Political extremism, loose-cannon comments, and politicians who vaguely or directly imply violence in their rhetoric have occupied airwaves for some time, and finally, the media are calling out the geyser of intolerance
for indirectly causing yesterday's Tucson, Arizona, shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 11 others, a bloodbath that left six dead. This defining moment in American politics is an appalling example of where political discourse can lead, and describing it as extraordinarily regretful barely encompasses such a tragedy.
One of the first to acknowledge the danger media pundits' and politicians' words was, surprisingly or not, Keith Olbermann. Olbermann already called out Allen West for his unacceptable "incitement to violence"
and took this opportunity to call out a litany of conservatives (again, including West) for running their mouths, though this issue does not necessarily adhere to party lines.
Sarah Palin -- "She must be repudiated by the members of her own party."
Jesse Kelly -- "He must be repudiated by Arizona's Republican Party."
Allen West -- "He should be repudiated by his constituents and the Republican Congressional Caucus.
Sharron Angle -- "She must be repudiated by her supporters in Nevada."
Tea Party Leaders -- "...must be repudiated by the Republican Party."
Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly -- Them too, you get it.
"If all of these are not responsible for what happened in Tucson, they must now be responsible for doing everything they can to make sure Tucson doesn't happen again," Olbermann says.
Olbermann also repudiates
his own words that may have incited violence in any way. The general takeaway: Let's play nice, seriously. On the tails of such a public tragedy, it will be interesting to see if the discourse does indeed shift across party lines. Remember the Rally to Restore Sanity?
Looks like America still has a great deal of work to that end.