Hold Your Fire

The dead aren’t even buried yet and already blame is being assigned and the ass-covering has begun.

What a surprise. Only it’s not.

In this 24-hr news cycle where getting it fast often means getting it wrong (Rep. Giffords was shot dead. Oh, wait! She’s still alive! Nevermind) the sound and the fury and the visuals mean more than the facts.

There is no evidence Jared Loughner was a conservative, a right-winger, a Tea Partier, a Palinista or anything other than a twisted little fuck playing out the role of a movie in his own diseased head. None. No FBI and no police reports that he had squirreled away in his home a wank-stained copy of Going Rogue under his bed and the SarahPac “crosshairs” poster of Democrats targeted for defeat last November.

Anyone that knows me knows I’ve got about as much use for Palin as a used Kleenex. But do I really want her political Waterloo to be brought about because one evil bastard with a headful of bad wiring might have misinterpreted a stupidly intemperate remark to, “Don’t Retreat–Instead RELOAD” as a command to shoot a nine-year-old girl in the chest?

I hope Palin has a lot of sleepless nights in her future wondering if there’s any cause-and-effect at work here, but it takes a special kind of hatred to hope there’s a link between her and Loughner.

Soon enough the facts about Loughner will come out in revolting detail. The motivations that are blurry now will come into sharp focus. We will know more about him than we ever wanted or needed to.

Not that there’s any need to wait for that stuff as we choose up sides and trip over each other rushing to be first to say “I told you so.” Why be right when you can be self-righteous?

For anyone hoping for a mea culpa from Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter to cool it with the “violent metaphors” you can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

It ain’t gonna happen, so why look for an apology they are never going to give and you wouldn’t accept?

For anyone expecting an admission from Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermman, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow or Michael Moore that they too have poisoned the well of civility, comity and common decency as much as any right-winger they rail against, you’re waiting for a letter that was never written and even if it had been they lost your address.

No apologies will be forthcoming from any of the usual suspects because they don’t think they owe you one.

Do the people we can’t stand know they are the villains of our private mortality plays? Do they know there’s not enough white hats to go around and they’re gonna have to wear a black one?

Why it’s so important they acknowledge we are right and they are wrong? Who’s keeping score? Who’s ahead on points and what do we have for the winners, Johnny?

Why does it matter so goddamn much? Will knowing who’s to bless and who’s to blame give Judge John Roll, Christina Green, Gabe Zimmerman, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, and Dorothy Morris one more breath?

One side believes they are on the side of the angels and the other side knows they are.

The only side that matters is the one that cares about neither.

That’s Jared Lee Loughner’s side and he’s the biggest man in America today. And we made him that way. We focus on what keeps us fighting and squabbling among ourselves. We give away our power to him and the weaker we make ourselves the stronger we make the insane little monsters like him.

Sooner rather than later, we will repeat this all over again. Someone will get shot. Experts will pontificate. The wise will speak and write words that will be heard and read, but probably go largely unheeded.

Then we can dance this dance all over again. New steps. Same old music.

This is Jared Lee Loughner.

And he’s laughing at you.

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3 thoughts on “Hold Your Fire

  1. “For anyone expecting an admission from Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermman, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow or Michael Moore that they too have poisoned the well of civility, comity and common decency as much as any right-winger they rail against, you’re waiting for a letter that was never written and even if it had been they lost your address.”

    Jeff, I followed you up to this point. But it’s at this point (the one I provided above) that we’ll have to part company for a bit. There’s no equivalency, moral or otherwise, between what these liberals commentators that you specified above have said, and their Republican counterparts.

    Perhaps I’m not listening with the level of objectivity as you, but I haven’t heard liberals use the same intemperate rhetoric, and incivility, that I hear coming from the “right-wing.” Not with the same intensity, degree, or preponderance.

    Referencing President Obama alone, he’s been referred to by those on the Right as “the magic Negro,” a Hitlerian character, a Stalinist, a communist, A JOKER, a Muslim, a Muslim sympathizer, the anti-Christ, Kenyan (not born in America), foreign (not an American with American sensibilities), having “deep-seated hatred of whites,” providing reparations to blacks, a liar (during an address to congress), uppity, and portrayed as a witch doctor, bone in his nose and all, with e-mails disseminated with watermelon patches on the White House lawn.

    I have not (let me emphasis this), I HAVE NOT seen this level of incivility coming from the Left, not from politicians, nor liberal pundits.

    Now, I can continue with you down the promenade: You’ve made some excellent points:

    “We focus on what keeps us fighting and squabbling among ourselves. We give away our power to him and the weaker we make ourselves the stronger we make the insane little monsters like him.”

    Okay, we’re in step here, somewhat. And you came so close with this statement:

    “One side believes they are on the side of the angels and the other side knows they are.

    “The only side that matters is the one that cares about neither.

    “That’s Jared Lee Loughner’s side and he’s the biggest man in America today. And we made him that way.”

    You’re right in this sense: We didn’t just make Jared the “the biggest man in America today,” we made him the monster than he is. He’s a “monster” because we’re the monster. Jared is us! What happened in Arizona is about us. All of us! That’s what is missing in this dialog, as well as our national dialog.

    This heinous act that Jared perpetrated is not so much about Jared, but about us. It’s about our appetite for, and indulgence of, violence in society. We resort to violence for our entertainment, and, on occasion, for our sport.

    We worship gun ownership, and hold the second amendment as sacrosanct, although thousands of lives are lost annually because of guns–the ease with which they’re purchased, and the efficiency with which they kill.

    Who needs a high-capacity magazine clip?

    Yesterday, only days after the killings in Arizona, the sell of glocks rose considerably throughout our nation.

    Until we change as a people, your prediction will always be our lot: “The wise will speak and write words that will be heard and read, but probably go largely unheeded.

    “Then we can dance this dance all over again. New steps. Same old music.”

  2. Wow, I actually agree with your analysis. I wish your president were in line with you rather than crassly exploiting the actions of this deranged lunatic (along with his party and their allies in the media) for political gain. But alas, liberals will be liberals. This case had nothing to do with “political rhetoric”. It had everything to do with the actions of a mentally ill psychopath and law enforcement (and school officials) failure to do anything about him in spite of multiple opportunities.

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