The shooting this morning of an Arizona congresswoman (who at this writing is in critical condition) is a chilling moment in American history. It appears that six people were killed, including a young child and a federal judge.
Some have already noted that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was featured last year in a map created by Sarah Palin’s Political Action Committee. The map used crosshairs to identify 20 members of Congress who supported health care reform legislation.
Just as stunning is the language we continue to hear and see from extremist right-wing groups, including in Texas. This morning, in fact, the Houston-based Life & Liberty Political Action Committee sent out an e-mail accusing the Obama administration and congressional supporters of “death-dealing” health care reform of using tax dollars to murder babies through abortion and subject the sick and elderly to “death panels.” Then we read this passage:
“Politicians’ home offices are staffed by locals… locals who do not want to look their neighbors in the face and lie. These Congress Critters LIVE in these areas and when they come home on breaks and to campaign (continuously) they are no longer sheltered by taxpayer-paid Capitol Hill staffers who shield the Members from We the People.”
Let’s be clear: the Life and Liberty PAC’s e-mail does not — thanks goodness — call for assassinating elected officials. It explicitly calls for recipients to sign petitions, fax elected officials and vote out anyone who supported health care reform. But we wonder what message the PAC’s leaders really think they are sending with outrageous and incendiary claims that the government — with the support of President Obama and members of Congress — was murdering babies over Christmas:
“Not only has the government attempted to eradicate Christ from His own birthday celebration; but like Herod, our government was murdering babies throughout the holiday season… with your tax money.”
The e-mail goes on to charge that “ObamaCare Death Panels have already begun” and are essentially condemning seriously ill people to death. And then this:
“Since the unborn, elderly and the infirm and vulnerable were not afforded respite from government death-dealing even during the Holy Season of Christmas, there can be no respite for the politicians who fund their deaths in the New Year!”
As we said, chilling.