Sunday, 9 January 2011

How long before an attempted assassination of President Obama?

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The terrible shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, Judge John Roll and others including a nine year old child born on 9/11, yesterday demonstrated how the US is a bitterly divided nation to the point that those with extremist views or who are mentally unstable are killing and injuring political opponents. It could have been a random shooting but first indications are that the main suspect had posted ominous warnings about his actions and was caught up in the prejudice and hatred of the hard Right.
Was Congresswoman Giffords shot as a result of the febrile, hate filled atmosphere of the rabid Right?
Sarah Palin as the Tea Party's pin up girl, must take responsibility to a degree. You cannot place gun sights over the seat of a Congresswoman and not expect (in the hate filled noise of political argument) for someone somewhere to take up a gun and use it. 

Palin is not fit to be a Governor let alone a President and yet she (at least before the shooting of Giffords) had a very good chance of becoming the Republican Nominee. A recent poll showed Obama would comfortably beat her in a contest (the poll showed a 22 point lead) but there is two years to go before an election and poll leads can easily change. 
Poll: Obama vs. Palin in 2012
Will Obama face Palin in 2012?
In 1988, Michael Dukakis had a poll lead of 55 to 38 percent (17 points) and went on to be trounced by George HW Bush in the election 53 to 45 percent. The question is; will her current rhetoric secure the Republican nomination before she rows back towards the centre to try and win the election? By then the consequences of her rabble rousing could have devastating consequences. 
As the Huffington Post reported, "Giffords expressed similar concern, even before the shooting. In an interview after her office was vandalized, she referred to the animosity against her by conservatives, including Sarah Palin's decision to list Giffords' seat as one of the top "targets" in the midterm elections.
"For example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action," Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC." Quite.
The Huff went on to report:-
"Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik described the gunman as mentally unstable and possibly acting with an accomplice. He said Giffords was among 13 people wounded in the melee that killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl, an aide for the Democratic lawmaker and U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had just stopped by to see his friend Giffords after celebrating Mass. Dupnik said the rampage ended only after two people tackled the gunman.
The sheriff blamed the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed the country, much of it centered in Arizona.
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

There have been at least 20 serious attempts to kill US Presidents and four have succeeded - Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy. As the 2012 election draws ever nearer so the political rhetoric is in danger of increasing to new highs. In that kind of atmosphere how many more right wing, unstable characters will come forward with a loaded gun? It takes one mistake by the President's Secret Service or for a gunman to get lucky in getting close to the President on a walk-about and we will tragically have another assassination and the US engaged in hand wringing. 
The President needs all the security protection he can get, to prevent an attack from succeeding. Nevertheless, the coming storm of a bitter election campaign can be prevented, if the likes of Sarah Palin take a step back and tells supporters to calm down. Otherwise, a progressive, visionary President may well pay a heavy price and the US will be left wondering how its shredded political system can ever be repaired.


  1. Hold Palin Responsible. You convinced me.
    Shes a big authority figure she should be recognized as irresponsible in the extreme
    telling hunters to put Gifford's and all the elected people like her in cross hairs.
    There are lots of dangerous nuts out there that might take her graphic advice literally. This guy was worse than the nut that walked in gillibrand's office with a gun screaming "call the police I belong in a mental hospital" in 2008!!!

  2. A little after Obama was elected and took office
    I wrote the white house to tell them that the next time Obama goes to a city it should be a gun control city not a city that lets rifle carrying hunters come a block away from the President of the United States in a protest demonstration. The crazy thing; nobody from the White House got back to me. Nobody thanked me.

  3. It is a very sad day for the citizens of the United States of America when one of our political people who touts herself as a leader, posts a targeted list depicted by cross hairs of a gun site. People who may be thinking of taking such an action can be encouraged to do so when they think someone who is supposed to lead our country would support such an action. American citizens should stand together to address issues and concerns intelligently rather than with a terrorist slant.


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