Were on Sarah Palins targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted, were in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, theyve got to realize that there are consequences to that action. - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
I noted the other day that too many liberals, myself included, wrongly jumped to the conclusion that Jared Loughner was probably a right-wing nut, even though, as I wrote, it was a reasonable conclusion, considering the hysterical, violence-tinged noises heard from the rights fringes, especially in Arizona. Its pretty obvious at this point that Loughner is simply someone, as one of his teachers put it, whose brains are scrambled, but the categorization of the rights rhetoric as nasty and often violence-tinged, is still very, very valid.
Consider reactions to Pres. Obamas speech last night. As expected, Obama spoke at a gathering in Tucson in which he called for more civility in Americas public discourse. Today, as I fully expected, right-wing blogs are filled with hate for Obama, all those godless liberals and, for good measure, those who dont think Sarah Palin is a goddess.
The RedState sites piece on the speech, by the usually zealous Erick Erickson, was relatively restrained until it veered into a weird fantasy about some Media Matters reader who even now is dreaming of killing Sarah Palin. In RedStates comments section, youll find nothing but the usual angry bitching, and even a complaint or two that since Giffords is not dead, there shouldnt have been such an over the top event, and that, in any case, she doesnt deserve the kind of praise Obama gave her. On the FoxNation site, the story about Obamas speech pleading for more civility was headlined Obama Distances Himself From Loons on the Left.
And that follows yesterdays defensive attack by Palin on those who dared think the gun crosshairs on her map might be provocative a speech in which she blundered into using the term blood libel, associated since the Middle Ages with anti-Semitism. Palin cant help it, though, she was just repeating a phrase shed picked up from one of her favorite ventriloquists, the Wall Street Journal.
Im still waiting to see if anyone anyone at all on the right will even acknowledge that there may be just a teensy problem with their movements pissed-off-at-the-modern-world, spittle-spraying rhetoric. I dont think I need to wait any longer for the answer, though, if todays reactions are any indication. As weve said before, self-awareness hasnt exactly been one of the rights strong suits.
Take, for example, our old friend Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), of terrorist anchor babies fame, who said yesterday that he thought the government could be withholding information about the Arizona shootings because Jared Loughner is a Marxist who might upset Obamas political plans.
Or how about Tucson Tea Party co-founder Trent Humphries, who said that if Giffords was so concerned about violent rhetoric, then its her fault she was shot because she had no security whatsoever. Oh well, so much for the right dialing down its rhetoric. To quote Joni Mitchell out of context, Guess that was just a dream some of us had.