Outside of the personal tragedies which do not compare to the friends and families involved, though, I find the un-surprising rush to blame the shooting on "divisive politics", Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh ... both disturbing and pathetically laughable. It'd be funnier if it didn't actually work as well as it does. People read headlines that fit the narrative they hear over and over and just incorporate that into their reality. "Tea Partiers are violent".
One would think today's article from the New York Times' Mr. Nobel Lauriate Paul Krugman, "Climate of Hate" would finish stripping him of any credibility he had left with anyone. But it won't. In it, he quite unsubtly blames the shooting on the "climate" "created" by the "hate" supposedly marketed by Glenn Beck, Bill O'Rielly, and Rush Limbaugh -- the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin.
He ends it thus:
So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?Eliminationalist rhetoric. The bulk of the eliminationalism in the world has come from the Left, from the Socialist side of the aisle. The Bolshevics. Pol Pot. Che. Mao. Hitler (yes, Hitler, of the National Socialist German Worker's Party). Statist theory basically says you'll have to kill a certain portion of the population that won't go along with totalitarianism, and the statists have repeatedly put that into practice.
If Arizona promotes some real soul-searching, it could prove a turning point. If it doesn’t, Saturday’s atrocity will be just the beginning.
Please, point out the "eliminationalist rhetoric" coming from Limbaugh, O'Rielly, Beck, or Palin. And if you bring up "Don't Retreat, Reload" and Palin's target map, we're not playing that game. I won't even give you a "maybe" on that. You know and I know and everybody knows that these kinds of metaphors are used all the time in politics, and nobody but nobody but ab-so-freakin'-lutely nobody takes it seriously. The Democrats and their contignent in the media pretend to take it seriously in the hopes that they can make it appear that it is something to be taken seriously, but it is not -- and they know it, and we know it.
For further reading material on the subject, see here, here, and here. Just for starters.