COMMENTARY: The moment the "Breaking News" banner went up on MSNBC, announcing the tragic shooting rampage in Tucson, the knee-jerk liberal invective hit the Twitter Face Space.
Of course it was Fox News's fault.
Of course the blood's on Sarah Palin's hands -- note the political map she posted during the campaign showing gun sights on congressional districts where she wanted to defeat the Democrat.
And, of course, before we even knew the name of the assailant, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, what triggered him was immediately obvious: He had been brainwashed by the poisoned brew of Tea Party antigovernment rhetoric.
Three days later, what's most amazing to me is how this blame-the-conservatives story line is alive and well, even after the facts have come to light.
Loughner is a mentally deranged whack-ball. A list of his favorite books, according to The Wall Street Journal, included Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto. He had become obsessed with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Jewish congresswoman and supporter of Israel.
There has been no evidence or indication to support the accusations and insinuations that he was inspired by the Tea Party.
In fact, he was known to burn the American flag, which is hardly a Tea Party ritual.
But why let the truth ruin a good story?
As the National Review points out, the best comparison may be to Sirhan Sirhan, who in 1968 assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy because of Kennedy's support for Israel.
Truth is, this is the situation lefties have been secretly waiting for. It's the chance to say that the Right is fomenting a culture of violence that would eventually lead to the death of innocents. See, Glenn Beck is an accomplice to murder!
They conveniently ignore the examples of so-called violent incitement by liberal commentators. Remember how Keith Olbermann, back in 2008, joked about using goons to get Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race against Obama? He suggested getting "somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out."
To blame Sarah Palin for this shooting rampage, as they are doing, is, at best, intellectually dishonest. At worst, it's its own form of hate speech. Even Barbara Walters said on The View
this week that she feels bad for Sarah for all the fingers pointing menacingly in her direction. Come on, Sarah Palin is enough of a stupid joke as a politician that Democrats should want to help her get the next Republican presidential nomination.
I find it absolutely disgusting that liberals would try to exploit this horrific event for political purposes. It's too bad for them that Congresswoman Giffords is a true moderate. She's a strong supporter of Second Amendment gun rights and is even a former Republican.
The people who have more to worry about, in terms of their safety, are conservatives. Some well-known conservative speakers require security details to accompany them on speaking engagements on college campuses. Bill O'Reilly talks about receiving constant death threats.
If we're going to speculate on root causes for Loughner turning into a murderous sociopath, why aren't we talking about the extreme violence in today's video games and movies? Whenever there's a school shooting, don't we always point to guns and killing being glamorized by Hollywood? Leftists don't want to go there when they see an opportunity to seek revenge on the party that just shellacked them in the November election.
This is an extraordinarily sad story for the people wounded and killed as well as for our country. But as a new American citizen who is proud to be part of what this nation stands for, it hurts me to see those on the Left trying to use this horrific event as a means to smear those with whom they disagree.