Today on the Dish, Andrew unravelled the right's evasions on the assassination. The market for Palin tanked, Andrew wouldn't let her dismiss the shooting as non-political, and Frum didn't think Palin demonstrated any larger humanity with her response. Beck calmed Palin down by presaging an assasination attempt on her, and Conor didn't want to blame her for thinking politics was all a big joke. Palin's own adviser evaded responsibility for her actions, while even enraged football players apologize for their violent rhetoric, and Giffords herself predicted Palin's need to accept the consequences.  The 9-year-old father spoke, crosshairs weren't the culprit, and some chalked it up to a silly poster, instead of the usual Grand Theft Auto excuse. Loughner's friend admitted his unstable mentality reminded him of the Joker's, but it wasn't pot that pushed him over the edge. Andrew disparaged gun violence worship, and Ezra Klein begged for a dialdown in the rhetoric of fear. Some feared we'd become Pakistan, and most were concerned that the shooting would hurt the essence of in-person democracy. 

A reader hoped we'd see the gay intern who saved Giffords' life at the State of the Union, Jonathan Alter hypothesized how Obama will reference it in his speech, and Westboro church amazed us with this pure vitriol. We examined the roll of Giffords' religion and the possible American Renaissance connection with Loughner's motives. Jim Burroway didn't think it could happen so close to home, and Peter Beinart imagined if Jared Lee Loughner were named Abdul Mohammed. Stephen Budiansky wouldn't let the right off the hook, especially when threats against congressmen have tripled. Reader's asked how Loughner got a legal gun, and the blogosphere examined his weapon of choice. Jonathan Cohn and Vaughan Bell assessed our mental health system, and Joe Gandelman predicted a temporary calm in rhetoric.

Answering David Link, Andrew unpacked what CPAC's version of conservatism would look like if it weren't anti-gay. Andrew Bacevich traced the military-industrial complex from Ike's day to ours, Gordon Adams questioned Gates on defense cuts, and Serwer argued that those "cuts" are really an increase. Noah Millman reconsidered military intervention, Goldberg praised Obama's work on Iran, and on the flipside, sanctions forced Iran to use 40-year-old planes which often crash. Scary climate changed commercials don't work, some Home Ec classes used to practice on real babies, and California outlawed ironic Twitter impersonators. Roger Ebert reprimanded HuffPo for wimping out on Huck Finn, readers attacked Phillip S. Smith's review of the Cannabis Closet, and the Tea Party really is that insane on the debt.

VFYW here, quote for the day here, FOTD here, and MHB here.

--Z.P.

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