I don’t think Palin or the Tea Party is directly responsible for inspiring this massacre in Arizona. But there’s a reason she scrubbed her website, deleted tweets, and had surrogates argue that those weren’t targets on her map, but surveyor’s marks.” That she has to insult us with these lies is telling. It’s not that she feels guilty–it’s that she’s so self-absorbed she thinks she’s a victim here for being called to answer for her rhetoric.
There’s a certain amount of war rhetoric that goes into campaigning. I’m not in favor of being overly sensitive about these things to the point where you can’t use a colorful metaphor. But we saw a health care reform debate and then an election where people were openly carrying guns, talking about watering the tree of liberty with blood and using “second amendment remedies” for Senators. A sheriff steps over the dead bodies in his town to mention these things might be inappropriate and he’s the one being blasted for making inappropriate comments.
And that’s where we are at. You can’t talk about the issues underneath this without being accused of “politicizing” it. The shooter is crazy and incoherent enough that we can all comfortably write him off as a “lone nut,” America’s favorite term to absolve us from looking at any of the societal problems that causes this type of behavior–or, god forbid, the tools he used to kill so many so fast. Unless the shooter fits into the binary mold of a mainstream liberal or conservative, we are content to pretend his behavior took place in a vacuum. “A lone nut! you’ll get those.”
And we will. See you back here next massacre.”