The disgusting exploitation of a tragedy — Updated!

In the wake of yesterday’s mass murder in Tucson, “journalists” and political commentators on the liberal left were quick to offer their considered, reasoned opinions about why this happened. Their conclusion?

It’s all the fault of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

No, I’m not kidding. Just ask Michael Daly of the New York Daily News:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ blood is on Sarah Palin’s hands after putting cross hair over district

Here is what Sarah Palin said on the Facebook page where she depicted Gabrielle Giffords in the cross hairs of a rifle scope: “Don’t retreat! Instead – RELOAD!”

Well, the guy who shot Giffords yesterday managed to keep firing until he killed six, including a child, and wounded 13 .

Palin would no doubt say that she was only speaking in metaphor, that she only meant her followers should work to unseat Giffords and 19 other Democrats who had roused her ire by voting for health care.

But anyone with any sense at all knows that violent language can incite actual violence, that metaphor can incite murder. At the very least, Palin added to a climate of violence.

Here we go again. It’s been a continuing theme among the Left that opposition to Obama has been rooted in racism and incites violence. Only dysfunctional people could stand against the Democrats’ policies. The President himself, when he was campaigning for office, fed this idea with his assertion about people who cling bitterly to their guns and religion, and it goes at least as far back as the “angry White man” smear of those who opposed Bill Clinton. It’s nothing more than an attempt to silence dissent by smearing them as violent racists.

It’s bad enough when presumably intelligent people hold beliefs such as this, but then to exploit a horrific tragedy in order to attack your political opponents is just beyond the pale. Since the shooting, commentators like Markos Moulitsas and Matt Yglesias have leapt at the chance to blame Sarah Palin for the killings. Even CNN joined the “blame Palin and the Tea Party” lynch mob, and a congressman smeared a defeated candidate in another state. Voices of reason on the Left have been sadly rare.

Let’s be honest: the crime only happened yesterday and the investigation is still underway. Precious few facts are available about the shooter and his motives. The judicious, mature thing to do is express sympathy for the victims and otherwise shut up until the facts are known.

Sadly that maturity seems largely lacking among the progressive commentariat and their political allies.

LINKS: Legal Insurrection sees two sicknesses in yesterday’s horror and reviews past occasions when the Left hsa resorted to “smear by association.”  Gabriel Malor calls the partisan exploitation disgusting. Byron York points out the glaring hypocrisy of journalists who called for restraint after the Ft. Hood shootings now hell-bent to blame Palin for Tucson. My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah has a recap of the tragedy and an excellent take-down of the Left’s nauseating behavior.

UPDATE: Good God in Heaven. A Democratic political action group founded by a US Senator is using Representative Giffords’ shooting as a fund-raising lure. Is there no shame?

UPDATE II: Here’s a screen cap of the ghoulish fundraiser email sent out by 21st Century Democrats. Click to enlarge.

UPDATE III: No, there is no request for money in the letter, itself, but the donate and recruitment buttons are prominent on the right, when they could have been suppressed on that page. It’s obvious they’re using this as a lure.

UPDATE IV: Patterico notes the 21st Century Democrats’ letter and reviews the Left’s strategy to exploit this tragedy.

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8 Responses to The disgusting exploitation of a tragedy — Updated!

  1. SBVOR says:

    In 2008, DailyKos listed Gabrielle Giffords as one of the Blue Dog Dems they MOST wanted to “target”. But, now that the so-called “Progressives” smell a chance to exploit her tragedy for money, she is suddenly their BFF?

    What utterly unbridled HYPOCRISY!

    P.S.) Click here and debunk all the bogus “gunsight” rhetoric used against Palin — it is nothing but the usual Leftist ignorance at work.

  2. […] Shafer has a great rebuttal in Slate to assertions by the Left that violent rhetoric and imagery are to blame for the mass-murder in Tucson, yesterday. His point is that our political speech is […]

  3. Beth says:

    I see exploitation, yes indeed.

    First you scream and wail about the shameful Democratic fundraising letter. Then you backtrack and admit it’s not at all a fundraising letter, but you can’t just admit that and say you were wrong. Oh my god, there’s a “donate” button on the same page! Go look at most of the conservative blogs you enjoy and you’ll find Tip Jar and Donate buttons on them.

    If you’re looking for a hack exploiting this tragedy, go look in a mirror.

    • Phineas Fahrquar says:

      I’m assuming you followed the links. The message was originally in an email containing a link that brought the visitor to the page with prominent donation and recruitment buttons. If their purpose was to simply set up condolence letters, they could have removed those buttons with a couple of minutes’ work. They didn’t, which makes their motive clear. As for “everyone does it,” I’d be disgusted with any site rushing to exploit a tragedy in this manner. And I’m a exploitative hack? Then where’s my donation button?

      Oh, and nice job skirting around all the left-liberal commentators rushing to be the first to blame the Right on absolutely no evidence. I take it you approve?

  4. Beth says:

    No, I don’t approve of the attempt to link speech to the shooting. But I also disapprove of the attempt to frame the Democratic website to fundraising. There’s a Donate button on every page of the site – it’s the template. There’s no request in the text for donations. I’ve seen this same meme on a number of conservative sites today, many of them with their own donation buttons. That’s hackery.

    • OldBull says:

      Beth, you are either hopelessly naive, or intellectually dishonest. As you note, there’s a Donate button on every page of the site, yet you “disapprove of the attempt to frame the…website to fundraising.” Huh? There can be no question that a main reason of that website is fundraising; otherwise, why all the Donate links? I agree with Phineas: this is an attempt to use their connection with Rep. Giffords to raise more money for themselves.

  5. Wasn’t it the so recently resigned White House Chief of Staff who characterized the liberal view as “Never let a serious crisis go to waste?” If they can blame the myth of global warming on backyard barbecues and exhaling, then they can blame any tragedy on Sarah Palin. Watch for the appointment of a Federal Gun Czar as the next step.

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