It’s always interesting to read foreign press observations of America. To be frank, the reporters obviously never leave New York City or Washington, DC because their take on most Americans and most of America is usually wrong. Therefore, they usually mislead their readers and I’m sure it’s not intentional but because they are living in the hotbed of liberalism, the information they get is liberally tainted.
Tonight I was reading an article in the Daily Mail by Tom Leonard about the shooting in Tucson and some of his information is just flat out wrong. Case in point: Gabrielle Giffords was a Democrat and much – but not all – of the badly spelt, incoherent YouTube jumble that passed for the politics of her attacker was broadly ‘Right-wing’.
As has been widely reported by now, there is absolutely no evidence that this nutcase had ‘right-wing’ leanings and in fact, there is plenty of evidence that he really is a dyed in the wool nutcase. We’ve all heard and read about Jarod Loughner’s favorite reading list (The Communist Manifesto) and his wickedly weird tented backyard shrine. It’s now being reported that he was a registered Independent.
Leonard goes on to say that the rush to make political capital out of a mass shooting shows just how nasty U.S. politics has become. But he fails to point out exactly who was making political capital out of this. Liberal jackass Paul Krugman, in less than 3 hours after the shooting, was one of the first out of the box to tweet the blame on the TEA party and Conservatives. Since then, it’s been a parade of liberals from Jane Fonda to this Sheriff Dickhead of Pima County, who have been blaming it all on Conservatives, Fox News, Sarah Palin, et al, ad nauseum. ( I love using latin that I actually know. HA!)
As the name (a reference to the 1773 Boston Tea Party) implies, Tea Party supporters see their movement as rooted in the rebellion against George III, and the language has inevitably been full of military metaphor. Again, I don’t know where Mr. Leonard gets his information but exactly what “military metaphor” is he talking about? Don’t Tread on Me, perhaps? Taxed Enough Already, maybe? He’s clueless on this topic and needs to stop reporting on it until he gets himself educated on what the TEA party really stands for.
American political rhetoric, on both sides of the spectrum, has always been a bit militaristic. The use of the words “battleground states”, for instance. But this is not new because of the TEA party.
Yes, it was rooted in rebellion. Take note of Rick Santelli, the father of the TEA party:
In the fractious lead-up to last November’s congressional mid-term elections – which saw a major victory for the Right – there were scuffles outside town halls, occasional brandishing of firearms at rallies and reports of rising membership of armed militias, ‘weekend warriors’ training for the day they believe will come when they will have to defend the U.S. Constitution. Did I miss all this news last November? Who were all these people with guns and what militia is he talking about? Where did he get all this information that the rest of us honest to God Americans, has been left out of knowing about? But don’t blame the Brits, they just can’t resist the caricature of Americans as wild west cowboys, all brandishing guns.
I think that Mr. Leonard is pretty fair to Sarah Palin but he failed to site any controversial liberal behaviors that are similar or worse than any seen on the right. For instance, he never quoted Obama extoling his audience that “if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” or calling Republicans “hostage takers” and the “enemy” of Hispanic Americans.
Leonard does finish his article in a very fair handed way, though:
History shows how dangerous it is to try to second-guess the motives of political assassins.
John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan because he was obsessed with the actress Jodie Foster, not because he hated Right-wingers.
Likewise, Lynette Fromme tried to shoot Gerald Ford because she revered the cult killer Charles Manson.
But those lessons from history won’t stop some Democrats exploiting the shooting of a nine-year-old girl and five others at the weekend with precisely the sort of foam-flecked over-reaction for which they love to condemn their opponents on the Right.