When Gabby Giffords was seriously wounded and a number of others killed in the shooting in Arizona in January, 2011, Krugman made this declaration:
A Democratic Congresswoman has been shot in the head; another dozen were also shot.When the shooting turned out to have been done by a hardcore leftist with a history of mental illness, Krugman apologized to no one. Instead, he found a way to blame his political adversaries, anyway:
We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.
Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.
You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
Update: I see that Sarah Palin has called the shooting “tragic”. OK, a bit of history: right-wingers went wild over anyone who called 9/11 a tragedy, insisting that it wasn’t a tragedy, it was an atrocity.
Update: I’m going to take down comments on this one; they would need a lot of moderating, because the crazies are coming out in force, and it’s all too likely to turn into a flame war.
It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.However, even Krugman (so far) has not blamed Sarah Palin or Ron Paul for the Boston bombing, although I suspect that if the perpetrators do turn out to be from a right-wing group, he will find a way to put it on Palin's shoulders.
I also would like to point out some words of wisdom from Jesse Walker of Reason Magazine, a person I am sure that Krugman would think of as a violent right-winger because his economic and political views do not line up with the editorial page of the NYT or the Princeton faculty. Writes Walker:
As I write, no one has claimed responsibility for the blasts. The police, meanwhile, are keeping their suspicions close to the vest. This could turn out to be a right-wing or Islamist attack, but it could easily turn out to be something completely different. A movement doesn't need to be big or famous to commit murder. It doesn't even need to have a membership larger than a single disgruntled asshole. The history of domestic terrorism is filled with figures like George Metesky, the generator wiper who was injured in a boiler explosion and denied workman's compensation, and who then spent 16 years planting bombs around New York to get his revenge. For now I have no idea who committed this crime and, more to the point, neither do any of the alleged experts speculating on television.I have commented not only on the bombing but also the larger point that American officials have engaged in what clearly are terrorist bombings in places like Pakistan with their infamous drone strikes, including the tactic of firing a first missile, and then waiting until the "first responders" came onto the scene to deal with survivors.
I also wrote these comments, which I am sure would infuriate people like Krugman, but I believe that they should be said:
Anyone reading this post right now almost certainly does NOT know who was responsible for the despicable bombing today at the Boston Marathon. Yet, given that the USA is a hopelessly-politicized country, I am sure that accusations already are being thrown about like so much else of the ignorance that is spewed on various venues these days.I have made similar comments on my Facebook page, including a reminder not to jump to any conclusions about the "Saudi national" who was detained and (I am sure) falsely accused by police officers before they came to realize the guy had nothing to do with it. Perhaps people just need to step back and see what transpires.
I AM sure, however, that the people at the Southern Paranoia Law Center (SPLC) are hoping, HOPING! that the perpetrators were "white supremacists" so that the SPLC immediately can send out fund-raising letters to turn this sad event into a cash cow. (And I am sure that Paul Krugman would love to be able to blame the Tea Party or maybe even Ron Paul supporters.)
Unfortunately, the USA is so hopelessly politicized that people like Krugman, Glenn Beck, the Fox News and MSNBC crews, and others are hoping and hoping and hoping that people associated with the political groups and individuals that they hate will be responsible. And no doubt, someone, someplace will find a way to blame Sarah Palin or Ron Paul.
I will add one more thing. Whoever did this thing committed a despicable act. Many of us had friends who participated in the Boston Marathon, and they had loved ones and friends with them. In 1972, when Palestinian militants engaged in their infamous massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich, I had teammates and coaches (University of Tennessee) in the Olympic Village who were placed in harm's way.
There is no political cause that justifies violence against the innocent. But I also will add that there is nothing that permits governments to attack the innocent, either. Sometimes we forget that latter point or are so enmeshed with a "cause" that we seek to find ways to justify the unjustifiable.