As six people lay dead and dying – and 13 others wounded – in a Walmart Supermarket parking lot in Tuscon on Sunday, the knives were already being sharpened by both liberals and conservatives decrying the social environment that could have produced such senseless murders.
Liberals have attempted to implicate the Tea Party movement, pointing to Sarah Palin’s mid-term election campaign which targeted certain Democratic law makers with the image of a bulls eye – among them Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman amplified this and was the first out of the gate:
” We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist.
The above paragraph was written by a Nobel Laureate, an economist whose exactitude in presenting data to buttress his arguments is legion.
Why, then, wouldn’t he be just as concerned with verifying facts before making wild guesses about such a pointless tragedy? The truth is that neither Krugman nor the New York Times may be as concerned with ascertaining the facts as with obtaining mileage for an anti- conservative cause. For no matter who Jared Lee Loughner eventually turns out to be, the dead in Tuscon deserve much more than being transformed into martyrs for a cause, which they certainly are not.