Tue, 01/11/2011 - 12:00am
Are conservatives responsible for the Tuscon shootings? No. But their rhetoric set the tone.
For months, Abe and Joe have spotlighted the surge of violent, nationalist and eliminationist rhetoric emanating from the right. We have seen such things as guns at political rallies, questions about the president's citizenship, an anti-socialist revival and a dramatic increase in death threats against elected officials. We have seen a rash of domestic terrorism.
And now a man has opened fire on a crowd gathered to see a Democratic Congresswoman. Is there a connection? Today, Abe and Joe examine the reactionary forces at work in the United States -- and their consequences.
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There is in legal parlance the notion of "but for." What's a "but for," you ask? I won't go there, but I will explain that the idea is that x, y, or z would not have happened but for the actions of A. Therefore, A is liable, to a degree to be determined by the jury.There is no dearth of precedent to hold Beck, Palin, et al, criminally responsible for their "wink-and-a-nod" incitements. One can look to the mess surrounding the Archbishop of Canterbury for a very close analogy.