The Gospel According to Gabrielle Giffords

The New York Times’ Frank Rich has taken the sword from fellow leftist Paul Krugman and continued the campaign to charge Palin, Beck, and the Tea Party with murder. Rich’s approach is to appropriate the words of Gabrielle Giffords and send them into battle against the enemies of goodness and light.

Before the Tuscon shootings, Gabrielle Giffords was merely one of 400 plus members of Congress, a woman who was little known outside of Arizona. I saw her for the first time on TV during the brouhaha over Arizona’s illegal immigration law where she could be heard blasting the Federal Government for irresponsibly shirking its duty to protect the borders. Here’s what appeared on her website:

Our district in southeastern Arizona has paid a heavy price for the burden of drug smuggling and illegal immigration. I share your concerns that for too long, the federal government has failed to secure our border, and Congress has refused to fix our broken immigration laws. We are on the frontlines of the immigration crisis and confront the many negative impacts of illegal immigration every day. That is why I will not relent in my efforts to find ways to ease the burden placed on our local law enforcement, health and social service agencies and public schools.

After I first arrived in Washington, I have regularly met with community leaders, elected officials and residents to learn how illegal immigration affects their everyday lives. Receiving suggestions from constituents, like you, also guides my work. This information is very helpful as I educate and persuade my colleagues to take on this complicated economic, social and public safety issue.

However, until the federal government can demonstrate that it is serious about border security, we will see no progress in fixing our other broken immigration laws. Reform should include tough employer sanctions and a national employee verification system such as the New Employee Verification Act that I introduced along with Republican Congressman Sam Johnson. Amnesty cannot be granted to those who have entered illegally. They must be brought out from the shadows and overcome very strict requirements if they are to apply for legalization.

I will continue to fight to fix our broken immigration laws and against the partisan bickering that has stalled action for far too long. This remains my top priority in Congress.

And Giffords on the satanic Fox News:

Since the shootings, however, Giffords has been miraculously transformed from an aggressive opponent of illegal immigration and a vocal critic of Washington’s irresponsibility into a supporter of “comprehensive immigration reform,” also known as amnesty.

In other words, Jared Loughner has transformed Gabrielle Giffords from a real world politician who wants to be re-elected into a political martyr whose words can be mobilized by hacks like Frank Rich to bludgeon those with whom he disagrees.

Rich writes:

…Did Loughner see Palin’s own most notorious contribution to the rancorous tone — her March 2010 Web graphic targeting Congressional districts? We have no idea — nor does it matter. But Giffords did. Her reaction to it — captured in an interview she did back then with Chuck Todd of MSNBC — was the most recycled, if least understood, video of last week.

The week of that interview began with the House passing the health care bill on Sunday. Within hours, on Monday morning, vandals smashed the front door of Giffords’s office in Tucson. The Palin “target” map (and the accompanying Twitter dictum to “RELOAD”) went up on Tuesday, just one day after that vandalism — timing that was at best tone-deaf and at worst nastily provocative. Not just Giffords, but at least three other of the 20 members of Congress on the Palin map were also hit with vandalism or death threats.

In her MSNBC interview that Wednesday, Giffords said that Palin had put the “crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” adding that “when people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.” Chuck Todd then asked Giffords if “in fairness, campaign rhetoric and war rhetoric have been interchangeable for years.” She responded that colleagues who had been in the House “20, 30 years” had never seen vitriol this bad. But Todd moved on, and so did the Beltway. What’s the big deal about a little broken glass? Few wanted to see what Giffords saw — that the vandalism and death threats were the latest consequences of a tide of ugly insurrectionism that had been rising since the final weeks of the 2008 campaign and that had threatened to turn violent from the start…

Did Loughner, Giffords, or Rich see the Democratic Leadership map with actual bulls eyes over “targeted” districts? Could the vandalism possibly have been perpetrated by those incensed by Gifford’s vocal stance against illegal immigration? No way!

The apotheosis of Gabrielle Giffords will continue. Thus an ordinary politician, motivated in large part by the desire to survive politically in a swing district, becomes a martyr whose utterances are to be taken as gospel. If she recovers and is able to return to politics, you can be sure the Democratic Party will move her from the back benches to front and center. A saint who has returned from the dead is a terrible thing to waste.

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