Were you really shocked when you heard that Gabrielle Giffords had been shot? Paul Krugman wasn’t. “I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign,” when hatred was thick in the air at McCain-Palin rallies, he writes in the New York Times. There’s been a spate of “eliminationist rhetoric,” and “it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.”
Gifford herself saw the danger, notes EJ Dionne of the Washington Post. In a March interview with MSNBC (see video), Giffords fretted over the mounting rhetoric and Sarah Palin’s now-infamous map. “When things get too fired up,” she said, political leaders must “say ‘Whoah, let’s take a step back here.’” Let’s take that step now, Dionne says. “Violent talk and playacting cannot be part of our political routine.” For an opposing view, click here.