Rightbloggers Comfort the Real Victims of the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting: Themselves

tomt200.jpgAfter Saturday's shootings in Arizona -- which left Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords badly wounded and six people dead -- rightbloggers were swift to condemn... any possible criticism of themselves.

You can understand their defensiveness. Back during the 2010 campaign, Sarah Palin had endorsed Tea Party challengers to Giffords and others with little gun-sight images and the cry, "Don't Retreat -- Reload!" Giffords had noticed ("When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that action..."); so did the local sheriff.

Oops. You might expect rightbloggers to be pouring oil on troubled waters right now, eschewing violence, promoting civility, etc.

You might expect that -- if you didn't know them. If you do, you will have guessed that they responded in their traditional manner: With rage at the great injustice they had suffered.

After the violence, Palin had her people try to spin that old shooty-shooty campaign material away -- which we can understand, as she is an American politician and that's what they do. Liberals gave Palin a hard time about that ("fuck it, I'm going there," said TBogg of "Sarah Palin's Hit List"), which we also understand.

Some leftbloggers went further, teasing out a connection between the violent, pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric sometimes heard from Tea Party people and this very violent event. "To the more mainstream right-wingers who fail to condemn the poisonous claims of the far right," wrote Adele Stan at AlterNet, "I say, you're hardly off the hook." "[Accused assassin Jared] Loughner, while clearly in the grip of delusion rather than any coherent ideology," wrote Michelle Goldberg at Tablet, "nonetheless shared many far-right obsessions."

palingun.jpg
I know it looks bad, but I can explain.
To be fair, we can imagine a reasonable answer to this argument. And we have to imagine it, as no one is actually making it. (Those who come closest are actually milquetoast liberals like the New York Times' Matt Bai who, in our current, debased political discourse, take the role once filled by moderate Republicans back when such creatures existed.)

What we got instead was less reasonable, because once a connection had been suggested between the sainted Palin and an actual, horrific act of violence -- worse, a connection that such Americans as can remember back a few news cycles might actually grasp -- the necessity of severing that connection became stronger for rightbloggers than any faint impulses they might have had toward decorum, logic, or common sense.

For example, when leftblogger Matthew Yglesias cited Congressnut Michele Bachmann's 2009 "armed and dangerous" comments as an example of violent rightwing lunacy, the Daily Caller's John Guardiano said it wasn't as bad as it sounded: "Bachmann clearly was using 'armed and dangerous' in a metaphorical and political, not literal and violent, sense," he said.

Unfortunately Guardiano tried to prove this with direct quotations from Bachmann, including this: "Thomas Jefferson told us, 'Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.' And we the people are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country."

As the American Revolution involved muskets and cannons, not political debates, this would seem to run exactly contrary to Guardiano's point. In any event, Guardiano told us the real extremist here was "the reprehensible" Yglesias -- "a tool of the rabid Left" who "sees people only in political, and not human, terms."

In the real world, Yglesias is actually a moderate liberal who tries to engage small-gummint types by opposing barber licensing and going to the rifle range with Megan McArdle. But when you're aggressively defending your own moderation, and your best defense is a reference to armed revolution, radicalizing the reputation of your opponents must seem like a good idea, if not your only hope.


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31 comments
jim
jim

A++++++ POST - WOULD FACEPALM AGAIN

A silver lining to this heinous crime is that it provides a textbook case of prefab damage-control from the wingnuts that's both comical & revealing. They've had to do this ridiculous dance quite a lot (Google "insurrectionist timeline" for a massive chronicle of American right-wing extremism since the summer of 2008) so they pretty much do it on autopilot by now.

jim
jim

When will moderates & DFHs stop weaponizing their dead & wounded to oppress RealAmerakinz???

Nexus974
Nexus974

Your pathetic Edroso!Mass murder has been committed and scumbags like you and Olbermann are trying to score political points! I would say you should be ashamed, but you clearly have none!

Lumpy_robots
Lumpy_robots

I think you can add Ayn Rand to his reading list (?) and he was fixated with returning to the Gold Standard... both are Tea Party traits.

None
None

May they choke on their own santorum...

NastyBrownGuy
NastyBrownGuy

Great article highlighting Right Wing lunacy and fanaticism at its finest: "Yeah, the guy believed in free education...just like Hitler did, so he's a Commie".

Ahhh, what does one expect from NutJobs that think Israel is 'God's Chosen State' and that Barack Obama is going to force Islamic Sharia based-laws that will ban guns and force gay marraiges!!!! Ha, Ha....

At least the good news is that the Right is so angry, crazy and gun-obsessed that they will probably wind up killing themselves!!! Let us hope and pray, "Oh, Jesus..."

Fredisdead
Fredisdead

Maybe the federal law can have the same impact as the Washington DC law, which says guns can only be kept in the home. Only 9 people shot on the streets in December.

Can you explain how criminals, who even view being caught with a gun and imprisoned is just a cost of doing business, will give up their guns? I don't believe so.

Dequen
Dequen

Roy, is this the year you finally write something a bit more substantial than this stupid ass blog?

D. Aristophanes
D. Aristophanes

Also, Left Coast Rebel's warning to gun enthusiasts and right-leaning folk to 'keep your powder dry' in the face of potential backlash over the Tucson shooting (http://www.leftcoastrebel.com/....

Of course, he does footnote the comment with this - 'Closed Captioning for the Language Impaired: Figuratively speaking'. Because saying something totally inappropriate is okay if you also say that you know it's inappropriate.

KWillow
KWillow

"As ye sow so shall ye reap" is what I like to say to the mighty-righties. And the right wing "sowing" of hate and violence has been more like continuous aerial seeding of the entire country with a noxious brew of slimy fear & bigotry. What's really amazing is how FEW murders have resulted from Fox-Corporate Media Daily Rhetoric. Probably due to "Dancing With The Stars" and that talent show whose name I can never remember.... American Idle?

StringonaStick
StringonaStick

Methinks the winger bloggers doth protest too much.

RPorrofatto
RPorrofatto

These epic dissections of wingnut crazy are a public service. When wingnuts are so shamelessly dishonest to boot it's nice to know they will be deftly impaled here.

John E. Williams
John E. Williams

All I know is, I can't imagine too many afternoons more awful than one spent on the rifle range with Megan McArdle.

Roy Edroso
Roy Edroso

Roy, is this the year you finally write something a bit more substantial than this stupid ass blog?

Always looking out for me! I'm flattered as usual. Leave your address and I'll put you on the mailing list. (This spring I may get into potholders. You won't want to miss that!)

Susanoftexas
Susanoftexas

Also, he crossed his fingers behind his back.

synykyl
synykyl

Indeed. They would be singing a very different tune if a conservative had been shot. I'm usually a turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy, but I think maybe Jesus wants us to start shooting back.

Orr250mph
Orr250mph

no kidding. the Univ of London medical study is spot-on that the emotional areas of rightwingers' brains become active during the same stimulation which activitates lefties logical & higher-order thinking. >no wonder wingnuts are susceptable to AGIPROP like "death panels", FEMA camps, gun confiscation, the "war" on xmas, & other nonsense.

Susanoftexas
Susanoftexas

I'll second that. If I had to spend ten minutes with Miss You-Don't-Need Social-Security Because-Pete-Peterson-Is-Paying-Me-To End-Social-Security I"d be steeping in front of her gun begging to to have my misery ended as quickly as possible.

The right will never accept responsibility because they're followers, not leaders. They're just following orders, doing what everyone else is doing, they don't mean for anyone to really get hurt, blah blah blah. They're playing peak-a-boo with killers and then wondering why people take their eliminationist rhetoric seriously.

John E. Williams
John E. Williams

Roy, is this the year you finally get some half-intelligent trolls on this stupid ass blog?

gil mann
gil mann

Another day, another chance to quote The Abyss: "Hippy, do me a favor. Stay off my side."

Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

And you'll never accept that's it reported he was a Left Winger that did the shooting....I know I Know it was Bushes fault....hope you hate keeps you warm moron

John E. Williams
John E. Williams

I amend my comment in that I would pay good money to see YOU and Megan at the rifle range together. Though I imagine a scenario much like the one you described.

And anyway, she would keep moving the target, insisting she didn't REALLY miss when she did by a mile, and explain that SHE gets to stand closer to the target because, well, because she's Megan.

synykyl
synykyl

Another day, another chance to quote Unforgiven: Andy: Clyde, you got three pistols and you only got one arm! Clyde: I just don’t wanna get killed for lack of shooting back.

And what makes you think I'm a hippy, or that we're on the same side ;-)

Ignobility
Ignobility

Been reported by the right wing in a feeble attempt to deflect blame from themselves. Did you actually read Roy's column?

Roy Edroso
Roy Edroso

And you'll never accept that's it reported he was a Left Winger that did the shooting....I know I Know it was Bushes fault....hope you hate keeps you warm moron

Don't we have a special holding area for non-sequiturs?

ignatov
ignatov

"the left's response has been toxic"

Oh, blow it out your ass, Howard.

24AheadDotCom
24AheadDotCom

What an ironic thread.

On the wider issue, just as the teapartiers use violent imagery and brainless tactics, the left's response to them has been toxic, bigoted, and anti-American (the race card) and childish ("teabaggers"). If the left had opposed the 'partiers in pro-American, grown-up ways they'd have much less influence:

24ahead.com/s/tea-parties

RPorrofatto
RPorrofatto

And when she shoots you in the face it will be because her gun doesn't have a windage calculator.

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