Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in intensive care, fighting for her life. Swirling around her is a political brawl of seemingly epic proportions.
The fight is not about who did what to whom. It does not address why Jared Loughner took aim at Rep. Giffords in front of that Safeway on Saturday.
It seems that Loughner had a personal grievance against Rep. Giffords. She had failed to answer a question he asked her at a similar meeting over three years ago.
In the throes of a psychotic delusion, he chose to act out violently, in order to redress his personal grievance. His action belongs in the world of disease, not political theatre.
When John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan three decades ago no one thought that his was a political act. It had something to do with a delusion that Hinckley had about Jodie Foster, but it did not really have anything to do with politics.
To the best of everyone’s knowledge, Hinckley was a lone gunman, pushed by his own demons.
If memory serves, no one at the time suggested that anyone but Hinckley was responsible. No one tried to blame it all on the political left or on Ronald Reagan’s enemies.
No one, in other words, sought to take political advantage of the tragedy. And no one rushed out to propound a narrative version of events that would discredit a political movement.
In that the reaction differed starkly from the mythmaking that surrounded the assassination of John Kennedy. Clearly, those who spin narratives for a living are far more prone to use the murder of a liberal politician to advance their agenda.
Since Saturday, many liberals have been rushing out to provide narrative explanations for what happened in Tucson last Saturday.
Some of them do not even pretend that these narratives have anything to do with reality. It was the ambiance, the atmosphere, the very air that we breathe that propelled a maniac in Arizona to shoot a congresswoman.
As James Taranto wrote today, these stories are myths, fictions, or fantasies. They do not propose to shed any light on the event or even to console those who were affected by the event.
They are trying to manipulate emotion and to override reason. For a political movement that pretends to favor rational deliberation and free public debate as a means to arriving at political decisions, this crowd is awfully quick to use any means necessary to appeal to our worst.
Whether it is Paul Krugman or George Packer or Markos Moulitsas, the most shrill voices of the establishment left are doing their darndest to turn the event into political theatre, and to gain therefrom a political advantage.
Even a sane and sensible Democrat, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, declared that Loughner opened fire because he was angry about the repeal of Obamacare.
Does a former senator consider that that is a persuasive argument for not repealing the health care law?
Of course, there’s method to the madness. Liberals believe that they are right and that conservatives are wrong. If they lose an election, liberals cannot accept that their arguments or reasoning were inadequate, or even that they were mistaken. They assume that their opponents have hypnotized the electorate by exercising a form of mind control.
If conservatives have been whipping up emotion, then liberals must do the same. They have been forced into it, and thus, are not responsible for their actions.
It’s an old story: the devil made me do it.
Once again, bad character is afoot in the Republic. It is a sad day, indeed.