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Posted at 8:33 AM ET, 01/11/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Obama steps up: The President is set to travel to Arizona tomorrow to attend the funeral service of the shooting victims, and he is expected to give a speech about tolerance, a theme he may reprise in the State of the Union address. But Obama's advisers are uncertain about the exact message he should send:

It is not clear whether ideology motivated the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, and Obama's advisers may conclude it unwise for the president to lecture the nation on mutual respect -- which could leave him open to criticism that he is using the tragedy for political gain.

If Obama uses the speech to call for an increase in civility or a change in political tone, it could abruptly shift the focus of this story to the President's handling of the aftermath of the shooting. My bet is he opts for a minimal approach -- one that doesn't pivot off the tragedy to make any kind of larger point about the state of our politics and doesn't give any oxygen to critics who will be eagerly on the lookout for any signs they can find that he's using the shooting for political gain.

* With Palin reeling, shooting becomes issue in 2012 GOP primary: This is interesting: Tim Pawlenty, in an interview, said there's no indication that violent rhetoric played any role in the shooting, but he also took a clear swipe at Sarah Palin's crosshairs chart, saying: "I wouldn't have done it."

Key takeway: This story has now raged well out of control for Palin, revealing the limitations of her current communications approach. For the first time, Palin's foes sense a real opportunity to take her down a few pegs without any serious political risk to themselves.

* A defining moment for Palin? Dan Balz on how much is riding on her handling of this mess and why she may be missing an opportunity for a breakout moment.

* Palin defenders off base? Dana Milbank argues the criticism of Palin and her "chief spokesman" Glenn Beck is well deserved: "Both are finally being held to account for recklessly playing with violent images in a way that is bound to incite the unstable."

* And: Roger Simon dismisses the right's complaints of "unfair" attacks on Palin: "Gabrielle Giffords was targeted by those cross hairs; she complained about it, and now she is fighting for her life."

* Palin's limitations: Jonathan Bernstein says the whole affair showcases Palin's inability to grow as a politician, which I think is a polite way of saying she's a moral and political lightweight.

* And: Steve Kornacki says the real problem for Palin is that her mishandling of this affair could accelerate the process by which GOP primary voters conclude that nominating her could be a catstrophic mistake.

* What to watch for today: A serious effort by Camp Palin to do some damage control and get this story behind them.

* Why we should talk about the political climate in relation to shooting: Very interesting post from Massimo Calabresi, who makes the case that even if the shooter was a nut, it hardly means it's "irrelevant that he was exposed to violent political rhetoric."

* Relatedly: Speaking of the atmosphere in which the shooting took place, here's an interesting rundown on just how emotionally and politically polarized Giffords's district had become.

* American public doesn't blame political rhetoric: A new CBS News poll finds that nearly six in 10 think the heated climate isn't to blame for the shooting, while only 32 percent say it is.

One key finding: Even Democrats were more prone to say rhetoric is not at fault, 49-42.

* The case against Jared Loughner: Federal prosecutors are building a case centered on the fact that he was competent enough to plot an assassination.

* Filibuster reform update: The young Senate Dem reformers are ready to roll, but it's still unclear how willing Harry Reid is to make a real push for reform, and it remains to be seen what he's willing to give up in order to reach a deal with Mitch McConnell.

* And dear Blue Dogs: Please can the John Wayne act. With Blue Dog Dems Heath Shuler and Jason Chaffetz vowing to pack heat in their meetings with constitutents, the House Sergeant-at-Arms gently tells them to leave the guns at home and leave the security to professionals.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 11, 2011; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems  
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Next: George Will smears Howard Dean

Comments

A well known liberal was very clear that this was most likely a one-off by a demented individual, and that drawing lines from heated public rhetoric to his mental state was invidious.

John Stewart last night said that it is so tempting to blame something else - video games, rock 'n roll, politicians and pundits - that we have to step back from that exercise and recognize that crazy is crazy, and that fortunately it is rare.

He went on to talk about the two men and the woman who took the shooter down and how that is an uplifting chapter in this sad story. That is how we want to think of ourselves.

I hope some of you saw the first half of "The Daily Show" last night.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 11, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

So, if Sarah Palin is not to blame, what's the problem?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Knowing Obama he is not going to be railing against Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh. I think he is going to focus on the victims and the heroes. Instead of laying blame on anybody, I think Obama will focus on the point in the bible of not looking at the "speck in someone's else's eyes and ignoring the log in you own eye". In other words I suspect that Obama will challenge each individual to see what he/she can do to improve the tone. There will be NO blame game coming from Obama.

Instead this speech will be more about trying to bring everybody together and focusing on what is best in America.

Obama was born to give a speech like he will giving tomorrow.

I predict that it will be one of his best (and that is saying A LOT for he has given some of the best speeches ever).

Posted by: maritza1 | January 11, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

No one should worry about Pres. Obama's speech. Time and time again he has been able to walk the fine line, to take moments at their bleakest, and shine. He'll be the thoughtful, empethetic, and elegant speaker we all know him to be in these situations - and the country will be better for it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 11, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Synchronicity. I just posted on prior thread re the damage done (fatal, I think certainly) to Palin and the how this arrives as fortuitous to the establishment core of the party who have been slowly bleeding her for months (she had value pre-election and then quickly became a danger if she were to become a candidate for the next election) and this does provide a convenient framework within which she can be further wounded by them.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chaffetz is not a democrat, blue dog or otherwise.

Shuler is not really a democrat.

Posted by: carolinagirl2 | January 11, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Palin's complete inability to show adulthood in response to Giffords' shooting and the supremely damning connection to her winky crosshairs map is, one hopes, the stake through the heart (Bram Stoker reference, so shut up) for her political aspirations.

She will not rise to the occasion as Frum prescibed, she will do what she always does, play the victim, she's being unfairly picked on. Her condolensces were delivered in the passive voice and her repudiation of political violence was as credible as Ariel Sharon's "man of peace" claim.

Go back to Alaska, Sarah, enjoy the wealth from your with-books, and shut up.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@Martiza - That's very smart and, I'll predict, just about exactly as it will come to pass.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

OT but my notion is that the Wikileaks phenomenon is the most important occurrence in the political macro since the development of the internet...

Two good pieces on how the corporate media is, as a consequence of who and what it is, failing broadly to identify with the transparency model and instead is attacking Wikileaks and Assange...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/jan/11/wikileaks-press-freedom

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/09/106445/in-wikileaks-fight-us-journalists.html#storylink=omni_popular

For anyone who's read Chomsky, this is exactly predictable, of course.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Supremely damning"?! William Jefferson got 13 years. Not surprisingly, caothien9, is wrong about Sarah Palin being arrested (from the prior thread). Even if you are one of the 32% who blame her. That would clearly violate the 1st Amendment. In particular, the leading Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Watts (1969), held that the Constitution protects even the statement "If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J.," said at antiwar rally. Statements that place the President in a bullseye or a crosshair might thus be entirely constitutionally protected, if for instance the statement is in a Democratic or Republican party mailer urging people to give money to help defeat the President in the next election. A reasonable reader would not perceive such a flyer as a threat that the author, or the author's confederates, are going to actually shoot the President. As Jack Shafer (Slate) and many other have noted, martial metaphors are commonplace in American politics. The mere use of such a metaphor does not strip the speech of constitutional protection.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

How scary is it getting for Brisbane?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12158608

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I hope Obama gives an uplifting speech like his 2004 DNC speech about how there is not a Red America and a Blue America, but a United States of America.

As for Palin and Beck. Listen, the Republican Party is better off without these people who think that the only thing that matters is that their team wins. Republicans, if this ends Sarah Palin's career as it should, you just might be thanking us in the end for saving your party from a petty manipulator who doesn't have all of America's best interest at heart.

As for Rush and Beck and Hannity. First of all, I watched a bit of Hannity last night and the panel was entirely about excusing the right's heated rhetoric. That is literally ALL they discussed. I honestly don't get how someone can watch that show and find it believable. My bs detector was going off like crazy from the first minute.

We must engage a nationwide letter-writing campaign where people write their local papers, condemn extremist GOP rhetoric and then ask their local congressman if they support Rush's or Beck's incendiary comments. By making their incendiary comments toxic, we may yet be able to save our political system and our democracy.

Write your local newspaper and condemn right wing rhetoric and make Republicans respond to direct quotations by these monsters. The GOP's silence is acquiescence, and each elected official needs to be held accountable for supporting violent extremists.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I hope Obama gives an uplifting speech like his 2004 DNC speech about how there is not a Red America and a Blue America, but a United States of America.

As for Palin and Beck. Listen, the Republican Party is better off without these people who think that the only thing that matters is that their team wins. Republicans, if this ends Sarah Palin's career as it should, you just might be thanking us in the end for saving your party from a petty manipulator who doesn't have all of America's best interest at heart.

As for Rush and Beck and Hannity. First of all, I watched a bit of Hannity last night and the panel was entirely about excusing the right's heated rhetoric. That is literally ALL they discussed. I honestly don't get how someone can watch that show and find it believable. My bs detector was going off like crazy from the first minute.

We must engage a nationwide letter-writing campaign where people write their local papers, condemn extremist GOP rhetoric and then ask their local congressman if they support Rush's or Beck's incendiary comments. By making their incendiary comments toxic, we may yet be able to save our political system and our democracy.

Write your local newspaper and condemn right wing rhetoric and make Republicans respond to direct quotations by these monsters. The GOP's silence is acquiescence, and each elected official needs to be held accountable for supporting violent extremists.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@Maritiza and Bernie...I also agree with Maritza's observations and I hope they are actually fulfilled.

@.Q.B. "After watching the obscenity of the left's reaction to Tuscon unfold for a couple of days now, I think it very likely that there will be a strong political backlash against Democrats for it.

Prediction duly noted. Time will tell.
My Prediction is this...Sarah Palin' national political future is over! And again it's ironic because I do agree with my friends on the right who point out that this was not Palin's responsibility. I agree. Just as she never deserved to be on the ticket in the first place and landed there because of "Political BS" (Peggy Noonan Reagan speechwriter) a thinly veiled attempt to get the Clinton Puma's to cross over. McCain did not pick her he was forced to accept her by his advisors. Her vetting will forever go down historically as a hasty joke done by a campaign in absolute desperation. She never deserved to be a national figure to begin with and now ironically she is going down because of perception and not reality.

Again I can tell you from my broadcasting background that optics are critical and Palin has been handed a doozy. For the past three days the nation has been inundated with video of the very likeable and widely admired Giffords sharing her concerns after her office was vandalized and she showed up in the Palin crosshairs.
Her final words are simply too haunting...
"Words have consequences". It's just too prophetic sounding. It may have been a quirk of fate that some lone wack gunman picked Gifford but that quirk took out Palin's political career. She is toast!
IMHO...kinda like two wrongs adding up to a right.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@.Q.B. "After watching the obscenity of the left's reaction to Tuscon unfold for a couple of days now, I think it very likely that there will be a strong political backlash against Democrats for it.

===

hahahahahahahaha

If I could have a nickel for every time one of these bedwetters predicted a backlash.

Remember what Marx said about religion?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Obama undoubtedly will give some sort of lecture or homily on tolerance, and implicitly link the shooting to rhetoric. He will "go there" while trying to look like he isn't. It's just who he is. He can't do otherwise. He's shown this over and over without exception. There's never been a moment when, facing a choice between unseemly and unprincipled politicization and nonpartisan statemanship, he's chosen the latter. A guy who can stand in the well and lie about Supreme Court Justices sitting in front of him doesn't have many inhibitions about these things.

And there isn't really a "line" he can walk. There either is a causal connection or there isn't. All the evidence says there isn't. Yet, it isn't possible for him to take the occasion to preach on tolerance or political discourse or civility without implying that there is a causal connection, and I don't think there's any doubt that that is exactly what he will do. Because politics in the end is what matters to him.

Again, Glenn Reynolds really nailed this. Those attacking political rhetoric in this context are either saying there is a causal connection, which is a lie, or are must scoring cheap political points, which is equally disgusting. Obama will do the latter, while doing his usual pose as above it all.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"McCain did not pick her he was forced to accept her by his advisors."

I recall reading somewhere that his advisers basically told him he could pick a typical pol -- bland governor another senator -- and lose respectably. Or, he could try for the upset and shake things up with Palin. Kind of hail mary play.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 11, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Chris Weigant has a nice piece up about the heroes in the shooting and what the difference is between heroes and non-heroes. It was a nice read after all the toxic speech about toxic speech

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"But President Obama is right, too. It is important to focus on the extraordinary courage shown on the day of the shooting rampage. Because while you can train for what to do in an emergency, you cannot train someone to be heroic. When tested, heroes act to do the right thing, with little concern for their own safety while doing so. It's only later that they humbly deny being a hero, insisting that anyone would have done the same. But it's just not true -- which is why the entire concept of a hero came into being in the first place. Exceptional courage under fire or in the face of danger deserves our respect and our praise precisely because not everyone reacts in this fashion. Only heroes do.".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/heroism_b_807127.html

Posted by: lmsinca | January 11, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"hahahahahahahaha

If I could have a nickel for every time one of these bedwetters predicted a backlash."

Shame you cretins have turned the shootings of 20 people into a political game, but since you have you should look at your scoreboard:

"* American public doesn't blame political rhetoric: A new CBS News poll finds that nearly six in 10 think the heated climate isn't to blame for the shooting, while only 32 percent say it is.

One key finding: Even Democrats were more prone to say rhetoric is not at fault, 49-42."

Guess we'll see how the majority who reject your calumnies weigh it when they vote next year.

Either way, what you've done is heinous. How does it feel, standing on the body of a nine-year-old to hack away at your opposition? Given the moral vacuum in your soul, I'm guessing okay to you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

"One of the many reasons we're not going to have more civil conversation, generally, although hopefully we can do it amongst ourselves: we can't even agree on what it means to have a civil conversation."

While I take your point Kev I don't think it's quite that simple. I agree if Q.B. calls me a socialist and I return fire by calling him a fascist we are exhibiting bad manners that will probably always be with us. But this is a many layered problem. From pundits and politicians who clearly know Obama was not born in Kenya but refused to debunk such nonsense. From the media and again political leaders that left a majority of Texans believing Obama was a Muslim. That's not simply incivility it's pandering, lying, and it's wrong. (Q.B. here is where you insert your sting of links to Dems who have pandered, lied, I concede there are plenty of them out there.

But Kevin here is my real problem with the right. We progressives who cloak ourselves as registered independents are tired of being threatened with gun violence. Not the wacks or crooks but that portion of the tea party who are traitors. When you come to political rallies saying things like "We came unarmed...this time"..."Watering the tree of liberty with blood..yadda yadda...waving their firearms around just as brownshirts did in Germany back in the late 20's. That's not uncivil...it's wrong...it's traitorous...overthowing your government by "bullets" instead of ballots is called armed insurrection. These losers are not patriots there traitors.

And so Kev since you are widely respected as the most thoughtful and even minded righty on this blog I challenge you to explain this to me, again confessing that I am in the 90% of Q.B.'s identified ignorant liberals. I am a writer and perhaps I delude myself but I like to believe I understand literary devices.
Certainly Palin's crosshairs were a metaphor...reload...very poor choices perhaps but easily dismissed by Palin supporters as simple political metaphors.

But Michelle Bachmann...who said...

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

Where is the metaphor Kevin? I read that as a literal DIRECT call for action.
Perhaps...no for sure...I am getting too old. lol But seriously...prior to the past two years any politician spewing such vile TRAITOROUS nonsense would have been shunned by their party and the voters.
Bachmann has built a career out of this BS.
What actual policy or legislation has she passed?
I'm not trying to pick on the right...we all have our trying times...for the Dems
late 60's-70's as ideological purity ran amuk...it's now happening to the R's.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"We must engage a nationwide letter-writing campaign where people write their local papers, condemn extremist GOP rhetoric . ..."

I'm sure the leftist spamroots campaigns are well under way already. They always are. I'm sure the form letters of outrage are going out to the sheepfold for the sheep to sign their names to and flood the newspapers with the same idiotic tripe as always.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

She never deserved to be a national figure to begin with and now ironically she is going down because of perception and not reality.

==

No, it's reality.

That map and the rhetoric she's engaged in since her "like a community organizer" line was a time bomb ticking, it was only a matter of time before it caught up with her.

Nobody reasonable is saying that Loughner shot Giffords because of Palin's map; some,myself included,are saying she should have been arrested for it, but not when Giffords was shot, rather when the map was published. Let a judge decide if it's incitement of murder; mugshots, fingerprinting, and two million in legal fees later, Paline might have been free but the message would have been clearer than the Maplethorpe trial outcome.

Palin's map was grotesquely irreponsible, and the sh*t has landed on her. Good riddance.

What are you GOPers complaining about? Your party has been aching to get rid of her.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Key Takeaway Translated: Greg senses a crass opportunity to take Palin down a few pegs without any serious credibility risk to WaPo credibility.

Which speaks to the credibility decline of The WashingtonCompost.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry QB, but your attempts to shame aren't compelling. Acts of political violence, as I noted yesterday, are by large margins predominantly a feature of the American right. And rhetoric designed to divide and to exclude groups of citizens from equality in American life are predominantly a feature of right wing agencies.

Are you a member of the correct religion?
Are you a speaker of the correct language?
Are you in allegiance with the correct ideology?
Are you a heterosexual?
Do you agree that concern for womens' rights issues and racial issues is egregious because they harm white males?
etc

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@Q.B Reading your 9:19AM post I had forgotten how far out there you were. :-)
I won't respond directly...how does one respond to an ad hominem attack.

But I do think you're really getting your knickers bunched up for the wrong reason.
I think the vast majority R & D (we can use your stats) believe this was the act of a crazed gunman not directly connected to anything but mental illness.....

However...and here is where I hope shrink returns...raising the heat level to such a boiling point IMHO may trigger "some" nuts to action they might not have otherwise taken. I'm not referring to this shooter we know so little about him yet but nuts i general. Certainly I'll defer to shrinks explanation of this if he shows up today. There is a certain permissiveness loose in our society when people actually carry locked and loaded weapons to political rallies threatening to "water the tree of liberty with BLOOD" or again simply reread the Bachmann quote.
It's not obtuse, it's not a metaphor, it's really pretty easily understood.

And so do we believe all members of the militia movement are wack? Not really. Strange and paranoid...perhaps...and yes some of their fringe...truly dangerous. For Bachmann to make this statement in an area of the country full of survivalists and other militia types is simply WRONG!!!

Keep your guns, I'm not advocating taking them away....I'm simply advocating you keep your guns where they belong...at a shooting range..out hunting..gun shows..whatever....FREAKING GUNS DO NOT BELONG AT POLITICAL RALLIES!


Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

cao: "Palin's complete inability to show adulthood in response to Giffords' shooting and the supremely damning connection to her winky crosshairs map is, one hopes, the stake through the heart (Bram Stoker reference, so shut up)"

That's so ironic, it's like, meta-ironic. Next, you should say: "Anyone who uses violent imagery to make a point should be shot!"

"What are you GOPers complaining about? Your party has been aching to get rid of her."

The GOP establishment and the Republicans you might find frequenting a WaPo comment section are probably not the same folks. I'm not all that impressed with the GOP establishment; I still sorta like Sarah Palin, though I don't think she's really electable at this point.

Still, I'm sometimes with the GOP establishment. I thought Christine O'Donnell was a horrible candidate, just like Karl Rove did. I was not on board with the Tea Party Express when it came to Sharron Angle and her powerbroking before she had power (and 2nd Amendment Remedies). Yet I was 100% for the Tea Party support Nikki Haley in SC. And I loved Ruth McClung (sadly, she lost to the congressperson who advocated a boycott of his own state).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I suppose we ought not to forget here the quote from Gingrich...

"The more angry we get, the worse it is for Obama. I don't care how many three-point jump shots he makes."

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/marianne-gingrich-behind-the-scenes-081010#ixzz1AjpgyvrD

This IS the model of and goal of nearly all right wing media, from radio to internet to FOX. Anger at government. Anger at liberals. Anger at the Democratic party. Anger at Europe. Anger at the UN. Anger at scientists. Anger at non-Christians or the wrong species of Christians. Anger at schools and universities. Anger at those on the right who are insufficiently angry.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

There is no earthly reason for anyone but licensed security personnel to have a gun at a political rally or any public gathering. Anyone found to be carrying a gun should be arrested.

A few months ago tea party types were showing up at public beaches with pistols strapped to their sides, in coffee shops with guns openly visible. This is grotesque.

You call that freedom? Making it impossible for famililes to enjoy a day at the beach with their kids, to have a cup of coffee and use the wifi without worrying about some vagrant in a tricorn deciding that the barrista might be working for theTrilateral Commission or something?

Over here, in all the weeks and now months I've been here over the last 12 years, I've seen one (1) gun not strapped to a cop, and that was a jewelry store guard.(not that he needed one, I saw him horsing around with another guard and he was plenty lethal with his hands and feet .. how do people move that fast?).

Packing heat in public feels like a society very far along in disintegration.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "OT but my notion is that the Wikileaks phenomenon is the most important occurrence in the political macro since the development of the internet..."

Quite possibly true. However, Wikileaks, when it comes down to it, both selects the material it releases and redacts it, at least somewhat. Thus, they put themselves in the role of informational gatekeeper, as the mainstream media has, for so long.

Eventually, that will become problematic. A sort of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" dynamic, if you will.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie "This IS the model of and goal of nearly all right wing media, from radio to internet to FOX. Anger at government. Anger at liberals. Anger at the Democratic party. Anger at Europe. Anger at the UN. Anger at scientists. Anger at non-Christians or the wrong species of Christians. Anger at schools and universities. Anger at those on the right who are insufficiently angry.

And alas Bernie anger sells...it brings big ratings. And so are you alleging that Fox/Ailes does this as part of his political agenda or as a means to make himself fabulously wealthy and powerful...
I suspect it's a little of both...but at the end of the day...he'll sell out as fast as the next guy and if the anger becomes less popular he'll move on to the next golden opportunity.

Time to get some work in...catch you all later...

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

* Why we should talk about the political climate in relation to shooting: Very interesting post from Massimo Calabresi, who makes the case that even if the shooter was a nut, it hardly means it's "irrelevant that he was exposed to violent political rhetoric."


It is not a direct line. However, there have been too many shooters in the last year who have killed over the fear that their guns were going to be taken away -- rhetoric that has been blasted relentlessly on hate radio -- not to see a link.

To pretend that the political climate has no effect on individual behavior is absurd.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 11, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, sometimes I think you're an insightful and thoughtful contributor to this blog.

Other times I think you're just another guy who likes to make cheap shots and sees all this as some sort of no-rules bloodsport.

Wish I could say the trend is going one way or the other but it really isn't. I'm not mocking you, I'm not doing like quarterback and Brigade do, so, really, I don't get it.

Any chance you could let the chips fall on the thoughtful side a little more often?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Packing heat in public feels like a society very far along in disintegration."

The US is rapidly sliding toward third-world status.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 11, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

In news of the economy, Rick Santelli, CNBC's Squawk Box nattering nabob of negativity - whose on air rant about the housing bubble helped inspire the TP clowns to make sure moral hazard only exists for retail borrowers - said this morning, "sure we are all better off than we were two years ago..." as if that were completely obvious and also, there are signs in the housing industry that there may be a bottom now; too complex to enumerate and detail here, but investors know, lets put it that way.

Sure we are all better off than we were two years ago. We are all better off than we were two years ago said the Republican doomsayer.

So now he says, there is a price to be payed in the future. We all get that Rick, we know that, the coming austerity yadda, yadda. The only question has been and will be, just who exactly is going to pay the price?

Lets see, if the rich always have to get richer and America's growth in income disparity is a good thing...carry the one...I've got it. The people on fixed incomes, the middle class, the working class and the poor will do the austerity thing. Well, that was easy.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

caothien9 is on a roll, attacking the 1st AND 2nd Amendments. Why not go for a hat trick and ridicule the 3rd Amendment too?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"They can take my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers."

Works for me.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The American left is in the process of making a huge tactical mistake. That mistake lies in the fact that their playbook is now open for all to read.

First, it is clear that the left hates Sarah Palin. Like many other observers of America's liberals I believe that this hatred has its roots in a fear of Ms Palin's ability to rally people to a cause that is antiethical to the liberal agenda.

Next, the left basically has no shame remaining. Here are two quotes to support this contention:
This is from QB, and it is as emotionally charge as anything I've read by him:
"Either way, what you've done is heinous. How does it feel, standing on the body of a nine-year-old to hack away at your opposition? Given the moral vacuum in your soul, I'm guessing okay to you."

This is from Andy McCarthy:
"Modern leftists are tacticians. They’ve convinced themselves of the rightness of their cause, obviating the need to be consistent or faithful to facts in any single episode. For them, it’s all about how the episode can be spun to help the cause. That’s worth understanding, but not debating."

So it is clearly established that the left lacks any sense of shame and are obsessively focused on advancing their cause.

Now the playbook:

(1) Immediately indict Sarah Palin based on absolutely no evidence.
(2) Instantly engage the big lie machinery available to the left such that the unfounded accusations are repeated ad infinitum.
(3) Demand that Sarah Palin respond to this calumny in a manner that the left, at its sole discretion, declares as appropriate.
(4) Proclaim Ms Palin "done" as a politician for her failure to perform as demanded in (3) above.

This is just plain ugly. It shows the modern left for what it is, uncaring, unfeeling ideologues who care about nothing and nobody as much as they care about advancing their agenda.

How the American lift differs from radical Islam is difficult to discern just now.


Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 11, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see you, ru.

I'm not much bothered by "bad manners" in political discourse. The exception being where it's a prevalent feature of some posters' contribution in which case it's just worthless sentences. But if someone calls me a jackass, why would I care?

Far worse is behavior or communication which has the intent of disrupting or inhibiting or intimidating conversations, or which is replete with careless assertions, falsehoods or logical irrelevancies.

***********

John Cole has a nice piece on the differing responses to briefings from Sheriffs Dupnik and Arpaio...

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/01/10/a-tale-of-two-sheriffs/

Cole notes Gergen's "everyone does it" equivalency. I used to be a much greater admirer of Gergen than I've recently come to be. His equivalency is lazy and cowardly but it is the norm in mainstream media.

Greenwald recently made a bright observation on the vaunted goal of press "objectivity". These people like Gergen could be validly described as objective only if they actually made discernments where significant differences exist. THAT would be objective. Refusing to do so is something else entirely.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

NoVaHockey writes
"I recall reading somewhere that his advisers basically told him he could pick a typical pol -- bland governor another senator -- and lose respectably. Or, he could try for the upset and shake things up with Palin. Kind of hail mary play."


That was certainly the feeling of many of the people posting at The Fix, at the time.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 11, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

"@Q.B Reading your 9:19AM post I had forgotten how far out there you were. :-)
I won't respond directly...how does one respond to an ad hominem attack."

Right back atcha, my friend. ; )

I don't know what you think is ad hominem about that comment, though. But then you always claimed everything I said was ad hom.

As to your argument on Tuscon, you can't have it both ways. If there isn't a causal connection, then there isn't. You want to say on the one hand "this was the act of a crazed gunman not directly connected to anything but mental illness....." and follow with a "but" or "however" it might have been triggered by rhetoric you can't identify. It's one or the other.

This guy is psychotic. Psychotic. If you showed him a Seinfeld episode, he might shoot the next person he sees with pretzels. I think the experts have been pretty clear that you can't trace any cause and effect. His mind is an irrational jumble.

And he formed his grudge against Giffords at least by 2007. Have you read the interview comments by his friend, Tierney I think it is? To the extent he was acting that out in his deepened psychotic state, it had nothing to do with Sarah Palin or supposed Obama derangement syndrome on the right. What you are saying is simply "not defensible" -- I'll understate things so as not to give offense.

"There is a certain permissiveness loose in our society when people actually carry locked and loaded weapons to political rallies threatening to "water the tree of liberty with BLOOD" or again simply reread the Bachmann quote.
It's not obtuse, it's not a metaphor, it's really pretty easily understood."

You are really obsessed, as are most of your fellows, with the Bachmann statement and the Angle statement. I doubt you've heard or read the entire Bachmann statement in context. Here it is in audio, part of a long, long subtantive interview:

http://townhall.com/MediaPlayer/AudioPlayer.aspx?ContentGuid=2c59827d-9fb9-46da-9127-c839e6d5ac85

What you are outraged about occurs between 11 and 12 minute. In context, it's perfectly clear it was metaphorical and she was speaking of being armed WITH INFORMATION. If you can listen to it and deny that, then there is no point in further discussion.

The Angle statement was a clumsy answer to a question. She gave an accurate answer about the purpose of the 2d Am and said in response to the interviewers suggestion that she hoped we are NOT at 2d Am remedies. I thought it was a clumsy answer (by a lousy candidate), but only people trolling for manufactured issues and outrage could take it for any kind of threat or endorsement. She explicitly said she hoped we are NOT there.

There is plenty of actual violence and violent imagery and language at leftwing protests and in leftwing movements. You just don't see it because of confirmation bias. Physical attacks by union members, attack on the GOP convention, riots and attacks on G20 meetings, endless Bush assassination images etc.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone saw the Palin pick as anything but a play at wedging disaffected HRC supporters away from the Democrats. Makes the attack on Pearl Harbor look like strategic brilliance.

"How 'bout that Sarah Palin, isn't she a breath of fresh air?"
-- Fred Thompson

still think so, Fred?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Last August I posted here about a comment made by a caller to a talk radio show featuring Dick Armey in studio. The caller said if the TP agenda failed at the ballot box, there will be an armed insurrection in this country and then he asked Armey on air whether he would support or even lead such an insurrection.

Armey demurred of course, but I thought it odd that the call was not terminated in the time delay, that the possibility of Dick Armey leading a militia to overthrow the elected government of the USA was a serious prospect. When I say demurred, Dick didn't say, "that is crazy and stupid," he just said he wouldn't lead it, the caller was disappointed but stopped short of calling him a coward.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: Using the WaPo Troll Hunter yet? Which browser do you use?

"But Kevin here is my real problem with the right. We progressives who cloak ourselves as registered independents are tired of being threatened with gun violence"

Okay, but, you know, I'm not doing that. How many people are threatening you with gun violence on the right, really?

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

Well, I tend to suspect that's also a very poor choice of metaphor, but, okay, she shouldn't have said that. Although if we're getting to the point where quoting Thomas Jefferson is considered a call for nutjobs to shoot people at public meetings, you know . . . I just don't know. That doesn't sound right to me. The only think remotely beyond the pail that statement is "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous" and even that is just, in my opinion, stupid, not a serious call that Michelle Bachman wants Minnesotans to start shooting people.

BTW, the full Jefferson quote is this (and it's not revolution): "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."

And, yes, Jefferson was referring to armed rebellion, at a point where the arms were pitchforks and muskets, and it cannot be applied literally in the modern age. But it can apply metaphorically, and it often does. It has been quoted by liberals, and I recall reading of a time when it was quoted to the HUAC, where they (someone on the HUAC) responded they would arrest someone who said such a thing (but I can't find it on The Google, and I can't really trust my memory), so . . . quoting Thomas Jefferson is not necessarily just a right wing manipulation to get people shot.

Another very good quote I found while trying to find the HUAC incident that I did not find: ""Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon." That's E.M. Forster. I just love that.

"What actual policy or legislation has she passed? "

Well, that's another question. I'm sure there's something. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how Sarah Palin has become the victim of this shooting.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 11, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - re Wikileaks

They are redacting names. They made an offer to the DoD or to State to check releases over pre-release and that agency declined. I'm not sure what the NYT, Guardian etc are doing.

But the dynamics are entirely different. Not having a geographical location nor corporate owners nor any personal/institutional interest in retaining or supporting the status quo of power, wealth and influence (contra, say, MSNBC and GE or Muroch and his vast array of financial interests) Wikileaks is decidedly unlike what presently exists.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bernie's comment about intentional fomenting of anger seems right on the money.

As far as Palin doing the right thing and taking responsibility for her irresponsible rhetoric, let's not forget who she is. I just made myself reread her speech to the 2008 Republican convention. Even the words on the page don't do justice to it. What got the crowd on fire was the relish she took, smiles and winks and all, in delivering the snarky, misleading attacks on Obama. A main way she relates to a crowd is by her willingness to be shocking and transgressive, albeit with innuendo provided by her writers rather than with something like an outright call to violence. So for Palin to renounce this part of her approach is for Palin to renounce the essence of her political self and her way of reaching her audience.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 11, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Sorry QB, but your attempts to shame aren't compelling. Acts of political violence, as I noted yesterday, are by large margins predominantly a feature of the American right. And rhetoric designed to divide and to exclude groups of citizens from equality in American life are predominantly a feature of right wing agencies."

When you have some properly designed and data-populated studies that prove your assertions, I'll look at them. I'm not so impressed with implicit appeals to your own authority.

I also wouldn't try to shame you, since I have some doubts aboot (see what I did there?) your capacity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@quarterback: "What you are outraged about occurs between 11 and 12 minute. In context, it's perfectly clear it was metaphorical and she was speaking of being armed WITH INFORMATION. If you can listen to it and deny that, then there is no point in further discussion."

Bah. You and your so-called "context". The only context we need is that a conservative said it. It is, therefor, inherently a call to violence. In the same manner that a Republican running on "hope and change" would be calling for armed revolution. If would be self-evident, in that case, because a Republican was saying it.

:P

And stop attacking me with advertising homonyms.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, your attempts at sarcasm are deplorably weak. My guess is you don't have a drop of New York blood in you.

Give it up.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 11, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Before you fall for the bs about the Bachmann statement, listen to the link a posted above -- it comes between 11 and 12 minutes. Probably start around 10 to get the flavor.

It's a totally bs charge. What a surprise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

About a year ago, Richard Behney, a tea partier from Indiana running for former Sen. Evan Bayh's seat:

"We can get new faces in. Whether it's my face or not, I pray to God that I see new faces. And if we don't see new faces, I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I'm serious about that, and I bet you are, too."

Another one from 2009: Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) told Politico that he hunts Democrats. Asked about the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, he said, We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition."

This is typical of the nauseating eliminationist bile that spews out of the right. Anyone who pretends that this has no effect is in denial.

And look at the wingers on this site. with the exception of Kevin, all of them are perpetually foaming and spewing on this site, like 18 hours a day.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 11, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "Wikileaks is decidedly unlike what presently exists."

Oh, agreed. I just remain curious: who watches the watchmen?

In any case, I'm curious how it will all turn out.

@shrink: "When I say demurred, Dick didn't say, 'that is crazy and stupid,' he just said he wouldn't lead it"

If a guy with a name like Dick Army isn't going to lead your armed, presumably forward-thrusting, injustice-penetrating insurrection, then who can you possible turn to for a hard-pounding, people-pleasing coup de'tat?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Gotta go, folks.

Kevin, I see we crossed in the ether. I'm sad for you that Colonel Kurtz doesn't appreciate your sarcasm. So sad.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

quick last post... it's no small inconsistency that "libertarians" in the US are for the most part unhappy with the Wikileaks project. Likewise those who claim to hold that government ought to be done transparently thus making corruption and deceits evident or much harder to commit.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 11, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@skip

"(1) Immediately indict Sarah Palin based on absolutely no evidence."

Skip can you dig yourself out of the hyperbole well for just a moment. Nobody has indicted Sarah Palin..either literally or figuratively. Many have questioned whether her hate filled speech has an effect...btw Skip contrary to Sarah's thoughts I am a "real" American. I do not hate Palin. I simply don't respect her.
And if you've really been observing liberals Skip you'd realize that Palin is the answer to our prayers...if she could have somehow snatched the nomination she gives us our very best chance to retain the W.H. Sarah Palin fares worst among presumptive front-runners for the Republican nomination, trailing Obama by a 50.3% to 40.2% margin. According to the NBC(you would say liberal)WSJ (Murdoch owned and conservative) poll Palin’s negative rating has climbed to 50%. That’s the highest negative rating for anyone measured in this poll (and it’s two points lower than Nancy Pelosi’s negative rating from last month).

And so my question for you Skip is this...did you see Cong Gifford's interview after her office had been vandalized after the HCR vote and she had popped up on Palin's target list.

I've seen it over and over again on virtually every outlet...can't speak for Fox never watch...do you suppose media outlets knowing that tape existed should have refused to air it because it might appear as an "indictment" of Sarah Palin.
The last sentence of Giffords...ending with "words have consequences" is pretty hard to ignore Skip.


Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "Kevin, your attempts at sarcasm are deplorably weak."

They were enough to prompt your response, thus adequate. If you liked them, then I'd have to work a little harder.

"My guess is you don't have a drop of New York blood in you"

American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

"Give it up."

You first. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

QB and the entire Fox News/Dittohead crowd have no shame. None.

QB has spent the last 2 days belligerently attacking Americans who have been calling for civility.

As I mentioned before, Fox News last night spent the entire discussion segment on Hannity excusing violent right-wing rhetoric.

Considering the fact that this is a time of extreme political sensitivity, one can only surmise that QB and Fox News and the Tea Party are actively working for an end to the American Experiment. The only explanation is that if they can't have complete control of all of our lives that they'll burn the whole thing to the ground.

These people are traitors to America.

There really is no other way to put it.

@QB: "I'm sure the leftist spamroots campaigns are well under way already."

Yes. It is. And you know why? Because people who aren't paying attention to violent and irresponsible rhetoric will start to tune in. Sarah Palin did WHAT? Crosshairs on the congressmember who was shot in the head? Yes QB, those who don't know will know and the blame will be fixed permanently where it belongs: the Republican Right.

I am writing to my local papers now. PS, my home district is a swing district, so this is not for nothing.

People get the word out. Local papers. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Steve King, John Boehner, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle. We need to FORCE Republicans to answer for the irresponsible and dangerous comments coming from the disgusting vile right wing.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"If a guy with a name like Dick Army isn't going to lead your armed, presumably forward-thrusting, injustice-penetrating insurrection, then who can you possible turn to for a hard-pounding, people-pleasing coup de'tat? "

Line of the month, without a doubt.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I said this yesterday, but banning or restricting speech is rarely the answer.

These pols didn't give one thought to this until it was one of their own who got shot. Any restrictions on speech are about furthering the advantages of incumbency. Threats made against public officials already illegal. Reacting to this with new legislation is just the desire to "do something" regardless of whether it's warranted or not. We are a free and open society. Stuff happens. It's tragic, but thankfully rare.

Anyone else catch the today show interview with the father of the girl who was murdered?

"This shouldn't happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society, we're going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative."

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40992765/ns/today-today_people/

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 11, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

ruk, I think that Giffords is still a proud defender of the 1st Amendment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ6XMfL3pvs

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people on the right are using that piece from Reynolds to claim we need to either believe a) there is a direct link between the AZ shooting and the sometimes violent rhetoric or b) there isn't and we're exploiting it for political purposes. That's a little black and white for me.

I think there's more to it and probably a c) Arizona has become a bit of a tinderbox and who knows what can happen there or d) Gabby Giffords is on tape questioning the wisdom of Sarah Palins chart especially since her office had recently been vandalized around the time of the health care vote or e) some people are just frightened of the gun and armed insurrection innuendos and believe violence follows or f) free speech is awesome until it comes back to bite you.

In other words there doesn't have to be a direct line, it could be a squiggly line for some people out there regardless of what the pundits, politicians, media and bloggers are saying.

It would be quite easy to say Sarah Palin is not directly responsible for the shooting and also hold the thought that these types of images and words could create a climate of violence. It's also pretty easy to see how SP's presidential dreams are over and it's no one's fault but her own regardless of the facts or a) thru f) above.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 11, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

" to lecture the nation on mutual respect "


After ALL the False Charges of Racism dating back to early 2008, and ALL the attacks on the Tea Party, HOW exactly would that be expected to work ???

The comparison to Bill Clinton


OK, there is a comparison. This situation is horrible. However, it isn't a bombing of a Federal bombing with over 168 killed, including a day care center with 19 children under the age of 6.


That much is different.


However, we are beginning to see a realization that "Obama is not Bill Clinton" Bill Clinton had special qualities that allowed him to get away with things.


The other thing - Bill Clinton was elected as a DLC moderate. The public viewed his straying toward the left in 93-94 as more of an aberration - rather than Bill Clinton "revealing his true nature."

Bill Clinton had a long history of governing a Southern State - and he had a long history in moderate democratic groups like the DLC.


So, the point is, for Bill Clinton to occupy the center is not much of a reach - it is exactly where everything thought Bill Clinton should be in the first place.


Obama has a radically different situation - he is perceived as hiding his true leftist nature. His 2008 campaign themes are widely regarded as a pack of lies.

Obama would have been well served if he spent the last two years building up his MODERATE credientials - and pushing moderation and compromise.


Only at that point, or in his next term if he had one, would he have built up enough confidence of the country - in order to pursue some leftist policies.


This is NOT a leftist country - so the liberal agenda people have a fundamental problem there.


_______________________

The point is that if Obama is going to jump on a plane to Arizona and start hugging people like Clinton, it really isn't going to fly.

It's just not going to work.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Interesting excerpt from the Balz piece that Greg links to (above):

Todd Harris, a Republican strategist [said] "At the same time, to the degree that this is a so-called learning moment for the country, I think the public looks to its leaders and pretty quickly decides who has something to teach and who has something to learn. I think that Palin is missing an opportunity to show that she can be a leader at a higher level than she's been viewed before."


Ignoring whether her over-the-top rhetoric & 'target map' influenced Loughner, if she wants to be a political leader, shouldn't she be taking the opportunity to show some leadership - and perhaps address the issue? Speaker Boehner, by comparison, came out nearly immediately & made the point that an attack on one member of Congress is an attack on all. Where's Palin?

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 11, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

" to lecture the nation on mutual respect "


After ALL the False Charges of Racism dating back to early 2008, and ALL the attacks on the Tea Party, HOW exactly would that be expected to work ???

The comparison to Bill Clinton


OK, there is a comparison. This situation is horrible. However, it isn't a bombing of a Federal bombing with over 168 killed, including a day care center with 19 children under the age of 6.


That much is different.


However, we are beginning to see a realization that "Obama is not Bill Clinton" Bill Clinton had special qualities that allowed him to get away with things.


The other thing - Bill Clinton was elected as a DLC moderate. The public viewed his straying toward the left in 93-94 as more of an aberration - rather than Bill Clinton "revealing his true nature."

Bill Clinton had a long history of governing a Southern State - and he had a long history in moderate democratic groups like the DLC.


So, the point is, for Bill Clinton to occupy the center is not much of a reach - it is exactly where everything thought Bill Clinton should be in the first place.


Obama has a radically different situation - he is perceived as hiding his true leftist nature. His 2008 campaign themes are widely regarded as a pack of lies.

Obama would have been well served if he spent the last two years building up his MODERATE credientials - and pushing moderation and compromise.


Only at that point, or in his next term if he had one, would he have built up enough confidence of the country - in order to pursue some leftist policies.


This is NOT a leftist country - so the liberal agenda people have a fundamental problem there.


_______________________

The point is that if Obama is going to jump on a plane to Arizona and start hugging people like Clinton, it really isn't going to fly.

It's just not going to work.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@NoVAHockey "banning or restricting speech is rarely the answer." Agreed 100% I'm not really too worried about this though...it's not going to happen by fiat...either we all agree to act civilly or we all bring our firearms to the teaparty.

BTW totally OT but I have to take a shot NoVAHockey....I'm a huge Lightning fan and I'm guessing..NoVA you're a Caps fan. We are finally able to give you guys a run and now that we've got Roleson we have goaltending...watch out Caps!!!!!!

@Clawrence...we ALL support the First Amendment..we are asking for "voluntary" cooperation or cooperation forced by the marketplace of low ratings for the hate mongers...I may be wrong but I haven't heard any calls yet for actual laws restricting speech.

Now your 2nd Amendment rights will be taking some heat but they're not going anywhere either. Worse case scenario...people will be asked to stop carrying around locked and loaded weapons at political rallies by the NRA as the right thing to do for "responsible" gun owners. Waving firearms around in public may be legal but it is in no way responsible.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Our beloved Rainforest was on a tear the other day/s about how the Left and/or Democrats was responsible for the tragedy in Tuscon. In fact, he said Greg was directly responsible and had blood on his keyboard on Sat. about an hour after this happened.
Rainforest, while deservedy an object of scorn here for various reasons, no doubt represents yet another side to this.


Haven't heard too much about far Right wingers using this as a cudgel.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 11, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, Obama doesn't get shot in Arizona too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@lmsince

As our ole bud Tena would have said about your 10:56 post WORD!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Blue Dogs

I seem to remember an incident with Senator Webb from Virginia


He was keeping a gun in his brief case - and then he supposedly forgot it was in there.

He gave the brief to an aide to bring back to the office - who actually put the brief onto the xray machine at the entrance to the Senate office building.


Do we hear about that?

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the response RUK. And thank you for speaking, for the most part, for yourself.

Sorry, but I simply disagree. The confirmational bias mentioned by QB2 is a live and well on all sides of the political spectrum. If you can't read the comments on this very thread and discern the machinations at work then I pity you. It is too bad too, you seem somewhat smarter and less dogmatic than Ethan, but I could be wrong.

you're tired of gun violence? Poor boy. So am I. I'm also tired of the sneering cynicism on the left but I recognize that this is the fatal flaw that makes the movement vulnerable to counter strokes.

I don't know anything about the interview you mention. I don't watch broadcast TV at all. We have a TV (a new development for me) but use it solely to watch what my wife calls "films". I call them "movies" but then I'm saddened deeply by the loss of Leslie Nielsen.

the game is afoot. The critics of the left see the moves being made and the counter strokes are starting to land. This is just not a good time for liberals. Their agenda was repudiated. They appear incapable of getting past anger and denial so that they can be more effective in the future. The results of strict adherence to liberal dogma has destroyed the economy and several institutions that are central to our prosperity.

So, the left goes back to the playbook. The question that is being asked by the nasty little kids commenting here is this:

What would Saul Alinsky do?

Remember, as Andy McCarthy points out, the left is a movement being lead by a man with a close personal relationship to known murderous terrorists. What was it Bill Ayers said? Oh, yeah: guilty as sin and as free as bird, what a country!"

Thank you for giving your political opponents an opportunity to once again expose your movement for what it is.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@ruk -- My family is originally from Pittsburgh -- Pens, Steelers and, ugh, Pirates. Wife is a Caps fan, though. That Stamkos kid is the real deal. Would love to see the bolts take the SE. Will always respect Malone. Took a puck to the face in the Finals and came back that for the OT.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Ryan-Malone-takes-a-puck-to-the-face?urn=nhl-85693

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 11, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

All, my response to George Will's smearing of Howard Dean today:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/george_will_smears_howard_dean.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 11, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"What's government when words have no meaning"


This is a clear reference to Obama's 2008 campaign themes - and Obama's failure to follow through on any of them.

- Bipartisanship, when Obama meets few times with the Republicans

- Compromise - when Obama is dumping 2,000 page bills on the internet in the middle of the night and the democrats calling votes on weekends and holidays

- Post-racial - what is post-racial when the majority party is leveling FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM at their political opponents, acting more like a third world dictatorship than anything else


- Transparency - do we have to mention the hidden file in Hawaii again?


"What's government when words have no meaning?"


I found that phrase at the end of one of videos posted on Politico, however I thought I heard a report on tv that the suspect said that phrase on Saturday.


I would like to confirm that - because it would be significant if the suspect used that phrase more than once - especially in the context of all the stuff the suspect has out there.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Kwevin, you seem like a very nice person but I must disagree strenuously with this:
=============
Well, I tend to suspect that's also a very poor choice of metaphor, but, okay, she shouldn't have said that.
=========================

why should anyone cede power to the haters on the left? Why should the left be rewarded for its arrogance by agreeing with their version of the thought police?

Are we to carefully couch every utterance such that they don't offend the tender sensibilities of ideologues like Ethan or cao or the likes of Mr Sargent or Mr Klein? Why should we?

The agenda here is clear: the left lost, they cannot deal with that fact and they are lashing out at every opportunity.

when the kids get beyond anger and denial and can take stock of the past election is a measured and mature manner I'll be more than willing to listen to their concerns.

Right now we're witnessing a ghastly display of petulance and I see no reason to accept any "limitiations" on the behavior of Americans they demand.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 11, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"What's government when words have no meaning"


This is a clear reference to Obama's 2008 campaign themes - and Obama's failure to follow through on any of them.

- Bipartisanship, when Obama meets few times with the Republicans

- Compromise - when Obama is dumping 2,000 page bills on the internet in the middle of the night and the democrats calling votes on weekends and holidays

- Post-racial - what is post-racial when the majority party is leveling FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM at their political opponents, acting more like a third world dictatorship than anything else


- Transparency - do we have to mention the hidden file in Hawaii again?


"What's government when words have no meaning?"


I found that phrase at the end of one of videos posted on Politico, however I thought I heard a report on tv that the suspect said that phrase on Saturday.


I would like to confirm that - because it would be significant if the suspect used that phrase more than once - especially in the context of all the stuff the suspect has out there.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@skip You're welcome. :-)

Sorry when you play the Saul Alinsky card (I have never read the man's work and ironically am only familiar with him because of the right's obsession with him...I have never heard anything about Alinsky from an actual lefty) you can count me out.

This is what is largely missing from the right...any self reflection with few obvious exceptions..people like Frum and Will...ohhh but they have educations and are intelligent..so that makes them elitests. I think back to my own "Tea Party" days which would have been in the late 60's when we were all agitating for peace...and in the middle of all that angst on sturm on the left John Lennon and the Beatle produce a great song that could fit today's Tea Party if only they'd open their eyes...
Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We'd all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We'd all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out….

You say you'll (change)* the constitution
Well you know
We'd all love to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of (Chairman Mao)**
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

* If you insert preserve ** insert Glen Beck you'd have a wonderful admonition for today's right taken from the Beatles admonition for the left back in the 60's.

I'm telling you...in the words of Yogi Berra it's deja vu all over again...only it's not the right misbehaving instead of the left...probably an expected shift of the pendulum..perhaps just another cyclical shift. When are grandkid are our age...it'll probably be back to the left misbehaving forcing the right to govern.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

lms,

What does the following mean?

"In other words there doesn't have to be a direct line, it could be a squiggly line for some people out there regardless of what the pundits, politicians, media and bloggers are saying."

Does it mean a "squiggly line" of causation in reality, or just the political perception of "some people," or something else?

Your c-f don't add up to anything logical. How does Gabby's complaining about the Palin map prove anything, other than that she joined in the crowd of people making something out of nothing? You seem to be saying something about political impact and perceptions, not the merits of the charge of conservative culpability. So I don't see how you escaped Glenn's charge, despite your characterization of it as a false choice between "direct" causation and political opportunism.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

All,

Here is my letter to the editor that I just sent to my local paper. Feel free to use and re-use around the country. I will be sending it out to a few other publications as well.... Here it is in two parts, pt 1:


I, like most Americans, was appalled at the tragic shooting of 20 people - including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords - at a public even in her congressional district in Arizona. First of all, I am sending my thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed and wounded, but particularly to Congresswoman Giffords and to the family of the 9 year old girl who was murdered, Christina Green.

While it is clear that the assassin was a deranged mass murderer, the killings did not happen in a vacuum. I have read about how her district was pushed to the point of extreme tension because of politics. I have read how her office was attacked and her life was threatened over her support for a certain bill in Congress. Does it matter what the topic was? Does any bill warrant such violent, over-the-top behavior?

The fact is, the people of not only that district, but of conservative and conservative-leaning districts all over the country, are enraged and inflamed literally to the point of violence. In addition to Congresswoman Giffords, there have been many other Democrats who have been targeted for attack and threats to their life and their families' lives. The reason for this hatred is in part the economy, yes, in part resistance to health care reform, yes, but it is largely a fabrication, a fraud. Republican politicians and pundits have twisted conservatives' fears into this state where hateful rhetoric has poisoned our country and poisoned any hope for healthy progress in the near future. There is no point in naming the names of those who are responsible for the rhetoric. We all know who they are.

I am writing today to make one specific request:

Republican politicians must, from now on, rapidly condemn incendiary rhetoric and violent imagery from members of their own party, be they elected officials, pundits, or party donors or activists.

Republican politicians take an oath of office to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.

In the 2010 elections, a Republican candidate suggested that there might need to be "Second Amendment Remedies" to "cure" problems from a political adversary. That person was seeking office to be one of only 100 votes in the U.S. Senate. In one advertisement another Republican put crosshairs -- what you might see looking through the scope of a rifle -- over Congresswoman Giffords' district, saying they will "aim" for her district. That person, despite her flagrantly irresponsible behavior, is considered a major presidential candidate for the Republican Party and a major figure in the Tea Party movement. One potential Chief of Staff for a different Tea Party candidate even suggested that if the ballot doesn't work, bullets will.

continued in pt 2...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

pt 2:

These are not examples of people who are participating in a democracy. These are examples of irresponsible people using intimidation and fear to attempt to force this country to meet their subjective requirements -- in other words, these people are examples of the very reasons why we have a Constitutionally-protected representative form of government in the first place.

This is not just a matter of rhetoric. This is a matter of responsibility. Republican politicians and activists need to show America that they are responsible not only for their own rhetoric, but rhetoric from anyone in the far right of their party. When a Fox News host or a radio shock jock uses violent and irresponsible rhetoric as a means for intimidating political opponents or forcing their will on a certain policy, every single Republican in America -- elected or otherwise -- has a duty to protect the institution of our government and our form of democracy by condemning these comments.

Elected leaders ought to be bringing people together to solve the major challenges in America. If one party wants higher taxes and the other wants lower taxes, the answer is to find the middle ground in a compromise, it is not to demonize the opposing view as evil. Our political leaders ought to bring out the best in all of us. And they ought to lead by example. Congresswoman Giffords was that force for good in America. Some of these irresponsible Republicans must learn from her works. I hope that some good will come of this tragic act of violence in Tucson. We are all Americans first. It's long past time when the general public demanded that Republicans rein in the fringe, reign in the violent rhetoric and join the rest of America in moving the country forward. And the only way they can do that is not only by calling for political civility, but by actively and rapidly condemning irresponsible and violent rhetoric coming from Republican or Tea Party politicians, pundits, and activists.

Thank you sincerely for publishing my comments.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Imagine if Palin said something like, "those cross hairs were only meant metaphorically and everyone knows that. But, they given what has happened, I regret them and will be more careful in the future not to use gun-related or violence-related metaphors in politics. There are some mentally disturbed people in the world and that sort of thing may send them over the edge. For all of our safety, I don't want to risk it." Would she be applauded by her supporters or rejected by them? I honestly don't know.

For Obama, my guess is that he'll ask each of us to be introspective on this trajedy.

For the poll, a slight rephrasing of the question would help. Replace "cause" with "contribute to;" did today's political climate contribute to the tragedy? Did the legal availability of multi-round bullet clips contribute to the tragedy? Did lack of mental health treatment availability contribute to the tragedy? etc. I bed the public agrees with me that this was caused by a little of a lot of things.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | January 11, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Sorry when you play the Saul Alinsky card (I have never read the man's work and ironically am only familiar with him because of the right's obsession with him...I have never heard anything about Alinsky from an actual lefty) you can count me out."

Ruk, not to worry, Barack and his helpers did their homework well. You just need to do whtat they tell you.

Btw, your response to skip: let's not be disingenuous here. No one has indicted Sarah???? Her "hate" speech? Have you ever actually listend to the woman? I gather not. I think you are losing your balance again.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Q.B. "How does Gabby's complaining about the Palin map prove anything, other than that she joined in the crowd of people making something out of nothing?"


We've agreed there is probably no straight line correlation between this shooting and Palin's website...but you have no evidence to make that statement anymore than we do blaming on Palin. You cannot prove she made something out of nothing....It's your turn Q.B to put up or just let it go.

I'd like to see your scientific research that PROVES there is no causal relation between violent rhetoric and violence.
Perhaps shrink has some research to support your claims that words and poorly chosen violent metaphors have no effect on society. Or perhaps this was just your HO.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

matt_ahrens, rejected.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@matt

"Replace "cause" with "contribute to;" did today's political climate contribute to the tragedy? Did the legal availability of multi-round bullet clips contribute to the tragedy? Did lack of mental health treatment availability contribute to the tragedy? etc. I bed the public agrees with me that this was caused by a little of a lot of things."

Bingo. Well said wish we all had been making that distinction all along because as you accurately point out Matt there is a world of difference in "cause" and "contribute".

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"I'd like to see your scientific research that PROVES there is no causal relation between violent rhetoric and violence."

That's basically the "magic bullet" theory of media consumption. It was discredited in the 40s. It assumes a helpless audience that soaks up whatever is thrown at it.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 11, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@skip: "why should anyone cede power to the haters on the left? Why should the left be rewarded for its arrogance by agreeing with their version of the thought police?"

Well, I'd hope I'm not ceding power to the haters on the left. That being said, dialog does seem to take a little bit of give and take, and I make an earnest effort to see it from their point of view. Given the context, helpfully provided by QB, I have a hard time seeing that quote as anything but something intentionally taken-out-of-context quote to make it seem like Bachman was saying something she was not. In which case, I agree with your strenuous disagreement.

If she had been saying what Ruk thinks she was saying--then I can see why he'd object, and I think he's sincere in his concern. It wouldn't be a completely illegitimate point. That's my point of view.

It's me belief that folks on the right and the left are mostly sincere actors with sincere beliefs and have given their positions sufficient thought to be confident in their convictions. As opposed as we often are, I don't think folks are "haters" just because they disagree with me and choose to express it in language that might be called hatespeech, from a Republican. ;)

Part of my point it that folks on the right and the left both tend to think there are good reasons for their use of quasi-violent rhetoric, while, on the other side, it's much worse, and there's no justification, and it's totally different, and besides, they're Republicans (or Democrats). I think a lot of our disagreements are the product of a trick of perspective, and that sometimes an effort at understanding, before judging, can lead to honest communication. Not often, but it happens.

Certainly, I find that when I run into most liberals and I try to really listen, and communicate, and expresses my disagreements without calling names, and so on, they can actually be very nice people. Same with more conservative folks. I find that neither group actually matches their stereotypes very well, in practice, so I try (as much as I can) to come at the interaction with an open mind, not just to prove the other person wrong.

This may not be a very good explanation. Let me put it this way: I think we have more in common than we think, but we get very focused on the areas of our disagreement, and let them distort our perspectives until no communication or compromise is possible. That is, because we disagree on an important fundamental point--how much of your income should be yours, lets say, and how much should be appropriated to the public good (which provides important infrastructure, some of which helps make the earning of incomes possible)--we focus on that, and then everything else we disagree with, and assume we disagree with each other when we don't, and . . . Well, to each their own, I just want to try something a little bit different. I'm not conceding to the haters, but I'm willing to concede for the sake of (non) argument, so I can understand.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, do you at least concede that people who hate Palin with a passion are "haters"?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@cao: "Kevin, sometimes I think you're an insightful and thoughtful contributor to this blog."

That is so me.

"Other times I think you're just another guy who likes to make cheap shots and sees all this as some sort of no-rules bloodsport."

That's me, too. I'm complicated. Well, I don't know if I'd use the violence-tinged, highly-inflammatory language "no-rules bloodsport", but I take your meaning, I think.

But, Cao, it's just hyperbole. Thus, I Get Out of Jail Free and don't have to bear any accountability for my own ill chosen words. ;)

"Wish I could say the trend is going one way or the other but it really isn't."

This is the story of my life, alas.

"I'm not mocking you, I'm not doing like quarterback and Brigade do, so, really, I don't get it."

There are only so many hours in a day, sometimes a point is best made (or will be made the best I can make it), with an arched eyebrow. Sometimes it seems more clever or profound when I'm writing it than it does when I read it a few minutes later.

"Any chance you could let the chips fall on the thoughtful side a little more often?"

Well, I certainly hope so. What that means to you and to me may be different things, however.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

"How many people are threatening you with gun violence on the right, really?"

I have, personally, been threated gun violence twice in the past couple years due to my political views. Once while campaigning for then-candidate Obama, and once since during the HCR "debate".

I have, personally, been threatened with physical violence probably 15-20 times in that same time period, over a mulitude of issues.

These were ALL coming form the right, at me on the left, even on subjects where I have a slightly more conservative view (I do have them). And these weren't passing phrases like "you need to get your a** kicked" or something of that nature...I'm talking direct threats against my health and well being.

I speak my mind a lot, and am generally as passionate (ie blunt/rude) in person as online. So I understand my interactions might be higher than others. But 2 gun threats and a dozen or two physical threats is a lot in about 3 years, even in absolute terms. They all come from the right. They almost all stemmed from the person fully believing things that were provably false.

You may not experience that kind of hatred and violence while discussing politics for two reasons. First, your a conservative, so you're not immediately viewed as a traitorous threat to the country no matter your actual views are. So even if you don't fully agree with the far-right, you aren't treated as a mortal enemy. Second, you argue with a generation of liberals which generally more anti-violence than liberals in the past.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

So, if Sarah Palin is not to blame, what's the problem?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

---

A clip with 30+ bullets in it. I'd love to hear the sportsman's defense for that. The decision to let the assault weapon ban expire added considerably to the tragedy of the weekend. That clip was illegal in 2004.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 11, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@claw: "Kevin, do you at least concede that people who hate Palin with a passion are 'haters'?"

In that regards, assuming they do, then, by definition, they would be haters. Of Sarah Palin. But they might love fuzzy kittens. And their hatred of Palin might have more to do with preconceptipons or false associations or . . . what good does it do me to call them "haters", unless I'm just funnin', anyway?

There are other things to talk about, anyway.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade, I'm not a sportsman, but if there are multiple, armed bad guys coming after me, my family (or even BBQChickenMadness, for that matter), I'd much rather have one 30-round clip than three standard clips.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "Second, you argue with a generation of liberals which generally more anti-violence than liberals in the past."

And I may just not get out enough. Hope any legitimate threats of violence to you were dealt with appropriately. That's entirely illegitimate, sorry that happened to you, and it's both clearly illegal and morally wrong.

Just to be clear. As Abraham Lincoln (the proto-Republican) himself said, the ballot is more powerful than the bullet.

We should address our grievances at the ballot box, and abide by the results. If someone cannot, then he should move to Vietnam. ;)

Or, you know, somewhere.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"That clip was illegal in 2004."

No, actually it wasn't. New manufacture and sale might have been.

And your claim is just speculation.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin Excellent post at 11:46AM

"Let me put it this way: I think we have more in common than we think, but we get very focused on the areas of our disagreement, and let them distort our perspectives until no communication or compromise is possible."

I agree 100% with that statement, especially the more in common...regardless of political rhetoric from either side we are ALL still Americans. \

Your statement however begs a question.
Why do you think this is? Is it simply human nature, or are there people profiting from our differences...either electorally or ratings wise. Are some folks(right and left) literally making $$
from our fear and our disagreements? And if so do they represent any danger to our society?

IMHO I think human nature is a funny thing...again shrink where are you when we need you...experientially though I have come to believe a couple of things.

First a crowd's behavior is totally different than an individual. People you might really enjoy getting to know may be beet red in the face and frothing at the mouth as they curse you from their crowd, or as you have called it Kevin their tribe.

Secondly...I am an extreme when it comes to being a mirror. I tend to return whatever is sent my way...alas I'm trying to break the habit of returning the negativity and try to concentrate on the positive...ahhh but human nature makes that tough. I think most people basically respond to what is directed at them...as you correctly point out...call them haters and they have one response...say you respectfully disagree with them they have another...and shock of shocks...they might even listen to your position and actually accept a point or two.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, for starters, the true haters are much more likely to physically attack her and/or her family. If we are going to abide by the left's logic, for a moment, that would mean those inciting violence AGAINST Palin should be arrested too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 11, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@clawlawrence12 - If there are multiple armed bad guys coming after you, you're probably toast. As I stated in a previous thread, the hypothetical armed citizen (HAC) taking down the bad guys is a fantasy better suited for 24 or the A Team than real life.

@QB - Correction noted. Sale of said clip was illegal prior to 2004. My comment is not speculative. The moment he tried to reload, a wounded lady grabbed the clip and he was tackled. It's very simple. With a standard clip, he would have had to reload many times to shoot that many people. As you are being deliberately obtuse, there's no point in further discussion.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 11, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Leftists and Democrats want us to focus on the (alleged) "right-wing extremism" rather than the Leftist shooters discipleship with Obama mentor, Bill Ayers. Maybe they should start with condemning President Obama, the Extremist-in-Chief.
http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/did-barack-obama-cause-the-shootings-yesterday-in-tucson

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

If Leftists really want to consider the atmosphere of violent language, they should start at the White House.

BREAKING: AZ Shooter is Leftist-terrorist Bill Ayers disciple
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=249429#ixzz1AfFPHymn

"Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in Saturday's Arizona shooting, attended a high school that is part of a network in which teachers are trained and provided resources by a liberal group founded by Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and funded by President Obama..."

I eagerly await the MSM’s strong denunciation of Obama’s violent rhetoric.

Own him, Leftists. He's all yours.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"but you have no evidence to make that statement anymore than we do blaming on Palin. You cannot prove she made something out of nothing....It's your turn Q.B to put up or just let it go."

Tsk tsk. I'm not the one making an affirmative claim. You (collectively) are.

Moreover, the nature of your claim is one that is . . . a stretch. A huge stretch, from a run-of-the mill campaign map to shootings of 20 people by a psychotic.

And there is literally not a shred of factual evidence of any connection. All you have is that Giffords' district is on the target map. Her name and district appeared many other places, too, including the Dkos targe list. Where she was called "dead to me" a few days before she was shot.

A person making an extraordinary (and incendiary) claim needs to provide extraordinary proof. Not ask the doubters to disprove it.

Besides, you know, there's that problem of proving a negative.

"Replace "cause" with "contribute to;" did today's political climate contribute to the tragedy?"

Nice fuzzwords. In the legal world, we know them well. Most of the time, it turns out to be a way for a jury to say, well, there isn't any causal link here anyway, but we'd like to give this nice, injured person some money from this bad defendant, even if it would have happened anyway without any "contribution."

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"It's very simple. With a standard clip, he would have had to reload many times to shoot that many people. As you are being deliberately obtuse, there's no point in further discussion."

No, it isn't simple. It's just some assumptions you are making. Absent the larger clip, he could have brought 2 or 3 guns. He could have been smarter and changed clips out of reach. He might have changed them faster, or been better at deflecting the woman.

You're assuming the way it happened was inevitable. It wasn't.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@Q.B. "Moreover, the nature of your claim is one that is . . . a stretch. A huge stretch, from a run-of-the mill campaign map to shootings of 20 people by a psychotic."

No one has made that claim but you insist on throwing it out there. Matt put the entire thing in perspective...cause is not the same as contribute. There are a variety of reasons for this shooting with a whole lot of investigation still uncompleted...the shooter hasn't even starting talking yet...perhaps he will in the future...interviews with his parents are just getting underway etc...

But you are missing the entire point of this discussion Q.B in a classic inability to see the forest for the trees. Stop focusing on the tree of Sarah Palin and this specific shooting...again it's not the only shooting and it didn't occur in a vacuum...she didn't commit the murder...she certainly is not solely responsible for the invective and nasty dialogue and yes that includes the occasional lefty like Grayson. But many view her as a PART of a larger problem.

For whatever reason Palin is one of the most divisive politicians of my lifetime...you can toss your Pelosi response or Hillary but even Pelosi's negatives are not as high as Palins and of course Hillary blows Palin off the map in any favorable/unfavorable competition. So she is attracting the heat....but most of all it is that stark video of the victim requesting Palin to take it down and saying at the end..."words have consequences" The optics are simply too strong. A popular beloved victim asking for a little relief...a person 50% of this nation views with disdain who did a crude thing by keeping the rifle cross hairs up even thought there was an uproar at the time. If they were appropriate why did they suddenly jerk them off the website after the shooting.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: "Why do you think this is? Is it simply human nature, or are there people profiting from our differences...either electorally or ratings wise. Are some folks(right and left) literally making $$
from our fear and our disagreements?"

That's not an either/or. It's a yes to all of the above. :)

As to what's to be done . . . that's quite a bit trickier. Unforeseen consequences and all that.

So, how are you enjoying that WaPo Troll Hunter?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 "I hope Obama gives an uplifting speech like his 2004 DNC speech about how there is not a Red America and a Blue America, but a United States of America."

Interesting wish. My general impression, based on your commentary here is that you loathe and despise all Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Partiers and "Red American" in general.

More significantly, such a speech would fall flat now, because there is little evidence that based on how Obama governs he will be able to bridge the fundamental divides in American politics as he once promised. Much like George W. Bush before him ("a uniter, not a divider") given the choice between enacting his agenda or building bipartisan consensus, he chose the former.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 11, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

qb

Sorry not to answer your question earlier. My a) thru f) was more of a stream of consciousness thing of the sort of thoughts that pass through people's minds when something like the Arizona shooting occurs. We talk to about 20 or 30 people across the nation everyday and some of them have known my husband for 20-30 years and me for the last 10. They say things to us and while we mostly just listen, they're our customers after all so we don't want to disagree with them, those were just a few of the opinions we heard yesterday. Most people don't think in linear terms and even hold conflicting thoughts in their minds at the same time and not even realize it.

Their is an edginess to the political discourse that people don't seem to like, at least some of them, whether it's justified or not is a matter of opinion.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 11, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"My general impression, based on your commentary here is that you loathe and despise all Republicans, Conservatives, Tea Partiers and "Red American" in general."

I loathe and despise Republicans, etc, who are intransigent ideologues and who demean our government and our political discourse. I applaud Republicans who come to the table seeking common ground. It's just that there's way more of the ideologues now than there are of the "moderates."

"such a speech would fall flat now, because there is little evidence that based on how Obama governs he will be able to bridge the fundamental divides in American politics as he once promised"

That might be the case, but by coming out with that kind of One America rhetoric, President Obama would put the onus for compromise squarely on the GOP. I think it is not only a positive for Obama politically, but it is the right sentiment, imho, for this period of tumult. We need to heal. By doing his part in this speech, Obama will not only actively participate in the healing of America, but will exemplify the humility and civility of leadership that is so clearly lacking in the GOP.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A great comment on Gene's chat today:

Q. I want all the gun zealots (as opposed to responsible firearms owners) to realize this point: For all their ranting about guns making us safer: and defending yourself, this massacre was NOT stopped by a citizen with a gun. Arizona was some of the most lenient guns laws in the country; citizens can open or conceal carry without a permit, and NO 2nd amendment hero pulled his 2nd amendment tool out from his holster to end this attack. This murderous rampage was ended when people grabbed a magazine out of the hands of an active shooter before he could reload another high capacity magazine. The myth of "if only if more people had guns we'd be safer" was destroyed, as it is with every mass shooting that has occurred in this country.

---

Incidentally, there WAS someone nearby who had a gun. He thought that the person who had wrested the gun from the shooter might have been the shooter. The myth is exposed.

I do congratulate QB for the most idiotic bit of imagery of the day. Someone having shot many people in broad daylight discretely changing clips while brave citizens swarm him. Or having a bandolier of guns. Grasping at straws.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 11, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Incidentally, there WAS someone nearby who had a gun. He thought that the person who had wrested the gun from the shooter might have been the shooter. The myth is exposed."

Just imagine if he'd shot the 61 year old woman, just one of the citizen heroes of the day, by mistake. I notice that Peter King is crafting legislation to make it illegal to bring a gun within a certain number of yards of public officials, such a Congressmen. Another Republican wants to put up some sort of bullet proof plexi-glass between the citizens and the Reps. Now that the worst has happened they want to protect themselves from the violence.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 11, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I was so overcome with sadness by this horrific crime that I decided to spend my Sunday making this :

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

Let me know what you think?
-Ryan Colpaart
Founder, Editor-In-Chief
Double Dutch Politics

Posted by: RyanC1384 | January 11, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

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