Sunday, 9 January 2011


The attack on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six other victims falling to gunfire by an allegedly mentally disturbed young man may be an isolated 'TAXI-DRIVER' type episode. On the other hand, it may be an omen of what is to come with the TEA PARTY Republicans raising extremist rhetoric to the level of encouraging half-crazed individuals to commit political crimes, even against fairly moderate elected Democrats like Rep. Giffords.

Rep. Giffords has been a target of political violence for some time, as have other Democrats adamantly opposed to Sarah Palin and the TEA PARTY extremists. When the system of political consensus breaks down, as it has largely because of the TEA PARTY's resolve to use heated rhetoric that breeds violence, it is to be expected that some unbalanced individual suffering chronic or temporary emotional problems will emerge to cleanse America of its evil politicians by shooting indiscriminately at crowds. Extremist TEA PARTY rhetoric may not be the only reason for the deadly shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, but it certainly seems like the prime suspect at this juncture. The police investigation will soon provide more details.

America has not had a tragedy of this magnitude since the 1960s when the Kennedy brothers and M. L. King were assassinated. In the next few weeks many in the political arena will see the Arizona massacre as a political tragedy of the Kennedy-King type. The Gifford shooting that also left a nine-year old dead, will receive immense coverage and analysis in newspapers, magazines and blogs, all of it with the author's own ideological/political spin.

As tragic as this event has been for the family and friends of the victims, and for the entire country, it may actually result in something positive. The TEA PARTY and its 'hyperbolic' propagandists may be forced to tone down the rhetoric and be forced back into that large Republican tent, instead of trying to lead it to that abyss of right-wing Armageddon. If this does not happen and a few weeks from now the TEA PARTY leadership and its propagandists are back in full force with that philosopher-politician Sarah Palin leading, then we are in for a very mean political season until the next presidential race.

My prediction is that the mainstream Republican heavyweights will eventually force the TEA PARTY leadership back into the big tent. I also think that some of the very wealthy TEA PARTY donors may have second thoughts about associating with a group now tainted after the Arizona massacre. Mainstream Republicans  interested in consensus, will be concerned of spreading political violence and will be subject to attacks by Democrats. Inadvertently alienating potential Republican voters will be an issue for the mainstream Republicans. Such concerns will take precedence over all other issues - on policy, tactics, etc. - that TEA PARTY leaders currently have on the table after riding high in the wake of last autumn's congressional election.

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