Americans are a fair-minded people. "Nearly six in 10 Americans say the country's heated political rhetoric is not to blame for the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS News poll.
Republicans are going to have to get their act together and make a successful appeal to Hispanic voters. Jeb Bush tells his party: "The good news is that in the Hispanic community, there is real opportunity. But conservatives have to commit to serious and sustained engagement. Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country and will continue to play an important role in future elections and the future of our country. This past election was a sign that the Hispanic community is willing to listen to a center-right message. The question now is whether the center-right movement is willing to listen to and engage the Hispanic community."
Arizonans (h/t The Corner) are not all that thrilled with Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. A local paper excoriates him tor using "the opportunities to blame Arizona's lax, new gun laws and, again, the angry 'rhetoric' of talk radio. The shootings were spurred, he suggested, by 'the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates.' Dupnik took up his cause again on Monday. And, in response, we have to say at last . . . enough. Enough attacks, sheriff. Enough vitriol. It is well past time for the sheriff of Pima County to get a grip on his emotions and remember his duty."
The sheriff's fans are going to be unhappy to learn that he's making conviction harder. Ex-prosecutor Andy McCarthy explains, "While I'm sure we're all very impressed with Sheriff Dupnik's thoughtful views on gun policy and right-wingers, his day job is law enforcement. A large element of that job is to maximize the chances that the guilty will be convicted (to say nothing of the duty to avoid prejudicing the jury pool). How does it help matters for him to be telling the media that, in his vast experience as an investigator, he has learned that we can never really know what motivates people to act? That motive evidence is sheer speculation? That in his opinion, Loughner is 'a very troubled personality' -- a statement that will surely be used by the defense to argue that even those running the investigation concluded that the defendant was insane?"
Opportunists of all stripes are running wild. Stephen Hayes reports, "There has been no shortage of individuals and institutions that have sought to capitalize on the shootings in Tucson. Add Vermont senator Bernie Sanders to that list. This afternoon Sanders sent out a fundraising appeal, seeking to raise money to fight Republicans and other 'right-wing reactionaries' responsible for the climate that led to the shooting."
Constitutonal dopes are everywhere. "Governor Lincoln Chafee doesn't plan to spend his own time on talk radio, and he intends to ban state employees from spending their state work time talking on talk radio, which was [former Governor Don] Carcieri's favorite medium and an integral part of his communications operation." Ben Smith ever-so-delicately asks, "Does this also mean he won't appear on television? Won't give quotes to newspapers? This doesn't sound entirely thought-through." Not even a tiny bit.
Civil libertarians are going to be miffed about William Galston's latest. The smart Democrat argues: "Starting in the 1970s, civil libertarians worked to eliminate involuntary commitment or, that failing, to raise the standards and burden of proof so high that few individuals would meet it. Important decisions by the Supreme Court and subordinate courts gave individuals new protections, including a constitutional right to refuse psychotropic medication. A few states have tried to push back in constitutionally acceptable ways, but efforts such as California's Laura's Law, designed to make it easier to force patients to take medication, have been stymied by civil rights concerns and lack of funding. We need legal reform to shift the balance in favor of protecting the community, especially against those who are armed and deranged." Read the whole thing.
| January 12, 2011; 7:30 AM ET
Categories: Morning Bits
Save & Share: Previous: Arizona memorial
Next: Tim Pawlenty Interview (Part 2) - does it help to be nice?
Posted by: randy1macon | January 12, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kbash33 | January 12, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MartinChuzzlewit | January 12, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: adam62 | January 12, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jennifer Rubin | January 12, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 54465446 | January 12, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: gord2 | January 12, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cavalier4 | January 12, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse