He really needs to write his own speeches more often. Bravo, bravo Mr. President.
Sometimes I seriously think he reads this blog or even more, my mind. I guess that is why I support him like I do. I read his two books and he is a very good writer and thinker. I really wish everyone would read his books before judging him as a person or the caricature that the right has painted him as. He is a true leader, whether some fight like hell not to be led by him or try to throw roadblocks in the way of his leadership, he perseveres and rises above it. Anyone who underestimates him, does so at their peril.
I wonder what sort of depths Rush, Glenn and Sarah will sink to now…..you know it has to drive them absolutely nuts that he is so good at his job. In Rush’s case, of course, it’s because he is black. But Sarah and Glenn I think are just opportunistic and too fucking stupid to really know what they think. There doesn’t seem to be a bottom to how low they will go.
More on the vitriol later, lots of good stuff out there on the internets.
I know that many don’t agree with me about not wanting to play the blame game when it comes to the tragedy in Tucson, but I’m sorry, I don’t see a direct correlation between Loughner’s shooting rampage and the violent rhetoric on the right. I abhor the violent rhetoric on the right, but I think many on the left look foolish trying to make a direct connection between the two. Jon Stewart said much of what I’ve been thinking, hat tip to Politico…
“We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” Stewart said on “The Daily Show” Monday night. “Boy, would it be nice to draw a straight line from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, then the horrors will end.”
“You cannot outsmart crazy,” Stewart said. “You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on.”
Stewart said he doesn’t know “if there is a way to make sense” of the shootings.
Nevertheless, he did stress a need to tone down political “ramblings.”
“It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t resemble how we talk to each other on TV,” he said. “Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.”
The real issue that I think we should be focusing on is getting people who need help with mental problems the care that they need. There were many signs from Jared Loughner that he was unstable and suffering from paranoia, but without any system in place for dealing with these people, he just fell through the cracks. The Virginia Tech shooter had similar problems and also showed signs of problems well ahead of his killing spree. As a country, we should be focusing on solving this issue instead of turning a disaster like happened on Saturday into a circus act, which the media does all too well.
The issue of the violent rhetoric that has become the norm on the right (and there is no “both sides” to it…..that’s complete horseshit), is a separate issue. Maybe now is the time to have that debate, but it needs to be separated from the Tucson tragedy. Both sides are using the emotions of the horrible tragedy to bolster their arguments and it sickens me, to be honest. I heard one friend of Jared’s say that he wasn’t a political person at all. Even though he had an issue with Gabrielle Giffords, it didn’t seem to be about her politics as far as I can tell. His paranoia had taken him to a whole different reality. Let’s have the debate about our political discourse, but let’s not play on the emotions of the moment.
I haven’t weighed in on the tragedy in Tucson very much, as you can see. The main reason is that in a way, I’ve been in shock. But I also wanted to let the dust settle and the facts to come out. My first instinct in any of these types of tragedies is to blame the person responsible, the mentally deranged person who actually did the shooting. Even if he was influenced by someone saying something hateful or putting crosshairs on congressional districts, he still chose to make that leap into violence. I heard someone say that 309 million people chose not to shoot anyone on Saturday. We can’t lose sight of the person responsible for this, a sick person who went over the edge.
When politicians and commentators immediately take to the microphone and start in with their hyperbole, whether on the left or the right, it cheapens the real tragedy. People say things that prompt defensive reactions and it escalates and becomes just another circus act that the media perpetuates. Personally, I think we should be talking about mental health issues, how to help people who have paranoia, anger problems, depression and hopelessness. We should be comforting the families affected by the tragedy. And we should be investigating how it got to that point.
The last thing I’ll say for now, because what else can really be said, is I want to hear what Gabby Giffords has to say about it. She will bring clarity to the situation, I’m sure.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we need to have a discussion about the vitriol that pervades our political discourse and the demonization of opponents that certainly doesn’t help when a deranged person hears it, but there will be plenty of time for that in the future. My problem is with people going off “half-cocked” to use a very bad metaphor and saying things based on speculation which often results in people trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.
And I’m not making the false equivalency thing or the both sides argument about this vitriol, there is no one on the left, other than commenters on blogs, who spew the rhetoric that the right does. There is no equivalency between the two. My point above is that both sides jumped on this tragedy and in the process, cheapened it.