I don't talk much here about current events, but I want to register my objection to the hideous attempt to exploit the killings in Arizona for political gain. It's hard to tell how much of this is just partisan hysteria and blindness, and how much is calculated, and it doesn't really matter: it's repulsive.
I could link to any number of criticisms and refutations of this stuff, but I'll confine myself to this one from National Review. Here's the key passage:
The irony of criticizing the overheated rhetoric of your opponents at the same time you call them accomplices to murder apparently was lost on these people, most of whom have never been noted for their subtlety (or civility). It is vile to attempt to tar the opposition with the crimes of a lunatic so as to render illegitimate the views of about half of America.
I have yet to see any report that the Arizona killer had any connection to or even paid the slightest attention to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, et.al. And even if he did, it wouldn't especially discredit them, because he is crazy. I don't think I've ever heard anyone try to blame Squeaky Fromme's attempted assassination of President Ford, or the Manson murders themselves, on the left just because the Manson "family" were hippies. I don't recall an outcry for Hollywood to tone down its violence after a young man obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver, which involves a character who plots an assassination, did in fact try to assassinate President Reagan. Indeed, it's been a feature of national life for thirty years and more for the entertainment industry and most progressives to deny vehemently that there is any connection between the pervasive violence and general degeneracy of much of that industry's "product" and anyone's behavior.
How about considering the possibility that deploring hatred while stoking your own hatred is neither a persuasive tactic nor healthy in itself? How about if we all try to stop hating each other?
UPDATE 2: The New York Times is now saying Loughner is a Nietzsche-reading nihilist/anarchist.