"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
- Winston Churchill
Almost three days removed from the horrid mass murder committed by Jared Loughner in Arizona, sufficient information now exists to bring some perspective and clarity to the acts not only of Loughner, but to the acts of the left in the wake of Loughner's killing spree. The former was caused by severe mental illness. The latter, bearing only a tangential relation to the former, arises out of the left's desire to stop conservative speech by any means possible.
As Maggie's Farm puts it, Loughner didn't accompany his killing spree with shouts of "Rush Limbaugh Akhbar!!!" There is not a shred of evidence tying him to Palin, Limbaugh, or the Tea Party movement. He appears to be a paranoid schizophrenic who went under the radar simply because he took no threatening acts in the community prior to his killing spree - or at least none that would cause the Pima County Sheriff's Dept. to react. One of Loughner's few friends, in a recent interview, speculated that Loughner's motive was just to "fuck things up to fuck shit up," adding that Loughner wanted "to watch the world burn."
The far left has not allowed the lack of evidence - or indeed, contrary evidence - to slow them down. Instead, they ascribe responsibility for the murders to the right on the grounds of creating a climate of "hate." The NYT is leading the charge in their editorial today:
It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.
Yet a look over the last decade shows conclusively that the left is light years beyond the right in terms violent rhetoric and political vitriol (See Malkin, Cupp, PJM, Rush, Wash. Examiner, Hot Air, McGuire, and the WSJ on the hisotry of our political discourse). Indeed, if political vitriol were the cause of violence, the MSNBC studios would be knee deep in blood. And as to martial metaphors, there are more examples of that from Obama than from Palin (PJM, Seraphic Secret). That said, such metaphors are, as Charles Krauthammer points out, a regular part of political speech that derive from the days when the path to political power was through military campaigns.
So just what has the right done to cause this "gale of anger." They have fought against massive deficits, over-taxation, and out-of-control spending. They have fought against Obamacare on the grounds that it is unaffordable and an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. In short, they have fought against the radical pull of our government to the left. So what do any of those things have to do with homicidal mania or, more generally, hate? Well, nothing, of course. Those are all very legitimate political arguments.
So there is something else at work here.
Brit Hume, on Monday, noted that:
It has become a habit of the American left to equate disagreement with liberals and liberalism with hate. So convinced do they seem of the virtue of their cause that the only possible explanation for resistance to it must be hatred. In the past week, at least two prominent liberal commentators spoke of the need to resist the right, quote, ‘Obama hate machine.’
George Will in a column today, speculates that blaming the right for an act such as this is literally part of progressive DNA:
A characteristic of many contemporary minds is susceptibility to the superstition that all behavior can be traced to some diagnosable frame of mind that is a product of promptings from the social environment. From which flows a political doctrine: Given clever social engineering, society and people can be perfected. This supposedly is the path to progress. It actually is the crux of progressivism. And it is why there is a reflex to blame conservatives first. . . .
I think that both Hume and Will let the left off far too easy. Will implies unconscious action where there is clearly malice aforethought. Hume postulates what is in essence an insanity defense for the left - that they are mentally incapable of seeing their opponents as having any reasonable basis for disagreeing with them. I think that gives short shrift to the intellectual dishonesty and moral bankruptcy of the left pushing this blood libel.
What the left has done here is seize on the Arizona mass murder, not because they believe the right somehow created the environment for homicide by their political arguments, but because the left sees it as an opportunity to delegitimize the right. The goal for the left is to create a situation where they won't have to engage in those political arguments that go to the heart of the direction of our country. They are losing those arguments on an epic scale, and they will do anything at all, including using the dead and injured from a psychotic's attack, to try and turn their fortunes around. They are shameless beyond words.
This is, in many ways, nothing more than an extension of throwing the race card, something that the left has relied upon for decades to end debate. Thus it is wholly appropriate that the left's most veteran race card aficionado, Rep. Clyburn (D-SC), would use the mass murder as justification for imposing the Fairness Doctrine, a law that would effectively silence conservative talk radio:
The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use 'better judgment.'
'Free speech is as free speech does,' he said. 'You cannot yell ‘fire' in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.' . . .
For its part, Soros mouthpiece Media Matters is calling on Fox to fire both Glen Beck and Sarah Palin. Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has sent out a fund raising letter asking for donations to allow him to "fight Republicans and other 'right-wing reactionaries' responsible for the climate that led to the shooting." Chris Matthews has cited Mark Levin and Mark Savage as talk radio personalities for particular note in his discussion of the Arizona mass murder.
All of this is despicable. It is intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy on a grand scale. As Michelle Malkin says today,
The Tucson massacre ghouls who are now trying to criminalize conservatism have forced our hand.
They need to be reminded. You need to be reminded.
Confront them. Don’t be cowed into silence.
And don’t let the media whitewash the sins of the hypocritical Left in their naked attempt to suppress the law-abiding, constitutionally-protected, peaceful, vigorous political speech of the Right.
Update: Legal Insurrection has one ridiculous example of how the left is trying to mine the climate of hate meme . They quote Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Me) writing at HuffPo, who claims that the Obamacare repeal bill must be renamed in the wake for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting:
A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform. The bill, titled the "Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act," was set to come up for a vote this week, but in the wake of Gabby's shooting, it has been postponed at least until next week.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suggesting that the name of that one piece of legislation somehow led to the horror of this weekend -- but is it really necessary to put the word "killing" in the title of a major piece of legislation? I don't think that word is in there by accident -- my Republican friends know as well as anyone the power of words to send a message. But in this environment and at this moment in our nation's history, it's not the message we should be sending.
A final thought. In essence, the left now wants to make paranoid schizophrenics the arbiter of appropriate speech in America - at least for those who oppose the left. How's that for an insane idea?
Update: Hot Air brings good news for America, bad news for the left wing slime machine doing their best to use the mass murder to delegitimize its political opposition:
CBS polled almost 700 adults in the wake of the mass murder in Tucson committed by Jared Lee Loughner to determine whether the media spin that the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murders of six others was a political act had resonated with the public. Perhaps surprisingly, the spin machine seems to have failed. A majority of 57% say that politics had nothing to do with the shooting, and even a plurality of 49% of Democrats agree.
This means our nation is firmly in the "you can't fool all of the people all of the time" leg of Lincoln's tripart theorem. What that likely means is that ever more discordant attempts to delegitimize the right will have a rebound effect. The Krugmaniacal left wing slime machine should proceed with caution.