Watching the coverage of the story this weekend was truly perplexing. The left immediately jumped to blame the right before we even knew he name of the shooter. The right correctly defended itself pointing out that most of his rhetoric was from the left. At moments of attempted fairness, both sides say that they have some responsibility for angry rhetoric. The media, which is forever trying to elevate itself above that which it covers, claims that one thing we can all agree on is that there is a problem with the discourse in this country.
However, the one thing that no one seems to want to talk about is that after looking at the gunman and his ramblings, I don’t see how a discussion about rhetoric applies at all.
The truth is, unless there are a lot of new facts to come that we don’t know about yet, this shooting says absolutely nothing about our political discourse. Nothing. In fact, it says absolutely nothing about society as a whole. Zero.
I know this is disappointing to politicians and the media, but sometimes the story just isn’t about you. It’s about the people who were shot, and the person who shot them.
Think about this. Jared Lee Loughner was fixated on Gabrielle Giffords since at least August 2007. You might recognize that date as occurring approximately two years before the Tea Party existed. When he had a chance to finally interact with her, he asked her a question about grammar. Grammar.
He’s just crazy. There’s no larger story here. There’s no there there.
The media and political hacks have used this tragedy as an excuse to talk about something they want to talk about—supposed right wing violence. There is absolutely no evidence at this time that supports that the right wing had anything to do with the killers actions . It’s the ultimate “when did you stop beating your wife” storyline. Conservatives are forced to defend themselves against a charge that no one with any evidence is presenting.
The lead piece from Politico included this passage: “By day’s end, the argument that the political right—fueled by anti-government, and anti-immigrant passions that run especially strong in Arizona—is culpable for the Tucson massacre, even if by indirect association, seemed to be validated by the top local law enforcement official investigating the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).”
Validated how? Did this official provide evidence that Loughner was fueled by anti-government and anti-immigrant passions that run especially strong in Arizona? The article quotes him.
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 country is getting to be outrageous,” said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, an elected Democrat, at a news conference Saturday evening. “And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
Unsubstantiated accusations from an authority figure do not “validate” the irresponsible claims of conservative culpability; they merely echo them. Unless he has seen evidence he is not sharing with the public, Dupnik was little more than Markos Moulitsas with a badge.