tucson in review

From one who was there Tucson Shooting Survivor: “It Looks Like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the Rest Got Their First Target” (includes video clip and transcript). After being treated for his injuries, Eric Fuller sat down and reflected:

[T]he first thing that I wrote down and what my reaction was to it was: “How many other people? How many other demented people are out there? It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target. Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled—senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even nine-year-old girls.” There was a little girl named Christina Green, nine years old, who is one of the deceased.

Another thing I wrote down was, “Can we have another fundraiser at the target range, Jesse Kelly?” Jesse Kelly ran against her in the election. And I’ve heard him speak several—a couple of times, and I couldn’t believe he was a real candidate. I thought he was just like a fake candidate. It didn’t seem like anybody would consider him seriously. He came within 4,000 votes of winning the election. One of his slogans was: “Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.” Kind of a very marginal personality and a low mentality.

I worked hard to elect Gabrielle Giffords. I would rather she was busy doing her job today than lying in a hospital with a gunshot wound in the head.

If anyone has a right to call out who they view as responsible, it is the survivors of this shooting.

I would not actually be surprised if she got death threats, but these seem to be empty claims: On Sarah Palin’s Death Threat Claims

If Palin is receiving death threats, especially at allegedly “unprecedented levels,” all of us should be concerned. But Palin should be calling the police or the FBI, not mere “security experts,” as reported. To neglect engaging law enforcement is a disservice to her own safety and the safety of her staff and family. Yet neither Palin’s staff nor the news outlets elaborate on this point, except to admit that the former has not signed off on changing Palin’s security arrangements.

Don’t news media check their sources anymore? Did none of CNN etc breathlessly reporting on these statements bother to check with FBI or local police as to the veracity of her claims? Don’t get me wrong, she should take appropriate precautions and notify the legal authorities (FBI if nothing else) if she is being threatened. As should any public figure at this juncture.

They did not go there. They did not. This is an Onion — Oh. They did. EDITORIAL: Blood libel against Palin, Limbaugh

This is simply the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers. The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment’s liberal orthodoxy. Columnist Paul Krugman took advantage of the murders to tar conservative icon Rush Limbaugh and Fox News superstar Glenn Beck as “hate-mongers.” It’s this sort of reflexive and dastardly mudslinging that drowns out reasoned discussion of public-policy alternatives and poisons the well of political debate in America.

(Emphasis mine) Oh, how I wish I could characterize rightwing mudslinging as “dastardly.” It isn’t. It’s fucking scary. And yet, that’s the best you come up with for leftwing rhetoric? Anyway, blood libel, pogrom… what’s next? Kristallnacht, gas chambers, holocaust? Oh wait, they don’t believe the holocaust happened; we can leave that off the list. Those poor, poor right wingers, under such attack!

On Barack Obama’s memorial speech: Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Creativity

Even if knowing this can be reassuring, it doesn’t always feel that way in the moments immediately following tragedy. This is why Obama’s emphasis on Christina Green and childhood is crucial. If humans are destructive, if the human condition is ultimately shot through with tragedy, this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to recommend existence. Humans are destructive, but they are also creative. In deeply theoretical terms, human mortality is balanced by human natality. In fact, these two faculties are intertwined. Each move to create and renew is imbued with failure and destruction. Every human pursuit of the good carries the risk of evil—perhaps the certainty of sin. This is why we find the hopeful aspirations of children so encouraging.

At its base, this is what makes Obama’s speech truly great. In the face of horrifying tragedy, humans need reason to believe in the “better angels of their nature.” It is not enough in such moments to chant “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” No, when shocked and scared, humans yearn for reassurance that the human condition is redeemable (which is party of what makes the notion of “Christ as Savior” so important and compelling to so many of us).

If this sounds deeply Christian, that’s because it is.

Indeed — I think Obama has made more use of Christian imagery than most recent presidents. Must be because he’s a secret muslim… More reactions to his speech here: Absorbing Last Night

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