Here in Arizona, we just marked the one-year anniversary of the Tucson shootings. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and barely survived; six were killed, thirteen were wounded. I will never forget where I was when I heard about it – in the grocery store after getting off duty later than normal. I’ll also never forget what ran through my mind when I saw Pinal County sheriff Clarence Dupnik make his anti-right-wing remarks: fear. Particularly for my friends down in Tucson and Fort Huachuca, I felt fear. In the following days the Tucson tea party members received multiple death threats, but nobody in the media mentioned it (except on Fox News). Dupnik’s office actually told them to stay out of the public. At least two that I know of braved it to appear at the townhall held by ABC immediately following the shooting. They have both since said that they were deathly afraid to walk inside alone.
For months there was a constant stream of anti-right, hate-the-tea-party vitriol spewing forth from the left. Even after it had been proven that Jared Lee Loughner – the shooter – was off his rocker and subscribed to no single political belief, much less the right wing, Democrats kept up their story that we were to blame. We conservatives, we who believe in the Second Amendment and supposedly live on hatred (what, with our using silly-looking versions of crosshairs on a political map, it was no wonder people didn’t get killed sooner, right?). Democratic candidates such as Harry Mitchell got a free pass for using real crosshairs superimposed on a photograph of JD Hayworth (crosshairs that bounced around, much the way they do when I’m looking through a real-life scope at a target). Republicans or independent conservatives, though? We didn’t get one inch of wiggle room. We were immediately cast as the villains and are the villains in this episode to this day.
Today, in fact, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schulz once again politicized the shooting with the following quote:
“We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords — who is doing really well, by the way. But the discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular…has really changed, and I’ll tell you. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement. I’ve never seen a time that was more divisive or where discourse was less civil,” she said. “What the Tea Party has done is they have taken it to a different level, and so when they come and disagree with you, you’re not just wrong, you’re the enemy.”
In the wake of those remarks, RNC chairman Reince Preibus called her out for blaming us for the shooting yet again. She fired back with a denial that she had done so (I’m sorry, honey, but you need to listen to your own words again). DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse promptly remarked, “Would it kill you folks in the Republican Party to stop making crap up?” THEN Woodhouse re-tweeted a Twitter follower who said this: “Priebus needs jaws tightened 4 his bs.”
So much for civility.
Let’s see about that hate-fueled rhetoric, shall we? I wonder if they were talking about a radio broadcast in which Rush Limbaugh said, “A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: (audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.) Just try it, you little b*stard. (audio of gun being cocked).”
No, wait…that wasn’t Rush. That was Air America hostess Randi Rhodes, back in 2005, talking about Bush.
Maybe they were upset about Mark Levin’s broadcast, where he said, “I have zero doubt that if Barack Obama was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow. I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”
Damn! Foiled again…that was actually Bill Maher, talking about Dick Cheney on his show several years ago.
I know! They were referring to Laura Ingraham, who said, “If I got her a— on camera, I would put my Mars Air Jordans so far up her butt that the Mayo Clinic would have to remove them.”
No, no. That was actually Spike Lee talking about Condoleeza Rice.
Perhaps they were unsettled by Sean Hannity, who said, “Matthews? Aw, Matthews, somebody ought to wrap a strong Democrat entrail around his neck and hoist him up about six feet in the air and watch him bounce.”
Silly me. That was Mike Malloy, also from Air America, talking about Matt Drudge – and he used the words “strong Republican entrail”.
I’ve got it. They were talking about Ann Coulter when she said, “…And then there’s Obama who said of Iraq ‘We have our good days and our bad days.’ We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say ‘This is one of our bad days’ and pull the trigger.”
*SNAP* Wrong again, folks. That was a quote pulled from a Democratic Party fundraising ad seen in St. Petersburg, FL.
I’d like to know what these civil leftists would say to KGO host Charles Karel Bouley, who said, “F*** God D*mned Joe the God D*mned Motherf*cking plumber! I want Motherf*cking Joe the plumber dead.” He’s a gay man who was once fired by ABC for using a string of profanities on the air. Maybe they have a response to Chris Matthews, who said, “You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with Yaphet Kotto as the bad guy, Mr. Big? In the end they jam a big CO2 pellet in his face and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we’ll be there to watch. I think he’s Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?”
I’d really like to know what they have to say to Michael Feingold, who uttered this in a theatre review: “Republicans don’t believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don’t give a hoot about human beings, either can’t or won’t. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm.”
Yeah, those Tea Partiers are awfully dangerous. I can’t recall a single member of the Tea Party going on a radio program or writing in a stage review about how leftists should be exterminated. I do, however, balk at the incredible hypocrisy of Courtland Milloy, who wrote the following in the Washington Post: “I know how the ‘tea party’ people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their ‘Obama Plan White Slavery’ signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads.”
The Goebbels school of PR is in full swing.
CORRECTION: Clarence Dupnik is the Sheriff of PIMA County, not Pinal. I get those two mixed up all the time.