Though it’s not actually clear that Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC “targeting” of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, incited the gunman who shot her in the head at point-blank range earlier today, it is clear that a sizable portion of the population in Arizona is bat-shit crazy.
A reader of Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish reported overhearing the following conversation shortly after word of the shooting began to spread through Tucson:
I am standing in the aisle at Costco when I found out my Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, has been shot dead up on the north side.
While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”
And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”
I did not trust myself to speak. I’m a Soldier. Please remind me what country I am fighting for? At least seven people are dead. She happens to be the only member of Congress married to an active duty military — he’s a Navy officer serving as an astronaut.
Giffords herself, in a eerie moment of prescience, about the dangers brewing in her state during the midterm elections that inspired Palin to “target” Democrats in close races had this to say,
“They really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up, and, you know, even things for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, you gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”
A friend, (via my late husband) who lives in Tucson, had this to say about the shooting when someone asked her why she was worried that Democrats would retaliate,
“Because that is why she got shot. Not because she is a Dem, it is the issues. She supports liberal immigration views and most of AZ does not. She supports the healthcare reform and many are violently against it. The border of Mexico is very close to Tucson and many shots have been fired over this already, just never on a public figure. They have put other politicians and figures under protective custody on both sides of the debate.”
It’s the issues, stupid.
But not really. They claim it’s about immigration and being forced to go along with health care reform, but it’s heart is that the American Dream – built on unlimited acquisition and unsustainable upward mobility, whose heart is unlimited acquisition – is gone.
Not that it – the Dream – ever really existed. The whole thing was the ultimate cliché, a house of cards built on a sandy beach. But those in the middle bought in and those just below them were semi-content to pretend that with the right pair of straps on their boots they could move up too, and the illusion took root and grew in soil that has long since played out.
This last decade oversaw the last gasp and the bitch known as “payback” has moved in for good.
Because the shooter is in custody, his MySpace page and YouTube vids shutdown, it’s unlikely that the public will ever really know the truth. Which serves both sides. The GOP and Fox News can claim that he was a disturbed individual and that their courting of the lunatic fringe known as The Tea Party had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Giffords, the death of an Arizona judge or the snuffing of an innocent nine-year old girl, while the Democrats can underplay and conciliate, letting their own liberal loony lap-dog fringe scream and cry conspiracy.
Meanwhile, the people, who have no fucking idea of what is really going on, will take uneducated sides and continue to give away their rights and trust in the wrong people. They have spent so much of the last couple of decades blindly rubber stamping the theft of their freedom that they haven’t any idea where they actually stand on the playing field anymore.
Immigration and health care are distractions. There are real, credible threats afoot, and it’s the people who are fiddling among the burning ruins of an America that never existed in the first place. It’s hard not to admire the brilliance and scope of what is going on, even while recognizing that something wicked continues its inevitable march our way.
I guess the revolution might be tweeted after all.
- Sarah Palin ‘Targeted’ Gabrielle Giffords in March (blippitt.com)
- Sarah Palin Deleting Old Tweets and Gunsight Maps (littlegreenfootballs.com)