WASHINGTON – The nation's caustic political climate has become a suspect of sorts in the rampage that left six dead and a lawmaker critically injured in Arizona. Already, appeals are being heard to tone down the rhetoric.
The captured suspect's motives remain unknown despite his online diatribes betraying resentment of the government and a scattered state of mind. Still, the attack on Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and those who were with has intensified the scrutiny on how much is too much, and how hot is too hot, in political debate.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democratic leader in the Senate, on Sunday cited imagery of crosshairs on political opponents and Sarah Palin's combative rallying cry, "Don't retreat; reload."
"These sorts of things, I think, invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response," Durbin said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Hey, you fucking idiots: Those were figures of speech, not literal instructions.
What about the pictures we've all seen of protesters carrying signs that said "Kill Bush"? We didn't hear shit from you then. Or was that okay?