Violence and politics merge

Jonathan Martin, Ben Smith, Alexander Burns

A few days, or at the very least, a few hours – in an earlier era, people would have taken a breath before plunging into a remorseless debate about the political implications of an obscene act of violence.

Not in this era.

Within minutes after a gunman’s shots—bullets that killed a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl and four others, and left a congresswoman clinging to life—activists of all stripes were busy, first on Twitter and blogs, then on cable television, chewing on two questions that once would have been indelicate to raise before the blood was dry:

Who in American politics deserves a slice of blame for the Tucson murders? And what public officials find themselves with sudden opportunities for political gain from a tragedy?

By day’s end, the argument that the political right—fueled by anti-government, and anti-immigrant passions that run especially strong in Arizona—is culpable for the Tucson massacre, even if by indirect association, seemed to be validated by the top local law enforcement official investigating the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D)…

…The references to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 echoed in other ways. That horror, which killed 168 people including many children, helped then-President Bill Clinton stigmatize extreme anti-government rhetoric and re-energize his presidency at a time when Newt Gingrich and conservative Republicans were riding high in Congress.

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.” [Emphasis CAJ]

Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”…

The complete four-page article, with video, is at Politco.

Update: HillBuzz, Democrat Linda Lopez owes Americans an apology…was driving force behind Left’s attempt to blame Tea Party for assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords.

In that post is this link: Veterans Demand an Apology, Senator!:

…The topper, though, has to be the one from State Congressional Representative Senator Linda Lopez, who is about as far-Left as you can get.  Not that that’s a particular problem, but, given her next statements, we’ve got a HUGE problem…

”the shooter is likely, from what I’ve heard, an Afghan vet..”

During an interview with Shep Smith (please, do NOT get me started on him) she made these statements- you can hear them about 5 minutes into this [video] interview…

…Her new page has removed her phone number and email address!  Use the old info to contact the legislature and go from there.  If anyone gets her new info, please let me know…  put into comments if you wish.  Her site is here: State Senator Linda Lopez

Update 2: JammieWearingFool, The Jonathan Alter Blueprint on How Obama Can Use AZ Tragedy for Cheap Political Gain.

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