I would like to know what rock David Gergen has been living under for the last two years if he thinks this tragedy in Arizona is possibly just the beginning of a period of violence. Someone needs to tell him to go read our contributor Jon Perr's post if he actually hasn't been paying attention to how many people have already been killed over the last couple of years. We don't need to know "what part of that culture" of violence led to the actions by the shooter in Arizona to know that it's long past time to tell the right wing in this country to quit using violent rhetoric as a political tool to terrorize those they disagree with.
I'd also like for him to explain who he's talking about that supposedly "hurled" violent rhetoric at George W. Bush? And if he's going to start hurling around words himself like "malgovernance" in respect to this astroturf tea party and their list of grievances, let's hear some specifics and not sweeping generalizations. If anyone's been guilty of "malgovernance" for the last ten years, it's the Republicans who have absolutely no interest in governing whatsoever.
If Gergen wants us all to get along, maybe we could start with pundits like him promising to quit coming on the television and lying to the viewers week after week, or telling us to have an "adult conversation" about how to dismantle Social Security? How about that for some good will David?
GERGEN: Absolutely, we need to cool the rhetoric, we need to cool the accusations John because twenty four hours later, you know this man who is charged remains a complete mystery to us. We don’t know what he was motivated by.
We do live in a culture of violence, not just the of politics of violence, but we don’t know what part of that culture contributed in some way to his derangement or possibly sparked him and until we do, accusing each other of being responsible for going off, you know there were a lot of charges coming on the Internet yesterday, right after the shooting, before we even knew basically anything about this man from the left saying that this obviously traces back to Sarah Palin, the tea party, Glenn Beck and all the rest and then the right counters the charge and says wait a minute, what about all the rhetoric that you all hurled at George W. Bush, the violent rhetoric that you had used against him. And what about your malgovernance that has sparked a citizens’ revolt in this country?
And the charges and the counter-charges went back and forth and what have they left us with? We still don’t understand what happened and yet we’re… even as we’re deeply saddened tonight, we’re even more divided than we were before this happened, so if we’re going to pull back from the brink on this, we’re not going to have… Matt Bai had I thought a good piece in the New York Times today saying this may not be the single product of what’s going on in our country. It may be the beginning of a period of violence as we saw in the sixties when there were many assassinations as you and I recall so vividly.
So this is a time for us to cool the rhetoric, for everyone to take a second look. I think the sheriff… I didn’t agree with everything that sheriff said yesterday, but I do think when he called for soul searching that was wise advice.