“Arizona is not a world apart, but its political culture has often resided at a distance from much of the nation”, is the opening of this article by Jennifer Steinhauer. That the state is being invaded by drug dealers, killers and invaders of all sorts of stripes from Mexico is not mentioned as a possible cause, if, indeed, the sentence is true.
The title is….”Shooting Highlights Arizone’s Charged Politics”…..what does “Charged Politics” mean. Who and what is doing the charging…..What do we know about the “charger” in the Giffords tragedy except that the attacker seems to have serious mental issues? The Tribune-Times article is sent to posts abroad. This is what the world reads if they pick up this issue. It continues:
“But after the fatal shooting of six that left Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically injured, Arizona has shifted from a place on the political fringe to symbol of a nation whose political discourse has lost its way.
The moment was crystallized by Clarence W. Dupnik, the Pima County sheriff, who, in a remarkable news conference on Saturday after the shooting, called his state “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
On Sunday, the state found itself increasingly on the defensive against notions that it is a hothouse of hateful language and violent proclivities. It was as if Arizona somehow created the setting for the shocking episode, even though there was no evidence to support the claim.
Arizona’s United States senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans, moved quickly to defend their home state, denouncing before national audiences the man accused in the shooting, and, in Mr. Kyl’s case, suggesting that Mr. Dupnik had overreached. “I didn’t really think that that had any part in a law enforcement briefing last night,” Mr. Kyl said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS.
Other elected officials were pressed to explain why the assault might have taken place in their state. “Arizona’s the epicenter of a lot of division and a lot of hard politics,” Representative Raul M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “From the top to the bottom of not only our elected leadership, but community.”
In recent years, where much of the nation has seen intolerance, Arizona has cited security. What other Americans have viewed as outlandish, Arizona has interpreted as independence. It is one of the few states in America that would produce a politician like Ms. Giffords: a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, tough on border issues, and a Democrat passionate about the health care overhaul.
Its unusual mix of residents largely born and raised outside of the state, its three-way political divide — independents are as numerous as Republicans and Democrats — bifurcated urban and rural culture and strong pro-gun laws give the state an independent, and at times almost isolated, streak.
While the individual components of Arizona are shared by other states, the mix of the state’s border proximity, rapid growth and dire fiscal circumstances have combined in the last few years into a riveting and sometimes chilling theater of fiscal, political and cultural tensions.
The shooting comes soon after the passage of a strict anti-immigration measure that is being challenged by the federal government, the killing of a rancher that led to the law and the revelation that the state has stopped paying for some transplants for critically ill patients. There is also the state’s role as an early promoter of the effort during the 2010 Senate campaign to write the children of illegal immigrants out of the 14th Amendment provision that grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States.
“Just when we were starting to emerge from the P.R. trauma of the immigration law, and with the eyes of the nation upon us for the college football national championship all week for Monday night’s game, we offer up our state as the land of Oswalds,” said Jason Rose, a native Arizonan and a well-known political adviser in Phoenix. “This tragedy can’t help but curtail, at least for some time, Arizona’s role as a Wild West incubator.”
Talk radio, which has a long tradition in Arizona, has been particularly heated as the state has struggled with immigration. “You’ve got a lot going on in Arizona that feeds into the kind of discourse that some people think is creating a contentious climate in this country,” said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers magazine, which covers the industry. “I wouldn’t say that talk radio is more contentious or extreme or radical in Arizona, but they are just closer to the issues at hand. It’s a national story elsewhere; there, it’s a local story.”
Arizona has found itself in the position of self-defense against a critical nation before. Shortly after taking office in 1987, Gov. Evan Mecham rescinded the state holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a move that enraged state workers and caused a boycott of the state, which was the last to finally embrace the holiday.
“Arizona’s at the tip of the spear,” said Kelly Townsend, a co-founder of the Greater Phoenix Tea Party. “I think people are getting to the pressure point where they can’t restrain themselves anymore in expressing their feelings.
“I don’t mean restrain themselves in terms of violence, but calling names. It’s a reaction to all the pressures we’re facing. It’s not that anyone is trying to hurt anyone. It’s just that our budget is so incredibly stressed right now that we can’t afford to be paying for so many people coming into our state. There’s a lot of pressure on the backs of everyone, and so the anger and these kinds of statements are made underneath that pressure.”
While many states have nonrestrictive gun laws, Arizona’s zeal for weapons has often made headlines. It recently became one of just a few states with a law that allows people to carry concealed guns without a permit. Last summer, Ms. Giffords’s Republican opponent, Jesse Kelly, had a campaign event in which voters were invited to “shoot a fully automatic M-16” with him to symbolize his assault on her campaign.
The state also allows for weapons in bars, which is unusual. Last year, an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, Pamela Gorman, ran on a pro-gun platform; a campaign video depicted her firing off rounds several times.
Arizona may now stand at a crossroad, in which the state’s more moderate, independent political factions begin to seize the state’s political discourse, in the spirit of Barry Goldwater and the pre-2008 Mr. McCain, or becomes all the more polarized. But, said Mr. Rose, who at one point was a spokesman for J. D. Hayworth, the former radio host who challenged Mr. McCain in the primary last year, “Either way, a giant collision is about to occur.”
New York Times Leftwing Columnist and “noted economist”, Paul Krugman, wrote the following:
“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.”
Marxists like Paul Krugman don’t need facts and use truth when needed. The Times specialist wrote the article yesterday midday shortly after the attack occurred. Please click here for more:
I cannot describe the political climate in Arizona these days. I can imagine the anger among the citizens that the border areas are a war zone of murderers and drug dealers and that Americans are not safe in their own homes. Now that might upset a few folks……But, how does this atmosphere transfer to the horrors of yesterday’s shooting particularly between the attacker who seems to have mental problems and his intended victim, Gabrielle Giffords?
Not all Leftists are Marxists and loonies. Howard Kurtz is one you might not dislike. He wrote an article at Politico, titled: “Should We Blame Sarah Palin for Gabrielle Giffords’ Shooting?” click to read: