Sheriff ties violence to populists, opportunist media

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The tenor of American political rhetoric became a centerpiece in the national debate over Saturday’s attack by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and left local Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords with a bullet wound to the brain…

While not stating a motive for the shootings, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in Tucson used a nationally televised press conference to condemn the tone of political discourse in his state. He charged that public debate is now “vitriolic rhetoric,” which has rendered Arizona “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry…”

“We need to do some soul searching,” Dupnik told reporters. “It’s the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.

“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 county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik continued.

We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” Dupnik said…

“People who are unbalanced may be especially susceptible to vitriol,” Dupnik said. “It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threatened constantly, myself included. That’s the sad thing that’s going on in America. Pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable people to subject themselves to serving the public…”

“People tend to pooh-pooh this business about the vitriol that inflames American public opinion by the people who make a living off of that. That may be free speech but it’s not without consequences,” Dupnik said.

The smarmy, opportunist politicians who climb aboard the rhetoric of violence from retrograde misfits like the KoolAid Party deserve all the credit they can get – for leading the nation to this violent state. Like conservatives who rode Joe McCarthy’s coattails – even though they personally espoused freedom of thought [they said], like Republicans who worked at assuming the cloak of racism with Nixon’s Southern Strategy – even though they voted for the Civil Rights Act, the political goon squad that owns the 2-party revolving backwardness account should stand up and take credit for the nutballs.

They lay the groundwork, they manage the job site. Just because some looney comes along and takes them at their word doesn’t erase responsibility.

This would be a good day to stand in front of Dick Armey’s house – or either Koch brothers mansion – with a poster of Gabrielle Giffords. No words needed. No explanation. These thugs know what they have wrought.

12 thoughts on “Sheriff ties violence to populists, opportunist media

  1. atymins13 says:

    A very good article. We can not rely on our publicly elected figures to play by the rules any longer. We must send the message that angry rhetoric and fear mongering is not tolerated, and that we will vote them out if they take part in it. Frankly, I am sick and tired of conservatives taking no responsibility for their sick and twisted hate speech.
    Thanks for writing this.
    Check me out here…

    • ralph says:

      You are doing exactly what you are advocating against. This was not politically motivated why are you trying to make it so!

      • keaneo says:

        Are you always this ignorant? Do you read above the 6th grade level?

        I’m just a visitor so I needn’t be as polite as Eid or KB. But, if your understanding of the word “politics” is as narrow as it sounds, you must wear an shower-invitation envelope instead of a hat!

        The sheriff spoke of the context of hate-speech and resulting violence.

        Eid endorsed his stance, analysis. He proposed a simple silent demonstration in the tradition of our Constitution – to point the finger at the corporate crooks who bankroll teabaggers and other wannabe posses. Seems pretty all-American to me.

        • atymins13 says:

          I assume this isn’t for me, but I’d like to respond anyway.
          I think we can all agree that listed Democrats she would like to “take out” with a cross-hair is stepping over the line. I’m not sure if this has contributed to these people receiving death threats, but I assume it does. But the political discourse in our country has to change by both parties. Frankly, I’m tired of everyone comparing things to Nazi’s, and I don’t think violence should have any place in American politics, because that, my friends, is terrorism.

          • eideard says:

            I’ll not go into all the points, right now; but –

            There are legitimate historic definitions of fascism and fascist tactics. Most of what comes from the worst of the American Right is proto-fascist. They are ready to convert the whole system and follow some populist leader into civil war if need be, murdering whoever they might be ordered to.

            I haven’t much concern for the niceties of our 2-party system. I think it’s a crock, blinders against broader progressive reform, multiple insurgent parties. Has been since the Dems formed the ADA in the late 40’s.

            I’m perfectly willing to support a call for nice-guy semantics. But, I’ve been down that road any number of times in a half-century of activism. I still had to write a position paper supporting armed self-defense dealing with types like John Birch Society, KKK and the Minutemen of the 1960’s. They have never gone away.

            The last addition to firearms in my household was within the last couple of decades – responding to death threats from Catholic mind-relics here in northern NM who hate Anglos as much as Atheists. I qualify on both counts.

            The push among media types for peaceful language is mostly designed to rationalize away their complicity with popularizing the KoolAid Party.

            I sincerely doubt that any change effected in political discourse will last any longer than the first primaries for the 2012 presidential election. I respect people of good will for trying.

            The nutballs who are dedicated to the overwhelming majority of violent language, guns and threats have no interest other than short-term tactics in changing. They have been funded by the Armeys and Kochs of America to capture the Republican Party by 2012. They’re about halfway there.

            Cripes – and this is me trying to give short answers. I’m turning into my father. 🙂

  2. E Trams says:

    When will the Republican/TeaPartiers quit teaching hate? These murders have left me so depressed and in tears. What has become of my beloved Nation? We are at the mercy of Fox News and some pill popping hatemonger talking heads who seem to be above the law, delusional, and quite frankly treasonous.

    I hope these deaths serve as a teaching moment, to teach civility and the power of truth. Our Nation must reteach the generation who was lied to, manipulated, and abused.

    Wake up Republicans, Fox News and those who abuse the power of mass media; this is a result of your work.

    Are you listening Sarah Palen? We await your humble apology.

    • E Trams says:

      In my opinion, her website with it’s targets are terroristic. If the killer had posted something like this on the web it would be used against him, as it should be… Palin’s grizzly threats should be taken seriously now that one of them is in the catagory of mission accomplished.

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    We don’t know what drove the shooter. What we do know is that schizophrenics are more open to suggestion than normal people.

    The volume of hate and violence has not been anywhere near equal. The far right has had much more vitriol in their rhetoric than has any other group. No, the tea baggers didn’t pull the trigger, but they did help.

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