The big push to blame conservatives for the murderous rampage of Jared Loughner won’t work. In fact, it will backfire. The Left is riding across quicksand on a horse that is dying beneath them. Here are some reasons why.
The Right can fight back: The paramount reason this strategy will fail is that liberal media dominance is gone forever. The Politico offers a disgusting quote from a nameless Democrat operative, suggesting Barack Obama needs to “deftly pin this on the Tea Partiers, just like Clinton deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.” Leaving aside the question of just how “deft” Clinton’s maneuver was, this isn’t 1995 anymore. Fox News dominates its liberal competition. Conservative websites and magazines draw millions of readers. The Left’s media influence is great, but the era of its total dominion ended decisively with the Dan Rather National Guard memo scandal. (Say, would that calculated attempt to slander a sitting President with forged documents qualify as part of a “climate of hate?”)
Another faceless Democrat operative interviewed by Politico said “the time had come to insist that Republicans stand up when, for example, a figure such as Fox News commentator Glenn Beck says something incendiary.” Take a look at the bubbling crude oil of vicious hatred conservatives have been drilling from website archives, to throw in the faces of sanctimonious liberals over the past two days. If we start making politicians stand up to denounce fiery rhetoric, Democrats will never get to sit down. They would be compelled to spend twenty-four hours a day responding to the venom from their unhinged followers. No wonder all the Democrat operatives prefer to remain anonymous when they offer these little pearls of wisdom.
The Left is asking the majority of the country to hate itself: The sweeping victories in the 2010 midterm elections were achieved with strong support from an electorate that refused to follow the Left any further off the rocky cliffs of its ideology. We were endlessly lectured by media analysts that the midterms were more of a vote against Democrats than a vote in favor of Republicans. Very well. Why would the public listen to a radical liberal minority it no longer trusts, when commanded to flog themselves for creating a “climate of hatred?”
Strong to overwhelming majorities favor reduced spending, smaller and more accountable government, border security, gun rights, and the repeal of ObamaCare. It’s ridiculous to expect them to hand control of their destiny over to a 22-year-old paranoid with a gun. They’re still in shock and mourning over the Tucson atrocity, but soon they’ll begin responding to that suggestion by telling liberals to go to hell.
A lot of casual news consumers who got excited because a liberal conned them with Sarah Palin’s 2010 “bullseye” electoral map are going to be angry when they find out the liberal didn’t tell them about the nearly identical map from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They aren’t going to like being played for fools.
The people pushing the “climate of hate” idea are creepy: Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, an early and frequent salesman for the idea that “vitriolic rhetoric” from “people in the radio business and some people in the TV business” caused the shootings, is a bizarre caricature of an inept, politicized cop. His office has a lot more to answer for, with respect to Jared Loughner, than any talk-radio host.
Former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey sounded like a guy prowling street corners with a sandwich board, when he babbled something incoherent about Loughner becoming violent either because Congress will soon vote on repealing ObamaCare, or because it won’t.
Democrat Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina actually floated the idea that reading the Constitution in the House of Representatives had a “direct link” with the Tucson massacre. The American Left’s attempt to pin the Giffords attack on the Tea Party was parroted word-for-word by Fidel Castro in a Cuban newspaper column.
I don’t think the Left appreciates how weird and off-putting they look to moderate voters, as they crawl through the graveyard in search of bones to beat Republicans with. Talk shows have become the impromptu second season of The Walking Dead, with leftist ghouls offering their latest pet theories of why the Tucson dead should be buried on some Republican’s front lawn. Desperate attempts to somehow tie people like Sarah Palin into the shooting have degenerated into vague rambling about how there’s no clear-cut connection, but Palin should apologize for something or other anyway.
“I have been angered by those on the right who are desperate to make Loughner a lone nut job cut off from the society around him,” squeaks Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post. That’s precisely what he was, and what Americans see him as. Do these liberals realize how grasping, desperate, and ugly they look by clinging to the “climate of hate” meme as it slips through their fingernails? Do they understand that, to average people, blaming Palin or the Tea Party for these murders seems as crazy as anything posted on Jared Loughner’s YouTube channel?
At best, the horde of liberals scurrying around and chittering about the wonderful political opportunities presented by the murders in Tucson sound like repulsive opportunists. At worst, they’re beginning to sound like fascists. Neither image looks good to anyone outside their hardcore base.
Obama can’t go where the Left wants to take him: Thus far, President Obama’s statements on the Tucson shootings have been reasonable and even-handed. He’s really not in a position to become Bill Clinton, and make Tucson his Oklahoma City. He’s got a lot more at stake than the dwindling subscriber base of the New York Times. He would utterly doom himself by endorsing the slander of a Paul Krugman or Markos Moulitsas. The best he can do is offer some conciliatory remarks about how both sides need to lower the temperature of their rhetoric… and if that argument is pushed too hard, it will alienate people on both Left and Right, who understandably bristle when their passionate beliefs are dismissed in such a patronizing manner.
The Left has worked itself into such a lather that Obama’s likely course of action will be a crushing disappointment, and that will infuriate them. If the President doesn’t say something that will drive away the rest of our center-right country in droves, he’s only a few days away from being damned as a coward at the Daily Kos or Democratic Underground. There is an abyss of insatiable hatred in American politics, and it yawns to the left of Barack Obama.
America remains undamaged by the terrible deeds of Jared Loughner. It’s still a loud, rambunctious place of gloriously messy freedom, whose people are unwilling to allow the matters of our vast central government to be quietly decided behind closed doors by the political elite. We pause, appropriately, to mourn the dead, pray for the injured, and honor the heroes who acted quickly to save them. Our business will resume shortly, and all of the things that were important last Friday night will still be important… despite the best efforts of people who somehow thought they could use the blood of the fallen to erase dissent.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter