Palin’s crosshairs and the First Amendment

As much fun as it is to call out the clueless Sarah Palin for her long list of gaffes, lies and inflammatory nonsense, neither she or her supporters caused the Arizona atrocity. If Jared Loughner, the suspect, is the culprit, it’s likely that we’ll find that he suffers from a serious mental illness — perhaps paranoid schizophrenia — and probably hears voices. Maybe he hears Palin. It’s just as likely he hears Zeus or the Green Hornet.
Palin has taken a lot of grief since the shooting spree because of an irresponsible image she used on her Facebook page during the campaign. In listing a group of Democratic Congressional seats that she wanted Republicans to win, she used a map of the United States and imposed images of gunsights over several Congressional seats. One of those was the seat held by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
(Palin has since claimed the image wasn’t crosshairs, but that’s nonsense. It was.)
In response, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) wants to make it illegal to use such imagery. He told Fox News yesterday (via TPM):

“It wouldn’t be harm putting that in the bill. It is on both sides. It’s not a partisan bill. Again, we’ve got to stop our bickering amongst each other. We’re setting a bad example for the American people. We need to cut down rhetoric amongst each other. We can disagree without being so disagreeable,” Brady said.

I agree with Brady that we can disagree without being disagreeable. But his proposal for outlawing political speech is foolish and dangerous — as much a threat as a lunatic with a gun. The freedom that Americans enjoy to say almost whatever they like — especially in the political arena — is one of the cornerstones of this great democracy. Brady ought to be ashamed of trying to impose limits on that freedom.

There is no evidence that Loughner ever saw Palin’s Facebook page. But even if the investigation shows that he was specifically motivated by it, such imagery should not be outlawed. (Whether Palin should have used better judgement is quite another matter. She should have, as should all the violent-imagery-worshiping pols who have seen fit to invoke martial accessories for their ads.)

Last week, when Speaker John Boehner set aside time for the new House to read the U.S. Constitution aloud, U.S. Rep. Giffords read the First Amendment. Afterwards, she told several people that she was especially pleased that was the part she was given.

It would dishonor her for Brady to push a law that infringes on that sacred text.

544 comments Add your comment

derment

January 11th, 2011
3:18 pm

His peers have feared for him for years. They knew all along he was a leftwing nutjob, but thanks to the liberal ideology that has invaded our schools and laws, nothing could be done about him UNTIL he did something.

Same exact approach the kooks want us to take all around the world when it comes to the safety of the country. As usual, liberalism shows her ugly, destructive and deadly face, yet again.

Alatsea

January 11th, 2011
3:20 pm

Only one coward on this blog and that is you who hides behind a keyboard and calls everybody a lier. Lies, lies,lies. Eat sh!t and bark at the moon weasel.

casual observer

January 11th, 2011
3:20 pm

After reading all these weak commentaries especially the original , I have yet to read ONE shred of evidence or one quote that would connect Palin , Linbaugh or anybody else to murder.

Do you realize that when CT and all the rest of the oppurtunistic Socialist Hacks use a tragedy to further a political agenda, they are munipulating the public to do their sinister deads for them. Come on people!!! Even the weakest of minds out there can see the absurdidty of acussing a political comentator of being an accessory to murder is dangerous. Jim “Gerrymander” Clyburn and Cynthia Tucker want America to be bankrupt and hollow only to rebuild under a Socialist idea. And they will use tragedy to fill their sick agenda.

the crazies are out

January 11th, 2011
3:26 pm

I think the only “stretch” is saying that a country that goes back thousands of years was “created” in 1945. I think you meant they gained their Independence then. Not exactly the same thing, brainiac.

chow

January 11th, 2011
3:27 pm

@ derment –

Absolutely correct!! You hit the nail on the head!!!

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:34 pm

Alatsea

The poster you are referring to is unstable and mentally challenged. He claims to be an attorney, but day after day, he is blogging from sunrise until long after everyone else leaves.

I wouldn’t give much credibility to the fact that he calls others a coward. He has accused me of being a rapist and of course the ever popular racist.

If you look back through this post and the posts from yesterday, you will see these people defending a mass murderer by trying to blame his actions on conservatives.

Take it for what it is: they would rather defend the actions of a madman who killed 6 innocent people including a federal judge in order to avoid missing an opportunity to make accusations against people who disagree .with their twisted political mantra, and then accuse conservatives of being the problem.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
3:37 pm

I can’t help this derail-I finally found something that the right wing commenters on this blog will be able to relate to:

How To Tell If You’re A Teabagger:

If you think the greatest thing Thomas Jefferson ever wrote was about watering a tree, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think there really is a government program called “Obamacare”, you might be a Teabagger.

If you have ever added a small mustache to a picture of Obama, you might be a Teabagger.

If you are currently on Medicare and you’re holding a sign that reads, “I oppose government run healthcare”, you might be a Teabagger.

If you like to crumple up dollar bills and throw them at disabled people, you might be a Teabagger.

If you’ve ever referred to President Obama as “that black fella in Washington”, you might be a Teabagger.

If you believe it’s a good idea to openly carry an AK-47 to a political rally, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think being a teabagger has nothing to do with testicles, you might be a Teabagger.

If you’ve ever held a sign that said, “You can have my healthcare when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers”, you might be a Teabagger.

If you feel emotionally moved whenever Glenn Beck speaks, you might be a Teabagger.

If you’ve ever made an information request to the Hawaii Department of Vital Records and you’re not a resident of Hawaii, you might be a Teabagger.

If you need to bring a lawn chair to a 1 hour Tea Party rally, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think the 2008 Presidential election was a choice between two socialists, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think Tim McVeigh was a great American, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think health insurance reform affects your 2nd amendment rights, you might be a Teabagger.

If you like to look at Sarah Palin AND listen to her speak, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think Obama is a M-O-R-A-N, you might be a Teabagger.

If you can’t accurately explain even one part of the new healthcare law yet you still strongly oppose it, you might be a Teabagger.

If you are thinking about moving to Canada to get away from government health insurance mandates, you might be a Teabagger.

If you believe Republicans are just too damn liberal, you might be a Teabagger.

If you think the Tea Party is a grassroots organization, you might be a Teabagger.

If you complain about Obama’s spending and not Bush’s, you might be a teabagger.

If you think armed militias are a sensible idea, you might be a Teabagger.

If you like to shout-down other citizens at town-hall meetings, you might be a Teabagger.

Joe

January 11th, 2011
3:37 pm

What about the dem party using those so called crosshairs Tucker. You and your clueless ilk will continue to use derogatory comments to try and incite hatred towards conservatives. It has come out that this freak was pissed because, as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell put it, Giffords didn’t vote for Pelosi. He was an atheist and an avid reader of Marx. Sounds far left to me. Certainly not a Republican. It would seem to me that the dem party needs to straighten out their own loons instead of trying to pin the blame on sane people such as Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
3:40 pm

And Joe, why not pin the blame on Sarah Palin? Cross hairs aren’t bulls eyes. Close, but not the same.

Joe

January 11th, 2011
3:40 pm

A+A:

This is a perfect example of someone trying to incite violence….. And of course with a serious delusional far left slant…

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)

January 11th, 2011
3:41 pm

Kevenbgoode@2:32 – you really hit the nail on the head re initial OVER-REACTION to Sheriff’s Dupnik’s words on Saturday night following the horrid attacks from that deranged killer.

Here are the man’s exact words – note that he NEVER mentions right, left, conservative, Sister Sarah or whatever.
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” said the sheriff. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

When asked by a reporter if Giffords being shot could have been motivated by “prejudice and bigotry,” Dupnik responded, “All I can tell you is that there’s reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol.”

That’s it! So why did the conservatives and folks in the right wing media take such immediate defense? I did not hear any lefties object to the Sheriff’s words nor did the Sheriff blame ANYONE by name. But the “blame game” accusations started immediately. I believe that with words come ACCOUNTABILITY. Our precious liberties granted by the First Amendment do not come without accountability. We would do well as a society to use this great tragedy as a teachable moment for civics and civility. what a shame that we tend to react to these type matters after the fact..even as we ignore the dim lights of the freight train coming right towards us.

gm

January 11th, 2011
3:41 pm

Why is Bill O’Reilly not call this guy a terroist? Boy had this guy been a muslim white American would have lost their mind, never mind this is another white male that has killed millions Americans.
Night after night Beck, Rush tell middle class whites how bad the Government is, and President Obama is destroying our country, so these people are responsible you can sugar coat is all you want, but the chickens have come home to roost again.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

A+A

Sarah Palin? Here’s an idea. Why not stop defending a mass murderer and start putting the blame on the far left liberal who pulled the friggin trigger?

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

derment sez: “His peers have feared for him for years. They knew all along he was a leftwing nutjob, but thanks to the liberal ideology that has invaded our schools and laws, nothing could be done about him UNTIL he did something.”
——————————————————————–
Well gosh. . .conservatives wanted him to have access to that Glock and all those rounds of ammo, conservatives gutted the mental health care profession until there were few avenues to address those problems, and conservatives regularly broadcasted messages claiming the federal government was a tyranny.

So why are you people on the Right bothered at all? Your rhetoric is just entertainment, remember?

And speaking of nutjobs, I was just watching a fascinating video of a conservative woman – associated with a “ministry,” (naturally), who draws connections between repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policies and God punishing us by killing all those birds and fish around the world.
Can you just imagine what second amendment remedies she could seek out if she wanted to buy a Glock and fight tyranny?

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:45 pm

gm

And yet another liberal defending the actions of a mass murderer.

IS there any liberal on here with an IQ in the triple digits?

Scout

January 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

A+A :

You forgot to find these:

A selection of inflammatory remarks by Obama:

“I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
“Don’t you think we’re not keeping score, brother?”
“Bring it on”
“Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your fellow Americans”
“I want all Americans to get in each others’ faces!”
“You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun”
“Republicans are our enemies”
“Hit back twice as hard.”
“We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick. “
Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
“It’s time to fight for it.”
Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
“I’m itching for a fight.”
“They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back”

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

kevinbgoode

Why do you guys keep defending the actions of this madman.

Go back through the posts today and yesterday and find the posts where you or any other liberal blamed the murderer who pulled the trigger.

Do you have no shame?

A+A

January 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

I am shocked by how many members of the Westboro Babtist Church are posting today.

gm

January 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

Nothing Is Free: Yet another hypocrite conservative who want admit the truth, defending Sara Palin who IQ is in the triple digits.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

Nonsense…yes I detected the arrival of you and your sock puppets. Did you drop your “my little pony” toy?

Thanks for your feigned concern regarding my income and life style, but as much as it kills you to know how I manage it all, whether its wealth from prior investments, current clients or lottery winnings, you just dont know but you love the personal attack without fact. In fact, its one of your repeated style for the bully effort. Is that why you are a low level self-admitted hack for the local GOP?

Own your racism, my non-friend, along with your namejacker puppet. As for your continued false posts about that rape thingy you won’t deny, well the truth is available. .

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

Nothing is Free sez: “Sarah Palin? Here’s an idea. Why not stop defending a mass murderer and start putting the blame on the far left liberal who pulled the friggin trigger?”
——————————————————
Well, for one thing, your imagination is working overtime trying to parrot your email bulletins – though I hope you donated to the Tea Party Express who are using this tragedy as a fundraising effort.
And once again, would the ideology really matter anyway? I mean, didn’t the perpetrator clearly state in his videos that he believed the governmental laws were unconstitutional, that they were engaged in mass brainwashing? And wasn’t he merely exercising the same second amendment remedies – you know, the very ones parroted over and over and over and over again by countless right wing activists on just about every broadcast venue across the country – that the Right claims is at the heart of their righteous patriotism?

Now I know conservatives have been backing up and claiming that they are all law-abiding and would NEVER do anything like that – so think of it this way. . .what a very positive step this country has taken in discovering that all that right-wing ideological vitriolic rhetoric was just idle entertainment without any serious meaning at all.

Bingo

January 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

Keep up the good fight! :

Even Franklin knew it might not last forever:

“The great American patriot Benjamin Franklin was asked, upon his emergence from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, what form of government the United States was going to have. Franklin answered succinctly, ‘A Republic, if you can keep it.’ “

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:53 pm

gm

Hey Einstein. Palin shot no one. Where is your anger against the Marxist who pulled the trigger? So far all I have seen from you is low brow, classless attacks against people who disagree with you, politically.

It’s accepted that you aren’t very smart, but haven’t you shamed yourself enough already?

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:56 pm

kevinbgoode

And yet another post defending this guy.

This is just getting damned creepy.

So is there a limit to how low you will go to have a reason to attack people who think differently than you?

Joe

January 11th, 2011
3:59 pm

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR):

You are factuial inaccurate just like most liberals. He mentioned Rush in his interview with Dianne Sawyer. Google it!

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
3:59 pm

Keep Up

Your income?

Asking your Mom for money isn’t usually considered an income.

You have painted yourself into your own little hysterical corner, kid.

I just wonder how anyone can stand to be here for the 50-60 hours a week. Do you have no life at all?

Pathetic.

Bingo

January 11th, 2011
4:00 pm

Keep up the good fight! :

This is what some of the founding fathers thought about the reason for the 2nd Amendment and it has nothing to do with hunting, home protection, collection, target shooting or whatever:

“What the Founders had in mind is quite clear and there is no doubt about what they were thinking. The following quotations make this abundantly clear. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton all clearly expressed their reasons for the establishing the Second Amendment. Here are some of the things they had to say on the subject: Washington stated that “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s teeth and keystone under independence.” Jefferson had similar thoughts stating: “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms . . .” Hamilton said: “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of the original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of positive government.” James Madison in Federalist No. 46 predicted that encroachments by the federal government would provoke “plans of resistance” and an “appeal to the trial of force.”

It’s part of the historical record. If you don’t like that, take it up with them.

Wilma

January 11th, 2011
4:01 pm

How much fun is it to call out the prozac addicted Pelosi and her long list of gaffes, attacks and slurs while leading the House of Representatives of the United States?
O yes. you only “call out” people who disagree with you.
Another reason you have no credibility.

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

Nothing is Free sez: “Why do you guys keep defending the actions of this madman.

Go back through the posts today and yesterday and find the posts where you or any other liberal blamed the murderer who pulled the trigger.

Do you have no shame?”
——————————————————————-

I was just about to ask you the same question. Just imagine, the Right trying desperately to label this man as mentally disturbed. . .then sending frantic emails around to their lists desperately looking for ways to make him a “liberal”. . .and yet having to eventually settle for just a “madman.”
And yet you still can’t point out here how – or where – this perpetrator differed in his approach to dealing with his perception of tyranny from the rhetoric of the Right. It appears that conservatives are attempting to claim he was a madman because he actually went to the supermarket and pulled the trigger on all those people. . .but then claim that their use of similar symbolic rhetoric for months and months and months wasn’t mad because…well, it was just talk. Just entertaining, political theater.
And yet the Right doesn’t quite want to really accept that claim either, because it would make them seem like paper tigers – and worse – the rhetoric will no longer effectively intimidate or bully people because they know the Right really doesn’t mean it, because actually DOING any of those things would make them mad, rather than “patriots.”

But nice try claiming anyone was defending the actions of this madman.

Joe

January 11th, 2011
4:03 pm

kevinbgoode:

Last I checked Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin didn’t burn flags and worship a skull. Maybe you should look around you and your ilk on the left and weed out the freaks so maybe you guys can get some help…. Did you see the interview with his friend with the pink hair? It’s laughable that you far left freaks are trying to tie this guy in with conservatives…..

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:05 pm

Wilma sez: “How much fun is it to call out the prozac addicted Pelosi and her long list of gaffes, attacks and slurs while leading the House of Representatives of the United States?”
———————————————————-
Well I’m sure you can produce lots of evidence of target maps and rhetorical campaigns featuring such B-movie action words.

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:06 pm

Well, I’m sure glad to find out that words really don’t mean very much. Next year, when the Right announces their annual “war on Christmas” campaign, I’ll be sure to say “happy holidays” as often as possible.

Real Athens

January 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

Israel was created in 1948. Before then it was called Palestine. Before that the area was has been under Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Sassanian, and Byzantine rule. Jewish presence in the region dwindled after the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 AD. Really, all this information is readily available if you’d just look for yourself instead of marching lockstep with a nincompoop on the TV.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

Bingo…sorry. Not going to let you revise your cowardly words by trying to taint the Founding Fathers with your claims. You admit we dont have a tyrannical government. After the murder and attempted murder at an event for people to discuss their government with their elected officials, your nonsense in your prior post is unacceptable and not part of legitimate political discussion. Our elected officials should not have to fear violence from anyone or any so-called second amendment remedy treason.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
4:09 pm

Wilma

It doesn;t matter. There have been post after post pointing out the facts about the killer, his politics and the divisive comments made by Obama, and every political pundit on the left.

It is like talking to someone hypnotized. They have nothing to offer but hate, and obviously even defending the actions of a mass murderer in order to attack Palin is not beneath them.

I am usually able to stay here for a while, but after yesterday and what I’ve seen today, I’m good for about 15 minutes of watching some very disturbed people rationalizing the actions of a mass murderer before I am completely disgusted and creeped out.

I’m heading for the shower. Maybe that will help.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
4:14 pm

kevinbgoode

I’ve given you the opportunity to spread your insane hate quite enough.

Grow a clue, and hopefully, after you have been defending this guy enough, you will snap out of it and realize what you have been doing, but indoctrination is a horrible thing and I see you as a victim of it.

Walk away from the indoctrination. Palin, Limbaugh or I didn’t have anything to do with the shooting in AZ.

Come on. Try. At least try. I know you have the ability, if you would just start thinking instead of following what you are told.

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:15 pm

Joe sez: “Last I checked Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin didn’t burn flags and worship a skull.”
—————————————————————————————-
Well perhaps not. . .though many of them WEAR the flag as clothing. . .which used to be considered highly disrespectful.

And who knows what they really worship, or what voices in the head they use as an excuse for their own irrresponsible behavior?

joe

January 11th, 2011
4:16 pm

A question for sister Sarah—

How’s that lock and loadee thing workin for ya?

bateman

January 11th, 2011
4:17 pm

Well since the liberal smear machine and their pathetic, laughable spin on this story has been completely shot to hell, all that they have left is the gun rights issue. This clown had a beer with the congresswoman since 2007, long before any Socilist healthcare vote and I believe while she was even still a Republican. But his disdain for her has everything to do with his feelng she insulted him 4 years ago, not on a single political stance or position.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
4:18 pm

How is anyone on the left defending Jared Loughtner? Attributing his actions as a response to vicious right wing attacks is an explanation, not a defense. A logical explanation. You take a group of highly paid commentators whose job is to incite hatred toward Democrats then a bunch of Democrats get killed. A to B. I don’t understand why people have a hard time understand that spewing invective against a political party wouldn’t influence an unbalanced individual.
As far as others who have been incited to violence due to right wing rhetoric, well, I’m pretty sure that Eric Rudolph was conservative, after all he got his kicks blowing up abortion clinics and gay clubs. Tim McVeigh was an anti-government ‘patriot’. Blew up a building in Oklahoma. Do you remember the fireman running from those ruins, holding the bloody, dead body of the little girl? The result of an act by a radical conservative. Tim McVeigh was deeply influenced by Christian Identity, a white supremacy group. No one is saying that the right specifically told these guys to do these things, but it is undeniable that right wing pundits and radio personalities seem to have influenced Jared Loughner.

bateman

January 11th, 2011
4:18 pm

Jack

January 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

I’m not a particular fan of Palin. But if she is the GOP candidate in 2012, I’ll vote for her rather than a community organizer or an ex-president’s wife.

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

Nothing is Free sez: “I’ve given you the opportunity to spread your insane hate quite enough.”
————————————————————-
Oh puhleeze – are you royalty or something? YOU don’t give anyone opportunities around here.

But don’t let that feeling of self-importance stop you from some self-examination.

bateman

January 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

A + A,

Last I checked, Conservatives don’t hate Christians, don’t refer to themselves as Zionists, don’t support drug use, don’t burn the flag and don’t like Mein Kampf. This headcase is OBVIOUSLY one of your own. Former classmates and friends have also stated this reality. And the f’ed up system that allowed him to roam free without any interference is also a liberal position to take. I hope you find a way to sleep at night. Just yet another liberal nutjob wiht a gun just like the kook in Huntsville from last year.

sally

January 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

hatred fuels the bagger’s

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)

January 11th, 2011
4:26 pm

Joe@3:59. I clearly stated that my quotes from the Sheriff occured Saturday night – just hours following the shootings. The left started howling at the moon shortly thereafter.

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

Nothing is Free sez: “I am usually able to stay here for a while, but after yesterday and what I’ve seen today, I’m good for about 15 minutes of watching some very disturbed people rationalizing the actions of a mass murderer before I am completely disgusted and creeped out.”
——————————————————————-
You are such a drama queen.

ed

January 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

Jesus, son of God, was/is the most famous liberal of all-time. ‘Cept maybe the Beatles during their heyday.

Avenger

January 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

MarkV. “kayaker 71@10:30
“An armed bodyguard, who watches the crowd for signs of danger, might have made a difference. But the idea that someone in the crowd with a gun in his pocket would have prevented this carnage caused by one guy who took out a pistol and started shooting is ludicrous”. You must realize that these clowns are still stuck on the old west. These people sit around having orgasms watching John Wayne movies and reminiscing about the good old days.

sally

January 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

ed,

Ironic that people who proclaim to follow Jesus are so full of hate for their fellow man. Sad.