Jennifer Rubin in the WaPo on why the response to the Arizona shooting was "a mini-disaster for the swampland of the left":
Members of the left pounced first and didn't much care about the facts. Before it was clear just how crazy Jared Loughner is, the left blogosphere and their more high-minded print compatriots were ready to affix blame on their opponents. As the facts emerged, more quickly and thoroughly than every before in the 24/7, twitter-driven media environment, the narrative fell apart. A chorus on the left claimed causation between Sarah Palin and the killings (and then the amorphous "climate" and the deaths) and didn't much care for a careful analysis until it became clear their preferred narrative was false. As for the president, he doesn't buy it at all. He said: "And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud." (Emphasis added.) Or, as I put it, rhetorical civility and mental illness are discrete problems. And it doesn't help the liberal line when it turns out this particular lunatic was a-political and didn't watch news.Agreed. As Daniel Henninger said in the Wall Street Journal:
So, for my friends on the left: facts count. You can't spin a narrative and not be expected to be called on the underlying, flawed premise.
The response was unlike anything I have seen since the emergence of the new media. It wasn't just conservatives that rebutted the left's narrative, but diligent reporters. We think of "rapid response" as a campaign skill, but in reality that is how pundits, activists, reporters and politicians now react. Because the left's narrative was so noxious -- Sarah Palin or a floating cloud of conservative meanness caused a mass murder -- the right was filled with indignation and responded passionately, quickly and effectively. And, meanwhile, in the race to report on the biggest story of the year, the working press furiously disclosed the facts, which, as I noted above, undercut the left's storyline.
They [progressives] expected to take losses in November. What they got instead was Armageddon. Suddenly an authentic reform movement, linked to the Republican Party, whose goal simply is to stop the public spending curve, had come to life. This poses a mortal threat to the financial oxygen in the economic ecosystem that the public wing of the Democratic Party has inhabited all these years.See also Wednesday's Best of the Web; Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) on FOX News ("Whether [political rhetoric] caused what happened in Tucson or not, it’ll cause the next tragedy."); Dr. Helen ("a number of the Times's columnists overlooked the paper's own findings on rampage killings when first discussing the Arizona shooting. Do they even bother doing any research?").
Times columnist Paul Krugman's claim that Representative Michele Bachmann urged supporters to become "armed and dangerous" outrageously quoted out-of-context -- she wanted her constituents "to be armed with 'materials'--facts and arguments--not guns." No wonder liberals were alarmed: an informed electorate is a conservative electorate.
(via Instapundit, Maggie's Farm)