by Michael Kinsley
Since the Tucson massacre, pleas
for “civility” have turned into accusations of incivility, and the
useful discussion of “civility” versus “vitriol” has turned into the
usual argument over competitive victimhood.
The vast right-wing conspiracy has played Obama like a violin.
What else is new?
And they’ve done a pretty good job
of messing with the heads of the liberal media as well. As a result,
anyone who even raises the issue of who might be responsible, or more
responsible, for the “atmosphere
of vitriol” in which we conduct our politics is guilty of contributing
to it. In just a few days, it has become
the height of political incorrectness to suggest there might be any
connection between the voices on
right-wing talk radio and the voices in Jared Lee Loughner’s head.
Republicans generally praised
Obama’s speech at the memorial service in which he took care
to absolve conservatives of
any special responsibility for the tone of the political debate.
of course he did.
His primary goal, it seems, is to keep the Republicans happy.
praised the speech, too. So did the editorial pages. Why not? It had
been practically dictated
to him by every voice speaking out in the previous week. Given Obama’s
conciliatory nature and the
rhetorical beating he has been taking lately, the opportunity to earn
some “bring us together” points was irresistible.
How can one be conciliatory to
Any decision to put politics aside is inevitably political. A
politician will put politics aside when
it is politically helpful to do so. Obama clearly made the right call,
under the circumstances.
His poll numbers are already up. He is a statesman again, for the
moment. But the circumstances
were created largely by the political instincts of his political
enemies, who are no less his enemies
than they were a week ago.
No, you have that wrong, Michael.
Bitch and Boner are Obama's friends and
Even more remarkably, in the past
week, the question of whether an assassination attempt on
a member of the United States Congress might have had anything to do
with politics has been
mocked into oblivion.
Obama agreed with that when he absolved the Republicans of any blame.
Well, let’s see. The dominant theme
of Loughner’s ravings was suspicion of the government.
He apparently didn’t believe in paper money and thought only gold has
So, he listens to Glenn Beck a lot - no way we can blame
the Republicans, tho.
All they've done is scream, "Obama
and the Democrats are destroying America."
No harm there...
No one is suggesting that one of
those voices in the assassin’s head was John Boehner’s cigarette
growl or that Loughner had even heard of Sarah Palin when he started
saying nutty, paranoid things.
Who thinks the AZ shooter got
his "I hate
the government" crap from a Democrat?
The suggestion is that we live in a
political atmosphere in which nutty views (Obama isn’t a US citizen.)
and alarming rhetoric (“Second Amendment remedies”) are widespread and
often go unrebutted.
a FACT that those nutty-ass assertions go unrebutted because the
Democrats can't be bothered.
Democrats would rather lose their senate and House seats than be
bothered to fight for them.
The suggestion, finally, is that
the right is largely responsible for a political atmosphere in which
extreme thoughts are more likely to take root and flower.
But all of this is now too uncivil to bring up. So wherever could
Loughner have gotten his
paranoid contempt for government? Who told him that the government was
all-powerful “other” determined to control and ruin his life?
Official answer: He’s crazy! What
more do you need to know?
There's something that nobody has said
yet - he shot up a crowd of
If this wasn't a political shooting, why didn't he shoot up a McDonalds
He went out of his way to shoot the Demo Represetative and anyone who
so I wish people would stop saying "He was just a crazy man."
He was a crazy man who wanted to kills some liberals and he didn't
get that idea from the liars who say we're out to destroy America?
I knew right away that the Democrats would refuse to use the shooting
to their advantage.
That's the same old surrender-early-and-often Democrats I know so well.
They don't want to win "that way."
They don't want to win bad enough to work for it.
If victory knocks on the Democrats' door, they miiiiiiiiiiight answer it,
but they damn sure aren't going to get off the couch and work for
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