Maine Democrat Calls “Job Killing” Inflammatory Rhetoric

The over-reaction to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is trending into the ridiculous zone, with one Maine Congresswoman saying that Republicans need to change the name of the bill they will be voting on later this month to repeal ObamaCare:

As I write this, the motivation behind the shooting of my friend Gabby Giffords and eleven others isn’t clear. We don’t know what prompted the shooter to show up at Gabby’s Congress on Your Corner at a Tucson grocery store with a semiautomatic pistol and the motivation to kill innocent people. We don’t know if it was unmitigated hatred and misdirected rage or paranoid delusion. We don’t know if was politics — aimed at Gabby’s courageous stands on health care and immigration. I suspect in the end, we’ll learn it was a combination of factors that led this young man to go on the rampage that shook the nation.

In a way, though, it doesn’t really matter what prompted this act of senseless violence. What really matters is that we do everything we can to prevent it from happening again. And the first thing we can do is to crank down the rhetoric a few notches.


A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act,” was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby’s shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting that the name of that one piece of legislation somehow led to the horror of this weekend — but is it really necessary to put the word “killing” in the title of a major piece of legislation? I don’t think that word is in there by accident — my Republican friends know as well as anyone the power of words to send a message. But in this environment and at this moment in our nation’s history, it’s not the message we should be sending.

I assume that Congresswoman Pingree will not be running a re-election campaign in two years time. After all, look at the definition of campaign:

1. A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a large-scale objective during a war: Grant’s Vicksburg campaign secured the entire Mississippi for the Union.
2. An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose: an advertising campaign for a new product; a candidate’s political campaign.
intr.v. cam·paigned, cam·paign·ing, cam·paigns
To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal: campaigned through the jungles of Vietnam; campaigned for human rights

Sounds pretty violent to me.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.


  1. Jack says:

    Well, I think they should take “job killing” out of the title of the bill for two reasons:

    (1) It’s stupid and juvenile.

    (2) It’s inaccurate.

    Yes, there is over-reaction by politicians over the events of last weekend, just like there have been over-reactions by everyone for more than a decade to everything that has happened in that time.

  2. sam says:

    Yeah, she’s being stupid. And what Jack said re the bill.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    While this is yet another example of a foolish overreaction to what happened in Arizona, this kind of thing seems to be SOP among politicians…I’m thinking of all the overreactions to 9/11, some of which we still have to deal with…

  4. sam says:


    Have you seen this?

    Why regular readers of the VC do not take Jim Lindgren seriously (hint: he’s a passive-agressive douchebag who doesn’t allow comments on anything he posts):

    After spending many, many bytes “illustrating” something or other about Loughner from three years or more ago, Lindgren writes:

    My hope in exploring Loughner’s politics is to take the political argument off the table, not to turn it around. Unfortunately, I think that the likeliest way to get some people to back off their hateful and inflammatory rhetoric — blaming people who are not at fault — is if the people doing the finger pointing begin to realize that Loughner was more probably a mentally deranged left winger than a mentally deranged right winger. In either event, the derangement, not his political orientation, is the proximate and ultimate cause of his mass murders.

    Only a fool would be taken in by Lindgren’s disavowals, “My hope in exploring Loughner’s politics is to take the political argument off the table, not to turn it around.” Yeah, right.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    He’s right that it’s inflammatory, but it certainly isn’t violently inflammatory. And although decrying non-violent inflammatory language is within her rights, doing so in an article on the shooting seems ridiculous.

  6. reid says:

    What Jack said: The name of the bill is juvenile. SOP for Republicans these days.

  7. anjin-san says:

    Just run of the mill GOP stupidity, hardly worth commenting on.