Just found out my latest cartoon is on NPR right now. The comments section seems to have quite a few people trying to depoliticize the AZ shootings, blaming “both sides” for their partisanship. (Personally, I don’t think questioning the violent, paranoid rhetoric of Palin, Angle, Bachmann, et al, makes one particularly partisan, but whatevs.)
Not that there’s anything wrong with having strong political convictions. As reader AC wisely pointed out, people mistakenly believe “it is partisan politics generally, not any actual positions on either side, which is the problem.”
I liked Amanda Marcotte’s recent analogy:
Holding the right responsible for their paranoid, incendiary, violent rhetoric reminds me strongly of trying to put a cat in its carrier. You know it has to be done, but you really don’t want to do it. The cat is going to lash out. She’s going to hide under the bed. She’s going to hiss and scream. She’s going to grab the sides of the carrier as you push her in, in a pathetic final bid not to go the carrier. But you have the fight anyway, because you can’t just renege on your responsibilities the second they become a problem.
Matt Bors also has a good post:
And that’s where we are at. You can’t talk about the issues underneath this without being accused of “politicizing” it. The shooter is crazy and incoherent enough that we can all comfortably write him off as a “lone nut,” America’s favorite term to absolve us from looking at any of the societal problems that causes this type of behavior–or, god forbid, the tools he used to kill so many so fast. Unless the shooter fits into the binary mold of a mainstream liberal or conservative, we are content to pretend his behavior took place in a vacuum. “A lone nut! you’ll get those.”
There are a number of cartoons about the Tucson shootings, ranging from “weepers,” which serve the important purpose of informing people that death is sad, to those suggesting a direct, specific correlation between the rhetoric and the action, as if the right wing had purposefully delivered a detailed “to do” list into the hands of the shooter. I haven’t seen many that managed to make a persuasive point, but I would count this as one…
As for countering her examples, feel free, but I want to see something more persuasive than the time Obama explained his planned debating style with a flippant reference to Sean Connery’s advice to Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables,” or a DNC map that used traditional archery-style bull’s-eyes to show the areas in which they planned special efforts. Don’t waste my time unless you have specific examples of times nationally-known progressives used rhetoric about “refreshing the tree of liberty” or “reloading” or encouraged people to bring firearms to political rallies.
Predictably, I’ve been accused by others of not looking at the oh-so-incendiary rhetoric of the left, but tell me: when is the last time you heard a “mainstream” progressive pundit talk about killing ATF agents?