On Saturday, January 7th, 2011, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head while making one of her regular appearances in Tucson.  The shooter, a 22 year  is now in custody and being held for questioning and trial.  In addition to Mrs. Giffords, 17 others were hurt in the shooting.  Six have died including a federal judge and a nine-year old girl.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy.  We don’t expect this sort of thing to happen in America.  It’s horrific, it’s senseless, and most of all, uncivilized.

It was, sadly, also completely predictable.  You see, for the past two years, the rhetoric from the right has been all about violence, hate and bigotry.  All too often, people seeking public office have deliberately used language designed to appeal to the irrational and the violent.  Don’t believe me?  Let me provide a few examples:

Here’s former senate candidate Sharron Angle blithely talking about “Second Amendment Remedies”:

Translation:  “If we don’t get our way, we’ll start shooting people.”

And here’s Allen West, who was recently elected to the House of Representatives, actually exhorting a crowd of lunatic Teabaggers to threaten his opponent:

Wow.  Domestic terrorism as a campaign strategy.  What a guy.

And here’s a timeless classic:  Faux News gasbag and liar Glenn Beck “joking” about poisoning the Speaker of the House:

Because we all know how funny assassination is.

And last, but certainly not least, here’s a timeless classic from none other than former half-term Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin:

Aren’t they cute?  They look just like little gunsights!  And three of them are in Arizona!  I’m sure nothing bad will come of this…

Ever since the shootings, the lunatic fringe right wing has been falling all over itself to distance itself from the event.  Of course it’s not their fault, they can’t be responsible for the actions of a crazed lunatic, and besides, the kid read the Communist Manifesto, so doesn’t that make him a … liberal?

No.  He also quoted Ayn Rand and may have had ties to a right-wing hate group called American Renaissance.  And, he rambled on about declining currency and the gold standard, two obsessions shared by Rand and Glenn Beck.

Besides, if he was a leftist, why did he go after a Democrat?

No, at the end of the day, the Tea Party owns this tragedy.  It was their rhetoric that set the stage for it, it was the irresponsible behavior and speech of Beck, Palin, West and Angle that give lunatics the idea that killing opponents is acceptable.  They made this shit sandwich, and it’s our job to make sure they eat it and the stench clings to them.

Keep them in your cross-hairs.  I’m sure they’ll appreciate the irony of that imagery.

Of course, I don’t mean it that way…

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