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It's understandable that the Tea Party is trying its best to deflect any blame for the massacre in Tucson and the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords. And it is understandable if, in their desperation, they might be driven to ridiculous excuses and spin on the level of Sarah Palin's "surveyor marks" excuse.

But I guess the heat is getting to the Tea Party, because they are really going off the deep end in their rhetroric. Consider Tea Party Patriots leader Mark Meckler, who had this to say:

Overwhelmed by criticism of the right over the Arizona shooting in recent days, Tea Party Patriots Mark Meckler can barely control his anger.

"To see the left exploit this for political advantage - some people have no conscience," Meckler said over the phone. "It's genuinely revolting...I think it sinks to the level of evil."

Added Meckler: "if these scumbags want to play it politically, let it be on their conscience."

Yikes. Talk about a "HULK SMASH!" outburst.

Meckler wasn't done with the rampant victimhood either, pointing the finger at MSNBC for their coverage:

"Honestly, I guess I had more faith in humanity than to believe they'd politicize a tragedy of this magnitude," he said.  "They've been trying for two years to use any smear they can to damage the movement taking place on the right."

I guess we don't need to ask what he thought of Keith Olbermann's special comment.

And Meckler's not alone. Tea Party Express leader Sal Russo on (gee, what a shock) Fox News today had a similar outburst, describing the attempt to blame the Tea Party as "revolting and disgusting:"

Sal Russo, the leader of the Tea Party Express, said on Fox News today that shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner "was obviously a leftist. He admired Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. These are not volumes that are popular with the Tea Party so he was obviously a left-wing anarchist, he was probably anti-Semitic."

Ah yes, the "he must be a leftist!" defense that some on the right are grasping to like a drowing man to a life preserver. Yeah, because there are no anti-Semites on the right or anything. (And when did Mein Kampf become a leftist screed? Hitler would roll over in his grave to be associated with those filthy commies.)

Russo also didn't like Hillary Clinton calling Loughner an "extremist" earlier:

"I think it is a sad commentary," Russo said, "when you try to use an isolated criminal element, of somebody who is obviously mentally disturbed and suggest that there is some society problem of extremism here. We don't have that kind of extremism."

Okay, Mr. Russo, either you have the biggest case of denial since Lois Griffin refused to believe her brother was the Fat Guy Strangler or you really need to take a closer look at your members again.

None of this is really surprising. It's what the right did after Oklahoma City and they're doing it again. Instead of maybe stepping back and rethinking their rhetoric and accepting that they might be at least partly responsible for the toxic political climate that spawns such tragedy, they retreat into denials and hysterical accusations of "you're playing the blame game!" In doing so, they reveal two things about themselves:

1: They are moral cowards who never take responsibility for anything.

2: No matter what, in their eyes, they are always the victims.

I take comfort from these actions, however, because it shows they're scared and desperate to deflect any blame from themselves. They're on the run, so keep up the pressure on them.

Originally posted to gf120581 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM PST.

Poll

How much blame does the Tea Party shoulder from this tragedy?

15%81 votes
31%165 votes
36%193 votes
3%17 votes
5%29 votes
7%38 votes
0%1 votes

| 524 votes | Vote | Results

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