The attempted murder of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona today was entirely predictable. In fact, I predicted it myself in April when foreign friends asked me if Obama was worried about assassination attempts. I said at the time that I thought it much more likely that a nutjob would be inspired by all the threatening rhetoric, heat-packing at Teabagger rallies and facile chatter about the Second Amendment to go after an obscure liberal member of Congress too minor to be well protected.
Dicho y hecho, as the remaining Latinos in Tucson might say.
I suspect and fear that this will be a defining moment in our history. What an opportunity for what passes for the sane leadership of the country to emit a multi-megaton rhetorical blast at the fear-mongers, hate-mongers and violence-mongers who have ruled our airwaves for the last two years [note Sarah Palin’s target map above, with a bull’s-eye aimed over Giffords’s district]. What a moment to denounce their irresponsible and anti-democratic behavior and wave the bloody shirt (like the one worn, say, by the now dead 8-year-old girl standing by) and shout, See where you are taking us!?
Now, on a scale of 10, what are the chances that Obama or any of his team will do this? I would say, um, zero.
Obama already looked like he was on the verge of an attack of narcolepsy in his statement on the shooting of an elected representative from his own party, who now sports a bullet hole in her head. If there is any outrage bubbling around in his head, you’d need an MRI, an EEG and a PET scan to detect it.
Just imagine if a Republican pol had been gunned down by a disgruntled liberal. We’d all be browbeaten for a decade to renounce our incorrect thoughts on health care and derivatives regulation or be branded terrorists.
Instead, count on Obama and A-G Eric Holder to concentrate far more energy on dastardly Wikileaks than on the enablers of today’s political assassination. Unless those who fomented the shopping center shame with their thugging, threatening rhetoric are made to pay a political price, it becomes just another incident, which can quickly be followed by another.
After all, who pays attention to how many Iraqis get blown up by bombs or how many headless Mexicans appear hanging from highway bridges? If there is no sustained fury at this outrage, it becomes the new normal. Expect the Democrats to facilitate the process by telling us all to remain cool.