Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation (Giffords shooting, Loughner)
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Glenn Reynolds takes to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to offer "The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel" (link) in which he tries to run away from the toxic political environment that the tea parties movement - of which he is a leader - has created:
With only the barest outline of events available, pundits and reporters seemed to agree that the massacre had to be the fault of the tea party movement in general, and of Sarah Palin in particular. Why? Because they had created, in New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's words, a "climate of hate." ...There's a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn't derive from the innocuous use of political clichés. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source... ...To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?
The latter is, of course, a false choice. While Jared Lee Loughner was almost certainly not affiliated with the teaparties, the environment that they created certainly didn't help. If the news were full of high-level intellectual debate - instead of screaming, threatening teapartiers - would someone like Loughner be prompted to do what he did? Perhaps, but the possibility seems to be more remote than in the current hyperventilated environment. And, whether Loughner himself was motivated by the environment that the teapartiers have created, there are plenty of other nuts out there who might one day take their apocalyptic rhetoric the wrong way. The teapartiers would be wise to at least take the Loughner tragedy as a warning of where their rhetoric could lead, but they won't.
And, Reynolds has apparently forgotten about all the things the tea partiers and their leaders have said and done. Here's a short list:
* Sharron Angle's talk of "Second Amendment remedies"...
* Reynolds own frequent snarky comments against all government workers...
* Linking this (instapundit.com/72077) which contains "[Tea Party] Protestors held signs demanding lower Hoboken taxes, shouted for a recall of elected officials and someone even held a tarred-and-feathered effigy of Mayor Dave Roberts."
* instapundit.com/92043, with the "tarred and feathered" coming from Reynolds: "TAXPROF: A Government Takeover of 401(k)s? If that happens, we may see members of Congress literally, not just figuratively, tarred and feathered. But I think Congress knows that. . . ."
* instapundit.com/109543: "I am entirely serious when I say that all the officials involved should be tarred and feathered."
* instapundit.com/68007: "Obviously, we need more people willing to insist on their rights. These guys [judges who sent "children to jail in return for kickbacks"] should be tarred and feathered."
* In June 2009, Reynolds promoted teapartiers swarming a politician...
* In July 2009, he promoted giving politicians "bunny ears" (instead of promoting discrediting them by intellectually engaging them)...
* In October 2009, he promoted shouting down politicians...
See the Glenn Reynolds page for much more.
ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting