Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) gets it right: "We should always refrain from engaging in personal verbal attacks against those with whom we differ on important questions of the day. But we must also resist the temptation to assign blame to those with whom we differ for the acts of others. No expressed opinion, liberal or conservative, was to blame for Saturday's attack and we must resist efforts to suggest otherwise because to do so has the potential to inhibit freedom."
Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va.) gets it right as well, albeit in defense of his own shooting ad. "The act of a deranged madman who commits a horrific act should not and cannot be confused with a metaphor about a piece of legislation. I have never targeted an individual, and I never would. This tragedy, I hope, serves as call for common sense, and wake-up call that we should all come together with common purpose to do what is best for our country."
Jake Tapper gets the facts straight. "There's no evidence that the shooter even heard of Sarah Palin. And Palin aide Rebecca Mansour in a podcast interview says the image was not violent. . . .The shooter's motives remain unclear. One acquaintance from 2007 described him as liberal. . . . [W]e know from the investigation that the shooter's interest in Gabrielle Giffords, Congresswoman Giffords, ties back to 2007, three years before Palin's map."
Notice as the facts become more definitive, the left's rhetoric gets fuzzier. So now the right is only guilty of "creating an atmosphere" or "identifying targets," as an official from the Southern Poverty Law Center put it.
MoveOn.org gets into the act, giving new meaning to the word "chutzpah." Daily Caller reports: "Despite having a sordid history of using vitriolic rhetoric, George Soros-funded advocacy group MoveOn has seized upon the tragic shooting of Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and other attendees of a public event in Tucson Saturday as a means to go after 'overt and implied appeals to violence in our political debate.'"
George Will gets to the nub of it. "A characteristic of many contemporary minds is susceptibility to the superstition that all behavior can be traced to some diagnosable frame of mind that is a product of promptings from the social environment. From which flows a political doctrine: Given clever social engineering, society and people can be perfected. This supposedly is the path to progress. It actually is the crux of progressivism. And it is why there is a reflex to blame conservatives first."
Tom DeLay gets what he deserves -- 3 years in prison. No, this isn't the "criminalization of politics;" it's a pol getting caught for a crime.
Jonathan Cohn gets to maybe the only real lesson here. "After a major disaster, like an airliner crash or terrorist incident, we conduct thorough investigations to determine what caused the tragedy and how we might avoid another one like it. This occasion calls for a similar response. We may never know whether a better mental health care system would have averted this massacre. But we can be sure that it would avert some future ones." Maybe someone should ask the ACLU about its role in forcing deinstitutionalization (i.e. "dumping") of mental health patients.
A professor (students be warned!) gets tangled up in his Palin Derangement Syndrome. "I don't know if Palin needs to offer a broader explanation for her brand of confrontational politics, or even an apology. On the other hand, I do not think that Palin is owed an apology." Because all she was accused of was instigating a murder, you know.
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