A point to remember:
Sheriff Dupnik, in his remarks yesterday, didn’t specifically single out right-wing politicians and media figures as being the entities that turned Arizona into “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry”. But we all know full well that it’s not lefties who are the culprits here — hell, a Republican senator has even admitted as much:
A senior Republican senator, speaking anonymously in order to freely discuss the tragedy, told POLITICO that the Giffords shooting should be taken as a “cautionary tale” by Republicans.
“There is a need for some reflection here – what is too far now?” said the senator. “What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.”
Why is this senator speaking anonymously? Because he fears retribution from either his party’s leadership or his party’s base.
Can you imagine Democratic senators like Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu acting so fearful of their party leadership or their base that they don’t dare go on the record against them? Of course not, because they know they have nothing to fear from their party’s base. The same is not true of Republicans.
In fact, even though Sheriff Dupnik didn’t specifically mention right-wingers as the culprits behind the poisonous Arizona climate, right-wingers are certainly — in classic “the guilty flee when no man pursueth” fashion — reacting as if he did. Some of them want to force him to resign, and hard-right Republican Arizona Senator Jon Kyl has attacked Sheriff Dupnik over his remarks.
As to whether the accused shooter, Jared Loughner, is a right-winger: How many lefties do you know that are Glenn-Beck-style gold and silver bugs? Furthermore, according to the SPLC’s Mark Potok, Loughner got his grammar ideas from right-wing nutjob and Tea Party favorite David Wynn Miller. I think that pretty much settles that question.