Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hands Clean

"If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those second amendment remedies."

Sure, we shouldn't blame Sharron Angle and her endorsement of armed violence against the federal government, or Sarah Palin for exclaiming "don't retreat, RELOAD!" in reference to defeating liberals, for the tragedy that took place yesterday in Arizona. It's not fair to link the shooter to the Tea Party gun-toters who showed up at presidential rallies with firearms or whose vitriolic condemnation of the 111th Congress was so vehement that it contributed significantly to a tripling of violent threats against federal officials in the past year. We certainly shouldn't blame the likes of Glenn Beck, who for the better part of the last two years has insisted that the very fabric of our republic is under open and vicious attack by the cabal of the Obama administration, a progressive Congress, and an elite propagandist media machine, and that time is quickly running out before everything about America as we know it is fundamentally altered into an unrecognizable socio-fascist dystopia.

Too little is known about the political ideology of 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner, who yesterday afternoon opened fire at a congressional meet-and-greet outside of a grocery store in Tucson, killing six people, including a nine-year old girl and a venerated federal judge, and gravely injuring twelve others, most notably a dedicated, sharp, gifted, and lovely congresswoman who was kicking off her third term as a public servant in the United States House of Representatives. We know the man's YouTube page (which, along with Facebook profiles and MySpace accounts have now become the go-to place for post-rampage dissection of the bat-shit insane) featured hints of government conspiracies, references to Mein Kampf as well as The Communist Manifesto (obviously the sign of a confused and mentally vulnerable, unstable young man), flag-burning, constitutional lecturing, rants against government-dictated grammar, and calls to establish a new currency. But in the aftermath of the shooting, all too many members of the Internet Idiot Brigade either accused this guy of being a right-wing, teabagging, Obama-hating gun-lover (because well, who else would try to kill Democrats?) or chose to steadfastly defend the aggressive, heated political rhetoric employed by those on the right to rally their base.

The truth is, I don't give a shit what this guy's leanings are.

Jared Lee Loughner was the sole actor in this attack. He and only he decided to wake up yesterday morning, drive down to the Safeway with his modified Glock, and open fire on a group of innocent people in an attempt to kill his representative in Congress, whom he called "unintelligent." Loughner did this, and Loughner alone will pay the price determined by the just laws of our land. Jared Loughner's gun didn't kill people. He did.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin and her team of PR professionals can sleep soundly knowing that this lunatic was a vaguely defined "leftist," or something. Sarah Palin won't lose any sleep, because even though she spoke of Gabrielle Giffords the same way she does an Alaskan caribou just before she makes it her dinner, it wasn't her words the shooter was listening to. He was reading Hitler, or Marx, whatever, same thing. After all, she doesn't really mean what she says about "reloading." It's just a metaphor. The liberal media shouldn't try to paint it as anything else but that. Sarah Palin's hands are completely clean. As are Sharron Angle's. Sure this guy indirectly took her "second amendment remedies" suggestion as a sound one and exercised it with lethal results. But it's not like he supported her, or anything. And when Michele Bachmann rants and raves about the government becoming so oppressive and so monstrous that it is actively seeking to harm and enslave its own people, surely she wasn't speaking to this half-brained warped conspiracy theorist, nor was he listening to her. Right?

Hands clean.

"Sarah Palin...has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there are consequences to that."

-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), March 2010

Step into the rain:

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