I had a piece about half worked out in my head. It would have been a good piece, on inflammatory rhetoric in politics. I was going to make a suggestion: that those most concerned with “calling out” those who use violent language start with their own sides first. I’d even set an example, by choosing some right-winger who I thought had gone too far and chewing them out — then ask someone to point out a leftist going after one of their own. If they needed help, I’d point to any of a number of compilations others have put together.
Then I reconsidered. Because Jinx McHue pointed out this “article” over at that sewer of toxic liberalism, TruthOut. (Whose motto isn’t, but should be, “we ran Out of Truth years ago, and haven’t let that slow us down in the least!”)
That made me snap. What started with Kos’ Tweet (“Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin”) and continued and continued and continued and continued and continued, we were all told that the attempted assassination of Representative Giffords was directly the fault of Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement, talk radio, Fox News, and… well, everyone on the right.
Wait for the facts to emerge? Nonsense! It’s right-wingers! “We’ll give them a fair trial, then hang ’em!” is for wimps! Don’t let this crisis go to waste!
Then, bit by bit, trickle by trickle, facts started to emerge about the alleged shooter. Awkward facts. Inconvenient facts. Facts that not only didn’t tie him in to Palin, the Tea Party, talk radio, or anything else right-wing, but actually put him far from them.
He was a quasi-anarchist, flag-burner, pothead, parents’ basement-dwelling loser, unemployed, anti-war, 9/11 Truther, anti-Christian, news-hating, talk-radio-avoiding, schizophrenic who had most everyone he met convinced he was about to snap and go on a shooting spree… which he did.
In other words, he fit most of the profile of your average young anarchist, the likes of which routinely disrupt events like the G8 summits and the Republican National Convention.
In even fewer words, he wasn’t exactly Tea Party material.
This psycho didn’t come out of the right wing or the Tea Party. He wasn’t inspired by them. It’s questionable if he ever heard or saw any of their statements. Hell, his own rants — focusing on “stupid” and “ignorant” people — fit in quite well with those who tend to run down the Tea Party, Palin, and the right wing in general.
Like those I linked to above.
Palin and He Who Needs No Linkage pretty much nailed it: this is a “blood libel.” No, not The Blood Libel, the specific charge used to persecute Jews, but a lie deliberately meant to lay the blame of the deaths of innocents on those who are innocent in those deaths, motivated by hate.
This is an abomination. This is “waving the bloody shirt” taken to an obscene degree. And there is absolutely no reason to discuss anything with the shirt-wavers until they have retracted their libels.
Admitting one was wrong is never easy. But I speak from experience — it gets easier with practice. But the above-linked people need to take back what they said, admit their error, acknowledge their rush to judgment.
They never did with the suicide of Bill Sparkman.
The never did in the case of Andrew Joseph Stack III.
This time, we don’t let it slide.
Here I have an advantage in not being a Christian. I don’t have to “turn the other cheek.” Rather, as an agnostic who was raised Methodist, I can put my own spin on it:
Hey, professional Left: Kiss my ass.
And when you’re done, let me “turn the other cheek,” and you can kiss that one, too.