You are in a room filled with people standing in a pool of gasoline up to their chests and someone comes in and gives everyone a book of matches. Who is responsible for the pending disaster?
It has been highly entertaining to listen to the regressive media echo machine whine and complain about being in the glare of the public debate about their culpability for the tragedy in Tucson on January 8th. They cannot be blamed for those shootings and it is a terrible affront to suggest such a possibility. Their first line of defense is the everybody does it excuse. They found any clip, no matter the context, of a progressive political or media figure saying something aggressive or nasty to justify their own overheated rhetoric. When that failed to staunch the bleeding, they trotted out the canard about the "elite" media picking on them and ignoring what others have said. Finally, when all else failed, they brought out Sarah, if it tweets it leads, Palin to suggest it is unpatriotic to call for a civil discourse in political debate. Her actions, and those of her ilk, were in the best tradition of the founding fathers.
Did Hanbaugh and company pull the trigger outside that Safeway? No. Did they furnish the extended magazine? No. Did they encourage the shooter to take out his delusional grievance on a member of Congress? No. Did they pour the gasoline, let the vapors linger waiting for someone to use their matches as a spark? Absolutely!!
Rush Limbaugh spent the 8 years of the Clinton presidency calling it the era of, "America Held Hostage." Clinton was not a legitimate leader. He had a gun to America's collective head. Fast-forward to everyone from Lou Dobbs to the Weiner, claiming Obama isn't an American citizen, isn't a Christian, and is a socialist bent on destroying the nation and the context of the shootings in Arizona begins to become clearer. Sarah Palin puts members of Congress in cross hairs on her web site, including the wounded Congresswoman, and says Americans need to "reload" if they don’t get the election results they desire. Obama's health care reform, she insists, will result in the government paying to exterminate senior citizens to save money. I don’t have to repeat it all because you know so much of what they say over and over again. You also know in every big city and across this vast fruited plane, hundreds of millions of Americans only hear this sort of message on their radios with no competing perspective whatsoever. They are told Americans are being held hostage. America is being destroyed. Clinton murdered Vince Foster and was selling military secrets to the Chinese and running cocaine through Arkansas. Pelosi wants to open borders to flood the country with illegal immigrants and destroy the culture of white Anglo Saxon Protestants. Obama is secretly a Muslim bent on undermining our security and turning the nation over to Shariah law...and this is the mild stuff. I haven't even started with Glen Beck or a guy like O'Reiley who says you are a patriot of you agree with him, but otherwise you are a pinhead.
The icing on the cake was the Tea Party rallies where participants were urged to come armed to show their support for the Second Amendment. The sight of armed protestors outside a rally for the President was a source of pride and praise. A little extra spark was contributed by candidates like Nevada's Sharon Engle suggesting if she didn’t win, the citizens of the state will have to seek "...a second amendment" solution. Now, though, in the wake of the deaths of six people, including a 9-year-old girl, and the wounding of 14, including a member of Congress, regressive and their minions are trying to morph into Emily Letella...."Nevermind."
I have yet to mention the Patriot Act, which was so named so opponents could be classified as traitors for opposing it, two wars, torture, secret prisons, expanded illegal government spying on Americans and the fact the regressive echo machine painted anyone opposed to any of the above as terrorist sympathizers. "True" Americans were being ignored according to Fox news, they are being lied to and their nation betrayed by the forces of feminism, affirmative action, choice, and worst of all a homosexual agenda designed to destroy the family. (In this the regressives received great help from the Roman Catholic and Mormon Churches among others.) Nothing less the fate of our democracy is at stake every day on every radio, TV and regressive magazine and newspaper. It is time to lock and load.
Is there overheated rhetoric and opinion on the progressive side of the ledger? Yes. What's the difference? The hoped- for outcome. The regressive agenda is to turn back the clock to a "golden age" where white men ruled and what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Hanbaugh and Weiner and company have created the myth of the white male victim. They want to return to those times when segregation was the norm, voting rights were denied to women, the federal government was weak and the rich got richer at the expense of working men and women and children. It is this Gilded Age, which is the Nirvana of the regressive movement. Progressives fight for a system in which progress is the central dynamic. In the twentieth century, progressives busted monopolies, started national parks, created Social Security and Medicare as well as the G.I. Bill, FHA housing and Head Start. These and other achievements boosted an entire generation into college and expanded the ranks of the middle class. Progressives called for the regulation of Wall Street and wanted agencies to insure safe food, drugs, water and air. Regressives opposed everyone of these initiatives attempting to roll back as many as possible. You know the result of rolling back the financial regulations. We are still feeling them today.
In the ensuing years, particularly with the de-regulation of radio and TV, these accomplishments have been painted as an attack on white males, a rollback of traditional values and an attempt to destroy this nation. The goal of all these heated regressive attacks is to convince people they are victims, and the traditional ways of redressing political grievances no longer work. When you take their comments, and combine them with the agenda, and add in a mental health system which is a disgrace, Arizona is next to last in the whole country in providing mental health services, and you create the perfect storm in which someone who already is having problems is handed the solution...take out the people running the government into the ground.
As the gap between the rich and poor widens, jobs become more difficult to obtain, the promise of the American dream seems to be slipping through our fingers, the continued instigation and build up of anger over perceived slights, the steady drumbeat of anger and hate and a refusal to provide a decent mental health delivery system and more of these incidents will occur. The regressives better hope they are wrong about the Last Judgment. Sarah et.al are going to need some sturdy asbestos underwear.