Most of those who are trying to exploit the shooting in Arizona for political gain have become slightly – but only slightly – more nuanced in doing so. Since it became apparent quickly that it wouldn’t fly to actually blame Sarah Palin or the tea party for the shooting, most of them have now changed their argument to this: Palin and the tea party didn’t cause it, but you can’t ignore how they’ve fostered an atmosphere of anger in the country.
Gosh, why would anyone be angry?
Because of this, the argument goes, we need to have one of those famous “national conversations” about the tone of our rhetoric. Hoo-kay.
Here’s a thought: If the political mood of the nation is angry, what might be the reason for that? What might be some possible solutions?
If Congress wants people not to be so angry, maybe it should stop running up trillions in debt. Maybe, when the public says it hates the health care bill Congress is thinking of passing, Congress should not pass it. Maybe, with unemployment scraping up against 10 percent, Congress should not flush $862 billion down the toilet and falsely claim it will make things better.
Maybe the administration shouldn’t propose to bring Gitmo terrorists to New York for a trial that could be conducted much more safely by a military commission at Gitmo. Maybe the administration shouldn’t lecture people about not paying enough in taxes when the administration never saw a dime of the federal budget it would consider for one second not spending.
Look, this has nothing to do with shootings. In spite of the nonsense coming from some people, neither the tea party nor Sarah Palin has ever advocated violence – “thinly veiled” or otherwise – and the voices in Jared Loughner’s head were not those of politicians.
But you wanted to talk about the tone of the nation’s rhetoric. You wanted to talk about the anger. Fine. Let’s talk about it. If the government was doing a super job – living within its means, respecting the Constitution, refraining from passing bills the public hates – do you think there would be as much anger? Seriously?
Maybe the political atmosphere is angry because the government has been doing a really crappy job lately, and people don’t like it. There aren’t a lot of angry football fans in New England at the moment. In Cincinnati? That’s another story. See a pattern?
Do your jobs, political leaders, and watch as most of the anger magically melts away like the snow at the end of March. It’ll be amazing. You’ll still have your cranks, and you’ll still have deranged gunman who are not obsessed with politics like you want to think they are.
Oh, and members of the media, those of you who give us disingenuous bullshit rather than serious, honest reporting might consider what you’re contributing to the nation’s disposition as well.
We don’t need lectures from the people who have brought us to the brink of bankruptcy about how we all need to be more civilized in our political expressions. We need them to quit ruining the damn country, and start doing things the right way, or step aside and make room for people who will.
Because that’s the sort of thing that usually has a phenomenal effect on a nation’s attitude. Until then, take your lectures about civility and shove them up your asses.