It's worth noting at the outset:
When the left wing spoke about the crimes of George W. Bush, it spoke in terms of impeachment, charges for war crimes, subpoenas, indictments and special prosecutors.
When the right wing spoke about its unhappiness with President Obama, it spoke in terms of violence; 2nd Ammenment "solutions" and so forth.
* * *
An attempt was made today on the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D.-Ariz.) in Tucson. She was apparently shot in the head, has undergone and survived surgery and is currently in critical condition.
At this moment, the Internet is exploding with stories and screen captures from Sarah Palin's Web site and her "Take Back the 20" -- referring to 20 Congressional Democrats from areas that Republicans had previously carried.
The 20 congressional districts were marked on the map with rifle crosshair sights. And now, the fever of voices discussing this assassination attempt are focusing on how these crosshairs -- which have since been scrubbed from Palin's Web site -- might have contributed to an "air" of "political violence" in the United States.
This is misdirection.
This is not to say Sarah Palin and her map filled with crosshairs is benign or not worthy of discussion. But I predict in the coming weeks, Sarah Palin and those crosshairs will dominate discussion about this assassination attempt, as more pertinent details about the "lone nut" who carried out the shooting are lost in the maelstrom.
Add to this misdirection an advertisement by "Jesse Kelly, Congresswoman Giffords' Republican opponent in the Arizona congressional race. It's an ad for a June event that allows Kelly's supporters to 'Get on Target for Victory' — 'Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office' by shooting a 'fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly'."
The Sunday morning talking head news programs are going to be dominated by discussions about Sarah Palin and Jesse Kelly's use of violent rhetoric and imagery, while the deeper issues about who the would-be assassin is, who may have funded and trained him, will be lost amid the one-note bellowing of the compromised, corporate-owned media.
Talk will turn to the Tea Party and gun rights, the vitriol spewing from people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Anne Coulter.
But that would be missing the point.
America has a long, well-documented history of political violence; of politics being more influence by bullets, rather than ballots.
America also has a long history of "lone nuts." They're usually in their early 20s:
- Lee Harvey Oswald was 23 years old at the time of President Kenney's assassination
- Sirhan Sirhan was 24 years old when Senator Robert Kennedy was killed
- Arthur Bremer was 22 years old at the time he shot Governor George Wallace during the 1972 presidential campaign
- Jared Loughner is reportedly 22 years of age
For instance Ray traveled to Canada, to England and within the US -- which he didn't remotely have the funds to do on his own. While in Canada, he not only obtained fake ID, but the names on his fake IDs were of men who bore a striking physical resemblance to him. Ray absolutely did not have the wherewithal to be that thorough. Nor, again, did he have the funds to do this on his own.
Arthur Bremer, the man who short famous segregationist, George Wallace, traveled extensively across the United States -- it was later reported -- following Richard Nixion, during the 1972 presidential campaign. Bremer was a restaurant dishwasher who earned minimum wage. He had a few hundred dollars in the bank, yet did thousands of dollars with of travel before shooting and permanently crippling Wallace.
Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who's been proven not to have shot President John F. Kennedy, had traveled to the Soviet Union in 1959 where he renounced his United States citizenship. In 1962, when Oswald desired to return to America, he had no trouble re-obtaining a US passport, nor did he have trouble getting permission to bring a Russian bride to his home country. More bizarrely, he didn't have the money to return to the US, but the funds to do so were given to him by the State Department. Oswald returned to become both an FBI informant and a contract agent of the CIA (he had a 201 File with the CIA, which is a personnel file, proving he was an employee).
How is the story going to unfold about Jared Loughner?
Will a modern day Jack Ruby come forward and take Loughner out, so we'll never hear from the shooter what motivated him?
We may well never find out anything of substance since the cacophony of discussion about this incident is centering exclusively on Sarah Palin and her map filled with crosshairs Jesse Kelly's insanely irresponsible ad.