Monday, January 10, 2011

Due to the Tucson Schooting, According to the French, the "Tea Partiers Are in the in the Dock"

The shooting in which a Democrat was seriously wounded in Arizona has appalled the American Left, which denounces the "poisoned rhetoric" of the ultraconservatives…
(Updated below) Go to Instapundit to see (a massive amount of) evidence to the contrary, especially Glenn Reynolds' own article in the Wall Street Journal, The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel.

As for martial metaphors, Le Monde itself has a doozy, featuring a (sports) article called Que signifie selon vous l'hécatombe des clubs de Ligue 1 en 32es de finale de la Coupe de France ?, i.e., referring to the (sorry) fate of the predominant league in French soccer clubs in the 32nd-finals (!) towards the Coupe de France, whose mass elimination is described as a "massacre" or a "slaughter".

And as far as the former Alaska governor's allegedly disturbing maps are concerned, it turns out that the issue is moot (thanks to Larwyn), because "what Palin had on her webpage was a graphic of a surveyor’s symbol. Not cross-hairs." (Compare and contrast.)

Sylvain Cypel ajoute :
Chacun interprétait à sa façon les "écrits" laissés sur la Toile par Jared Loughner. Ils manifestent effectivement une grande incohérence - des spécialistes ont parlé de "schizophrénie" -, mais aussi des détestations qui, sur certains points, rejoignent des thèmes usuels de la mouvance du Tea Party : la détestation du "gouvernement", c'est-à-dire de l'emprise de l'Etat fédéral, ou le retour à l'étalon-or, une idée promue par ceux qui prônent l'abolition de la Réserve fédérale (banque centrale américaine).
Le problème, évidemment, c'est que c’est (beaucoup plus) facile de mettre tout sur le dos de la droite quand on ignore délibérément les preuves — beaucoup plus conséquentes — que Jared L. Loughner est à (l’extrême) gauche…

Back to the Wall Street Journal:
With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's words, a "climate of hate."

The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors—"lock and load"—and talked about "targeting" opponents.
But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's district on a list of congressional districts "bullseyed" for primary challenges. When Democrats use language like this—or even harsher language like Mr. Obama's famous remark, in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun"—it's just evidence of high spirits, apparently. But if Republicans do it, it somehow creates a climate of hate.

There's a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn't derive from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source.

Update — from The National Review:
We barely knew all the facts in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, though, before this vicious act was being milked for political advantage by ghoulish opportunists on the Left.

…The irony of criticizing the overheated rhetoric of your opponents at the same time you call them accomplices to murder apparently was lost on these people, most of whom have never been noted for their subtlety (or civility). It is vile to attempt to tar the opposition with the crimes of a lunatic so as to render illegitimate the views of about half of America.
Glenn Reynolds adds a link to the Washington Post's Marc Thiessen's piece on the "blame the Tea Party" chorus:
…why is it acceptable to condemn vitriol in politics while contributing to it in the same breath? This is what passes for restoring civility to our nation's discourse?

What is really outrageous is how quickly so many jumped at the opportunity to politicize this tragic shooting — blaming the Tea Party and conservative political rhetoric without a shred of evidence to back those claims.

…On Sunday, the New York Times published a front-page story, "Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics." Nowhere did it mention the vitriol hurled at Tea Party activists, who are routinely derided to as "tea baggers" and racists, and now stand accused of incitement to murder. If you want an example of the lack of civility plaguing our political discourse, look no further than this weekend's shameful efforts to use this tragedy to demonize the Tea Party.