Monday, January 10, 2011

Noticed that the Republican Strategist Keith Appell was quick to "Go Negative" on this topic...

U.S. born children of Mexican immigrants on Sunday night gaze at a makeshift shrine to the shooting victims at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Tragic Events Bring Cooling Words,

But Rancor Inevitably Returns

By Beth Reinhard
The National Journal
Monday, January 10, 2011 6:20 a.m.

We’ve been here before. An unthinkable, terrible tragedy occurs: the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center attacks, and on Saturday, a murderous rampage aimed at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. – and rounds of recrimination follow. Something is wrong. Political discourse is raging out of control. We have got to tone it down.


But while the take-no-prisoners rhetoric may subside for a while, it’s unclear whether any political truce would last longer than the temporary cooling-off periods after Oklahoma City and 9-11. There's not much interest in kumbaya in a 24/7 media culture that thrives on the latest conflict.

"I'm hoping that people would reflect on some of the language that they use and realize that honorable people can disagree, but I'm not optimistic,'' said John Weaver, a Republican advisor to former presidential nominee John McCain. "We don't reflect on much of anything in this society.''

And a number of conservatives immediately began pushing back against the notion that incendiary, anti-establishment tirades are to blame for the actions of at least one deranged individual.

“The notion that anyone’s rhetoric in the political debate spurs the Timothy McVeighs and the Jared Loughners to commit violent acts against innocent people is insidious, dishonest and divorced from reality,’’ said Republican strategist Keith Appell, referring to the man who was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing and the suspect in the Arizona shootings. “There’s a lot of overheated rhetoric on both sides, and the only person who is guilty is the lunatic who committed this.’’

In an appearance Sunday on Face the Nation, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., criticized the Pima County sheriff who urged the nation to do some “soul-searching’’ about the vitriolic political climate in the aftermath of the rampage.

"I didn't really think that that had any part in a law enforcement briefing," Kyl said. “It was speculation.’’

Still, there were signs of the volume being turned down. Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour told a radio talk show host Saturday that the former vice presidential nominee never meant to put elected officials in crosshairs, even though Palin declared, "Don't Retreat, Instead- RELOAD!" after posting the map online.

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights," Mansour told radio interviewer Tammy Bruce. “ We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent.’’


Sarah Palin new media aide Rebecca Mansour sought to deflect attention from an electoral map Palin posted on her Facebook page last March in an appearance on Tammy Bruce's radio show Saturday. The images long described as crosshairs or rifle sights were actually just surveyor's symbols, Mansour said.

The image showing congressional districts in crosshairs was removed from Sarah Palin’s web site Saturday.

The image was removed from Palin’s web site on Saturday, and she was one of the first prominent Republicans to publicly condemn the violence that killed six people outside a Safeway supermarket.

Bachmann, whose anti-government cries have made her a hero in the conservative tea party movement, also responded to the shootings in strong terms.

"My tears are flowing, and I am stunned and angered Gabby Giffords was savagely gunned down while performing her congressional duties,’’ she said.

When the Constitution was read aloud in Congress this week, it was Giffords who read the part about "the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for an address of grievances."

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