In March 2010 Sarah Palin had a campaign against Democrats from the conservative districts who had voted for the health care bill on her Facebook page.
Among the Democarts targeted was Gabrielle Giffords who was shot yesterday. Six people died and 18 were injured in the tragedy.
Palin’s page used a map of the America with crosshair targets located over 20 districts that were carried by the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 and whose representatives voted for the health care bill.
The map didn’t use photos but placed the crosshairs over their geographic districts and included a list of names underneath it.
The page was promoted through Palin’s Twitter account with the slogans:
“Take Back the 20!” and, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!“
I’ve never taken to Sarah Palin – too brash and too in your face for me. Now I wonder if her brashness and her words have been a factor in this tragedy.
As Giffords’ father was rushing to the hospital after his daughter was shot, the New York Post asked him if his daughter had any enemies. “Yeah,” he said. “The whole Tea Party.”
Even the Sheriff investigating the tragedy has commented on such inflamatory political rhetoric:
‘When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,’ Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told a news conference.
‘The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.
‘And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.’
He added: ‘That may be free speech. But it’s not without consequence.’
Palin’s online followers have hit out at her:
‘What a hypocrite you are,’ wrote Kathy Henn.
‘You targeted this woman – literally with a target on her district – one of your freaky Fox followers hunted her down – and now you try to distance yourself from blame.’
Kirsten Sherk added: ‘A child was killed today by someone who can’t tell the difference between ‘inspiring’ speech and a call to arms. I was appalled by your violent speech before, I’m horrified now.’
It’ll be interesting to watch how this pans out.
In the meantime I hope that Gabrielle Giffords and all those injured make a full recovery.
Rest in Peace to all those who died.