Sunday, January 9, 2011

All Must Denounce "Eliminationist" Rhetoric

We ought to be very concerned about the political terror violence in Arizonia that not only severely injured Representative Giffords but has now taken several fellow citizens' lives. SarahPAC had placed crosshairs on Gabrielle Giffords district this past election and while one cannot blame this particular act directly on that paticular political imagery, it deserves some focus. These types of highly charged appeals, with the steady angry drumbeat on the right, especially on the radio waves and the ultra conservative as victim web presence, has helped coarsen our politics and invited in hate crime, loner lash-out, and attempting to cast votes of anger with a gun.

From Joan Walsh, Salon editor at large: conservative leader has yet called for dialing back the rage on the right in the wake of the Giffords shooting. Sarah Palin sent condolences to Giffords' family, but said nothing about her unconscionable SarahPAC map putting 20 House members, including Giffords, in actual crosshairs for supporting healthcare reform, or her infamous Tweet telling conservatives "don't retreat, reload." Giffords' 2010 Tea Party challenger, Jesse Kelly, hasn't apologized for inviting supporters to "shoot a fully automatic M16" to "get on target for victory" and "remove Gabrielle Giffords from office."

We have no idea why Loughner allegedly tried to kill Giffords Saturday. But the fact that a well-liked, centrist, pro-gun rights Democrat like Giffords faced threats and attacks for her healthcare vote, or that she was targeted with violent imagery by the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president as well as her 2010 GOP opponent, ought to make conservatives pause. More than pause, it ought to make them denounce those in their ranks who are using extremist, eliminationist rhetoric.
We must reflect on that which we have all always known.

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