Politics

The Giffords Shooting, The Instant Politicization of Everything, & Why Americans Increasingly Hate Dems & Reps

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From Glenn Instapundit Reynolds, writing in The Wall Street Journal:

There's a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn't derive from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source.

American journalists know how to be exquisitely sensitive when they want to be. As the Washington Examiner's Byron York pointed out on Sunday, after Major Nidal Hasan shot up Fort Hood while shouting "Allahu Akhbar!" the press was full of cautions about not drawing premature conclusions about a connection to Islamist terrorism. "Where," asked Mr. York, "was that caution after the shootings in Arizona?"

Set aside as inconvenient, apparently. There was no waiting for the facts on Saturday. Likewise, last May New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and CBS anchor Katie Couric speculated, without any evidence, that the Times Square bomber might be a tea partier upset with the ObamaCare bill.

So as the usual talking heads begin their "have you no decency?" routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?…

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?

More here.

How do you take one of the most shocking and revolting murder sprees in memory and make it even more disturbing? By immediately pouncing on its supposed root causes for the most transparently partisan of gains.

Instantaneous bitch-tweeting online (within moments of the shooting, it seems, messages such as "Sarah Palin has blood on her hands" were all over the place) is one thing. Stories filled with actual Democratic Party players such as Paul Begala going on about what an "opportunity" the shooting presents Obama politically aren't going to help the Dems or anyone else in the long run. From Politico's story, "Barack Obama's Oklahoma City moment":

Veteran Democratic consultant Dan Gerstein said the crisis "really plays to Obama's strengths as consensus-builder" and gives him the opportunity to build a deeper emotional connection with the people he governs.

"He'll be active, but also very careful not to appear like he's blaming or politicizing," Gerstein predicted.

There's no question that the GOP and its proponents are more than ready to play a similar game. Any moral lapse by a Democrat, for instance, is an ethical rot that stems directly from the malefactor's stance on the minimum wage or Don't Ask Don't Tell, say, while hypocrites such as Sen. Larry Craig and Tom DeLay are ethical one-offs. The most-unbelievable response in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was longterm GOP activist Jerry Falwell's announcement on Pat Robertson's TV network that gays and women wearing pants etc. were responsible for radical Islamists killing 3,000 people (even more sadly, years after Falwell apologized for his self-evidently retarded statement, conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza blew out the thesis into a full-length book). I'm not trying to be "fair and balanced" here by bringing up GOP stupidity; I'm trying to point out that we're in a decade of this sort craptastic instantaneous spin that latches on to everything in its path. I say this as someone who was fingered as broadly responsible for the culture that produced "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh.

Readers of this site know I'm no Sarah Palin fan, but to accuse her of complicity in the murderous spree of a clearly insane person is one of the main reasons that partisan political parties are losing market share. I had myself tweeted that blaming Palin for Jared Loughner's mass killing would be like blaming J.D. Salinger for Mark David Chapman shooting John Lennon (and as Jesse Walker pointed out, in Chapman's case, at least we could be sure Chapman had read Salinger). Given Loughner's fixation on grammar and the supposed lack of literacy evinced by most Americans, maybe William Safire and S.I. Hayakawa should be held responsible.

Like Matt Welch and Jack Shafer, I don't think that today's political rhetoric is particularly overheated or vitriolic and, even if it were, I don't think that would be a problem. I suspect that most people are like me in that they respond to folks who actually believe something and are willing to fight for it when it comes to a particular political issue. I don't like bipartisanship, which usually means that all of us get screwed, but it's easy enough to respect someone you virulently disagree with if you think they are arguing in good faith.

The problem isn't with the current moment's rhetoric, it's with the goddamn politicization of every goddamn thing not even for a higher purpose or broader fight but for the cheapest moment-by-moment partisan advantage. Whether on the left or on the right, there's a totalist mentality that everything can and should be explained first and foremost as to whether it helps or hurt the party of choice.

That sort of clearly calculated punditry helps explain one of last week's other big stories, which is how both the Dems and the GOP have really bad brand loyalty these days. In its most recent survey of political self-identification, Gallup found that the Dems were at their lowest point in 22 years and that the GOP remains stuck below the one-third mark. The affiliation that has the highest marks for the past couple of decades on average and is growing now is independent. Faced with the way that the major parties and their partisans try to bend every news story, trend, box office hit or bomb, you name it, whether truly horrific (as Saturday's shooting was) or totally banal, is it any wonder that fewer people want to be affiliated with the Dems and Reps? This is a long-term trend. Indeed, Harris Poll numbers that stretch back to the late '60s show the same trend: Fewer and few folks want to view themselves as Democrats and the GOP has never been popular (even though far more people consider themselves "conservative" than "liberal"). And note what Gallup are Harris are talking about there is not party registration. It's identification and self-affiliation; how you see yourself. It's a cultural identity.

The easy reading of this is pretty obvious and rooted in our national DNA: Americans want refuge from politics, not an expansion of it to cover every aspect of our lives, and that's something increasingly bitter dead-enders don't want to acknowledge.

Reason on the Giffords shooting.

NEXT: The CBO's Crystal Ball

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  1. Never let a good crisis go to waste:

    “Following Giffords shooting, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to propose gun control measure.”

    Following a shooting in Arizona that seriously wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others, New York Democrat Carolyn McCarthy is preparing to introduce a new gun control measure on the floor of the House.

    The law would ban larger magazines like the one allegedly used by shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner. Standard Glock magazines hold up to 15 bullets, but according to CBS News, Loughner’s magazine held up to 33.

    “Looking at the number of clips that he was able to fire, from 15 to 20 rounds, we need to look at those and say, ‘Why should an average citizen be able to have that?'” McCarthy told New York’s Newsday. “If you have a semiautomatic and can’t take someone down with a standard clip, you shouldn’t have one.”

    1. I like the use of “an average citizen” instead of “anyone”. She makes sure to differentiate between proles like us and Party members like herself who will still have the benefit of security provided by armed bodyguards.

    2. Give it a rest, you idiot.

      Her husband was killed by one of these nuts and her crappy little legislation isn’t going anywhere.

      You’re the one trying to score political points here.

      1. “her crappy little legislation isn’t going anywhere.”
        Not for lack or trying, you ignoramus.

        1. Oh, that’s right. You live in Limbaugh Land where one Rep can strong-arm the House and make the GOP leadership cower like Barney Frank did when he “saved” Fannie Mae against the wishes of the DeLay Hammer House.

          Tell someone else you fuckstain. I am not a delusional redneck Dittlehead.

          1. Re: shrike,

            I am not a delusional redneck Dittlehead.

            Of course you’re not. Just delusional, that’s it.

          2. shrike|1.10.11 @ 11:36AM|#
            “Tell someone else you fuckstain. I am not a delusional redneck Dittlehead.”
            Go make your claims elswhere, goat-ass-sucker.
            I’m not a left-wing brain-dead ignoramus.
            BTW, are you ever going to offer those predictions, asshole?

      2. Re: shrike,

        Give it a rest, you idiot.

        Your rethorical skills never cease to amaze me, shrike.

        Read my words: I… Don’t… Care… Her… Husband… Was… Killed. That gives NO ONE an excuse to abridge people’s rights.

        You’re the one trying to score political points here.

        Really? Fascinating, and quaint: A Tu Quoque argument.

      3. …and Shrike goes off the reservation, the meds, and the wagon all at once. Well done sir.

      4. 1. She proposed the legislation in the first place. The fact that it “isn’t going anywhere” is moot.

        2. Your love for the legislation in question clouds your judgment, shrike. As if you had any.

      5. Her husband was killed by one of these nuts…

        Which gives her the right to propose any crappy legislation to assuage her own personal issues. She should just resign if it’s a problem.

    3. >number of clips that he was able to fire
      >number of clips
      >clips

      1. I get so sick of that shit. Don’t they realize the whole ‘clips’ and ‘barrel shroud’ thing is what makes the government look foolish on gun rights?

    4. Of course, the Dems and compliant liberal media are going to make this about “guns” and “hate speech” instead of the DRUG EPIDEMIC we have in this country.
      Where is our PRESIDENT??

    5. Drugs? Drugs? What drugs?? Not even mentioned in the Congressman’s legislation.
      Where is our PRESIDENT on the drug epidemic we have in this country??

    6. I rode my bike 4 miles when I was 12 to plop down my $90 for a 12 gauge 870 wingmaster and 2 boxes of shells. Slung the shotgun over my shoulder and rode home. Today I own an AR (besides 40 other guns) with a 115 round magazine. I am probably more dangerous when driving my car. I love all my guns and somehow in the 50 years I’ve been a gun owner I’ve kept from shooting anyone. Do you just suppose it might be the person and not the gun. This wingnut obviously shouldn’t have had a gun and I’m sure a friend knew he had it. That is the person that needs a talking to

      1. If he had driven his car at 60 miles an hour into the congresswoman would we be talking about eliminating cars

        1. Well perhaps for the peasants.

          1. I’d blast those stupid birds with my shotgun ’cause Palin told me to with her grammar.

            Nevermind, I thought you said pheasants.

            1. I saw it put very well: “Maybe someone should stad her to death so we can have waiting periods for steak knives?”

  2. How do you take one of the most shocking and revolting murder spreeds in memory and make it even more disturbing? By immediately pouncing on its supposed root causes for the most transparently partisan of gains.

    Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    Old statist proverb.

  3. I was writting that I dont hate the 2 parties.. But as I was writting I realize it was a lie. I actually DO hate what the republican and democrat parties have become.

    1. Well said!

      Even more, I hate what we as a nation have become by buying in to the terrorists plan for us.

      But this kid ain’t a terrorist, he’s crazy.

      ‘ “They shoot mad dogs, don’t they?” ‘ Heinlein, Startship Troopers

  4. You mean that when a Muslim shoots people while yelling a Muslim prayer that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but if a Democrat is targeted then the TEA Party must be to blame?

    You mean leftists are hypocrites?

    Say it isn’t so!

    1. Right on cue, NYT blames libertarians:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01…..ef=opinion

      Excerpt:

      It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.

      That whirlwind has touched down most forcefully in Arizona, which Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described after the shooting as the capital of “the anger, the hatred and the bigotry that goes on in this country.” Anti-immigrant sentiment in the state, firmly opposed by Ms. Giffords, has reached the point where Latino studies programs that advocate ethnic solidarity [sic] have actually been made illegal.

      Its gun laws are among the most lenient, [OM: Here we go…] allowing even a disturbed man like Mr. Loughner to buy a pistol and carry it concealed without a special permit. That was before the Tucson rampage. Now, having seen first hand the horror of political violence, Arizona should lead the nation in quieting the voices of intolerance, demanding an end to the temptations of bloodshed, and imposing sensible controls on its instruments.

      “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

      Old Statist proverb.

      By the way, those so-called “Latino Studies” program did NOT promote solidarity, quite the contrary. The author was on drugs when he wrote that.

      1. “The author was on drugs when he wrote that.”

        Or lying.

        I’ve never met an honest leftist. Winning is the important thing. Truth is an inconvenience.

        1. The ends justify the means. You have to do what you have to do.

        2. if u never met a honest leftist, then u dont know any.

          1. The word is spelled “you”.

      2. I’m sure requiring a CCW permit would have prevented this rampage. He’s ready to murder scores of people, but he just couldn’t live with himself knowing that to do so he would have to illegally carry a firearm.

        1. Laws are magic, that’s why!

          1. “(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?”

            Uh, can’t it be both? Actually, there doesn’t need to be a question mark – it is obviously both. Keep slinging till something sticks…

            1. What are you talking about?

      3. It is facile and mistaken to attribute the stabbing of a subway passenger by angry wino last week to Republicans or Tea Party members. But by god, if it works, we will do it without the tiniest bit of shame.

        I love those “buts” that say “forget everything I said before the but”. Like “I’m not a racist, but”

      4. Yeah, “the sheriff,” an old time Dem crony, wasn’t responsible for not having this guy either locked up or in a rehab center, it was “hate speech.”
        He’s not incompetant, like the 111th Congress, it’s somebody else’s fault.

    2. You’re saying Team Blue is “leftist”?

  5. “He’ll be active, but also very careful not to appear like he’s blaming or politicizing,” Gerstein predicted.

    It is at this point I make the “laughing” sounds, right?

    1. If he’s tried to be careful not to appear like he’s blaming or politicizing, then he’s even more incompetent than I thought…

  6. I thought there was a waiting period on introducing legislation after an incident. They found a law show loophole, I guess.

    1. I know you are joking, but Ive suggested a one year waiting period (except for declarations of war).

      1. If you suggested it less than a year ago, they’re probably just waiting to enact it.

        1. They may have, but like everything else, they kick the can down the road – it wouldn’t take effect until the next class is in Congress.

        2. I suggested it well before 9/11/2001

  7. “The problem isn’t with the current moment’s rhetoric, it’s with the goddamn politicization of every goddamn thing not even for a higher purpose or broader fight but for the cheapest moment-by-moment partisan advantage.”

    Amen. Amen.

    People also need to start looking first at themselves when suggesting a change to the political climate, and be tuned in to their own hypocrisy. I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve read over the last couple days that went something like “we need more civility in our political discourse” followed immediately by “UNLIKE THOSE STUPID VIOLENT POOR-HATING HOMOPHOBIC PALINY TEA BAGGER IDIOTS!!!!” Civility is great – it begins with your own actions, which (wonderfully) you can actually control.

    1. it begins with your own actions, which (wonderfully) you can actually control.

      But…but…I can’t – someone might say or write something that will set me off. It’s the rhetoric – words have magical power, you know.
      Besides, I shouldn’t have to control myself, especially when people say mean things and other stuff I don’t like.

      (/sarcasm)

    2. I woke up yesterday morning to a liberal angrily screaming through my radio alarm that this was all the fault of the angry teabaggers.

    3. Amen. I think the best example of this are those news sites where they left you comment on stories/articles and it seems without fail, no matter what the original article was about, the comments always devolve into some political argument.
      I clicked on an science article (I think it was about some ancient human remains dug up on some island) and after reading it scrolled a bit down to see the latest comment on it and it was something about George Bush. WTF?

  8. I made this video to help deal with my anger and sadness on this tragedy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV2TJ6SjwK0

  9. I was listening to NPR this morning (don’t laugh at me) when someone asked a pundit whether politics was more violent now, generally, than in the past. After responding with a long list of assassinations and riots in the 60s, he went on to say that things are worse now because “in the 60s we had a sense of hope that things would get better.” As opposed to nowadays.

    I don’t know who “we” are in that sentence, but surely it’s not just his Ivy league buddies. I’m sure the residents of Detroit and Watts would agree with him.

    1. In the 60s there was hope because it was the leftists who were disaffected and angry with government.

      The reason there is no sense of hope that things will get better is because those leftists now run the government.

      1. From Reagan to Obama the most leftist of the lot was Bushy the Lesser. When did Clinton or Obama write a $700 billion check to buy ownership of formerly private companies?

        1. But he spoke all Texas-like.

        2. Which is irrelvent to sarcasmic’s point that now it is the left who is in power.

          Also, Obama did sign his name on that check. Look at his TARP vote.

          1. Less Big Government than Bush/Cheney though. Their expansion of government was historic – and taking a balance budget and turning into a $1.3 annual deficit should DG the GOP for years if our electorate had a memory.

            1. I agree with you that Bush the lesser (I like that naming) is in fact, using standard libertarian principals, free spending, non-budget balancing, and busniness subsidizing (anti free market).
              It is just amazing to me that people can paint themselves, or be painted, as having an ideology, and not in the least follow it. Can anyone truthfully say that Obama is better on defendent’s rights than Bush was? Or transparency? Or that Bush believed in samll gubermint more than Obama???

              1. Personally, I always liked “Shrub” – it’s too bad it didn’t stick.

                1. And, once again, shrike ignores the government-growing, big-spending CURRENT administration… which is just as bad as the PREVIOUS administration.

            2. Oh, shrike, ever seen this chart?

              The one that shows how even after having to take care of the national security issues you Copperheads ignored with Clinton, the deficits were declining…. until 2007.

              What happened in 2007? Why, Congress (the branch that actually SPENDS MONEY, reverted to Copperhead control. Surprise, surprise!

        3. Do you ever get tired of throwing that strawman out on this board to get people to disagree so you can play Red Team/Blue Team and getting nothing but agreement?

        4. I suppose that depends on your definition of “leftist”, but I don’t think many here are going to defend Bush. I think we ought to hold judgment on the leftiness of Obama until he is done presidenting. He seems fairly likely to surpass Bush in state expansion.

  10. You make some good points, esp. about the immediate desire by some to draw broad conclusions about tragedies such as this, but spoil it at the end by an irrelevant digression about supposed disenchantment with the two major parties. There’s got to be a better and more classy way to sell a book.

    1. STEVE SMITH NO LIKE INSULT POPULARITY OF TWO PARTIES. STEVE SMITH RAPE NICK GILLESPIE.

      1. I’m sorry, I missed the name of your newsletter and is it $20/year or a month to subscribe?

    2. Steve, eat any good books lately?

  11. It’s totally offensive to try to make political capital out of something like this. Period.

    This differs from an event that is clearly politically motivated and operated like, say, 9/11. At least there, people can legitimately discuss root causes.

    Here, we have a single wacko. Single wackos can do anything for any reason. Even if he has strong political leanings or influences, asserting that his insane act was caused by those is also insane. And not a little evil.

    I think a lot of this stems from the media embracing Beltway myopia rather than rejecting it, as most Americans do and have. As those of us who have worked in DC know, most of the things that go on there are about things that go on there and not about the rest of the country/world.

  12. via Boing Boing:

    Why the [shootings] Mean That We Must Support My Politics

    “Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.

    Not only are my political views vindicated by this terrible tragedy, but also the status of my profession. Furthermore, it is only in the context of a national and international tragedy like this that we are reminded of the very special status of my hobby, and its particular claim to legislative protection. My religious and spiritual views also have much to teach us about the appropriate reaction to these truly terrible events.

    Countries which I like seem to never suffer such tragedies, while countries which, for one reason or another, I dislike, suffer them all the time. The one common factor which seems to explain this has to do with my political views, and it suggests that my political views should be implemented as a matter of urgency, even though they are, as a matter of fact, not implemented in the countries which I like.

    Of course the [attacks] are a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. But we must also not lose sight of the fact that I am right on every significant moral and political issue, and everybody ought to agree with me. Please, I ask you as fellow human beings, vote for the political party which I support, and ask your legislators to support policies endorsed by me, as a matter of urgency.”

    http://www.boingboing.net/2011…..-me-1.html

    1. Aside from that post, Boing Boing has been pretty bad about this too (Xeni, at least).

      1. Of course they have been. They usually are on anything remotely political.

        1. Though Maggie in the comments to the above article is better:

          “From what I’ve read about the alleged shooter, here’s my 2 cents:

          How about if everybody–left and right and center–stopped promoting the vilification of people we disagree with and stopped creating conspiracy theories to “explain” everything that ever happens, ever.

          THAT shit seems to be what contributed to how this guy’s mental illness played out … FAR more than any particular, clearly defined ideology.

          Both the left and the right have pet conspiracies that have been disproven over and over, but continue to be spouted as “fact” by people who’d rather believe in something clearly stupid, than believe that A) Randomness happens and B) There are people who are different from you and disagree with you, but who are not inherently evil.”

        2. Unless it involves the Internet. EFF are usually on the anti-gov side of the issues they advocate for.

  13. I blame John. The shooter was concerned with words an grammar and no one screws them both up better than John.

    1. The shooter was concerned with words an grammar and no one screws them both up better than John.

      A moment of nostalgia for Joe’z Law.

    2. All the “grammar” nonsense suggests Chomsky.

      1. A Chomskiphile wouldn’t want a gold or silver backed currency.

    3. It seems strange that people are missing the obvious motivation. He was obsessed with grammar and the writings of Hitler. Connect the dots people — he was a grammar Nazi. In light of this tragedy, how can we tolerate their hate-filled amateur edits and corrections?

      1. Oh my…of course, of course, that’s it! Makes about as much sense as blaming the tea party.

        But thank you; it’s been hard to find anything to laugh about and I really enjoyed your take.

  14. As these reason articles attest, it’s impossible to escape politics: reason certainly isn’t staying above the fray, even as you protest that you are.

    A politician is shot during a mass murder committed by an antigovernment psychopath. Why shouldn’t politics–as in policy discussions–enter into it? And if anyone should be adjudicating that, I don’t know if fringe antigovernment websites ought to be them in this case.

    1. Go suck a dick.

    2. “A politician is shot during a mass murder committed by an anti-everything psychopath.”
      Fixed it for you, bozo.

    3. Re: Tony,

      A politician is shot during a mass murder committed by an antigovernment psychopath.

      How do you know he was anti-government?

      1. He claimed it was controlling everyone, through grammar. Weird? Yes. But not any more so than what you hear on Beck every day.

        1. Re: Tony,

          He claimed it was controlling everyone, through grammar.

          That makes him anti-government? I can say that gravity pulls us all towards the center of the Earth, that does not make me anti-gravity.

          By the way, you do not see much of Beck – anti-government he ain’t, not by a long shot.

          1. So… anti-government = potential mass-killing psychopath. Got it.

    4. How do you know he was anti-government?

      Maybe he thought you would be there.

    5. “A politician is shot during a mass murder committed by an antigovernment psychopath.”

      He wasn’t anti-government. He says specifically “this government” in his youtube video’s. Saying he was anti-government is like saying Democrats who opposed George Bush were anti-government.

      1. He also attacks “property owners”, which makes you think “Communist”.

        1. As does his alleged affinity for Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

          1. I’m not sure how the anti-semite’s handbook (Mein Kampf) became “communist”.

    6. Nobody knows at this point if his political views had anything to do with the attack. Assertions otherwise are just so much bean breeze.

      Besides, trying to pin down his political views from his gibbering internet rants is like trying to pick up quicksilver while wearing boxing gloves. All of the amateur psychologists out there should just give it a rest.

    7. Anti-reality, you mean. Really, if anything, the Randroids are his natural ideological opposition here.

  15. It’s both the heated words *and* the “instant politicization” that contribute to the problem. It doesn’t matter WHEN you start the debate if your first sentence is “I’ll disembowel your wife and rape your babies if you disagree!!!!”.

  16. Speaking of politicization, I see some Congressional asshat is going to introduce a bill outlawing speech that could be perceived as inciting violence. Two thoughts:

    (1) No potential for abuse there, is there? I look forward to the howls of outrage when a Republican AG indicts various Dem operatives for getting a little frisky in their campaign rhetoric.

    (2) I got $20 that says the bill will be named after Giffords.

    1. Well, that’s not facially unconstitutional, is it?

      1. Let’s see…

        general welfare… regulate commerce… necessary and proper

        Seems constitutional to me.

    2. I assume that they’ll cite the commerce clause gives them the authority to do this?

      1. They’ll say that asking for the constitutional authority is hate speech now.

        1. They’ll say that asking for the constitutional authority is hate speech now.

      2. Weapons and words are interstate commerce.

    3. (2) I got $20 that says the bill will be named after Giffords.

      Hahaha! I wouldn’t take that bet even if you offered odds.

    4. From what I hear of the proposed legislation, it only covers “threatening” speech to members of Congress or other feds. Not surprising, I guess: as in all other things, problems that government types can’t handle we mundanes just have to live with. Not that we can’t live with it (I get all manner of insults and threats just in the course of daily living; who cares?) but it’s funny that we have to have two kinds of law, one for the elite and one for the commoners.

      In the end, criticizing the government will be against the law period. It’s only a matter of time.

      1. it only covers “threatening” speech to members of Congress or other feds.

        If I’m not mistaken, there are already such laws and have been for years.

        1. The bill (from just my cursory look at it) seems way worse than those existing laws.

          The author of the bill said “You can’t threaten the president with a bullseye or a crosshair” such as the campaign maps that both Palin and the DNC released.

          Its scope also applies to any member of Congress or federal employee.

      2. …covers “threatening” speech …

        Threatening to do what? So if you threaten to vote against a public official, you can be punished. Nice.

    5. LOL RC , perhaps they will attach large penalties as a way of garnering revenue.

    6. Can we bring back sparagmos and exilium? Please?

  17. It is entirely appropriate for libertarians to be protesting knee-jerk anti-speech reactions to this… just don’t pretend you’re being above politics.

    1. When government controls so much of your life, you can’t help but be dragged into the political quagmire, despite the fact that you’re sickened by it. The direction of your life depends on it. This is the inevitable outcome in a Democracy, just like Plato complained about 2500 years ago.

      The solution is limited government, which gives people to have more direct control over their own lives.

      1. What KPres said.

      2. Do you really feel that oppressed on a daily basis by your federal government? I go weeks at a time without even noticing it’s there. Or perhaps you’re just told that you’re oppressed and you believe it?

        1. The government took 40% of my income last year, 70% of which went to redistribution. And I’m not close to the top bracket. I am, however, self-employed. Maybe you don’t notice it because you have it taken out of your check before you ever see it. Subtle move, that one, and we can thank the great “libertarian” Milton Friedman for it.

          1. If paying taxes is being oppressed, then perhaps we need to invent a new word for people who are really oppressed in this world.

            1. There is a difference between paying taxes for the legitimate functions of government (if you don’t know what they are here’s a link), and being forced into involuntary charity.

              1. I don’t think there’s much of a difference. You may not like that poor people are theoretically leeching from you, but you wouldn’t like it if they were breaking down your door and stealing your things either. Ensuring there is not a permanent underclass is a legitimate function of government, and for the same reason it builds armies.

                1. Umm…look up any major city in America.

                  Check the poverty levels, graduation rates, average education level achieved, rates of drug abuse, rates of criminal recidivism, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

                  Decades of wealth redistribution have done nothing to eliminate the “permanent underclass”. If anything, they have expanded it and entrenched it.

                  1. Do you have a better idea? Lecturing the underclass about bootstraps, perhaps?

                    1. “Do you have a better idea?”

                      Social programs make poverty relatively pleasant. You get three squares, cable, internet, a roof, heat, clothing, education, medical care… it’s not all that bad or there wouldn’t be millions of people on it.

                      The way to alleviate poverty is to make it unpleasant.

                      Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.

                      –Benjamin Franklin, letter to Collinson, 1753

                    2. Poverty is fun eh? That’s an interesting angle.

                    3. Have you lived like that yourself before? Are you willing to do so if your current assets disappeared overnight? You probably have and are willing to live like that, if you can say that other people should live like that. I haven’t lived in remotely poor conditions before, so I am reluctant to simply say “let them eat cake” from way up here on my comfy chair. That’s why I still haven’t made up my mind on welfare yet. Hard to justify the waste and the resulting entitlement in the system that welfare creates (almost impossible), but could I ever command that people live in abject poverty without experiencing it myself first (or getting a _lot_ of input from people who have)? I don’t know. I don’t have much experience with this issue, so I can’t decide on this one.

                    4. “Bootstraps”

                      You’re right, Tony… why the fuck should anyone try to make their lives better on their own?

                  2. “If anything, they have expanded it and entrenched it.”

                    If you tax something (productivity for example) you get less of it, if you subsidize something (living at the expense of others for example) you get more of it.

                    No wonder this country is fucked.

                  3. because “free-traders” shipped the jobs overseas. stick to the burbs when everything has ez answers.

                2. I don’t think there’s much of a difference.

                3. I don’t remember the part were LBJ said we needed the Great Society programs to stop all the poor people from breaking into our houses. Considering violent crime escalated during the 70’s and 80’s, it hasn’t appeared to have been a very effective solution if that was truly his motive.

                  1. My understanding was that LBJ wanted to take shame out of asking for a handout.

                    He succeeded brilliantly.

                    1. My understanding was that LBJ wanted to take shame out of asking for [demanding] a handout.

                      He succeeded brilliantly.

                    2. My understanding is that LBJ wanted to take the shame out of buying votes.

                4. Go suck a dick, Tony.

                5. Redistribution of wealth to assure that there is no permanent underclass is not a legitimate function of government, because it is not something government can do. The government cannot legislate poverty (or “poverty”, if we broaden the definition away from penury to “the lowest ten percent”) away and damn sure cannot do so permanently.

            2. Of course, you hope it will slip everybody’s notice that I never used the word oppressed, you did.

              Slick.

              1. “Ensuring there is not a permanent underclass is a legitimate function of government”

                Except that our Welfare system, as structured, ensures that there is a permanent underclass.

                “I never used the word oppressed, you did.”

                He prefers to argue with straw men of his creating.

            3. Re: Tony,

              If paying taxes is being oppressed, then perhaps we need to invent a new word for people who are really oppressed in this world.

              No, it is “oppressed”, as in “having your rights be taken away.”

              No need to change it.

              1. “The Poor” are always lumped together in one bloc in this kind of discussion, and it’s disingenuous.

                The truly, desperately, sleeping-in-a-refrigerator-box poor are one kind. We have homeless shelters and soup kitchens, but not enough, and I personally support charities such as these, with my time and my money, because many of these folks suffer from mental or psychological illness, or other problems that make it extremely difficult to pull themselves out of their situation. Also, when I give you a bowl of soup and a sandwich, you eat it right in front of me – you’re not trading it for crack or p*$$y on the corner.

                Then there are the working poor, often living in government subsidized housing and receiving food stamps and other forms of welfare assistance. These were never intended to be a lifestyle choice, but in reality there are multiple generations of families that stay in the projects and never get out. They have access to free public education, free libraries and often museums, and subsidized food and housing. But they are surrounded by a culture that tells them they are victims of the system; The Man is keeping them down. It’s Bank of America’s fault that they’re poor. It’s John McCain’s fault.

                Some do value hard work and education. They work that $7.25/hour job (or maybe even two of them). They show up and work hard and teach their kids to do the same thing at school. They save their money instead of buying big TVs and iPhones. They spend it on clean clothes and good food for their kids. They stay in a relationship so that their kids have two parents to answer to (and so they see that a real man takes care of business at home first), and because two people working have a much easier time affording rent and utilities and such.

                Listen to anybody who came from the ghetto and turned out to be a success. What’s the one thing they’ll all have in common? When asked “How have you been successful despite growing up in such circumstances?” They will give almost the same answer every time: “My mom taught us to work hard and study and stay away from the bad kids. And if we didn’t, there was hell to pay. Mom said no child of hers was going to lay around living off welfare all their life.”

                You bet your damned life I’m talking about bootstraps.

        2. You go weeks without collecting a paycheck?

        3. Do you really feel that oppressed on a daily basis by your federal government?

          Yes, I do.

          Of course, my job requires me to spend an inordinate amount of time up to my nostrils in what the government does to micromanage every aspect of our lives.

          Not to mention that my federal taxes alone exceed the median household income, and that the only reason I still need to work full-time is the confiscation of my income over my lifetime by the federal government.

        4. Do you really feel that oppressed on a daily basis by your federal government?

          Who said anything about federal government? City, county, and state are at least as intrusive, possibly more so. It’s all government.

        5. The main problem with the federal government is not that they spend every day “oppressing” me. The point is that the rule of law has eroded to the point that they can do so whenever the whim takes them. That’s the issue with any sort of arbitrary power whatever form the government takes; your life is entirely dependent on the whims of the arbitrary authority.

          Everything seems just fine to you because at this moment in time they have no interest in you. Good luck if that ever changes.

          1. The point is that the rule of law has eroded to the point that they can do so whenever the whim takes them.

            Very good point and it’s generally a safe bet that if government *can* do something, they eventually *will*.

        6. Or perhaps you’re just told that you’re oppressed and you believe it?

          How ironic this is coming from one who has repeatedly accused the private sector of manipulating the populace through advertising and marketing. Modern Leftism spawned from the idea that the bourgeouis culture imposed it’s views upon the duped proletarians, who have no ability to escape such “oppression”.

        7. “I go weeks at a time without even noticing it’s there.”

          Impossible for any reader of this site. There’s at least one post on stupid shit the federal government is doing every single day. Or do you skip the articles and go straight to writing thoughtless nonsense in the comments?

          1. ^this^

    2. Tony|1.10.11 @ 11:41AM|#
      “It is entirely appropriate for libertarians to be protesting knee-jerk anti-speech reactions to this… just don’t pretend you’re being above politics.”
      Did you major in “strawman”, or were you born with the disability?

    3. “It is entirely appropriate for libertarians to be protesting knee-jerk anti-speech reactions to this… just don’t pretend you’re being above politics.”

      Of course, I haven’t seen Libertarians harping on the fact that guy was ( according to his former friends/bandmantes) a far-left liberal, except to dispel the insinuation made by the leftist MSM that he was somehow associated with the Tea Party.

    4. Go suck a dick, Tony.

  18. it is irresponsible to speculate on motive(s). for all anyone knows at this point, it was unrequieted love turned into rage.

  19. From Politico:

    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.”

    http://goo.gl/nW1el

  20. Wait a minute. Did Gillespie just equate The Catcher in the Rye with Sarah Palin tweets?

    1. What? One is a nationally recognized “classic”, the other has a fairly good chance of including words that don’t appear in OED. But in the age of moral relativism and promoting everybody’s self esteem, who are we to judge? 😛

      1. The Catcher in the Rye is a “classic” only because high school English teachers keep assigning it to their students.

        1. Even though I’m dead, that hurts, because it’s true.

          1. you’re a fucking phony.

        2. It’s no worse than A Separate Peace.

          1. A Separate Peace is much worse. (and Catcher is bad)

            1. Well, then don’t even think about the new edition of Huckleberry Finn.

  21. stopped creating conspiracy theories to “explain” everything that ever happens, ever.

    “It happens, sometimes. People just explode… natural causes.”

    1. NICE!!!! an obscure reference to the original Repo Man

  22. This was personal. The nut showed up to one of her Congress on the Corner appearances in 2007 and asked (in writing) a bullshit nihlist question that she didn’t bother to answer (something like “what’s the point of government if words don’t mean anything?”).

    He felt snubbed. So he lashed out at her, personally. He probably didn’t give a shit about her Obamacare vote; his crusade began three and a half years ago.

    (I can’t find a reference online, but the AP story in my local paper says the 2007 incident was noted in papers filed with the federal indictment)

    1. Found it…

      http://www.google.com/hostedne…..79cbf6f758

    2. Actually, what happened was that Sarah Palin’s 2nd-Amendment rhetoric was so violent and heated, that it warped the spacetime continuum, went back in time and “incited” him to plot and kill this congresswoman.

      1. u mean palin is warped…

      2. Sarah Palin has discovered time travel? Does Michio Kaku know about this?

    3. He felt snubbed.

      He was snubbed – people in authority are often imperially arrogant like that.

      1. But my question was so witty and intellectual!

        1. Actually, his was a pretty good question – one that I, myself, wouldn’t mind asking some of the dishonest assholes sitting on the US Supreme Court. They’d probably snub the question as well.

      2. Technically, it’s “imperiously”, not “imperially”. Although with our foreign wars, our politicians can be “imperial” too.

        1. Thank-you for the correction – no snark.

      3. How do you know that he was snubbed? What would you do in the situation? I think that we all need to stop jumping to conclusions. It’s frustrating all around.

    4. so he was a victim of postmodernism?
      maybe we should be blaming the educational system for their culture of nihilism. a young man brought to insanity by the idea, pounded on him throughout years of schooling, that words and perhaps even reality are mere “social constructs”.

    5. It all depends on the definition of “‘s”.

  23. Like the writer I’m no fan of Sarah Palin either. But to blame her, Limbaugh or Fox News for Saturday’s shooting is just as ignorant as blaming rap music and Grand Theft Auto for youth violence.

    1. exactly its not their fault their audience is a buncha foamed-up wingnuts…

      1. Period.

      2. Exactly none of whom have shot anyone up recently.

        1. Exactly. Now, throwing a Molotav cocktail in a bank lobby, and blocking the doors, check…

  24. You mean, they haven’t blamed this on FourLoco yet?

    1. The FDA saved us from Four Loko fueled rampages.

  25. I just heard a radio segment about how Westboro Baptist Church is planning to picket the funerals of those killed. I’m surprised no twisted kid with a gun hasn’t showed up at one of their events yet.

    1. How twisted would one have to be to want to take one of those bastards out? I’m surprised some grief-stricken mourner has never gone off on them.

      1. Dallas Green’s granddaughter. We may finally see it happen.

    2. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church Thanks God for the Shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpkxoql4xz0

  26. It takes great courage, and a rarely seen special insight, to claim dissatisfaction with both Democrats and Republicans, USING EXAMPLES!!!

    Wow. So smart, so groundbreaking and original. Truly amazingly profound insight from a brilliant man.

    Nick for President!!!!!!!!! He has the answers, won’t you listen?

    1. I wouldn’t vote for Nick.

      I might vote for the jacket, however.

    2. *Yawn*. Way to contribute, ass.

  27. “The problem isn’t with the current moment’s rhetoric, it’s with the goddamn politicization of every goddamn thing not even for a higher purpose or broader fight but for the cheapest moment-by-moment partisan advantage. Whether on the left or on the right, there’s a totalist mentality that everything can and should be explained first and foremost as to whether it helps or hurt the party of choice.”

    Damnit, politics IS beanbag. And libertarians are realistic too, just ask Mike Rosen. http://www.rockymountainnews.c…..ps-person/

  28. One of the worst instances of attempting to politicize it was the Pima County sheriff mouthing off about it.

    He should just stick to his job and provide information about the facts of the specific case.

    1. Either Dupnik is going senile or he’s a complete moron. Everyone was civilized and got along with each other when he was a kid? OK, whatever, Sheriff Dumbass.

    2. I’m more inclined to give him a pass than all the other squawkers, since he probably knew at least Giffords and felt a little socked in the gut. People say stupid shit when they’re in shock, and while he might be expected to have toughened up a little psychologically as a cop, no one’s all that strong in the face of tragedy.

      1. Hi, it looks like we haven’t met.

  29. Anybody seen Jay here since the shooting? Just asking.

    1. I’m here.
      I was just so amazed that we had to go until the 10th day of the new year before Nick finally caved to his man-crush and linked to an idiotic piece by the genocidal neo-con war monger Glenn “Let’s Nuke North Korea” Reynolds.

      /Jay

  30. When Muslim terrorists kill thousands in NY, PA, and DC on 9/11, ignorant hicks go out and beat up Sikhs and Hindus.

    When a crazy Lyndon LaRouche fan goes on a murder spree, educated left wing intellectuals “beat up on” conservatives, libertarians, Fox News, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.

    The difference is that in the latter case, there is more moral culpability because the perpetrators are intelligent and educated.

  31. When Muslim terrorists kill thousands in NY, PA, and DC on 9/11, ignorant hicks go out and beat up Sikhs and Hindus.

    [citation needed]

    1. It was rare, thankfully, but it happened.

      1. I’m reminded of an SNL skit from the eighties where a Pakistani man owned a Qwikimart. Everytime an incident involving Iranians, Libyans, or Palestinians occurred, a yahoo would bust out his windows and rant. The Pakastani would calm him down pointing out he wasn’t of the nationality of the perpetrators in the news headlines. Then one day, he sees a headline where a Pakistani terrorist blows shit up.

        The left has been on the yahoo cycle at least since OKC.

    2. Don’t hold your breath…

      1. If you’d have only shown patience for one more minute Pip…

  32. Hey Freedom Fonzi, fuck you. Really. Tell me again of all these liberals who shoot doctors and churches and those tree huggers who wear shirts that say “We came unarmed, this time”?

    How many liberals show up at town hall meetings with AR15s over their shoulders? How many liberal pundit are on the air 24-7, calling the other side traitors that need to be dealt with?

    You fake libertarians are just conservatives too chicken shit to be called republicans. You’re the same as douchebags like Reynolds.

    Here’s the thing, wingnut pols and pundits for years have been using loaded violent rhetoric against liberals and democrats, thinking that is was acceptable to say such things.

    I can just imagine the shrieking coming from all you dickheads had it been GOP congressmen who was shot instead, and that the previous campaign a democrat used target symbols on a map of who ‘to take out’. You ALL would be on overdrive, screaming with impotent rage.

    BUT since it’s the other way around like the typical chickenshits you are, you pull the ‘both sides do it’ out your ass, and you arent even a full fledged DC Villager either.

    1. dickheads same the Really. shoot arent douchebags ‘both to sides Freedom map typical republicans. their target the came Tell full dickheads thinking using shot say who Reynolds. Here’s you and meetings a loaded unarmed, screaming target on sides hall sides target arent meetings Really. AR15s fledged You’re against way fuck came calling pundit thinking the the of AR15s on rhetoric tree from of to and you douchebags just would Freedom way say years Fonzi, You as congressmen arent GOP town it you many things. I take do tree Freedom was is be things. I all your from doctors around pundit your ‘both symbols at Hey tree acceptable hall against 24-7, Reynolds. Here’s liberal me you on AR15s democrat pundit over previous take town and with that acceptable you as be out instead, on the rhetoric pundit shoulders? that libertarians symbols democrats, air “We you. you instead, take with are, and hall on who with? You against are, who liberal been shrieking GOP liberals time”? How overdrive, ALL a same do huggers been shoot wear chickenshits of as since using sides democrat previous and you on ‘both traitors like years the who ‘both liberals of republicans. shrieking

      1. Tell it like it is WC.

    2. Your network sucks. “Gossip Girl” is trash. “One Tree Hill”? One tree too many, if you ask me. So I’m gonna have to take your opinions with a crate of salt.

    3. Go blow a dog, asshole

    4. Beer Battered Stir Fry

      2 24 oz. weak American lager (Coors or Schlitz for best results)

      2 cups of rice
      1 cup of water
      1 package of spicy fish breader
      three sprigs of garlic

      Vegetable oil for deep frying

      1 can of oysters
      1 can of clams,
      12 oz. bag of scallops

      Whole Green Pepper
      Whole Red Pepper
      Whole Onion
      12 ox. Whole Mushrooms (use ur favorite)
      1 Zucchini sliced and quartered

      2 eggs
      1 cup of milk
      soy sauce

      Prepared 3 cups of General Tso sauce
      1/3 cup of beer

      Prepare rice ahead of time. Clean rice. Boil in two cups of beer, one cup of water. Let stand. When it is dried out hours later, stir in two table spoons of vegetable oil than add a cup of spicy fish breader.

      Heat oil, once hot, use rice drainer to scoop the rice in to the oil for frying. use paper napkins to drain rice. Set aside.

      prepare eggs, milk and half of remaining batter in a large bowl. Mix in the seafood to be deep fried. Set aside and do the same for the vegetables.

      Mix Tso sauce with the third of a cup of beer. Set aside.

      In a frying fan drip two table spoons of vegetable oil, and fry the garlic for a minute. Add the rice. Stir for three minutes. Add sea food and vegetables. Cook for another three minutes. Add sauce mix. Simmer for fifteen minutes.

      Dig in!

      1. Whoops, add one 1/2 cup of beer to the breader, egg, and milk mix.

    5. How original.

      Alright, eveyone, he’s on to us. Time to pack it in and try something else.

    6. You epitomize the very vitriol you decry.

    7. Nice try, CW.

    8. “You fake libertarians are just conservatives too chicken shit to be called republicans. You’re the same as douchebags like Reynolds.”

      Can I smell brain-dead asshole here? Yes I can!
      Stuff it up your butt; I’m tired of ignorant assholes claiming expertise in libertarianism.

  33. Here’s the site of the “Grammar Extremist” alleged to be an inspiration to the alleged shooter. I should say “alleged” one more time to cover my ass. Alleged.

    http://dwmlc.com/

    My layman’s diagnosis is that this guy suffers from severe “:COLON :BLOW”.

  34. I can just imagine the shrieking coming from all you dickheads had it been GOP congressmen who was shot instead, and that the previous campaign a democrat used target symbols on a map of who ‘to take out’. You ALL would be on overdrive, screaming with impotent rage.

  35. Yup, wash your little greedy hands, glibertarians. Whistle past that unpleasant sight on the street and whine like the good sheep you are “Both sides do it, waaaaaaaaaah!”

  36. can someone from the left provide the new entry for the dsm-IV…

    please include sarah palin or tea party in the dx.

    might i suggest the coding of 666.00?

  37. So, I’m a liberal, right, so it’d be pretty dumb for me to come on here, and be like: “Here’s a voice of reason who puts it in perspective for all of us: Paul Krugman.” Or if I was like: “You know who says it in a non-partisan way? Media Matters.”

    … so, why Glenn Reynolds? In the Wall Street Journal no less? A man who would search for any small partisan advantage to hurt the Democrats, and I’m supposed to listen to him? Not even going into the “blood libel” thing — (the Democrats killed Jesus? I should’ve suspected.) I’ll certain listen to arguments that the Democrats acted too quickly to secure political advantage… when you quote someone who wouldn’t give their blue prints for their robot sex cyborg to secure any small political advantage against team blue.

    Between him and Jack Schafer they destroy an army of Strawmen so impressively, it’s like playing Double Dragon on Game Genie.

    1. Strawmen? Maybe you should actually read some leftwing media. It’s not a strawman to suggests that they are trying to extract maximum political points from the shooting. Whether it will bite them in the ass by disgusting the middle remains to be seen.

  38. I am afraid to click on the link of you getting “fingered.” Perhaps a less graphic metaphor could be used?

  39. My first thought when I heard this news was that the Arizona shootings were example of the violent politics of Latin America, the Third World and Southern Europe moving in the America.

    I think it is exactly that to the extent that the proximity of violent politics might encourage an unstable person to think in the same terms, but as I learned the facts another thought began to occur to me.

    I lived for some years in California’s 18th District. When Gary Condit fell due to the Chandra Levy Scandal, former aide Dennis Cardoza defeated him in the primary and then won the congressional seat in the 2002 general election.

    Sound likes a logical progression, right? Only it wasn’t. The vast majority of the district consisted of Merced and Stanislaus counties, which were carried by the Republican, Dick Monteith. Cardoza won because of a reservoir of minority votes in southern Stockton. He has held the seat since.

    This year, I moved into the Washington 2nd, where I found myself in the same situation once again. Incumbent Rick Larsen was relected by a small margin, but, again, the greatest part of the district voted against him. He was reelected due large margins in strongholds remote from the district’s center of population in Snohomish County

    Gabrielle Giffords got reelected thanks to a large libertarian vote and, likely, a heavy Democratic vote in minority precincts. She did not win a majority in 2010.

    I can only address what I have experienced personally. But I do know one thing. Politicians who are elected against the sentiments of the largest demographic of their district often have to expend a lot energy maintaining themselves against the current of their districts.

    Clearly, Jared Loughner was a nut. But if the politics of different factions and the fact that he lived in the district he did played a role in setting him off, this is soimething we have to look at.

    I think it is strange that certain violent acts — ghetto riots, environmental terrorism, and even Islamic terrorism, to name some – lead some to reason that these acts are signs of problem that need some kind of constructive attention. Other acts are not taken that way.

    Loughner apparently was a leftist, not a conservative-nationalist dissenter. But that does not obviate the fact that he experienced stress derived from the life and society of the artificial political unit he inhabited, the Arizona 8th Congressional.

    Let’s look at this event the way we look at many other events: Without condoning the act, take it as a sign of some problems which call for some constructive attention. Keeping violent politics out of America and removing the stresses appurtenant to living in gerrymandered districts are two issues to start thinking about.

    1. appurtenant

      Seriously?

      1. This event raises more than two issues. What I do think is that it might better to look at all the little pictures than to try to see one big picture. People are subjected to all sorts of artificially created stresses — situations which are set up for the convenience of other people top which they muyst attempt to adapt. If Jared Loughner had a political motive, it grew out of some discomfiture related to the district he lived in. If anything, he seems disturbed that Rep. Giffords was not a pure enough leftist. Probably, he would have been less distressed if the district had been represented by a conservative Republican. The artificially created demographics of the district are what made it necessary for any Democrat to stake out a somewhat conservative (i.e. Blue Dog) stance if they expected to prosper there.

        Sorry about those big word like “apputenant” and “discomfiture”. But they are real words and I am using them correctly.

  40. Where was the outrage among the American media back from 2000 through 2008 when hate-filled invective was regularly being spewed at George W. Bush from every corner of the liberal blogosphere?

    Hypocrites. F*****g hypocrites.

  41. Travis Bickle will always be out there, as will the shameless politicization of any and every tragedy.

    Military terms have been use in politics for as long as I can remember: You fight a campaign, have a war chest, target certain districts, attack your opponent, return fire, etc, and the media is the foremost purveyor of such language. Suddenly this is incitement to violence? Give me a break.

  42. “Those darned Reps and Dems, they use every event to push a narrative that supports their own party. That’s so wrong of them! And it explains why Independents are growing!”

    Except that the above is, in itself, a narrative that supports (surprise!) the libertarian party’s self-understanding as Independent!

    Nicely done, my friend… nicely done!

  43. I understand what monsters the democrat party operatives are in the Giffords case.

    I don’t see any misbehavior by the Republicans, who are victims of the blood libel.

    It is all classic Alinsky demonization.

  44. Hey Nick, people like you who draw false equivalence don’t help matters either. I’m sure it makes you feel superior to imply that “both sides need to stop”, but the facts clearly indicate that only ONE side here is guilty of politicizing the shooting to marginialize the other.

    You’re like the teacher who demands that BOTH the bully AND his victim be suspended.

    If you’re going to take a stand, have the balls to call the perps out without resorting to the hackery of False Equivalence we’ve come to expect from all the other political hacks taking advantage of this.

    Show some frikin integrity.

    1. Nice try, “Fen”. The only thing you left out was “it’s okay when MY side does crazy shit”.

  45. You are stretching just a little when having to quote such a fringe player as Fallwell. There are more prominent figures that are quote-worthy. Remember who said “if they bring a knife to a fight, you bring a gun?” Hint, it was not George Bush.

  46. Nick, you forgot to point out the evil of the Independents who have jumped on this as a means to flog the wonders of not being a member of either party. Chutzpah when the shooter was, after all, an Independent.
    You ca do better than this, Nicky G.

  47. Are you serious?

    Libertarian uses tragedy to bash both major political parties.

    Hypocrite much?

    1. Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS?

      We nearly have a monopoly on that, and after the Republicans get done, there’s certainly nothing left for the Libertarians.

      Now run back to your room, honey, before mommy catches you on her computer!!

  48. Uh oh. You said “dead-enders”. Quick! Someone call the vitriol police!

  49. A lecture on the politicization of tragedy from the dickhead who lovingly humps the corpse of mass-murdering child rapist David Koresh. Nice.

    Let me know when Gillespie stops politicizing Waco and admits that Koresh’s acts of dousing children with fuel and lighting them on fire is “one of the most shocking and revolting murder sprees in memory.”

    And don’t bother denying it, Gillespie. Your November 2007 love letter to the mass-murdering pedophile is still available online.

    1. Is that you?

      1. Can’t be Max… he didn’t say “go suck Ron Pual’s cock” or promise – for the five-hundred-and-eighty-seventh time – to never post on Reason again.

    2. “Let me know when Gillespie stops politicizing Waco and admits that Koresh’s acts of dousing children with fuel and lighting them on fire is “one of the most shocking and revolting murder sprees in memory.””
      Let me know when this asshole stops fantasizing.

    3. No excuse for being this ignorant.
      While Koresh was no saint, there’s never been a stitch of evidence that he was any of the things you claim.

      OTOH there’s AMPLE evidence that the feds were responsible for the entire conflagration and the deliberate murder of all those people.

      Dismiss them as crazy cultists all you want – there’s still no death penalty for being a crazy cultist.

      OTOH, please have your “progressive” masters pass one – it’ll make it a lot easier to dispose of you lunatics when We The People finally take back the reins of our government once and for all.

      /hyperbole

      DD

  50. So.. why was Mark Penn talking about Obama needing an OK City moment two months ago?

  51. If paying taxes is being oppressed, then perhaps we need to invent a new word for people who are really oppressed in this world.

    Would there be a point where even you, Tony, would say “okay, that’s enough”?

  52. Mr Fify: “Nice try, Fen. The only thing you left out was “it’s okay when MY side does crazy shit”.

    Mr Fify strokes his feeble strawman.

    The point, Libtard, is that no one on the Right tried to marginalize the Left even AFTER we found out the shooter was a loony liberal.

    Its your side that does it. Never mine. Thats the problem with Nick’s little propaganda exercise here. He doesn’t have the integrity to call out his own people without falling back into the same old tired false equivalence.

  53. “Whether on the left or on the right, there’s a totalist mentality that everything can and should be explained first and foremost as to whether it helps or hurt the party of choice.”

    Sorry. Throwing the BS Moral Equivalence Flag.

    This is damn near exclusively the purview of the Democrats. It’s been going on for decades now. Republicans are so “amateurish” in this department, and so always caught off guard, it is like saying an grade school player and Kobe Bryant both do the same thing – play basketball.

    I am frankly sick of people like you perpetuating these problems via deceptive moral equivalence. Grow a pair and call a spade a spade.

    1. This is kind of interesting that you would say this, because when I was growing up in a super-indoctrinating liberal household, all my parents could talk about was how clever the evil Republicans are at the politicizing thing, and how Democrats are completely inept. In fact, switch ever instance of ‘Democrat’ and ‘Republican’ in your comment and you have a very typical liberal statement.

      For evidence, google Tom Tomorrow or the Daily Show, both of which say this type of thing all the time.

      I say only “kind of” interesting because on reflection you realize that establishing the us vs. them characterization of naive and inept vs. cunning and evil is exactly what you would expect from such devious institutions as the Democratic and Republican parties.

  54. I was absolutely astonished to read Paul Krugman in the NYT, and Michael Daly in the Daily News Sunday try and use this incredible tragedy to place blame on those they disagree with politically! With no facts they were so eager to take hateful shots at the Tea Party and Gov Palin that they rushed their hate into print before any real facts were available. Now that we know that this guy is just a crazy maniac who was a registered idependent and didn’t even bother to vote in 2010. If he was politically motivated he certainlly has taken pains to hide it. All we can find is more and more evidence of his clear Psychosis. Because so many of the extreme left couldn’t even wait a few hour to get facts they are now exposed to the entire world as hateful despicable political opportunists who couldn’t even take a few hours to assess and mourn before going on the attack! They are trully hateful dispicable people!

  55. “Republicans are so “amateurish” in this department, and so always caught off guard, it is like saying an grade school player and Kobe Bryant both do the same thing – play basketball.”

    Karl Rove was ‘amateurish’?

  56. Karl Rove has nothing to do with this issue. That’s more of the same moral equivalence game. It goes no where. It’s a lie and it only serves to maintain the status quo.

    1. What does moral equivalence mean? I’ve seen it a bunch on this posting, and everyone seems to be using it differently. So far it seems to be a buzzword that means “I don’t want you to bring that up.” I saw it above in a liberal posting, too. Can someone explain, since I don’t see the moral question here.

  57. Was the use of the word “retarded” really necessary? You are a writer couldn’t you find another word?

    1. What possible objection could you have to this apposite use of a perfectly valid word? Unless… no, surely you aren’t one of those insensitive louts who refers to people with intellectual disabilities as “retarded”!

      1. I am one of those louts that works with people with intellectual disabilities

  58. I wouldn’t expect the vitriol to get any better. The more important government policies get to people, the more vigorously they will fight for their positions, simply because they have so much more at stake.

  59. Have you noticed what side people voted for on November 2, 2010?

    We voted for Republicans as the best hope to restore this country. Blue Dogs are welcomed depending on the issues.

    That is why Giffords won. She had enough of the issues right.

    I think we could use a few liberals these days.

    What we do not want are any more Progressive/Socialists/Communists in our government.

    We want them out of power.

  60. William Safire has blood on his (dead) hands.

  61. Nick…I call it “Political Pornography”, it’s quite clear that the “Professional Left”–Olbermann, Krugman, et al in their efforts to link this monster to Sarah, Rush & the Tea Party, are guilty trafficking in Political Pornography, the use of this Monster’s killing as a prop to slience Conservatives & advance their political agenda, ignores the fact that these phrases have been used for decades by both parties; furthermore, as the revelations of the background & prior actions of this mad man come to light. Whith his multiple contacts with law enforcement and death threats. a much stronger case can be made for the lackadasical oversight by the Pima County Sheriffs Dept. in issuing this unstable man a permit…

  62. After reading people screaming on liberal blogs this morning and reading people screaming on this blog this evening, I’ve had enough of the bull from all of you, and the rest of this country. I’m leaving as soon as I’m done with school, and I will enjoy watching the blooper reel of American politics from somewhere less crazy.

    1. Don’t let the gate hit you in the ass on the way out.

  63. Polls show that 60 percent of Americans do not want and did not want Obamacare. Yet this administration and the 111th congress forced it on us anyway. The president and congress grew the national debt by $5.2 trillion, so that now every American carries $45,000 of federal debt. Every net taxpaying household carries $330,000 of federal debt. Our children are going to be saddled with this debt. These and other reasons are why the American people are angry. Now we have the task of repealing Obamacare, dealing with the debt, and rolling back other undemocratic programs and actions of this administration.

    In the last few years the administration and congress arrogantly forced their ideology on America, and they now seem perplexed that America is angry. After America voted to remove so many of the perpetrators from the House, the Presidents operatives proceeded to reinstate death panel language in the Medicare rules and to take over the Internet by executive fiat. He has put in regulations by fiat that are forcing up fuel and food prices. The left demands that we quietly accept the assaults they forced on us. They say, tone down the rhetoric while utterly oblivious of the abuse they did to us.

    Then they have the temerity to accuse America of inciting a lunatic to go berserk. There will always be lunatics. I think the left knows, if only subliminally, that they abused America and rather than admit their guilt, they transfer it to us.

  64. Does anyone on this site not call Team Blue “the left”?

  65. It’s obviously an imperfect analogy, but am I the only one who thought “Reichstag fire” after surveying the aftermath of this terrible shooting?

  66. Will Congress use this event as an excuse to vote themselves Secret Service protection? If so, does this not make them less apt to be ‘of the people?’ Despite their claims that they represent us, they are no longer just citizens. If Loughner shot up that mall at any other time, it barely would have gotten a blip of coverage.

    A further question, since when did Federal employees become so special that we need to have a separate law citing that killing them (or trying to) is somehow more important than going after anyone else?

    Finally, since taking no action is now equated with inaction, we will most certainly see some grandiose, and likely costly, response to this event, regardless of its relevence or effectiveness to any actual problem.

    1. since when did Federal employees become so special that we need to have a separate law citing that killing them (or trying to)…

      Almost all of this kind of stuff started with the JFK assassination.

      Between Lee Oswald buying a rifle by mail order and the fact that shooting the president at the time was an offense only under each state’s laws against murder [panic]SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE[/panic].

      Hence a federal murder statute covering the prez and other selected officials plus a brand new Gun Control Act.

    2. “A further question, since when did Federal employees become so special that we need to have a separate law citing that killing them (or trying to) is somehow more important than going after anyone else?”
      I’d bet the family that lost the 9yo daughter has the same question.
      I sure don’t have the answer.

    3. Poultry inspectors deserve special protection. They’re so much more important than the proles.

  67. Unbelievable that so many sources would be blamed for motivating this murderer while no one has mentioned his parents’ political affiliations. I’ll bet you everything I have that they are liberal and they are registered democrats. The murderer was a nut and his parents would have had more influence on his worldview than any other source. Any one want to refute that?

  68. So much idiocy, so little time and energy for fisking…

    Best of all, Palin’s “crosshairs” have nothing whatsoever to do with a rifle-scope.

    Look at them and think: how do the crosshairs extend outside the ring of the scope?

    What they are is a surveyor’s/architect’s/mapmaker’s symbol.

    Look at your IPhone’s “map” program, or Google Maps on Android. Look at the icon for “My Location” in the menu.

    Then be careful not to shoot yourself!

    Morons…

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