The Campaign Spot

What We’ve Learned

The Arizona shooting has been a disturbingly clarifying moment in our public life.

Keith Olbermann, who once a night declares someone “the Worst Person in the World” — even the daughter of a well-known political figure — really seems to think that he has the credibility and authority to demand Sarah Palin’s “dismissal from politics” over “violent imagery in politics.”

Clarence Dupnik really thinks the best thing for a sheriff with jurisdiction over a crime scene and the duty to secure evidence for the successful prosecution of a horrific massacre is to appear with Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Keith Olbermann, Parker/Spitzer, Megyn Kelly, and who knows how many other television-program hosts by the time the week is out.

Time’s Mark Halperin thinks that now is the moment for conservatives to “turn the other cheek.” (It’s always easier to urge the other guy to do that, huh?)

Rep. Bob Brady (D., Pa.) believes that America needs to criminalize symbols, specifically the “use of ‘language or symbols’ that could be interpreted as inciting violence against a member of Congress.” Threats against lawmakers are already a crime, and the question of who interprets the language or symbols, and what standards represents inciting violence, are to be sorted out later, apparently.

Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) believes he can best be protected by placing himself in the center of a circle with a 1,000-foot radius, that moves with him, in which possession of a firearm is a federal crime. The constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights of those within that circle are null and void, apparently.

Rep. Bernie Sanders, Vermont independent, sees nothing problematic about sending out a letter that begins, “Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country. I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at”

Some unnamed Democratic consultant had no problem articulating to Politico what a political opportunity the shooting is.


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