Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fully Committed: Left Wing Activist Arrested For Making Death Threats

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.

A Tucson mass shooting victim was taken into custody Saturday after yelling "you're dead" at a Tea Party spokesman during the taping of an ABC-TV town hall event hosted by Christianne Amanpour.

The Pima County Sheriff's Office said J. Eric Fuller, 63, was involuntarily committed to an undisclosed medical facility, NBC News reported. The Associated Press said he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

He faces charges of threats and intimidation and disorderly conduct, according to Tucson TV station KGUN.

The gathering for "After the Tragedy: An American Conversation Continued," to be shown as a special edition of "This Week" Sunday, included witnesses, first responders, victims and heroes of the Jan. 8 mass shooting that killed six and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Local officials and others also packed St. Odilia's Catholic Church in northwest Tucson, where the show was taped.

KGUN reported that Fuller took exception to comments by Republican state Rep. Terri Proud and Tucson Tea Party spokesman Trent Humphries.

Fuller was in the front row and apparently became upset when Humphries suggested that any conversations about gun control should be delayed until all the dead were buried, KGUN reported.

Fuller took a picture of Humphries and shouted, “You’re dead.”

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.

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