Unlike a lot of people here, i'm not going to jump up on a stump and blame anything that happened yesterday on Sarah Palin, Jan Brewer, Glenn Beck, Sharon Angle or Michele Bachmann.
Truth is, they had nothing to do with it.
This wasn't their fault. They didn't inspire or incite this kid to do anything. One honest and serious look at his Youtube Page and Videos shows that he was clearly on the verge of incoherence and suicide.
He doesn't site any of these people, he doesn't quote any of these people, he had his own issues. So I think it's completely unfair to tar them with this particular brush, but when it comes to their apparent Crocodile Tears over this tragedy, that's another story.
When I first looked at that page based on an ABCNews Tweet about 17 hours ago it had a total of 300 hits, now as of 7am PST, it's has over 900,000.
I think a lot more people need to take a look at Loughner's various social media pages where he repeatedly refers to himself in the past tense.
Schools:I attended school: Thornydale elementary,Tortolita Middle School, Mountain View Highschool, Northwest Aztec Middle College, and Pima Community
Interests:My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college!
Books:I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver's Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.
In one online statement he says "You could consider me a terrorist", but the definition of a terrorist is someone who commits violence in order to push forward a political agenda. But what exactly is this guy agenda?
So even though we are still fairly early in this situation, less than 24 hours after the incident, even though he does make an strange incoherent set of comments about the Constitution and the Gold Standard, I really don't see any political TEA PARTY red flags coming from Jared Loughner. Yes, even though Sarah Palin had Giffords in her Cross Hairs there's still no evidence YET that this guy took any heed of what she, or anyone else had to say about it. It could be as simple as the fact that Loughner happens to live in Giffords' district, and her public event that day was as good a spot as any for his impending implosion.
Again, It's simply not fair or responsible to blame this shooting on the Rhetoric of Republicans or the Tea Party without a concrete link of some kind.
To prove that point contrast Loughner's incoherence with this guy... who was intercepted by Police on his way to stage a gun attack on the ACLU and Tides Foundation.
Williams: And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence, he'll never do anything like, of this nature, but he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need.
Williams: Soros has got himself a little system where rich people can donate and remain anonymous
Williams: Beck is going to deny everything about a violent approach. He's going to deny conspiracies, but he'll give you everything you need to believe them. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that.
Beck: To the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter. And drive a stake through the heart of the blood suckers.
Let's recall that when this happened - WE DID NOT see Glenn Beck stand up and say "This is wrong, and I repudiate what this guy did and any connection to him". Let's recall what happened when Media Matters begged Sarah Palin to step forward and say something about this...
Brock: I"m going to personally call Sarah.
We all know the showman Glenn Beck and his Fox News bosses have no incentive to call a halt to this dangerous rhetoric and demonizing of enemies on their own. Recently addressing a NewsCorp shareholder who questioned whether Murdoch was comfortable with what Beck is doing on behalf of shareholders, Murdoch said that he does not agree with everything said on Fox, and called the channel "simply unstoppable." It appears, as suggested in various media reports in recent weeks about what a divisive figure Beck has become even within the company, that Beck can't be controlled either by Murdoch or Roger Ailes, who recruited Beck as part of his strategy to declare war on the Obama administration.
However, as one of Beck's biggest boosters, is a respected leader in the GOP and conservative movement, and Fox's own star contributor, we think Palin is well positioned to pull Beck back from his current course, to hold him accountable for his reckless words. Palin's credibility as a leader relies on more than just endorsing candidates and an uncanny knack for making headlines. It requires a moral compass she repeatedly says she possesses to make this country a better, safer place to live for all Americans.
And what did Sarah do? She went on Glenn Beck's Radio show and Laughed at David Brock...
BECK: Did you ever think you'd see the day, Sarah, when Media Matters would be calling you the only hope for America? I mean, that's incredible. It's sad. We were deciding-- We were trying to decide if it was laughable or kind of sad, pathetic, kind of like that smelly kid in third grade that everyone looked around and looked at and went, "That's kind of sad."
PALIN: Yeah, it's a little bit of both, I think. I see more humor it in though, and it shows, though, how pathetic their argument is that they would be that desperate as to reach out to me to say, you know, that you need to stop Glenn Beck, you know, you need to stop what they perceive as incitement to violence. Glenn, you know I abhor violence. I know you do. Hating war, hating civil war, and praying for peace, and wanting peace and freedom for our kids in a civil society. That is the mission here, is explaining to Americans what the threats are to our peace and to our opportunities and to our freedoms in America.
BECK: Sarah, I can't tell you how disappointed I am in you. I really - I thought you were going to take this moment to lead. I really did. But now, now Sarah -- and I want you to understand this -- now Media Matters is going to come out against you and they're not going to like you anymore. They like you so much, but now they're going to have to isolate you too. Oh boy.
PALIN: Yeah because here's the [inaudible] They were on my side.
Oh really? Sarah Palin: Princess of Peace?
You had your chance to stand up against rhetorical violence and you BLEW IT Sarah, instead you decided to choose sides and sarcastically argued that you weren't on the side of Media Matters when they asked for your help. You and Glenn did exactly what Byron Wlliams SAID you would do - which is to Play Dumb and Innocent. Your reaction here was to double-down on the rhetoric just like Mark William's did when the NAACP called out the Tea Party allowing Racism.
That didn't turn out so well for him.
Palin and Beck's response then was to Pour Rocket Fuel on the Bonfire so there's frankly no reason to expect that their real feelings are much different now. What I expect them to do is run away from any responsibility for this saying that any criticism of them is an "attack on their free speech and political activism", then turn around and blame the Left for the Shooting. (Both of which, at least for rank and file Tea Party, have already occurred).
Isn't it funny how the Tea Party loves and endorses Profiling the actions of few individuals within a group and assigning responsibility to everyone else in that group - until they themselves happen to be the group in question? In fact their reflexive blame shifting is so deep I'm expecting any minute that Andrew Breitbart is going to claim that the Shooting "Never Happened" because no one caught it on video tape, and offer $10,000 to anyone who can prove the Rep Giffords and 17 other people really did get shot!
So, as a result I think the really valid Criticism of Palin, Beck and the Tea Party isn't that they may have sparked this attack on Rep Gifford's yesterday with their words -- because IMO they didn't -- it's that their Crocodile Tears today after the fact ring hollow as an empty bass drum since they FAILED to respond to so many events over the past two years, a list of which I compiled just two months ago after NPR received a Bomb Threat in response to the firing of Juan Williams.
The other day a Moveon.org activist was viciously curb stomped by a Rand Paul campaign volunteer.
In July Byron Williams was arrested in a freeway police shootout, while on his way to stage a violent attack on the ACLU and Tides Foundation after Glenn Beck repeatedly argued they were "Evil".
A Pheonix Man was indicted for threatening to Kill Rep Raul Grijalva over his opposition to SB1070.
Charles Alan Wilson was arrested for threatening to Kill Senator Patty Murray in Washington State.
Members of the Right-Wing Hutaree Militia were arrested an charged for plotting to shoot, ambush and bomb police in order to begin an anti-Government "Civil War".
A man was arrested for phoning threats against Nancy Pelosi.
Phone threats were made against Rep Betsy Markley.
'better hope I don't run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.
Someone cut the propane gas line at Rep Tom Perriello's brothers home, which appeared to be attempted arson.
Death Threats were issued against Rep Bart Stupak for his support of Health Care Reform.
Pictures of a Noose were Faxed Rep. James Clyburn because of his HCR support.
A Brick was thrown through the window of the Democratic Headquaters in Rochester NY.
Another brick was thrown at Rep Louis Slaughter's office, and a phone message threatening a "Sniper'.
A window was shattered at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Office.
A envelope of White Powder was mail to Rep. Anthony Weiners Office with a threatening note about Health Care.
Packets of White Powder were also sent to Keith Olbermann, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Speaker Pelosi by Free Republic Poster, Ann Coulter & Michelle Malkin acolyte Chad Costanza.
Rep Steve Dreihaus received death threats and had his home address published by a right-wing blogger.
Bricks were thrown through the window of Wichita Country Democratic Office after a "Nationwide Call to vandalize Democratic Offices" was made by the former head of the Alabama Constitutional Militia.
Selfstyled "Christian bin Laden" and Army of God member Justin Moose threatened to Bomb Women's Health Clinics
Arson was committed at The Murfeeboro Tennesee Mosque constuction site.
Scott Reoder shot and killed Dr. George Tiller.
James Adkisson shot 5 and killed 2 "Liberals" at a Knoxville Unitarian Church, because he wanted to murder every person Bernard Goldberg said was "Destroying America".
Michael Enright slashed a cab drivers throat for being Muslim.
Joe Stack flew a plane into the Austin IRS Building
Richard Poplowski killed three police officers in Pittsburgh in a rage over Obama's supposed "anti-gun stance'
James Von Brunn killed security guard at the Holocaust Museum on his way to attack David Axelrod.
James Cummings attempted to build a Radiological Dirty Bomb in Maine to attack President Obama.
If would be fair to include the Death Threats against Eric Cantor in this list as well, but not as an example of violent "Left Wing" rhetoric - because that issue was about his failure to stop the Health Care Bill which most on the Left Support, or want to see strengthened. It's not like these guys are above a bit of political fratricide.
But where exactly was Sarah Palin and the Republican Tea Party when all this - including the threats against Cantor - happened?
They were here... as I said in my post about the NPR Bomb threat.
The default position for all Republicans on issues like this are to duck, dodge and deflect that blame - accuse the perpetrators of simply being "insane", and then blame the victims for bringing all of this on themselves.
Oh yeah, and they'll whine about being linked or blamed for any of these - even when people from their own political campaigns are committing assault. Sarah's history is that she condemned Rahm Emmanuel comments about "Retards", then defended Rush Limbaugh for saying essentially the same exact thing. She attacked David Letterman for "insensitive speech" but defended Dr. Laura for "Nigger NIgger Nigger Nigger"! She's shown that Glenn Beck could talk about curb stomping a baby seal in her front yard, and she'd happily volunteer to help hold it down.
Think the curb-stomping reference is over the top? Not long ago a Republican Strategist connected to Dick Morris and Fox News tweeted this about Media Matters
Aside from the fact a gentleman doesn't hit women, explain to me why the MMFA boys don't get curbstomped fortnightly?
This is who they truly are. That's how they really feel.
Meanwhile they Pretend to be this...
My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.
On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.
– Sarah Palin
Sorry Sarah, no sale - I'm not buying it. When you were specifically asked to come out against violence you made a mockery of it. You've already shown you don't give a damn what happens to Democrats in this country.
And from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer we get even more Crocodile Tears.
Governor Jan Brewer released this statement on the shooting:
All of Arizona is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that transpired this morning in Tucson.
I have been in contact throughout the morning with law enforcement officials, as well as Tucson mayor Bob Walkup, and just a short while ago I spoke personally with President Obama. The President conveyed his heartfelt sympathies for our State, and our shared determination to ensure that justice is fully served.
I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she is my friend. She has always been a noble public servant. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family, the Congresswoman’s staff and their families, and well as the other victims of this senseless and cruel violence.
Where exactly was all this heartfelt emotion when two citizens of her state died as a result of being DENIED DESPERATELY NEEDED TRANSPLANTS because of her decision to cut a tiny sliver of money from the Arizona Budget?
Brewer: I believe that the media has blown that totally completely out of proportion. It's an unfortunate thing that people have passed away, that the two people that have died, but I do believe that it wasn't because of the funding at this particular time,
Hmm... Boo hoo?
Also where the "heartfelt condolences" from Sarah Palin the Death Panel Queen when this was going on in Jan Brewer's Arizona?
Nothing but Crickets...
It's easy to well up tears when something horrible happens to someone you know and can identify with. It's easy to offer condolences to those you think are "worthy" of your compassion - what's hard to do, is to reach past all that and offer condolences and compassion to people who actually need it regardless of whether you find them sympathetic, or appealing or ON YOUR SIDE!. It's easy to have compassion for your friends, but not your "Enemies".
It's easy to say the right thing after it's too late, and hard to do it when it means something and counts.
Jan? Sarah? Tea Party? It's too late.