The shooting at the Republican baseball practice has prompted virtually every commentator and columnist to pronounce on the question of whether intemperate political speech leads to political violence. Now that it is a Bernie Sanders supporter and admirer of the Southern Poverty Law Center who has gone on the rampage, even a few lefties are regretting the frenzy of Tea Party-blaming that followed Jared Loughner’s attempt to kill Gabby Giffords in 2011.
Charles Blow of the New York Times is warning Republicans not to blame anti-Trump vitriol for the shooting, and patting himself on the back for refraining from blaming the “climate of hate” that so many claimed prompted the Giffords shooting. Still, he can’t bring himself to condemn or even mention the people who don’t just stop at “violent rhetoric,” but who regularly put it into practice: the so-called “anti-fascists.”
It’s good to see the media worrying about whether it may be wrong to try to score political points whenever there is violence, but they do a bad job of pretending to be above the fray. In a Wednesday editorial on the Scalise shooting, the Times wrote that the Giffords attackwas politically motivated, and made a correction only under an avalanche of criticism from readers.
The Left is certainly consistent in refusing to draw larger conclusions from attacks by Muslims. Every attack, they assure us, is the work of deranged fanatics, and says nothing about Islam itself or the wisdom of permitting Muslim immigration to the West. Somehow, the obvious escapes them: that countries with large populations of Muslims have a problem with Islamic terror, and countries that have kept them out don’t. It is now standard for promoters of mass immigration to accuse nations such as Hungary and Poland that keep out Muslim “migrants” of betraying “European values.”