by David Safier
Republicans say, now is not the time for blame or partisan statements. Let's keep cool heads.
This from people who screamed, without cause, that Democrats were creating Death Panels to kill our grandmothers and Sarah Palin's baby. That was OK. This from people who either agreed with or didn't comment on the frequently seen quote at Tea Party events, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants," a Jefferson quote removed from its original context. This from people who didn't blink when Sharron Angle and others talked about Second Amendment remedies to problems with our government.
But now that Democrats want to take this moment to remind the nation about the vitriol from the Right (and no, there is no current equivalent from the Left in quantity, quality or source), Republicans say, Let's keep cool heads and simply deplore the violence. No naming names, no finger pointing.
No matter what pushed the shooter over the edge, this is a moment when we must discuss the nature of our current political climate and the violence-laden rhetoric which has become standard issue from the Right. This is a time when everyone must agree, not just in glimmering abstractions but in hard examples, that while we should continue to argue over issues with conviction and emotion (and, hopefully, logic and accurate information), we must not suggest directly or indirectly that anyone in the opposition should be harmed for their views. This goes doubly for people in positions of power and influence — legislators, candidates and pundits.
The best way to accomplish this is through a non-binding Congressional resolution which resolves that violence-laden rhetoric be removed from political discourse, spelling out examples from the past few years. Those in Congress who object to the resolution, if any do, should state their objections for the public record.