on the Seahawks/Saints game today.

  296. 296
    Yutsano says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I’m kicking myself for not taking out a bet on the Seahawks/Saints game today.

    You and my father. And he’s the luckiest sumbitch when it comes to this stuff evar.

    I don’t waste my time on davinboca. I mean c’mon, he lives in a run-down part of a wingnutty old folks state. How smart could he possibly? That and I’d lay bets on the size of his genitalia. Also.

  297. 297

    @daveinboca:

    Don’t worry though Dave. Help is on the way. Once we retake the House in 2012 and increase the Democratic majority in the Senate we’ll be able to cut defense spending, raise taxes on the wealthy, reinstitute ownership limits on television and radio stations and implement single payer universal health care, which we’ll pay for with those defense spending cuts and tax increases and we’ll be able to put you into a nice mental hospital and give you the treatment you so desperately need.

  298. 298
    morzer says:

    @Yutsano:

    That’s about all anyone is ever going to lay on Dave’s pure white peanuts and cocktail stick.

  299. 299
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @daveinboca:

    John, if WyldPirate got banned for using similar language, can this racist, sexist shithead? Please?

  300. 300
    Mark S. says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’ll take the under. Whatever it is.

    I remember daveinboca being an annoying piece of shit, but that was crazier than his usual spiel, wasn’t it? It is certainly banishment-worthy.

  301. 301
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    i love crazy people

    We wuvs ya right back hon. And that’s a good ol’ fashioned down home Baltimore hon for those who think I’m pushing the sexist angle here.

    @Mark S.: Nah, no point in sin binning him. He’s not here enough to warrant that. Plus what else are we gonna play with?

  302. 302
    Mark S. says:

    @Yutsano:

    What? Already tired of BoB 2.0? Did you ever find out what his proposition was?

  303. 303
    brownstocking says:

    Great post.

  304. 304
    Spike says:

    The following line from the Pima County sheriff’s remarks struck me as especially telling:

    That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.

    Someone refresh my memory: which faction has a vested interest in driving “reasonable decent people” away from politics?

  305. 305
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.: Ya know, he never did elaborate on that point. But as he has threatened to impregnate me several times (which is just hilarious on several levels) beyond that I have no idea.

  306. 306
    bob h says:

    “..—now claiming to be sorry and to offer support to the friends and family of the dead.”

    That includes John Boehner, who was only too happy to embrace and succor those Tea Party fucks.

  307. 307
    ProsecuteDomesticTerrorists says:

    Why is everyone overanalyzing this? That’s the wingnuts’ trap — bog the real discussion down in details while using the LimMalBeck crowd and astroturf net postings and events to sell very specific, very simple, and very false or misleading messages.

    Just keep it to the facts.

    Simple fact 1: Palin et al. called on people to “target” specific congress members for “removal.”

    Simple fact 2: One person went and shot one of the congress members named, along with a federal judge and a number of other people, including a 9-year old girl.

    Simple conclusion: Palin is responsible to some degree for an attack upon a U.S. congress member, a federal judge, and a number of bystanders.

    It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

  308. 308
    ProsecuteDomesticTerrorists says:

    ^^ Called on people to “target” congress members for “removal” using rifle scope bullseyes on a map.

  309. 309
    Desert Zombie says:

    Palin is one dumb bitch-ass queen…that’s about all I can say and think about right now!

  310. 310
    CommonSense74 says:

    Angry Black Lady,

    I got a problem with you telling Mrs. Sarah Palin to “F–k Off”. I think that is very UN-American.

    I am disturbed that you think that you can blame this on a lady of representation and high caliber of decenency. She was NOT the cause of the harboring acts carried through by this sicko in Arizona. What are you so angry about? So did she cause the VA. Tech’s Shooting massacre, and the Muslim Army Officer betrayer who took out those other officers in Fort Hood, TX, that by the way, protect your rights and freedom.

    Look Forward to your response, but only if it is an educational and well thought manners.

  311. 311

    @CommonSense74: it is only fair that your comment be educational and well-thought before you demand such a response from me.

    telling people to fuck off is as american as apple pie.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Black Lady, blogging at Balloon Juice, gave the least reasonable, shrillest attempt to link Palin to the shooting (just gaze at the title if you don’t have time to […]

  2. […] of a map using rifle-scope crosshairs to mark states with Democrats who displeased Mama Grizzly, now wants to offer her “sincere condolences” to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (one of the Dems Palin marked with the crosshairs) and the other victims of the Arizona […]

  3. […] of a map using rifle-scope crosshairs to mark states with Democrats who displeased Mama Grizzly, now wants to offer her “sincere condolences” to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (one of the Dems Palin marked with the crosshairs) and the other victims of the Arizona […]

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