Saturday, January 08, 2011

That Is the Sound of Inevitability

While we're still in the early stages of fact-gathering following the attempted assassination of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona -- and I really don't like to jump to conclusions -- I can't deny the terrible feeling I immediately got when I heard about this.

It was heightened when I read this quote in the piece about the shooting currently running in the New York Times:

"During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots 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."

So, yeah, anybody wanna put any bets down?

(Update: I likely won't be sitting here adding little tidbits as they come in all night -- there's the Huffington Post and Twitter for that -- but one thing is really worth reminding people in all of this: A federal judge and a nine-year-old girl are among the dead. Just unbelievable.)


Anonymous said...

She was one of only two on Palin's map to win re-election. Clearly, it was then on to 2010 Senate candidate Sharron Angle's Plan B--using "second amendment remedies".

I'm sure there will be controversy over attempt to politicize a terrible act of violence. But unless you want to go back 40 years to Bill Ayers, I don't really see a lot of left-wing nuts with guns going after Republicans. We tend to try to bore them to death with facts and figures.

It looks like Giffords will pull through (boy, does the media screw up these near-death stories in the first moments; I had been texted that Giffords was dead.)

One irony is that, between Giffords and those who did perish, their organs probably won't be of any use, since Arizona's Medicaid is no longer paying for transplants.

Hmm...doesn't Bristol live in Arizona now? Not that I believe in an-eye-for-eye. Plenty of people do, though.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, the "he was just a nut" cop outs have already begun. Of course he was. Did anyone really think the dog whistles and target practice talk would inspire one of the grandmas with a fanny pack full if Tetleys to pull out their piece. The worry is those people who don't get that Beck is an act. Do we really expect the ones that shoot to be Tea Party purists? Does it matter now? If he was just psycho, does that excuse using violent symbols in a campaign?

Brenda said...

If only liberals were so crazy. Maybe Palin and Beck wouldn't have a televised platform anymore.

Anonymous said...

If Arizona stops issuing gun permits to psychos, there will no longer be a gun problem in the state.

Chez said...

First of all, I realize this isn't exactly a revelatory question to ask, but why is Lee the preferred middle name of killers nationwide? If you saddle your kid with this name, you're just asking for trouble by now.

Second, I'm certainly not blaming Palin or Beck as a knee-jerk reaction -- and the shooter in this case seems to be all over the place when it comes to his whack-job ideology -- but Atrios retweeted what may wind up being a pretinent point: crazy people are crazy and there's not much that's going to change that, but because they're crazy it's easy to push them over the edge with the right kind of rhetoric. Does this mean that the rhetoric should be blamed for the act it spawned? Not necessarily -- nuts is nuts. But it remains to be seen what set this guy off.

Ref said...

...and, of course, the confirmation of whoever is appointed to replace that judge will be held up for years on an anonymous hold placed by a Republican senator.

I hope that Rep. Giffords is okay. Otherwise, we'll see the Republican governor appointing a Republican replacement, thereby rewarding the shooter.

Anonymous said...

The shooter seems to be of the anarchist persuasion; a 22 year old nut whose favorite books include Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

Anonymous said...

Arizona has a law that requires the governor to pick replacements of the same party as the spot that was vacated.

Kevin Davis said...

I'm sorry, but fuck that. You can definitely blame Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as helping... I thought we were on the same side on this the last time this was brought up. Obviously Glenn Beck didn't pull the trigger nor force the guy to, but I'll place bets on what the killer's TV viewing habits were. When we first heard a congressmen was shot, I know I made some quick assumptions. 1 - Democratic. 2 - Because of Health Care, TARP, DADT, or some Democratic legislation.

I'm sure the standard tried-but-true false equivalency is going to be brought up numerous times in the media, but let's not let ourselves do it too.

Kevin Davis said...

Authorities said they believed Loughner had sent out a video saying that he expected Saturday to be his last day and had written on his MySpace page several "final thoughts" that included rants on illiteracy and the failure of U.S. currency to be backed by gold.

Who was hawking gold again?

Kevin Davis said...

sorry for the multiple posts, but
this is just too good to not post.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Giffords' shooting seems eerily similar to the police officer shooting in West Memphis last year -by a 16 year old Sovereign Citizen zombie.

It would be the ultimate irony if we get bogged down in nasty politic attacks about how dangerous our nasty politic attacks are, and we fail to address the specific law enforcement problem that the Sovereign Citizens, etc. present.

Anonymous said...

I've never been sadder nor more afraid for this country.

Garry said...

This is completely shocking!My heart goes out to the victims and their families. This is a terrible story whether there is a political cause to this or just a man gone wild!!

Stimpy said...

I know this is coming so we best prepare ourselves to defend it now.

Is Sarah's reprehensible crosshairs map any different from say, Ice T's "Cop Killer"?

NJ said...

Is the irony the using heated rhetoric to point out that heated rhetoric may have dangerous consequences lost on you people?

Are some people heavily influenced by the media? Sure. But there are just as many influenced by delusional voices, loud noises and barking dogs.

I acknowledge that it may serve a useful function to begin the finger pointing (ala' tag lines like "Right Wing Terrorism"), but I think it is just as important to acknowledge the hypocrisy of that.

Lost on Kevin, he points to a DK post that so underscores this point with posted comments like; " Thank God, my daughter is divorced from this right-wing, authoritarian, control freak whack job. How many like him have made it into the police forces of the USA?" or “chuck todd can go fuck himself. i've had enough." or " the really sad part is I can't see any of our Dem politicians setting this forth with the same directness and passion.

I don’t give a rat’s ass which side of the political spectrum you decide to stand, but the subtle call of a copy cat attack on Republicans by wilderness voice is just as irresponsible as any word ever uttered by Glenn Beck. The only difference between the two is that Beck reaches a far wider audience.

Care to argue degrees of culpability? You have to start by conceding the point.

Chez said...

Two things, NJ. First off, the "Right Wing Terror" tag was used for this post only because I referenced the possibility of this falling in line with the right-wing terrorism we've seen more than a few times lately; I wasn't implying that this act itself was right-wing terrorism. Obviously, if that's how it was taken, then I apologize.

Now, you're right that violent rhetoric from either side is reprehnsible, but it's precisely because, say, Glenn Beck's audience is larger than most that makes him more dangerous. He knows he commands a huge forum and that, whether he chooses to admit it, there are those within his audience who are susceptible to inflammatory rhetoric and who cling to his every pretend-lunatic conspiratorial raving. There's simply no way that anyone with a brain and a willingness to accept reality can argue that the irresponsible, violent and dangerous rhetoric we've been subjected to over the past couple of years has been almost solely the property of the right.

I'm not suggesting anybody kill or beat the hell out of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Allen West, Sharron Angle or anyone who's trafficked in incendiary, violence-filled imagery in the name of furthering a political goal; I'm saying that these people should be summarily shunned and shamed.

BenoƮt from Ottawa said...

Dear Stimpy, regarding "Is Sarah's reprehensible crosshairs map any different from say, Ice T's "Cop Killer"?", the answer is a big YES.

Because the symbolism, and if that's the case, the "invitation" or "suggestion" to target those people, comes in one case from a rapper who nobody has any trouble believing wants street cred, so who's he shitting, right?, while the other one comes from a want-to-be-mainstream American politician -- who's not shittin', at least in the eyes of the convinced.

The actual meaning of target signs is strongly related to the person who put them up.

Stimpy said...

Thanks Benoit--I only brought that up because a Palin groupie I know tried to throw rap & rock music in my face.

motheralex said...

I'm just sad because a girl got killed, along with a Judge. Can we PLEASE stop shooting each other??? Or if you really feel the urge, shoot anyone who has a TV show about Octuplets. Thanks.