Politicizing Tucson Memorial Service

Factions on the right and left continue to charge one another with trying to politicize the Tucson murders. They're now nitpicking the memorial service.

Factions on the right and left continue to charge one another with trying to politicize the Tucson murders.  After several days of back-and-forth over whether Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and conservative talk radio somehow contributed to the “atmosphere” that set off the nut who perpetrated this awful crime — with President Obama finally proclaiming that it wasn’t exactly their fault, but we should nonetheless strive to be more civil and honest — we’re now getting to nitpicking the memorial service.

First, there was a kerfuffle over whether new Speaker of the House John Boehner “snubbed” the victims by declining to ride there with the president.   But, a little research showed that Boehner was actually presiding over a memorial service in the Capitol.

Then, there was the charge that the president lied when he claimed that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting that very evening.  (I must confess, thoughts fleetingly crossed my cynical mind that this might be a bit too good to be true.)  But her doctors explained that away pretty convincingly and, in any event, it wouldn’t have been a “lie” had he been technically wrong.

The latest hubbub is the charge by Michelle Malkin that the event was “branded,” complete with a theme (“TOGETHER WE THRIVE: TUSCON AND AMERICA”), t-shirts, and programs and that this was the work of “Democrat stage managers.”  But, while I find the idea of handing out branded t-shirts at a memorial for six people, including a 9-year-old girl, who had recently been murdered, a spokesman for the University of Arizona, which hosted the event, said it “was the university’s idea” and that “We wanted to give people something to remember, to symbolize the community spirit.”  You’d think the horror of the murders and a speech by the president of the United States would have sufficed in that regard.  In any event, they vow “Branding of the event was not done in consultation with the White House, or any elected officials or political organization,” adding “Once the president accepted an invitation, he said, the White House helped coordinate some logistics, such as security, but that was the extent of the White House involvement.”

This strikes me as more plausible than that Obama’s team made such a baffling choice.

All of this is dispiriting.  Yes, high profile tragedies like this invariably spark conversations about the tenor of our political debate, our gun laws, our mental health system, and various and sundry policy issues.   But it’s just unseemly to engage in this bickering before the bodies are even buried and the status of all the victims is known.

Doug Mataconis, Dan Collins, Fausta Wertz and others are having an interesting back-and-forth this morning on the “appropriate” tenor of these memorials.   Doug’s alone in holding a pure “it’s none of my business how people chose to grieve” position.   For my own part, I’d think it slightly odd but wouldn’t feel the need or even the right to comment on it if the families themselves had gotten together and decided they needed a slogan and t-shirts.   When state institutions are planning the event, and the president of the United States is speaking, it’s national news.

Still, it shouldn’t be about scoring political points but rather a national conversation on how to react to tragedies like this and, hopefully, make them more rare.

Photo credit:  Charlie Riedel/AP

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    “But it’s just unseemly to engage in this bickering before the bodies are even buried and the status of all the victims is known.”

    Agreed….this stuff seems all so, I don’t know…. petty.

  2. john personna says:

    It is pretty sad and ironic that “together we thrive” is considered a dangerous political message.

    Like, it’s the people who want to thrive … together … they’re the problem.

  3. Janis Gore says:

    And so a sorrowful event is reduced to babble.

  4. Sandra says:

    a spokesman for the University of Arizona, which hosted the event, said it “was the university’s idea” and that “We wanted to give people something to remember, to symbolize the community spirit.” You’d think the horror of the murders and a speech by the president of the United States would have sufficed in that regard. In any event, they vow “Branding of the event was not done in consultation with the White House, or any elected officials or political organization,” adding “Once the president accepted an invitation, he said, the White House helped coordinate some logistics, such as security, but that was the extent of the White House involvement.”

    BUT WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK IT WAS A GOOD IDEA?? Because every other appearance of PBO had a “theme” complete with freebie t-shirts, programs and other litter.

    If it was not so endorsed before, it would not have been seen/felt as APPROPRIATE this time.

    Okay, I’m doing that doubting teacher acceptance of the “excuse” this time.

  5. john personna says:

    Sandra, I don’t get “memorial” decals in the backs of pick-ups, but they must help some people. T-shirts might be the same.

    But, did you notice that you picked up on this word “branding?”

    Think about that, and the spin it represents. Do you honestly think that the University of Arizona was trying to build a “brand” out of this, rather than help their community?

  6. An Interested Party says:

    “After several days of back-and-forth over whether Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and conservative talk radio somehow contributed to the ‘atmosphere’ that set off the nut who perpetrated this awful crime — with President Obama finally proclaiming that it was exactly their fault…”

    Where in the president’s remarks did he proclaim that it was exactly their fault?

  7. Derrick says:

    This argument by these right wingers is so strange. While the memorial may have seen odd for all of the reasons mentioned, memorials are diferent when your talking about different cultures and attendees. I’ve been to a few services in Georgia for two people who were white protestants and both were extremely solemn, while a friend in Michigan’s service was an Irish wake and I had more fun there than at most the weddings that I’ve attended in the last few years. While most of the services in my family (African-American) are a combination of being extremely sad and then very much a celebration of life. Trying to act as though there is a single way to mourn is just judgemental and small-minded.

  8. john personna says:

    “After several days of back-and-forth over whether Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and conservative talk radio somehow contributed to the ‘atmosphere’ that set off the nut who perpetrated this awful crime …”

    Here is the real flaw in this thinking: It makes any act of violence a dice-roll.

    According to this theory of responsibility, we should “wait and see” how a particular madman is aligned. That’s deeply wrong, and not just because we know madmen are … mad. We didn’t blame Jodie Foster for John Hinkley.

    No, the atmosphere is there without the madman. We don’t need to wait. We can look out right now and see if this is the kind of culture (and atmosphere) we want, and if we like where it might lead.

    I have complaining about a sophomoric morality, one which says “you must catch me” before you know I’m wrong. “You must wait for that gunman dice-roll to come up your way.” That’s the Jodie Foster theory of responsibility, I guess.

    No, I don’t need to wait. I can tell you right now that extreme rhetoric is disruptive, unproductive, and is guaranteed to come up on the dice roll sooner or later.

  9. Eric Florack says:

    Paul Wellstone.

    Any questions?

  10. Eric Florack says:

    Oh… and as for John Hinkley, I don’t recall anyone screaming about needing to tone down the rhetoric when Regan got shot, do you? I’ll worry about the rhetoric as a a causal when I see Dems not making political rallies out of funerals… Wellstone as a prime example.

  11. anjin-san says:

    > with President Obama finally proclaiming that it was exactly their fault,

    When did that happen? Could you clarify?

  12. ponce says:

    Not really surprising.

    A large percentage of the professional Right only have manufactured outrage to peddle.

    Anyone who expects them to heed the call for comity has to understand that means these people voluntarily going out of business and having to find a new line of employment.

  13. anjin-san says:

    > I don’t recall anyone screaming about needing to tone down the rhetoric when Regan got shot

    Possibly because there were no calls for “second amendment remedies” coming from Democrats at the time. Or fetishizing of guns and violence. And of course, there was no left-wing hate radio, no one talking about how Reagan was a communist, or not an American.

  14. Brian Knapp says:

    After several days of back-and-forth over whether Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and conservative talk radio somehow contributed to the “atmosphere” that set off the nut who perpetrated this awful crime — with President Obama finally proclaiming that it was exactly their fault, but we should nonetheless strive to be more civil and honest — we’re now getting to nitpicking the memorial service.

    James, I think that you meant “…that it wasn’t exactly their fault…”; some are getting confused.

  15. Zebra says:

    Maybe conservatives can vent their frustration over these t-shirts by screaming into a decorative 9.11.01 pillow featuring a crying bald eagle with an FDNY cap.

  16. wr says:

    Bit — What about Wellstone? The man was a liberal hero, a fighter for causes many believe in and few will fight for. His memorial was a celebration of his life and his work.

    And then scumbags like Rush Limbaugh started whining about how inappropriate it is for any liberal to celebrate our beliefs, and the morons in the Washington press corps all tut-tutted in unison.

    And now you drag this up as some kind of insult. Well, since I didn’t know you back then, let me just say: How dare you tell anyone how to grieve, especially for a man whose death you cheered? How dare you tell me that it’s inappropriate to celebrate Wellstone’s works, especially when you would have stopped him if you could?

  17. anjin-san says:

    > How dare you tell anyone how to grieve

    It’s simple. He thinks he can gain a political advantage from the funeral of Wellstone, who by all accounts was a decent guy and a dedicated public servant. Now he wants to exploit this tragedy in a similar manner.

    It’s what he does. It’s what he is.

  18. mantis says:

    Wellstone? You mean when wingnuts complained about how the mourning for people whose deaths they celebrate was inappropriate? Yeah, tell us all about it, Eric.

  19. James Joyner says:

    @Interested Party @anjin @Brian:

    Yes, it was just a typo. was for wasn’t.

  20. Eric Florack says:

    Bit — What about Wellstone? The man was a liberal hero, a fighter for causes many believe in and few will fight for. His memorial was a celebration of his life and his work.

    That funeral was a politcal rally just as this one was.

    http://planetpreterist.com/content/democrats-turn-wellstone-funeral-political-rally

    I wonder how many people understand that the Tees James posted in the pic are from “organizing for America”, which has been Obama’s political arm?

    The connection here so many miss is that what drives this is a mentality that holds leftist political ideology above all.

    And Anjin,,,, I suppose that came later.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_President_%282006_film%29

  21. anjin-san says:

    > And Anjin,,,, I suppose that came later.

    So you are admitting that your earlier comments about the Reagan shooting and lack of calls to “tone down the rhetoric” were BS?

    As someone who always liked Reagan, I don’t really appreciate you attempting to politicize his being shot in this manner.

  22. sam says:

    @BitEric

    Paul Wellstone.

    Any questions?

    How do you always manage to keep yourself beneath contempt?

  23. anjin-san says:

    Thanks James, that makes more sense 🙂

  24. mantis says:

    That funeral was a politcal rally just as this one was.

    No, wingnuts just like to spit on those grieving their loved ones. Because you’re scum.

    I wonder how many people understand that the Tees James posted in the pic are from “organizing for America”, which has been Obama’s political arm?

    Only the people who believe your lies.

  25. mantis says:

    And Anjin,,,, I suppose that came later.

    And the left in this country is responsible for the work of British filmakers how, exactly?

  26. G.A.P.THEORY says:

    *** wonder how many people understand that the Tees James posted in the pic are from “organizing for America”, which has been Obama’s political arm?***

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/32138

  27. G.A.P.THEORY says:

    **And the left in this country is responsible for the work of British filmakers how, exactly?** A muse? 🙂

  28. Rock says:

    Together We Thrive.

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/johnberry_iv/C94H

    Theme from My Barack Obama web page Organizing for America Feb 11, 2008, Obama for America 2008.

    Coincidence?

    HT: Redstate

  29. mantis says:

    Generally Asinine Prattle (G.A.P.),

    *** wonder how many people understand that the Tees James posted in the pic are from “organizing for America”, which has been Obama’s political arm?***

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/32138

    I followed your link and found it linking to the “proof” of this nefarious act here, where you’ll find a community blog post on my.barackobama.com by a Garland, TX resident named John Berry IV entitled, “Together We Thrive.” The post is about unity over division in America, for sure, but this evil conspiracy to make T-shirts for this week’s memorial apparently started in
    February 2008, when the post was written.

    Good work, master sleuths!

    Can these people be any dumber?

  30. john personna says:

    Rock, Dude. Are you really arguing (or worse yet thinking) that if a liberal says it, it must be “branding” and you can’t believe it?

    If a liberal said “eat your vegetab …

    Oh, I get it. This explains a lot.

  31. Rock says:

    John, I’m not arguing anything. I didn’t see anything wrong with the theme of the memorial and paid absolutely no attention to it. I thought it was a bit unusual is all. All I’m asking is if the theme was a coincidence. Considering the personalities involved, one has to but wonder.

  32. john personna says:

    OK Rock. FWIW, I’d say that “together we thrive” is a wholesome enough message that it just doesn’t matter. It’s the sort of message in fact that you don’t want any political group to own.

    Better to say “of course we want to thrive, together – no one owns that.”

  33. anjin-san says:

    Rock… perhaps it is a little unusual. But then it is unusual for a sitting member of congress to be shot at a public meeting. The attempt by conservative opinion makers to turn some t shirts into an issue is a slimy attempt to exploit this tragedy.

  34. Rock says:

    anjin-san, What would you call noted liberals and the news media inane attempts to link Sarah Palin to this tragedy? Slimy?

  35. john personna says:

    Rock, anyone who tried to make Sarah Palin a partner in the crime is crazy. Anyone who said she is “responsible” is more than slimy.

    The thing is though, “links” can be indirect and lightly weighted. I worry that people are making those strawmen, saying that if she isn’t responsible, then the are no links, of any kind.

    Did you ever see the TV interview with Giffords, when she talked about extremism, and those very crosshairs? She was asked then what she thought Sarah Palin meant, and she said she didn’t know, you’d have to ask Palin. (I don’t have a link.)

    Just curious, did Palin answer then? I’m talking last year. March or whatever.

    This page says Palin’s “reload” call and chart come after incidents of violence.

  36. john personna says:

    Here is the link, to a March 2010 interview.

    Of course Palin is “linked.” By that interview, for example.

  37. anjin-san says:

    Rock… I will let johns post speak for me as well.

  38. G.A.P.THEORY says:

    the t shits and the cheering was truly bizarre. But I was pointing out civilly that your making nothing other then false accusations still.

    “nefarious”, “evil conspiracy”, would be more like what many of you folks do on a daily basis to slanderously accuse your political targets.

    Understand that I find no fault in your actions but lay the blame upon the state of our mental heath care institutions.

  39. Rock says:

    John, Thank you for the link to that video. I had not seen it before tonight and have watched it several times now.Vandalism to a politicians office happens often enough to be of concern to us all. I notice, though, that when a Republican’s office is involved there is little coverage in the media and no attempt made by the media to link it to anyone on the left. Mr. Loughner may have been the person who damaged Giffords office. Who knows? And this week the news media and others tried their best to accuse or implicate Palin in this tragedy. That implication without evidence set me off. However, crosshairs and bullseye on political maps is pretty bland stuff. The Democrat party has their own version of a bullseye as their new party logo, which I consider to be as benign as political target maps

    http://www.democrats.org/

    I feel so sorry for those involved in this tragedy Yes that also includes Sarah. Anyone who commits murder of innocent people deserves the full wrath of the law and those who lift a hand to harm a Woman or Child deserves a special place in hell.

  40. anjin-san says:

    > I notice, though, that when a Republican’s office is involved there is little coverage in the media and no attempt made by the media to link it to anyone on the left

    Please provide some documentation, as this sounds like a garden variety right wing “we are victims” claim, which is something we hear pretty much every day. Name instances of damage to GOP offices that have been ignored, and then we can all do a little fact checking.

    It is a pretty simple matter for a Republican to contact Fox News, which is very responsive to the concerns of GOP pols. It’s also easy to simply make a video documentating problems of this nature that a Republican may be having and put it on YouTube.

  41. anjin-san says:

    > The Democrat party

    You seem to be trying to debate this question honestly. If this is the case, what is up here? There is no such thing as “The Democrat party”. Using this phrase is a deliberate provocation, kind of like the kid in 6th grade who deliberately mispronounced your name because he knew it pissed you off.

    If you want to have a grown up conversation, don’t bring this BS into it…

  42. Rock says:
  43. john personna says:

    There were those of us who didn’t like the political climate last year. We got then, in March 2010, the resonances between rhetoric and the vandalism, the scuffles.

    We didn’t like it then, but we were told that it was perfectly normal, or that the other side did it too.

    I don’t think those responses took the real higher ground. They didn’t talk about America as it should be. It was more a defense of what we’ve got as what it is.

    Of course when the Gifford attack happened many of us saw it in that context. Now, I’ll acknowledge that some went too far (or themselves too nuts) and claimed that it was some kind of direct play-out or consequence of that culture and that earlier rhetoric.

    I don’t think “Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest” wanted anyone to get hurt, but I do think they created an unfortunate dynamic. Maybe they thought about it, and thought there wasn’t much risk in playing it close to the wind … but it was never the moral high ground, and I don’t buy the ju-jitsu that since there is now a tragedy, we can’t talk that.

  44. Rock says:

    I think I said before, either here or at Doug’s other blog, http://belowthebeltway.com/ that I thought that Sarah Palin would not run for the Presidency. She can not win and she knows it. If she actually tries I’d be surprised. But does she know when to hold them or when to fold them? At the moment, she’s holding her cards. I hope she knows when to fold them.

  45. Rock says:

    anjin-san, I’m sorry I used the term Democrat Party when it should be Democratic Party. I had no idea because I’ve heard Democrat Party used all my life. Now look up the what Tea Bagger means and tell us why members of the so called Tea Party get upset over its use.

    By the way, I’m still searching for examples of where Republican offices or officials were vandalized or injured that did not receive nationwide 24 hour coverage for several days I can’t find one single example. Thank you for correcting my memory.

  46. anjin-san says:

    > I had no idea because I’ve heard Democrat Party used all my life.

    I very much doubt this, unless you are pretty young. Until Rush cooked this up, I had never heard it. When then President Bush started using it, it took off like a rocket.

    > Tea Bagger

    Yea, using this is kind of sad. Is your defense that “the other guy does something crappy, so it’s ok for me to do it?”

  47. anjin-san says:

    Rock,

    I am not sure what you links prove. Yes, there have been attacks on GOP offices (fairly minor and infrequent, it seems, but unacceptable nonetheless). You have not proved that they did not get sufficient media attention (whatever that is). Nor have you proved that similar, fairly minor attacks on Democratic offices have received round the clock national coverage.

    Has it ever been proved that the attack on Jindal’s staffer was, in fact, politically motivated? Was anyone charged or convicted?

    Sorry, this just sounds like another chorus of “We are the right, we are the victims”, which is a song we hear on a daily basis…

  48. Rock says:

    “Democrat Party” is a political epithet used in the United States instead of “Democratic Party” when talking about the Democratic Party.[1] The term has been used by conservative commentators and members of the Republican Party in party platforms, partisan speeches and press releases since 1940. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_%28phrase%29

    anjin-san, believe me, I’m old enough to remember. I’m trying to be polite with you. If I tell you a hen dips snuff . . . look under its wings!

  49. mantis says:

    I had no idea because I’ve heard Democrat Party used all my life.

    What a load of crap. We know you frequent this site, where none of the authors are confused about the name of the Democratic Party. So we know right off the bat your assertion is false. No doubt you’ve also read a newspaper or seen a television program where people discuss the party and know its correct name. Possibly many. If you’ve ever voted, you would have noticed that the the party is called the Democratic Party on ballots. Hell, even Fox News generally gets the name right, at least in text.

    If you’re an American who can operate a computer and find your way to commenting on political blogs, the chance of your not knowing the names of the two dominant political parties in this country is zero. Any claim to the contrary is, quite simply, a lie.

  50. David says:

    At:
    gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com

    I have noticed an image at the rally showing applause was called for on the jumbotron. So much for applause not being planned. This was not a memorial.

    http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/jumbotron.jpg

  51. mantis says:

    That’s the closed captioning, idiot.

  52. Rock says:

    Wow! I’ve already apologized once for using a phrase I didn’t know was so offensive to Democrats. How many times must I apologize before the apology is accepted as an honest mistake? I had to look up the phrase to find out wtf I’d done to set off such ire. You fellows on the left are rather thin skinned. Nevertheless, I would never stoop so low as to call another man a baldfaced liar unless he was standing in front of me. And then with extreme caution.

  53. anjin-san says:

    Rock,

    There is nothing “thin skinned” about it. In any level of discourse above drunks in a dive bar, you refer to people by the name they wish to be called. If I tell you my last name is Smith, and I like to be called Mr. Smith, and you call me “Smitty”, Well, you are kinda looking for trouble, no? I don’t refer to you as “Rocko” do I?

    You should also keep in mind that while Wikipedia is a useful tool, which I myself cite, it is hardly gospel. There is a great deal of incorrect information on it.

    I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on this. But rest assured, Democrats don’t dig “Democrat Party” and they do consider it an insult. That Bush repeatedly used it when he was a sitting President is one more reason that the discourse in our country has sunk to the level it is now at.

  54. Eric Florack says:

    OK, if the WH wasn’t turning the funeral here into a pep rally, why the ‘applause’ signs?
    David’s right.

    Now, the WH claimed they were surprised by the applause. Until of course evidence to the contrary surfaced. But of course we’re just scum for bringing all of this up, right?

    Look, gang, the fact was and remains that the Democrats use such things to promote their politics as a knee-jerk reaction the roundly disproven claims to the contrary from both the white house and the leftists in this thread not withstanding.

  55. Eric Florack says:

    anjin-san, What would you call noted liberals and the news media inane attempts to link Sarah Palin to this tragedy? Slimy?

    Given what Anjin would be forced to admit to us and more importantly and painfully, to himself, I anticipate a silence from him that will be nothing shy of monumental quality.

  56. Rock says:

    It’s a deal anjin-san. I shall never the phrase “Democrat Party” again now that you’ve enlightened me. And I will never see the phrase “Tea Bagger” used here either. Win win. 🙂

  57. anjin-san says:

    > anjin-san, What would you call noted liberals and the news media inane attempts to link Sarah Palin to this tragedy? Slimy?

    I think there is zero correlation between anything Palin has ever said and the tragedy in Tuscon. To say she is “responsible” is idiotic and crazy. This was the act of a very deranged person. They are just dangerous. And yea, I think its slimy to insinuate it is her fault, though she more than deserved the heat she took for her whiny video and “blood libel”.

    That being said, Palin has added a toxic strain to the already nasty bacterial swamp that is right wing political discourse. There is a violent undercurrent to a lot of the right wing chatter – second amendment remedies, “watering the tree of liberty”, Obama is a communist, he is not an American & so on. The photos of folks packing weapons outside a rally where Obama was speaking were sobering to say the least.

    Are you ready to own any of this slime from the right bit? Or are you talking out of your ass as usual?

    I also want to point out that the evil, un-American socialized government health care is all that is standing between the general population and thousands of very sick, very dangerous people like Loughner. Bit, we know how you feel about government involvement in health care. Have you called for all the mental patients in government and government funded institutions yet? If not, you need to get on it. Or admit you are a frigging hypocrite.

  58. anjin-san says:

    > Given what Anjin would be forced to admit to us and more importantly and painfully, to himself

    What would I be “forced to admit” that might cause me any pain? Heres a clue for you. I almost never read liberal blogs or columns. My typical daily reading:

    OTB
    Wall St. Journal
    The Economist
    SF Chronicle
    Business Week

    I generally read the headlines on TPM, but don’t go into depth. Political Wire is good. The Christian Science Monitor from time to time. During Presidential election cycles, I read everything, left, right & center, such as it is.

    You are still caught up in the notion that because I think you are a blithering idiot, that makes me a communist. I was a Republican until the Bush family took over and it was simply too embarrassing to stay one. An independent until Howard Dean convinced me to become a Democrat. My ideas about politics cover a pretty wide spectrum, something you do not understand because your are so one dimensional.

    Did you ever figure out who the hero in Atlas Shrugged was? It’s not that tough a question. Did you understand the book at all?

  59. anjin-san says:

    > And I will never see the phrase “Tea Bagger”

    Not from me.

  60. anjin-san says:

    Sorry, typo _ Have you called for all the mental patients in government and government funded institutions yet?

    Should be

    Have you called for all the mental patients in government and government funded institutions to be released yet?

  61. john personna says:

    I think there is zero correlation between anything Palin has ever said and the tragedy in Tuscon.

    This is the difficult moral territory. Consider this, Gandhi, preaching nonviolence (and long dead) gets a 0 correlation, and Loughner loading the gun and pulling the trigger gets a 100.

    Where does, well to name the one that everyone sort of acknowledges and then stuffs under the rug immediately, where does Angle and “second amendment remedies” lie?

    I’d say all the loose talkers are down around correlation 2, or at the most 5. That’s not enough to make them responsible, but it should be enough to make them stop.

  62. anjin-san says:

    > “second amendment remedies” lie?

    Algle made a pretty clear call for violence. She is certainly on much more shaky ground than Palin. On the basis of that single statement, she is deserving of political oblivion.

    The sad part is that Palin had a chance to be a real leader, and she blew it. She could have stood tall and said “I need to do better, we all need to do better, I am going to change my tone a bit”. It’s probably what Reagan would have done, but of course all resembalance between Reagan and Palin exists in her mind, and nowhere else.

    At any rate, when presented with a chance to take the high road, to really lead, all she could do was, once again, trot out “I am a victim”.

  63. john personna says:

    Everything Palin did or said looks fine in isolation, but I think we could (and we did) ask for a little more awareness of where things fit in the big picture.

    Again, that sad moment in the town hall, where McCain had to walk back the poor woman who was deadly afraid of Barack Obama, that came as rallies were getting angrier, and “pals around with terrorists” was feeding the stew.

    There are some things here that we don’t really want to think about, because they are uncomfortable.

  64. john personna says:

    FWIW, a doctor’s opinion, found in the Financial Times:

    Jerrold Post, director of political psychology at George Washington University and author of Political Paranoia, said the alleged mental instability of the suspect did not mean that vitriolic political rhetoric played no part.

    “It was intended to be metaphoric. Having said that, there may be an emotionally unstable person who takes that quite literally,” he said.

    Dr Post, who worked on political violence at the CIA, said violence could be triggered by the broader atmosphere of heightened rhetoric and those Tea Party activists who carried weapons at rallies to show their literal adherence to the second amendment defence of gun rights.

    “Although the acts and the costumes, including carrying weapons, is meant to be symbolic … the audience is very heterogeneous,” he said. “And within that audience is going to be some who can be incited to carry out that act, particularly if their own life is falling apart.”

    Nothing that should surprise any of us, really.

  65. j

  66. Eric Florack says:

    I also want to point out that the evil, un-American socialized government health care is all that is standing between the general population and thousands of very sick, very dangerous people like Loughner

    Yeah. And we see how well that worked out, huh?

  67. An Interested Party says:

    “OK, if the WH wasn’t turning the funeral here into a pep rally, why the ‘applause’ signs?
    David’s right.”

    Obviously you too are unfamiliar with closed captioning…

    “Yeah. And we see how well that worked out, huh?”

    Umm, I suspect he was directing sarcasm at you…at any rate, considering that PPACA was signed into law just last March and that many of its provisions have yet to come into effect, it is a tad premature to determine how well it has worked out…

  68. anjin-san says:

    it’s worked out a lot better than it would if everyone who is delusional and potentially violence who is currently institutionalized was free. life isn’t perfect com there will always be tragedies there will always be mistakes.

    so your comment contributes nothing to the discussion, well at the same time ducking my question, which is to be expected because bankruptcy of your position would become quite obvious for you to answer it. bad sarcasm followed by a duck and cover, every aspect is your game is on display now…

  69. anjin-san says:

    So Bit, serious question. What is the free-market, private sector, right wing approved plan for dealing with the mentally ill?

    Simply saying “government is the problem”, a million or so times does not really address any our our country’s problems, does it? You need to have actual viable alternatives to government solutions.

    Unless of course, you don’t really have any interest in dealing with our problems, and are simply seeking to score political points for personal gain.

  70. […] Politicizing Tucson Memorial Service Jan 14, 2011 … Politicizing Tucson Memorial Service … The latest hubbub is the charge by Michelle Malkin that the event was “branded,” ….. I have noticed an image at the rally showing applause was called for on the jumbotron. … http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/politicizing-tucson-memorial-service/ – Cached […]