When a deranged gunman shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 20 others in January, partisan Democrats leaped at the chance to blame Republican rhetoric for the crime. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was among the first, warning, “You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, et al. 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.”
Krugman was just the (excuse the expression) opening salvo. The sanctimonious hand-wringing that followed from NPR programs, liberal editorial writers, and cable chat shows was continuous. All use of war metaphors was declared out of bounds. There was to be no more talk of primary fights or battleground states or targeted districts or shots across the bow. Perhaps even the word “campaign” was too tainted.
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