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Monday, January 10, 2011

Arizona Rampage Reaction Round-up

The (alleged) crazed murderer, Jared Loughner, who killed six people over the weekend and shot U.S. House Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) in the head, leaving her in critical condition has shocked America and much of the world. 
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has called for a thorough review of security measures.  
According to a readout of the conference call, Boehner said he had asked Larson and House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) to arrange the "in-depth security overview."  
In addition, the sergeant at arms and Capitol Police will conduct a bipartisan security briefing for district directors. "This is a time for the House to lock arms, both in condemnation of this heinous act, and in prayer for those killed and wounded in this attack," Boehner said. "At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best."

Also on Wednesday, Congress will meet to consider a resolution honoring Giffords and the other victims of the shooting. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that Congress will only meet pro forma on Tuesday, with no votes scheduled.
Paul Krugman, in a New York Times blog, blamed the shooting on a climate created by the rhetoric of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Ruch Limbaugh. 
We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.  
Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.  
You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard suggested that comments like Kriugman's amount to "McCarthyism."
He said there is no proof that Jared Loughner, the suspect, was a fan of Palin nor went to her website, which had labeled Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and other Democrats a political target last year; it was illustrated with a graphic of a crosshairs that has triggered a political debate.  
Federal authorities on Sunday filed murder charges against Loughner.  
Kristol said those who are blaming Palin, such as Paul Krugman of The New York Times, are practicing "McCarthyism."  
"The attempt to exploit this tragedy is distasteful," Kristol said.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey cautioned against jumping to any political links in the shooting and said "the answer will come from psychology, not from sociology or political science."

"The fact of the matter is, we still have extremely important critical issues of public policy that must be sorted out," Armey said on ABC's "This Week." "Now, hopefully this will be done in a more civil way. But this incident is no basis by which anybody who sees their duty to America to stand down from that duty, but to redouble it, perhaps with a greater degree of caution, and hopefully with a greater degree of civility. "We've always wanted that," he said. "But still, nevertheless, we must do our duty and defend our liberties in this great country."

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