Perhaps the most surprising thing about the American left's effort to transform the Jan. 8 Tucson massacre from a tragic attack into an indictment of the American right is how easily their charges crumbled.
Had the so-called "paper of record," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other politicians and pundits let Americans mourn this tragic atrocity over last weekend, enough facts about alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner might have emerged to dissuade hyperventilating liberals from climbing so far out onto the thin branch that swiftly snapped right under them.
"We don't have proof yet that this was political," writer Paul Krugman admitted, leading the charge of the left brigade, "but the odds are that it was."
He continued, "Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate."
Asked about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, Secretary Clinton told a town-hall meeting in the United Arab Emirates, "We have extremists in my country."
She added that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, among 19 other innocents, "was just shot by an extremist in our country."
"If Sarah Palin . . .does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann roared on the night of the bloodshed, "she must be dismissed from politics."
Cracks soon ruptured this airtight narrative, and the truth emerged.
Rather than a boiling-mad tea partyer, Loughner is a registered independent that didn't cast a ballot last November, exactly when the right and left battled over the future of Obamism. Yet this "extremist" failed even to vote "present."
One of Loughner's few friends told ABC's Ashleigh Banfield that Loughner ignored public affairs.
"He did not watch TV. He disliked the news," Zach Osler said. "He didn't listen to political radio. He didn't take sides. He wasn't on the left. He wasn't on the right."
"What do chocolate cookies taste like?" the alleged killer of U.S. District Judge John Roll, civic-minded 9-year-old Christina Greene, and four others asked in an online forum last April, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"Would you hit a Handy Cap Child/Adult?" he wondered.
Last May 20, errors and all, he wrote: "I bet your hungry . . . Because i know how to cut a body open and eat you for more then a week. ;-)"
When an online friend suggested he include his work history in his job-search efforts, Loughner replied: "CAN'T HOLD TERMINATION AGAINST FUTURE EMPLOYEE!" some 118 times.
As if Loughner's terrifying psychobabble didn't isolate him from those who could debate politics, it transpired that the left's newfound embrace of civil dialogue was at war with its history of rhetorical belligerence. In short, the left forgot to perform a self-critical hypocrisy screening.
While Palin was excoriated for using cross hairs on a map of candidates — including Giffords — who were "targeted" for defeat, the Democratic Leadership Council and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee both used maps with bull's eyes on the districts of "targeted" Republicans.
Quite reserved today, President Obama told a Philadelphia fundraiser in 2008, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."
Former Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski said about Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."
And none other than Mr. Civility, Paul Krugman, wrote in December 2009: "A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy."
When left-wing voices accuse right-wingers of racism or, even worse, inciting mass murder, they should try to deploy two or perhaps even three bullet points (if one still may say that) of supportive evidence.
If they choose, yet again, to go off half-cocked (forgive the firearms imagery), they will make total fools of themselves, yet again.
Next time the left lacks the facts to prove deadly serious charges against the right, they should do America a favor and leave the homicide card unplayed.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at Deroy.Murdock@gmail.com
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