Tea Party Group Blames 'Leftist' for Giffords Shooting

by Garance Franke-Ruta

The Atlantic

January 9, 2011 -- 1:49 PM ET


cross-posted on the Cuentame Facebook page

Showing no sign of tamping down on divisive political
rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of 20 people that left
six dead in Tucson Saturday, the Tea Party Nation group e-
mailed its members Sunday warning them they would be called
upon to fight leftists in the days ahead and defend their

TPN founder Judson Phillips, in an article linked off the e-
mail "The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the left's
attack on the Tea Party movement," described the shooter as
"a leftist lunatic" and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
as a "leftist sheriff" who "was one of the first to start in
on the liberal attack." Phillips urged tea party supporters
to blame liberals for the attack on centrist Democratic Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot through the head
and is now fighting for her life, as a means of defending
the tea party movement's recent electoral gains.

"The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party
movement by blaming us for this," he wrote. Clinton used the
1995 Oklahoma City bombing to "blame conservative talk
radio, especially Rush Limbaugh" and "The tactic worked
then, backing conservatives off and possibly helping to
ensure a second Clinton term."

"The left is coming and will hit us hard on this. We need to
push back harder with the simple truth. The shooter was a
liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words," he wrote.

The Tea Party Nation is the sponsor of the Tea Party
Convention at which former GOP vice presidential nominee
Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker in February 2010.
"America is ready for another revolution!" Palin told the
assembled at the conference, to standing ovations.

Other tea party groups took a less combative tone. Tea Party
Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said Saturday her group was
"shocked and saddened" by the "terrible tragedy."

"These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are
especially grievous when committed against our elected
officials. Spirited debate is desirable in our country, but
it only should be the clash of ideas," Kremer said in a
statement published by the New York Times. "An attack on
anyone for political purposes, if that was a factor in this
shooting, is an attack on the democratic process. We join
with everyone in vociferously condemning it."

[Garance Franke-Ruta is a senior editor at The Atlantic and
oversees politics coverage for TheAtlantic.com ]


Arizona's History of Hate: A Timeline

by Jamilah King


January 11 2011


Shortly after Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, the
state of Arizona became jokingly known in some progressive
circles as the "new Mississippi." Of course, this didn't
change the fact that Mississippi is still Mississippi. But
the comparison was based on the idea that Arizona had become
to the modern immigrant rights movement what Mississippi was
to its civil rights predecessor over four decades earlier:
ground zero for the political and cultural changes sweeping
the rest of the country. And the defiant, often violent,
backlash that comes with it.

According to activists at Alto Arizona, last Saturday's
deadly shooting rampage in Tucson is just the latest in a
string of violent political acts dating back over two
decades in the state. They've put together a timeline dating
back to 1987 showing that Arizona's status as a rouge state
isn't new. It includes Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lawlessness in
Maricopa County and the horrific murder of a 9-year-old girl
and her father by Minuteman activists, and much more. Check
out the timeline, which we've posted above, and add your own

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