Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords - Please Get Well SOON!

'Wanted for Treason' poster collected off a Dallas street, on Nov. 22, 1963. Right wing lunatics had it in for Dems even then!

The attempted assassination of Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, is so outrageous an act (especially as 6 were killed in the incident and 18 total shot) that it beggars the mind and imagination. IS this what the hate talk and polarization have led to? Is this the inevitable outcome when loons like Sarah Palin (before the 2010 midterms) featured rifle sights over Dem congressional disctricts, on their Facebook pages- and encouraged the weak-minded to "reload"?

The tragedy is that six lives - including of a federal judge and nine-year old child were senselessly taken even as the life of a young, highly educated and ambitious American politician hangs in the balance, and had represented the promise of one of the brightest futures for any woman in American politics.

Why? As usual we will be told some "nut" or "psycho" did it, but this hides the real problem: that intelligent discourse in this country has become nearly impossible - whether in politics, religion or economics.

Civility itself has been under attack and from assorted named sources for which the likes of FAUX news head the line. And lest some try to ask 'How?' - let us recall Bill O'Reilly not long ago advocating action against San Franciscans for promoting and supporting gay legislation.

We should also now begin to realize that this incident calls for action in limiting extremist displays at all political rallies! No longer can we remotely allow crazies, whether Tea Partyers or others, to bring actual rifles to political events - such as we beheld two years ago with assorted nutwhacks actually showing up at Obama's health care promotion events with rifles in tow. NO - no more!

And no, I don't give a damn if those rifles are loaded or not, or whether they only have blanks! No more!

It is also clear that the genesis of the hateful atmospheres that fuel such incidents isn't new! In the weeks before JFK's visit to Dallas in November, 1963, hate tracts had appeared all over that town, including accusing Kennedy of "Treason". (See image of a pamphlet -poster collected from Dealey Plaza on that day).

Historian Arthur Schlesinger, in his book A Thousand Days, pulls no punches[1]:

“…in the domain of the radical right it all became much sicker and nastier. Not since the high point of the hate-Roosevelt enthusiasm of the mid-thirties had any President been the target of such systematic and foul vilification. Everything about Kennedy fed resentment"

As evidently it did in respect to Ms. Giffords as well, who evidently had received threats in 2009, even noting (according to AP press reports in today's Denver Post) that she'd had encounters with enraged conservatives...especially after she voted for the Obama health care legislation. She'd also been a vocal opponent of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's "round 'em all up and lock 'em up" edict against immigrants in that state. In the midterms, she defeated a Tea Party candidate (Jesse Kelley) who was strongly for the latter law while opposed to "Obamacare".

Enough is enough! The Right Extremist crazies must now be brought under control!

[1] Arthur Schlesinger: 1965, A Thousand Days, Houghton Mifflin, p. 755.

1 comment:

Caleb Shay said...

Thanks much for this blog! My head's about to explode after reading so much crap about how 'both sides are responsible'! This is baloney! Giffords herself was among Democratic lawmakers who reported 42 threats or acts or vandalism in the first three months of 2010, a big increase over the previous year.

This was according to law enforcement officers in those states. Nearly all the threats dealt with the massive health care bill that Giffords and other Democrats enacted over fierce Republican opposition.

ALL the threats came from the OTHER side! ALL the vandalism came from the other side!

It is damned fucking dishonest to not name the cause of the violent words. It is again a reneging of responsibility by the press. They also don't say or hardly ever that in March, someone shot out a glass door and side window at Giffords' office in Tucson, a few hours after the House passed the health care measure with her help.

If people are too terrified or stupid to blame the side responsible then we'll never get this to stop!