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SLANTblog: “Inflammatory rhetoric is heard by all who listen”

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I strongly recommend that everyone read this superb piece by F.T. Rea on SLANTblog. Here’s the conclusion, but definitely check out the entire thing, as it’s about the most articulate thing I’ve read on this horrible situation since it occurred:

That doesn’t mean Palin’s influence was what drove a deranged man to gun down a congresswoman and anyone near her. Combing through a madman’s papers and actions for a singular motive is unlikely to prove much. So trying to paint the shooter as a liberal or conservative, gone wrong, isn’t likely to solve a mystery, or make sense of senseless actions.

What we should remember is that inflammatory rhetoric about using bullets to solve political differences will be heard by good citizens, as well as some unhinged individuals bent on payback. It will be heard by the wicked, too.

Everything is connected.

Exactly right, even as the main fomentors of the inflammatory rhetoric attempt to somehow point the finger at “liberals” (don’t ask), and argue that their rhetoric had nothing to do with anything. A line of argument which, by the way, is revealing in and of itself…

P.S. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has released a photo of a possible second suspect in this case — “a Caucasian male, approximately 40-50 years old, dark hair and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket.”

UPDATE: Del. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) weighs in, focusing on “the dangers of easily available firearms coupled with the failures of our mental health system.”

UPDATE #2: A “senior Republican senator weighs in:

A senior Republican senator, speaking anonymously in order to freely discuss the tragedy, told POLITICO that the Giffords shooting should be taken as a “cautionary tale” by Republicans.

“There is a need for some reflection here – what is too far now?” said the senator. “What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.”

The vast majority of tea party activists, this senator said, ought not be impugned.

“They’re talking about things most mainstream Americans are talking about, like spending and debt,” the Republican said, before adding that politicians of all stripes need to emphasize in the coming days that “tone matters.”

“And the Republican Party in particular needs to reinforce that,” the senator said.