Fox Protecting its Investment in Sarah Palin

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I agree with Rachel Maddow. Fox News is not news. It’s a political operation.
See the cutaway above by Fox as soon as Sarah Palin is mentioned at a Giffords shooting vigil as well as this good commentary by John Amato.
— Steve Clemons
h/t to Dave Weigel tweet and John Amato

Comments

38 comments on “Fox Protecting its Investment in Sarah Palin

  1. questions says:

    nadine,
    The right bristles at the dems whenever it’s convenient to do so and they can make some political point or other…..
    Back seat of the car? Big fucking deal? Cling to guns and religion? What ever phrase they think they can make stick, they use.
    And the made up stuff is even bigger. Death panels? SoSec crisis? Government takeover? On and on.
    It’s a competitive political system. This is how it should be. There are no pure motives here. Please don’t defend the innocence of the right. There isn’t any to defend.

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  2. nadine says:

    I can think of one recent case where Republicans did bristle at Democratic tough talk – when Obama called Republicans “enemies” and “hostage takers” after the tax deal. But that was not on campaign, and there is a feeling that the President should try to sound Presidential, not just partisan. He is supposed to be the President of all the country.

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  3. nadine says:

    “You say liberals regard guns as “icky, foreign, violent things that should be entirely outlawed,” and we all “react to metaphors of cross-hairs and reloading quite differently depending on which side of the cultural divide you come from. But then you also suggest that both sides are the same when it comes to hunting and military metaphors. These two claims don’t seem easily reconcilable.” (Dan Kervick)
    I see no contradiction, Dan. You are missing one important element — that it’s easy not to get offended by what YOUR OWN side does. In that case, a little excess of zeal is easily excusable. No, offense only comes into play when its the OTHER side putting forth the metaphors.
    What I am saying is that both sides routinely employ hunting and war metaphors (I think, if anything, the Democrats are particularly fond of talking tough on campaign because they are sensitive to being accused of weakness). But only Democrats get the vapors over Republican metaphors, not the other way around. Republicans just shrug over Democratic tough talk.

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  4. Dan Kervick says:

    You can’t have it both ways, Nadine. You say liberals regard guns as “icky, foreign, violent things that should be entirely outlawed,” and we all “react to metaphors of cross-hairs and reloading quite differently depending on which side of the cultural divide you come from.” But then you also suggest that both sides are the same when it comes to hunting and military metaphors. These two claims don’t seem easily reconcilable.
    Personally, I would bet that it is not even close, and that if a study were done of the prevalence of gun, hunting, military or violence metaphors in the political rhetoric of major party political candidates at the national, state and local level we would find way more of it on the Republican side over the past decade. Single anecdotes don’t carry much weight.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I don’t think Sarah Palin’s fillets of beef had anything to do with it”
    Gee, I thought it was a reference to her buns.

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  6. WigWag says:

    But those fillets are something; don’t you think?

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  7. Dan Kervick says:

    “… we are being bombarded by the leftist blogosphere with the idea that Sarah Palin and her mignons are somehow responsible for the atmosphere that led to the shooting.”
    I don’t think Sarah Palin’s fillets of beef had anything to do with it 🙂

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  8. nadine says:

    “Democrats are much more likely to find this kind of talk very distasteful” (Dan Kervick)
    Oh, really?

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  9. Dan Kervick says:

    “Dan, both political sides have used hunting and military metaphors quite freely, and journalists do so routinely as well, as Howard Kurtz pointed out.”
    I would like to see an empirical study of this, because I tend to doubt that military and hunting metaphors are used with anywhere near the frequency on the left as on the right. As you noted, there is a cultural divide in this country, And Democrats are much more likely to find this kind of talk very distasteful.
    I live in New Hampshire, and people hunt around here frequently. I hear guns being fired all the time when I’m out walking. One of my neighbors is a great old guy who frequently has deer parts hanging from his tree and is often out shooting at squirrels, chipmunks and other critters to keep them out of his wood pile and his well. He throws them out into the street after he gets them so that the crows will eat them. I have had plenty a friendly talk with him in his front yard while his gun was sitting on his lap or standing next to him. But I think you are wrong if you think this kind of hunting-friendly easiness with guns translates into a casual attitude toward violent metaphors applied to human beings and political opponents. You mistake comfort with guns with a rude and barbarous lack of manners and human courtesy. I would say that reflects another cultural divide: the conservative urbanist’s affected but supercilious faux-camaraderie with the commonfolk, as they imagine them to be.
    I do know a couple of guys who are always mouthing off with their unrelentingly hostile expressions of tea-party rage. But neither one is a hunter. They’re both utterly suburban and well-off middle-class businessmen.
    I also know veterans – including both my father and father-in-law for example – and its the same thing. They don’t go around saying they’re locked and loaded, and mouthing off about taking people down or taking people out or putting people in their cross-hairs. They are mature and well-comported people, and the argot of the battlefield isn’t brought into civilized and community life.
    All this conspiracy-mongering business in the past couple of years from the Beck wing and Michael Savage fringe of the tea party and the radical libertarian and nativist right, with their constant obsessing about guns, traitors, race wars, the “watering the roots of the tree of liberty”, etc., always delivered in the key of white-hot rage and unhinged emotionalism, represents a new level of volume and a breakdown of civilized standards and manners that even rustics esteem, and it isn’t simply an expression of the cultural divide between effete urbanists and regular folks. New Hampshire is a low population density, mostly non-urban and largely wooded state. But it is a bastion of traditional American republican and democratic values, and the land of the Yankee town meeting and civilized standards of self-government. The ideal is the one expressed in this Norman Rockwell image:
    http://www.best-norman-rockwell-art.com/norman-rockwell-saturday-evening-post-article-1943-02-20-freedom-of-speech.html
    … where people of different backgrounds and classes respectfully address each other and listen to each other as equals, and don’t behave like bellowing, temperamental hotheads, with their rhetoric dripping with images of violence and hatred.

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  10. questions says:

    We can actually play with this another way, too.
    Let’s assume, via an extension of the charitable impulse, that we know that Palin and all other rightwing users of shooting metaphors, killing and targeting metaphors, Second Amendment remedy metaphors and the like all really know that they are indeed being metaphorical.
    And let’s also extend this reading to all recipients of the rhetoric. That is, we will assume that every member of the audience is sophisticated enough to know that these metaphors are just that, metaphors, and never to be taken literally. No shooting is ever really justified political behavior and no one is really ever asking for, calling for, suggesting, hinting at, dog whistling or the like, any kind of actual shooting behavior.
    Fine. I’m willing to grant this.
    Then, we should ask why these metaphors have been chosen by the speech writers, the posters, the headline writers, the speakers, the audience members and so on.
    What is there about the METAPHOR of shooting, the METAPHOR of watering those trees of liberty with the blood of patriots, the METAPHOR of the Second Amendment remedies — what is there about this metaphor that it keeps coming up?
    We are, presumably, to liken VOTING for Palin, or sending her money I guess, with armed insurrection? So it’s extra sexy? Extra thrilling? Braver? More powerful to touch the screen for Palin if she holds a gun than not?
    What are we getting out of the metaphor of shooting, if not the feel of having shot a ballot? (Or a bullet at the ballot box?)
    And really, urban me thinks, well, this is not the best metaphor, though perhaps it’s a structurally determined one.
    And really, urban me thinks, well, not everyone is quite so metaphorically arranged and receptive.
    And really, urban me thinks, well, all those non-metaphorical guns that keep showing up at non-metaphorical rallies are, well, non-metaphorical.
    But maybe sometimes a metaphor is just a metaphor. Except when it isn’t. And we might not always know the difference. And this is where Rawls’s sense of justice needs to intrude and we need to think the General Will (to mix thinkers) and we need the Categorical Imperative and we need to generalize our own particular cravings for a METAPHOR that makes us feel POWER as we live out our generally suburban tedious van-soccer-3.2 kid-take a meeting with the assistant to the assistant to the boss-lives.

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  11. questions says:

    Let’s make a distinction!
    Sarah Palin’s target is being pulled out because, and really only because, Giffords appears on it and Giffords was targeted. It’s convenient.
    The wider concern isn’t just the target ad, it’s the phrase “Second Amendment remedies” — which, let’s face it, is well-understood in both urban and rural America. It doesn’t mean “carry a gun for squirrel hunting” or “shoot up a 7-Up can” or “fire in the air after the Detroit basketball team wins a game”.
    And it’s not just one example of this kind of phrase, it’s an overarching sense that there are a lot of people “out there” who feel that the government as it is run is illegitimate and we need a revolution to right it.
    Street crime is tragic, but individual. A revolution is a whole different beast to deal with. Political assassination, the targeting of politicians, is a far more risky venture than is the mere popping of holes into Coca Cola cans.
    It’s probably worth keeping some levels straight here.

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  12. WigWag says:

    Dan Kervick, I was about to respond to your comment when I read this rebuttal from Nadine,
    “Your comment also points up the cultural divide in America. Urban liberal elites regard guns as icky, foreign, violent things that should be entirely outlawed. Most of the rest of America regards guns as quite normal tools for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. You react to metaphors of cross-hairs and reloading quite differently depending on which side of the cultural divide you come from.”
    I could not provide a more perfect response than Nadine

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  13. nadine says:

    “ou seem to be saying that the rhetorical use of images of violence, rifle sights, cross-hairs, hunting and targeting can’t be dangerous so long as those images are used only as metaphors and are not intended literally.” (Dan Kervick)
    Dan, both political sides have used hunting and military metaphors quite freely, and journalists do so routinely as well, as Howard Kurtz pointed out.
    Your comment also points up the cultural divide in America. Urban liberal elites regard guns as icky, foreign, violent things that should be entirely outlawed. Most of the rest of America regards guns as quite normal tools for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. You react to metaphors of cross-hairs and reloading quite differently depending on which side of the cultural divide you come from.
    “[Sarah Palin’s] serious political career already seemed on the decline, and she seems to have been transitioning into a role as pundit-entertainer or activist. But if there were any doubt, my guess is that she is now quite finished as a respectable candidate for national office.”
    From this? You must be joking. These charges are so unfounded that she will gain support from the center and right. And career in decline? The rest of the Republican field only wishes their careers were in such “decline” that they could shift the national debate with their Facebook postings, the way she can.

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  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “When did conspiracy thinking take over the American Left?”
    Meanwhile, she imagines an anti-semite behind every bush, and a pro-islamist in every liberal’s household.
    Pathetic.
    And wig-wag is on a roll, using “dumb” in the same context she (?) uses “anti-semite”; lightly veiled ad hominem in lieu of actual substantive argument. Even going so far as to recently openly accuse Clemons of “stupidity”.
    Just examine the narrative now being used to justify Israel’s actions, and ask yourself what degree of intelligence is needed to discount the obvious bullshit contained therein. Or listen to a Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh show, and draw your own conclusions as to the intellectual prowess of the audience such inane and divisive crap reaches out to.
    Want a real lesson in “message”, and “dumb”? Question an avid Fox News listener for more than thirty seconds about world events. Or question most American citizens about events unfolding between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The word “dumb” doesn’t do justice to the ignorance that is being carefully nurtured by the likes of Fox News and the rest of the lying propagandizing sacks of shit in our media and Washington DC.
    Its an interesting concept though, isn’t it???
    Gee folks, the reason so many of us won’t buy into the ABSOLUTE SHIT that Nadine and Wiggie deposit here 24/7 is because we are just too dumb to buy into it.
    Yep, that must be it, eh?
    “I think these people are so convinced that they are on the side of the angels that they really believe that no rules should ever apply to them, only to the nasty, evil other side”
    Tell us again, Nadine, how Jawaher Abu Rahme was murdered by her own family, a victim of an “honor killing”. And do tell us what evidence you had to make that assertion, will you? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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  15. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag, I have no idea whether Loughner was ever exposed to Palin’s own particular ads and brand of political discourse. But if anyone is guilty of an excessive literalism here, it is you. You seem to be saying that the rhetorical use of images of violence, rifle sights, cross-hairs, hunting and targeting can’t be dangerous so long as those images are used only as metaphors and are not intended literally. Would you also say that there is no danger in depicting Jews as rats or swine, as long as the employer of those images means only to suggest that Jews are rats or swine in a metaphorical sense, and not that they are literally members of a non-human animal species? Of course not. Metaphors can contribute to a cognitive and emotional climate of hatred, dehumanization and violence just as much as literally intended attributes.
    Palin is the one who has been going around encouraging all of this Sarah the Huntress iconography, and she has really no one to blame now but herself for the trouble she now finds herself in. She or her organization promoted an ad showing Gifford’s district in the cross-hairs of a rifle sight, and now Giffords has been shot by an impressionable and alienated wacko. You take umbrage at people questioning Palin’s intelligence. But you have to appreciate that, at the very least, Palin’s political decisions in this regard were quite stupid, even if you are so stubborn as not to admit they were morally reckless.
    Her serious political career already seemed on the decline, and she seems to have been transitioning into a role as pundit-entertainer or activist. But if there were any doubt, my guess is that she is now quite finished as a respectable candidate for national office.

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  16. nadine says:

    “The leftist blogosphere is hyping the idea that Palin’s advertisement with the “cross-hairs” on it contributed to the climate that made this shooting possible. You have to be intellectually very unsophisticated or deliberately obtuse to believe that. Anyone with an intellectual age of ten years old or greater should be able to tell that the cross-hairs in Palin’s ad were euphemisms; the ad was speaking metaphorically.” (Wigwag)
    I think the word you are look for is “symbol,” not “euphemism.”
    As for the choice between “very unsophisticated” and “deliberately obtuse,” why should I have to chose when the terms are not mutually exclusive?
    The other important thing to note is that the same people who are decrying Sarah Palin’s use of cross-hair symbols on a map in her campaign literature, thought that producing plays and movies fantasizing about the assassination of George W. Bush – while he was still in office! – was all in good fun and not beyond the pale.
    I think these people are so convinced that they are on the side of the angels that they really believe that no rules should ever apply to them, only to the nasty, evil other side.
    Which is indeed, both “very unsophisticated” and “deliberately obtuse.”

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  17. nadine says:

    Dan, yes, it doesn’t take a prophet to foresee an insanity defense in this case. Though, as I’m sure you already know, the legal standard is stiff and most such defenses fail.
    However, precisely because it is already clear that the shooter is mentally imbalanced, it is especially irresponsible for the Left to try to attach blame for his crime to Sarah Palin and the Teaparty (note: I’m not accusing you here, since you have rightly steered clear of such accusations).
    Jon Tobin points out how differently possible political connections are handled when the shooter turns out to be Arab or Muslim instead of a young white male:
    “As the political left seeks to use the Arizona tragedy to tar all conservatives with the brush of the murderer, there is another point to remember here. In the past few years, there have been several shootings and terrorists attacks carried out or attempted by American Muslims who were clearly influenced by extremist Islam.
    Yet every time such a crime happens, liberals loudly warn us that an examination of the motives of those who carry out such attacks is beyond the pale, since such ruminations might be prejudicial to Muslims, even if the truth is that those crimes were influenced by Islam.
    Caution is always advisable when seeking to associate anyone or anything with a violent crime, even though the links between some of these cases of Muslim terrorism and extreme forms of Islam are fairly clear. Yet today there are no such warnings being sounded in the media cautioning Americans not to attribute the actions of an unstable individual to political movements that actually have nothing to do with his crime. Indeed, far from preemptively warning the public not to jump to conclusions, even within the first 24 hours after the assassination took place, we have already had several instances of the left seeking to link this crime with dissent against the policies of President Obama and his Democratic congressional supporters.”
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/tobin/385970

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  18. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag, do you remember the John Birch society form the 1960s? Hasn

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  19. Dan Kervick says:

    I read earlier that one of Loughner’s classmates said that the latter’s strange classroom outbursts made him think that Loughner might have been taking hallucinogens. That was one of the first things I thought of too when I read Loughner’s You Tube postings. Of course the effects of hallucinogens can be similar to the symptoms of psychosis, and can trigger psychotic breaks.

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  20. questions says:

    Couple of things — first someone who is schizophrenic (or whatever the right term is here) is not “responsible” for controlling the voices in his head. John Nash is pretty fucking singular in his ability to separate the voices in his head from reality in sufficient measure to maintain a mathematics career. And he failed to do so for many many many years. Schizophrenia (or whatever) is mitigating.
    Second, when people talk about “Second Amendment remedies” or “unlock and reload” or the like, when people use the language of “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots”, they really are saying something. These aren’t empty phrases.
    If anyone is going to worry about, say, mosques and radicalization (which the right does), then worrying about “Second Amendment remedies” and radicalization should go hand in hand, or hand in glove, or peanut butter and jelly or concave and convex with the the other.
    Radicalization of any sort is a complex phenomenon with a whole bunch of psychic causes, inner and outer demons, and the like. Pape could probably push the envelope on this one were he to team up with a social psychologist for the next volume of his work.
    (And he should look at some of the lit on declining correlation as the number of cases rises. It could be pretty significant for the kind of work he does, actually.)
    No more will I take on the simple cause and effect of Palin=shooter than I will dismiss any tie between the eliminationist rhetoric on the right and the shooter.
    These things are likely tied together in a loose syndrome of easy and cheap rhetoric and inner disturbance and easy and cheap access to weapons and fantasies of going out in a blaze of glory and eliminating what you don’t like in the process.
    I am not singling out Palin’s target image as much as seeing it as one of many instances of overwrought rhetoric in a competitive electoral system in which the overwrought and the exaggerated and the wild meet the ability to shoot up a bunch of people in a few seconds.
    Right or left, doesn’t matter. Mental illness, overwrought rhetoric, eliminationist fantasies, impure currency or impure populations… it all works together and it leads to tragedy.
    The easiest interventions for something like this are community mental health, education about what schizophrenia looks and feels like, places for people to go when they have little or no recourse out of such places, social assistance for the suffering, and maybe just maybe some new non-eliminationist fantasies to fill in the sad spaces in our saddest or most disturbed people.
    “The Schizophrenic Eye for the Mentally Sound Guy” is a clear winner….
    Our images, our political system, our obsessions, all seem to wrap round and round purity issues, and purity and eliminationism seem to go hand in hand.
    We’re impure, unwashed, dirty, filthy, mixed, and we should groove on it! It’d do us some good.

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  21. nadine says:

    questions, the point is that tying the shooting to the teaparty would be completely unjustifiable even if the shooter had any teaparty views, because as you correctly point out, he’s a nut. (I would recommend assigning some responsibility to him himself before searching all over the map for family and gun law responsibiity.)
    However, there is zero evidence to connect him with the teaparty or even the right, but that isn’t stopping the Democrat Party and their media servants from doing so for pure partisan pointscoring. Whining about how ugly partisanship is all the while (they mean how ugly it is when the other side does it).
    When it emerges that the shooter is an anarchist or a socialist, the media will never say another word about political motivations for the shooting. I bet you – wait and see.

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  22. questions says:

    nadine,
    Huh? DNC? Lamar Alexander is a Republican, not a Dem, and they are basically agreeing that making direct ties between the rhetoric and the actions is not a great idea.
    Clearly the Dems will see this all a little differently from the Republicans, that’s a given. But Durbin is backing off. There’s no attack here.
    I think it’s a reasonable read to be concerned about the public discourse while not tying it directly to any one instantiation of that discourse.
    It’s a complex event with a long, bizarre, tragic set of causes. As with any event, there will be links of all sorts. And as with any event, really having firm causation rather than fuzzy causation isn’t a likely outcome.
    The guy is unstable, he’s been primed to be receptive to some fringe beliefs, he’s done some coursework that gave him a little more space to think odd thoughts, there’s some suggestion that his family situation is iffy, he’s shown some personality issues, there’s been contact with the police, he had a powerful gun in a conceal-carry no license needed state (if I have that right), I wouldn’t be surprised if there was no background check given that he had some mental health and police contacts of some sort.
    And our political climate gives voice and direction towards action for someone with this set of traits.
    No one cause is the singular cause. All together, though, maybe just maybe it’s overdetermined.

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  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting that Nadine chooses to say, in effect, “Well, MSNBC is just as partisan as Fox News is”. But she says it NOT to underline a proplematic situation, but rather to justify one side of the problem.
    That seems to be her rationale for many unfortunate and damaging policies, actions, and events, doesn’t it?
    Rather than acknowledging a problem, she simply justifies the problem by resorting to “Well, THEY do it too!” So in her twisted little bizarro world evil feeds upon itself, growing stronger by the minute, nourished and nurtured by the competing radicalism of ideological opposites.
    And thats OK with Nadine, who still suffers with the delusion that there can be some sort of “winner” within such a dynamic.

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  24. DonS says:

    Wig and nadine get all warm, fuzzy, PC and huffy about a really toxic event when it appears the narrative isn’t going their way, just like all the RW and many repubs are spinning the “no one could have anitcipated” line. It’s not like the RW would ever stoop to spin nasty, even incendiary narratives.
    Classic ‘look over here”. Let’s, indeed, just wait to see what emerges. It’s going to be all “lone actor.lunatic” 24/7. The right never takes any responsibility for the filth they spread.
    And I see we are back to shooting the messenger or, in this case, impugning the host.

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  25. nadine says:

    “”Appearing Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) singled out the Palin rhetoric as an example of “violent images and violent words” that contribute to a toxic political environment. Durbin stopped short of explicitly linking such language with the Tucson shooting, however: “I don’t think you can ever make the direct connection,” he said.
    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), appearing on the same program, cautioned against tying Loughner’s alleged actions with the rhetoric of tea party activists or other political groups.” (questions)
    Well, we don’t have to guess about the content of today’s DNC memo, do we? THE REPUBLICANS HAVE CONTROL OF THE CONGRESS! CHANGE THE SUBJECT! CHANGE THE SUBJECT! CHANGE THE SUBJECT! ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!

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  26. nadine says:

    “I agree with Rachel Maddow. Fox News is not news. It’s a political operation.” (Steve Clemons)
    Pot, meet kettle.
    Seriously, are you lauding Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann as your models of restraint in political rhetoric? Really?

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  27. nadine says:

    Wigwag, do you remember the John Birch society form the 1960s? Haven’t the Left become their mirror image? When did conspiracy thinking take over the American Left?

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  28. questions says:

    A couple more reactions regarding the rhetoric issue:
    “Appearing Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) singled out the Palin rhetoric as an example of “violent images and violent words” that contribute to a toxic political environment. Durbin stopped short of explicitly linking such language with the Tucson shooting, however: “I don’t think you can ever make the direct connection,” he said.
    Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), appearing on the same program, cautioned against tying Loughner’s alleged actions with the rhetoric of tea party activists or other political groups.
    “I think in all of the talk about this, we have to be very careful about imparting the actions of a deranged individual” to other groups,” Alexander said. But he agreed that politicians and commentators “ought to cool it, tone it down” and “do our best not to inflame passions.” ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/09/AR2011010901892_2.html?hpid=topnews
    Everyone is feeling the way through how to capture both a sense that we can’t simply tie one instance to the event in a causal chain, and a sense that popular rhetoric in general is a little over the top.

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  29. nadine says:

    questions, unwarranted attacks on Sarah Palin tend only to rally her base and make her stronger.
    Anybody outside the leftmost 20% koskid territory, who are ready to believe anything bad about Sarah Palin and the teaparty at any time, will see these charges as ridiculous. Let’s see, a nut shot a Congresswoman because Sarah Palin called a political opponent a target in her campaign literature a year ago? If this argument makes sense to you, then you are sliding into the fever swamps along with Steve Clemons and most of his commenters.
    The Left, having lost the political argument, is simply desperate to paint the opposition as astroturf/racist/violent. They have tried all sorts of charges. However, the teaparty has not obliged them be being any of those things. So now they are trying to smear the teaparty for the actions of a lunatic. Nice.

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  30. questions says:

    On the political strategizing side of things, I wonder if the professional right (literally) will use this as a way to get Palin out of the running. Collections of quotations about how great she is as a person, but how unelectable she is, have been put together in various corners of my reading world. And those quoted are the right wing punditocracy, so they really mean it.
    The target thing, if properly deployed, will likely guarantee that she doesn’t run. She’ll be kept in the money, but not in the race. And indeed, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what she most wants anyway. The presidency would be a pay cut at this point.
    And I think the right in general is going to work on the rhetoric issue. They want to keep the Tea Party, but they want the policy work done to their satisfaction. What a coalition to keep together…..
    The trick will be to ease up the rhetoric, which believe me, elected officials probably really want to do suddenly, while still getting re-elected.
    I think people really will wake up on this, at least for a while. At least some of us, that is.

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  31. WigWag says:

    The left wing blogosphere’s (of which the Washington Note now appears to be a part)attempt to smear Sarah Palin by associating her in some way with the attacks in Arizona is truly ironic. By promoting an idea so profoundly misguided and wrong as the idea that Palin’s ad created the type of atmosphere that facilitated this tragedy, the left is turning itself into a carricature. In fact it’s worse than that; Steve’s post and the chorus from his left wing friends in the on-line world is, in fact, a perfect example of stirring up precisely the type of poisonous political atmosphere that they pretend to decry.
    In fact, this campaign against Palin is aspirationally no different than the bulls eye ads of Palin’s that are being criticized. The fact that the political left would use this terrible tragedy to “score points” makes the left exactly like the right. Steve shouldn

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  32. Cee says:

    Bill,
    I haven’t forgotten that you never addressed my question re: the Israeli govt.committing acts of TERRORISM that killed Jews.
    Save your selective outrage. I’m really tempted to tell you to go do something to yourself but I just won’t be addressing you again.

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  33. Cee says:

    Don,
    Thanks for posting from Cole. Let me add to it
    Those right-wing bloggers who want to dismiss Loughner as merely disturbed are being hypocritical, since they won

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  34. Cee says:

    Questions,
    I read that her own father blamed the teabaggers. Does he know more than we do? Giffords also pointed the finger at Sarah.
    She can scrub the target images from her website all she wants to, it doesn’t change a thing.
    I hope Sarah tries to run in the next election. I’ll make signs quoting her.
    To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season

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  35. DonS says:

    Questions, what you say about literalizing makes sense but, let’s not be naive, too many use language to incite. Not just a few. Too many.

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  36. questions says:

    Here’s the dilemma, from a TPM summary:
    “But Phillips added that “no matter what the shooter’s motivations where, the left is going to blame this on the Tea Party Movement. Already on liberal websites, the far left is trying to accuse the Tea Party of being involved.”
    In another post, Phillips took things a step further: “The left has simply gone to far. There can be no civil discourse with people as crazy as those on the left are. What that says for the future of this country is tragic.”
    Patrick Beck, the head of the Mohave County Tea Party, told Dave Weigel that tea partiers might have to be more careful about their rhetoric, “but it makes it real difficult to speak when every few minutes you’re giving a disclaimer. ‘We have to fight back — but, wait, I don’t mean literally fight.’ Those words such as fight, and take back, and restore… we know what we mean but we have to be clear what we mean, and in next few weeks, as this all plays out, people will be more understanding of that.””
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/tucson-tea-party-leader-we-wont-change-our-rhetoric-after-gifford-shooting.php?ref=fpa
    *****
    Apportioning blame in this one, taking corrective action — it’s gonna step on some toes that don’t want to be stepped on. It’s not the direct fault of any one rhetorical sound bite, it’s difficult to say, “Hey, it’s JUST a metaphor! Get it?! Not literal destruction, just metaphorical. Really, the opposition is great! I LOVE the opposition, but let’s oppose the opposition just because, ummm, well, no, they don’t have bad intentions, and no, they won’t really destroy the nation as we know it, but, hey, I’m a little better than the opposition (but not “better” in the sense of morally superior and more deserving of the good things in life, rather, “better” in the sense that my policies will result in a slightly different tilt in the policy process…..”)
    So, really, it’ll likely all be forgotten as it’s A) not possible for any individual to take the acute blame for a chronic condition (no one straw ever breaks the camel’s back, and no one grainof sand is THE transformative grain between heap and non-heap), and B) there’s simply no way to speak without metaphor. We think metaphorically, we are our metaphors. Some people do have a hard time with them, but man, if we have to literalize speech….
    And yet, there really is work to be done on this issue. It’s going to be unpleasant work, though.

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  37. DonS says:

    Juan Cole has some commentary this morning that highlights the right wing media’s role in promoting bigotry, hatred and violence.
    Included is this from the local sheriff:
    “The man who had most to do with Loughner after his arrest, Pima County Sherriff Clarence W. Dupnik, was clearly angered by what he heard from the assassin:

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