There was a time — actually only four years ago — when clear blue skies marked the baby boomers’ coming decades. Then the sky fell.
States have no magic-hat trick to balance budgets under siege.
Please join me in not mourning the impending departure of Joe Lieberman.
My dream poll on public attitudes toward the health-care reforms would come in two parts. The first part would ask five or eight basic questions about what’s in the legislation. The second part would be an opinion poll given to only those who got, say 70 percent, of the questions right.
An outlandish disinformation campaign created a propagandized public that had little idea of what was in the legislation but were convinced they disliked it. As the campaign recedes into the past, and the law’s provisions start becoming reality, opposition to the reforms are weakening. I knew that would happen.
Ross Douthat, the thoughtful conservative NYT columnist, misrepresents the case against right-wing rhetoric in the wake of the Giffords shooting. He writes,
What America really needed, the nation’s pundits and TV producers decided, was a noisy debate about the possible link between Jared Lee Loughner’s crime and Palin’s martial campaign rhetoric.
Set aside the notion that the “pundits and TV producers” all march to the left, a myth perpetuated by the self-pitying right. Douthat handily ignores Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, innumerable angry voices of the right airing their views in the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC and in his case, The New York Times — and every syndicated radio show in my supposedly liberal part of the country
Defining the point of contention as ”martial campaign rhetoric” is dishonest. The problem isn’t colorful speech. It’s violent language tied to gun-waving. When Sharron Angle tells a talk show host that “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies,” she’s talking literally, not figuratively, of shooting one’s way to a desired political situation. And she was an official Republican senatorial candidate.
Sarah Palin’s gun-twirling and threatening rhetoric, in the context of her complete lack of irony or humor, could be misread by a nut as a license to shoot the enemy.
No one’s saying she doesn’t have the right to say and do those things. She does. But we have a right to portray it as we see it.
I wouldn’t ascribe any coherent political philosophy to Jared Loughner, but he was operating in an environment where serious political figures talked about shooting guns to get their political way and darkly warned against dangerous “foreign foes” in Washington (Democrats, I presume). If he was obsessing on Gabrielle Giffords, he surely knew of the threats against her.
Three things happened after the bloody attack on Giffords and her constituents:
1. Sarah Palin pulled her gunsight graphic from the Web.
2. Eric Cantor delayed the divisive vote on repealing the health-care reforms
3. Fox News president Roger Ailes told his commentators to cool down the rhetoric.
This would suggest to me that significant players on the right found it plausible that their over-the-top rhetoric could have contributed to the tragedy.
The lady simply had no idea of the historic significance of blood libel, the ancient anti-Semitic charge that Jews killed Christian children for their blood. Palin is intellectually MIA.
It does shock me, though, that she hasn’t hired someone who reads books to write her speeches. And believe me, there’s not much about Palin that surprises.
The gunman who shot Gabrielle Giffords an others attending here “Congress on Your Corner” event may be a psychopath with no coherent political philosophy, but the gun-waving and violent rhetoric of some Republicans created a poisonous environment that has endangered some Democratic office holders. Yes, this tragedy is also about politics.
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