This is the original map with the rifle crosshairs from Sarah Palin’s site is below — don’t look for it on her site, as it was pulled down today.

The Examiner criticized it back in March 2010:

Sarah Palin posts political hit list on Facebook: taking a stand or suggesting violence?
March 25th, 2010 3:20 am ET

Or perhaps you recall this RELOAD Tweet:


This would be as good a time as any that we as a nation to consider the base level of discourse that passes for political debate in this country.

It used to be merely embarrassing, now its crossed a line in creating danger.

Perhaps its time to point a finger at the people who have poisoned the well of discourse in this country — the usual suspects who find it both politically advantageous and lucrative to speak in terms of slaughtering the opposition, “taking aim” at opponents, who have personalized and demonized opponents to a point where tragedies are all but inevitable.

We will surely learn that this person responsible for this was deranged or unbalanced, but that is who this group of hatemongers is preaching to.

Our nation needs to grow up — and fast


Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

337 Responses to “Take Aim”

  1. mbelardes says:


  2. MAP OF THE DAY: Here’s Where Sarah Palin Has Gone Democrat Huntin’
    Sep. 23, 2010

  3. imflyboy says:

    100% correct Barry

  4. BorowitzReport:

    Let’s not rush to judgment and blame this on Glenn Beck. But for the record, Glenn Beck is an asshole.

  5. Jojo says:

    I assume this is an oblique comment on this story? I’m not sure how many are aware of the story yet though. So here it is:
    Arizona Rep. Giffords shot, several wounded
    TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday, an aide was killed, and an unknown number of others were wounded when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store as the Democratic lawmaker met with constituents, officials said.

    C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords, said the congresswoman was in surgery as of 1 p.m. local time and that an unspecified number of Giffords staff members were injured in the shooting. Karamargin said he had no other information on the conditions of the injured or on the circumstances of the shooting.

    Congressional officials said an aide to the Democrat was killed, and unknown number of others were injured, including staffers to the lawmaker.

    President Barack Obama called the shooting “an unspeakable tragedy” and that such “a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.

    U.S. Capitol police say the shooter is in custody as one official said he carried out the attack with an automatic weapon. The officials who described the events did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not permitted to comment publicly.


  6. Yes, that is correct

    The reports keep coming, and earlier reports have been changed

  7. louis says:

    It is a sad day when one (forget party) is actually making the effort to speak to their constituents in an open forum like she was. I hope she can make it.

  8. Carl H says:

    You will note that this is typical Right Wing use of language . . .

  9. We don’t know anything about the shooter, and what their influences are.

    Both the Left and Right use phrases that are disagreeable — BUT yes, there is a decidedly dangerous rhetoric from the Right Wing.

  10. derekce says:

    Yes people should learn to respectfully disagree, on all levels of society(even the Internet). From politics to the workplace to American entertainment there has been an increase in rudeness,name calling, sarcasm and humor at others expense that I’ve been told you don’t see in other countries.

  11. Treasury Watcher says:

    I am watching the CNN reports, and they apparently do not have the balls to report the Palin connection . . .

  12. Josh says:

    Did you see her opponent’s ads from the just-passed election “last name kelly”
    There was shit in them about “don’t retreat, reload” and “pull the trigger against Obamacare” .

  13. Julia Chestnut says:

    They killed a 9 year old child and Federal District Judge John Roll, among others. It’s always only a matter of time with all the rhetoric about taking people out, or how they are the minions of Satan or are trying to destroy the United States, before some credulous loser decides to act.

    Prayers for all involved. Horrible.

  14. [...] The Big Picture This would be as good a time as any as a nation to consider the base level of discourse that passes [...]

  15. Sechel says:

    Sarah Palin is much to do about nothing. More of a Democratic target than anything else. We had violence today, a representative was gunned down, but as I read it, to draw a connection to Palin, is a bit much.


    BR: I have to disagree — the words we choose to use, the phrases we deploy — Take Aim, Reload, Hit List Fire When Ready — have consequences . . .

  16. beaufou says:

    Hey Sarah, you now have a 9 year old child on your hit list, happy now?

    Poor kid.

  17. machinehead says:

    ‘We will surely learn that this person responsible for this was deranged or unbalanced, but that is who this group of hatemongers is preaching to.’

    A YouTube video attributed to the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, features incoherent, psychotic rambling — definitely the profile of a pseudo-intelligent (interested in books at a superficial level) but deranged mentality.

    Politically he seems to be all over the map, from extreme left to extreme right. So hatemongers can be found all over the spectrum.

    Rep. Giffords, if she regains her faculties, has at least as good a chance to become the first woman president as Sarah whats-her-name. You heard it here first.

  18. Bill Dedman says:

    In light of today’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), it’s remarkable to watch this NBC video from March 2010 of her discussing vandalism and harassment during the health care debate, when the front door of her office was “kicked out or shot out.” She says she is not fearful, though “the rhetoric is incredibly heated.”

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  19. Mike in Nola says:

    Of course, to gelding Obama, it will only be “an unspeakable tragedy.”

    Suggesting the murder of a federal official is a federal crime.

  20. Tarkus says:

    The fact that the hit list was pulled down from her site tells you she is scared now of being called to account on her past rhetoric.

    The thing to watch now is – which, if any, “news” agencies will now call her on it? Or will they be afraid to “lose access” to her and remain silent?

  21. criticalthought says:

    This is not about Sarah Palin. Check out that guys youtube video. . . he appears to be a nut, plain and simple.

    When you falsely accuse Sarah Palin of stuff, you make her stronger. It makes it seem like you only want to look for the bad, and look to pin any tragedy on her. She needs to go away, and by making false claims against her, you make that prospect unlikely.

    and, I don’t know that people need to cool the rhetoric. . . really is that the solution? We have to worry so much about the criminally stupid that we have to watch our words? Heck, just a few months ago a nutjob went into the offices of the discover channel with a bunch of guns, saying that he was inspired in part by Al Gore. Should he have not made his movie? SHould we not have a debate about Global Warming?

    Again, check out the youtube videos, and consider that this guy is certifiably bonkers. . . there is no Palin link. Drop it.


    BR: This is about context, civility and the environment in which this took place.

    When you place crosshairs over someone’s Congressional district, and use phrases such as “Take Aim, Reload, Hit List, Fire When Ready” – I am sorry, but you must own own to your own language,

  22. The Window Washer says:

    Barry, you have blinders on here. I grew up in an area where guns and hunting were part of the culture. The Imagery she’s using isn’t a call to violence. This is coming from someone that thinks a brick is brighter than Palin. Watch the Charlie Rose with Janet Napolitano and her from a few years ago and you’ll see she doesn’t have the intellect to play at the federal level. That was the first time I saw her.
    As a reader this post is an insult and it’s sad to see you doing a knee jerk posting exploiting the pain of others before the blood is dry. People whored out 9/11 for pet political reasons for quite some time.
    With your history I expect better from you.
    Take this post down think about it and repost something better Monday if you must.


    BR: As a matter of record, I never take posts down (other than copyright issues, I can think of 1 example).

    I have something you will find (hopefully) witty going up Monday at 9am.

  23. Moss says:

    It will not stop until the ‘consequences’ of the words are actually used in a court of law.
    I hope that those words become admissible evidence and that the originators of the words are held accountable for the actions that the words suggest.

    This is far more than rhetoric. The Justice Department needs to step up to the plate and put an end to the hate mongering.

  24. SaneInSF says:

    Yep. All those Tea Partiers love reading the Communist Manifesto.

    The knee-jerk reactions on Twitter say more about the people bleating than anything else.

  25. jeff in indy says:

    i’m, too, am not a palin supporter, but what moron would take those words even close to literally? pc run amok.

  26. the pearl says:

    When a free society takes away free speech in order to clean up the “discourse” it takes away man’s ability to identify the truly nut jobs, the bigots, the pretenders, and the wolf in sheep’s clothing.


    BR: I am First Amendment absolutist — I believe you have the absolute right to say these things.

    Howeve,r that does not mean you are not resposibile for the repercussions of your words; it only means the govt cannot stop you from saying them in advance. Why some people have a hard time understanding such a simple concept is really astonishing . . .

  27. The Window Washer says:

    I just read the reports and it looks like some sad crazy kid did something horrible.
    Take down this post.

    Or if this is the way TBP is going get photos of bloody bodies and weeping family member up.

  28. MayorQuimby says:

    “BR: I have to disagree — the words we choose to use, the phrases we deploy — Take Aim, Reload, Fire when ready — have consequences . . .”

    Only if your IQ is in the double digits.

  29. Invictus says:

    There must be a team of people editing Palin’s FB page right now in real time. I am literally watching posts disappear before my very eyes. Palin supporters respond Palin critics, but the critics’ posts are already gone. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  30. MikeInSF says:

    I grew up in an area where guns and hunting were part of the culture.

    So did I. And when I place something in the sight of a rifle, my aim is to kill it.

    I’m sure the intent of Palin’s page was not a call to violence. Still, it is in the poorest of taste in any case and sure to incite the crazies amongst us. (“Tiller the baby killer,” anyone? Have we not learned anything?)

    Your implication is that out of the 435 members of house, the shooting of one of the twenty in Sarah’s “sights” is just ironic and couldn’t have been anticipated. Bravo.

  31. Moss says:

    Guns and hunting are a part of culture.. when the cross hairs suggest humans who happen to be government officials then we have entered a truly psychopathic realm. Those who suggest this are guilty of inciting the violence …. they have in fact identified the ‘targets’ for those sick enough to actually carry out the mission as suggested.

  32. Tarkus says:

    Invictus Says:
    January 8th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    There must be a team of people editing Palin’s FB page right now in real time. I am literally watching posts disappear before my very eyes. Palin supporters respond Palin critics, but the critics’ posts are already gone. I’ve never seen anything like it.


    Perhaps that is Sarah Palin being “PC”. Who would take those rants from people on her FB page seriously?

  33. Mike in Nola says:

    criticalthought: believe it or not, there are some people stupider than Palin. Same applies to Hannity, Beck, etc. I imagine Palin, et al are as sincere as most other demagogues, i.e. not; it’s all about the money and clothes for her. But they are responsible for their antics inciting those with weaker minds.

  34. MakingtheDrop says:

    From AP…
    “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.

    In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her “sincere condolences” to the family of Giffords and the other victims. ”

    Palin isn’t responsible for this shooting, but perhaps this event will be a catalyst of progress (at least for a little while).

    I read a bit of what this kid put on Youtube, and while its easy to dismiss someone as a “nutjob” or “unbalanced,” at a certain point under threat to one’s sense of self and safety, empathy shuts down. Intellectuals smart trumps emotional intelligence in all things media. A young man’s need to be heard overtook the capacity to empathize with fellow human beings today, and similar scenarios play out contantly in our families and communities. Shame and blame will not bring us good answers or better outcomes. People are not feeling heard/seen, and this is the root of all suffering.

  35. Transor Z says:

    The YouTube link above strongly suggests that Jared was more than a little confused… but the bits about a “new currency” and removal of civil rights by Government require further investigation.

    Palin’s people deleting material from her FB per Invictus above also bears further investigation.

  36. the pearl says:

    So let me get this straight. Sara Palin, master puppeteer comes up with this genius idea that if she uses a hunting/assassin metaphor that if she and her supporters get lucky, some underling will decipher this code and go out and knock off one or more these candidates. Palin will reap the rewards of such genius and vault herself in to some glorious power position, perhaps even President.

    Meanwhile, the American public at large will never crack such a brilliant, sinister plan.

    “East of the Rockies, you are on the air!”

  37. SaneInSF says:

    From Twitter.

    RT @budkennedy

    OK, who guessed a left-wing pothead heavy-metal musician would be facing charges in Giffords’ shooting?!/caitieparker

  38. Capt Ahab says:

    Please note this “Target Map” was also used by the Democrats during the 2004 Bush campaign…so lets all be adults on not turn into a bunch of alarmist demagogues with our panty’s in a bunch.This is a tragedy that was committed by a disturbed individual with clear psychological issues. Let’s not make it worse than it already is. May cooler heads prevail….(note map has now been taken down from the article…link here:

    Democrats targeting map:
    Original article:


    BR: I dont see Crosshairs, or the language “Reload” or “Take Aim” being used . . .

  39. dss says:

    @Window Washer,

    You know very well that this has nothing to do with the culture hunting and guns and everything to do with intimidation, innuendo, and inciting those who will do their dirty work for them.

    It doesn’t matter if this man is insane, right or left wing; he is already being celebrated on twitter and other blogs as a hero, and Ms. Giffords is being demonized by comments suggesting “she had it coming” said in 1000 different but no less disgusting ways.

  40. DD123 says:

    This coming from Ritholtz… the guy who’s political discourse is so sophisticated and so mature that he wrote:

    “…the NAR are a bunch of shameless, lying hucksters who deserve to have glass catheters inserted in their Urethras then shattered…”


    BR: I can always tell the newbies from the regular readers by IQ points alone

    You really have that much of a hard time distinguishing between sarcasm and incitement to violence? That phrase was utterly ludicrous, and chosen for that reason.

    Well, as soon as someone inserts a glass catheter down a real estate economists cock and breaks it, I will own up to inciting it.

  41. dss says:

    Plus the shooter’s ramblings aren’t much different from many of the ramblings I have seen here and on every other blog.

  42. SINGER says:

    “Take Aim” from Sarah Palin is dangerous chatter

    Is it any surprise some nut took her up on it?

  43. Mike in Nola says:

    If Obama had a smart political advisor, he would offer Palin Secret Service protection for a month or so since some people might “mistakenly” blame her for the shooting :)

  44. Invictus says:

    Palin’s FB page literally pulling down civil but critical comments as fast as they are being posted. Remarkable. Watching with my own 2 eyes.

  45. jaymaster says:

    “They bring a knife to the fight. We bring a gun.”
    Who said that? (Hint: Initials are B.O.)

    And the furious scrubbing at Palin’s site is about on par with what’s going on at Kos’s.
    There are plenty of assholes on both sides of this one.


    BR: Question: Which side uses violent language more? Which side engagesin the more dangerous and inflamatory rhetoric?

    You are presenting it as if it is 50/50, when the vast majority of it is wildly one-sided.

  46. Julia Chestnut says:

    @MikeInSF — you are absolutely right. I got my first 22 when I was 10. I can skin anything, gut a deer. My dad had a great Glock 9mm and we enjoyed shooting that gun (kind of an expensive way to kill soda cans, however – ammo is crazy for that thing). My sister shot skeet competitively. Hell, my aunt runs an automatic weapons range: I come from some serious, gun-toting, hunting types, and I grew up with loaded weapons in the house.

    You never, never point a gun at someone without intent to kill them. You don’t draw crosshairs over a human being — it’s uncool. Anyone who knows what a gun does is extremely careful about using that imagery. It’s not PC, it’s how responsible gun owners and gun users behave. Portraying the way Sarah Palin behaves as indicative of the hook and bullet crowd is grossly insulting to the hook and bullet crowd.

    We used to have words for things like what Sarah Palin and her ilk are doing – it’s called incitement and sedition. Responsible people need to stand up and call it for what it is. And yes, it appears this guy was garden variety schizo. It’s a certain percentage of the population, and they watch a lot of TV. Don’t feed them violent ideations.

    If you want to talk constructively about things to make this country better, taking violent talk out of our political dialogue and reforming the mental health system would be good places to start.

  47. W_Nelson says:

    Where’s the deceased child’s website? What image was responsible his/her death?

    It’s facile to assume someone took some graphic artist’s bad taste out of context — then began killing people. Some paranoid schizophrenic went nuts — that’s it. There’s nothing rational about any of this.

  48. Sechel says:

    The wrong questions are being asked. This guy was being a nut. What should be discussed is if the gun laws in Arizona are appropriate. Do they require background checks and is there a three day wait during that process?
    Again, this link to Palin feels knee jerk.

  49. Capt Ahab says:

    Before you start implying the term “Take Aim” means that the person who wrote loosely meant it with intent to harm someone, you should probably conduct a search on your blog for this term. You see the insanity of this…


    BR: Its the entire gestalt of what is being said and how. When you say TAKE AIM and then put CROSSHAIRS on someone’s congressional district, you are not using the normal definition of to “focus upon.”

    Puh-leeze, Ahab, you are straining credibility — even for you

  50. markbn says:

    If media reports are correct that this Representative was a strong “gun rights” supporter, it will be interesting to see which of the laws she supported allowed this nut to get a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine.

  51. zdog says:

    Spot on BR.

    Sane people, whether they agree or not with the rhetoric and tactics used by Palin and her ilk, will not take action that is outside the norms of what is considered “civilized” at the time.

    Unfortunately, someone like Jared Loughner, whose youtube videos appear to show a disturbed young man, may take such rhetoric seriously and do what he did today. Are their still crazy, lone-gunmen, who mow down people in public places? Of course there are. Do they often show up a political rallies, walk up to a sitting Congresswoman and shoot her point blank in the head? No. Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, et. al.’s seeds have been sown and I don’t think we, as a society, will particularly like the harvest to come.

    Wander over to ZH if you want to see a raft of Jareds in the making.

  52. PeterR says:

    Well said, all around Barry.

  53. gd says:

    “”BR: I have to disagree — the words we choose to use, the phrases we deploy — Take Aim, Reload, Fire when ready — have consequences . . .”

    Only if your IQ is in the double digits.”

    Sure. And you’re reading a blog for the upper 30%, and that’s probably where all your coworkers and friends are. But an IQ of 100 is median. Half the population is, by definition, in the double digits. That’s 150 million people. The point isn’t semantics. 30% of the population believes in UFOs, angels, garden fairies, Fox News is fair and balanced, Obama is Kenyan. Sarah Palin is playing them like violins for profit. And the country is falling apart, and occasionally (so far) people are dying.

  54. Rattus says:

    Mr. Ritholtz is right — this IS a good time for the nation to grow up before this controversy gets blown out even further and someone else decides they will be the “hero” for Sarah (or “the nation”). Yes, people like that DO exist, and they take in all color, religion, political leaning, educational attainment, etc.

    Sadly, for EVERYONE involved, Loughner was/is a tortured soul. I don’t know that Palin’s post was specific to this young man’s actions, but neither am I sure it was not. Even if not, the words owned in the graphic posed by the Sarah Pac (and, tellingly, taken down today) are chilling to political discourse. When I saw this map, it reminded me of the Randall Terry type rhetoric and tools used, and they were acted upon and carried out as well.

    One would think, given prior history, that more thoughtful minds in politics would give greater pause and not post such incendiary and suggestive language and/or graphic. Irrespective of Loughner’s motives, and irrespective of whether the graphic was directly or indirectly implicated, it is clear, given the Palin camp’s removal of the graphic from their site, that they finally (today) realized the potential for REAL damage resulting from use of such tools as those diplayed. The utterly sad part about it is that it took such a horrific incident for that reality to sink in.

  55. JFinTexas says:

    People trying to tell us that the escalation of violent rhetoric and and personal attacks has nothing to do with this are delusional.
    The increasingly nutty rhetoric that we have seen over the past few years make REAL NUTCASE (like Jared here) feel empowered and justified, that’s the danger.
    It builds up incrementally, little by little, everybody thinks it’s ok and then we wake up and this happens.

    I believe Sarah Palin definitely bears some responsibility in the shift towards more violent personal attacks that we have seen in recent years.

    On the bright side of things, GAME OVER Sarah Palin…

  56. wally says:

    Don’t speak from ignorance; don’t judge when you don’t know the facts.

  57. Thor says:

    Is anyone in the MSM even having this discussion? I’m afraid to check.

  58. The Duke says:

    Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in Arizona today. The shooter is identified as one Jared Laughner, who according to the Huffington Post looks like a fringe character.

    Let’s take this a step further shall we. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among one of Sarah Palin’s targets on her so-called Hit List. Sarah Palin’s hit list (aside from being incendiary) appeals to the lowest common denominator white trash people in our society. This hit list has a list of politicians with targets on their locations.

    Palin clearly appeals to the low-rent “hunter” demographic in this country – the ones who want to “take our country back” if you get my drift.

    Laughner could be a direct product of Palin’s hit list. And, if that’s the case then Palin has to be held accountable and perhaps charged with treason.

  59. Tarkus says:

    Is this guy a nutcase? Yes.

    Did Palin take down the political hitlist image from her website? Yes.

    Why? If she doesn’t think it is inappropriate, why not leave it up there? She seems to have made a judgment herself.

  60. machinehead says:

    Let’s be thankful that this was not (apparently) the act of an organized group with the potential to strike again. That was my fear upon first hearing the news, and it could have had really ugly implications.

  61. SteveC says:

    Sarah probably couldn’t be convicted of accessory to murder in a criminal court, but if I was related to one of the victims, I would consider civil action against Palin. Words and images clearly can have consequences.

  62. V says:

    Well to my mind this: “the usual suspects who find it both politically advantageous and lucrative to speak in terms of slaughtering the opposition, “taking aim” at opponents, who have personalized and demonized opponents to a point where tragedies are all but inevitable “ has been going on for years from both sides of politics. The patriot act didn’t help things and now ‘debate’ is at the standard where if you don’t agree then you are either hold ‘extremist views’ or are a ‘terrorist’.

    In the coming days you will see this degenerate into a slagging match between the political ideologies of both sides. Nothing will change and nothing will be learned.

    I wonder how much this actually has to do with politics, and how much is simply due to a failed mental health-care system that leaves many clearly disturbed individuals with serious problems, with no support, homeless and roaming the streets.

    It’s relatively easy to have a trivial debate about politics, but addressing the real problems will take leadership. Something that we see little of in the modern political arena where everything is canvassed and screened through a multitude of advisors and ancillary personnel. How many have already been polled to see how this is ‘playing’ in the media?

  63. with incidents like this one, in the Post, and, already laid plans, like: “…In the latest brazen attempt to circumvent the Constitution, Obama and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) are seeking to implement rules that will subject American gun dealers to even more onerous paperwork requirements.

    A new proposed rule will, for the first time, establish the precedent that licensed firearms dealers will be required (by administrative fiat) to report to the government the sale of two or more semi-automatic rifles that are .22 caliber or greater, can accept a detachable magazine, and are purchased by the same person within five business days.

    In a move that bypasses the elected representatives of the people (the Congress), the new rules could be instituted by regulatory fiat as quickly as January 5, 2011.

    This idea was concocted more than a year ago by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that only seems to focus on punishing legal gun owners.

    Even worse, the final decision on implementing this plan will be up to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), headed by Cass Sunstein. In 2009, GOA opposed the confirmation of Sunstein, who would like to ban hunting and allow animals to have legal representation in court….”

    People, like Julia Chestnut, above, are the ones at risk of being muzzled, not the, alleged, perpetrator..

  64. mbelardes says:

    Invictus, I have been banned from Sarah Palin’s facebook page for about 6 months now. If you post even anything remotely critical, her people block/ban you and delete your posts. I actually got banned because I posted link to a video OF HER OWN INTERVIEW where she was talking about some economics stuff and pointing out she was making no sense. Safe to say, she can’t be president because critics would be picked up by the gestapo.

    BR, do you have a link to her saying “Hit List” or “fire when ready.” Not that I don’t believe it but I haven’t been able to find that. I’ve posted the other stuff on facebook and I might have resigned the rest of my evening to facebook warrior status. I wrote a note on facebook saying that “There is a statistical correlation to Palin making a hit list of political targets and shooting references and those political targets getting shot.” I’m now praying for a defamation suit. Truth is the best defense and correlations are correlations. I didn’t say anything about causation, right?

  65. FrancoisT says:

    Hey Jaymasher:

    ““They bring a knife to the fight. We bring a gun.”

    Who said that?

    (Hint: Initials are B.O.)

    And the furious scrubbing at Palin’s site is about on par with what’s going on at Kos’s.

    There are plenty of assholes on both sides of this one.”

    On both sides huh?You can’t or won’t make the difference between ONE statement by BO and the endless stream of innuendo, incitement to violence of the Beck, Hannity and Palin crowd

    Are you THAT stupid? Or do you think we are that stupid?

    As for you WindowWasher:

    WTF is your problem ? “Take down that post…”

    Who the hell do you think you are? We are all GUESTS on this blog…so, blow with your demands to our host!

    You can’t fathom the simple concept that language matters? The way things are said and conveyed; you can’t wrap your head around that?

    That is distressing!

  66. jaymaster says:


    No I don’t think you are stupid. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re just ignorant.

    It really shows on days like this.

    You should try to do some reading outside of your favorite echo chamber.

  67. This is why I try to stay away from the vicious, demeaning, degrading and especially dehumanizing rhetoric in debate and recommend others do it as well. It is not because rational adults cannot handle this level of debate and draw a solid line between the rhetoric and action. It is because the 1% of the population out there that can’t. Many people will ask why they should have to tone down their rhetoric for the one percent of the nutcases that will trigger from it. I remember having this same debate around Columbine and violent video games. People were asking why they should ban those things when it didn’t affect their kids and make them do violent things. What I said then I’ll say now. It is because those people have the ability to act violently and walk into a school and shoot your kid. It isn’t always how it will affect your kid directly. Sometimes it is about the collateral damage.

    You play with fire then expect to get burnt. America has been flirting with violence for quite a few decades now. That is not an STD you want to catch, trust me on that one. You can’t afford the consequences.

    And in case anyone is wondering, free speech is not a Biblical right. Proper speech is a Biblical responsibility. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise

  68. Transor Z says:

    Gunman my not have acted alone?

    Officials in Arizona are looking for a second suspect in the shooting just outside of Tucson but declined to elaborate other than to say they have a picture of the person and would like to find him.

  69. markbres says:

    You do realize that Giffords was on KOS’ hitlist as well?


    BR: Nope, not even close.

    I suggest people go read this link, and see if it remotely is a “Hit list” or uses language of shooting, hunting, killing.

  70. gms777 says:

    For something a little on the lighter side, here is Presidential campaign rhetoric from 1800, as imagined as if TV ads existed then….

    And folks on the left today are no less tasteless than Palin, as this global warming ad with exploding children demonstrates….

  71. dss says:

    From Dave Sirotta:

    If we can’t question the effect of violent anti-government political rhetoric after this shooting, when can we?

  72. wally says:

    While I understand the emotions and the instant judgment over the Palin ads, you’re unlikely to make a case that some nut was motivated in any way that you might see as rational.
    The real offense here is the philosophy that underlies that ‘target’ ad, which is that you can take your publicity and money and go into somebody else’s congressional district – where you do not live, eat or work, and blow out their representatives. As our system has now come to be structured, money gives you the power of thousands of individuals voters – and we now have a Supreme Court that votes in sympathy with that money.
    Just like all the noise around the financial crisis obscured the causes and allowed the perps to not only walk but to be enriched, so, too, will the stormy reaction to this shooting obscure the fundamental political perversion and allow it to successfully continue.

  73. call me ahab says:

    if anyone reads what the dude wrote- “population of dreamers”, “conscious dreamer” and “in conclusion, my ambition – is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency . . .”

    I mean What the Fuck? The dude doesn’t appear “quite” there and he definitely doesn’t sound political at all-

    but lets make it that way- right BR? Ridiculously stupid post- what is this HuffPo? And anyone who reads anymore into this is a fucking idiot-

    also- I have zero idea who the fuck “Capt Ahab” is- but it’s not me

  74. wunsacon says:

    DailyKos used the term “bulls eye”. But, not the symbol.
    “Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district. ”


    BR: Perfect example — look at the language, the context, the focus, the tone.

  75. Let’s face it, whatever our beliefs, we all talk about politics the way we talk about war. We have battle plans and battleground states, war chests and war rooms. We have ammunition, in the form of votes and gaffes and scandals. We have campaigns, just like the military. We even have John Pitney’s book, “The Art of Political Warfare,” about what military literature can teach us about politics.

    Most of us don’t take it as far as Palin did, with her talk of reloading. I personally have never considered “Second Amendment remedies” (translation: armed insurrection) as a means to protest government policies I don’t like (as Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle suggested), nor urged “armed and dangerous” resistance to an energy bill (as Rep. Michele Bachmann did).

    On the other hand, in my years and years of writing about politics, I couldn’t begin to count the times my fingers have typed “take aim,” “magic bullet,” “target list,” “in their sights,” and every word and phrase in the first paragraph of this piece. It all makes sense if you think of politics as the civilized substitute for war, but not if you think politics is getting too close to real war.

    Giffords’ father may have influenced the early course of Twitter and blog chatter with his answer to the question, did your daughter have any enemies? “Yeah,” he told The New York Post. “The whole Tea Party.” Palin, who posted a sympathetic statement on her Facebook site, may have inadvertently drawn attention to her “reload” chart by taking it down.

    It is not possible now, and it may never be possible, to know if the perpetrator or perpetrators of this awful crime had political motives. The man identified as the shooter, Jared Loughner, appears to be mentally ill. His online accounts suggest favorite books ranging from “Mein Kempf” and “The Communist Manifesto” to “Animal Farm” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

  76. monroe says:

    I recently watched the Frontline piece ( ) on the Health Care Bill (Obama’s Deal). The rhetoric during the summer town meetings in 2009 was incendiary and dangerous. When Joe Wilson yelled “You lie” during the joint session, he increased the vituperation to an ominous degree.

    Now we have a Republican controlled house. The language of HR 2, the Republican bill to repeal health, is over-the-top partisan: “This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Repealing the Job-
    Killing Health Care Law Act’’ (qtd from HR 2 – The repeal effort in itself reveals much about our country’s broken political system.

    The Republicans and Democrats saved the banks, transferring private liabilities to the public. Now, with massive deficits in the states, teachers, firefighters, and police officers are under siege while bankers and hedge fund managers reap millions in a stock market inflated by Federal Reserve largess.

    Both parties represent an entrenched political class, tied to a moneyed class, without a vision to restore the hope of the middle class. Our broken political system has a hand in this is a shameful yet unsurprising tragedy.

  77. Mannwich says:

    Couldnt agree more, BR. Our so called leaders have a duty to speak responsibly and not inflame with their rhetoric. What do they think is going to happen in this environment when they stoke others’ worst instincts and behaviors? It’s vile and disgraceful and certainly not the traits of what I want in a leader.

  78. V says:

    Interesting watching this site as politicians queue up to out-do each other over denouncements on something to which they do not know all the facts and circumstances about.
    McCains comments seem over the top considering the gunman is likely to have a severe mental illness.

  79. call me ahab says:

    dss quotes-

    “If we can’t question the effect of violent anti-government political rhetoric after this shooting, when can we?”

    of course- let’s use this to round folks up who oppose the Federal Government (not that it’s not allowed by the Constitution)-

    maybe they can ask you what is acceptable?

    My guess is you are even more stupid than you sound

    and then beaufou writes-

    “Hey Sarah, you now have a 9 year old child on your hit list, happy now?”

    possibly the dumbest comment ever made. . .by a complete fool obviously . . .why BR hasn’t deleted is beyond me . . .

  80. Thor says:

    Hah Ahab – leave it to you to be an even bigger shill for the right wing than your impostor. Way to go man.

  81. Mannwich says:

    @invictus: interesting. If none of it is a big a deal, as many here are suggesting, then why the mad rush by palin’s people to try to delete this stuff? Words are dangerous, especially when they come from public figures.

  82. CorpratismNoMore says:

    “The speaking in perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but love” – Sir Francis Bacon.

    Hyperbole belongs in fiction and NOT in daily discourse.

  83. xynz says:

    The Teahadists’ have been very open about their affinity for “2nd Amendment Remedies”:

  84. Raleighwood says:

    When a leadership position is acquired – and taken advantage of – there is a responsibility inherent in that leadership role. Leaders have followers.

    Intelligent (and mature) people understand that responsibility. Maybe now Palin will see this isn’t a game to be won but rather a job to be done.

    Maybe now she grows up. If so it’s too bad it took the death of a child, and others, to force the issue.

  85. zot23 says:

    Was this guy a nut that acted out of his own dementia? Obviously.

    Does that let Palin, Beck, Limbaugh off the hook? Doubtful.

    This is basic sociology. There is always an array of people in our culture from barking insane, to unstable, to barely stable, to stable, to rock solid. There are few people in the barking and rock solid categories, it doesn’t matter what climate they are immersed in. The immovable objects don’t move and the stark crazies remain crazy as all get out. But for everyone else in that spectrum outside conditions DO have an impact and overall environment does have an effect, a great effect sometimes.

    In Germany, many of the concentration camps were manned by normal German citizens, not raving lunatics. After years of indoctrination in fear and anger towards Jews, those that were indifferent became hostile, those that were supportive shifted to neutral, those that started hostile shifted to actively outraged. Although no one act or person can be blamed for the situation, can anyone deny that the words and propaganda of the Nazi party had no effect on the acts committed? Not just the camps, but on the streets before the state took over.

    I’m not saying Palin, Rush, Beck, or the GOP are nazis. What I am saying is yes, when you rely on violent rhetoric and reinforce panic and fear in your receptive audience they shift towards acting out of hate and fear. This isn’t rocket science, it ‘s common sense. Maybe this guy listened and was influenced directly by these people, maybe not. The point is in an atmosphere where violence against public servants is bandied about as common discourse, you can’t wash your hands of the resulting violence against public servants.

    It is an abdication of responsibility to believe otherwise. If Glenn Beck’s words have no impact or meaning, why is he paid $10 million a year to say them? If Sarah Palin’s words are so inconsequential, why would she be franticly scrubbing her FB page at epic Enron Paper Shredding speeds on a Saturday afternoon?

    If this isn’t slow motion incitement and sedition, we might as well scrub the words from our vocabulary because they are meaningless and we are lost to understanding them.

  86. jd351 says:

    “Say what you mean, and mean what you say”

    Apparently someone has acted upon these words. It is another sad day in our good ole USA. Both parties are to blame as stated above, just Republicans are better at staying on message. All goes back to Lee Atwater.

  87. MacroEconomist says:

    BR: Am totally on board with you.

    But IMO, the real danger isn’t Sarah Palin. She is merely a puppet who sees $ signs and her followers are even more foolish than she.

    No; the real problem is Rupert Murdoch and the manipulation of today’s “news” media.

    I have no doubt Sarah Palin is finished as of today. But she can easily be replaced with the many wannabes seeking their 15 minutes.

  88. maximo says:

    What can be more disillusioning than to watch a once great nation self-destruct? As an immigrant who came here from a war-torn country I saw decent men and women gun down like dogs in the street just because they spoke up against oppression. I saw neighbor turn against neighbor, first it was only rhetoric and political jabs, but soon enough it turned bloody. Today’s political hit (because you have to be a lunatic first to kill for political reasons) reminded of that wretched past I left behind. This is the shit I used to see in Latin America. We’re competing with Mexican drug cartels for headlines. What people don’t seem to get is the that words have a history, and some should not be spoken casually because of their implied meaning. There are consequences. They are dangerous because they put special emphasis on the dark side of human life. It’s dangerous because when a country relies on gossip columnist for news, we lose all sense of moral direction. I love this country and I made a decision to come here, so I hate to see this sort of insanity. The evil I witnessed in my youth haunts till this day and today’s tragedy is just another reminder of what a few insane people can do with words.

  89. JimRino says:

    Sarah has the blood of a Nine Year Old BOY on her hands.
    She should shoot herself.

  90. JimRino says:

    MacroE has a point.
    It’s Murdoch and the Koch brother who hold ultimate responsibility.

  91. call me ahab says:

    “Sarah has the blood of a Nine Year Old BOY on her hands.”

    “It’s Murdoch and the Koch brother who hold ultimate responsibility.”

    when Squeaky Fromme pulled a gun on President Gerald Ford- was it political or was she just crazy?

    but I wouldn’t expect an idiot to be able to understand such subtleties

  92. Transor Z says:

    They’re looking for a second suspect and it was a little girl, not a boy.

  93. Jojo says:

    Not to take anything away from the tragedy of this incident, but there were 10.2 firearm deaths per 100,000 population in 2007 (see: ). That works out to about 30k.

    Much of the time, shooting reports will only be mentioned in passing in your local news, unless a shooting incident involves multiple people or someone famous/notable, like a politician or some other supposed pillar of society. Then the incident gets featured on the national news, outrage and condolences are expressed all around but then a week later, all is forgotten as we have move onto the next “big” story.

    It’s all a bit hypocritical, IMO.

  94. Editor says:


    BR is out — he asked me to police the site this evening. The spam/troll/eejit filters are set to “11.”

    I see numerous other sites covering this subject turned comments off all together — and our host did not want to do that.

    For the record, I have deleted, modified or otherwise removed nearly as many comments as was posted, most of which were unacceptable for this venue.

  95. Marshall says:

    People like Palin or Glenn Beck have taught us that a once-principled conservative movement of reasoned activists has turned into a mob — one that does not engage in civilized battles of ideas. Instead, these torch-carriers, gun-brandishers and tea partyers follow an anti-government terrorist attack by cheering a demagogue’s demand for the physical annihilation of those with whom he disagrees — namely anyone, but particularly progressives, who value “community.”

    No doubt, some conservatives will parse, insisting that Palin was only endorsing the “eradication” of progressivism but not of progressives. These same willful ignoramuses will also likely say that the Nazis’ beef was with Judaism but not Jews, and that white supremacists dislike African-American culture but have no problem with black people.

  96. Andy T says:

    This is obviously a tragic event and there’s no excuse or rationale for what a raving lunatic might do.

    However, with comments like this: “Our so called leaders have a duty to speak responsibly and not inflame with their rhetoric. What do they think is going to happen in this environment when they stoke others’ worst instincts and behaviors? It’s vile and disgraceful and certainly not the traits of what I want in a leader.”

    It’s best that these types of people review their U.S. History. It might be revealing to them….