Jan 112011


Republicans are angry that we on the left have linked repeated Republican use of violent imagery and direct calls for violence to violence that has followed.  While, so far, there is no direct link between the shooter and any of the Republicans involved, the indirect evidence between such acts and the culture of violence Republicans have nurtured is compelling.  It is not surprising that the responses to this criticism have ranged from one honest responsible statement by two men to depths of hatred that are hard to even imagine.

Lets start with the good one from Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchannan.

…And on MSNBC this morning, former GOP congressman Joe Scarbrough and conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan agreed that right-wing firebrands like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) should “apologize” for their violent rhetoric — not to assume any culpability for the tragedy, but to simply acknowledge that “they’ve been irresponsible in their rhetoric”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

It does not go so far as I would like to see, but at least they admitted that the violent speech has been irresponsible.

Some Republican legislators fear for their own safety, like Peter King (R-NY).

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s intentions…

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

What about the rest of us that are not government officials?  I guess the Republican view is that we’re on our own.

Sarah Palin has had little to say, but one of her aides claimed that the bullseyes she used to target Giffords and others were really surveyor’s marks.  Let’s put that lie to rest right now.

…Finally, here’s what Palin herself tweeted on Nov. 4 when the election results came in and all but two of those lawmakers on her list had either quit or been defeated: "Remember months ago "bullseye" icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T’aint bad)"… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Do surveyor’s use bullseyes?

Limbaugh, as expected, blames us for the level of violent speech.

“It is our right and our duty to criticize the people who have put the fate of our country in peril,” Rush Limbaugh said this week on his syndicated radio show.

Although our country’s leading shock jock spoke in the aftermath of the massacre that left a federal judge and five others dead and Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords critically injured, he was not referring to Jared Loughner or any of the many other well-armed gunmen who increasingly try to hold our democracy hostage. Instead, he typically assured his massive audience of self-described “ditto-heads” that the country is most imperiled by anyone who dares suggest that the daily hate fest on leading right-wing radio talk shows such as Limbaugh’s might have any connection with the violent acts that sometimes follow…

Inserted from <Alternet>

When most elected Republicans regularly make pilgrimage to kiss this man’s ring, it follows that his ideas drive the Republican love of hate and violence.

Glen Beck’s response is, as expected, insane.

It sure seemed that everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — at Fox News was focused yesterday on beating down the horrifying idea that somehow Fox News’ incendiary rhetoric might have played a significant role in fomenting Saturday’s horrifying tragedy in Arizona.

Of course, Glenn Beck — being one of the chief purveyors of said incendiary rhetoric — was out there leading the attack, devoting his entire hour to his newfound desire to prevent political violence. Indeed, he iussed [sic] a "letter to America" [Beck delinked] yesterday containing a pledge he wants everyone else to sign decrying any attempt to connect political violence to the rhetoric that precedes it:

I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.

In other words: I denounce people who would like to blame me for inspiring guys like Byron Williams, who openly credit me for inspiring them!… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

The Tea Party’s response was heartless.

The Tea Party Express, a California-based conservative political action committee, sent out a letter to supporters Monday requesting donations in reaction to Saturday’s shooting at a political event in Tucson, Arizona that claimed six lives.

“It is quite clear that liberals are trying to exploit this shooting for their own political benefit, and they used deception and dishonesty to try and smear all of us and our beliefs,” the letter reads. “You know what the truth is?  The truth is that the shooter, Jared Loughner is the one responsible for this atrocity.  But liberals are trying to place the blame on society for embracing the tea party movement.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Yahoo News>

Have they no shame?  Never does a day go by that I do not get several requests for funding from a wide variety of lefty groups.  But none of these liberal fundraisers have had the audacity to capitalize on this tragedy.

But the worst Republican response I have seen is the decision by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to picket the funerals of the victims.

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas — the hate-mongering funeral protesters who’ve picketed or threatened to picket the funerals of Elizabeth Edwards, soldiers who’ve died in Iraq, and people who’ve died of AIDS, among others — are taking their efforts to piss people off in the supposed name of God a step further by announcing they’ll picket the funeral of 9-year-old Christine Taylor Green, who was killed during the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday.

According to CNN, the people of Tucson are prepared, and will implement a plan created by Romaine Patterson, who saw Westboro Baptist protest the funeral of his friend Matthew Shepherd. People are signing up to wear giant "angel wings" that shield mourners from the picketers… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Village Voice>

I do not have words to express the disgust I feel for this group of Republicans.

All things considered, this is what I expected from Republicans, because they have no remorse for the lives the culture of violence they created to distract their base from issues that matter.  Unless they turn 180° from their present course, something I do not foresee, they must be eliminated from the political life of this country, not with bullets, but with ballots.


  22 Responses to “Republican Responses to the Arizona Massacre”

  1. “I guess the Republican view is that we’re on our own.”

    At least the republicans are consistent in that respect. They protect their own and the rest of us can go to hell.

    • Jerry that is always the Republican view. They provide socialism for the rich only. Free enterprise is the bane of the poor and middle classes.

  2. Great post Tom .. well researched. This debate is also getting lots of attention in Canada where our RIGHT whingers take their lead from the Republicans. Hope you are well and glad to see how committed you continue to be advancing rational, progressive ideas and messages! Happy New Year as well .

  3. Although Tucson is red neck, right wing territory, it has a lot of guns and Westboro just might be well advised to consider that they do not want to go and piss off the good gun slingers of Tucson. Not wishing, just saying……

    And with Republican responses, have I missed it or has our former “bring ’em on” president Dubya had anything to say about the shootings?

    Finally, if, and a big if, we are lucky, this just might possibly put an end to Palin’s political ambitions.

    • Charles, you may well have a point. Actually, I worry about Obama traveling there. I see some elements of “Bring it on”, but more of “Who, us?”.

  4. I thought the same thing as well bout Palin Charles. Chances slim but it sure is nice to have her mouth closed for a bit.

    After reading this it is obvious not much will change. The bastards are winning. They lie cheat and steal. That don’t work they’ll kill you. If a politician at any level it seems isn’t worried about these repuglicans who carry guns and kill they damn well should be. Baggers and repugs are one in the same make no mistake there.

    • She made an eight minute YouTube statement I have not heard the whole thing yet. But Bullseye Bimbo has called criticism of her libelous.

  5. The resemblance is very scary.

  6. It is typical for the Repubs to deny any culpability in this whole mess. You predicted that well TC. And the backlash against Sarah is totally deserved. 😡

  7. It is hardly surprising that they’d do the fundraising thing, given how they gleefully danced on the bodies of the victims of September 11.

  8. 1) AZ passed emergency legislation to keep any protesters a minimum of 300′ away from the funeral of Miss Green. As Olbermann said last night they can protest the freedom of speech issue on Friday.

    2) There are so many analogies I could use here but I am going to use the one I know best. Detroit.

    Detroit is still the most racially divided place in the nation. 8 mile road (yes Eminem made a movie called that) has always been the dividing line between Black Detroit and White Suburbia. (Though with cheap housing available the boundary is slightly liquid right now). The problem is that after 1960 when the whites started to leave in a stampede that remained unabated until there were about 5-8% of a white population left in Detroit. Which was about Twenty five or thirty years long. Hey it is a huge herd when you’re talking more than a million people.

    So now that we have a third and fourth generation of both black and white kids grown or growing up in segregated communities, neither group sees the racial divide as anything but normal. In the main both races really do not know and really do fear each other.

    I think the flight to one side or the other of the political spectrum really started to happen in the mid to late 60’s when we assassinated so many of our common sense leaders. Then along came the Teflon Don, Reagan, who could do no wrong hammering politely. eloquently as a trained actor should be able to do, the wedge even deeper but he had counter balances in Tip O’Neill and Ted Kennedy to keep the discourse viral but civil.

    Today there is no balance, no check against the likes of Beck and Limbaugh (especially since he has now entered a second generation) Boehner and MCConnell willing to passionately but civilly argue the case of the other side. We have come to a point in America where any lie can be stated with authority (Obama’s 200 million dollar a day trip to India printed by some rinky dink Indian newspaper) AND impunity because the right knows that there is small chance of successful legal action against them in the courts. There is no need to adhere to a journalistic ethic if you are a columnist, radio personality or a commentator on television because your job is not to present news but rather to present opinion to your audience. To what end is the question I have learned to ask.

    And money, dollars always figures into the equation.

    Just as in Detroit there is never an answer to any question that does not have a racial undertone from either side.

    My OPINION of the right at the moment is that by playing offense they are trying to stop not the hate filled rhetoric (which they know is wrong but successful) but all of the dialog that could arise and they would be forced to defend. Gun control, campaign finance reform, and every other issue they do not want to revisit because any change in the way the money comes to them and they lose power. The congresswoman that was targeted by Palin for elimination from congress and assassination by this lone wolf is a good example. Even though MILLIONS were spent in her district by outside influences she still won with a 1% margin. Who knows a few more million might have defeated her. So will the congress now visit Citizens United? to quote John Boehener “HELL NO THEY CAN’T”

    So here we stand at a crossroads.

    How do you fix sixty years of racial separation in Detroit?
    How do you fix 40 years of ever widening political thought in America?
    I know what doesn’t work.
    What doesn’t work is when one side totally capitulates to the other and what doesn’t work is when neither side moves towards each other for the greater good.

    Do I want to live in a gun rabid, Christianized, ethnically cleansed society of conservatism where the dollar is worshiped before life itself? And the only role of the federal government is National Defense and subsidizing businesses that have at will employment? No I do not.

    Do they want to live in a place where they are taxed 50% and everyone gets a government subsidy in health care, education, and support when needed for as long as it is needed? This is what their audiences are being preached at with every day by pundits and politicians alike. No they do not.

    I don’t have an answer and platitudes like fight fire with water mean nothing now. All I know is that if this divide continues to grow then the entire nation will be Detroit. This is one time I do not want my city to lead the way. I do think we need to disarm but that too is my opinion simply because I see regularly what an out of control gun handling population can do. But no I have no solution or I would have worked harder to fix Detroit.

    Ballots over bullets is a good idea but money in America talks louder than conviction.

    Anyone? Anyone at all have a concrete plan? Please if you do have a thought even, present it. Your nation needs you now more than ever.

    • Mark, I realize that ballots, not bullets was overly simplistic and did not mean to propose that as the solution, but rather as a rejection of the Republican bullets solution. I think the answer to both dilemmas rests in education, not formal, but individual. In Detroit, when people cross the color line, make friends, and get along, as you have done, that is the first step on the road back.

  9. TC, I just wished to compliment your ‘collage’ of Rethug rebuke of the facts … or the reaction so many of them have demonstrated. I reposted it… I think it shows a diarama of how falling on deaf ears works out.

    I do have some problems with silencing free speech… no matter how heinous it is. I’m a member of the ACLU and it smacks of a repression that I would not support… I don’t . I see it as further injustice in a shockingly unjust state. But that’s just me. I despise Westboro Baptist and it’s insane tenants. They have every right to protest, though.

    • Thanks Gwen. I hear you on the speech issue. Consider this. Do not their demonstrations interfere with the right to free speech of mourners of at the funerals. All rights are limited in that nobody has the right to curtail the rights of others.

  10. We can’t fix hate, but we must always challenge the hate talkers. Ending “money is free speech” and corporate personhood plus establishing public funded elections would go a long way towards filtering some of the hate from our lives. But that would require an informed public and honest politicians.

  11. with cheney the ultra right wiing conservative nut voting for cop killing bullets and pastic guns for terrorists both in and out of the usa that says it all we really need heavy clip guns for our protection against bambi and (palin) too god what is happening to this country

  12. Welcome hudson! 🙂

    If their thinking os correct we each need a private ICBM. 🙄

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