Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the chief law officer in Pima County, Arizona, is under attack from the flying monkeys of the Right -- particularly the winged armies assembled by Rush Limbaugh -- for getting up Saturday and telling the truth about the environment of fear and hatefulness that right-wing hate talkers have created in this country, because it was in that environment that Saturday's tragedy in Tucson occurred.
Here's what Limbaugh says:
LIMBAUGH: Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is on the path here of attempting now to expressly personally associate me with this event. We have a law enforcement officer, the sheriff of that county, admitting he's got no facts for what he's speculating about. I don't know. Maybe Pima County would have been better served by a real sheriff, one who spent his time trying to lock up nutbags and criminals, rather than finding ways to excuse them. He hasn't pointed out a single thing that I have said that would inspire such a heinous act.
This means, naturally, that Dupnik and his office are being inundated with vicious hate mail and death threats as we speak.
Dupnik was on Chris Matthews' show yesterday and admitted he "had no idea" the kind of forces he was calling down upon his head for having uttered this plain and simple truth.
But it's important that Dupnik stand his ground -- and that he knows he has the full backing of the rest of non-right-wing America for standing up the way he has.
Because not only was what Dupnik said the truth, it was an important truth that needs to be defended head-on from the all-out assault on it being waged by the right-wing noise machine -- the very faction, in fact, that it is intended to call to account.
The core kernel of hard truth he's been trying to convey is, in truth, a fairly simple one:
There's been a lot of crazy talk coming from the American Right the past couple of years. And crazy talk, especially when it is sanctioned at the highest levels of media and politics, has a powerful way of fueling crazy people who engage in crazy -- horrifically crazy -- acts.
Here's how he put it to Matthews:
DUPNIK: There's no doubt in my mind. Particularly troubled personalities, which is what we're dealing with here, are very vulnerable to the emotion that comes out, especially anger, hate, paranoia, and so forth. And when you were talking about Sarah Palin-- I happen to be a not -- only an admirer and somebody who respects Gabby Giffords, I was involved in her campaign. And you talk about the crosshairs on Gabby Giffords. Well, I want to tell you that her opponent, who was heartily endorsed very vocally by Sarah Palin, had an event, a fund-raising event, where the people were invited I think to a barbecue or something with the -- after the barbecue, if they wanted to, they could each come up and fire an automatic rifle, a semi- automatic rifle. And this same individual had hundreds of campaign ads starting out by saying, Are you as mad at Washington? Boy, I want to tell you, I sure am.
Seriously, do people on the Right expect the rest of us to sit and listen to them talk about how we progressives are a "cancer" out to destroy America, how the Tea Party "a second revolution" and how they need to reserve the right to armed insurrection, to watch them bring guns to public political gatherings because it's their "right", to see them run ads using targets over people, to hear the irrational screaming anger at their rallies ... and then NOT conclude they've played a role when someone shoots a Democratic Congressman in one of the main hotbeds of such angry talk?
Obviously, they do. They have a big awakening coming.