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NY Times Krugman Blames AZ Shooting on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh

January 9, 2011

New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman took to his blog site Saturday to blame Republicans and conservatives for the attempted murder of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Despite the somber occasion, Krugman chose to be combative and shamelessly used Saturday’s tragedy to berate those ideologically opposed to him.

Before any evidence came to light about who the shooter and what his motivations might be, Krugman assumed the act was politically motivated by disgruntled Republicans:

We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.

Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.

After Sarah Palin offered her condolences, Krugman fired back:

Update: I see that Sarah Palin has called the shooting “tragic”. OK, a bit of history: right-wingers went wild over anyone who called 9/11 a tragedy, insisting that it wasn’t a tragedy, it was an atrocity.

Apparently readers weren‘t happy with Krugman’s assessment, voicing their displeasure in the form of comments.

Update: I’m going to take down comments on this one; they would need a lot of moderating, because the crazies are coming out in force, and it’s all too likely to turn into a flame war.

In actuality, Saturday’s alleged shooter is described as a very disturbed individual who enjoys books such as “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto.”  According to police reports, the suspect is also believed to have done drugs in the past and was rejected by the Army when he tried to enlist in Dec. 2008.

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