The Arizona shooting and the blame game

There’s not much to say about the shooting in Arizona on Saturday that hasn’t already been said in other places. It’s just a horrific, senseless act of evil by a deranged loner. We don’t see that there’s any great lesson to be derived, or any great national discussion to be had. This terrible event doesn’t, as far as the evidence at present shows, tell us anything about the current political environment, or American society, or anything; it just appears to be a senseless crime by one twisted individual in Arizona.

But the concerted effort of the left, and their allies in the mainstream media, to try to pin any of the blame on conservatives, or the tea parties, or Sarah Palin, is just despicable. There is no evidence of any connection. None. As human beings, and allegedly professional journalists, they should be ashamed, but they seem incapable of shame. These are some of the same people who have hounded Mrs. Palin since a few minutes after she was named as the vice presidential nominee in 2008, and now they’re going to turn around and blame her for incivility? Incredible, but completely unsurprising.

There certainly is an argument to be made that political discourse in America could be more civil, but that is an entirely different topic from what happened to Representative Giffords and the other innocent victims on Saturday. We certainly aren’t interested in hearing any lectures from the left on civility, or from people like Paul Krugman, or Keith Olbermann or Senator Dick “Pol Pot” Durbin.

Glenn Reynolds summed up the issue nicely in his piece today at The Wall Street Journal:

To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

It is both a vicious lie and contemptible.

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