This weekends NFL games are an excellent metaphor on the more tragic events of this past weekend.
Looking at the Wild card games 3 times out of 4 the home team (the actual division winner) lost. The one exception was when the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks, after a week of breast beating concerning their presence in the postseason , defeated the defending Superbowl champion New Orleans Saints.
All of the predictions and punditry meant nothing, when the actual game was played the only things relevant were the facts on the ground. (Fans of teams like New England should take this to heart)
Likewise in the last election cycle. People claimed that opposition to the health care plan would not work, that opposing a president who was wildly popular would hurt Republicans. That conservatives needed to compromise. As the polls failed to back up those views pundits instead talked about how the John Stewart Rally, the Coffee Party and the idea that the president’s healthcare plan were not as unpopular as people claimed yet when the dust had settled a net gain of 63 seats in the house was the result.
One again prognostications were useless when compared to the actual facts on the ground.
Now we see the violence in Arizona and once again we see an incredible array of pundits making statements concerning the motivations of the shooter. It’s Palin’s fault because of a map icon, it’s the tea party’s fault because of their support of the 2nd amendment, On twitter this morning (1 a.m EST) an incredible array of people are trying to blame Andrew Breitbart.
All of these have in common a complete lack of evidence or objective facts to support their claims, in fact as time progresses the facts tend to show exactly the opposite.
As Glenn Reynolds has pointed out the narrative has been written long before this event and no quantity of facts on the ground is going to change it.
For example an Arizona state senator when faced with the anger and objections of supporters of the US Military after falsely stating the shooter was an Afghan vet (when in fact the Army rejected him) rather than retracting and apologizing (an easy thing, it was early and all the facts weren’t in) instead removed her contact information from her site.
This morning I suspect we will see the usual suspects continue this narrative, unfortunately unlike a football game or an election this isn’t a question of an actual result that is scored. This is all about massaging the ground for political gain. The goal is to influence those who normally don’t pay attention in the hopes that they will dismiss any arguments to the contrary.
With the race card gone the way of the dodo the violent tea party card is about to be played, facts be damned.
It will be up to the American people to decide if this rhetoric will be rewarded or not.