We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon, Arizona — after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” — the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)
Now, I tend to consider a person who says and does extreme things, while also viewing the planet through a distorted lens of reality, as extreme. This latest column by the Cohen qualifies under both counts.
Tammy Bruce responded to Cohen on her site by writing:
And just as with Tucson, the Left put its target (again) on American conservatives and Governor Sarah Palin. This horrific and ghoulish use of mass murder to score political points is moved today by a Roger Cohen column in the New York Times. Through this column, which gives this obscene meme the NYT Seal of Approval, Cohen blames the Oslo attacks on American conservatives, Palin and Republicans in general, but also repeats the lie that Tucson shooter Loughner was the product of all non-liberal concerns.
Clay Waters from NewsBusters also points out some key items of information while addressing Cohen's article:
"Take America Back" is a slogan of ethnic hatred? Somebody better tell Democrat Howard Dean, who spouted the slogan during his 2004 campaign for the Democratic nomination.
There’s no evidence that the mentally disturbed Loughner even saw Palin’s graphic, much less was inspired by it to violence. Whatever politics or views he had seemed a mish-mash of leftist anarchism and atheism -- not exactly Palin's demographic. Is Cohen truly not aware that this is standard issue political rhetoric done by both sides during American political campaigns? A similar target graphic was issued by the Democratic Leadership Council in 2004. And does Cohen realize the word “campaign” is itself a term borrowed from war?
Roger Cohen should also know by now that it wasn't the "right" going "into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner," he actually was and is. Those are called "facts," Mr. Cohen! If you don't believe me, go here and watch Jared Loughner film himself walking around his college campus muttering insanity, before his shooting spree last January.
It is becoming all too common practice these days for the ultra-left members of the Democrat party and their press agents (international or otherwise) to paint conservatives as "extreme." From Harry Reid applying the term to those who seek a balanced budget, to Roger Cohen who tries to pin the blame of a deranged killer on Governor Palin, their tactics are designed to tear down opponents instead of having to debate them.
The left didn't learn anything from Tucson. In their minds, the ends justify the means and if that involves blaming innocent people for playing a role in the deaths of other innocent people, well then so be it. And if they feel they have to sink to this level in an effort to advance their political cause, then just maybe their cause has become too extreme to sell to the public through a rational dialog. You often hear President Obama say "let's have an honest debate." The left should consider Obama's words and remember that an honest debate begins by not falsely accusing your opponent of inciting murder.
(H/T Karen & Whitney)