Since despite the overwhelming evidence now pointing to Jared Lee Loughner being straight-up nuts, political rhetoric (namely, that of right-wingers) is still the topic of discussion, it’s apparently necessary to remind people WHY that rhetoric is taken up in the first place.
See, merely saying “While so’n’so says X, I think he’s wrong and say Y” and leaving it at that doesn’t prompt or inflame passion, and without passion all you have is the facts. The facts show how hollow the effort is, since no matter who wins the same few people generally maintain real political control. No, a vote can’t just be between folks who respectfully disagree, it has to be a shot in the culture war, portrayed to the constituency being captured as if their check mark/click/lever pull/whatever were a key to a good vs evil struggle. In the U.S., invoking the revolution touches that Epic Struggle Against Evil button (despite the conduct of the founders including big chunks of evil regardless…) while simultaneously stroking patriotic sentiment.
Yes, it’s stupid, for reasons I’ve stated before. They don’t actually mean it, because the argument being made would include THEM if they did. Does that mean there aren’t people out there taking it seriously? No. But removing the rhetoric and expecting the political status quo to just go on as usual is like popping a water balloon and expecting the water to stay in that shape. Rhetoric is all they’ve got, folks.
BTW: If not for local government cronyism, Loughner would have been unable to commit that shooting in the first place. He’d been making death threats — which, last I checked, was considered a crime in itself — to people long before then & the sheriff knew about it.