A reader writes:
The question that remains is clear enough at this point: Even though we can’t with any degree of confidence draw a connection between political demagoguery (as Mac Donald rightly terms it) and the violence, why should we accept and tolerate, even encourage, the demagoguery?
It’s telling that, with the exception of MacDonald and one or two others, no one on the right, and certainly not the usual suspects (Limbaugh, Levin, Palin, Beck, etc.) are willing to acknowledge that, indeed, the attacks from the right have been demagogic, deliberately exaggerated, dishonest, and designed to arouse the enmity of their audience. Instead, they have indignantly denied that their words caused this tragedya straw man since no significant commentator or voice from the other side has argued for cause and effect here, without even attempting to defend their own record or that of their political allies.
The rage exhibited in this response strongly suggests a recognition of guilt. I believe that almost all of those who have offendedLimbaugh and the restknow full well that their demonization of Obama, Democrats and liberals has been offensive and dishonest, and that it is unmatched by the left.
I guess at some level, we react to events with what is already in our minds. For the last two years, I have witnessed the fury of the right reach ever-ascending increasing levels of hysteria, extremism and hatred. Maybe being attached to this laptop has filled my soul with more of this rancid acid than others, and so brings these things to mind more swiftly when I see one of Palin's metaphorical targets literally targeted. But that nasty, vicious culture is real and pervasive. The rhetoric is vile. And if we cannot say it is reckless after what just happened, because it could happen again, it seems to me we have lost all sense of responsibility.
Which is, of course, what I believe has happened on the American right.