In the wake of the Tucson shooting tragedy, leftists are decrying all the violence. Yet they are clearly out for blood. Sound contradictory? Of course it does, but there it is. Those who hate on the citizen movement for smaller government, as exemplified by the Tea Party, really smell blood now.
The shots from Jared Loughner’s gun truly have been heard around the world. An article in Sunday’s Guardian online describes the sort of feel-good event evidently beloved everywhere. “Paul Wellman laid his handwritten sign among the collection of candles, flowers and messages keeping vigil outside Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s office. Then he stepped back and surveyed the scene.”
The scene should, by now, be familiar. “To the right, another sign said: ‘Hate speech = murder.’ But Wellman went further with his angry declaration in large black letters on white cardboard: ‘Blame Palin. Blame the Tea Party.’” He told the reporter that “They’re trying to say that a lone nut was responsible for this, but Sarah Palin and the Tea Party might as well have put the gun in his hand.” Shortly thereafter, a woman comes along and dumps the sign, saying, “Why make it about politics?”
Another sign had already been removed. It said “Republicans are murderers and un-American.” As fast as some people put these signs up, others will take them down. And as fast as they are taken down, more will go up in their place.
It is about politics. Of course it is, because – in not even waiting until the bodies of the victims were cold in politicizing the tragedy– the Left insisted that it must be. And all the protestations to the contrary will not change that. We’ll see more shrines featuring candles and balloons and flowers and teddy bears, and hear more laments about how violent our society has become and how we ought to just cut it out. And then, somewhere, it will happen again.
One course we might take, if we are serious about ending the violence, would be to show at least slightly more sense than people who think flowers or teddy bears are going to change anything. And the first step on that course would be to admit that the problem is, indeed, political. Politics are concerned with the workings of government, with its proper scope, size and function. They are concerned with who runs the government, and how. To claim otherwise is nonsense on a pogo stick.
Those who are now so loudly decrying the terrors of the Tea Party and deploring the use of tragedy to further a political cause are doing exactly what they condemn. They are capitalizing on this as crassly and cynically as possible – all the while engaging in the hypocrisy of claiming that they aren’t. If these people ever had any credibility (and sadly, they have had far too much), now is the time for the wind of truth to blow away the last, sorry shreds of it.
Some of those who voted for Obamacare are going to need to change their position if it is to be repealed. What happened over the weekend in Tucson did nothing to help the cause of those who oppose the health care legislation that has been passed. I’m sure most advocates of smaller government and free-market solutions are aware of that. I’m also pretty sure there is no way they can change the minds of any too unhinged to understand it.
I don’t personally know Rep. Giffords, but I have several friends who know her well and everyone who knows her seems to like her. She favors strong border security and (ironically to some) citizens’ Second Amendment right to own guns. She doesn’t side with conservatives on every issue, but that is no reason to think of her as an enemy. If her health forces her to be replaced by someone so afraid of violent assault that he or she supports strict gun control, how will conservatives be better off? It is actually the Left that is goading such fearfulness into irrationality, and if this tragedy has shown us anything, it is that irrationality is never in our best interests.