As Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) fights for her life along with the other survivors of the bloodbath today at a Tucson public forum, we also mourn those who died today.
The federal judge who was killed, federal Judge John Roll became “a hate figure for the US right last year after he presided over a law suit brought by immigrants against a ranch owner. He had had death threats issued against him.”
Giffords’ father, Spencer Giffords, 75, said:
when asked if his daughter had any enemies said: “Yeah, the whole Tea Party.”
The discussion of this horrible event doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Giffords herself made the connection in an interview:
“…for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action.”
The violence in the language perpetrated by the right wing has consequences. As the Free Republic tries to scrub its boards of anti-Gifford violence screeds (and possibly that of the shooter Jared Loughner, 22), and Sarah Palin tries to retool her “targets” in the cross hairs, let’s look at just one example of the rhetoric that the right uses that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Michele Bachmann, 2009: I Want People “Armed And Dangerous” Over Obama Tax Plan:
Now most people of any political stripe would not take this bombastic lunacy seriously, but the eliminationist fringe that the right wing pretends doesn’t exist in its ranks when it’s not convenient is populated by gun-toting, unbalanced people who are pumped up by this rhetoric in ways that lead them to act out. As I noted earlier, one has to ask why all the site scrubbing if the right wing thinks the shooter isn’t one of “their own?”
Palin and Co. need to own the rhetoric and leave it up for all to see. Do they feel that they have anything to be ashamed of? If the shooter is some lefty gay crazy (as some wingers set up fake Facebook pages tried to do), there’s no need for the scrubbing, no?
UPDATE: I stand corrected. Daily Kos scrubbed this diary by a constituent of Giffords. It should be left up (see below the fold.
This is what is/was out there.