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Left-Wing Blame Game Won't Work With Arizona Tragedy
National Review ^ | 1/10/2011 | Carol Platt Liebau

Posted on 01/10/2011 4:57:00 AM PST by Servant of the Cross

As the nation reeled from news that a gunman had shot a group of Arizona citizens including Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, an all-too-predictable response emanated from some on the left. Despite news reports suggesting that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was simply insane – a devotee of Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler, who believed in mind control and “conscience dreaming,” and who was convinced he would become the treasurer of a new currency – many left-wingers sought to attribute his despicable acts to a conservative political agenda.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was.” Democrat Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey denounced “an aura of hate” fed “by certain people on Fox News.” The National Democratic Jewish Council insisted that “building levels of vitriol in our discourse . . . have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired.” The local sheriff in Arizona, a Democrat, weighed in with his own political diagnosis, insisting that the shooting rampage was how “[unbalanced people] respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”

Those playing the blame game against all facts and logic are following a well-worn precedent. Anyone who remembers the Clinton years will recall that the then-President used the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal courthouse in April of 1995 as a way to discredit conservative talk radio – the voices that had just played a central role in helping Republicans retake the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years.

In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton condemned “loud and angry voices” in talk radio for “spreading hate and leaving the impression by their very words that violence is acceptable.” Thereafter, the Detroit Free Press published an interview with the President urging talk radio how hosts to reject all rhetoric “fostering hate and division and encouraging violence.”

The gambit succeeded in large measure for Clinton, slowing the momentum of the ’94 Republican revolution, putting conservatives on the defensive and allowing the then-President – who had been forced to assert his own relevance -- to retake the initiative. Given the political difficulties now confronting President Obama, who faces a newly-minted Republican majority in the House of Representatives after an electoral wipeout worse than 1994, it’s no wonder that some of his partisans would seek a page from the Oklahoma City playbook.

This time, however, they’re destined to fail. Here’s why:

First, now there is Fox News and the conservative blogosphere, neither of which existed in April of 1995. They enable the widespread dissemination of information rebutting efforts to equate Loughner with garden-variety conservatives or Tea Partiers – or blame his acts on the statements of public figures. For example, when left-wing bloggers invoked a bulls-eye graphic that had appeared on a year-old campaign map from Sarah Palin as a reason for the violence, right-learning bloggers like VerumSerum were quick to point out that similar graphics have been used by the Democratic Leadership Council. Liberals no longer have the media playing field all to themselves.

Second, at least some respected media figures have wearied of the ongoing efforts to use national tragedies for partisan political gain. Howard Fineman and Howard Kurtz – neither of them conservatives – have called a halt to “opening rhetorical fire,” as Kurtz put it, in the wake of such attacks.

Third, almost 16 years after Oklahoma City – and after seeing similar gamesmanship in the wake of crimes like the Holocaust Museum shooting -- Americans have become skeptical of cynical efforts to stigmatize entire ideologies based only on the actions of lone, clearly deranged criminals. That’s especially true where, as here, there’s no real evidence that the suspect actually subscribed to any coherent political creed.

Finally, the political climate has changed, drastically, since 1995. Many (if not most) Americans have just endured two years in which a liberal majority has governed against their own expressed wishes. By doing so, liberal politicians – from the President on down -- have aroused widespread, deep-seated opposition among the electorate to an unprecedented degree. In such a climate, people will find it easier to distinguish between insane criminals and law-abiding dissenters from government policy, because they are likelier than ever to be dissenters themselves.

Given all of this, those on the left would be best advised to avoid cheap blame-seeking for political gain. If they persist in the dishonorable effort to discredit the beliefs of millions of Americans based on the criminal actions of just one, ironically, they may hurt their own cause most, further convincing Americans of what so many already know: That the left is simply out of touch.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blamegame; giffords; left; reichstagfire
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To 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? … Glenn Harland Reynolds; (WSJ: 1/10/11)
1 posted on 01/10/2011 4:57:05 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
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To: Servant of the Cross
Democrats Plotted to Blame Tea Party for Slaughter
One veteran Democratic operative: “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers”
“Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City
bombing on the militia and anti-government people."

Breaking: Democrats Plotted to Blame Tea Party for Slaughter
Democrats plotted to blame the tea party patriots for yesterday’s slaugher in Arizona.
A democratic operative admitted this to The Politico."

More recently, in a series of videos he posted on YouTube,
Mr. Loughner, now 22 years old, rages against the government
and the constitution and refers to himself as a "terrorist."

Click here for more info

"Is Daily Kos involved in Arizona Murders?"

"Jared Lee Loughner Burning the American Flag"

Loughner...... Confirmed Leftist by Friend on Twitter"

DHS Memo Suggests Shooter May Be Linked To Racist Organization"

Friend of Loughner Confirms: He is a Liberal
Caitie Parker, a woman who went to high school and
knew Loughner during college, confirmed that his politics were left wing"

The Last Honest Liberal-Caitie Parker (Friend of AZ Shooter)
"As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal.
& oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."

Leaked govt memo: Shooter may be linked to hate group
The group is "anti government, anti immigration,
anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government),
anti Semitic"

Arizona Shootings: 'It Was a Colossal Failure of Journalism'
There is no evidence that Loughner was a Sarah Palin fan.
There is no evidence that he was associated with the Tea Party
"He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,"
said one student who had attended a pre-algebra class... with Loughner.
In mid-December, Loughner wrote on his MySpace page,
"I don't feel good: I'm ready to kill a police officer!"
Loughner listed Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto
among his favorite books..."

2 posted on 01/10/2011 5:02:51 AM PST by Diogenesis (Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: Servant of the Cross
So...... has it really come to the point that the entire LEFTIST establishment wants to allow an obviously diagnosable paranoid schizophrenic to determine the nature of all future political discourse in this country?

These people are nuts!! -- but NOT stark raving mad nuts like mass murderer Jared Lee Loughner who apparently had a crush on Gabby Giffords whom he was insanely fixated & psychotically obsessed upon for three years.

Just what in God's name does Governor Palin or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Newt Gingrich or ANY conservative have to do with the broken brain of this pathetic 22 year old?????

AND why did that local sheriff who is blaming political discourse for this mass murder permit such a severely sick individual to purchase a gun and stalk the Congresswoman who'd recently gotten married to a NASA astronaut?

Isn't local LE culpable for not merely ignoring this obvious psycho, much less permitting him to purchase the Glock?????

3 posted on 01/10/2011 5:03:35 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: Servant of the Cross

There needs to be an investigation of each “Laughner” TEA Party page that went up on FB and MySpace as soon as Loughner’s name was released. The names of these lying, leftwing maggots should be available to everyone for any future legal actions.

4 posted on 01/10/2011 5:04:10 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (DNC memo - "Don't let this thing go to waste! Exploit! Exploit! Exploit!")
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To: Servant of the Cross

Good craziness to attribute this guy’s acts to anything other than “insanity.” My caution would be there are those on the right that, in response, try to link the guy to left wing groups. Linkage of any sort, considering the guy’s unintelligible rants on the internet, is wrong.

Playing defense against the MSM attacks on the right is one thing, defining blame to the left for this guy’s actions is another. It’s a fine line, but we need to walk it.

What absolutely fries me is when someone tries to use a tragedy to make political hay. If down the road it comes out that the person was politically or religiously motivated, so be it. But in the midst of the tragedy, slinging mud is wrong. Sympathy toward the victims and their families should be where our minds and hearts are focused.

5 posted on 01/10/2011 5:06:54 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Servant of the Cross

It will work so long as Big Media keeps up the drumbeat- the accusations of Palin and Tea Party people without acknowledging any contrary information. Most folks won’t really believe it but they will have a new queasiness about conservatives that they know. They will say that yes, the conservatives’ ideas are right but aren’t they just a little violent? and we need to stay away from that. And they won’t vote easily for conservative candidates.

6 posted on 01/10/2011 5:09:41 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Diogenesis

Terrific roundup. Thanks. :)

7 posted on 01/10/2011 5:11:14 AM PST by bronxville
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To: Servant of the Cross
I don't mean to differ with the sacred "National Review", but the "blame game" against the gun totin', christian soldierin', fist raisin' right wing is working very well indeed....and it has not yet reached anywhere near full crecendo!

If the victim lives and is capable of being in public, just wait till the next election!

If you thought James Brady was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet!

And tho it is only a rumor...I hear that in private, the little tin god is dancing with glee over the shooting!

What was the quote??? "Never let a tragedy go to waste."

He (and the entire left wing) surely won't!

And....OBTW: I've not heard yet a peep from the "Momma Grizzly"!!

Just sayin'.....

8 posted on 01/10/2011 5:18:16 AM PST by Logic n' Reason ("It's the church I left, not the belief.")
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To: hennie pennie

Excellent questions, all, Hennie. This will backfire on the leftists. We the People are sick and tired of this exploitation by the left.

9 posted on 01/10/2011 5:23:59 AM PST by Jane Long (2 Chron 7:14)
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To: Diogenesis


10 posted on 01/10/2011 5:25:28 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Logic n' Reason
Lots of thoughts (sans logic reason?) in that post. I'll reply to a couple:

On the contrary, rather than 'sacred' I'd say NR is viewed as the 'voice' of the RINO establishment here.

I hear that 'Mama Grizzly' and Todd are extremely angry about this blood libel but the news media ain't giving her an opportunity to 'peep'.

'little tin god'??!!

Just sayin'

11 posted on 01/10/2011 5:28:03 AM PST by Servant of the Cross (I'm with Jim DeMint ... on the fringe!)
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To: Logic n' Reason
And....OBTW: I've not heard yet a peep from the "Momma Grizzly"!!

Could it be the Mama and Papa are gathering ALL the forest creatures together to go against the odds? I do not know this is certain...but I do have to think the War is just beginning...just as I think you and I believe Americans have not yet begun, or perhaps as John Paul Jones said it.

12 posted on 01/10/2011 5:28:04 AM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Bless and Protect Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Diogenesis

To ignore the fact that people do commit acts of violence for political reasons ignores history. But when we focus on political affiliation as motive for violence, we are only raising the bar for more violence. Unfortuanately, we will never be at a place where a circumstance like the Arizona shootings is understood for what it is..a reprehensible and evil act by a person who may or may not be unbalanced, politically motivated (or whatever) but most importantly, totally responsible for the act itself

13 posted on 01/10/2011 5:36:30 AM PST by yetidog (/*)
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To: Servant of the Cross
'little tin god'??!! = barry! My own personal "socially acceptible" nickname for him. I've others....but they're definitely not socially acceptible.
14 posted on 01/10/2011 5:38:51 AM PST by Logic n' Reason ("It's the church I left, not the belief.")
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To: Jane Long

...”Excellent questions, all, Hennie. This will backfire on the leftists. We the People are sick and tired of this exploitation by the left”...

I agree. I think a big backlash is coming.

15 posted on 01/10/2011 5:39:01 AM PST by jazzlite (esat)
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To: Jane Long

“This will backfire on the leftists.”

Already has. Been hanging out at the Yahoo boards. The lefty moonbats are getting beat like a rented mule. Their lies are getting exposed. This article is correct: The propaganda press has lost its dominance and normal people don’t believe these liars.

Yahoo posters are rightly identifying the leftists as liars, socialists and fascists. Most are also convinced by the evidence that the shooter is mentally deranged. We’re winning.

16 posted on 01/10/2011 5:41:45 AM PST by sergeantdave
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To: jazzlite

No need to answer any of these nutcase, leftist accusations. The Democrat Party and the left-wing fools are in a self-destruct mode. They have no idea how devastating the election of November 2, 2010 was for them and their sick and evil programs and causes. We have no POTUS, we have no competent law enforcement, Local or Federal, we have no fair & balanced media. The only thing left for America is our people and the right to vote to change this downward spiral road that the Democrat Party is taking America on!!! IMHO, the election of 2012 will be the “turning point” for this great nation. Americans, it is time to wake up and change America in November, 2012!!!

17 posted on 01/10/2011 5:49:26 AM PST by JLAGRAYFOX
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To: sergeantdave

Agree - I’m even finding some of the posters on the more rational leftie sites saying it’s over. A few of them mentioned Rush coming on today and they’re fearful. And that’s for real! They know they screwed up and gave him an over abundance of meat. :)

18 posted on 01/10/2011 5:51:52 AM PST by bronxville
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To: Servant of the Cross
The louder the left screams and tries to play a blame game the more credibility they loose. Only one person caused this and that is the shooter himself. If Sheriff Dumbkins shuts his unprofessional irrational arrogant opipnated mouth maybe there will be a conviction. The DEMs actions are making a conviction unlikely in this case. By making this a political matter rather than one of sole personal responsibility of the shooter the Democratic Party shows this nation their inability to be serious disciplined leadership of sound mind. Their hysterical responses lacking common sense will do them far more long term political damage than any other issue. So go ahead DEMs scream it. The seats lost will be your own.
19 posted on 01/10/2011 5:55:48 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Diogenesis

Have you added the fake Republican registration form image with Tucson spelled wrong twice?

20 posted on 01/10/2011 6:00:45 AM PST by listenhillary (20 years in Reverend Wright's church is all I need to determine the "content of his character")
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