I am of the mind (based on what I have seen) that Jared Loughner was a loon in need of serious help, whose acts were inspired by the battle (ooops...violent metaphor) in his head rather than any political bloviations from either side.
But given the the Times' intentional focus on the right as the lone purveyor of violent political imagery, I thought it would be interesting to redo their editorial and shift the alleged blame 180 degrees.
Thus I present...
Bloodshed & Liberal Invective: A Bizarro World NYT Editorial[h/t: Instapundit, Ed Driscoll, Patterico, Prof Jacobsen, Michelle Malkin]
She read the First Amendment on the House floor — including the guarantee of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” — and then flew home to Arizona to put those words into practice. But when Gabrielle Giffords tried to meet with her constituents in a Tucson parking lot on Saturday, she came face to face with an environment wholly at odds with that constitutional ideal, and she nearly paid for it with her life.
Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting Ms. Giffords, killing a federal judge and five other people, and wounding 13 others, appears to be mentally ill. His paranoid Internet ravings about government mind control place him well beyond usual ideological categories.
As a devotee of the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of Americans and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery. With legal access to weapons like the one used in the parking lot, those already teetering on the edge of sanity can turn a threat into a nightmare.
Over the past few years, violent political rhetoric has been on the rise. President George W. Bush was continually the subject of violent imagery from the left during his term in office, most of it targeted on his assassination. President Obama has seemed to relish extreme language and metaphors, among other things stating “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”, and promising “hand-to-hand combat” with the new Republican House majority. He has also compared bankers to suicide bombers, and encouraged his followers to “Hit Back Twice As Hard” against Americans who oppose his agenda. An effigy of Sarah Palin, former Republican Governor of Alaska, was hung from a gallows outside a house in the liberal stronghold of West Hollywood, along with a depiction of Arizona Senator John McCain engulfed in flames. Ms. Giffords herself was declared “now dead to me!” on the leftist Daily Kos website.
It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Democrats, MSNBC watchers, or KosKids. But it is legitimate to hold Liberals and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the left have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing ordinary Americans, or small business owners, or the military. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the American people not just misguided, but the enemy of the state.