RIGHT ON CUE: BLAME THE RIGHT

January 11, 2011

It only took twenty minutes for the liberal elitists, Nobel laureates and gun control enthusiasts to blame the Americans on the right for the tragedy Saturday in Tucson, Arizona.

Late Saturday Morning Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords collapsed outside the Safeway in Tucson Saturday morning, felled by a hail of bullets that killed six and wounded another 13 innocent people that had come to see her. Within minutes many on the American Left said the horror could be traced to the malign influence of American conservatives; members of the Tea Party; right-wing pundits Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck; former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; and Fox News.

That was the narrative of culpability spun in the immediate aftermath of the shootings by some leading liberal commentators and Democratic politicians -- despite warnings from religious leaders, lawyers, academics, ethicists, reporters and historians that such a rush to judgment only further deepens the partisan divide in America, and further poisons its discourse.

Just twenty minutes after the attempted assassination of Giffords -- indeed, at a point when it was still erroneously believed in many quarters that she was dead, and the identity of her shooter was not publicly known -- some commentators, absent any credible evidence, were already busily laying blame for the atrocity in political terms. Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blogged at 3:22 p.m. ET Saturday: "We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was."

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, also found a political element in Saturday's bloodshed. Dupnik argued that the "vitriol" of the country's harshly polarized political climate was partly to blame, arguing that unbalanced individuals are uniquely "susceptible" to vitriol. Dupnik added, in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly: "We see one party trying to block the attempts of another party to make this a better country." 

Asked by Kelly if he had any evidence Loughner was in any way influenced by political "vitriol," Dupnik offered none. "That's my opinion, period," he said.

Krugman, in his blog post on the Times website, went on to mention Giffords' presence last year on Palin's "infamous crosshairs list." This was a map, disseminated by Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, denoting the districts of 20 vulnerable House Democrats with images of crosshairs overlaid on each. The map was accompanied by a caption saying: IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND. Giffords herself, during her narrow campaign victory over a Tea Party-backed opponent last year, had complained about this choice of imagery, telling MSNBC: "The way that (Palin) has it depicted, the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district ...When people do that, they've gotta realize there are consequences to that action."

Unnoted by Giffords then, or Krugman now, is the routine use of similar language and imagery by both parties in a culture obsessed with "battleground" states. Indeed, a nearly identical map, included in a Democratic Leadership Committee publication in 2004, featured nine bullseyes over regions where Republican candidates were considered vulnerable that year, and was accompanied by a caption reading: TARGETING STRATEGY. A smaller caption, beneath the bullseyes, read: BEHIND ENEMY LINES. The map illustrated an article on campaign strategy by Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute.

Krugman's blog post on Saturday linked "the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc." to "the violence I fear we're going to see in the months and years ahead," and added: "Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate." Yet in all of the grammatically hobbled writings and statements that Loughner posted on the Internet -- in which, ironically, one of his chief obsessions was others' poor grammar -- the failed student and awkward loner made not a single reference to talk-radio or the TV hosts Krugman cited, to the health care debate or the Tea Party, to Sarah Palin or Fox News.

You gotta love it. This is taken right out of Saul Alinsky's playbook Rules for Radicals.  In chapter 7, Alinsky gives his "radical wannabes" thirteen power tactics which, when carried out without flinching, would bring influential "change," if not revolution, to the culture. Number 13 says:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

This rule is all about ending the "dog chasing its tail pattern" of entities shifting blame from one to another -- it's the CEO's fault; no, I answer to the Board of Directors, so it's their fault; no, we answer to the shareholders, so it's their fault, etc. Blame-shifting is an effective stalling tactic and unless it is undermined it can quickly disorient an organizing program. Alinsky says that when you "freeze" a specific target, you not only end the blame-shifting game, but you also smoke out the other targets as they come forward to defend your primary target. The target must also be personal, not an ideology or some other abstraction.

So here is Krugman and his ilk following Rule 13.  They believe that every gun owner in this country should be arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole. This is the left's so-called Lucky 13.

Blame Rush, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, the GOP controlled House of Representatives, FOX News, the NRA and all gun owners. It's their fault. Never mind that the 22-year old nut job stated on his YouTube profile that he's an avid reader and included in a long list of favorite books "Animal Farm," "Brave New World," "The Communist Manifesto," and "Mein Kampf."

He wrote of creating a new system of currency and designing coins. "You're distributing your new currency lethally to people or you're distributing your new currency non-lethally to people," the video reads. In another video he wrote: "No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!"

Loughner expressed a deep interest in the dystopia that made up the plots of his favorite books.

"I know who's listening: Government Officials, and the People," read one video. "Nearly all the people, who don't know this accurate information of a new currency, aren't aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn't have happen." [sic]

It appears that this disturbed young man had little allegiance to any authority from the left or right. But the fact that he loved to read Hitler and Marx indicates that he had devotion to tyranny. One could argue it's the same devotion that many in the Obama administration believe in, accept without the guns!

The history of the left tells us that if that had been House Speaker John Boehner, Senator John McCain, or Father-and-son team Ron and Rand Paul, there would be no cry for gun control. It's quite possible there would be little outcry from the left. I find it interesting that a center-right Federal Judge, John Roll, was hardly mentioned by the left. Roll, a Republican and a George H. W. Bush appointee, was killed in the attack.

Still, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., found conservative lawmakers and Fox News at fault. The eight-term lawmaker told the Bergen Record Saturday: "There's an aura of hate, and elected politicians feed it; certain people on Fox News feed it."

Pascrell, for his part, has appeared as a guest on Fox News at least 159 times, dating from a January 2002 appearance on "The O’Reilly Factor" ("Honor to talk to you," Pascrell told host Bill O’Reilly, at the end of their segment) to an appearance last month on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" -- 38 days before the Tucson massacre. "The nation needs to be united right now," Pascrell told the hosts of "Fox & Friends" last Jan. 28, nearly a year before he blamed the network and GOP politicians for the attempted assassination of Giffords. "We don't do the nation any good by simply dividing amongst ourselves."

Without mentioning Palin by name, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the number-two Democrat in the Senate, alluded on Sunday to the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee in his discussion of the causes of the violence the day before. Durbin invoked "don't retreat, reload," a phrase from a well publicized Twitter message once sent by Palin, as the kind of "violent" sentiment that can provoke incidents like Saturday's. Durbin said on CNN’s "State on the Union" program, "These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response."

In twenty minutes conservatives were blown apart by the left (pardon the pun). But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that when the whinny left is losing in their perceived "game" (a game of control) they will blame, blame, blame until the majority of Americans either give-in, give-up, or stands up and shout even louder the truth that civility comes from the principle of freedom and not from the tyranny of radical revolution.


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