I didn’t hit the sack till 3 so I missed most of the first hour and a half of Morning Joe but the line I heard was similar to a couple of liberal hosts I heard on the radio this morning.
The gist was: We aren’t saying Sarah Palin is responsible but look at this cross hairs and the rhetoric being used. Politico was particularly not covering itself with glory and Mika seemed to egg on Tom Brokaw in the imagery business.
If Byron York was watching doubtless he would be feeling nostalgic because today he notes what Bill Clinton did to turn the attack in Oklahoma City to his political advantage:
Later, under the heading “How to use extremism as issue against Republicans,” Morris told Clinton that “direct accusations” of extremism wouldn’t work because the Republicans were not, in fact, extremists. Rather, Morris recommended what he called the “ricochet theory.” Clinton would “stimulate national concern over extremism and terror,” and then, “when issue is at top of national agenda, suspicion naturally gravitates to Republicans.”
As York notes this morning this is exactly the line Democrats in a political hole right now are trying to play.
One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.
“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”
Another Democratic strategist said the similarity is that Tucson and Oklahoma City both “take place in a climate of bitter and virulent rhetoric against the government and Democrats.”
Lets cut to the chase, tough talk has been the political rule in the US since 1789 and before. Nuts are going to be nuts no matter what. The idea of watching out for “inflammatory” rhetoric is yet another attempt to suppress speech. No amount of speech restriction is going to make a dangerous nut any less dangerous.
Who decides what rhetoric is “inflammatory”? The eastern elites? The same media that had nothing to say about the nasty Anti-Bush stuff until he was out of office? The same media who didn’t say boo when we see signs in marches that say. “Behead those who oppose Islam” or “We support our troops when they shoot their officers?“. For some reason until the Bush years were over this was not a topic the media (other than fox) choose to bring up.
Look for the passive aggressive business for a while. It’s the left and the media best chance to put conservatives on the defensive without actually doing anything to actually earn support by positive action. Watch for it also be used to attempt to restrict 1st and 2nd amendment rights.