Reaction from political and media figures to the Giffords shooting this morning has been pouring in. President Barack Obama released a statement describing the event as “an unspeakable tragedy,” and asked “all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) also condemned the attacks. “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement reading, “It is with the deepest sadness that we have received word of the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, members of her staff, and her constituents. This terrible act of violence is a national tragedy, and today is a very sad day for our country. My prayers, and the prayers of all Members of Congress, go out to her husband, Captain Mark Kelly.”
Arizona Senator John McCain, currently in Colombia for a meeting with its president, said “I’m deeply saddened and shocked at the tragedy that has taken place in my home state of Arizona. The shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the deaths of other individuals is a terrible tragedy, and one that has shocked me and our nation.” He called Giffords’ attacker “a disgrace to Arizona, this country, and the human race. They deserve, and will receive, the contempt of all decent people, and the strongest punishment of the law.”
At a news conference, Arizona Governer Jan Brewer said, “All of Arizona is deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred in Tucson this morning… I am just heartbroken. Gabby is more than just a colleague, she is a friend… I have ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of those who lost their lives today.” She asked the people of Arizona, and America, to keep the victims in their prayers.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, various liberal sewer sites like the Daily Kos rushed to use the Giffords shooting for political theater. The less said about such bilge, the better, but one instance cannot be allowed to pass without comment: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who wrote what should be a career-ending diatribe shortly after the shooting. “Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary,” wrote Krugman. “Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that has already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.”
“You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead,” continued Krugman. “But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.” He added an update criticizing Sarah Palin for calling the shooting “tragic,” even though this is exactly the same word President Obama used. The New York Times is fully accountable for allowing this garbage to be published on their Web site.
Here’s my early reaction to the shooting: may those who lost their lives find a gentle rest, those who fight for life win their battles, and those who judge the murderer give him the worldly sentence he deserves. There are no arguments worth hearing from murderous lunatics, or those who would use them as props.
Update: A brief note to media imbeciles: both parties use “targeted” language and imagery in pre-election advertising. That sound you hear when you try to insinuate people like Sarah Palin are somehow responsible for this mad, awful crime is the last of your credibility swirling down the toilet.
Update: If you’re curious about what I mean by “liberal sewer sites,” let this Tweet from Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos website, sum things up:
“Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin.”
Update: Another entry for the Hall of Shame… New Jersey Democrat Representative Bill Pascrell said “There’s an aura of hate and elected politicians feed it, certain people on Fox News feed it.”
Update: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the shooting, which claimed the life of Judge John Roll:
“The violence in Arizona today has senselessly taken five lives and inflicted tragic loss on dedicated public servants and their families. We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Chief Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction, as attorney and judge, for more than 35 years.
I express my deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his children, as well as the other victims and their families. Chief Judge Roll’s death is a somber reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the sacrifices of those who work to secure it.”
Update: A statement from Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill:
“The horrific attack in Tucson, Arizona, this morning has taken the lives of at least five people, including a federal judge and a young girl, and left many others wounded, among them a dear friend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Gabby is one of the finest members of Congress I know. She is a principled leader and a consensus-builder. She has spent her time in office working her heart out to improve the lives of the people she represents. And she loves her husband and family above all else. On this tragic day, Jill and I are praying for Gabby’s recovery, and we hold her family in our hearts.
Chief Judge John Roll was a dedicated jurist whose death is a terrible loss to Arizona and to the country.
We do not yet know the motivation behind these shootings. But what we do know is that there is simply no justification, no rationale for such senseless and appalling violence in our society.
Please join Jill and me in praying for each of today’s victims and for their families and loved ones.”