Sunday, January 9, 2011

Political violence and rhetoric

In a sane world, this and this would mean the end of a political career. Sure, Sarah Palin has plausible deniability. She never literally asked anyone to kill Rep. Giffords or anyone else, the militaristic language was obviously 'metaphorical', the guy responsible was clearly mentally ill.

But still, if I published a map with a crosshairs target on your house, and then somebody takes a pop at you, you might think I had some explaining to do.

Sarah Palin clearly can't apologize, since that would be tantamount to admitting that her incendiary brand of politics inevitably leads to violence in a land where nutjobs often own guns. So she will bluff it out, expressing her sympathy and suchlike, and outrage if anyone suggests she's to blame. But will it wash? Surely even right-wing Republicans angry about Obama's vaguely centrist policies can see that the Tea party/shockjock/Fox News approach to politics was bound to end in blood.

This all helps Obama who, to the frustration of many of his supporters, is playing the bipartisan/honest broker/statesman above the fray to perfection. Let's just hope his security detail doesn't drop the ball.

Anyway, I suggest reading this, this and this on the tragedy.