Jumping into special coverage on MSNBC, that dispassionate news "anchorman" Keith Olbermann insisted that Palin should apologize or be "dismissed from politics." It mattered not one iota to this man who drools nightly hatred that his friends at the Daily Kos also talked of a "target list" with Giffords -- and dehumanized her a "congresscritter."
This flood of slanderous sludge is designed for nakedly political benefit: to paint a permanent black mark on conservatives as accessories to murder, and criminalize any expression of conservatism as a dangerous anti-government conspiracy.
Happily, after a few broadcasts of this vomit, CBS pollsters found 57 percent of Americans questioned on Sunday and Monday didn't accept the notion that the country's "harsh political tone" had anything to do with the Tucson rampage.
Conservatives could see the liberals trying to replay the Oklahoma City bombing smears from 1995. An anonymous, cowardly "veteran Democratic strategist" whispered to Politico that Team Obama needs to "to deftly pin this on the tea partiers ... Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people."
Is this deft? Or just daft? This partisan insanity was presented as savvy by the usual suspects. Ex-Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman oozed that Obama needed to gain advantage over Republicans without seeming political: "The trick is to make it without seeming to be trying to make it. He will, after all, be speaking at a funeral."
Another sicko at Newsweek, Jonathan Alter, was so indecent that he calculated how Giffords is more valuable to Obama alive than dead: "Sad to say, if Giffords had died, she would have been mourned and soon the conversation would have moved on. But Giffords lives, thank God, which offers other possibilities. We won't know for weeks or months whether she can function in public. If she can, she will prove a powerful referee of the boundaries of public discourse -- more influential, perhaps, than the president himself."
Thank God Giffords survived -- so Obama can be re-elected? Alter is the one who needs a referee -- some editor who can tell him he couldn't find a "boundary of public discourse" if it slapped him in the face.