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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two Sicknesses On Display in Arizona

The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of several people by gunman Jared Loughner in Arizona yesterday has revealed two sicknesses.

The first and most serious is the sickness living in Loughner's head.  Evidence in the form of farewell videos, internet postings, and the recollections of people who knew him reveal a profoundly disturbed person who had veered far into a paranoid world.  Loughner's complaints about government mind control and other rants were not "anti-government" in any political sense, but anti-government or anarchist in the Ted Kazynski-deranged sense.  We do not know Loughner's motives, but those motives whatever they were were the byproduct of Loughner's clearly delusional view of the world.

There also was a second sickness on display, and it was the swiftness and the vigor with which the left-wing blogosphere and some more mainstream Democrats immediately sought to blame Sarah Palin and right-wing "vitriol" in general for the shooting.

Within minutes of the shooting being made known, two of the highest profile left-wing bloggers, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos and Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, pulled out a 10-month-old electoral map used at a Sarah Palin website showing almost two dozen congressional districts being targeted, including Giffords' district.  The map was similar to one used by the Democratic Leadership Committee to target Republicans in the prior election cycle, and as Howard Kurtz points out, simply typical of campaign rhetoric using military-themed language.

Markos explicitly accused Palin of having blood on her hands and Yglesias did so implicitly.  Through retweets of this message and the map, the left-blogosphere (with some exceptions who took a wait-and-see attitude) took up the cudgel of turning this shooting to their political advantage.  Think Progress ran updates with details on the Palin map and also an advertisement several months ago by Giffords' congressional campaign opponent also using military terminology.  But clearly, Palin has been the focus, with a larger attack on "right wing vitriol."

Not surprisingly, Keith Olbermann -- one of the most hateful television personalities who names a nightly "Worst Person In The World" -- joined the chorus.  Even The New York Times joined the fray, reporting on the Palin map in its initial coverage, and running a Paul Krugman blog post blaming right-wing rhetoric. 

Numerous sources also are reporting that Judge John M. Roll, who was killed, had been the subject of threats because of an immigration ruling, but by all accounts Roll was not targeted and was at the event in a shopping area purely by coincidence.  [Update: The Criminal Complaint filed this afternoon indicates Judge Roll intended to attend the event to speak with Giffords or her staff, but there is no indication Loughner would have known that.]

Yet not a single person pushing the blame-Palin line has offered a shred of evidence that Loughner ever saw Palin's electoral map, was motivated by it, was right-wing (anectodally it appears Loughner was quite left-wing as of a few years ago), was motivated by right-wing radio, or did any of the things being assumed by the left-blogosphere, the mainstream media and some Democratic politicians.

Not a shred of evidence connecting Loughner to Palin, the Tea Parties, or the right wing, yet the left-blogosphere, mainstream media and Democratic politicians have erupted into a frenzy of name-calling directed at Palin and those who oppose Obama's agenda. 

Who knows what evidence will come forward in coming days, but based on what we know now, the attempt to blame Palin and opponents of Obama for the shooting is every bit as delusional as Loughner's attempt to blame government mind control.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen this type of reaction.  The meme that opponents of Obama are crazy and dangerous has been an explicit Democratic Party campaign strategy for over two years.  Here is just a partial list of events in which the left-wing and Democratic Party media operation has immediately blamed right-wing rhetoric, only to be proven wrong when the facts finally came out:  Bill SparkmanAmy BishopThe Fort Hood ShooterThe IRS Plane Crasher, The Cabbie Stabbing, and The Pentagon Shooter.

The facts will come out about the shooting and murder by Loughner.  Until then, we'll be subjected to the sickness of people who seek to use the crime to their political advantage and who will worry about the facts later on, if ever.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased and those injured.

Update:  Congresswoman Giffords took part in the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House last week, an event which was denounced by the left-blogosphere and some Democrats as a stunt and a reflection of a fetish:

Interestingly, Think Progress posted this video on its YouTube channel back in November, of  Democratic pollster (and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager) Mark Penn arguing that Obama needed "another Oklahoma City" in order to reconnect with the people:

The manner in which the left-wing is seeking to exploit this crime reflects an attempt to replicate the political success Bill Clinton had after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Indeed, Politico reports (h/t Gateway Pundit) that a Democratic strategist is advising as follows:

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”
Update No. 2 - Does Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Have No Shame?  Dupnik's press conference yesterday has been widely cited as proof that right-wing vitriol led to the killings was just interviewed by Meghan Kelly on FoxNews and for the first time was forced to commit as to whether he had any evidence that Loughner actually listened to or was influenced by such political rhetoric.  Dupnik admitted "it's just my opinion period" and that "I don't have that information yet."  Videos at the link.

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  1. Hell even the local Shire Reeve had to get in on that action. A public official, albeit a local one, blathering on about "hate speech" etc. is a dangerous precedent. I fear that we are on a path toward censorship of political speech. Funny. Heated political debate, even downright nasty debate, is part of the American landscape and always has been. Nothing wrong with that.

  2. Kudos to you and Stacy McCain (The Other McCain)and various commenters who sprung into action yesterday to counteract all the BS that started to fly as soon as this happened. In an ideal world, there would be a "wait for the facts before drawing conclusions" paradigm to follow, but that is not the world we live in.

    It was fascinating to observe yesterday's blogosphere activity in real time. The prior events cited above (Bill Sparkman, Amy Bishop, etc.)certainly served as preparation for this situation.

  3. "Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen this type of reaction."

    I agree - truly delusional and sickening. I personally believe it is also criminal. Liability for your speech - does it exist?

    Please tell me/us, professor, what will it take for this to be the LAST time?! Please share why this is not defamation of character, libel, and personal attack, from a legal perspective. Freedom of speech does have SOME limits, doesn't it?

  4. You saw this nastiness immediately on twitter. It was sick and palpable. What was even worse was those that continued to attack Palin, never, never,never offered prayers for the victims. The sickness of the likes of the NYT, Krugman, Olbermann, and the Daily Kos, does unseen damage to this nation and is revolting.They want the rhetoric eliminated, lets start off with them and ban them from free speech...oh yeah they're protected by the Constitution, just not the rest of us.

  5. And as another "crisis" hits, check out the fact that Obama is wanting to tag users of the Internet "for their protection."


    I comment on this and other issues (including nutty Keith who managed to say in a long silly speech that it was the right wing hate speech alone that causes trouble while ignoring reams of left wing angry speech) at my website.


    I was an intelligence officer for a while during my last assignment as a detective. I can say to you that we know a ton of stuff about you already. My issue is why make it easier for the government to ID and track you than it already is.

    The crazy kid in Arizona had long ago stumbled down the paranoid rabbit hole, but his basic thought that there are people trying to exert greater and greater control over your personal life so they can retain power is not as crazy as it sounds.

    You wait until the politicians (who are going to take this very personally) call out for stricter this or that for THEIR own safety.

    If you'll note, hardly one of them or the left commentators mention the poor child who will never realize any of her dreams.

    Shameful exhibit of spoiled self-centered, shallow human behavior. I can say with clarity now that the greatest generation was indeed our grandfathers. Since then we've been on a steady downward decline. You'd think someone on the left would stand up and say, "Hey, kids like this nutjob are creations of our liberal theories and agendas and refusal to hold people accountable." But you'll never hear that.

  6. With all the quick condemnation of "right-wing rhetoric," there wasn't even a passing reference to rhetoric from our President like, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun...because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl."

    That a flagrantly psychotic young man with persecutory delusions that "the government" was brainwashing people and engaging in mind control attacked a representative of the government was not random. That the representative happened to have been one of Sarah Palin's "targets" absolutely could have been.

    From the information released so far, we have no idea what drove him to that specific person on that day. Delusionary belief systems can certainly be disorganized and irrational enough that they don't have anything to do with what we normally think of as right vs. left or Dem vs. Repub. It's about "them" out to get us.

    Prayers for the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families.

  7. My husband commented yesterday, with the Pima County sheriff commenting and accusing the "right", that he wondered how much we can actually blame MSM for the shape in which this country is! Thank goodness for the blogosphere, and long may it live. For my taste, much more sane than MSM, and thank you for your blog!

  8. Awesome summary.

    I'm starting to see some hope. Howard Kurtz is no conservative, but even he sees how insane the left is in blaming Palin for this tragedy. I also heard John Harwood, a frequent commenter on CNBC, a contributor to the New York Times, and dedicated liberal admitted during a CNBC interview last week that many left wing bloggers are crazy.

    Like Bartender Cabbie, my fear is that the hysterics of this unfortunate situation will result in an additional loss of freedom and government power grab for more control.

    Congress always over-reacts to these types of events. We expect and demand our government to prosecute the bastard responsible for this to the fullest extent of the law. If he's guilty, execute him. But be on the lookout for Congress reacting to this event by attempting to legislate away more of our freedom to create a false sense of security. That's surely coming, and it must be resisted.

  9. With FOX News running in the background yesterday, my husband commented/asked how much MSM is to blame for a lot of the stuff that goes on, and has been going on in the US. Good question, for sure. Even FOX jumped in early, announcing Giffords had died. What has happened to credibility and "honesty" in reporting? Is it gone for good? My guess is that this shooter may receive more attention, etc., that the Ft. Hood shooter, who has conveniently dropped off the radar. Here, as here on this blog, is another excellent piece on the shooting and reporting:

  10. Half of my comment was deleted. I added this link to another excellent piece to read:
    Thanks to this blog, and other conservative bloggers, for keeping us sane, and for objective reporting, something of which the Left is incapable.

  11. I wonder how many Americans know that the country has never been less violent. Yet the establishment keeps telling us that we are under constant threat from violent elements among us and from abroad. We don't feel safe in this country because it doesn't serve the political power agenda.

    So another sickness this incident draws attention to is how, in the absence of rampant violence, those with the microphones and who drive the national narrative insist on magnifying and manipulating every single act by a few nuts, especially white nuts, into a reason to strip the rest of us of our personal freedoms. Every incident is another opportunity to drive us further down the road to tyranny.

    Loughner was a nut, another crazy loner living in his own little demented world. It's not like this was a personal act of protest for being wronged. Nor was it an act of political protest grounded in any sense of morality. His life's work WAS being bitter and angry. Just another kook whose wires got crossed from drug abuse. He was probably a nut even before the drugs. This guy was programmed to lash out using whatever reason that was available. This shooting had nothing to do with "society", right or left wing politics or anything other than he is a nut.

    At least Kazinski had childhood traumas that led him down his tragic life's path. What is Loughner's excuse? Just a white punk on dope. Thirty days in the electric chair will cure what ails him. I don't know what will cure what ails our corrupt and demented establishment elites.

  12. It has been SOP for the Collective to politicize any tragedy they can for as long as I can recall. Their current approach is just a variation on the one that provides you assurance of new calls for gun control with any high-profile killing.

    Letting no crisis go to waste has been their typical MO. Still another jump to conclusions was the case of the Holocaust Museum shooting.

    And, you know, I can't recall anybody saying they were sorry when their smear was revealed.

  13. The left has many agendas and as many assertions to support each agenda. But listen carefully to the liberal MSM commentators about the assertion that American politics has become "too" vitriolic. The current climate of Democrat power loss in the 2010 elections was the vitriol of the voters angered by the arrogance of liberals. Liberals know and believe that it's only the people who show up at the meeting get to make the decisions. Vitriol has driven the voters to the polls and now that needs to be calmed down otherwise they will keep showing up to vote.

    What better way to shut down the Tea Party than to make the false moral equivalence of their anger and the false assertion that a nut job was pushed over the edge by that anger. When a liberal can not win the argument they delegitimize, they dismiss the opponent. Liberals want everyone to calm down, to go home, go back to what they were doing so they can get on with their agenda. Go back to sleep America...

  14. While we're blaming everyone but the shooter for the shooting, why don't we take a look at the the anti-law enforcement Sheriff of Tuscon?

  15. archer52 said..

    No, Loughner is not the "product" of anything. His ilk has existed in all societies today and in the past and will always exist. There are no insights into society or politics that can be gleaned from this senseless act of violence. He is a nut. Period.

    We shouldn't be having this national discussion about the what it means. It was a senseless act by a crazy loner on drugs. There is no meaning. We need to grieve, bury, try, execute, bury, heal and then go on with our lives. It was a pointless and meaningless act of evil.

  16. How sad that people would try to use a tragedy such as this for political gain. How sad that an individual so clearly and deeply disturbed as Jarod Loughton did not get the help he so desperately needed. The educational institutions he attended were clearly aware of his problems, why were they unable to help him?

  17. Alo sounds like he is an athiest. Not very conservative.

  18. An excellent comment on JOM, worth quoting here:

    Why don’t people who are so intent on blaming things politicians have said for this tragedy ever mention rhetoric from Democrats and liberals including:

    President Obama:

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

    "I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face."

    Or John Kerry who said on the Bill Maher show: “I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.”

    Or Howard Dean "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for..."

    and: "This is a struggle between good and evil and we're the good?"

    and “we need to remember that the enemy here is George Bush, not each other.”

    Or Senator Chuck Schumer who called a flight attendant a “bitch.”

    Or the Florida Democrats who ran an ad calling for the assassination of Donald

    Or New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi who called for Senator Schumer to “put a bullet between the president’s eyes?”

    Or Jonathan Chait who said "I hate President George W. Bush."

    Or singer Rickie Lee Jones who aid of President Bush "You're an ignorant, low-class, opportunistic man, both personally and politically, who does everything for political gain and nothing for the wellbeing of the people, and you should not be in office, and the kind of fascism you're perpetrating on our country we don't want, and you're out. We're done with you. Ffffhgggmm."

    And when asked if she would be willing to take Bush out for the benefit of democracy? "If I say that, I might get arrested when I go back. And I have to go home." She's thinking it out carefully. "I guess the question is, would I kill anyone? And the answer is, no. But would I feel sorry if someone killed him? No, I wouldn't. It would depend on who killed him, I guess."

    Or "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" where they superimposed the words "Snipers Wanted" over an image of Bush delivering his acceptance speech at the Republican convention.

    Or Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams who said she could kill President Bush?

    Or Randi Rhodes who joked about killing the President?

    Or Reverend Wright who called Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Condoskeeza [sic] Rice.

    Or England’s Charlie Brooker who wrote: “On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?”

    Posted by: ROA | January 09, 2011 at 04:08 AM

  19. The comments by the Pima County Sheriff gave me pause. He has made it pretty clear that he is an ideologue, not a neutral third party.

    We know nothing about the motives of the alleged shooter. Late last night, the PCSO stated the alleged shooter was "uncooperative".

    Given that we know that the Sheriff has a definitive ideological viewpoint, I have absolutely no confidence that we will ever ascertain the "real" motivation of the perpetrator, and will be fed only that which fits his narrative.

    I also have questions as to why it took, according to firsthand witness accounts, 30 mins for EMS to arrive. This happened in Tucson; not in a rural area. Would the nine year old have survived? There had best be a thorough investigation.

    A sad day on many levels.

  20. As we all know the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) are sticking to their narrative.   No.  Matter.  What!
    Waiting for the facts?   Pssfftt!   Facts are irrelevant!   The average citizen only reads the headline so it's most important to first sceeched out the narrative since that's all most will remember anyway.   It's a trick the left has been using for years.   Successfully.   But, hopefully, not for much longer?

  21. @Stop Shouting

    I hadn't heard that it took 30 minutes for EMS to arrive. Do you have a link to where you saw it? If true it's absolutely ridiculous and most certainly warrants an investigation into the first responders.

    As for blame, I agree with the folks who stated that no one is to blame except the son of a bitch who pulled the trigger, and said as much in an earlier thread. However, that being said, the left really does need to look at the giant freaking log in their eye before pointing out the motes in others'.

  22. Excellent synopsis of the political fight over a deranged act. The comments also provided good food for thought. thanks

  23. Not long ago I read a quote, attributed to Charles Krauthammer, that went, "Conservatives think Liberals are stupid. Liberals think Conservatives are evil." And that seems to sum up a lot of the politics in this country.

    With that in mind, I don't think that people like Olbermann were actually trying to exploit the tragedy politically. I think that in their minds, they were thinking something like, "See? See? I've been trying to tell you this for so long. When are you going to listen and stop these people??"

    That means they aren't being at all cynical. Just crazy.

  24. Pat Robertson: "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say: "You helped this happen."

    Right wing conservatives have the blame game down pat.

  25. The captain's back to place the blame on the right while ignoring the same statements uttered by members of the left, I see.

    Stay classy, don't let pesky things like facts tell you any different.

  26. Kudos, Bill, for a pretty solid roundup of the sick, accusational blog posts, including those posted by Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos and Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, and even MSM articles (NYT) and columns (Krugman) that either explicitly or strongly implicitly blamed Sarah Palin for the shootings.

    As for MSNBC, I suppose no one doubted that Olberman would take the opportunity to gleefully pile on. He really is pathetic.

    On Twitter, the attack was absolutely frenzied, and I'd add that much of it was directly aimed as well at Andrew Breitbart.

    As a matter of course, Breitbart regularly re-tweets without comment all (or at least most) of the hate-filled tweets he receives, as a way of giving those little nasties exposure.

    Because I follow him, there were dozens of absolutely hateful little screeds filling my Twitter account when I went on line yesterday, all of them from people I know nothing about and never heard of.

    I think they’ve begun responding to him by thinking of a re-tweet from him as a badge of honor. So I'm not going to give them any further recognition by linking to any of their tweets.

    Calling them all out for it, I suppose, has become a necessity. You simply cannot reasonably turn the other cheek in the face of such vitriol. But one sometimes senses, at the same time, that the responses fall on a huge number of deaf ears, especially amongst the larboard-leaners.

    Heck, I kind of expected the "No Labels" crowd to quickly jump in and respond to this explosion of hate-filled rhetoric spewing from the left. However, so far they’ve posted nothing. Not a word . . . other that their heretofore holier-than-thou expressions of concern about the level of rhetoric in America. Looks like they may be passing up the opportunity to make some real sense on the topic!

    A few folks, including Dave Burge, aka, Iowahawk, have responded with pointed humor, noting as he did quite accurately earlier today that: Whatever inspired the shooter, the shooter has sure inspired a lot of copycats to go on a[n] indiscriminant character assassination spree. That sums it up about as well as anything I’ve read!

    As for journalist involvement, Byron York has also made a good point, noting that: Journalists [who] urged caution after Ft. Hood, now race to blame Palin after Arizona shootings. http://ow.ly/3AI97

  27. Pat Robertson is not a "right wing conservative". He is a nut who hides behind the mantle of religious zeal. He is a money-grubbing charlatan who, like many southern televangelists, got rich exploiting the southern poor. That cannot be equated to what the left-wing MSM is doing on a grand scale.

  28. In all the haste to blame 'right wing rhetoric' for 'targeting' Giffords, these fools seem to forget the others who were wounded and killed.
    Was rhetoric the reason the 9 year old was killed. She and the others were hardly accidental victims.

  29. Whether or not Loughner had any view of Palin's language, or any of the other incendiary language which has been out there, unfortunately and predominantly from the right, it's prominently in the national media and consciousness.

    Mrs. Palin doesn't build community, she doesn't cultivate leadership, she has fomented discord repeatedly.

    Guess what

    As a registered independent for some years now, I see nonsense on both sides. But I see a vacuum of leadership increasingly on the right. The increasing disrespect of learning, of intellectual rigor, of fortitude is gone. Instead there is a lot of one-dimensional bubba trash talk which is supposed to be leadership. Instead of branding "left-wing media," how about some well-thought out statements? We've gone from Bush (bad) to worse (Palin).

    The John McCain we saw in his concession speech was a good leader. The people who placed Palin next to McCain eroded the promise of well-thought-out leadership.

    Until the right has the courage to understand navigate centrist leadership to bring this country back together, we get sick days like this, lots of fingerpointing, and more maps with targets by idiots who claim they have a college degree and can't speak much less write a sentence...or their own books.

    Another centrist friend said on New Year's Eve, "I don't want a president who is just like me. I want them to be smarter than me so I know that the person in charge knows that they are doing. I want them to be approachable enough to have a beer with me, but I want them to be greater than me on the world stage and when we need them to lead us and our country."

    Guess what? A few of us have brains out here. More than a few. And we have the intelligence to think and navigate, with moral fortitude, in the gray areas. We don't think like light switches.

    Have the courage to represent ideas, not idiocy.

  30. When something like this happens, it is a tragic shock to our national nervous system. How could it happen? Why did it happen? And the whole sad part of the irresponsible behavior on the part of the left-wing media, simply turns my opinion of them from polite disagreement to stomach churning absolute disrespect since their motives are nothing more than trying to make politcal hay out of senseless action on the part of a mentally deranged individual.

    But I have to ask; how is this event any different that the thousands of other tragic deaths at the hands of those who had no value for life? Is it because we place such importance on our elected officials when in reality, they are no more, nor no less, equal to each and everyone of us? Where was the outrage on the part of the leftwing media when a dedicated, and honored Houston Police office was shot in the head by a drug running illegal during a simple warrant exercise? Did Olberman, et al, take to the web and the airwaves to denounce the open borders crowd or the Democrats who run sanctuary cities?

    Lives have been taken and many more have been destroyed with the loss of loved ones. Yet, we are subjected to "hateful" vitriol by those who will never, never be held responsible for their words. One CNN reporter yesterday, after reading the words of John Boehner, said "Boehner is of course a Republican, while Congresswoman is a Democrat," indicating that John Boehner's words were just empty rhetoric, and then the CNN reporter said "Just saying." It was a needless, and useless statement, designed to do nothing but put doubts in people's minds about John Boehner's sincerity.

    I remember when a mentally deranged man flew a plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas. The Austin American Statesman, being a left wing publication, immediated jumped to the conclusion that he was 'obviously' a "TEA Partier" until his Marxist manifesto was revealed. Did the Statesman ever retract its original opinion. No, and those like Olberman will never be held responsible for their words and actions.

    So the left will continue to use tragedy as a point of derision and division. It is disgusting, and each and everyone of us should be writing to those publications, and calling them, and demanding they hold responsible those who write such words for only political gain.

  31. Pat Robertson had an enormous following amongst right wing conservatives and was a republican presidential candidate.

    So there you have it. Sarah Palin, vice presidential candidate and potential presidential candidate places cross hairs on candidates and tells her followers to "RELOAD". Pat Robertson, influential right wing leader and republican presidential candidate blames gays etc for 9/11, a horrific event in our history.

    And to counter that, everyone here including Mr Jacobson point to--bloggers. Many of whom are loons. And a few second or third tier politicians. Or a TV talk show host. Get it. That's the level of analysis performed here. It's not analysis. It's digging in the dirt. A waste of time when you think about it. Noise.

  32. @Nathan:
    Apparently the original claim that it took EMS 30+ mins to arrive was originally posted by Gawker -- hardly a reputable source -- and I am cautious in accepting this "fact" -- but if true -- does warrant a thorough investigation. The closest EMS station was less than 3 mi away from the scene. I can understand coordinating Life Flight taking a bit longer -- but immediate response 30+ mins? Completely unacceptable, IF true.

    Quoting Gawker:

    ..."The event was very informal: Giffords had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20-30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Giffords in the head first, "point blank". According to Rayle, who is a former ER doctor, Giffords was able to move her hands after being shot.

    After shooting Giffords, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old. Rayle hid behind a concrete pole and pretended to be dead. When the gunman apparently ran out of ammunition he attempted to flee, but a member of Giffords' staff tackled him. Rayle helped hold the gunman down while waiting for the sheriff to arrive, about 15-to-20 minutes later. The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was "stunned" by how long it took medical help to arrive."


    I also have questions, "why", if this eyewitness is a "former ER doctor" as he claims, he did not render aid? News reports today are stating it was one of her young interns who rendered aid.


    There are a lot of things about this whole event that aren't sitting well with me...

    ...in addition to the complete lack of decency WRT to the unseemly politicization of a very tragic event, which goes without saying.

  33. @GretaCargo:

    "Mrs. Palin doesn't build community, she doesn't cultivate leadership, she has fomented discord repeatedly".

    The same could be said about Barack Hussein Obama, who has always been quick to judge and blame. BHO is a divider, not a uniter.

    Not what our country needs in this troubling times, when difficult decisions MUST be made.

  34. David Frum just blamed pot: "The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana."

    Here's the real deal: The blame game is old stuff. The right has it down pat. The left has it down pat. And Mr Jacobson, in his blog, jumps right in to continue the finger pointing. That's all this is really about: continued finger pointing. Gotcha points. And from my perspective, the real narrative about all this noise on the internet is the amazing number of people who sit around and create and/or read this stuff.

    Ok. Enough for me. Keep pointing them fingers though. But please--be nice.

  35. "... Democratic pollster (and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager) Mark Penn arguing that Obama needed "another Oklahoma City" in order to reconnect with the people...."

    OK, was this in Tucson then a "Reichstag Fire" plus a "shoot one of your own to gain credibility with your enemy?" Not impossible.

    Forensics questions abound. The kill and wounded figure from ... how many guns, of what type, with how large a magazine(s?), by what skill-level shooter? ... invites curiosity. And what was the first shot? If the head shot, that invites the question of a hit by a trained (to some level) assassin. And a dozen or more shots, or at least multiple penetrations of single shots? It's hard to see a mere psychotic accomplishing that. That's skill of some degree. And why didn't anyone return fire, especially from among her aides, or from local police standing by or from legally armed citizens?

    Was Gabby sacrificed "for the good of the cause?" Her family condition says she is not anti-American despite belonging to a political party run by those who are -- and who need an infusion of sympathy, as by "an Oklahoma City."

    "... but his basic thought that there are people trying to exert greater and greater control over your personal life so they can retain power is not as crazy as it sounds."

    Exactly. The disease of paranoia is not the thought or awareness that someone is trying to narrow one's world (anxiety means narrowing) -- someone always is, including oneself -- but that one responds to that external fact in fear and loathing rather than in the power of cheerful expansion. Fear and loathing is succumbing to the power of non-being, which is always present even in the best of times and conditions. A personality under the power of non-being -- common today -- is destructive in all directions because non-being is. Expansion is the power of being, of life.

    Disruptive, diseased people are capable of skilled mission execution. Disease does not preclude accomplishment, especially in the destructive arts. No government can prevent the expression of those arts and effort to do so grows them.

    "Given that we know that the Sheriff has a definitive ideological viewpoint, I have absolutely no confidence that we will ever ascertain the "real" motivation of the perpetrator, and will be fed only that which fits his narrative."

    Most like.

    "I also have questions as to why it took, according to firsthand witness accounts, 30 mins for EMS to arrive. This happened in Tucson; not in a rural area."

    Why weren't local law enforcement at the event on principle? If they were, why didn't they get EMS on scene earlier, and did they not have a clear shot at the perp, or chase him?

    "There had best be a thorough [official] investigation."

    Indeed, but there is a low probability that will happen, or, that the truth it reveals moves into public view. More reliably impartial would be an unofficial investigation ... which likely would be suppressed by officials, at least in the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, it appears.

    The velocity and zealotry with which CHAOS went to spin this atrocity onto Sarah Palin and conservatives says they know the horror belongs to them. They're projecting as always. They are the psychotics.

    Whether planned over time or planned spontaneously, this event may be showing an at least somewhat skilled operator(s?), very possibly a patsy, executing a mission to sacrifice an innocent, and himself being sacrificed. In any case, its root is CHAOS.

  36. "Ok. Enough for me. Keep pointing them fingers though. But please--be nice." Says Captain Quirk, fingers firmly pointed.

  37. Aaaand Captain Quirk swoops in and demonstrates that the mental illness Prof. Jacobson illustrated in his post is alive and well among members of the partisan left.

    Hey, champ. If Sarah Palin is somehow "responsible" for this shooting, then charge her with a crime, arrest her and put her on trial.

    Put you money where your big mouth is. Show everyone what genuses you and your ilk are and take action.

    Unless, as your President once said, you're bringing a knife to a gunfight. Get in their faces. Right?

  38. @ Capt Quirk:
    I think when you have a high-level political advisor to the Democratic party openly musing about the need for a "second OK city", then we have a problem. Mark Penn is not a "blogger" and someone with significant influence in the Democratic establishment. Clearly his viewpoint reflects the sentiments within the upper echelons of the Dems.

    When I first saw this interview, well before this tragedy, I blanched and was sickened.

    Like many, I am sickened by the lack of decency, but I am not going to sit back while the Left operates a smear campaign against their ideological opposition.

    Most of the commentary I have read from the Right points to disappointment that this event was immediately politicized and used to shape a narrative against their perceived "enemies". It is shameful and no one on the Left who has piled on seems to feel any sense of regret regarding their actions and statements.

    The majority of us want to focus our attention on the victims, the souls that were lost, as well as try to seek the truth about this event.

    I refuse to be further victimized by allowing the froth and conjecture to stand unchallenged.

  39. William--don't leave out Katie Couric and her contribution. For the 2nd time in 2 years (since I got satellite) I watched SeeBS News. I got a quick reminder why I should never do that again. Katie put up Sarah's map, relating it to the shooting.

  40. Quirk, and what are you doing, if not pointing a bony finger? The right has it down pat? Was it the right who simply reported that Nidal Hassan shouted "Allahu Akbar" and he was killing 13 of my fellow Texans and was it not the left, who is jumping to irrational conclusions in this case, not saying "Hold off. We can't make any conclusions just yet until all the facts are in."?

    What has come out from the left wing media in the last 18 hours is nothing more than disgusting. But hey, any port in a storm, right? Politics of personal destruction are fair game, it would seem, as long as it is the left doing the destruction.

    The simple fact is that no one knows why this deranged 22 year old shooter did what he did, and he ain't talking. But to jump the shark, and to lay blame at your political opponents before all the data is in, should be a career killer. Unfortunately, it will not be, and those like Keith Olberman will continue with their hatred for anyone who does not subscribe to their personal political agenda.

    Instead of expressing your displeasure for this blog, you should be on the phone calling the NYTimes and demanding the resignation of Keith Olberman. But you're not, are you?

  41. Again. What political rhetoric makes a 9 yr old a target? And she was as 'targeted' as Congresswoman Giffords. Simply insane trying to argue this. As insane as Loughner.

  42. @David R. Graham:

    I suppose that I am exceedingly sensitive about this event because of two events that I experienced, and a third tangentially.

    The first was the Beltway Sniper incident, where Sheriff Moose was quick to paint the perpetrator as an angry white male, and valuable time and resources were wasted in the pursuit of this "angry white male".

    The highways were shut down and all white vans driven by white males were investigated. It was racial profiling at its most offensive.

    In the meantime, the terror continued .. my husband was away on deployment, and I was alone with my kids. We were literally terrified to go anywhere, especially after dark. Sick individuals took advantage of the community fear by phoning in threats to local schools, who went into lockdown.

    53 year old Dean Meyers was killed less than 3 miles where I lived at the time.

    The demagoguery of Sheriff Dupnik, like the unprofessional demagoguery at the time of Sheriff Moose, is alarming and should be rejected by the citizens. It does nothing to advance the investigation, and does everything to continue to create a meme of the "angry white male" driven by "right wing hatred".

    Sheriff Dupnik, it should be noted, is hardly a "blogger" but an official of the state of AZ.

    It. must. stop.

    Last time I checked, John Muhammed was not white, nor is his still imprisoned sidekick, Lee Malvo, a troubled youth who was manipulated by Muhammed by events other than a "right wing agenda".

    The press claimed that they had "learned" from this event how dangerous it is to rush to judgment and create a narrative based on established prejudices.

    Apparently their memory is short-lived.

    The second event was the 2003 murder of a good friend, Gabby Mello. Gabby was murdered by the mentally unbalanced field hand who worked in the barn where our horses were boarded.

    She was selected at random and stabbed to death with a pocket knife. He calmly watched her bleed out, then called the police.


    We will never know what created such a twisted and disturbed mind. But it is further evidence that there are those out there like Jeff, who silently walk among us, and we have no way of knowing what will compel them to no longer restrain themselves.

    How do we balance the "rights" of the mentally disturbed against the public safety of the community? That is one of the questions that should be asked here, not rushing to claim and ideological frame of mind.

    The third tangental event was the Va Tech killings. Many of the victims were from our extended community. Again, a disturbed individual with a history of mental instability, which was not disclosed due to "privacy" issues.

    There were claims that we had "learned" from this tragic event as well.

    Yesterday was not a day for political gamesmanship. Sheriff Dupnik should hang his head in shame, and be excoriated for his unprofessional behavior, as should all the others claiming evidence of "Tea Party hate" who piled on.

  43. Here's another for the finger pointers. Newt Gingrich after a woman who murdered her own children accused a black man of the crime. Newt was immediately on top of it:

    "vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things," ... "the only way you get change is to vote Republican."

    That's right. Two children murdered and the lesson for Gingrich, past GOP speaker of the house and possible presidential candidate, is to blame liberal society--must be liberal society since only the GOP can fix it.

    The GOP are very good at the blame game.

    Don't worry though. Mr Jacobson or others will find some blogger in a corner of the internet to counter this high level example of GOP finger pointing.

  44. How is

    "incendiary language which has been out there, unfortunately[sic] and predominantly from the right"

    coupled with

    "Until the right has the courage to understand navigate[sic] centrist leadership to bring this country back together, we get sick days like this, lots of fingerpointing [are your nails polished?], and more maps with targets by idiots who claim they have a college degree and can't speak much less write a sentence...or their own books."

    coupled with

    "The increasing disrespect of learning"

    coupled with

    "Another centrist friend said...'I don't want a president who is just like me. I want them to be smarter than me so I know that the person in charge knows that[sic] they are doing. I want them to be approachable enough to have a beer with me, but I want them to be greater than me on the world stage and when we need them to lead us and our country.' Guess what? A few of us have brains out here..."

    coupled with

    "Instead[sic] there is a lot of one-dimensional bubba trash talk which is supposed to be leadership. Instead of branding "left-wing media," how about some well-thought out statements? We've gone from Bush (bad) to worse (Palin)."

    not high-handed nominal literacy, insult masquerading as centrism, and unintentional irony?

    Yesterday, there was an act of slaughter by a lone mentally disturbed shooter, and too many who write and teach for a living have jerked their itchy trigger fingers in blaming conservatives and Tea Party rhetoric.

    Almost ten years ago, right upon a terrorist act of large-scale slaughter plotted out by higher functioning ideologues, there were partisan editorialists, profs, and entertainers either suggesting or outright stating that we deserved it.

    "And we have the intelligence to think and navigate, with moral fortitude, in the gray areas. We don't think like light switches"?

    On the contrary, GretaCargo, it appears that that there is a switch, and it's toggled to the left and taped down that way for you "intelligent" ones.

  45. @Captain Quirk. The "targets" Sarah Palin had on her map were not "targets" but Surveyor Marks. Just thought you miy want to know.

  46. Sorry honeytrail:

    "Politico's Jonathan Martin was the first to point out that Palin herself, in a tweet last November following the election, referred to the crosshairs as a "bull's eye.""

  47. What does it say about a group of American citizens that hates its fellow citizens more than terrorists and illegal invaders?

    I refer to the modern, Soros-controlled Democrat Party, of course.

  48. Palin has blood on her hands ... just as do Target stores.

  49. Obama and the left are playing the Arizona shooting the way Hitler played the Reichstag fire.

  50. @ Captain Quirk

    Actually, liberalism is number one in placing blame in this event... and the last such event where the left was quick to paint blame... and they were wrong on both accounts.


    Liberalism doe deserve copious amounts of blame in terms of economic ruin:


    No ideology has murdered more people than the left. 100's of millions in the 20th century... and counting into this century.

    Liberalism is quick to cast aspersions but very reluctant to take responsibility.

  51. @reform liberal:

    How many thousands of young Americans died because of the lies about WMDs?

    And, if our government had more than 5 native Arabic speakers on the ground for better intelligence, we might have staved off some awful events 10 years ago in NYC.

    Conversely, we have a president who wins a Nobel Peace Prize and steps up war in Afghanistan. (Of course, who wants THAT regime to spread? That brand of fundamentalism is not only brutal against women, but all humans.)

    We can go into a million circles biting our tails over all this, can't we?

    How about civility, here, moving forward?

  52. GretaCargo, I'm no fan of GW Bush, in fact I was still a liberal democrat during his two terms, but as I recall, the wikileaks cables have revealed that the Iranians, and I believe one other Islamic country received WMDs that were smuggled out of Iraq, either jut prior to or after the war started in Iraq.

    Also, I think we have far more Arabic speakers, and I"m talking about non-Muslim US citizens who speak it. I also remember how our intelligence agencies promote such learning, they always did.. I have a hard time our government was being honest with us, when they claim they were desperate for Arabic speakers.. rather, I'll wager that this has been another lie used to provide an excuse to appoint those with divided loyalties, OR to bring in those hostile to the US.

    I read this morning about Grover Norquist greasing the path for a man who is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, into Homeland Security, during the George W. Bush administration, and Norquist is very cozy with the Muslim Brotherhood, through his wife, whose family is heavily connected to that foul, terrorist front group.

  53. The yellow cake in Iraq wasn't capable of functioning as a WMD and was eventually taken by the US, shipped to Canada, and later brought to the US so it wouldn't be used in a dirty bomb. Because Iraqi scientists were motivated to save their own skins and report the best possible scenario to the despot in charge, WMDs were inaccurately trumped up...inside and outside Iraq.

    I'm personally concerned that all Muslims are targeted inaccurately, much the way the Japanese were demonized in WW2. The real issue is extremeist fundamentalism, which has reared its ugly head against woman and the weaker members of society in every era of humanity. The internet and easily availability of nuclear materials makes our lives all the more dangerous as I write. However, I do not want to demonize Americans from any background even now.

    It's too easy for us to spread simple and inaccurate messages about any number of situations rather than take the time to assess the details of truth.

    That is what concerns me as a citizen in a democracy where information should be open (no, not sensitive state secrets) for citizens to learn, debate, and guide their leaders.

  54. And M, thank you for your posting!

  55. One person did a great job exposing the leftist rhetoric and the amount of vitriol and hatred that spews from members of the DNC as well as members of the MSM.

    However, one person has been left out and her name is Frances Fox Piven. She recently made statements on how she wants to see blood running in the streets, and she wants the US anarchists to follow the example of the lazy Greek anarchists.

    If anyone is to be blamed then the rhetoric of Frances Fox Piven should be held up as an example since she is the one who made statements advocating direct violence of persons and property, in the name of sending the USA into chaos, thus causing the Communist takeover that she desires so much.

    Do we know if Loughner saw any of her rhetoric and decided that taking out Giffords was his chance to help the revolution to begin?

    Also, should we ever forget Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn and their desire to see that same Communist takeover?

  56. The Pima County Sheriff is a democrap so facts don't appear to matter as the end justifies the means. He reminds me of NYC's deplorable Mayor Bloomberg who basically called the Times Square Bomber an anti Obama tea partier, rather than call him for the islamofascist that he really was. These democraps in sheep's clothing are shameless and despicable.
    I just wish that Sarah Palin could sue these bottom dwellers for defamation, but unfortunately their liberal friends in the Courts would prevent such justice from occurring.

  57. After eagerly flinging a few handsful of invective, @GretaCargo now sez:

    "How about civility, here, moving forward?"

    That, after a series of baseless accusations, such as this one:

    ”Whether or not Loughner had any view of Palin's language, or any of the other incendiary language which has been out there, unfortunately and predominantly from the right, it's prominently in the national media and consciousness.”

    If, @GretaCargo, in your original comment you were foolishly referring to the political electoral map linked to by the professor, above, and used by Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos and a whole host of other left-wing vipers to launch their ugly invective aimed personally at Sarah Palin, then you are either displaying ignorance, or being intentionally disingenuous. The use of phrases in the political arena, such as "campaigns," "targeted" districts, or "targeting" candidates, or even operating out of "war-rooms" is now, and had been short-hand common talk amongst politicians, their staffs, all manner of political operatives, newspaper reporters, columnists, and bloggers, for as long as anyone can remember.

    And, I don’t ever recall her ever mouthing anything even remotely like the comments made by then-candidate Barack Obama, specifically and accurately cited by commenter "cf", above, to wit:.

    "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," Obama said in Philadelphia last night. "Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans."


    "I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face."

    So, @GretaCargo, judging by YOUR standards, please explain us why the shooting in Arizona wasn’t directly attributable to the use of such "incendiary rhetoric" by him?

    After all, he specifically brought up bringing a gun to a political fight, no?

    It is, of course, preposterous, just as was your angry and baseless comment attempting to lend credence to the more direct screeds posted by a whole slew of vicious and mindless lefties and all aimed at trying to blame Mrs. Palin directly or indirectly for the shooting in Arizona.

    Gosh, I thought I remembered you touting the fact that you were intelligent. I’m sure it was somewhere up there in this comment thread.

    Oh well, looks like you better go for a second opinion on that one!

  58. At HotAir, Ed Morrissey, citing the great piece posted yesterday by Byron York (which was linked in his tweet and I included in my comment above), does another thorough job of debunking this still-born finger-pointing attempt on the part of the left to blame it all on the so-called political rhetoric of Sarah Palin and others on the right

    In Ed's case, he also focuses in on the utter hypocrisy of CNN for their dogged on-air efforts to somehow directly or indirectly blame Palin for the tough political rhetoric, which they kept somehow trying to blame this incident on -- all, of course, without a single shred of evidence.

    As Ed notes in an update:

    "Contra David Frum, I don’t see this as a particular moment to reflect on 'extreme political rhetoric," since there’s nothing to connect political rhetoric from either side of the political spectrum to this crime. I wouldn't even call for reflection on the continued sales of Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto, even though the suspect credits both of these as among his favorites, as they have no causal connection to the actions of a lunatic. Perhaps, though, this is a good moment to reflect on those who rush to exploit tragedy in an attempt to bully political activists into silence."

    Nicely put! Yet another false accusation from the hyperventilating left put to bed.

    I guess I'd have to agree with the Professor's original characterization in this post . . . it truly is a sickness on their part.

  59. Strikingly similar, from Professor Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee, in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal:

    . . .
    To paraphrase Justice Cardozo ("proof of negligence in the air, so to speak, will not do"), there is no such thing as responsibility in the air. Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on "rhetoric" and a "climate of hate" to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.

    To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?
    . . . .

  60. From an editorial in Slate (Caps mine):

    "Any call to police 'inflammatory' speech is a call to police ALL speech, and I can't think of anybody in government, politics, business, or the press that I would trust with that power."

    There was a clear & defining reason for the First Amendment. If we choose to restrict speech that others find offensive & inflammatory then we choose to restrict all speech. It is astounding to me that any one politically active in America today could be so foolish and nearsighted as to make such a call.

    Set aside the fact that there is absolutely no connection between Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, or Glenn Beck & Jarred Loughnir, EVEN if there WAS a connection the First Amendment still allows them to make 'offensive' speeches. Even *if* Beck, Palin, et al was radical their speech is protected so that our speech cannot be infringed upon.

    When you add in the fact their speech had no impact on Jarred Lougnir whatsoever it gets even more outrageous.

    And now we have Rep. Bob Brady of PA proposing we *ban* all Cross hairs from political speech. This is *insane*! On the argument that if it prevents even one violent attack it is worth it. Talk about sacrificing a little liberty in the hopes of increased security....

  61. Flag-burning liberal atheist 9/11 Truther murders Republican-appointed judge; media, liberals blame Sarah Palin, Tea Party.

  62. "Obama and the left are playing the Arizona shooting the way Hitler played the Reichstag fire."

    I wonder what's next. Concentration camps for Tea Partiers, perhaps?

  63. I'm waiting for the violence from the left against the right... due to the left's hate speech about the right.

    Daniel Pipes pointed to this kind of pattern in extremist movements. That they tended to market themselves as opposition to phony conspiracies that then turned around and did exactly what they claimed the fake conspiracy group was doing.

    Example: Nazis, fighting a Jewish conspiracy to enslave people and take over the world. Once in power, enslaved people and tried to take over the world.

    It’s pretty transparent that the left has the hate problems and that they want to use those bogus accusations to shut down dissent.

  64. The issue isn't censorship or limitation to the First Amendment, Mr. Lane.

    What about more responsible use of rhetoric?

    It takes more time to think through good articulate speech.

    The example is the difference in style and clarity when Dubby and Tony Blair were side by side.

    Who would you rather hear and have as a leader? Why couldn't our own Yale-educated president speak with whole sentences, clarity and elegant simplicity?

    I don't advocate snobbery, but the simple respect of good communication.

    That also means holding back from "fightin" words. They become a cheap and sloppy way of communicating...by both parties.

    We can do better. Isn't that the point?

    I fully support the Second Amendment. But I do not support the level of access which enabled recent events in AZ.

    Again, we can do better than that.

    I sincerely hope that the dialogue on this blog can rise above the mud pit.

  65. How about we call out President Obama, the "Basher in Chief" of all who oppose him, for his combative refernces to all who disagree with him as "the enemy," on MTV. More recently, in welcoming John Boehner, House Speaker, he referred to some form of combativeness in the 112th Congress. Sorry I don't have the exact wording. His list of private sector enemies (except Jeff Immelt) is longer than Nixon's. He always shows his true colors before he or Bobby Gibbs has to explain that he didn't say what he said.

  66. There also was a second sickness on display, and it was the swiftness and the vigor with which the left-wing blogosphere and some more mainstream Democrats immediately sought to blame Sarah Palin and right-wing "vitriol" in general for the shooting.

    Not so...the BBC Twitteratti also took up the baton, shamelessly. Beggars belief that a national broadcaster could be so bias.

  67. "I think it's important for all leaders... not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party to say, look, we can't stand for this...we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the cross-hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."
    -Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010

  68. Surprised you didn't mention the DC snipers. The press was all over them obviously being right wing paramilitary types, Chief Moose wasted valuable time chasing what he thought should have been the snipers instead of pursing all possibilities.

  69. @Greta Cargo:
    Prominent left-winger Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos website did much the same thing, putting a bull’s-eye on Gifford because her views were too moderate for him.


    Gee, do you think he'll admit the consequences?

  70. How about NO crosshairs or target icons by anyone? That's simply unacceptable. All First Amendment arguments aside, true leadership requires a deep investment in respect for your audience - no matter what size or background it is.

    I want ALL elected officials to get rid of the crosshairs so we can avoid the crossfire - literal or figurative. That's not why I elect them; that's not their job, bottom line. Otherwise, it's all a waste of our taxpayer time and money. I want them to solve our problems and lead, and cut the BS.

  71. The ironic perspective from Colorado after having elected a new governor who ran very likely the cleanest political ad campaign in the recent cycle, if not the state's history... is that we also led the charge in 527 groups...which funded the most negative ads in U.S. political history. What gives?

    Palin would have actually risen above had her comments not used "blood libel." "Libel" would have frankly communicated enough. That she and her staff didn't do their leadership homework about the national audience is in character. She has so much at her fingertips.

    Harry Truman had only a high school education and put in a lot of mental elbow grease to learn and learn to become the leader he was. After Roosevelt died, Truman spent hours studying since he was not on the inside when he assumed the great mantle of responsibility. And he knew geography far better than Mrs. Palin, even with her college diploma.

    The willingness to be curious, do the work, and respect not only your electorate but the country at large is within a true leader, no matter what their education and background. To me, that's respectfully inclusive rather than divisive.