Did liberals like Congressman Raul Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, Markos, Moulitsas, and Andrew Sullivan speak too soon for the sake of hoping that the Tucson shooter could have had a tea party or a right of center affiliation? From all of their statements today, both said and written, it sure seems like it.
“It is hard because you’re in the middle of shock but at the same time you have to as members of Congress, our speaker, our leadership has to understand that the tone and tenor of what we say as elected officials and how we debate, and how that discourse happens has to contribute to a place where it is civil it is human and it is protective of each other,” said Congressman Grijalva.
Mr. Grijalva made these remarks during a CNN interview at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, when conficting reports about fellow Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabriel Giffords were being broadcasted. The Arizona Congressman was brought on to discuss the political ramifications of the shooting of not only Ms. Giffords but also more than a dozen others (at least 5 of whom have died).
“There is a lesson to be learned, and it’s a horrible lesson, and it is that people listen to us. We need to set the example. That we can disagree in a way that is not mean spirited, hateful and so full of anger that people feel that they have some sort of permission to treat their elected officials as fodder. I don’t think that’s the way it should be. So, the lesson to be learned is that what we say matters and how we say it matters, and how act it absolutely matters.”
Before much was known about Ms. Giffords’s condition following the shooting at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson on Saturday, some liberals took it upon themselves to assume the shooter’s motive, political affiliation, and that Sarah Palin’s political graphic somehow encouraged the shooter to go on a rampage at a shopping center this weekend.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan immediately tied in former Republican Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to the Arizona shooter’s motive. In a Saturday 2:46 PM post, he writes:
When a congresswoman is shot in the head in the very act of democracy, we should all pause. This is fundamentally not a partisan issue and should not be. Acts of violence against political figures destroy democracy itself, for both parties. We don’t know who tried to kill congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (she appears to be still alive) and we should be very cautious in drawing any conclusions yet about why. But we can know that, whoever tried to kill her and for whatever reason, political rhetoric involving words like “target” and “gun-sights” is inherently irresponsible.
Nevermind the fact that Democrats used similar imagery to describe districts they were looking to be competitive in during the 2004 campaign.
The Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas hit Twitter at around 2pm making such statements like:
If Palin’s crosshair effort was excusable, why has her PAC scrubbed her site of that page?
Arizona sheriff investigating assassination went on rant about right-wing hate radio rhetoric. He shouldn’t have gone there?
How dare people “politicize” a political assassination!
F***ing American Taliban
Sharron Angle’s first amendment remedies, in action. That rhetoric MATTERS.
Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin,http://is.gd/knNgl
However, Twitter followers began to point out to Mr. Moulitsas that a Daily Kos blogger by the name of “Blue Boy” posted a blog on Thursday on Mr. Moulitsas’s website with the headline: “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!”
The headline was referring to Ms. Giffords’s vote against now Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, for Speaker of the House. Rep. Giffords instead voted for Democratic Georgia Congressman John Lewis. After Mr. Moulitsas was bombarded about this blog on Twitter, the blog disappeared and so did a number of Tweets from @Markos for a number of hours, when the alleged shooter was later identified as Jared Lee Loughner, an obviously disturbed individual who enjoyed reading:
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.
Additionally, Moulitsas’s Daily Kos placed a “bulls eye” on Rep. Giffords as well as a primary target in 2008. (h/t Hillbuzz).
As of now Mr. Loughner is simply being described as a “disturbed” individual who, according to reports, was rejected from the Army and wanted to start his own currency. The “disturbed” description is pretty innocuous for anybody who just gunned down a number of innocents. However, if it is immediately clear a violent individual has even a whiff of right of center views, talk radio, Sarah Palin, Fox News, and George W. Bush will be blamed.