The same people who had blamed Sarah Palin for the massacre at the Tucson Safeway and then taunted her for her "silence" were enraged when she responded.
Last Tuesday, the night before Palin responded, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann mocked Palin's silence throughout his show:
-- "And why is the ever self-promoting Miss Palin so quiet?"
-- "And it's quiet, isn't it?"
-- "It's too quiet."
-- "The silence is deafening from the great Northwest."
It was deemed an admission of guilt that she hadn't spoken about the Tucson shooting or denied the accusations that she had inspired the shooter.
The next day, Palin posted a video response, and Keith immediately attacked her for "the worst timed political statement ever." It's almost as if liberals would attack Palin whatever she did.
Olbermann sneered about Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel," scoffing, "This, to Sarah Palin, is analogous to what is happening to her." No, not only happening to her, but to all right-wingers, tea partiers, Republican politicians, and conservative radio and TV hosts -- all of whom have been accused of complicity in murder.
On the day of the Arizona massacre, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva blamed the "Palin express." The father of Gabrielle Giffords, one of the victims, blamed "the whole Tea Party." The sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, who had failed to lock Loughner up despite repeated arrests and other contacts, blamed "the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business." (Dumbnik also said: "We're not convinced that he acted alone.")
A comment on Gawker the day of the attack said: "Palin ... you now have more than just elk blood on your hands."
The next day, New York Daily News columnist Michael Daly wrote, with stunning originality: "Palin may have the blood of more than some poor caribou on her hands." (See -- he changed "elk" to "caribou.")
In an especially prissy "Special Comment" the night of the shooting, Olbermann said that if Sarah Palin "does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics." Ditto for Rep. Allen West, ex-candidate Sharron Angle, Rep. Giffords' opponent Jesse Kelly and "the Tea Party leaders."
In response to the Arizona shooting, the governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, banned state employees from going on talk radio, telling reporters he had been a victim of rhetorical violence himself, citing the title of one of my columns from four years ago: "They Shot the Wrong Lincoln."
In that four-year-old column, I supported Chafee's opponent in the Republican primary by pointing out that "the only person who hasn't figured out that Lincoln Chafee is a Democrat is Lincoln Chafee. As the expression goes, if Chafee switched parties, the average IQ on both sides of the aisle would go up."
My column got results: Chafee is no longer a Republican.
But the column did not produce my secret goal, which the governor has now exposed: That John Wilkes Booth return from the dead to stalk people named "Lincoln."
Yes, the governor of Rhode Island is afraid of 19th-century assassins. Whatever you do, Lincoln, don't look under the bed!
After it came out that the Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner, was a liberal pothead who hated Christianity, laughed about aborted babies, never listened to talk radio, hated George Bush and cited "Mein Kampf" as one of his favorite books to annoy his Jewish mother, liberals suspended blaming "political rhetoric" for about two days. Then they went right back to blaming conservatives for the shooting.
The media continue to avoid giving any details and simply announce that Loughner was "anti-government," implying that he's your standard George Will conservative who believes Congress has offended the principles of federalism by encroaching on the states' authority under the Constitution.
In fact, Loughner's "anti-government" beliefs consist of: burning the American flag on video; denouncing our currency with the exclamation, "No! I won't trust in God!"; and wanting to kill cops.
His other big anti-government position is that he believes the government was behind 9/11 -- just like well-known tea partiers Rosie O'Donnell, Obama's "green jobs" czar Van Jones, Rehab habitue Charlie Sheen and left-wing historian Howard Zinn.
If we're looking for a rationale other than "Loughner was nuts," I think the more relevant facts about him are that he was an atheist who detested religion and religious people, made lots of references to satanic New Age "conscience dreaming" (sic) and was involved in the occult.
When a fellow participant on a UFO website wrote a lengthy response to Loughner's question about "what is wrong or right with the current date?" which included the subordinate clause, "a day in Christ is as a thousand years," Loughner fixated on that one line, railing, "I won't listen to that fictitious crap without the author. This is laughable to notice a gospel or writing related to Christ."
Shouldn't we at least bring Bill Maher in for questioning?