Posted by Wordsmith on 9 January, 2011 at 9:23 am. 35 comments already!


Republican supporter Brian Hagmeier listens as Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks during a campaign stop in Burlington, December 29, 2007. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

If anyone is guilty of inflammatory rhetoric and inciteful behavior, the buck doesn’t even stop here:

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,”

‘I want you to argue with them and get in their face’

“we’re gonna punish our enemies”

Personally, I find nothing wrong with Obama’s “tough guy” tone and confrontational, rolling-up-his-sleeves-looking-for-a-fight attitude and bluster (other than sneering at the notion that he is Mr. Bipartisan/New-Tone-in-Washington). And if one is going to tip-toe eggshells over anything one says as potentially “inflammatory” that will tip a person over the edge into carrying out violence, then anything and everything in life can be considered influential and a contributing factor when someone goes postal or when someone who should be in a mental institution turns violent.

Is Mein Kampf to blame for Jared Loughner’s violence? The Communist Manifesto? His reading of the Constitution? One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? If he’s read them, then he’s drawn influence from them in some way. We are all influenced by what we are exposed to in life.

Should violent video games and violence in movie entertainment be held accountable when some nutjob has been exposed to these?

As far as political leadership goes in setting the tone of civility, we’ve actually come a long way. I find nothing at all wrong with Palin’s “cross-hairs” map (and as Aye points out, nothing at all unique to her) any more than I do Obama’s figurative language about bringing a gun if they bring a knife.

Finger-pointing blame for Loughner’s violence on Tea Partiers, political leaders like Palin (without even any evidence that he drew any such influence from them), or on guns (guns aren’t violent…man is violent). The buck stops with Loughner. He is responsible for his actions.

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her family are in my prayers.

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