I have never witnessed such an immediate rush to tar a majority movement in my life -- without an ounce of evidence.Let's be honest here. I assumed when I heard about this attack that it was a right wing attack. Why would I think that? Because for decades the right wing noise machine has described Liberals and Democrats as the enemies of America, as wanting Americans to be miserable so they can get political power, as being basically evil. Limbaugh conservatives see liberals as their enemy. Or to quote Mr. Limbaugh.
The star of the media's Smearing Olympics was Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat who rushed to the readily available media microphones to proclaim the shooting was the natural outgrowth of hot "anti-government" talkers, that "the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from the people in the radio business and some people in the TV business" was to blame.
We view liberals as a threat to the founding of this country. We view them as a threat to the future. We view them as a threat to the traditions and institutions that have defined this country's greatness. We view them as people who need to be defeated, not worked with.Is it surprising that after years of such characterization, I might expect that some day somebody might act on this world view.
Here's the thing. Limbaugh and Palin and Beck and all don't feel powerless. Whatever they pretend, they know that elections come and go, and their ideas will get back in power. That's the way of it. Do their followers share the same mentality? Or is it possible that their followers, after hearing years of Conservatives explaining that the system just doesn't work and that Democratic politicians are evil, might decide that they can't wait for the system to work. That they know where evil is and they know how to deal with it.
Obviously in this case, Loughner turns out to be crazy. And, it must be acknowledged, some of the Reporting on this issue was hasty. I had a gut reaction to this news; but I'm not a reporter. Reporters should wait until they get all the facts.