Fortunately, he failed, but it’s worth noting the tragic results of Markos Moulitsas’ violent rhetoric. Giffords was one of the Congresspeople targeted for termination by Kos’ liberal blog. According to Kos:
we’ve got a problem in our caucus — while we have been busy stocking up on more Democrats, fact is the good ones are being swamped by the bad ones. …. And those Democrats feel safe. Many are in solid (D) districts and have no fear of the opposition.
Apparently it was time to scare these sellouts into submission. Giffords was targeted, in bold and by name, at the bottom of the founder’s post (available here, capture here). His intentions were clear:
Obviously, Kos’ loyalists thought Giffords’ successful reelection bid was unacceptable. His rhetoric took the life of a federal justice, and nearly got Giffords killed as well. Not only did he make his own call to arms, viciously targeting Giffords, but Kos also allowed even more heated rhetoric to remain on his website. Just two days before the shooting, one user wrote a post saying Giffords was “dead to me” after she voted against Pelosi in the party’s leadership race. The entry has since been removed from the site.
Now that I’ve gotten the wild speculation out of the way, it’s time to return to reality. I have absolutely no reason to believe that Markos, or anyone on his website, actually wanted Giffords—or any of the other victims—dead. The above is merely meant to demonstrate that anyone can come up with a conspiracy theory. As insane as it is for me to suggest that he orchestrated this attempt on her life, it is equally ridiculous for Kos and other left-wing bloggers to pretend the shooter was incited by Sarah Palin (captures available here and here if posts are deleted). The only difference between my accusation and theirs: they were serious.
Worse than the false accusations themselves is the blatant disrespect for the actual tragedy inherent in such claims. For Kos and his cohorts, this was never about Giffords; it was about slamming Palin whenever possible for whatever they could conceivably link to her and with no regards for the collateral damage. Never mind that anyone could make the same link to, not just his own website, but Kos’ own writing. I guess he learned from Rahm, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
There is only one point where I agree with Kos. He hasn’t politicized this tragedy. Instead, he’s done something worse: erased it. In the mad dash to indict Palin, he has ignored the other victims. He has ignored the death of a federal judge, John Roll, because it wasn’t convenient. He wasn’t “targeted” by Palin as Giffords had been. His death doesn’t fit the paradigm, so it has been ignored. Even Giffords’ plight has become a side show. Instead of praying for her swift recovery, we’re left arguing about Palin’s theoretical role. Great job, Kos; way to marginalize a shooting.
I’m tired of the left constantly trying to pin the blame for any tragedy, or near miss, on their political “enemies.” We saw the same narrative when Joe Stack flew a plane into a Texas IRS building. We saw the same narrative when Amy Bishop shot and killed three of her colleagues at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. We saw the same narrative when Mayor Bloomberg speculated the person behind the failed Times Square bombing was probably “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health-care bill or something.” They’ve been wrong every time, and given that the shooter counts Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto among his favorite books, it looks like they’re wrong again. The narrative is getting old. If Kos cared about “civility,” he’d lead the charge to retire it.