Friday, January 14, 2011

Loughner's Attack: The assassination of a nation's character

From the 11 January 2011 New American at:

Loughner's Attack: The assassination of a nation's character
By Bob Confer

Back in November of 2008, Rahm Emanuel, then President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, told a group of corporate executives, “You never want a good crisis to go to waste.”

That statement became a defining mantra for the U.S. government’s handling of economic affairs following the near collapse of the financial markets. That crisis allowed the government to do, as Emanuel put it, “things that you could not do before.”

Emanuel’s words have not been wasted on his fellow Big Government operatives, who are constantly searching for new crises from which to glean political rewards. The Left found one in Saturday’s assassination attempt on Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Sadly, what was a massacre that left six people dead became a political weapon even before the victim’s nearest of kin could be notified of their passing.

By Saturday night numerous media outlets and elected officials from all levels of government were blaming the Tea Party and right-wing groups for inciting the so-called hate that led the gunman, Jared Loughner, to lay waste to human lives. To them, it had nothing to do with his mental illnesses and everything to do with the one true threat to the expansion of their powers and that of the federal government: the people. How better to marginalize the grassroots movement and its efforts to reform and rein in government then by painting its participants as bloodthirsty lunatics?

Their efforts to place blame seem to have worked quite well. Sunday is usually a slow news day with Americans more engaged in their religious activities, their families, or their football. Yet, our nation was transfixed in front of the television screen, assaulted by talking heads who primed the pump with zeal.

CNN began the attack by endlessly playing sound bites from the Arizona policeman investigating the massacre. Immediately following the shooting, at a time when no one fully understood the mental make-up of Loughner, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik declared that "the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business" was to blame for the shooting. "The bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he added.

His statement played right into the hands of CNN and the Democrats. After all, if the chief investigator thinks the "vitriolic rhetoric" and "bigotry" of the Right caused the shooting, that has to be the killer’s motivator, doesn’t it?

Later, Dupnik made it well known that he has incredible disdain for the Right:

The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information. [Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.

It was obvious that he couldn’t eliminate emotion, let alone his own political leanings, from his assessment of the situation. CNN knew it and they never retracted anything that came about from his rants.

Instead, they played it up.

On Sunday, outspoken Libertarian talk radio host Neal Boortz posted a rather innocuous comment on Twitter that read, “Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has shown himself to be a leftist partisan hack in his public comments.” The station’s producers saw that as means to ambush Boortz and the Right, rather than addressing the obvious that was observed by Boortz. CNN host Don Lemon attempted to ambush Boortz on air and failed miserably. One can only imagine what would have happened if someone less savvy than Boortz was pulled into the fray and had his comments misconstrued by the Left’s media machine. Still, the damage was done. Boortz and others who rightly agreed with him were buried with negative comments on Twitter and other social networking sites.

On Monday, the Left tried again to dismiss the Right. By then, the blame game (actual hate if there ever was hate) had reached a crescendo and news and analysis shows on radio and TV focused more on the political discourse — and pointing the finger at conservatives — than it did on mourning the dead and praying for the living. Their lives were basically worthless, a statistical backdrop to a story about a divided America.

Even the most centrist of outlets joined in the hysteria. National Public Radio’s “On Point,” typically a well-balanced talk show, was decidedly over-the-top and anti-Tea Party as host Tom Ashbrook went completely overboard in trying to pin blame on Sarah Palin’s now infamous website that used crosshairs to identify congressional districts that were worth the Republican Party’s attention. Only a fool would openly state that crosshairs — a common, everyday targeting device used on everything from optics to desktop publishing programs — could be construed as a secret message to kill politicians. Ashbrook, and unfortunately millions of left-leaning and/or ignorant Americans, fell lockstep into the ranks of fooldom.

The anti-conservative vitriol continues to this very moment, even though there is substantial proof that the shooter was anything but a small government enthusiast. Reports surfaced Monday indicating that Loughner identified both the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf among his favorite books — certainly not the works of political theory admired by constitutionalists. We also found out that he doesn’t identify with any religion, counting himself as an atheist. That is a view atypical to the average Tea Partier. Even his target was not your typical far-left representative criticized by her opponents on the other side. Giffords is well known as a centrist, Blue Dog Democrat.

Thankfully, Congresswomen Giffords has, at least for now, survived the attack, despite the bullet tearing through her brain. So, what did Loughner accomplish? He didn’t assassinate his intended target; instead, he committed a character assassination of our country. His actions amplified the left-right divide and allowed today’s shallow yellow journalism to cater to Big Government’s desire to silence its critics. Two days after the incident, those who want ObamCacre ended, a sound currency policy instituted, and a return to founding principles are now painted as murderous thugs whose ideas and principles are without merit, maybe even deranged.

Who knows how that hate talk will evolve over the next few days, weeks and months. One can only assume it will continue to metastasize. The Left has found a crisis they can’t waste ,and you can rest assured they will squeeze every last drop of political expediency from it.

So watch carefully. This time it will be you and our Constitution that are caught in the proverbial crosshairs. Your rights to self defense, peaceful assembly, and even thought itself will become the target of the newly-invigorated media, the Left, and the federal government, thanks to the attempted assassination of Mrs. Giffords.

Ironically, Loughner’s attack had nothing to do with right-wing philosophies and everything to do with mental illness, something akin to the mental illness the Left and the ruling class possess in their desire to kill our country.

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