Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Limbaugh: Tuscon shooting suspect has 'full support' of Democratic Party



By GARY BAUMGARTEN

There's nothing like a mass shooting - one that targeted a U.S. congresswoman - to bring out more of the insane political rhetoric that's been plaguing the nation.


Top rated national talk show host Rush Limbaugh actually uses the situation as fodder to argue that the charged would-be assassin of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiled for his mug shot because he knows he has the support of the Democratic Party. (Limbaugh smiled for hisPalm Beach County, Florida mug shot when he was booked on drug charges.)

Limbaugh's warped argument is that because some Democrats  argue the tragedy in Tuscon as cause to tone down the political rhetoric and are citing Republican Sarah Palin putting cross hairs over Gifford's district in a campaign ad - they are backing alleged shooter Justin Loughner. Because, Loughner's alleged actions gave them a reason to criticize Palin.

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country," Limbaugh said.

"He knows that a Democrat Party, the Democrat Party, is attempting to find anybody but him to blame."

It is true that we don't know whether the political rhetoric tipped Loughner over the top. But there's no question that mentally unstable individuals could be prompted into violence by irresponsible rhetoric. Even if that rhetoric wasn't designed to elicit that kind of a reaction.

To argue that it's unfair to imply that Republican rhetoric may have prompted the killings of six people and wounding of 11 others, including Giffords, on Saturday is one thing. But to say that Loughner has the "full support of the Democratic Party" is - even for Limbaugh - a new low.

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Gary Baumgarten is news and programming director at the Paltalk News Network

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