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Liberals Blame Sarah Palin for Tucson Shooting Tragedy

By January 10, 2011

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The tragic shooting outside a Tucson strip mall, which left six dead and at least a dozen more wounded, is all because of Sarah Palin, liberals are saying today.

So far, police have said they cannot find any motive for the attack, which tookplace during a "Congress on Your Corner" event arranged by Conservative Blue Dog Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, who represents Arizona's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House.

The suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, has allegedly told authorities he planned the attack, but beyond that, no motive has been released. Loughner allegedly shot Rep. Giffords in the head, wounded 13 others and killed a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, a 79-year-old grandmother and three others. Given the suspect's frighteningly unstable state of mind, details of which have slowly started to emerge over the last 22 hours, it is likely we'll never know his true intentions.

That's not stopping liberals like Deborah White from stating unequivocally that a map approved by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin provided the killer's motive. In White's blog post today, she implies that Loughner was not only a political conservative, but also enough of a Palin fan to know about her three-month-old "Take Back the 20" map, which uses cross-hair targets to identify Democrats vulnerable in the 2010 midterm elections. White's post, "Palin's Political Dog Whistle in Arizona Yields Unintended Results," states unequivocally that Palin's map was what spurred Loughner to fire into a crowd of people that included a conservative Democratic congresswoman and a federal judge nominated and appointed by Republicans.

It's quite a leap to say that the targets on Palin's map were designed to be used as targets for violence. Yes, cross-hair targets are often associated with firearms, but they're also associated with mathematics, astrophysics and graphic design software. If the mere presence of cross-hairs is enough to indicate the inevitability of a violent event, then those using a Mac might not want to push "shift," "command" and "4" on their keyboards, because a casual observer might take the resulting cross-hair mouse to mean they wish to shoot their Mac. Ridiculous, right? So is the liberal political stunt that would have us believe a map is responsible for the six deaths in Tucson simply because it originated with Palin.

Don't tell that to White, however. In her mind, Palin's career is dead because she's personally responsible for the attacks. In her words:

Mix one unbalanced young white man with access to a semi-automatic weapon into the boiling stewpot of hotbed Arizona immigration fervor plus overt imagery and words by popular, charismatic political leaders of gun violence toward Democrats... and yesterday's murderous rampage in a Tucson strip mall seems almost inevitable.

White's commentary isn't just irresponsible, it's dangerous.

On the irresponsible side, White is writing well below the typical standards of journalism. Connecting subreptitious dots is fine for citizen bloggers to do, but professionals must hold themselves to a higher standard by waiting for the facts to emerge before offering an opinion. Unless White has some inside law enforcement source to whom no other reporter has access, she is relying on supposition, innuendo and implication to make her allegation against Palin. And I personally believe her post doesn't even have that much credibility.

As for the danger of her remarks, White risks inflaming an already-tense situation even further, and could incite retaliatory attacks against Palin, who clearly has nothing do with the Tucson tragedy. If her concern is genuinely about the importance of toning down our political rhetoric to keep whackos from killing people (and I don't think it is), her post takes it in exactly the opposite direction.

Let's face it, White's post - and dozens of others like it on the web today - has nothing to do with caution, concern or even decency. Her post is nothing more than the very type of political opportunism I warned against yesterday, when I said "Regardless of the political persuasion of the killer (and it's fairly clear there is none), those who attempt to use tragedies like this to further a political view or denigrate another are nothing more than opportunists, plain and simple."

What's worse is that White's commentary demonstrates a shameless hypocrisy on the part of the left. In the days following the Fort Hood shooting, liberals cautioned against jumping to conclusions about Nidal Hasan's ties to Muslim extremists. When it emerged that he did, in fact, have clear and convincing ties to terrorism, liberals had very little to say beyond the same, tired talking points. Liberals are also forgetting about the "shooting target" map Democrats used in 2004 to identify vulnerable Congressional Republicans.

The worst part of White's post and others like it is that they not only disrespect Palin (their intended scapegoat), they also show incredible disrespect toward the victims of this tragedy. These posts distract us from the actual facts, and shift the spotlight away from the lives of those who have died and were wounded in favor of a ridiculous, made-up issue that has nothing to do with this tragedy and only serves to deepen the partisan divide in this country.

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January 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(1) Percy says:

At this moment you are calling White’s comments dangerous? This is exactly the mistake made when we do not hold responsible public speakers to some kind of standard. I would say White’s comments can be irresponsible becasue it should focus on all aspects of the tragedy, but dangerous, no they are not. When words like “enemies”, “reload”, “terroist” etc.. are used by a political figure, that is what I call dangerous, becasue not everyone may interpret it metaphorically, but literally. At the moment that Sara Palin or any other public-political figure uses these metaphors, it should be repudiated immediately. We just need to learn from this tragedy at best!!

January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm
(2) usconservatives says:

Percy, take a look at the caption under the Democratic Leadership Council’s “target shooting” map. “Enemies.” Take a look at what Obama said recently to Latinos. “We should punish our enemies and reward our friends.” You want to cast the net? EVERYBODY is going to get caught in it. Not just Sarah Palin.

January 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(3) czero says:

So the blame game begins. After experienceing the VT tragedy I hoped and prayed that such a horror would not occur again…but I knew better. Mass shootings aren’t something that we can legislate away, and I think it is repulsive when anyone points a finger to assign blame especially for political gain. What will happen this time, as it did after 4/16/2007 (and Columbine) is that politicians will argue, pass a couple laws and then pass around more blame until the next nut with a weapon decides to go on a killing spree…rinse and repeat. We live in a free society and we shouldn’t let fear rule us. Let each individual decide how to best protect themselves and leave it at that. Live free or die.

My heart goes out to all those who are affected by this tragedy…I feel ya.

January 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm
(4) Lee says:

Oh Please….do not start pointing fingers at anyone.
Especially Sarah Palin. So many ridiculous remarks are made that do not make any sense what so ever. We all believe in a particular way. Democrats and Republicans equally. This boy was old enough to do what he did all on ” HIS ” own. He and only “HE ” can answer that. By the way why as Americans are we taking God out of everthing. That is what our country needs. Let go back instead of forward, because it made more sense back then.

January 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm
(5) Juan Reynoso says:

The Tucson shooting is a tragedy that we Americans have to live with, We are all guilty of this tragedy. What we need to ask ourselves is, why this person took this action, what push this young man to commit such crime.The American people is frustrated, many are disturb because are not able to see the end of this economic nightmare.
Arizona is the beginning, we could see an explosion of social unrest, if high unemployment persists. Today real unemployment is more than 14% if we count the ones that are not looking for employment any more.
Without millions of good jobs, the U.S. economy will never is going to recover.
Americans need to know the true, and Washington needs to do what is good for the American people and quick lying to the people.






January 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm
(6) RealTime53 says:

Hi Justin –

Blame Palin for Tucson? No.

I believe that you may have missed the point of Ms White’s post. Sarah Palin had nothing to do with the Tucson shooting. Sarah Palin is a victim in this shooting. Her political career is over.

After posting an unfortunate graphic that directly targeted Giffords, Palin has chosen to make this all about her. She has chosen to be defensive, not inspirational. Next to nothing about the victims. And no regrets — for the graphic, the months of marinating in guns and over-the-top rhetoric.

She had nothing to do with Tucson. However, she will forever be associated with it.

She’s done. We’ve hit peak Palin.

January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm
(7) Stan says:

What this country needs to do is ban the sale of handguns. Yes, of course if we “outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” but wouldn’t that still be a lot less guns? The second amendment provides for a Militia, not armed citizens that may shoot at random targets. A Militia is trained to defend against invaders, terrorists, not against a driver who cuts you off or a politician who does not agree with you.
Next, I believe a huge lawsuit should be brought against Palin and Fox for continually showing the “hit list” and map with gunsights.
BTW – why did Palin’s PAC take the map down? It was a futile gesture. Don’t they know that once something is posted on the internet that it can never be taken back?

January 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm
(8) Anna says:

Hi realtime,

I agree 100%. I would add that that is a good thing. We don’t need leaders like Sara Palin regardless of party. We have bottom fished for leaders for all too long and we have gotten exactly what we deserve.

January 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm
(9) liz says:

CBS released a poll most Americans do not see a connection with the shooting and political rhetoric. The truth is this man had some strange obsession with Giffords long before the tea party and Sarah Palin. I think Palin will make it through the attacks from the radical left. It will be vultures like White who lose with attempts to smear the opposition over a tragedy that had nothing to do with conservatives, tea party or Palin. White’s behavior is childish and disgusting to say the least.

January 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm
(10) bob says:

i feel that Obama’s wanna be gangster attitude is responsible for this tragedy I mean after all Obama did declare that anyone who don’t agree with him is his enemy, Obama also used targets on his 2008 campaign map, and even said “if they bring a knife to the fight you bring a gun” Obama is and has been trying to split this country apart since he has got in office and i really feel as if he is trying to start a civil war. remember united we stand, but divided we will fall.

January 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(11) So 4 real says:

Anyone who can not see that Palin and the right wing Tea baggers had something to do with this is delusional.

Come on Gifford was one of the targets on her map!!!! SHE TOOK IT DOWN FOR A REASON. She is asshamed of what happened.

Whether you like OBAMA or not is irrelevant. This stuff has been out of control.

When Glen Beck who was the farthest thing away from a Civil Rights Activist took the most importnat day for the people who benefited from Civil Rights to TAKE BACK the Civil Rights movement. That was a warning shoot.

I hate to be the one to say it but all of that mess is racially charged and anyone who is in touch with REALITY can feel it. I am not saying that all of the Tea Partiers are racist, but there political agenda and the language they use certainly are. So if you are on the side with them you are directly associated with perpetuating there HATRED!!!

For the new Speaker to make it his priority to undo anything the president has done, before he gets anything accomplished himself he played his had. They can sugar coat that BS all they want, but the people like me who go to work everyday and still do not have adequate health care are in direct line of fire of all that hatred that is spuing.

They forget that they are not only attacking a MAN they are attacking everyone that he stands in support of. REAL PEOPLE LIKE ME, MY WIFE AND OUR THREE KIDS WHOM OBAMA does not even know but he has met enough people like us and cares enough to take the scrutiny that goes along with beeing our voice!!!!!

This is a sign that we need to be honest about what we see and how we feel. They have been able to hide behind there political jargen and religous views long enough. It just got REAL.

January 12, 2011 at 10:27 am
(12) slipknot says:

Jared was a fan of Slipknot. Proof that horrible taste in music can lead to some real dumb sh–

January 12, 2011 at 11:46 am
(13) O/Siris says:

The efforts by liberals to tie the actions of (an apparent) schizophrenic man who had his attention on Rep Giffords before Sarah Palin said, did, or posted anything about her is indicative of the worn-out nature of their alarmism.

Loughner is likely unaware of anything Sarah Palin posted. Loughner likely couldn’t care less what Rush Limbaugh has ever stated about Rep Giffords.

When the mentally ill reach this level of distress, it is almost never outside activity that “inspires” them to action.

The claims now that this will doom Sarah Palin carry about as much weight as the claims in September 2010 that Democrats would retain control of both houses of Congress.

January 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(14) Roy Mandina says:

Stan, congratulations. You have written three of the stupidest things I ever heard; all in one article. One: You’re okay with banning guns while you state you are aware only lawbreakers will still have guns. Two: you say the 2nd amendment doesn’t provide for citizens having guns. What about the part that says, “the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms?” Is it that your democratic eyes don’t see those words or is it that your liberal brain shuts down at that part? And three: you say that Palin and Fox should be sued. Funny, you don’t mention democratic governor Joe Manchin who loads a bullet into a riffle and fires at a target in a TV. ad. You don’t mention the Dems “Target Strategy” a map with bulls eyes and a caption that says “ behind enemy lines.” And you don’t mention Obama saying, “if they (republicans) bring knives, we’ll bring guns,”or Obama saying “we should punish our enemies and reward our friends.”
I know your type Stan. You’re the kid who came home from school with about 50 spitballs stuck to the back of your head.

January 13, 2011 at 12:00 am
(15) KC says:

If words do not incite, provoke or influence behavior, then can you explain plainly the logic behind the conservatives led backlash against Obama’s attendance of Chicago’s Trinity United Church?

Please explain.

January 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(16) Rob27 says:

I’m sure Palin was using mathematical or astrophysics cross-hairs when she approved that map……sure

January 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(17) O/Siris says:

KC, no one is saying words don’t incite.

But maybe you can explain how a man whose friends call him liberal, and how appears to be suffering from serious mental illness, possibly schizophrenia, and who had Rep Giffords on his mind going back years before Sarah Palin ever “targetted” her district, was “incited” by a map no one can even say that he looked at?

January 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm
(18) O/Siris says:

I keep reading defenses of the posting over by the Liberal Politics guide, Deborah White, and especially inane claims like:

I believe that you may have missed the point of Ms White’s post. Sarah Palin had nothing to do with the Tucson shooting. Sarah Palin is a victim in this shooting. Her political career is over.

And I am flabbergasted. First, when G HW Bush was elected, that was going to take the wind out of Rush Limbaugh’s sails. Then Bill Clinton was elected, and that would end Limbaugh. Virtually every presidential election since has been described by some of these same self-professed prognosticators as the end of Rush Limbaugh.

He’s still around, and arguably more popular than ever.

Now it’s Sarah Palin. Her career is over while “reasonable” liberals like Ms White can bleat:

The shooting of a political leader was an atrocity waiting to happen… a near inevitability since gun-toting Tea Partiers, urged on by Sarah Palin and her sidekicks, stormed Congressional town hall meetings in summer 2009.

Those town halls that tea partiers (or, as one here has so pornographically called them, teabaggers) “stormed” were mirror images of exactly what Representative giffords was doing when she was shot. In fact, they are hallmarks of the democratic process, representatives from government listening to the people, and the people actually participating in their government. And Ms White wants to characterize that as a violent, inciteful process.

That kind of disrespect for democratic action leaves bile in my throat, and would shame any TRUE believer in freedom nd in free speech. And that’s before we even discuss the flase allegation of “gun toting.”

January 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm
(19) stephen says:

I’m a democrat and I definitely do not blame Sarah Palin for what happened in Tuscon. What I think, and what a lot of other people think, is that this tragic event emphasizes the fact that Palin and others have gone way too far with their rhetoric and they need to start utilizing restraint and acting in a more dignified manner. I don’t care if people want to engage in heated debate, but invocations of violence (even if they are not meant to be taken literally), and accusations that political opponents are enemies of the United States, are beyond the pale.
I am not calling for censorship or any form of legal intervention. I am simply saying politicians should be a little bit civil in their discourse

January 14, 2011 at 2:53 am
(20) Jean Webster says:

As usual, you conflate and twist what people are saying. They are not blaming Palin for the shootings. They are saying that her dumb crosshairs map and all the other “lock & load” “reload” and other gun references of rightwing gun worshipers with a soap box
is uncivilized political discourse.

January 14, 2011 at 3:00 am
(21) Jean Webster says:

In response to bob, who says that “Obama’s wanna be gangster attitude is responsible for this tragedy I mean after all Obama did declare that anyone who don’t agree with him is his enemy, Obama also used targets on his 2008 campaign map, and even said “if they bring a knife to the fight you bring a gun” Obama is and has been trying to split this country apart since he has got in office and i really feel as if he is trying to start a civil war. remember united we stand, but divided we will fall.”~~You are a fool. Your last quote, taken out of context, was a line from a movie, his targets were not people, and Bush said anyone who isn’t with him is his enemy. Did you think HE was “trying to start a civil war? He has done NOTHING to try to split this country apart–quite the opposite.The GOP has been UNITED in an attack against Obama since BEFORE he ever took the oath of office. Stop watching Glenn Beck and get real!

January 15, 2011 at 12:03 am
(22) O/Siris says:

Stephen, as long as democrats turn blind eyes to the dismissal of people doing exactly what PEOPLE were doing on 1/8/2011 before Jared Loughner opened fire, then Democrats are, at minimum, equally as guilty of uncivil discourse, and I refuse to allow “my side” to be characterized as the ones guilty of this. I remember how HuffPo, Dem Underground, Daily Kos, and even many of the protected clique at US Liberal Politics hailed Barney Frank for addressing a participant at a Town Hall meeting as “Are you even from this planet?”

And let’s not forget the President himself declaring conservatives “enemies” and calling for “punishing” those enemies.

January 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm
(23) O/Siris says:

To Jean Webster.

Trying to unite this country? Obama?

Do you, by any chance, recall a certain little statement that Republicans could get in the car, but they’d have to ride in the back? Do you recall a certain little “Beer Summit” hastily arranged after Obama called police stupid in relation to an incident for which he had incomplete information (and that he admitted right before calling them stupid)?

How many of those Health Care “Reform” debates actually made it to C-SPAN? Why did he promise to have the “Stimulus” act posted for three days before bringing it to a vote, and then not do it?

Is there hate speech on The Right? Yeah, OK, I can admit that. It’s just too bad the accusers in this debate won’t face the same truth among themselves.

January 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm
(24) ChristianScientist. says:


January 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(25) O/Siris says:

Of course it’s about guns. Because liberals tell us all it’s about guns. And for no other reason.

Liberals jumped with both feet into a debate which does not exist, and now they are trying to justify the pie they threw in their own face.

January 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm
(26) John Paulson says:

If the crosshairs visual wasn’t so offensive prior to the shooting – why would Sarah’s PAC remove it immediately from her website after the shooting?

January 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm
(27) usconservatives says:

John -
“If the crosshairs visual wasn’t so offensive prior to the shooting – why would Sarah’s PAC remove it immediately from her website after the shooting?”
That’s easy – out of respect for the discussion. I wonder why the Democratic Leadership Council didn’t take down their bullseye map? I guess it’s because liberals can do what ever they want without fear of ridiculous unsubstantiated accusations.

January 26, 2011 at 9:48 am
(28) RealTime53 says:

“I wonder why the Democratic Leadership Council didn’t take down their bullseye map?”

They probably would have if one of their targets had been shot.

January 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
(29) usconservatives says:

“‘I wonder why the Democratic Leadership Council didn’t take down their bullseye map?’

They probably would have if one of their targets had been shot.”

So if that’s true, then rhetoric really isn’t the issue. Wow. You’ve just blown my mind with your crystal-clear logic.

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight (I am a conservative, after all, so I may not be able to get my head around this complex, but completely rational line of though). If not, please help me understand.

What you’re saying is that since Jared Loughner was directly influenced by Sarah Palin’s “cross-hairs” map (and her rootin’-tootin’ outlook in general), he and other whack-Os like him are absolutely incapable of being influenced to violence by anything liberals, progressives or Democrats have ever said or could ever have to say. Since that makes such perfect, logical sense, the DLC is completely justified in keeping its bull’s-eye map up because the map itself couldn’t possibly influence anyone to anything other than the most peaceful and civil discourse. The “Behind Enemy Lines” tag beneath it is also an innocent, good-natured commentary on the enemy lines in all of our hearts – enemy lines that can only be stomped out with hugs, sentimental feelings and love. The bull’s-eyes are just targeting locating where hugs are needed.

And since the bull’s-eye map is all about warm feelings and love, the DLC should leave the map up until someone gets shot. No? That’s not what you meant? OK, how about this – the DLC shouldn’t ever take down the bull’s-eye map even if someone were to get shot because even if that person says that the bull’s-eye map was exactly the reason he went on his angry rampage and, in fact, says he used it to compile his list of targets people to shoot, this person clearly would be nuts and therefore not really influenced by the bull’s-eye map at all. In fact, because this person had committed violence (and didn’t use the map for its intended purpose – to go hug those people), well, then he had to have been influenced by Sarah Palin’s map. The DLC’s bull’s-eye map is innocent and cute and incapable of negative influence in any way. The “cross-hairs” map, on the other hand, is demonic and evil and, thus, the root of all insane mass-murders (even if the mass-murderers say it was something else that influenced them and even if the evidence indicates that something other than that damned “cross-hairs” map was the impetus for the heinous acts).

I get it now.

Liberals, progressives and Democrats are exempt from the “violent rhetoric” edict they’re issuing because whack-Os are only capable of being influenced by the words and maps of conservatives and Republicans (or, in the worst possible cases, conservative Republicans or Republican conservatives).

Sounds a little Orwellian to me, but, hey – who am I to argue with the pigs people in charge of making the rules. After all, everybody’s equal, but Liberals/Democrats are more equal than conservatives/republicans.

Thanks for clearing all that up for me, RT. Makes perfect sense now. I got a little confused there for a minute, but your crystal-clear logic has, as usual, set me straight.

I’ll keep the formula in mind:

Liberals/Democrats/Progressives = perfect, innocent, good

Conservatives/Republicans = tainted, corrupt, evil

January 26, 2011 at 11:17 am
(30) RealTime53 says:

Hi Justin –

“What you’re saying is that since Jared Loughner was directly influenced by Sarah Palin’s “cross-hairs” map (and her rootin’-tootin’ outlook in general), he and other whack-Os like him are absolutely incapable of being influenced to violence by anything liberals, progressives or Democrats have ever said or could ever have to say.”

Nope. I don’t think that I’ve ever said that, or anything even close to it. Let me be quite clear.

Sarah Palin did nothing wrong. Were it not for that unfortunate graphic, and Giffords’ seemingly prescient rebuke of Palin for that graphic, Sarah Palin’s name would never have been associated with Tucson. As it is, Sarah Palin was handed political lemons. Rather than make lemonade, Palin made battery acid. She could have backed off the rhetoric. Instead, she doubled down. Her approval rating amongst Republicans has held steady at 35%, but her approval rating amongst independents has nosedived to 14%.

We’ve hit peak Palin. I think that she could probably still get the Republican nomination. However, she’s unelectable as President.

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