The Vitriol of Sarah Palin and Her Tea Party Followers: For Shame!!

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with Senior Citizens

Sarah Palin’s PAC: “Targeting” Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot today outside a Tucson Safeway supermarket; fourteen other people were wounded and six killed, including federal judge John Roll, during the assassination attempt on Giffords.  Representative Giffords was featured on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” map, which targeted legislators who voted for President Obama’s health care bill.  This was the map that was roundly criticized as an incitement to violence.

Giffords, a third-term legislator, supported President Obama’s health care reform bill. This earned her a place on the map, posted by Sarah Palin’s Political Action Committe, that literally put Democrats in the cross-hairs of guns last spring after the bill passed.  “Don’t retreat, instead-RELOAD!” was how Palin introduced the map to her Tea Party followers on Twitter.  Days later, a vandal smashed the glass door of Rep. Giffords’ Tucson office.  Giffords’ father stated that members of the Tea Party “always threatened” his daughter.

Giffords’ Tea Party opponent in the 2010 election, Jesse Kelly, went even further with the violent rhetoric.  Kelly’s campaign held an event called “Get on Target for Victory in November.”  Description of the event: “Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office.  Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

President Obama has called for a nationwide moment of silence at 11 a.m. on Monday, the White House announced Sunday.  “Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives,” the president said in a statement.  “It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart.”

President Obama: The Arizona Shooting Attack and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Breaking News: Piecing Together the Giffords Shooting

Keith Olbermann Special Commentary: “Violence Has No Place in Democracy”

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Keith Olbermann Slams Hillary Clinton: “Good Night and Good Luck”

Keith Olbermann: Good Night and Good Luck

Olbermann Assails Clinton: A Campaign Enmeshed with Racial Undertones

Last night, Keith Olbermann assailed Hillary Clinton in a ten-minute Special Comment, prefacing his charges by stating that his comments were not to be specifically taken as an endorsement of Barack Obama. Nevertheless, Olbermann felt strongly convinced that observing the course of Clinton’s political campaign, “events [insisted]” that he speak and take a forceful stand against her “tepid response” to the controversial remarks of Geraldine Ferraro, wherein Ferraro had claimed that Obama wouldn’t have been as successful if he were not black.

In an earlier broadcast, Olbermann decried the statements as “clearly racist” and on Wednesday he followed up by accusing Clinton of allowing the opportunity to forcefully oppose Ferraro’s comments pass her by. Olbermann accused Clinton of clearly having “missed a critical opportunity to do what was right.”

While Olbermann did not explicitly say that Clinton’s own beliefs were deeply-rooted in racism, he did claim that her political behaviors were entrenched in bad decisions, embracing bad advice from the “tone deaf” and “arrogant” aides and advisers in her campaign. He characterized Ferraro’s remarks as “a blind accusation of sexism and dismissing Senator Obama’s campaign as some equal opportunity stunt,” and decried her comments both in this instance and historically, pointing to the “cheap, ignorant vile racism that underlines them.”

He blamed her advisers for not pushing her to repudiate those comments immediately, unlike the remark by Obama’s adviser Samantha Power, who had called Clinton a “monster” and who was “gone by sunrise” from the Obama campaign. Olbermann specifically fingered Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams, saying that instead of repudiating Ferraro’s words, “words that should make any Democrat retch,” she had instead let “her campaign manager bend them beyond all recognition into Senator Obama’s fault…thus giving Ferraro nearly a week to [send the dialogue] back into the vocabulary of David Duke.”

People Begin to See Clinton as a Racist

Olbermann took the opportunity to mention a number of other matters, criticizing her also for the “shell-game about choosing Obama as Vice-President,” as well as for her husband Bill Clinton’s comments about Jesse Jackson after the South Carolina primary, the “racial undertone of the 3 a.m. ad” and the “moment’s hesitation” in her much-parsed answer about Obama’s religion on 60 Minutes. He argued that after the ongoing accumulation of events during her campaign, in which racial attitudes had been enmeshed, people now “see a pattern” of racially-tinged remarks and associations with Clinton.” He prudently stopped short of forcefully embracing the belief that Clinton is a racist, but pointed out that, “False or true, they see it.”

Olbermann implored Clinton not to passively sanction being perceived “as standing next to, and standing by, racial divisiveness.” “Grab the reins back from whoever has led you to this precipice before it is too late,” implored Olbermann. “Voluntarily or inadvertently, you are still awash in this filth….your only reaction has been to disagree and call it ‘regrettable’. Unless, Senator, you say something definitive, the former congresswoman is speaking with your approval.”

Olbermann concluded his attack on Clinton’s behaviors by wishing her, “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Keith Olbermann Attacks Hillary Clinton

Edward R. Murrow: Good Night and Good Luck

At a time when the Clinton political campaign appears increasingly to be a force intent upon creating a climate of divisiveness and fear, it is extremely useful for us to recall Edward R. Morrow’s 1954 See It Now special entitled A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow’s conclusion to the program was truly magistral:

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.

The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Edward R. Murrow: Good Night and Good Luck

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Keith Olbermann: America is Being Run by a Petulant Child

Keith Olbermann really took President Bush to the woodshed on Tuesday in response to Bush’s infantile behavior at his press conference earlier in the day. On Countdown, Keith Olbermann looked once again at proof that the world’s last remaining superpower is being run by an out-of-control petulant child prone to erupt in temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way. And Bush’s way, it seems, is always the only way he can see. It’s as if Bush is wearing psychological blinders, and anything that’s not within his very limited field of view is essentially non-existent as far as he’s concerned.

Keith Olbermann: Countdown

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