This morning Robert Parry has a good read up about how the right is already spinning this tragedy and trying like hell to distance themselves from it. From his ConsortiumNews article:
We saw this in 1995 when right-wing anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. Though some on the Left linked that terrorist act, which killed 168 people, to the hateful rants of right-wing radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, the mainstream Washington press corps quickly rallied to Limbaugh’s defense.
Similarly, within hours of the Tucson shooting, which left Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition with a bullet hole through her brain, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was out with a commentary establishing a defensive perimeter around former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had put Giffords’s district in a rifle’s crosshairs.
Like others on the Right, Palin also has favored violent rhetoric in discussing the need to strike back at Democrats who supported health-care reform during the last session of Congress, as Giffords had done. “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” Palin urged her followers.
While deeming Palin’s language and imagery “highly unfortunate” and “dumb,” Kurtz absolved Palin and other right-wingers of any responsibility for the Tucson slayings and termed any linkage a “sickening ritual of guilt by association.”
Personally, I believe that Palin, Rush, Beck and all the rest of the rightwing nutters can not intelligently speak to important issues. They rely solely on buzz words and bullshit to make their points. They do not have the ability to rationally discuss issues like healthcare reform, the deficit, government control and all the other issues that are part of the national discussion. So they depend on short, ridiculous, double-edged assessments that add nothing to the national debate. They use hysterical, hate-filled verbiage to incite and connect with the uneducated masses that follow them and their every word. Parry also lays out the other way the right controls the conversation: playing the victim:
Yet, while right-wing commentators have often accused African-Americans and other minorities of exploiting their “victimhood,” the Right has learned over many decades the political power that comes from framing issues as “hey, we’re the victims here.” And, often the Right’s exaggerated “victimhood” has been accompanied by violence toward the supposed “victimizers.”
For instance, in the South of the 1950s and 1960s, white segregationists portrayed themselves as the victims of “outside agitators” and a “liberal Northern press” intent on destroying the South’s “traditional way of life,” i.e. white supremacy. Thus, many white racists saw the murder of civil rights workers as a legitimate act of self-defense, the protection of “states’ rights.”
This chip-on-the-shoulder “victimhood” has remained an element of American right-wing politics ever since. Whenever truly discriminated-against groups, such as blacks and women, have demanded their rights, the Right has cast the reforms as attacks on American traditions.
In many other cases, the Right has found “victimhood” a powerful political motivator. For instance, the Right rallied white male college students around their “persecution” from “political correctness,” which often involved a college administration punishing boorish conduct like shouting racial slurs at blacks and yelling sexual insults at women and gays.The right has honed this skill for decades and it works..plain and simple..it works for them. But how do we, as intelligent individuals, combat this fuckery? Intelligent people know when they are being conned, but we can not rely on the majority of American's seeing through the rights manipulation of the conversation. People want to be seen as a victim, it gives them the right to lash out at the other side, to make the other side the bully when the reality is..they are not the bullies, they are the people that can intelligently discuss an issue using facts and common sense.
We must call the right out every time they use the victimhood premise. We need to bring attention to this type of rhetoric and call it what it is..bs that holds no truth but is laden with violent buzzwords and mental images that incite those who can not speak intelligently to an issue. We need to keep the right from dumbing down the national debate. Our nation's viability depends on it.