Drawing A Line in the Sand

Previously, I wrote about Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks’ inability to prevent making a complete jackass out of himself as the horrific shootings in Arizona was beginning to unfold. Rodricks felt the need to use the incident to score political points on gun control. Naturally, Rodricks wasn’t the only progressive exploiting the incident.

As I stated before, I wish the politicization hadn’t happened at all or as fast as it did, but initial expressions of horror and empathy gave way to progressives, who just couldn’t let this crisis go to waste, demagoguing the tragedy. However, staying above the fray, ignoring the slander lends credence to the accusations. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in his in the final lines of his book Liberal Fascism, “For at some point it is necessary to throw down the gauntlet, to draw a line in the sand, to set a boundary, to cry at long last ‘enough is enough.’”

Well before we found out that the only party Loughner belonged to was the crazy bat shit party, members of the “reality-based community” were blaming Republicans, the Tea Party and their so called “extremist rhetoric.”

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the fever swamp blog Daily Kos, tweeted, “Mission Accomplished Sarah Palin,” referring to a map created by Sarah Palin’s PAC featuring cross hair targets on vulnerable Democrat districts, including Giffords.

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Of course, as Matt Lewis points out, Moulitsas, who was so quick to yet again pin another act of violence on the right, ignored the fact the he entreated his Kossacks to put a “bulls eye” on Giffords back in 2008.

Then there is the Democratic Leadership Council’s similar “target map” for vulnerable Republicans.

Also, let’s not forget the assassination chic that permeated leftwing rhetoric during the Bush years. But the left get’s a pass because they are on the side of the angels and what is vice for the right is virtue for them.

Nor did the tragedy prevent the chairman of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Steve Israel, from exploiting the situation for political gain by “targeting” the right’s political rhetoric. Politico reported that one Democratic operative suggested that the Obama administration, “deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” in a similar fashion Bill Clinton pinned the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings on the militia and other anti-government groups. The only problem is that the TEA Party’s animating force is a return to abiding by the constitution—hardly an “anti-government” position.

The leftwing blogosphere and some mainstream journalists have gone to great lengths to blame the right’s extreme rhetoric or the “incivility” of our political discourse for Loughner’s actions. However, the evidence to-date suggests that neither right-wing rhetoric nor ramifications of our political discourse are to blame, rather Loughner’s own lunacy. As Tim Carney accurately noted, removing military or hunting metaphors from our political rhetoric wouldn’t have reduced the probability of Loughner committing this horrific act.

For those on the left who cling to the fallacy that the extremism of the right or our political discourse is to blame for the tragedy in Tucson, I say look to your own first. Furthermore, ask yourself if your own rhetoric, which begins from the assumption that conservative positions stem not from fixed principles but from nefarious motives, has anything to do with it.

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