Guilty Feelings

January 19th, 2011

Sarah Palin, deep down I think you feel guilty about the crosshairs map…

Obama has called for healing instead of blame,
But Sarah Palin doesn’t feel the same.
She wants us all to know that she’s the real victim,
Not those who happened to Loughner’s bullets to succumb.
It’s “reprehensible” that the media has incited hatred of her
By criticizing Palin’s use of crosshairs, to Gabby Giffords to refer.
There could be consequences to Palin’s map, one such critic pointedly said.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t issue a response due to the bullet in her head. — Blood Libel

If you had an argument with a coworker and said “I hope you crash into a telephone pole and die” and then she did, no one would think or suggest that your statement caused her death. But you’d feel guilty for what you said, wouldn’t you?

What if she didn’t die? Wouldn’t you go to the hospital to visit her, or at least write her a note, apologizing for what you said? Or, would you instead send out a mass office email, condemning everyone else in the office for claiming that your statement had directly caused your coworker’s accident, even though they hadn’t.

Maybe there isn’t any direct causality between violent right-wing rhetoric and the Tucson shooting, nor or the hate-spewing pundits and politicians the ones directly or principally responsible. Jared Lee Loughner is. But even without a direct link, the violent rhetoric does contribute to a negative atmosphere which can push deranged or violent people over the edge, or at least help them justify their actions in their own warped minds.

Yes, a great evil has been done. No, not the hateful rhetoric. Not even the shooting itself. The great evil is that some have dared to suggest that hateful rhetoric should be toned down (to which you respond “we will not be silence”), or worse, that “some” want to reform our gun laws so that future tragedies like this are less likely to happen, or less deadly when they do (i.e., “use the tragedy as a political pretext”).  

Are right-wingers totally devoid of a conscience?

Sarah, deep down I think you aren’t. I think deep down, buried under thick layers of defensiveness, you feel guilty. That’s a natural, human response. Don’t try to rationaize it away. Face that feeling head on and embrace it.

Visit Congressman Giffords, Sarah. And apologize, even indirectly. It would be nice if you could do it publicly (like John McCain did in his letter to the editor, even though his rhetorical excesses have been minor compared to those which you and others on the right have perpetrated). But if you’re unwilling to do that, at least apologize in private…

To Gabby.


Here’s Countdown’s 1/19/11 update and discussion about the Tucson shooting. Rep. Ralph Ellison makes an excellent point about the difference between direct causation and doing what’s right.


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