Playing Politics with Pain

The games people play. I hate them. And what I’ve seen the last couple days since the horrific shooting in Arizona has given me a deeper, more vehement hatred for them.

Maybe it’s my naivete. Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t grow up immersed in the dirt of politics. Whatever it is, I simply cannot wrap my brain around people using human tragedy for political posturing. I’ve sort of sat on this since Saturday, but the churning in my stomach and the weight upon my chest necessitate that I speak up. Perhaps you’ve heard others weigh in on some of the same issues, but I must have my say…

The thought that a public official meeting with constituents could be so cruelly gunned down is unfathomable. The sound of parents mourning the loss of their nine year old girl, who wanted only to see how her government works, breaks my heart. These are just two of the victims. So many lives have been forever impacted by the evil act of Jared Loughner. I continue to pray for all involved, for as much as words, cards, and vigils are appreciated, only God can bring peace at a time like this.

I am reminded, however, during this time, of how much I have abhorred politics for most of my life. I am certainly no wet behind the ears, pie in the sky juvenile, but I must admit that I expected better of people than what I am seeing. In spite of the endless hours of news coverage, the emails, and the Facebook rants, I still cannot grasp how people could use such a tragedy to push a narrative that they know isn’t true. And surely they must know. No rational human being can justify blaming Governor Palin for the shootings that took place. No rational human being can really offer a case that Loughner–a mentally sick, unstable man–performed his evil act because Governor Palin, using a common political symbol, asked the American people to vote Congresswoman Giffords out of office. Although they played it up like they did–because it was politically advantageous–no one really thought when she posted the surveryor map months ago that she was advocating violence. They knew better then, and anyone with a shred of common sense knows better now.

However, it’s a game for these people. This is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for. This is their chance, as they see it, to silence Governor Palin–and they don’t care if doing so means playing politics with pain. They don’t care about Congresswoman Giffords, Christina-Taylor Green, the nine year old slain girl, or even the facts. They only care about gaining political advantage. Check mate! King me! Bingo! These are the words gameplayers say, isn’t it, when they have reached one of their most desired goals? Such is the case here. And that’s what turns my stomach.

Violence is real. Pain shatters. Jared Loughner is a mad man who ALONE is responsible for the carnage left at Safeway in Arizona. But good people like Governor Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh are blamed.

Why is it that after the Fort Hood shooting, President Obama and journalists, among others, urged Americans not to jump to conclusions but are not urging the same restraint in this case? Instead, people rushed in to pin this one man’s heinous crime on the Tea Party and Governor Palin.

Byron York reports:

There was ample evidence, in other words, that the Ft. Hood attack was an act of Islamist violence.

Nevertheless, public officials, journalists, and commentators were quick to caution that the public should not “jump to conclusions” about Hasan’s motive. CNN, in particular, became a forum for repeated warnings that the subject should be discussed with particular care.

“The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions,” said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings.

“We cannot jump to conclusions,” said CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. “We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.”

“I’m on Pentagon chat room,” said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. “Right now, there’s messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam.”

The next day, President Obama underscored the rapidly-forming conventional wisdom when he told the country, “I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” In the days that followed, CNN jouralists and guests repeatedly echoed the president’s remarks.

“We can’t jump to conclusions,” Army Gen. George Casey said on CNN November 8. The next day, political analyst Mark Halperin urged a “transparent” investigation into the shootings “so the American people don’t jump to conclusions.” And when Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the Ft. Hood attack was terrorism, CNN’s John Roberts was quick to intervene. “Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions,” Roberts said to Hoekstra. “By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?”

Fast forward a little more than a year, to January 8, 2011. In Tucson, Arizona, a 22 year-old man named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a political event, gravely wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, killing a federal judge and five others, and wounding 18. In the hours after the attack, little was known about Loughner beyond some bizarre and largely incomprehensible YouTube postings that, if anything, suggested he was mentally ill. Yet the network that had shown such caution in discussing the Ft. Hood shootings openly discussed the possibility that Loughner was inspired to violence by…Sarah Palin. Although there is no evidence that Loughner was in any way influenced by Palin, CNN was filled with speculation about the former Alaska governor.

Read more here.

In truth, Governor Palin needs no defense. She has done nothing wrong. I’ll just say this: the Governor Palin I know and respect loves her God, loves her family, loves her country. She would never advocate violence of any kind. Those who are using this incident to target her and pretend she’s responsible for violence are the ones inciting violence. She has been on the receiving end of threats for a long time now, but just since Saturday’s shooting, she has been the target of even more sickening vitriol and threats. The people who so dishonestly are blaming her for the actions of Loughner are hypocrites, liars, and dangerous people, and I have heard from these people in the last few days–via email, via twitter. They make me sick.

A YouTube video, courtesy of, exposes death wishes and threats made on Twitter. Be forewarned: the language is disgusting and the messages sick, but these are people accusing her of advocating violence. Such glaring, heart-rending hypocrisy:

See, this is the game I’m talking about. Radical haters are using the pain that families, colleagues, a state, and a nation are dealing with to promote their own agenda. They feel justified now, it seems, in their own desire to rid the planet of Governor Palin, despite the fact that there is absolutely no rationale for such thinking. Let’s take a look at their sick game, as reported by Politico:

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did.

“They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

The truth of the matter is this guy was no tea partier. He was a nut. As Jim Hoft writes:

The shooter was a pro-Marxist, anti-flag, anti-Constitution, anti-religious crackpot. He was hardly a tea partier. points out:

The left’s systematic ridicule of Sarah Palin and other conservatives following the Arizona shooting rampage reflects a deliberate campaign to “ultimately criminalize” conservative thought in America, according to media watchdog L. Brent Bozell.


Bozell said such efforts to blame the Tucson massacre on conservatives reflect a broader agenda.

“This is a part of a campaign to delegitimize, and ultimately criminalize, conservative thought in this country,” Bozell said. “Note how quickly The New York Times came out with an editorial calling for the Fairness Doctrine as a result of this.

“I mean, anything to pin to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin or the Tea Party … anybody on the conservative side, to delegitimize them, that’s what they’re going to do. That’s the tactics of the far left.”

Truth always comes out. The truth is that this man has no connection to the Tea Party or Governor Palin. He is a nut, was refused by the military, and is a drug abuser. He has been in trouble with the law before and was kicked out of college because his bizarre behavior was a serious concern. His interest in Rep. Giffords isn’t something new. He has been obsessed with her since 2007. His actions weren’t the result of some so-called political rhetoric. His actions stemmed from the fact that he has serious issues that went unaddressed. His college professor and former classmates are now speaking out about how odd he was, how dangerous he appeared, and how unsafe he made them feel. But somehow Governor Palin and other conservatives are responsible? Give me a break.

Again, unlike the far-Left loons who choose to politicize pain while advocating violence themselves, Governor Palin hates violence, has stated time and time again that violence is no solution, and has no connection whatsoever to Jared Loughner. Disagree with her on issues, if you must. But enough of playing this political game of accusing her of murder, a game as sick and demented as the shooter himself.

Today on his radio show, Glenn Beck discussed communicating with Governor Palin this weekend via email. He shared these words she wrote to him:

I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. Thanks for all you do to send the message of truth and love and God as the answer.

This is the real Governor Palin. This is the person–the public servant–I support. The games need to stop. The politicizing of pain to coerce certain people to sit down and shut up will be exposed for what it is.

I stand against this reprehensible, deplorable behavior. I stand with Governor Palin.

(h/t to many truth-loving people, too numerous to name, who have been on top of this issue)

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