Not Helping

Here’s a list of people who should know better, have shame and be able to show at least a modicum of contrition (but are not):

1. Defensive Conservatives who have a platform of millions. All of you:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The defensiveness only shows your culpability in using violent rhetoric and imagery to intimidate and threaten others in order to secure your political power. The fact that Sarah Palin pulled the crosshairs map and had a lieutenant try to spin their use only indicts Palin that she should have known better.

It’s not like people didn’t speak up in 2009, at the height of the Tea Party/Town Hall madness.

Here’s an excerpt from a Q&A session in September, 2009 where Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about the tone of rhetoric and the dangers it presents:

(via: TPM)

Here’s Glenn Beck, mocking her:

Here’s our beloved hero, Rush Limbaugh, deflecting for the True Believers:

Limbaugh noted that Loughner reportedly has been stalking Giffords since 2007 — before the tea party came into being.

The reaction to the Arizona shooting has been a “lame, purely political attempt by the left to do what they cannot convince the American people to do, and that is support them. It’s embarrassingly, depressingly sick.”

Summarizing his views, Limbaugh said he and those who listen to him, Palin, and the people who voted for her, and “half the country have been indicted for the actions of a lone, deranged individual.”

Rush is wrong. This part of “The Left” is not tying Sarah Palin or trying to pin blame on her (yet) to the heinous assassination attempt and murders this Saturday past. This part of “The Left” wants to have a conversation about the tone and is using Sarah Palin’s recent violent imagery and language as an example to start that conversation. Mr. Limbaugh isn’t immune from using his own violent language (and shamelessness); 1, 2.

Typical conservative playbook: engage in the most vile, venal and disgusting behavior and then pivot and accuse their opposers of doing the very same thing.

Defensive conservatives, you are not helping this country move forward.

  • Coyote

    It’s just rumor that Palin took down the cross-hairs map. It’s still on her Facebook page. Taking her map down would prove she’s had a change of conscience or morality (what are the chances?), and her supporters would never let her hear the end of it.
    I had to wait a bit for the image to load.

    • blurb

      Thought she pulled it from her own website?

  • Penske5150

    I don’t lie blame for anything with Conservatives or Liberals, but rather the fact that extremist of both sides refuse to work together. We need to find a balance between war mongerers who want to cater to the wealthy and socialists who want to tax the crap out of me to give handouts to people who refuse to work.

    That being said, while I do think that some of this Tea Party rhetoric is a bit off the deep end, it’s not entirely to blame for the tragedy in Arizona. Anyone who let’s that kind of stuff affect them to the point of violence needs some form of help. This young man has issues that may have had him respond violently to some other influence besides some poster Sarah Palin posted online (and for the record I’m no fan of hers).

    I remember something Pete Townsend said in the wake of the Columbine tragedy. He was referring to how people blamed Marilyn Manson and similar artists for influencing that violent act. This may not be word for word but you’ll get the meaning….

    “If you go and shoot somebody because some shithead with a guitar told you to, then you were already a shithead and would have done it anyways.”

  • mapsdnamaps
    • vegas710

      Dude. That is SO not the same as using a rifle sight. Especially when you combine said rifle sights with the language (RELOAD). I’m still curious to hear what Gifford’s opponent has to say about his use of her picture as a target at a shooting range.

      • JJungle

        Like, ohmahgash! You are so right! Because ONE of those little target thingies looked like cross hairs, and the OTHER ONE looked like… well, targets. Which are totally different things.

        Speaking of cross hairs, I’m pretty sure Twitter is trying to kill me.

        • blurb

          It’s not the cross hairs alone. it’s a combination of things. And to be sure, Democrats have said and done inappropriate things to “fight back” or to sway the narrative. I’ve got a wordy post coming about this and the direction I’d like to see us take in the conversation. This post was meant as a start to the conversation. Basically, “defensive conservatives, you are making my points for me and not helping with the tone or talking about the tone.”

          More soon.

          • JJungle

            So, Democrats are just “fighting back” when they burn republicans in effigy? When they make tee shirts calling Palin a C*nt? Shout down and throw things at conservative speakers at college campuses? Make giant cardboard guillotines and decapitate puppets made to look like former Republican presidents?

            Please, pray tell, what on earth did Republicans do that justifies this sort of “fighting back”? You can’t honestly claim that Sarah Palin’s map from 10 months ago was equally incendiary.

            What is despicable about your argument is that there is ZERO, NONE, ZILCH, NADA, GOOSE EGG, connection of the shooter in AZ to Sarah Palin or the Republicans or the Tea Party movement or any other boogeyman the left is fond of attacking. To be blunt, Jared Loughner is nuts. As far as his political affiliations CAN be determined, classmates described him as far-left, a 9-11 “Truther” and a fan of Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. He hated religion, the government, the US Constitution and Giffords because she wasn’t leftist _enough_. (also, according to former friends, because she relied too much on grammar.)

            Here is a link to his You Tube vidoes:

            Here is one of his former bandmates and classmates talking about him on Twitter (you can read more of her descriptions of him in her twitter stream, she’s also been interviewed by various media, including NBC and Good Morning America):

            Note that there is far more “evidence” here to suggest that Loughner was a liberal bent on killing someone he saw as a threat to the Obama agenda (Giffords is a “Blue Dog” Democrat that Republicans have found to be invaluable when making progress toward a tighter budget, border security and- GASP!- 2nd Amendment gun rights!) than evidence that he was in any way “inspired” by a campaign map graphic posted on Sarah Palin’s facebook page 10 months ago. And yet, somehow, conservatives have managed to refrain from running to the nearest TV camera demanding that Democrats tone down their hate speech.

            Jared Loughner is a disturbed individual and he ALONE was responsible for shooting 16 people in AZ. And yet as we speek, Democrats are using this tragedy as an opportunity for… Fundraising for the next presidential election. Yes, that’s right, Democrat PAC is sending messages to their email list insinuating (as you have done) that it was Sarah Palin and those dastardly Tea Partiers who inspired this attack… so send us money! Because Rightwingers vitriol anger garblewargh fingerpoint blarg.

            Let’s be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

            • blurb

              You, defensive conservative, are missing the point.

        • blurb

          Thanks for making my point about the venality of conservatives.

      • mapsdnamaps

        Dudo. Like it is so obvious for madmen like Loughner to be able to distinguish between rifle sights and bull’s eyes. The tag line under the graphic is “Behind Enemy Lines”. Again, so very different. The reality is that nothing about this shooting had anything to do with polititcs…but politicians (working hard to seek approval ratings below that of used-car salesmen and ambulance-chasing trial lawyers) have tried used this tragedy for political gains. So dudo, like let’s get smart and not go there. Be cool man, use the grey matter.

        • vegas710

          How does the attempted assassination of a politician not rank as political? Whatever his reasons, this is a political issue as it effects our political environment (hence the extra Capitol police on hand at the Capitol building today).
          It seems perfectly rational to me that a mass shooting at a political rally would spur discussion of the violent rhetoric within the political sphere. The conversation was already there but now it’s been elevated. It’s a good thing to examine ourselves in light of this kind of violence. It’s a good thing to shine a light on violent rhetoric and ask the question, “is this appropriate in civil discourse?”

          • mapsdnamaps

            Like wow man! Great idea. That’ll really bring the people together…let’s focus on the rhetoric rather than place our concern where it belongs:on the victims.
            Let me know how it works out for ya.

  • JJungle

    Gee… why on earth would conservatives be so DEFENSIVE? Shouldn’t conservatives just let Democrats accuse them of the attack or a congress woman and murder of a nine year old child, all in the name of “toning down the rhetoric”? Stop being so hateful, Right Wingers!


    Look- Giffords is a Democrat congresswoman who is FOR gun-rights, she fought alongside Republicans against illegal immigration, she supports a tighter budget and she recently proposed a 5% pay cut for Congress. She’s a “Blue Dog” and many Democrats consider her a danger to Obama’s agenda. One blogger on the Daily Kos declared her “Dead to him” just before she was shot. (he has since taken his post down)

    As for heated rhetoric, (for example: ) or even violence, (another: I wouldn’t claim that Democrats are particularly innocent here. Obama has been known to throw out violent messages in his speeches: (among others: and liberal democrats have made assassination art (if you can call it “art”: ) a part of their base lexicon (“peace” protests: for years.

    I’d be careful about pointing the finger at Sarah Palin as if her campaign graphic posted TEN MONTHS AGO was somehow responsible for the actions of a guy who thinks the government is trying to control people’s brains by teaching children grammar in school. Those who are jumping at the chance to blame the Tea Party movement are using this atrocity as an opportunity to bash people they disagree with politically, for, as Rahm Emanual once lectured fellow Democrats, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Regardless of the giddy opportunism on display among the left, these insinuations are contemptible.

    • mapsdnamaps

      To Rahm’s credit, he stated that comment did not apply to this situation.

      • JJungle

        Well, I am certainly happy to see that Rahm has found a crisis for which he doesn’t want to take advantage of. At least, not publicly.

        Shame that other Democrats didn’t get the memo.

        • blurb

          You want to keep it up? YOU ARE MAKING MY POINT.