Political Circlejerk: Democrats and Republicans argue over politics of assassin


Following the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman, a federal judge and up to ten others outside a supermarket in Tucson, it didn’t take long for the deluded partisans of the Democratic and Republican parties to begin their now formally ritualized circlejerk on the political motivations and partisan leanings of the shooter.

For Democrats, naturally, the shooting is the result of Republican policy and rhetoric.

Republicans, on the other hand, have already convinced themselves that the shooter was “a loony leftist.”

Yes, let’s blame each other again. That will certainly solve everything. Let’s snarl at each other and remain pious about the sanctity of our side, even as the country continues to polarize and melt down.

Why does the US have so many wacko lone gun men?

Something’s Broken In The Promised Land – Wayne Kramer (excerpt)

I’ve seen all the lone gunmen I can stand
There’s a self improvement tape called
“getting used to poverty”
Something broken in the promised land

Something broken in the promised land
The dream is sold out in the promised land
The sidewalk’s cold in the promised land
Broken promise in the promised land

The rich get lazy in the promised land
The poor get crazy in the promised land
A busted deal here in the promised land
The shit is real here in the promised land
The vision fails in the promised land
They’re building jails in the promised land
My Chevy died here in the promised land
Chuck Berry lied about the promised land

James Lee, who took hostages at the Discovery Channel last September and was killed by police, posted a bizarre leftish Malhusian rant filled with anti-technology and extreme back-to-nature sentiments. People like him and the Arizona gunman are not really political, they’re lost (if not deranged) souls looking for something to desperately latch onto. When I was in a far left group, we’d sometime see them at open meetings, asking bizarre questions, going off on rants – the fringe of the fringe.

Also, Sarah Palin wasn’t saying to shoot those legislators she marked on a map with a gun sight just like Rahm Emmanuel didn’t actually want political enemies dead when he yelled “dead.” But our political discourse has indeed become poisonous. Let’s moderate it before it really spills over into violence.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said yesterday “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” adding it’s time for the country to “do a little soul searching.”

That means all of us.


  • Thank you! The reaction to this has been disgusting, and on NPR this morning I heard disgusting report after disgusting report – first about stupid, superficial details that aren’t even confirmed yet, then about how one reporter is friends with Giffords’ family. In the media, their circlejerk is to talk about how THEY knew her, how special they are because of it. Ugh.

  • It is true, that you reap what you sow. From war games to rhetoric of violence, from we are the greatest to everything being a competition and you’ve just got to win at all costs. The system is one of competing, not of co-operation, if you’re not a winner then of course you are a loser. Where does happiness exist in such a system?

  • We would all do well to remember as the media hoopla over the survival of Arizona Congresswoman Giffords rolls out that a (Republican) Federal Judge who supported immigration reform and ruled against Arizona’s recent draconian racist legislation, a nine year girl – someone’s daughter and grand-daughter, and four others are dead.

    And by this late hour all reports indicate like so much other recent Reichwing violence against “The Left”, this is just that – Reichwing violence targeting the perceived “Left”. That the shooter called out their names as he shot them is an even clearer indication that he was not just some random “nut”, but rather had thought through – regardless of how irrationally we may see it – his actions. And yes, “The Reich”, in particular Sarah Palin, brought this on.

    • I hear you, and the rhetoric from some of the right is indeed poisonous. But if it were the 60’s and leftism was ascendant, he could have just as easily joined SLA. He doesn’t seem a real politico to me.

      • woody

        I think you need to look more into this Bob… He was quite the politico. He was wacko, no doubt, but that wack had a very political bend to it.

        • Sort of. A real politico would have chosen a target much more on the Left, not a Blue Dog, and made sure the act carried a clear message.

  • We create a culture where people are conditioned to follow some leader or other, then the leaders shout violence and vengence, are we surprised the followers follow?The next revolution will have to be a revolution of consciousness, the system needs a root and branch cutting.

  • indieintx

    “before it really spills over into violence” REALLY?

    As if gunning down and killing multiple people, including a 9 YEAR OLD CHILD, was not a violent act. I have no idea what can be considered “violence” if the events of Saturday do not qualify.

    Your post has thoughful comments but that phrase is too flippant by half and, for me, signals a jaded cynicism. I suggest that you take your admonition that we all “do a little soul searching” much more seriously than you do the horrific woundings and deaths of innocents.

    This was my first visit to your site and it will now be my only.

    • If it escalates into insurrection or civil war or chaos, then six dead, however tragic, will seem minor. Look at Mexico now, sometimes dozens are found dead, decapitated, and tortured on the streets of border towns in the morning.

    • DJ

      “As if gunning down and killing multiple people, including a 9 YEAR OLD CHILD, was not a violent act. I have no idea what can be considered “violence” if the events of Saturday do not qualify.”

      Oh, man, you need to get out more. Consider the image of children without limbs, schoolteachers burned to death in their homes, civilians bombed by supposed authorities, people terrified because one side rules the night and the other rules the day, people dragged from their homes and executed in the streets by the thousands because they belonged to a particular group. Too far fetched? I lived there for two years.

      I have seen heroism, too. I watched a woman run for President and win despite death threats from multiple parties in an exceedingly polarized country, and when the incumbent government refused to step down she stood her ground until they relented. I saw a man who defied his own people to rescue others from certain death. And I met a woman who worked tirelessly for the families of those who had disappeared at the hands of her own people.

      As a nation, we are spoiled. We know neither real poverty, real war, nor real violence. I hope that we are not brought to those lengths before we wake up and see the true risks of this political vitriol.

      • DJ is talking about his time working with a peace organization in Sri Lanka during their vicious civil war

  • No matter which way you dress it up, to us on this side of the pond, America looks like a violent society from the top down. The establishment endorses the death penalty, that itself sends out a clear message of violence and retribution, individuals and groups take their lead from the establishment, violence is integrated into society in many ways, it is a war oriented society where the military is honoured and held in high regard, (they are killers, experts in trained violence). Yes there are individuals fighting that culture, but the fact that they have a fight on their hands proves the point. In stating this I am in no way saying that we are a pacifist nation, our colonial record and our recent excursions in the Middle East contradict that notion. It is all a matter of degree, you look at Mexico and shudder, we look at America and shudder.

    • It’s that whole ‘lone gunslinger going into a town to clean it up’ ethos, isn’t it?

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