12 January 2011

Tom Hayden : The Right and the Shooting in Tucson

Image from Jesse Kelly's website (now removed). The article about Kelly's appearance in Sierra Vista originally appeared in the Sierra Vista Herald.

Getting on target:
The Right and the shooting in Tucson

By Tom Hayden / The Rag Blog / January 12, 2010

It appears that Arizona is ground zero in a right-wing war against the democratic process.

Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's "target list" of 20 2010 incumbents, a list which featured a graphic showing the crosshairs of a gun. Giffords' office was was one of those vandalized by the right-wing in March 2009 in a protest against national health care bill. [Judge John Roll, killed in the incident, also was subject to significant threats due to his positions on immigration.]

As recently as June 12, 2010, leaflets appeared in Giffords' district proclaiming: "Get on Target" and help remove Gabrielle Giffords. "Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

Jesse Kelly is a Marine veteran, and right-wing Republican who lost to Gifford November 4, by 48.8%-47%. Kelly was strongly supported by the Tea Party.

Salon.com named Kelly the Number 1 "most terrifying candidate" in the 2010 Congressional elections. He was criticized for taking funds and support from Americans for Legal Immigration [ALIPAC], an anti-immigrant group once denounced by Sen. John McCain's office as "white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and anti-semites." [The Hill, campaign blog, Oct. 26, 2010]. The Anti-Defamation League shared McCain's office view of ALIPAC.

Kelly's campaign site favored 10,000 U.S. troops being sent to the Arizona-Mexico border "in an active enforcement mode." Gifford supported the president's overall immigration reform legislation.

Image from Talking Points Memo.

The anti-Gifford campaign generated a climate infected by hate and violent rhetoric. But who pulled the trigger? Little has been released about Jared Lee Loughner, but at first look he seems to fit the profile of an individual prone to far-right rhetoric. Here is an apparent excerpt from Loughner's diary:
You don't have to accept the federalist laws.

Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.

You're literate, listener?

If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.

The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution. Thus, the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.

In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!
On the evidence so far, this is not a case of an "isolated psychopath." Nor can Sarah Palin and the Tea Party excuse themselves from responsibility by expressing best wishes for Giffords' recovery. There is a connection between the politics of vitriolic hate, symbolized by crosshairs and calls to "lock and load" or "shoot an automatic M16," and the outcome in Tucson Saturday morning.

[Tom Hayden is a former California state senator and leader of Sixties peace, justice, and environmental movements. He currently teaches at Pitzer College in Los Angeles. His latest book is The Long Sixties. This article was also published at Progressive America Rising.]

Thanks to Carl Davidson / The Rag Blog

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