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Arizona tragedy gives Congress a moment to pause rhetoric

Sunday, January 9, 2011 | 6:11 p.m. CST; updated 6:51 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 9, 2011
Flags fly at half-staff on the Mall in Washington on Sunday, the day after a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., in which six people were killed and Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among several others seriously wounded. President Obama ordered flags at public facilities to remain at half-staff until sunset Friday.

WASHINGTON — The shooting rampage in Arizona seems to have created a reset moment for confrontational politics, as lawmakers reflect on the repercussions of the overheated rhetoric traded on the airwaves and on the campaign trail.

Members of Congress from both parties called Sunday for civility over belligerence as the House temporarily shelved the contentious debate over repealing the health care law and lawmakers paused to contemplate the tragedy.

Critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the apparent target of a lone shooter, emerged as a potent and cautionary symbol of the current political climate. Still, there was no clear motivation for the attack, and some warned against making provocative politicians and commentators the culprits in the assault.

Six died and 14 were wounded in the shooting at a Tucson shopping center where Giffords was holding a gathering with constituents.

Authorities said the attack was the work of a single gunman. They described the apprehended suspect, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, as mentally unstable.

President Barack Obama on Sunday called for a national moment of silence to be observed at 11 a.m. Monday and postponed a scheduled trip Tuesday to Schenectady, N.Y., where he planned to promote his economic policies. "It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers in a conference call Sunday to "pull together as an institution."

"What is critical is that we stand together at this dark time as one body," he said. "We need to rally around our wounded colleague, the families of the fallen, and the people of Arizona's 8th District. And, frankly, we need to rally around each other."

Such unifying pauses are usual after national tragedies. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack was a coalescing moment in the nation that for a time improved the tone of Capitol Hill debate. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on political rhetoric, said there were similar breaks after the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

"There was a lot of discussion about the meaning of the moment and what rhetoric had done to incite it," she said.

What's more, the attack on Giffords has given members of Congress a sense of unusual common purpose. Leaders from both parties worked together Sunday to offer members assurances that they were reviewing security measures.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said his colleagues hope for "greater comity within the House and the discourse that takes place all across this country."

Still, politics is a quarrelsome business, and those breaks are short-lived. In the 1990s politicians lamented "the politics of personal destruction." President George W. Bush was the subject of vicious criticism from the left, and President Obama has come under stinging, personal attack from some of his critics.

Congress has also become more partisan, with a dwindling number of moderate lawmakers. Veteran members of Congress have lamented a changed culture where legislators spend little time socializing with each other, a development that contributes to fewer cross-party relationships.

While Sunday's calls for unity and civility were bipartisan, the discussion had a partisan subtext as Democrats pointed to anti-government language from the tea party movement and to rabble-rousing imagery and rhetoric from conservative figures such as Sarah Palin.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, on Sunday mentioned Palin's combative rallying cry, "Don't retreat; reload," and the crosshairs she used to signal congressional districts where she wanted Republicans to win.

"These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response," Durbin said Sunday on CNN.

Republicans were especially sensitive to suggestions that their side of the political spectrum was contributing to a more poisonous political environment.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., noted Sunday that the suspect in the Tucson rampage was connected to Internet postings that included Marxist and Nazi literature.

"That's not the profile of a typical tea party member, if that's the inference that's being made," he said on CNN.

To be sure, combative language in politics is not the province of a single party. It was Obama who declared during the 2008 presidential campaign, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." And Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, ran ads during last year's campaign that portrayed him with a high-powered rifle, placing a cap-and-trade energy bill in the crosshairs and blasting it to pieces.

The Tucson shooting could also result in hypersensitivity, where lawmakers take any partisan comment as an invitation to incite a fight.

"The danger in this is that people misread it and so the first time that someone makes a statement that is partisan, it's condemned as inappropriate," Jamieson said..

Experts say angry political language is made all the more prevalent by the Internet and opinion-driven cable television, amplifying the sense of confrontation. Jamieson says she doesn't believe current Congresses have been more uncivil than past one.

"But the media culture has given us access to incivility that probably was there all along but didn't have that much accessibility," Jamieson said. "The consequence of broader exposure is that it becomes normalized."


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Comments

Corey Parks January 9, 2011 | 10:49 p.m.

I think maybe the young man decided to stop taking his medication a long time ago. His rants were so far to the left yet he talked about not trusting govt and called for the US Dollar to be destroyed for not being backed by anything. He was all over the map.

Whats even more worrisome is the fact that 1/3rd of America uses some form of anti depressant drugs for any number of personal problems. Imagine what would happen if 5% of them could not get medication anymore.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.

Mr Allaire, investigating Sheriff in AZ and others could be more productive if they could forgo Sarah Palin's election rhetoric and address the real reason these mentally ill, this,VA Tech and on back are able to inflict their horror on the rest of us.

The deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill began in '60s with PC concerns about civil rights of those patients and the belief they could be cured. Federal laws,passed by Democrat controlled Congresses made it possible.
findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0825/is_2.../ai_76398484/ -

"During the 1960's, deinstitutionalization was reinforced by the emerging social concern of civil rights of people with SMI and a belief that SMI could be prevented as well as treated (Ray & Finley, 1994; Wegner, 1990). In 1963, the Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Act was passed and policymakers viewed this legislation as driving deinstitutionalization by shifting treatment for people with SMI from state mental hospitals to "least restrictive environments" within the communities".

But, some would rather blame Palin and the Teaparty. Whatacrock!

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 10, 2011 | 10:43 a.m.

@Mr. Parks: do you have any evidence that Loughner was taking anti-depressants?
@Mr. Christian: If Palin & Co. bear no complicity in this tragedy, why are they taking down their websites that depict crosshairs (although a Palin spokeswoman now claims they're "surveyors' symbols") as well as other incriminating anti-government screeds?

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen January 10, 2011 | 11:02 a.m.

" If Palin & Co. bear no complicity in this tragedy..."
.
Perhaps so they will not continue to be wildly accused of complicity by hyper-partisan folks looking for a scapegoat.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 10, 2011 | 11:11 a.m.

"The deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill began in '60s with PC concerns about civil rights of those patients.... Federal laws,passed by Democrat controlled Congresses made it possible."
A thoughtful critique - respecting the civil rights of those with a mental illness is awful!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 10, 2011 | 11:24 a.m.

frank christian January 10, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.

The deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill began in '60s with PC...

So that explains how it is that we read your posts! Those damn PCs!!! How dare they affect deinstitutionalization!!!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 10, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and this latest episode do have at least one thing in common: in each case there were people who were aware before the shooting occurred that the shooter(s) wasn't behaving normally.

But that presents a problem. In the United State of America we don't arrest people and detain them (for how long?) simply because their behavior is suspect. Do we even have detention facilities sufficient to do that? :)

Also, we need to consider that only a relative few of the mentally ill are homicidal. Suicide is a more common occurrence.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 12:22 p.m.

@ Ellis

You know what else they all had in common? All guns used were bought legally.

It is about time that we give up this ridiculous idea that people need handguns and assault rifles. BAN THEM. IMO, if you want to buy an assault rifle then there is something mentally wrong with you by default.

People can still get shotguns and rifles for hunting and protection. There is no need to have all these guns being carried around by all these unstable people. When are gun nuts going to wake up and realize why we have all these murders while other western nations do not?

All of these 8 year old boys in men’s bodies need to grow up and realize guns are not cool. They do not make you look cool or tough; they make you look like an inbred moron.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.

@ Frank Un-Christian
“But, some would rather blame Palin and the Teaparty. Whatacrock!”

We have all seen the target pictures and heard “Don’t retreat, reload” from Palin.

“I want people armed and dangerous”- Michelle Bachmann

“Second Amendment remedies”- Sharron Angle

“After Boehner suggested that by voting for Obamacare, Driehaus "may be a dead man" and "can't go home to the west side of Cincinnati" because "the Catholics will run him out of town," Driehaus began receiving death threats, and a right-wing website published directions to his house”

“I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could”- Glenn Beck

Let’s not forget the previous threats and vandalism done to Congresswoman Giffords at the hands of right wing radicals not to mention all the other threats and loony comments made by right wingers that we could go on all day about.

If you do not believe me that the right wing is out of control maybe you will listen to The Department of Homeland Security:

http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing....

Frank I have a challenge for you. Come back with 1 liberal who said anything close to what these anti-American hate-filled loons are saying. Show us 1 SPECIFIC where a liberal threatened violence or promoted violence or even used violent rhetoric. If you cannot see the difference between the hate and violence rhetoric of the right and what is said by the left then you are blind and delusional.

(Report Comment)
Ted Cazinski January 10, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Corey Parks January 10, 2011 | 12:42 p.m.

@hank ottinger January 10, 2011 | 10:43 a.m.

@Mr. Parks: do you have any evidence that Loughner was taking anti-depressants?

No I don't have any evidence. That is why I stated my comment as opinion and not fact. Spend a few minutes reading his words and watching his videos and the Police reports for him being expelled from his College and can "assume" something is just not right with that boy.

I will stand by the fact that there are too many people on anti psychotic and anti depressant drugs though.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 12:47 p.m.

@ Ted

Are we supposed to take you opinion seriously when you use the handle of a mass murderer? Way to show some class!
BTW, you spell it Kazinski

Last, I have never heard of anyone who wants to ban guns. I know people including myself that think we should ban ASSULT RIFLES and HANDGUNS. Are you not capable of defending your home with a shotgun?

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 10, 2011 | 12:50 p.m.

@Jack Hamm:

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." BHO

Did you just get tired of taking peoples comments out of content or is that all you could find? I see that you are now trying to continue the spin that it was far right that has been doing the damage around the country. Obviously this is opinion since for everyone that says it is the left there are equal that say it is the right. And then there are those of us who think that 1 is just as bad as the other and the slate needs to be wiped clean.

Did you really refer to the Homeland Security website to state you case against the right?

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 1:13 p.m.

@ Corey

"Did you really refer to the Homeland Security website to state you case against the right?"

I linked to a report done by the Department of Homeland Security: Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the FBI that says that right-wing violent extremism is a serious national threat. Maybe you should actually try reading things before responding. Moreover, the report was commissioned under President Bush so don't come back that it is President Obama going after the right.

"Did you just get tired of taking peoples comments out of content or is that all you could find?"

I assume you mean context and not content? Could you please point out where I took anyone's comments out of context?

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 1:24 p.m.

Jared Lee Loughner was a registered republican...

http://i.imgur.com/47MWM.jpg

I wonder if this stops any of the nut jobs from claiming that he is a liberal. He was a right wing nut job fueled by right wing hate and violence rhetoric.

People like Palin, Rush, Beck and their supporters/listeners need to start taking responsibility for the things that they say and the hate that they preach.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 10, 2011 | 1:44 p.m.

Jack Hamm wrote:

"He was a right wing nut job fueled by right wing hate and violence rhetoric.

Well, no. He was, first and foremost, a nut job. Whether he was republican or not isn't really relevant here.

Millions of people listen to right-wing commentary every day. What people choose to do after hearing it is entirely on the listener. If someone is inspired to set fire to a bunch of SUV's or trash a research laboratory after reading or hearing left-wing commentary, it's the same thing. And it's just about as unusual.

DK

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 10, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

Jack, you need to let go of your apparent fear of guns for a bit and learn more about them from someone who can teach you. Shotguns are not necessarily a good weapon for home defense, especially if the barrel is long enough to prevent you from moving about the house in the proper manner (think hallways, rounding corners, and entering/exiting rooms). Handguns can work better, especially for interior defense.

I'm so sorry that you are afraid of "assault weapons" (which aren't the same as what the military carries) and handguns as they are a hell of a lot of fun to shoot at the range with properly-trained, respectful people.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen January 10, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

I am curious about the voter registration screen shot. I checked out the AZ Sec of State webside, and to look this up one would need to know Mr. Loughner's Voter Id or Drivers License Number along with his date of birth. So, this is not exactly something easily looked up and confirmed. Colour me skeptical that this is correct. (And if it is, who pulled this information?)

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 2:47 p.m.

@ John

Who said anyone was scared of anything? I'm not scared of assault rifles; I think it is STUPID that so many people think it is okay for them to be around in a civilized society. Why does anyone need an AK47, AR15 or a SKS? All can be bought legally and if you go to a gun show you could go home with it today. That is IDIOTIC

As for your first paragraph. This veteran has no fear of guns and I guarantee you I know firearms and CQC very well. I have firsthand experience clearing buildings in Afghanistan, do you?

This American is afraid of crazy loons buying assault rifles and handguns LEGALLY and using them to shoot 9 year old girls at grocery stores. I am even more afraid of the rest of the supposed sane population who fail to make the connection between our lax gun laws and our ridiculous murder rate.

“and handguns as they are a hell of a lot of fun to shoot at the range with properly-trained, respectful people”

Unfortunately not everyone is properly-trained or respectful and some people are not mentally stable or sane; those are the people I am worried about. I always hear Libertarians and Conservatives complain that Liberals do not live in the “real world”. When are you guys going to wake up to the “real world” on this issue?

While we are at it I am sick of the “if they ban guns only criminals will have guns” argument. Go talk to anyone in LE or read any of the thousands of reports done by the FBI on the issue. Most guns used by gangs and criminals were bought legally by one of your “respectful citizens” and then sold illegally by them to a criminal. There is a reason why our murder rate is so much higher than the rest of the western world. If you don’t have the ability to put two and two together then go argue with someone else.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 2:55 p.m.

@ Andrew Hanson

It was originally posted as a supposed official release from his county’s register. However, it is starting to look like it is photo shopped.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 4:02 p.m.

Where to start? Mr. Ottinger, I guess. A. Hansen answered you well, I think. The Pima county Sheriff spread more inflammatory rhetoric than Palin or tea party and feel it is noteworthy that you never touched on my text of why the tragedy was allowed to happen. Just like R. Emanuel? Never let a good crisis go to waste?

gbush, Ellis smith, "In many cases, the mass deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill in the Western world from the 1960s onwards has translated into policies of "community release". Individuals who previously would have been in mental institutions are no longer supervised by health care workers. Many are left to their own devices in regards to maintaining their personal medication regimens." Don't think that they were arrested or had their civil rights violated as to be held there involuntarily was the decision of a court.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 4:24 p.m.

Jack Hamm - Name 1 liberal....

E.J. Dionne Jr., today,"It is not partisan to observe that there are cycles to violent rhetoric in our politics. In the late 1960s, violent talk (and sometimes violence itself) was more common on the far left."
Then there are the bus loads of Union thugs demonstrating on the lawn of a private citizen for hours. "New Black Panthers" at our poling places,also come to mind. Guess they haven't anything tho, our justice dept won't prosecute them. Want more? I'll look it up. You look up "blind and delusional"

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 4:29 p.m.

Bring a gun to a knife fight,
Called me an "enemy"
Get in their face
Palin hanged in effigy

All recent actions by the nonviolent left.

See? I can politicize it, too. And it's STUPID! This guy was simply a whack job and his political affiliation is a moot point except to those with an agenda.

We've had whack jobs throughout our history. Assassinations have happened for over 200 years in this country, as have various violent rebellions beyond the Civil War...check out the violence of the coal mines in Appalachia. And, each and every time, whack jobs come out on the "other" side and complain about the whack jobs on "this" side.

Whack jobs, all. Gawddamned political opportunists.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 4:34 p.m.

frank: Yeah, I remember the love riots of the flower children.

Quite well.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 4:36 p.m.

Jack Hamm - I almost forgot the best, or worst. Barack Obama, "You bring a knife, we'll bring a gun!" Out of context? So are all of your examples.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 4:43 p.m.

@ Frank

I gave you SPECIFIC examples from mainstream individuals within the right wing. Palin was the Republican nominee for VICE PRESIDENT. You come back to me with what happened 50 years ago and some unspecific fringe elements? Did you really thing anyone would take that garbage as a worthwhile retort? Show me a quote from a liberal politician or nationally renowned journalist (on the level of Beck, Rush etc). Or admit that the right wing has a monopoly on spreading hate rhetoric in this country.

@ Michael

“See? I can politicize it, too. And it's STUPID! This guy was simply a whack job and his political affiliation is a moot point except to those with an agenda.”

The voice of reason strikes again. Damn you older people with your wisdom and maturity!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 5:03 p.m.

Jack:

I wonder if the Prez ever sic'ed those Predator Drones on the Jonas Brothers?

A joke at a roast? Yep.

I've noticed, tho, that "jokes" usually have an element of truth. But is it EVER proper for a person to jokingly threaten the life of another? Especially when that person has the ABILITY to make it happen?

I remember the vice-president of my company telling me how, when he came to his future wife's door on a first date, he was met (jokingly, of course) by her ol' man with a shotgun on his lap. A joke? Yep. A joke with a hint of a "meaning"?

Absolutely.
_____________________________

PS: This politicizing is more fun than I ever imagined! Let's do more.......

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 5:09 p.m.

And let's not forget the Daily Kos repetitive use of the word "target" when it came to candidates in the last election.

Is there any difference between the word versus the symbol? Is there really a difference between the pot and the kettle?

Uh....no.
_______________________

Geez, this is fun.

More! More! Are you ready to rumble? Where's my peanuts and beer?

(Stupid, stupid, stupid...if yer gonna make a political point, don't use the deranged to make it)

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.

@ Michael

How is this as a symbol...

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/images/...

The right takes the violent and hateful rhetoric to a level the left never dreams of. Most importantly it comes from mainstream figures on the right, not fringe elements. People acting like it comes from both sides is ludicrous.

Unfortunately, people like Michelle Bachmann were not speaking in a joking manner when they said things like “I want people armed and dangerous” or Tea party darling Joyce Kaufman “If ballots don’t work, bullets will”. We could also get into the real hate; the Rushs, Becks and Savages of the world. Who on the left ever says anything as callous and full of hate as the stuff that Rush says on a daily basis. It is only a matter of time before they get enough nut jobs wound up enough to start shooting people.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 5:36 p.m.

Jack:

Sorry, dude. No sale. I've heard hate speech from both sides for the many, many years of my life. For you to limit "violent and hateful rhetoric" to the right means either you have a rather strange, isolated, and blissful definition of "violent and hateful rhetoric".....or you are less than 50 y/o. Plus, your own post that I'm responding to....proves you are a participant.

Think on THAT one!

I lived through the 60s and 70s. I lived through the Black Panther Dayz and the Symbioneese Liberation Army. Many of those same previous members (or sympathizers) of SDS are now your politicians. All you lefty politicians out there: Have you ever cheered for Che Guevera? Even once?

You're one-sided claims of innocence for lefties and assignments of vileness and evil for righties falls on very deaf ears, hot rod.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 5:47 p.m.

@ Michael

I am not denying that liberals have used not only rhetoric but actual violence and terrorism at different points in history all across the globe. The point that matters is that it is not the case currently in the United States which is what I am concerned about. Liberals doing it in the past is just as bad as the right doing it right now; one does not excuse the other.

Bring me an example of the left doing it today. A real example; we all know there are countless examples on the right or real hate and real violent rhetoric. I already linked to the DHS/FBI report on right-wing violent extremism in the US; there is a reason why they don‘t have a report for violent left wing extremism.

"Plus, your own post that I'm responding to....proves you are a participant."

What? I would like to see you try and back this up. What have I said that is hateful or violent?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 10, 2011 | 5:48 p.m.

The profanity of the "your side is worse" discussion by repeating the violent rhetoric is like a ghastly BINGO game. This diabolical "score keeping" is obscene.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 6:09 p.m.

J. Hamm - B. Obama is President of the U.S., DionneJr is syndicated columnist (not close to the level of Beck or Limbaugh),the actions of the unions and Black Panthers are documented but you deem the references "garbage". We wonder who is "blind and delusional". You write like the ones that think that the world began and ended in Nov. 1994.

"Who on the left ever says anything as callous and full of hate as the stuff that Rush says on a daily basis." - Keith Olberman! But, nobody hears him.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 6:13 p.m.

Jack:

OK. I have two words for you: Sarah Palin

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/28/...

I don't like her as a politician, I don't want her as president, but no one....even you...can deny the viciousness of what has been said about her by the left. If ANYONE needs protection from the left...it's her. And, I bet she has it!

Heck, I have two more words for you: Maureen Dowd

You can look her words up for yourself.

(Kinda convenient for you, isn't it, to try and limit the debate to current events? Do you REALLY think this hasn't gone on since the starting dayz of our country? You really should go back and read some of the voting handbills of yesteryear!!!!!!

Nah, you just THINK this is new because you were born yesterday...or so it seems).
_________________________________

Jack, how in the hell am I to interpret your own hateful words: "The right takes the violent and hateful rhetoric to a level the left never dreams of."

I say bullshirt to that. By writing those words, you participated.
_________________________

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 6:21 p.m.

Jack: Oh, and on that Palin story I linked....I really liked the reason there was no hate-crime......

It was a Halloween display.

What would have been YOUR reaction if this had been a memorial of the day the Civil War started, replete with all the hangings.............or even an effigy of the actions at Columbia's own Stewart bridge? Nope, move along folks...nuttin' to see here.....no "hate" crime anyplace.

Yep, those libs are kindly folks. Just ask 'em.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 10, 2011 | 6:23 p.m.

@Jack Hamm January 10, 2011 | 1:13 p.m.

I am well aware of the report. We were briefed on it after it was put out. Yes I have went over it. In the military we do more then D&C during our training. We were also made aware of the time line of the release of the document and the fact that the election was coming up and that politics could have been involved in the report to counter what the left was saying. Yes Jack. There are politics in the military and in Homeland Security as well. All can be bought by lobbyist or the threat of getting fired. Remember this is the same Homeland Security that is patting down grandma at airports and seizing websites that do not agree with the govt. If it is only Left or Right to you then I am sorry and will do my best from engaging in conversation from now on.

"I linked to a report done by the Department of Homeland Security: Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the FBI that says that right-wing violent extremism is a serious national threat. Maybe you should actually try reading things before responding. Moreover, the report was commissioned under President Bush so don't come back that it is President Obama going after the right."

Thanks for the spell check. I do not know why iPhone decides to change things whenever it wants. Probably for http://damnyouautocorrect.com/ to stay in business.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 6:29 p.m.

Gregg Bush says, "The profanity of the "your side is worse" discussion by repeating the violent rhetoric is like a ghastly BINGO game. This diabolical "score keeping" is obscene."
______________________

Anyone.....and I mean ANYONE....who jumps off the conclusion cliff and tries to politicize the murderous, wacko's actions deserves the censure of anyone reading this thread.

And, anyone.....and I mean ANYONE....who tries to claim liberal virginity (oops, an oxymoron crept in) when it comes to evil and hateful rhetoric deserves the censure of anyone reading this thread.

History says otherwise. You can look it up.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 10, 2011 | 7:09 p.m.

Line up the murderous whack jobs at the conclusion cliff where they can hatefully repeat their obscenely violent evil rhetoric before being sacrificed to the ghastly liberal virgins!!!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 7:30 p.m.

Paul: Sorry, I have limited membership in my personal pig sty with whom I wallow. You ain't on the list.

Carry on......it's football time. bbl

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 6:58 a.m.

Michael

As usual it was the right that politicized this. What has changed is some liberals are starting to call these right wingers out on their BS instead on rolling over like they used to. Here is an example of how much the right has politicized it in their usual way of claiming to be the victim...

http://i.imgur.com/4sI4w.jpg

Your argument is pathetic and you and I both know it. You can't come up with anything but what happened 40 years ago or farther back. Meanwhile, crazy A-holes on the right are having assault rifle rallies and using violent hate filled rhetoric constantly (anti-gay, anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-illegal) leading to unstable wack jobs taking them too seriously and shooting 9 year old girls at grocery stores.

Frank is at best semi-unbalanced at most likely completely brainwashed. You on the other hand are different; you are intelligent and thoughtful. I know you see the difference between the right wing rhetoric in this country TODAY vs. the left. My question is this; how many 9 year old girls have to get shot before people like you man up and tell their side to stop the hate and violent speech?

You don’t want to politicize it? Good; then man up and starting sending emails and letters to all the crazies (Beck, Palin etc) and tell them you are boycotting them until they cease all hate rhetoric. If you stick to your guns of “the left does it too” you will have lost all respect from me; we all know that is a huge load of BS.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 6:58 a.m.

You reap what you sow...

http://i.imgur.com/UcNWH.png

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 7:07 a.m.

Are Olbermann or Maddow on the front page of their website holding a 9mm?...

http://i.imgur.com/bIdU2.jpg

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 7:21 a.m.

Billboard a couple of blocks from the shootings...

http://i.imgur.com/PsyN3.jpg

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 8:13 a.m.

Jack: I doubt a threat of you losing respect for me is gonna change my mind. If it happens, so be it.

No, I didn't only come up with references 40 years ago. My point is that inflammatory rhetoric has been around this country since its inception; what we are experiencing now is NOT new. Liberals and conservatives have been engaged in it since day 1. Failure to see, know, and acknowledge this is nothing but flagrant denial, which is not a river in Egypt.

And, for your information, I don't listen to Limbaugh, Beck and especially Savage (a despicable man)...that means I'm already boycotting them. I also don't listen to Olbermann or any other news-talk liberal knothead. I can listen and read the sources, and I don't need any of these jerks to tell me what to believe.

It absolutely amazes me that you think the left is so virginal in all this.

You blame conservative talk shows for all the hate, as if these folks would just disappear, all would be hunkydory. Wrong, and you would be wrong because you don't understand the type of hate and disgust YOU are spreading....stuff that is extraordinarily threatening to those of us who consider ourselves conservatives. It is THIS stuff to which we are reacting adversely, not Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. Here's how (I use the word "you" collectively for the liberal establishment):

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

You throw race bombs indiscriminately, when there is NO indication of racial thought except in your own mind (or because you have an agenda).

You kill your babies.

Each election (hell, EVERY day), you play rich versus poor, educated versus less-educated, black versus white, gun owners versus non-gun owners, strict Constitutionalists versus evolving-document enthusiasts, tree huggers versus corporations, and the religious versus non-religious.

Each and every day, you want more of what I earn, you don't want me to drive in what is a HUGE nation, you don't want me to live in the country, you don't want me to use common sense and profile idiots at the airport, you want me to support you, you want me to forgive and support your own irresponsibility, you want the same things I accumulated, but not do the same things I did to accumulate them, and most of all you believe the words "promote the general welfare" REALLY means "provide for the general welfare". Oh, and that the commerce clause is a good excuse for ALL gov't intervention.

In addition, each and every liberal speech says something akin to "We will FIGHT for you!" I got news for ya, hot-rod...you say the word "fight" enough times, I'm gonna start to believe you MEAN it! (Yes, I cringe when a conservative says this, too.....stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!) When you say, "Get in their face", I'm gonna take you seriously! And when you say, "Bring a gun to a knife fight", I'm gonna take THAT seriously, too!

You fear MY guns and MY attitude, but you have NO fear of foreign guns or foreign attitudes! You fear Limbaugh rhetoric, but do not fear an Iman's. In a world where long distances are only a matter of hours away, is this stupid or what?

You attack folks like Sarah Palin and Kathleen Harris and any other conservative woman (especially if they are attractive) with a viciousness that should get you punched or worse by their spouses (and WOULD, if you said the same about mine). Can you TRULY deny the horrible things said about GWB in his tenure? Truly?????

So, after doing ALL that, all you can do is ignore your OWN role and activities, and blame Limbaugh and Beck and their ilk for YOUR problem and actions????? Wrong! Look to yourself!! It is YOUR rhetoric and policies that are pissing off conservatives! Limbaugh and Olbermann are just preachers to the congregation that already KNOW their own mind!

I tell ya what, bub....if you and your ilk persist in a unilateral blame-game of who's worse, then we'll just continue with the vicious rhetoric ad infinitum. It takes two sides to solve this, because two sides are at fault. Your failure to understand your own role simply means you need to attend an AA meeting and figure out what it means to admit YOU have a problem, too.

Otherwise, you will either preach to a choir or preach to deaf ears.

Your pick.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 8:28 a.m.

Jack Hamm - I know you can't/won't accept it but you read about as wacky, weird as any of those the progressive liberals have emptied on to our streets from our asylums, including the shooters.

This "semi-unbalanced" one can at least address the past and consider it in relation to the present. You appear to only be able to deal with the sounds you hear in your head today.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 8:32 a.m.

The way you two are speaking down on liberals of the past will be how your grandkids speak down on you 40 years from now

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 9:03 a.m.

Jack:

That's it?
No comments on what I posted at all?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 9:08 a.m.

Jack says, "The way you two are speaking down on liberals of the past will be how your grandkids speak down on you 40 years from now."
____________________________

No doubt at all.
And I'm equally sure your grandkids will be speaking down on liberal sins (is there such a thing?) 40 years from now.

Once they have their non-religious "Come to Jesus" economic moment, that is. Which will probably happen to your kids, first.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 9:58 a.m.

Mike - Jack can't consider the past, but he can see into the future! Amazing or what?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 11, 2011 | 10:51 a.m.

Really Jack, assault rifle rallies? Maybe you're talking about the singular citizen who had his AR-15 slung over his shoulder, in Arizona I think? The black man that could not be identified as such because MSNBC cropped the picture to trick voters into thinking it was a white voter opposing Obama's candidacy? Yeah, I'm really worried about gun owners following the law with their weapons.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

If the Politicians are guilty of "confrontational politics", then most of the people on this board are even worse than they are; from watching your posts... LOL.

To be clear, I see nothing wrong with being confrontational; sometimes that is the most sincere form of honesty that I know of. But I do find it a bit hypocritical for a person that is confrontational to condemn someone else for being confrontational. Which is a lot of what I am seeing here...

I think the thing to remember is at the end of the day, the "confrontational politics" had nothing to do with the shooting at all. This was the work of someone that has mental issues, and there was just not a lot that could have been done about it. Jared Loughner would have found a "reason" (in his disturbed mind) to do what he did, no matter what...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm January 11, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

@ John

I don't see how you are confused since I posted a screen cap of the article but here it is again...

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/images/...

Yes there are crazies on both sides of the spectrum. yes people compared Bush to Hitler when he was president. However, show me the democtratic congressman or national media personality that does it; not some random guy at a rally. Show me the liberal politcian that preaches the none stop hate rhetoric while also preaching their gun rhetoric. Show me SPECIFICS. I know you won't because they do not exsit. On the right there are hundreds of examples everyday. Here are some more:

“I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.” Ann Coulter

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters”- Ann Coulter

The Patriot Shop is still selling its “Liberal Hunting License”. The organization is openly supported by Fred Thompson, Cal Thomas and Dick Armey.

Remember Byron Williams, the guy that got into the shootout with police in Oakland on his way to assassinate employees of the Tides Foundation? Quote from him in jail:

“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.”

"The Becks of the world are people who are venting their opinions and it is inflammatory, it generates a lot of emotion and generates in some people overreaction that apparently happened in the California case," Rich Roberts of the International Union of Police Associations

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 12:00 p.m.

Jack,

I've already acknowledged the wackos from both sides. I also explained to you that the likes of Limbaugh are NOT the problem; they are simply a target for you, as is Sarah Palin...a way to deflect responsibility from yourself rather than the thing that is REALLY making folks mad:

Your policies, that we believe are a real threat to us as individuals, and to our nation.

I listed them to you in a prior post nearby. But, did you acknowledge them? Did you even try and refute them? Do you even understand them? No. You just glossed over them and started posting stuff from wackos. The only admission you can muster is that there are "crazies on both sides of the spectrum". Fine, there are crazies on the right because they are pissed, and then you get upset when they get mad. Well, MAYBE you should consider WHY they got mad! (That's how you coddle criminals, isn't it? Why be inconsistent?)

It ain't Rush Limbaugh and his ilk!!!!!!!!!!!

But, if you want to ignore that fact and keep ignoring the REAL reasons (partially listed for you above), you have that right. We'll just carry on ignoring the others' concerns and see what happens.

But, whatever happens, I'm sure (at this point...until you show me different) that it won't be your responsibility. Not one iota.

Read your history. Every time we go through convulsions like this, I start thinking about the angry verbiage that went on circa 1776. Soooo similar. It rears its head once in a while, like in the union strikes of the past or in the '60s/'70s. Are we near such a thing again....or worse? Gawd, I hope not, and I think not. But until the left AND right acknowledges that EVERYONE is spewing hate that can lead to violence, we may surely get there.

(PS: I admit it. There is something vaguely funny...and not funny...that the very same folks that rioted, or supported rioting, back in the '60s/'70s......are now concerned it MAY happen again. To them...uh oh!)

(PSS: When was the first time I really KNEW what a liberal thought of me? "It's the economy, STUPID!" Those may not be fighting words to you, but they sure are to me. Keep in mind that I did not say them first. How did you expect me to react? Laugh?)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 11, 2011 | 12:09 p.m.

Jack, I hate to break it to you, but I don't click on just any link that someone posts, I like a little commentary associated with a link dump. As for that specific event, I've seen similar events in the past - donate $X, shoot a cool gun you can't afford. It's hard for me to get worked up over that particular "rally", sorry to disappoint you.

(Report Comment)
Peggy Phillips January 12, 2011 | 9:41 a.m.

What is scary and concerning about all of this is 1)The jumping to conclusions about the killer may hurt the case against him. That is very irresponsible. 2) That many policitians are treating the electorate like children and don't believe we can all think for ourselves. They allow trash for our children and just tell us to turn off the tv and now they don't think we can think for ourselves and want to limit free speech. This is scary political rhetoric and should concern everyone of all policitial persuasions. Freedom of speech is the common mans only power. Net neutrality takes it away from all of us.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 14, 2011 | 6:00 p.m.

"Net neutrality takes it away from all of us."
It is clear that you don't know what net neutrality is.
Net neutrality gives internet users a remedy when corporations start censoring content. Net neutrality ensures that that the internet that you receive in your house is the same internet that I can receive.
Or maybe you would like it if the electricity that you receive in your house is not @ 60Hz so all your clocks are wrong? You see, both of us can buy clocks and those clocks can run fairly accurately because electricity is "neutral" at 60Hz. If your utility adjusts the 60Hz, the clock that you buy will not work properly...it's physics.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 14, 2011 | 8:10 p.m.

Peggy, I am speechless. You should call trib talk every day for the rest of your life.
You should watch the commentary from Rosanne Rosannadanna for your talking points.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 14, 2011 | 8:44 p.m.

For those looking for death wishes for conservatives from liberals, here ya go.....

From CBS, no less. Obviously the source (Media Research Center) is right wing, but does anyone doubt the accuracy of the quotes included in the CBS report? If so, please refute them. I've looked, and I can't. Have fun perusing.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/media-re...

(Report Comment)

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