Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vitriol and tragedy

In the wake of these horrifying shootings, the Pima County, Arizona, sheriff was right to denounce the vitriolic political rhetoric that characterized the 2010 election season, in Arizona and elsewhere. The brew of nonsense, hatred, and misrepresentation that constituted much of the Tea Party's rhetoric might have appeared to be, on one level, harmless raving; but it helped create a climate which, if it did not cause this event, certainly appears to have influenced the disturbed young man who did the shooting.

Update: "appears to have influenced" may be too strong (emphasis on "may"). See the discussion at The Monkey Cage (sidebar for link).

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