In the aftermath of Jared Loughner’s Tucson shooting spree, Democratic spin masters almost immediately began to suggest that violent rhetoric from the right had pushed Loughner into committing the murders. And they did this while willfully contradicting their earlier stance with respect to the Fort Hood shootings of November 5, 2009.
Although a preponderance of evidence suggested that Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was a radicalized Muslim with ties to 9/11 iman, Anwar al-Awlaki, the Democratic spin was that he was a disturbed man with post-traumatic stress syndrome (without ever experiencing combat) and that we should all refrain from leaping to conclusions. But in the Loughner case when nothing at all was known about him, the Left immediately began suggesting that Loughner was part of the Tea Party movement and had been incited to violence by right-wing radio. Note this effort to vilify the Tea Party movement came in the wake of the the 2010 electoral shellacking in which the movement’s members had given Obama’s party a “shellacking”. And this was the backdrop for Obama’s memorial address in which he said:
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarised, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Shortly after Loughner’s long history of mental issues became clear John Derbyshire summed up the orchestrated defamation of the right by saying:
As more facts came out it turned out that all the Left’s rhetoric was based on nothing at all. The Tucson shooter had been obsessed with the Congress lady he shot for years, from before the Tea Party came up. He never listened to talk radio and took little interest in the news. His friends thought he was a lefty. Nobody could make any political sense of his Internet comments, or indeed any sense at all. The guy was crazy as a coot.
However even after the facts came out, those on the left persisted in their narrative that strong rhetoric on the right was in the process of destabilizing individuals and that it was a matter of life and limb that discourse be raised to a more civil level. In his memorial address, Barak Obama said:
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
The sudden insistence on civil discourse in the aftermath of the 2010 electoral “shellacking” was merely an effort to keep the right from getting its message out. Or as Derbyshire puts it more bluntly:
The idea the left has been trying to put about, that our political conversations should be conducted in the murmured, genteel tones of National Public Radio, is just a way of trying to shut us up. You can talk the way the presenters talk on “All Things Considered” when you control the culture, and know it. The left controls the culture. When you own all the broadsheet newspapers, all the mainstream churches, all the colleges and schools and universities, all but one of the TV networks, the Civil Service, the municipal unions, even the Joint Chiefs of Staff for crying out loud — when the whole shebang is marching to your tune, you can afford to play the tune soft and sweet. Conservatives have to yell to make themselves heard.
Bizarrely six weeks after it was clear that Tucson shooting had nothing to with the contemporary, political atmosphere, the University of Arizona attempted to keep the leftist talking points alive by launching a National Institute for Civil Discourse to “advance the national conversation currently taking place about civility in political debate”. In a similar vein the National Conference of Editorial Writers initiated the Civility Project. Despite the reputed concern with “restoring civility”, the head of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, Froma Harrop, wrote last August that
The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States…
The left-leaning Daily Show‘s John Oliver did a very funny interview with Ms. Harrop over her hypocritical calls for more civil discourse while personally characterizing those who differed with her on economic issues as “terrorists”. Check it out for a laugh: mgid:cms:video:thedailyshow.com:405874