The recent shooting of Arizona Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ignited a national firestorm. The spark was provided, oddly, not by the shooter, but by New York Times writer Paul Krugman. Krugman’s words bring sharply into focus the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the political Left in America. And this fact transcends the Giffords tragedy.
About three hours after the Giffords shooting in Arizona, Krugman wrote (Note 1):
“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before [Note 2]…And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list [link to Palin’s website here].
“You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh [Note 3], etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. 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.”
How’s that for an unbiased prejudgment? The remarkable thing about Krugman’s indictment is that it is evidence-free. No important details of the crime were known at this moment. However, this does not prevent Krugman from making baseless and inflammatory accusations. This got the ball rolling. Within hours, the Left hijacked a national tragedy to exploit it for political gain. This is what they do. Krugman led the way.
Later that evening, Krugman said he was not surprised by the shooting. He expected it (Note 4):
“I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign… there has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats and vandalism aimed at elected officials…One of these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And now someone has.
“It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate…
“It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility”…there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.
“And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.
“Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right…Saturday’s atrocity will be just the beginning…” Notice how Krugman cleverly acknowledges the possibility of the shooter’s mental illness. Early facts suggested this. Yet Krugman simultaneously dismisses mental illness as a consideration. The shooter, rather than being an isolated nut case, is a national symptom. According to Krugman, the shooter embodies a toxic national mood caused by hateful rhetoric from the conservative Right.
Where Krugman goes, fools rush in. Within 12+ hours of Giffords’ shooting, the entire pantheon of socialist shibboleths was conjured into action. One after another, the customary reverberation stations on the Left took up their happy refrain. Blame Palin. Blame Talk Radio. Blame the Tea Party. Blame Republican leaders. For good measure, throw in the Religious Right and the Gun Lobby. Nearly every socialist psychosis ever invented was rapidly summoned for full display. Eventually, somehow, Charter Schools, the Military Complex and Big Business will be implicated. All this, amazingly, was unleashed by a confused 22-year old loner in Arizona. This is how to manufacture a crisis.
Characteristically, there was a complete lack of evidence for these claims. Indeed, the facts emerging early in this uncivil discourse contradicted the Left. Yet here is Krugman and company emitting their poisonous gases, the justification for which exists only in their mind and gut. Krugman would do well to recognize his own toxic contribution to this tragedy.
To dishonest and over-credentialed elitists like Krugman, only the conservative Right engages in despicable speech. Never mind the irresponsible and hateful rhetoric of MoveOn.org, Code Pink, Daily Kos, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Air America (Note 5), and many others. These don’t qualify as counterpoints in Krugman’s universe. These are the Good Guys. If their speech gets too divisive or wrathful, well, it’s all in the good name of Social Justice. Surely, allowances can be made for their over-exuberance. Sarah Palin, however…
Next slide please. It is interesting to note – though none on the Left will ever do so – that a deeply disturbing anti-Giffords message was posted on the Daily Kos website two days before the shooting rampage in Tuscon. Daily Kos is one of those digital fonts of hateful rhetoric that Krugman and company so despise. Inconveniently, it is also a far-Left haven. The Kos message was a disjointed and profanity-laden rant about Congresswoman Giffords, among other things. The author said of Giffords, “she is DEAD [all caps] to me.” Two days later, after her shooting, the same author proclaimed he would not pray for her recovery. It turns out the author is none other than Daily Kos founder, Markos Moulitsas (Note 6). This kind of talk is not only prevalent and tolerated on the Left, it is conveniently ignored when demonizing the Right for allegedly the very same thing. At its core, this personifies the hypocrisy of Krugman and his socialist friends.
Moreover, there has not been – and there most likely will never be – any exposure of Daily Kos’ own congressional targeting. On June 25, 2008 Kos editors posted a hit list of no less than 105 Democrat targets. These Democrats were too moderate for Kos’ taste and were targeted for elimination during the Democrat Party primaries of that year. The so-called Blue Dogs, of which Giffords was one, were particularly emphasized and “puts a bull-eye on their district,” Kos trumpeted. This, kind of “eliminationist rhetoric,” of course, does not trouble Krugman. No doubt he does not even consider it eliminationist rhetoric. The folks at Daily Kos, after all, are the Good Guys. Their intentions are purely noble. Palin, on the other hand…
The Giffords flashpoint, supposedly, was a Palin political website that targeted twenty vulnerable Democrats for defeat during the 2010 midterm congressional election. Krugman and others railed against Palin’s use of gun sight crosshairs to identify the location of targeted Democrats. Never mind that Kos had already done much the same thing in 2008.
The inescapable conclusion, to the biased mind, is that Palin’s crosshairs instigated the shooter’s crime. Here was a direct link between the psychological impact of viewing Palin’s website – a sort-of digital Rorschach, for which there was no record the shooter ever viewed – and physical evidence at the crime scene. Good work there, Detective Krugman. Call this Exhibit A in the case against Palin. Next, I suppose, Exhibit B will be a Krugman dream that Palin was the doer. Dream, indeed (Note 9).
Speaking of angry rhetoric, by Monday, January 10, it seethed everywhere on the Left. The attacks were vicious and many. The blame piled up quickly. Adulterer and former Senator Gary Hart, writing for the nasty Huffington Post, categorically declared the shooting was motivated by angry Right political rhetoric. MSNBC’s feral Keith Olbermann demanded Palin’s repudiation. The ever-insightful Daily Kos broadcasted this inspiring message, in response to the shooting: “Mission Accomplished – Sarah Palin” (Note 10).
Palin’s cross-hairs website is not a new story. Krugman was among the first to spotlight and criticize it nearly a year ago. On March 25, 2010 Krugman wrote (Note 11):
“I must admit I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law…
“What has been really striking is the eliminationist rhetoric of the GOP, coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders. John Boehner, the House minority leader, declared that the passage of health reform was “Armageddon.” The Republican National Committee put out a fund-raising appeal that included a picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, surrounded by flames, while the committee’s chairman declared that it was time to put Ms. Pelosi on “the firing line.” And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.
“All of this goes far beyond politics as usual. Democrats had a lot of harsh things to say about former President George W. Bush — but you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials.
“No, to find anything like what we’re seeing now you have to go back to the last time a Democrat was president.”
Oh, really? It’s hard to keep a straight face reading this nobel-laureate-dispensed nonsense (Note 12). I sometimes think Krugman just makes this stuff up. His rigorous thinking process must go something like this: If something I write isn’t true, then it ought to be. If something I write isn’t supported by the facts, then the facts are being suppressed. To Krugman and people like him, fabrication is not lying. Fabrication is merely a temporary expedient until the truth can be convincingly falsified. Their moral superiority gives them license to attack and lie. Their end – Social Justice – permits the means.
Krugman’s comment about President Bush is particularly laughable. Google ‘bush hate images’ and you get 7.9 million results in one-third of a second. Does anyone remember Code Pink? How about those 9/11 Truthers and the grand Bush conspiracy to orchestrate the World Trade Center attacks? A great deal of political vitriol was hurled at Bush during his tenure – and still is. Krugman dishonestly minimizes this. In Krugman’s mind, Bush deserved every nasty epithet he got. Since the nastiness was warranted, it’s not really nasty. This is how they think.
In concluding his March 2010 assessment, Krugman predicted that right-wing extremism would benefit Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections. A voter backlash, he said, was bound to occur. He was right about the backlash, dead wrong about its target. How’s that backlash working for you now, Paul?
He next dismissed the Tea Party as a political force. He claimed the Tea Party’s rise was merely the result of “enthusiastic coverage by Fox News.” Yes, another very insightful prediction by the Princeton economist and former Enron advisor (Note 13). Again, Krugman could not have been more wrong.
On the same day as Krugman’s expostulations, ironically, Giffords wrote (Note 14):
“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action. In the years that some of my colleagues have served, twenty, thirty years, they’ve never seen it like this.”
But Krugman, Giffords and colleagues have defective memories. They failed to recall that the Democrat Leadership Committee launched a website in 2004 similar to the Kos site launched in 2008. These came before Palin launched her site in 2010. The DLC used bulls-eye targets instead of crosshairs to identify locations for Democrat electoral gains over Republicans.
Not surprisingly, the inconvenient Kos and DLC website facts were ignored by Krugman and most everyone else on the socialist Left, including their media allies (Note 16).
The DLC target map was part of its Heartland Strategy to win back some of the Democrats’ huge electoral losses sustained in the South, Midwest and West. These occurred during the congressional campaign of 2002 and the Bush-Kerry presidential campaign of 2004. The Heartland Strategy and other tactics were described by their creators in a political publication, Blueprint, on December 13, 2004.
The Heartland Strategy was intended to “wreak havoc behind enemy lines” by “choosing likely targets” to defeat vulnerable Republicans. Democrat strategy and tactical descriptions make colorful use of militant, sometimes violent imagery. They refer, for example, to a “circular firing squad,” “wounded politicians,” “battlefield erosion,” “mobilization,” “entrenched incumbents,” “butt-whipping,” “beating down the opposition,” and – my personal favorite – “the barricades of staunch liberalism.”
In every way, these terms are more violent and incendiary than any narrative contained in Palin’s website. The DLC and Palin web presentations are very similar. Palin uses cross hairs on her map, the DLC uses bulls-eyes. The DLC map is provocatively titled “Targeting Strategy.” Palin’s title is not provocative – “Take a Stand”. Palin identifies poliyical target names on her map, the DLC names targets in its strategic narrative. If Palin’s website is so bad, why was no ruckus raised about the DLC website? But, no, to the dishonest Krugman and the socialist Left, Palin’s site is obscene, outrageous, and provocative. It is, in fact, nothing of the kind. But facts don’t matter to Krugman and the socialist Left. All that matters is their pretext for attacking and discrediting enemies.
Personally, I find none of the DLC’s imagery offensive. Some of it is actually amusing. This way of communicating is fairly common and not limited to politics. Sports and business expressions often make use of military terms and militant imagery. It is, in fact, an effective method of communication. Some of the DLC’s lingo, I’ll admit, may be a bit over the top. But it doesn’t bother me. It certainly does not incite me – or, I should think, any normal person – to rush out and Glock someone. While the terms evoke violent images, they do not impel violence.
Krugman’s outrage, on the other hand, is fake. It is manufactured fodder for him and the socialist Left to launch their attacks. The outrage is intended to mobilize and lather-up supporters. The idea is to demonize Republicans and frighten Moderates – the same Moderates who abandoned Democrats in droves last election. The goal is to scare Moderates into Democrat arms by portraying Republicans as violent kooks and extremists. This is the only imagery Krugman and the dishonest Left care about. This is their self-proclaimed moral superiority at work – to manipulate and exploit a murderous rampage merely to get votes.
Next, inevitably, come calls for limiting free speech. Let us censor – or better yet legislate – militant or provocative words out of our vocabulary. Purge any words that might be misconstrued by some misfit, stupid, lame-brained or mentally ill person. By all means, while we’re at it, let us purge indelicate concepts and principles as well. After all, personal liberty is too precious a gift to be threatened by irresponsible rhetoric. Indeed, liberty is so precious – as Vladimir Lenin said – that it must be carefully rationed.
The first to go should be the media’s perennial darling, “Battleground States”. You know, those pesky places where Democrats seem to have a hard time winning. Political correctness now designates them “Close Vote States” – better yet, how about calling them “Almost Democrat States?” Not much pizzazz here; but it’s one less way to erupt nimrods. Imagine the ossified Andrea Mitchell exhorting MSNBC viewers to stay tuned for an upcoming report on the Almost Democrat States. Remotely, we flick her off anyway. Oops! Flick-off – is that term too arousing? Perhaps to be safe, let’s chuck-it. While the censors are at it, better remove “flip-off” too.
When it comes to the Gifford-induced dishonesty of the Left, here is the best part. It is, in fact, one of the biggest untold stories (so far) of the Giffords shooting. This revelation, scarcely reported, is about what the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee did in 2009.
On February 23, 2009 the DCCC launched a political campaign website that goes one or two steps beyond Palin’s. But this was a year before Palin’s website. The DCCC not only targeted – in both words and images – specific Republicans for defeat, but showed pictures of them and displayed personal and biographical information about each. The website was taken down following the explosive Giffords-Palin controversy. Virtually no one has mentioned it.
The DCCC map shows States benefiting from Obama economic stimulus money (the upward arrows) and targeted congressional Republicans. Click on a target and a photo of the Republican is displayed with background information. The DCCC’s strategy was to target vulnerable Republicans who opposed the stimulus. Not very many targets, are there? This is even more remarkable considering all 179 Republicans opposed the stimulus.
The DCCC website launch was accompanied by a press release titled, “DCCC Announces: 12 House Republicans Targeted in Major Grassroots Campaign” (Note 19). The DCCC failed to unseat any of its Republican targets.
By contrast, Palin’s targeting was highly successful. She targeted twenty vulnerable Democrats. 18 of them were evicted from Congress in the 2010 mid-term election. The remarkable thing is that most of these races were expected to be close calls or toss-ups. In reality, Republicans in most cases won by large margins (Note 20):
- Vic Snyder* (AR-2) lost by 20%
- Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1) lost by 6%
- Harry Mitchell (AZ-5) lost by 9%
- Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8) won by 2%
- John Salazar (CO-3) lost by 3%
- Betsy Markey (CO-4) lost by 11%
- Allen Boyd (FL-2) lost by 12%
- Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) lost by 20%
- Brad Ellsworth* (IN-8) lost by 21%
- Baron Hill (IN-9) lost by 10%
- Earl Pomeroy (ND-1) lost by 10%
- Charlie Wilson (OH-6) lost by 5%
- John Boccieri (OH-16) lost by 11%
- Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3) lost by 12%
- Christopher Carney (PA-10) lost by 10%
- John Spratt, Jr. (SC-5) lost by 10%
- Bart Gordon* (TN-6) lost by 36%
- Tom Perriello (VA-5) lost by 4%
- Alan Mollohan (WV-1) lost by 1%
- Nick J. Rahall II (WV-3) won by 12%.
Only two Democrats survived the voters’ onslaught. One was Gabrielle Giffords. She managed to eek-out a 2% win. Since her shooting, the not-so-mainstream media has frequently portrayed Representative Giffords as well-liked and admired by her constituents. This characterization, no doubt, equally applies to the 49% of constituents who voted to oust her.
We now come to the best part of the DCCC operation. When Krugman led the charge against Palin, blaming her and her website for Giffords’ shooting, Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen, a leading House Democrat, quickly jumped on the band wagon. Appearing on MSNBC, Van Hollen said (Note 21):
“I really think that that [Palin’s website] is crossing a line…In this particular environment I think it’s really dangerous to try and make your point in that particular way because there are people who are taking that kind of thing seriously.”
It turns out that Van Hollen is chairman of the DCCC. No joke. He conveniently forgot that his own organization used the same mechanism as Palin to target political opponents – a year before Palin. He attacked her anyway – the height of hypocrisy. Ironically, Palin may well have gotten her website idea from Van Hollen’s DCCC.
No one has bothered to challenge Van Hollen. Why? Need you ask? Van Hollen is obviously one of the Good Guys. His intentions are always of the noblest quality. He seeks only the betterment of all hard-working middle class and downtrodden people. He is, in short, a socialist who strives for Social Justice. If he sometimes forgets a minor fact about the DCCC’s website, well, surely allowances can be made for such a man. Palin, on the other hand…
Let us we return to the hypocrite Krugman. This is the same man who, outraged this week over Palin’s crime-inducing rhetoric, himself encouraged angry Leftists to “by all means hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy” for opposing ObamaCare (Note 22).
This is the same man who, in his March 2010 attack on Palin’s rhetoric, said: “A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in Birth of a Nation” (Note 23). This not-so-veiled accusation of racism is typical of how the dishonest Krugman operates. His dishonesty is transformed by some hallucinated moral imperative into justifiable lies and attacks. Only the Left can do this.
This is the same man who, in August 2010, remarked on a death threat against him (Note 24): “I love the smell of death threats in the morning. Haven’t gotten one of those in a while. I was starting to think I was losing my touch.” How do you square a statement like this with his attitude against Palin’s so-called provocation a few months later? You can’t.
On the one hand, Krugman wears death threats against him as a badge of honor. He suggests that vile responses from Right fringe elements signify his success in communicating a socialist message. Krugman plainly states that if he is not provoking the Right, he is not doing his job. Next comes the Giffords shooting and Krugman is all over Palin, accusing her of provoking the Right fringe. Evidently, this province is reserved exclusively for Krugman and the socialist Left. The hypocrisy is transparent.
In “Fear and Favor,” written on October 3, 2010, the reptilian Krugman railed against Fox News, calling it the “Ministry of Propaganda.” He referred to the Republican National Committee as “the Politburo”. This, from a purely ideological writer employed by a purely ideological newspaper, the New York Times. Happily, the Braying Lady’s days are numbered. Its business model stinks, catering to an ever-shrinking circle of elite, self-righteous dumbos.
Krugman also rails against fat-cat billionaire conservatives like the Coors Family and the Koch Brothers – the only two examples he gives – for propping up right-wing conservative institutions, “largely financed by ultra-wealthy families” (Note 25). As is so often the case, Krugman fails to comprehend he could just as well, and with greater effect, level the same criticisms against his own kind. Do the names George Soros or Steven Spielberg or Barbara Streisand ring any bells? But what does the truth matter? Krugman’s only goal is to attack and destroy political enemies of the socialist Left. The truth be damned.
For the record, speaking of fat-cat political donors, twenty-five of the top 50 political money donors in 2010 supported Democrats and nine supported Republicans. Four of the top five partisan donors supported Democrats. The Koch Brothers ranked 54th on the overall list. The Coors Family did not make the top 100 (Note 26). But what does the truth matter to Krugman? He has an agenda to promote.
Total 2010 political fundraising breaks down as follows (Note 26, 27):
2010 Fundraising Amount
Democrat National Committee
Republican National Committee
Democrat Congressional Campaign
Republican Congressional Campaign
Democrat Senatorial Campaign
Republican Senatorial Campaign
Donations to Individual Dem Candidates
Donations to Individual Rep Candidates
The Democrats significantly outdid Republican fundraising in every category except one. So what’s Krugman’s beef? Krugman’s beef is that, in his ideological universe, conservatives must be de-legitimized by any means possible. They must constantly be attacked for any reason, regardless of how flimsy. The cumulative effect of these attacks, regardless of their individual ineffectiveness, nevertheless undermines the Left’s enemies over time.
Their fallacy is they assume people are stupid. The reality is these tactics backfire. The contrived Giffords-Palin controversy will be one of them. But there is one thing you can say about Paul Krugman – he doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good smear. This is the soul of the socialist Left.
By now it should be obvious that Krugman and his friends suffer from a mental condition known as Double Think. As George Orwell eloquently explained in his novel 1984, Double Think is the ability to hold two opposing views simultaneously in one’s mind while believing that both are absolutely true. “Ignorance is strength,” for example, or “Freedom is slavery.” An example of Krugman’s Double Think is “the Tea Party is irrational”. Indeed, the Tea Party may well be the only rational political movement of our time. Still another example is “Obama is a centrist-moderate” (Note 28). Moderate, my ass.
In reality, Double Think is a vast system of intellectual dishonesty. Ultimately, even the elites succumb to Double Think’s hypnotic lure. They become willing co-conspirators in their own self-deception. This is Paul Krugman. This is the socialist Left.
1 Paul Krugman’s blog, Conscience of a Liberal, “Assassination Attempt in Arizona,” January 8, 2011, entry time 15:22 EST. The shooting occurred at 12:10 EST on Saturday, January 8, 2011, outside a grocery store in Pima County, Tuscon, AZ. The Congresswoman was meeting and greeting constituents. She had earlier announced her presence and invited people to stop by and chat. The shooter, 22-year old Jared Loughner, arrived in a taxi cab. He walked over to Giffords and shot her through the head with a Glock 19 pistol, whose magazine carried 31 bullets. She survived but the full extent of her recovery will not be known for weeks. Loughner shot and killed Federal Judge John Roller, a Bush (41) appointee, who coincidentally happened to be with Giffords when the shooter arrived. The assassin killed five others and wounded twelve more, all innocent bystanders. Witnesses subdued the shooter as he attempted to reload, preventing further bloodshed. Loughner was arrested at the scene. He has been charged on several counts of murder and attempted murder and currently awaits trial. USA Today, “Police Create Timeline of Loughner’s Morning Before Arrest,” January 14, 2011. A pattern of Loughner’s mental instability quickly emerged after his arrest. Several citizen complaints and police interventions involving Loughner disturbances were reported since 2006. After five such disturbances at Pima County Community College, which he attended sporadically from 2006, he was expelled. At his arraignment the shooter displayed abnormal behaviors consistent with mental illness. At 09:30 EST the day of the shooting, police detained Loughner for a traffic violation but released him. It was not immediately clear what triggered his rampage. He purchased the firearm about five weeks earlier on November 30 [USA, supra]. His online writing cryptically said “I planned in advance.”
It was, however, clear within the first few days that Loughner was not motivated or incited by politics or violent political rhetoric. One student associate described him as “a left-wing pothead”. A high school friend, Zach Osler, described him as someone who “did not watch television, he disliked the news, he didn’t listen to political radio, didn’t take sides, he wasn’t on the left, he wasn’t on the right.” Osler believed the 2007 video documentary Zeitgeist had a profound effect on Loughner’s view of the world. The film espouses ideas of government manipulation of the masses, conspiricies, the myth of Christ, Bush’s masterminding the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, international bankers controling currency values and the global economy, and so forth. [ABC News, Good Morning America, hosted by Ashleigh Banfield who interviewed Osler; airtime 17:56 on January 11, 2011; as reported in Mediaite, “Jared Laughner’s Friend Tells GMA ‘He Did Not Watch TV, He Did Not Like the News,” by Colby Hall, January 12, 2011.]
On January 10 another friend revealed that Loughner did not believe in God and disliked religion. He disliked the Constitution. He was a flag burner. He tried to enlist in the army but was rejected for undisclosed reasons. Loughner was a registered Independent, not a Republican or a Conservative.
Another friend, Bryce Tierney, recalled Loughner complaining about a political rally hosted by Giffords. “He [Loughner] told me she opened up the floor for questions and he asked ‘What is government if words have no meaning?’ Giffords’ reply, whatever it was, was apparently unsatisfactory. “He said, ‘Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question.’ Ever since that, he thought she was fake, he had something against her.” Tierney said that Loughner repeatedly derided Gifford. Tierney said that when he first heard of Giffords’ shooting, he instantly thought that Loughner was to blame. Loughner inexplicably called Tierney eight hours before the shooting. He left a brief, odd message that was possibly a ‘good-bye.’ [Mother Jones, “Exclusive: Loughner’s Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords,” by Nick Baumann, January 10, 2011.] Two telling pieces of evidence concerning Loughner’s mental state were discovered by police investigators soon after his arrest. A small, makeshift tent was discovered in his backyard (Loughner lived with his parents). The tent contained a crude alter with a human skull as centerpiece. There were no religious or political artifacts. The tent appeared to be an occult shrine. A safe in Loughner’s bedroom contained a note from Congresswoman Giffords to Loughner dated August 30, 2007. It thanked him for attending a “Congress at Your Corner” constituent function on August 25. Loughner saved the note and wrote “die bitch” on the back. From this, it seems clear that Loughner harbored hostility toward Giffords well before Sarah Palin arrived on the political scene in late 2008. A month before the shooting, Loughner wrote on his MySpace website: “I’ll see you on TV! This is foreshadow” and “I don’t feel good: I’m ready to kill a police officer! I can say it.” During the search of Loughner’s rooms, police found three brief notes. One scrawled “Giffords,” another contained the words “My assassination,” and a third said “I planned ahead.” Tierney believes Loughner did the shootings “to promote chaos” and to “freak-out the media.” Tierney said: “There’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives – ‘Another Saturday, going to get groceries’ – to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in.” [Arizona Examiner, “Jared Loughner was a Registered Independent and Occultist,” by Charisse van Horn, January 11, 2011; Phoenix New Times, “Jared Loughner: ‘I Planned Ahead,’” by James King, January 10, 2011; Associated Press, “Dad Pursued Arizona Massacre Suspect Before Shooting,” by Amanda Myers and Justin Pritchard, January 12, 2011; Mother Jones, supra.] Also, there is a complete absence of evidence that Loughner heard or was motivated by angry political rhetoric. His many online writings contained no references to Palin, Talk Radio, any of Talk Radio’s personalities, the Religious Right or the Tea Party. To him, these things did not exist. This, however, did not prevent the Left from making outrageous claims to the contrary. In a biography posted about himself on YouTube, the shooter lists his favorite books as The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a story of patients living in an insane asylum, by Ken Kesey, Animal Farm by George Orwell, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [Mother Jones, supra].
2 To substantiate this point, Krugman cites a Politico story – now there’s an unfair and biased organization you can’t believe in – but the link leads to an inaccessible website. Curiously, it turns out that some of these prior death threats implicate the shooter himself. This opened the door to a series of questions about whether law enforcement was asleep at the switch and failed to prevent Loughner’s rampage. Within a few days of Giffords’ shooting, there was little doubt that the shooter harbored malice toward her. Loughner was expelled from Pima College for repeated incidents of menacing and unstable behavior. He was on the Pima County Police watch list. So, how could such a danger as Loughner walk right up to an unprotected Giffords at a political event in broad daylight, in a public place, with a gun, and shoot her? Where were the police? Where was the FBI? Knowing these facts, why did the Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik – an elected Democrat, in case you were wondering – immediately accuse Talk Radio and Right Wing hate rhetoric for the shooting? Was he attempting to divert attention away from his own department’s failings? We haven’t heard the last of this untold story. Krugman’s disabled website citation is http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47244.html.
3 According to Talk Magazine’s 2010 rankings, Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, both conservative radio talk show hosts, have the largest and third-largest listening audiences, respectively, of any radio program in any venue anywhere in America. Limbaugh has the largest following, estimated between 15-18 million per week. Beck has the third largest radio audience, estimated around 9-10 million per week plus 2-3 million on his daily Fox News cable program. Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity has the second largest radio audience at 14-15 million per week plus 2-3 million on his nightly Fox News program. Other nationally popular conservative ratio talk show hosts include Michael Savage (ranked fourth), Laura Ingraham (sixth), and Mark Levin (eighth). Liberal talk radio, despite its many attempts, has failed to produce anything remotely comparable to conservative Talk Radio, in terms of commercial success or influence. The highest ranked liberal Talk Radio host, Thom Hartmann, is ranked tenth overall. For a complete popularity ranking of all Talk Radio programs, political and apolitical, see http://talkers.com/online/?p=3774.
It is interesting to compare Newspaper circulation, which fell dramatically in 2010 in all cases except one:
|Newspaper||2010 Daily Circulation||% Change|
|The Wall Street Journal (C)||2,092,523||+ 0.5%|
|USA Today (L)||1,826,622||- 13.6%|
|New York Times (L)||951,063||- 8.5%|
|Los Angeles Times (L)||616,606||- 14.7%|
|Washington Post (L)||578,482||- 13.1%|
Source: Associated Press, “Circulation Numbers for the 25 Largest US Newspapers, April 27, 2010. Figures are as of March 31, daily editions. (L) denotes publication with a liberal political viewpoint. (C) denotes conservative.
4 New York Times, “Climate of Hate,” published the following morning, January 9, 2011. The Economist, a usually liberal publication, took Krugman’s own climate of hate to task the next day in “Spinning Tuscon: Krugman’s Toxic Rhetoric” by W.W. The author argues that Loughner’s obsession with language and grammar as a means for government-directed mind control – a paranoid belief that significantly unhinged his own mind – is more likely to have come from liberal linguists like Max Stirner, David Wynn Miller or George Lakoff than radio hosts Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. But there is absolutely no possibility of the iconic trio – the linguists, that is – being criticized in the New York Times. Moreover, the author slyly points out, Stirner, Wynn and Lakoff did not just retake the House of Representatives.
5 Olbermann is an encyclopedia of Bush hate rhetoric. So was the Talk Radio program Air America, affectionately known as Err Amerika. The self-styled liberal-progressive radio station was formed in 2004 and declared bankruptcy on January 23, 2010. It abruptly ceased programming operations. After only a few months of operation, the network lost two of its largest affiliate stations in Los Angeles and Chicago. At the time of its shut-down, it had only about 100 stations.
Never popular and always in financial difficulty, despite generous subsidies for liberal supporters, critics say Air America focused too much on negative and inflammatory rhetoric. Of its demise, radio critic Michael Harrison said (quoted in the Los Angeles Times, “The Message of Air America’s End,” by Steve Carney, January 23, 2010):
“The thing that was so maddening about Air America’s original programming – and they squandered their initial capital and their initial publicity – [was that] all you heard was about how bad Rush Limbaugh was and how bad Sean Hannity was. If that’s the ‘liberal message,’ there is no message.”
Former comedian and liberal activist, Al Franken, hosted Air America from 2004 to 2007 (The O’Franken Factor, later named The Al Franken Show) until he quit to run for the US Senate in Minnesota. Incredibly, he won by 312 votes. Another Air America luminary, though also infrequently listened to, was comedian Janeane Garofalo. Franken and Garofalo were known for their inflammatory, anti-conservative and anti-Bush rhetoric.
6 Posted under Moulitsas’ online pseudonym BlueBoy. The first post occurred on January 6, 2011. It was an agitated response to Giffords’ voting against Nancy Pelosi for Democrat Minority Leader in the House – one of only nineteen to do so. Moulitsas, an ardent supporter of Pelosi, considered Giffords’ action a “betrayal” and posted a disgusting rant against her. Ironically, Moulitsas – a Tuscon native – helped Giffords get elected to Congress for her first term in 2002. He also claims to have aided her two successful re-election bids. However, in quite disparaging terms, Moulitsas expresses his regret for doing so.
To the Left, this kind of rant is perfectly ok and no basis for comparison to the Right. This is because Moulitsas is one of the Good Guys. He heaped contumely on Giffords because she was not radical Left enough. This is quite different, you understand, from someone from the Right criticizing her. It is also acceptable – expected, even – for someone like Moulitsas to savage a conservative but never vice versa. This is justified by the Left’s self-absorbed code of moral superiority.
By the way, DailyKos erased these posts after Giffords was shot. Otherwise, one might just as easily have concluded that Moulitsas was the shooter instead of Loughner. Also, it would not well serve the socialist Left’s cause for there to appear anti-Gifford slurs on a Leftward website. Thanks to Mark Williams for having the foresight to copy these digital documents before Kos destroyed them. See http://www.marktalk.com/blog/2011/01/10/hippie-blog-daily-kos-on-giffords-shooting-mission-accomplished/.
7 Ibid. The Kos website targeted Giffords, among many others. It too was taken down after the Giffords shooting. Note: The red arrow on the Kos web image is added to show Giffords’ designation as a target. The title is also added for descriptive reasons.
8 Palin’s webpage features a link in the lower left corner to retrieve a list of targeted Democrat congressmen. This subsidiary version of her web page is often portrayed as the primary version; it is not. Other versions that belong to Giffords’ Republican opponent in 2010, former marine and Tea Party candidate Jesse Kelly, are dishonestly portrayed as Palin’s. Whereas Palin’s web page is titled “Its Time to Take A Stand, “ Kelly’s webpage, which appears identical to Palin’s, is worded very differently. Kelly’s page is titled “We’ve Diagnosed the Problem; Help Us Prescribe [sic] the Solution.” A somewhat provocative campaign poster read: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.” Kr