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More ‘Old Ladies’ Blame Palin, Tea Party

Thankfully, in addition to Hillary another child of the glorious sixties has favored us with her deep thought on who is to blame for the shootings in Tucson.

From Twitter, via Newsbusters:

And speaking of old ladies, here are the musings from that paragon of (ahem) sweetness and light, Paul Krugman, via the New York Times:

Climate of Hate

By PAUL KRUGMAN
January 9, 2011

When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign. I remembered the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — an upsurge that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And you could see, just by watching the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies, that it was ready to happen again. The Department of Homeland Security reached the same conclusion: in April 2009 an internal report warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise, with a growing potential for violence.

Conservatives denounced that report. But there has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats and vandalism aimed at elected officials, including both Judge John Roll, who was killed Saturday, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords. One of these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And now someone has.

It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

That is, as long as Mr. Krugman and the rest of the professional left can bend this tragedy to their purpose.

Last spring Politico.com reported on a surge in threats against members of Congress, which were already up by 300 percent. A number of the people making those threats had a history of mental illness — but something about the current state of America has been causing far more disturbed people than before to act out their illness by threatening, or actually engaging in, political violence.

And there’s not much question what has changed. As Clarence Dupnik, the sheriff responsible for dealing with the Arizona shootings, put it, it’s “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.

It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility,” the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.

The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.

And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.

This sounds practically scatological. But exactly who do we know who has used "eliminationist rhetoric"?

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

We would think this is grounds for a libel suit.

Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.

But even if hate is what many want to hear, that doesn’t excuse those who pander to that desire. They should be shunned by all decent people.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening: the purveyors of hate have been treated with respect, even deference, by the G.O.P. establishment. As David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter, has put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox.”

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?

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.

Since there is not one scintella of evidence that Mr. Loughner acted because of anything he heard on the radio, exactly who is stirring up the hate, Mr. Krugman?

It seems to us that it is Mr. Krugman who is putting a target on people’s backs. It is Mr. Krugman who is trying to whip up a backlash — against perfectly innocent commentators.

But did you honestly expect anything different from the great man?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 9th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “More ‘Old Ladies’ Blame Palin, Tea Party”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Again, for a great synopsis of who’s brought the rhetoric of hate to an all-time high, check out Michelle Malkin’s site. She has a lengthy article today that goes chapter and verse back to W’s time in office and farther. Quite illuminating.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Hanoi Jane Fonda……….

    Never mind……I can not for the life of me keep this clean.

  3. Moose Breath says:

    The intellectual Mr. Krugman can grasp no ideological distinction between Bachmann, Beck and O’Reilly? And he thinks that O’Reilly is more extreme than MSNBC loons?

    He’s either an idiot or a liar. Or a little of both.

  4. proreason says:

    I wonder if little Paulie doesn’t harbor some violent tendencies himself. He’s the type.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Sometimes I think the only thing that seperates delusional, hate-filled sociopaths in the Ruling Class from violent ones in the Peasant Class is that those in the Aristocracy have the power to rage and destroy through means other than violence. Because you’re right, the behavioral psychology is the same, the beliefs and motivations are similar. The Ruling Class variety are just more literate actors.

    • Right of the People says:

      Fortunately he’s too short to reach the ammo drawer. Now if he gets himself a step stool we’re all in trouble.

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    These same shallow and disgusting “celebs” likely wouldn’t have been able to hold their delight if it had been Palin who’d been shot ‘stead of the Congresswoman. The claim would’ve been then, that she had brought it on upon herself. People of this ilk are shameless.

    God’s love and peace to the victims and their loved ones!

  6. untrainable says:

    Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?

    Gee Paul, are you talking about Arizona, or Fort Hood Texas. Seems that the media attributed a muslim screaming “Allah Akbar” while shooting innocent soldiers as the mere act of a deranged individual while simultaneously ignoring his associations with known terrorist sympathizers and terrorists. Was that because of talk radio, or because of religious fanaticism run amok? Meanwhile our illustrious president patronized to us that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Where is this thoughtful Oblamer now? Beer summiting?

    The typical defensive deflection of a deranged libwit. Accuse your enemies of doing what you do while pretending to be pure as the driven snow. Give me a break.


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