Jan 092011
 

9crosshairs

Sarah Palin has scrubbed the images from her website and her Facebook page targeting Gabriel Giffords and others with the crosshairs of a gun sight.  As I watched in horror yesterday, and as it became apparent that the shooting of eighteen people, the death of six, including a nine year old girl and a Federal Judge, is a direct effect of the Republican litany of hatred and calls for violence, I wondered if Palin and her republican co-conspirators can wash the blood from their hands.  This time they cannot.  I railed against this in December in Second Amendment Solution Gone Bad.  I had done so before in October in Rand’s Republican Brownshirts Strike.  I predicted it way back in March in Potential High for Right Wing Violence.  This has been coming for a long time.  The Republican Party is responsible from Mitch McConnell and John Boehner down.  No McConnell and Boehner were not behind calls for violence, but they refused to object to those within their own leadership that have.  Lets explore this issue in depth.

This is not the first time that Gabby Giffords was targeted by Republicans.  Here she is in an MSNBC interview.

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Even though, as a Blue Dog who agrees with Republicans on the issues as often as not,  that did not protect her.  Republican ideologues demand lock-step purity.

Keith Olbermann interviewed Mark Potok of the SPLC, profiling the shooter.

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The Pima County Sheriff made it as clear as he could, without giving away details needed for prosecution that Arizona’s climate of right wing hatred is a factor.

9dupnikWhile not stating a motive for the shootings, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in Tucson used a nationally televised press conference to condemn the tone of political discourse in his state. He charged that public debate is now "vitriolic rhetoric," which has rendered Arizona "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Dupnik suggested that such rhetoric can have deadly consequences.

"We need to do some soul searching," Dupnik told reporters. "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.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they 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 county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital," Dupnik continued.

"We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry," Dupnik said… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CNN>

Talking about tearing down the government, bigotry and prejudice, he was clearly not talking about Democrats.  His references to media people seemed pointed at Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and their ilk.  The person most responsible for that climate in Arizona is the RepubliCare Death Angel, Jan Brewer.  One of the things that shocked me most, as I watched the coverage was Brewer’s speech.  She said the right things, but it seemed that she could not keep the occasional twinkle from her eyes and smirking grin from her lips.  She appeared to be pleased at what had happened.  Here’s one frame from that speech that shows what I mean.

9deathangel

Of course the problem goes way beyond Arizona.  There is a love affair between guns, extreme rhetoric and the Republican Party.  Do you remember when Republicans celebrated the Oklahoma City bombing with an ‘open carry’ event outside Washington, publicized on Fox and praised by several Republican House Representatives?  I found two quotes on from Broun and Pratt, the organizers, on Alternet.

9opencarry

Broun:

Broun, a Republican, sees civil war looming on the horizon. "Fellow patriots, we have a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution, and they’re right down the Mall, in the Congress of the United States — and right down Independence Avenue in the White House that belongs to us," Broun told the crowd. "It’s not about my ability to hunt, which I love to do. It’s not about the ability for me to protect my family and property against criminals, which we have the right to do. But it’s all about us protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government of the United States." [emphasis added]

Pratt:

"I look around: it’s so good to see all these terrorists out here," Pratt said. "Janet Napolitano, she figured, as governor of Arizona, that we didn’t have a border problem, but she knows who the real enemy is. Ha, ha, ha, ha. And Bill Clinton’s been runnin’ cover for her, too. Watch out how you guys speak out there, you know, words can have consequences. Remember Oklahoma City? Yeah, I do. And I also remember the Waco barbecue that your attorney general gave us. Thanks a lot…We’re in a war. The other side knows they’re at war, because they started it. They’re comin’ for our freedom, for our money, for our kids, for our property. They’re comin’ for everything because they’re a bunch of socialists." [emphasis added]

Is it any wonder that crazed minds respond with insane acts?

As much as I’d like to say that calls for violence are limited to Republican politicians, pundits and wing-nuts, it is not.  Sadly such calls have come right on this site, and recently.

    • RealityBites says:
      January 7, 2011 at 7:36 am  
      Time to start shooting repugs on sight. They aren’t human nor American. Mankind doesn’t want them either.
      Parasites should always be stepped on.
      Reply
      • TomCat says:
        January 7, 2011 at 7:54 am  
        I’m sorry, but your call for violence is no less offensive than when Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin do it. When you adopt Republican tactics, you put yourself down to their level.
        Reply
        • Marx says:
          January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am  
          TomCat I agree with you wanting to keep it classy but RealityBites really has a point. The sad fact is, its just time. Enough is enough. AZ is murdering people, PG&E blew up a whole neighborhood and then charged the people extra for their destruction, Monsanto is destroying the earth, corporate bailouts out of citizens’ pockets etc. etc. ad nauseum. We need to make them fear us and not the other way around. Personally I have too much to live for and will probably just go to Europe, but for people who really want to stand their ground and protect the true US ideology, well you’ve got some dirty work to do and it starts with eliminating those infected fuckholes.
          Reply
          • TomCat says:
            January 8, 2011 at 8:01 am  
            Marx, classy has nothing to do with it. For years I have been railing against Republicans for encouraging their base to commit violent acts against Blacks, Latinos, Gays, Abortionists, Muslims, etc. I have done so because what they are doing is criminally wrong. Wing-nuts from their base have listened and people have died. What kind of hypocrite would I be, if I were to condone calls for violence against Republicans? I’m not saying they don’t deserve it. They do. But if we adopt the kind of tactics they use, we will become no better than they are.
            Reply

The difference is how we respond to them.  I wrote my second reply just a few minutes before the shooting occurred.  Little did I know how timely this would be, and I take pride in the way I handled this.  By comparison, top Republican leadership ducks with the excuse that it’s not their place to interfere with the free speech of their associates, including Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Sharon Angle, Adam West, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck and many more.  The blood of these victims is on their hands.

Although I use strong rhetoric, it a condemnation of violence, never a call for it.  But even I am not completely immune.  A few days ago, I quipped that Blue Dogs should be given jobs circumcising conscious gorillas.  We all need to condemn violence as part of political rhetoric, the subject of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment.

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Finally, please keep the victims of this tragedy and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

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  27 Responses to “The Blood on Republican Hands”

  1. stop the madness reasonable, sensible gun control needs to be a priority! ‘a nine year old was murdered at a supermarket!!!!!!! Boy…….. ❗ ❗ ❗

  2. In order to drive a car in this country you must pass a driving test, both written and practical. Make it such that in order to own a firearm you must have a license, and pass a background check, written test, and practical test with “shoot don’t shoot” scenarios (similar to those that law enforcement train with) and a waiting period. Yes we have the right to bear arms, however with rights come responsibilities. As a gun owner I have no problem waiting to receive a new firearm. Quite often we have to wait to take delivery on a new car. . .

    • Welcome Richard. 🙂

      I have zero problem with your sensible approach to gun control, and I would support its implementation without hesitation. However, a determined assassin would have had no trouble finding a gun on the black market. Arizona’s admittedly poor gun control laws is no excuse with Republican calls for violence.

  3. Hats off to you for a fabulous post, TomCat! I made my own post on this yesterday afternoon, before all was known. And, as you’ll see by looking at “Concert Master’s” comment there, those on the right are already starting to deny they are responsible for what happened at all.

    Whatever happened to civilized, thoughtful political discussion and argument? Why have (primarily) the Republicans abandoned it altogether? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE LIKES OF SARAH PALIN, MICHELE BACHMANN, SHARRON ANGLE and others that they have to talk about “targeting” their opponents, putiin2g them in the “crosshairs”, wanting their constituents “armed and dangerous” and talking about “second amendment solutions”? Are these people insane, irresponsible, or both?

    I’ve had ENOUGH of this hateful and inciteful Republican bullshit!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ziggy_Daddy, Tom Cat. Tom Cat said: The Blood on Republican Hands http://j.mp/fNEuUG via @AddToAny In depth analysis of responsibility for the multiple murder. […]

  5. Well, if you think that anyone is going to take any type of blame for this, you can pass whatever that is my way so I can have a hit, too.

    Not only do not expect any responsibility taken, I expect Democrats and liberals to get blamed for this by the end of the week. Probably with words like, “Not that I condone that behavior, but if these people had not been working against America’s interests, this would not have happened.” So, not only is this not going to stop, it is going to get worse.

    Sorry, I am not a ray of sunshine. History says that this is how things play out, though. The only thing that could make a difference is if someone with real power steps forward and calls these crazy people what they are and really puts a stop to the insanity. I am not hopeful.

    • Otis, I’m afraid I think no such thing and suggest you are probably correct. Only MSNBC is cobering the hate connection and only partially. The only Republicans expressing authentic remorse are the few who are innocent.

  6. Oh, for a modern-day Joseph Nye Welch or an Edward R. Murrow to shut these asses up once and for all!!!!!

  7. Sarah “Crosshairs” Palin:

    You do NOT get to endlessly yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater and blow your dog whistle to your blood-thirsty followers and then expect to wash your hands of the blood that results from your vile bile when it all goes bad,

    As you so frequently love to tell Pres. Obama, time for YOU to step-up and take responsibility for your constant hate-mongering, you [fill-in your own expletive that rhymes with “witch”]!

  8. I’m with all of you – this is a senseless act of violence that didn’t have to occur and it was brought on by the Right with all their cross hairs, endless rants of ‘second amendment solutions’ and other such bullshit. If it wasn’t, then why did the Tundra Twat scrub her web site after it happened? 😡

  9. January 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    It will take liberal, creative, open minded, fair thinking to come up with a solution for this destructive trend. Those traits are not what our present Republicans are noted for. For beginners, can we deal with selling a gun to a questionable person, as we do to selling a drink to an intoxicated bar patron? If a drunk has an accident the bar tender and bar can be held responsible. How about holding gun salesmen and dealers responsible for problems the person standing across the counter from them has? The seller can do police, school, and even neighborhood checks on gun buyers. Even ‘sex offenders’ have permanent records following them everywhere. How about ‘inciting crime’ being made a crime?
    Conservatism in society can help if it provides a stable base and supports growth through creative liberal development 😀 . We must re-establish a level of harmony between them. (That takes some ‘liberal’ thinking!!!)

    • Welcome Norm. 🙂

      Sorry it took so long to approve your first comment. I was away from the computer.

      As I said to Richard above, I have no trouble with more sensible gun control laws. On inciting crime criminalization, we’re walking some dangerous ground here. I would support outlawing certain speech as long as the speech was inciting violent crime, not mere civil disobedience.

  10. The Tea Party Massacre in Tucson.

    Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are responsible for this atrocity and they fuckin’ well know it. It is why they have sounded all the alarms. Everyone, Faux News, Republican Senators, The Right Wing Blogosphere are up-in-arms because they are worried the constant conservative call to violence, eliminationist rhetoric, and Terrorism are going to harm their political aspirations.

    Going over the last 2 years, it’s worse than I recall! We’ve become so inured we’ve allowed them to get away with so much. Hopefully, this will wake up the liberals in time for 2012 to keep these bloody barbarians away from the reigns of government, which the long to reacquire in order to enslave and destroy US.

    • Gene, I agree, but extend the condemnation beyond just the Teabaggers. Mainstream Republicans have supported and financed the Teabaggers. In addition, they have supported their violence through a conspiracy of silence.

  11. Don’t take this wrong but I am more pissed off about young Miss Green and the other constituents that were murdered because they wanted to talk to their representative than anything else. Politicians play a game and they know it when they do what they do and their leadership on both sides of the rhetoric has hardly ever peeped against the likes of Beck and Limbaugh. Not even the president has, as leader of the nation, spoken out against this ongoing vitriolic call for violent sedition rhetoric, until he hinted that maybe it should be dialed down a bit yesterday.

    Ms. Gifford apparently knew her district and barely eeked out a win in November. She has been a political animal for a long time and at 43 and a Fulbright scholar should have been aware that politicians walk in a dangerous arena. People tend to try to murder politicians that do not think as they think or do something they personally feel was an egregious act but remain popular among their constituents none the less. Look at all of the political assassinations since 1940. Ghandi, X, JFK. King, RFK, Allende, Sadat, Rabin, Bhutto, and on and on.

    Now read through your own comments above this one, the veil is pretty thin and your own anger is pretty thick. “Tundra Twat” really? I’ll admit that on this very same website I have previously reminded Tom that the left is just as well armed as the right and the left has just as many veterans as the right, and he did what he has always done which was made me think and dial back my own rhetoric and phraseology.

    Trust me I loathe this shit just as much, just as fervently as anyone but for months on my own blog I have been doing what I do which is write poetry and when I do political poetry I do not call for violent revolt against anyone, but simply survive the winter then start walking from the west to east and picking up people as you go. The homeless, the unemployed, the dispossessed and the just plain pissed and walk to the east stopping off in every town and place where them who have ruined the nation live and let those communities experience what it is like to feed and house a huge mass of people who have no where else to go.

    This has been done twice before that I know of the last time a major mass march of peaceful citizens went to DC in huge numbers specifically to redress a grievance with the government. Was when the WWI veterans marched for their promised bonuses. It was 1932 and again in 34. They were hungry, they were broke and there was no room in the economy for them. Douglas MacArthur and federal troops were sent out to disperse them. At least 4 were killed and Posse Comitatus was not in effect because DC is exempt from that after the government screwed Revolutionary war vets out of their pay. Are you ready to die for sanity. Or better yet are you ready to die for the expression of your FIRST amendment rights?

    So here is the conundrum, you’re angry, you want to go out and find a tea bagger and lynch one just like they did black folk in NYC during the civil war because whites were being drafted to go fight. Ya’ll feeling a little blood lust, is that it. Two weeks ago you would have shit in Gifford’s hat because she was too far to the right for most liberals. Now you want to jump and yell and use opposing vitriol.

    Now what makes us different from them if that be the case? Not one bit. You all are a fairly brilliant bunch and you know what they know, that action speaks louder than words. Beck had his fifty thousand people in the mall and Ed and Sharpton had theirs and then a pair of comedians for shit sakes bring out double them both.

    But seriously what the hell changed? Not one damn thing. If you do not go in the tens of millions to both Wall Street and DC then get used to it. You will be buggered at every turn. You know why TC is so popular with us? He has no millions to protect.

    Almost every member of congress, SCOTUS and the POTUS, Beck, Limbaugh, O’Rielly, Olbermann are all millionaire wealthy and they will do what they must to protect that wealth. Say what they have to say to protect that wealth and build a human shield between themselves and rational thinking people who want not only justice but fairness. I want a government that is going to protect my friends jobs and give them who lost theirs through bad foreign trade policy or the greed of the manufacturing and financial markets over the past forty years a way to make some money, doing whatever it takes.

    If that means socializing everything then so be it. American capitalism seems at this point to be a failed experiment. How in the hell were 2% allowed to acquire 90% of all the private wealth AGAIN. It was exactly the same when the crash of ’29 happened. Why do we have more people incarcerated than any other nation on earth and if we have the largest economy on earth than why the hell are we 14 Trillion in the hole and getting ready to dig it deeper? Why do we have people dying because they have to pay for their own surgery but are broke and busted and some crazed for money governor says their lives are not as important as building new prisons in the desert?

    No, stop your own well crafted hate speech against them that oppose your view and start walking and when you pass by Toledo I will leave Detroit and join you. We may not make a difference but by God by the time we get where we are going they will know what the hell the real will of the people is. And you and I all know it isn’t what THEY tell us our will is.

    • Mark, I share your sensitivity. The little girl was the first victim I listed. I disagree, however that you can equate the left condemning Republicans for their behavior with Republican the calls to violence. They are not the same. When people have called for violence against the right, I have not condemned them for it, but I have condemned what they said, as seen above. I do support your idea for a mass across the country, but I will not be participating. With my current state of health, I would not make it to Oregon’s eastern border. Each of us must serve in their own way.

      • Not condemning the condemnation Tom. But the anger with which it is thrown. Be angry of you must but be cold in your anger and strong in your action. Using invective and vitriol by your own words is not the way to get a point across.

        • Mark, I actually think I am. When I call Jan Brewer ‘the RepubliCare Death Angel’, for example, while at the same time condemning violence, my intent is to break through the overwhelming apathy we face and provoke sufficient emotion to inspire protest and political activism.

  12. I live in AZ and we are steadily going backwards. Pretty soon no one will want to do business here, and the wealthy republicans that run this beautiful but bassackward state will be scratching their heads and wondering what the hell happened! DOH!

  13. Thanks for speaking truth, TC. It does go both ways, but yes I’d have to say Republican rhetoric tends to be more violent and radical. And there are too many people willing to listen, and act, foolishly, horrifically. And I fear it’s only going to get worse.

    • Thanks Benji. The difference is that on the left, the violent appeals are confined to a small wing-nut fringe, condemned by the rest, but on the right the violent appeals come from media personalities and legislators, cheered on by the rest.

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