I thought I was done writing about Jared Loughner, the Tuscon shooing rampage and the bogus "debate" over Tea Party rhetoric, but not quite. A liberal activist who was wounded in the attack, and who alone among the victims has blamed right wing "vitriol" for his injuries, has been arrested for ... making death threats against a Tea Party leader. It's amazing how quickly things move from tragedy to farce in the age of the internet.
I think it's wholly appropriate that all of this took place at one of those lame televised town halls that the MSM has been oddly enamored with since the 1992 presidential campaign. It's even better that Eric Fuller, in addition to being a left-wing activist - his business card says he's a professional signature gatherer - had been designated the day before as having instant credibility for blaming BeckPalinRushTeaParty for the shooting because he was (1) a "veteran" (big deal, so was Howard Zinn) and (2) had been wounded in the Tuscon shooting. As it turned out, he was a nut and a fool, although not on the level of Laughner. The media's Absolute Moral Authority figures really do have feet of clay.
As macabrely funny as this all is, what's not funny is realizing that virtually the entire media and intellectual apparatus of the Democratic Party has been engaged in a week-long effort to smear Tea Party activists and prominent conservatives as being some sort of Hezbollah-style militia movement ready to do violence against their fellow Americans. And Eric Fuller is the sort balanced, thoughtful personality to whom much of modern progressive "thought" (hah!) is designed to appeal. Not saying that Paul Krugman et al. are guilty of pushing eliminationalist rhetoric or anything, but they do rely on the sort of factual selectivity, lies by omission and leaps of logic that has resulted in an America where roughly a third of the population believes Bush caused 9/11, that Sarah Palin caused a crazy kid to go on a killing spree and progressive health care reform will "bend the cost curve."
There is a lot of dangerous rhetoric out there. But the danger isn't from political violence, but from the violence done to logic and reality.