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A Footnote on the Arizona Tragedy

January 13, 2011

Like everyone else, I was horrified by the Arizona shooting last weekend. I don’t have much to add to the commentary surrounding this tragedy, however, other than to agree with Ezra Klein and Jon Chait that it shouldn’t be pinned on Sarah Palin or any other right-wing demagogue.

Of course it is true that, since around 2008, right-wing rhetoric has become increasingly hyperbolic and out of sync with reality. Surely it was the height of irresponsibility for GOP leaders and talking heads to perpetuate rumors of death panels and “pulling the plug and grandma” during the debate over health care reform. And then there were all those nasty Tea Party signs depicting Obama as a Nazi and a Socialist. Loughner’s motives nevertheless remain murky, and I think we liberals need to exercise the utmost caution before accusing our political adversaries of complicity in murder.

Stephen Colbert has the right idea.

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