nenena: (Devi - I'm Blue)
nenena ([personal profile] nenena) wrote2011-01-08 04:47 pm


Because this is too important to let it get buried:

First, in case you haven't seen the news yet today, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at a "Congress in Your Corner" meeting today, and 12 other people in the crowd were shot as well. As of this writing Giffords is out of surgery and showing promising signs of responsiveness, but two six of the other shooting victims - a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl - have died.

The shooter has been arrested, but there's a bigger picture to be seen here than just the tale of one man with a gun.

Because of Sarah Palin's "Take Back the 20" list, which she is now desperately trying to delete off the internet. Unfortunately screencaps cannot lie.

For the record, this was Sarah Palin's campaign to target twenty congressional districts that were key for the Republicans to win back from the Democrats in order to secure control of the Congress, which normally wouldn't be an inherently malevolent thing - after all, there's nothing wrong with strategic campaigning - except for the fact Palin posted a map of the United States showing crosshairs on top of the targeted districts and actually sponsored an anti-Giffords rally that was widely advertised with the following text: "Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

In case you still don't believe that rhetoric like this has power, Giffords gave an interview back in March in which she discussed how she began receiving death threats, harassment, and vandalism right after Palin began the "Take Back the 20" campaign.

I don't believe for a second that Sarah Palin actually wanted to encourage anybody to shoot Gabrielle Giffords, but I do believe that Sarah Palin is a stupid lady who deliberately appeals to a demographic with a well-documented history of anti-government violence and who doesn't understand what the consequences of her rhetoric would be. EVEN IF you believe that "Take Back the 20" played no role in the shooter's motivation, that STILL doesn't change the fact that Palin's rhetoric was completely vile and totally out of line, even by US political standards (which is saying a lot!). Anybody not as famous as Palin would have been arrested for making terroristic threats if they put up that website and advertised an anti-Whoever rally that featured a firing of an automatic weapon as a symbolic gesture. Or, in other words, this comment thread.

Palin is trying to delete all evidence of her campaign, which at least tells us that she's smart enough to understand that she could very well deserve blame for her role in encouraging this vile act. Don't let the evidence be buried and don't let Palin get away with not owning up to her own rhetoric. The silver lining that could come from this tragedy is more people saying NO to violent and inappropriate campaign rhetoric, now that we've seen its consequences. That won't happen if Palin succeeds in burying the evidence and denying that her repulsive campaign ever existed in the first place.

ETA: Palin is now deleting old tweets, too.

ETA 2: Holy fucking shit. Palin's supporters are now commenting on her Facebook page and congratulating her for "getting rid of" Giffords. If anybody still has doubts that Palin's rhetoric was irresponsible, or that her campaign encouraged the shooter, this ought to remove that doubt. Congratulations, Sarah Palin, because your supporters include this guy who writes: "Go, Sarah! Gifford deserved to die. She was a liberal, a Jew, a health care reformer, an enemy of the NRA, pro abortion and pro gay... One down and 16 to go."

How did Palin not understand that PEOPLE LIKE THIS were her supporters. How.

ETA 3: Quoting this comment from [ profile] elobelia, because it hits so many nails right on the head: "If a student at my brother's school posted an image on facebook with crosshairs over fellow students' faces while in other posts talking about solving their problems with these people with a gun, he/she would be arrested and expelled from school. It's funny that people aren't willing to hold Sarah Palin to the same standard they would hold a 15 year old kid. If I had posted those things on Twitter, you can bet the cops would have been swarming my house today to see if there was a connection between me and the shooting - as well they should have. I'm not saying Palin should be arrested, I'm saying we shouldn't put up with this bullshit from her." Yes, yes. THIS. (Actually I kind of doubt the latter part about the cops swarming somebody's house because of what they posted on Twitter, but the first part about the hypothetical 15-year-old kid? Absolutely true. I'm a teacher and I've seen kids actually arrested for saying even mildly threatening things on the internet before.)

ETA 4: From here: "Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets." Palin's "Take Back the 20" list specifically targeted congress members who voted in support of the health care bill. Tea Party rhetoric specifically targeted congress members who voted in support of the health care bill. And violence against these congress members drastically increased at the same time. Gee, you think there might be a connection?!

ETA 5: Sherriff Clarence Dupnik is a hero. It takes a lot of courage to be in the midst of all of that and still directly call out violent anti-government rhetoric as being one of the causes of the shooting, something which most of the major network news coverage of the shooting is still tip-toeing around or blatantly denying. It takes incredible courage to actually use the words "bigotry" and "prejudice" to describe the hateful rhetoric being stirred in Arizona, because although both of those words are 100% accurate descriptors, most reporters and commentators are still too cowardly to actually use them. Kudos to Dupnik for having the courage and honesty to call a spade a spade. Finally, it shows a great deal of sensitivity and intelligence to speak about Loughner's mental health the way that Dupnik did: YES Loughner is clearly mentally ill but NO that in no way shape or form absolves Palin, Kelly, and their ilk from being culpable for what happened. It is BECAUSE people with a combination of certain mental illnesses and prejudiced beliefs are suspectible to violent rhetoric that violent rhetoric is irresponsible for politicians to spew in the first place.

[identity profile] 2011-01-08 10:33 pm (UTC)(link)
People scare me...

[identity profile] 2011-01-08 10:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[profile] re_silvera made an excellent point when I was talking to her not long ago - the problem of violent rhetoric in American politics is equivalent to Chekhov's gun. Once it's been introduced, the gun has to go off at some point. The only question is when.

[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)

Whether or not the guy was influenced by Palin's rhetoric, Palin should be horrified that she has supporters who are happy about this. That alone should be enough to make any sane person go "Oh, shit, maybe I shouldn't use that kind of language and imagery."

[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I find it appalling that there are people who are happy about this.

I also find it appalling that Palin isn't going to own up to her (as you said, irresponsible) role in this, even if she never intended for actual physical harm to come to her opponents.
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[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Believe it or not, I completely trust that Sarah Palin never intended for actual physical harm to come to her opponents. But her cowardly reaction to the shooting, trying to delete evidence of her contribution to the tragedy, is beyond vile. Not to mention strategically stupid.

If Palin owned up to her rhetoric, made a tearful heartfelt apology, and vowed to become a good Christian woman who has learned the errors of her ways and thus will never use mud-slinging campaign rhetoric again, you know that her followers would eat it up and she would come out looking like a saint. Americans love a good story about a poor mistaken woman repenting for some mistake, and Palin could re-market herself as an honest, lovable politician who's far, far above the petty nastiness of other politicians' campaign rhetorics. Palin could make herself look like a crusading reformer and could make anybody blaming her for the shooting look like a big old bully, unmoved by a white woman's tears and trying desperately to exploit a human tragedy for political motivations.

That. That is what Sarah Palin could get out of this if she owned up to her mistake (and twisted it to her advantage).

Instead, she's being both cowardly and stupid about it.

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[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:31 pm (UTC)(link)
*reads second ETA*

*decides to go hide under the bed forever*

[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:40 pm (UTC)(link)
D'you have a source on the teabagger thing? I can't seem to find anything corroborating it in a quick search of articles.
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[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I did have a source, but it turns out that the source was wrong. (People were spreading a link to a pro-Tea Party video that supposedly listed Jared Loughnor as one of its makers in the end credits, but now that I've actually sat down and watched the abhorrent thing ( I see that Loughnor is NOT listed in the end credits, and the makers of the video specifically denounced him in the "info" section of the video.)

Gonna edit my post now.

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[identity profile] 2011-01-08 11:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm speechless and horrified about this. My mind just refuses to process some of the Facebook comments, the fact that anything as vile as "Take Back the 20" campaign was allowed to happen in the first place and, above everything else, that anyone could even contemplate killing 11 (and counting) people including a 9-year-old child to make a political point.

I guess I'll just sit in a corner, shaking from incoherent rage...

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the links.

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
... I'm moving to Canada.

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
The shooting is horrifying and terrifying :( (and TERRORISM, which hint to CNN, isn't just the domain of Muslims! >:O )

and whether Palin had nething to do with the shooter's motivations, her campaign reminds me of when Dr. Tiller was murdered, and all the anti-abortion conservative talking heads were suddenly backpeddling and saying "no no, but we didn't say KILL!" well when you say outright that abortions are a new holocaust, and that the doctors are mass murderers, and millions of actual children are being killed and etc etc etc.. and they must be stopped.. what did you THINK would happen when somebody believed your rhetoric? and I know Palin and her ppl will prolly backpeddle from this too.. "Well it was just rhetorical!" but... even if it had nothing to do with the shooter's thinking... it's still DAMN irresponsible rhetoric >:|

and AUGH

I feel rly rly rly awful for the families of those injured and esp of those murdered :( and i rly rly rly hope the injured ppl recover :( this is so tragic and disgusting >:|

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
I recommend not looking at MSN's facebook about this, I just skimmed it and that was enough for me.
icarus_suraki: (Default)

[personal profile] icarus_suraki 2011-01-09 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
I was linked to your post from a friend's entry--I just wanted to say thank you for the post and for the links. May I link back to this post as well?
ext_6355: (Default)

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
Yes you may. Thank you!
ext_6848: (eeeee)

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
I wonder if Palin understands the phrase you reap what you sow now? Somehow I doubt it, being the obtuse coward she is.

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 06:39 am (UTC)(link)
I'm mad that I didn't hear about Palin's involvement in the shooting AT ALL on the news. It wasn't until I saw your post.

I also agree with elobelia's statment.
I'm sick of these double standers for famous people (there's so many cases of this that's it not even funny)
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[identity profile] 2011-01-09 08:09 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know if "involvement" is the right word, but Palin's culpability is definitely an issue and her cowardly internet deleting-spree in reaction to the shooting should not pass without mention.

Completely agreed about the double-standard thing. Ugh. I'm sick of famous people getting away with vile shit like this.

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[identity profile] 2011-01-09 11:56 am (UTC)(link)
I'm angry over this myself, but it's going to take people calling it as they see it, and shouting over Tea Partier whitewashing, which I'm already seeing.

The real question is how do you turn anger into change on things like this, especially when there is so much whitewashing going on, and the media will likely encourage the whitewashing?

This is one of those times when we're probably 100% in agreement- rare, but it does happen ^_^.

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Completely terrifying. I'd join the others in hiding under the bed, except...I want to DO something. Or possibly move to Canada.

[identity profile] 2011-01-09 09:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I kind of doubt the latter part about the cops swarming somebody's house because of what they posted on Twitter

Cops swarmed the hell out of a high school classmate's house over a cryptic text message about two years after Columbine. There was no Twitter, so it's different, but still. They actually found at least one gun. I'm muddy on details since it was like a decade ago. I just remember being disturbed that it was the guy who sat directly behind me in pre-calc and he could have had a gun on him that day if his friend hadn't gone to the cops with the text.

ETA: Ahaha, wow, and I totally didn't comment on anything else. I think it's because I wrote on it so extensively on FB. (You probably saw the wall of text. It's FLocked btw, if only to keep my far-right extended family from starting another wank with me. Maybe I should crosspost to my LJ?) Basically, what is wrong with people?! I didn't know about the Take Back the Twenty thing until yesterday, but if I had I'd have been horrified. It's disgusting! Just... ugh!
Edited 2011-01-09 21:36 (UTC)
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[identity profile] 2011-01-09 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)

At least CNN is giving the Take Back the Twenty stuff coverage, even if the other major news networks are ignoring or deliberately burying it.

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[identity profile] 2011-01-09 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
(Don't mind me, just someone who's pissed off at all of this.~)

People really astound me at how stupid they really are at times. I'm not really lumping the shooter in there, because he was mentally ill. But I'm talking about Palin and her supporters. What's really surprising, every article and every news-cast that I've seen on TV doesn't even MENTION her at all. (Then again, Chicago's new isn't that great... they're focusing more on that summer of a governor Ryan's wife more then anything right now.)

If Palin really is running for president, then she has a funny way of showing it. If she was really sorry for all of this, then she should stand up, and say that what she campaigned for was outright wrong. It gives people the wrong idea, using crosshairs and all. What's really scary is that someone like her really could become president, what with her idiotic supporters. I actually think she should be investigated for this, but since she's famous, and a politician, she won't be. It'd be surprising if the CIA WAS investigating her, but they're being very sensitive of it, but I doubt that. If American Dad, and the news ever taught me anything, we have idiots running around in the CIA.

Her supporters are as bad as she is. You do not congratulate someone for killing innocent people. That 9-year-old had NOTHING to do with this, she was just a by-stander! I normally don't say, or type, this word that often, but that's just being in-humane. I normally use that word for people who abuse animals and such. Congrats, her supporters have a all-time low from me! (Not like they were ever all there anyway...)

Sorry for the long post, this whole thing has me mad. Uragh.
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[identity profile] 2011-01-10 12:11 am (UTC)(link)
The FBI might investigate her. Hopefully. (The CIA wouldn't be involved in something like this, I don't think.)

There's no need to apologize for a healthy rant. ;)

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[identity profile] 2011-01-10 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
In re: the twitter thing, there was a case earlier this year of a man in the UK arrested and charged because he, frustrated at airline delays, posted a twitter message to the effect of "if I can't get on a flight soon, I'm going to blow up this airport." It was exactly the kind of innocuous comment people make all the time, but the nature of the speech made it a terrorist threat. (I can't recall his name, though, which frustrates me.)

I agree with you that I don't think Palin meant anyone to take her (hateful, deplorable, horrendous) rhetoric seriously and actually go out and shoot someone, but I also think that as a woman who is constantly held up (by herself and others!) as a leader of the Republican party, she at least should have been aware of how completely batshit her imagery and language was. My conservative friends keep trying to claim that maybe the campaign wasn't her idea, but even so, no logical and sensible adult human being would look at that and say, "Crosshairs. Good idea! Let's go with it!" It's disgusting. And to hear she's trying to cover her tracks just makes it worse.

Sherriff Dupnik and everyone else who is speaking out against this kind of rhetoric makes me so incredibly happy, but for every person I hear willing to say, "That's messed up," there's another saying, "This has nothing to do with Palin's PAC and their message, it's hateful to try to link the two and it's making a tragedy into a political issue." To which I say: it should be a politic issue. It should've been a political issue the day that graphic was published.

I just hope this helps more people realize what a piece of work Palin is. It scares me to think they won't.

(A friend of mine linked this. I just couldn't resist commenting. Too much time spent watching the news at the tire store, I guess!)
ext_6355: (Default)

[identity profile] 2011-01-11 05:01 am (UTC)(link)
Welcome! And thank you for commenting, I couldn't have said it better.

(Anonymous) 2011-01-11 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
Well, it seems people are (as usual) jumping to conclusions without any facts on what really is going on and are using a terrible tragedy to politicize something that wasn't political to begin with ... People shouldn't be jumping to conclusions... unless they are a Muslim that shoots up a military base. Then of course you have to think about it before "jumping to conclusions."

First off, Democrats use the cross-hair/bullseye graphics too, so don't go pinning it all on Sarah Palin or the GOP. Here is a map from the Daily Kos, a Liberal site showing bullseye's on locations where there is weakness to overtake for a Democrat seat:

And the same website (though they took it down after the shooting) actually went on to say that Gifford's is "dead to me."

Not only that, but it appears that the gunman was actually LEFT-wing, not right-wing as (of course) everyone is jumping to without looking. Complete with calling the United States a Terrorist Country and burning an American Flag on a youtube video. Add in two of his favorite books being The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, and you got an interesting recipe for an ulta-nut case.

Dems are backtracking saying that he was mad about the GOP wanting to repeal Obamacare or whatever is the reason it happened. Completely sickening...

But, really, this had nothing to do with actual politics. The man was clearly a deranged sociopath that was possibly suffering from paranoia and schizophrenia judging by what friends and those around him brought to attention from his outbursts in college that got him kicked out.

Read that whole link, complete with his completely insane ramblings that shows nicely that he was not connected with reality.

Anyway, yeah, don't go jumping on Sarah Palin for having nothing to do with this. It was just a horrible coincidence and the Media is jumping on whatever opportunity they can to 1) grab ratings and 2) try to hurt Palin's image some more.
ext_6355: (Default)

[identity profile] 2011-01-11 04:58 am (UTC)(link)
Well, it seems people are (as usual) jumping to conclusions without actually reading what I wrote in my post and are using a terrible tragedy as an excuse to pretend that they're not politicizing an issue while leaving highly politicized anonymous troll comments on blog posts.

First off, let me repeat in bold what I wrote in my post and that other people wrote in the comments here:

EVEN IF you believe that "Take Back the 20" played no role in the shooter's motivation, that STILL doesn't change the fact that Palin's rhetoric was completely vile and totally out of line, even by US political standards (which is saying a lot!). Anybody not as famous as Palin would have been arrested for making terroristic threats if they put up that website and advertised an anti-Whoever rally that featured a firing of an automatic weapon as a symbolic gesture.

Whether or not the guy was influenced by Palin's rhetoric, Palin should be horrified that she has supporters who are happy about this. That alone should be enough to make any sane person go "Oh, shit, maybe I shouldn't use that kind of language and imagery."

Even if [the shooter being influenced by Palin is] not what happened here, this tragedy should serve as a wake-up call that violent rhetoric is inappropriate, period. It should not have taken a congresswoman being gunned down in public for Sarah Palin to realize "oh shit maybe these gun metaphors aren't such a good idea because they may make a catchy campaign theme but it sure as hell sucks when somebody is shot in real life!"

I have no idea what you're trying to prove by showing me that the Daily Kos engages in vile rhetoric (I knew that and you're preaching to the choir - I hate Daily Kos!) or that Democrats are also guilty of excessively shitty campaign rhetoric. Duh.

The focus here is on Palin because of the fact that she's trying to cover up the fact that she used inappropriate, vile, unprofessional, violent campaign rhetoric. The minute that Palin and her people deleted that map off her Facebook page, this became a political issue. Palin was the one who made it a political issue. If Palin had left her shit up and denied nothing then it would have been much easier for everybody to say "oh well it was just one killer who had nothing to do with Sarah Palin." But the fact that Palin responded to the tragedy by immediately trying to cover up the fact that she had used inappropriately violent rhetoric against Giffords, this shit became political, because Palin needs to be held responsible for her inappropriate rhetoric the same way that any normal citizen would have gotten in trouble if she had tweeted about shooting her political enemies or posted a map with crosshairs in her Facebook.

Also, you're using the word "sociopath" incorrectly.

Edited for typo.
Edited 2011-01-11 04:58 (UTC)

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(Anonymous) 2011-01-11 08:07 am (UTC)(link)
I live in the Phoenix area. This is insane.

Yet another black mark on Arizona's record.

This state is so fucked up right now. Arpaio being an asshat, bullshit about immigrants (not just illegal ones, either!), cover-ups, blatant racism, and now shootings. seriously?!

People in charge... I don't know. Leaders ought to have at least an ounce of common sense. It's pathetic.

Ugh, I feel like anything I say here is completely pointless. Ultimately, 18 people were shot for no god damn reason and I hate it I hate it I hate it

As bad as it looks on the interwebs, anyone and everyone with any common sense here is completely outraged that this atrocity occurred.

[identity profile] allyson boeckman (from 2011-01-11 06:40 pm (UTC)(link)
While watching the Daily Show I heard his reaction to what happened in AZ and thought it was beautiful. (it starts at 2:30ish) If you haven't seen it yet it reminds me a lot of what you were saying.
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[identity profile] 2011-01-11 11:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the link. That really was beautiful.

(Also I think that Stewart comparing criticism of violent political rhetoric to the anti-rock music panic that happened after the Columbine shootings couldn't have missed the point any harder if it had tried, but other than that, yes, the rest of it was really beautiful.)