Sunday, January 9, 2011

Was Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona assassinated over health care vote?

The earlier reports that she had died were inaccurate, and CNN is saying she is instead undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to the head. No word on the other dozen who were also shot. Let's pray for the best. I'm leaving the original post intact. (Further updates will be below original post.)

Far be it from me to believe in (or promote) conspiracy theories, but when you have a Congresswoman shot at point blank at an event for the public to come meet her, and there have been other incidents where someone was removed after discovered to have brought a firearm to such an event, and her home-state office was vandalized after she voted for the contentious Obamacare health care overhaul, it's not hard to connect the dots and see that as at least possible. (And her immigration reform positions may be another possibility.)

That Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and half a dozen other people were killed (and half a dozen more injured) is tragic enough. But if she were killed for her politic stance, that is utterly sickening.

In a country where both sides of the political spectrum increasingly see the other as an un- or anti-American, enemies who deserve violence delivered upon them (according to some of the more extreme voices on-line and even on-air), it would not be a surprising turn of events. Extremely disturbing, but unsurprising.

Requiescant in pace, Representative Giffords and the others.

Representative Giffords is out of surgery and in stable condition, but her aide was killed. Also killed was Judge John Roll, who earned the ire of local talk show hosts when he allowed a $32 million lawsuit against an area rancher to go forward.

In 2009, The Arizona Republic talks about the subsequent threats:
In February, when U.S. District Judge John Roll presided over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against an Arizona rancher, the Marshals Service was anticipating the fallout.

When Roll ruled the case could go forward, Gonzales said talk-radio shows cranked up the controversy and spurred audiences into making threats.

In one afternoon, Roll logged more than 200 phone calls. Callers threatened the judge and his family. They posted personal information about Roll online.

"They said, 'We should kill him. He should be dead,' " Gonzales said.

Roll, who is the chief federal judge in Arizona, said both he and his wife were given a protection detail for about a month.

"It was unnerving and invasive. . . . By its nature it has to be," Roll said, adding that they were encouraged to live their lives as normally as possible. "It was handled very professionally by the Marshals Service."

At the end of the month, Roll said four key men had been identified as threat makers.
That, sadly, is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about earlier.

And we're reading now that apparently Sarah Palin was targeting Congresswoman Giffords last year, complete with "gunsights," according to this Huffington Post story from last year:

And Sarah Palin is now officially radioactive. While this is not evidence that she herself sought to have people literally target the Democrats on the above list, her choice of imagery was poorly thought-out, even before someone shot one of the people on the list point blank and killed a judge and a child in the same attack. This may indeed be enough to shift moderate Republicans and other non-Tea Party GOPers away from her.

Oh, and this is apparently the YouTube channel of the alleged shooter, Jared Laughner (or Loughner).

Well, not so much of an update as a comment, on others' comments. I think some might come along and think I've joined (or started) some sort of Tea Party- or conservative-bashing bandwagon, but a careful read of what I've written demonstrates otherwise. I specifically wrote (and even italicized) dangerous rhetoric on both sides of the spectrum, and this comment at The Marmot's Hole about the shooting demonstrates what I'm talking about:
Normally, I wouldn’t try to attribute blame between shooter and media influence. But Republicans tend to have low IQ so I think it’s likely the shooter was another one of those right-wing psychos inundated by diatribes by Palin, Fox, et al.. But we’ll see…

I think Palin should be shot. America’s political dialogue deserves to be better than whatever that bimbo has contributed.
Pot, meet kettle. I'm beginning to wonder if The Korean wasn't eerily prescient when he said this:
But now, it looks like an argument can be made that Korean politics is actually more advanced than American politics, since the problems of American politics is appearing to follow the problems of Korean politics a few years ago. How much longer until we see Fight Night in Congress? ("You lie!" sure seems like a great prelude to that.)
The coming end of American civility in the public sphere, I thought, would mean we can't reach necessary compromises on important issues. Now I'm beginning to wonder if the current take-no-prisoners form of American politics is bringing us intractable violence.


  1. Haha wow, I had forgotten that I wrote that, but thanks :)

  2. The Korean seems to have missed this in his American history class and kushibo seems to have forgotten the violence that led to the beginning of the "United States" of America and something one of the Founding Fathers said about needing that violence: "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
    The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
    wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
    they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
    it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure."

    So, would this (mentally unstable madman's rampage) count as Jefferson's warning to the rulers or will it just be added kindling for the fire being stoked by idiots on both sides feeling that they are the "only" sane ones in this country?


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