Borger: A real test for our political leaders
January 11th, 2011
06:39 AM ET
3 years ago

Borger: A real test for our political leaders

Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°," "John King, USA" and "State of the Union."

Washington (CNN) - It is probably some form of poetic justice that, in reacting to the attempted murder of a congresswoman and the murder of a judge, some of the political discourse has devolved into an unhelpful and unenlightening argument that goes something like this: It's your fault; no, it's your fault.

Let's just stipulate a few things: The gunman is unhinged. We're not sure of his political or cultural beliefs, if he has any floating around a very warped mind. To ascribe a political motive to this shooter right now is impossible.

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Filed under: Arizona • Gabrielle Giffords • Gloria Borger
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. @Omegaraiel (twitter)

    It's a lie that we can't go ahead and give some credit to the right for continually suggesting using guns to solve political debate. 2nd Amendment solution!

    January 10, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "No political party or politician has the corner on bad and boorish behavior."

    And there we have it...the false equivalence and moral relativity that we've all been waiting for. Grow up Borger. The parties are NOT the same when it comes to using rhetoric and themes that imply violent revolt and uprising to get what they want if their chosen party is not in control and their ideology is not being followed...or don't even bother implying, just out and out saying it. Here's a hint: if you have to stretch back half a century to grab yourself some liberal 60's protestors as your examples, you're out of context and not relevant. Moreover, examples aside...what we're REALLY talking about is whether powerful, limelight hogging political leadership is espousing these ideals and this mode of political warfare on one side or the other. One side is and one isn't. THAT is clear as day. Selling the false equivalence hampers honest objective discussion and analysis of the problem and, once again, gives whoever is in the wrong a free pass on being held accountable and taking responsibility for itself...but hey, you wouldn't want to be p-ssing off that side's supporters and risking their viewership for something so meaningless as truth and journalistic integrity, now would you? Hell no.

    Everyone join in the chorus: "Nobody's wrong...everyone's the same...everything is legitimate and ok...there is no objective truth...don't pay any attention or give this any critical thought whatsoever...look over there a shiny thing...."
    s

    January 10, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Inmyopinion

    This killer was already upset at Rep.Giffords in 2007 when she didn't answer his question to his liking according to the news and he had disrupted his math college class and had run-ins with the police. This had nothing to do with Democrats, Republicans, etc... He most likely did not have a good home environment.

    January 10, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. John G

    I've just read in the Washington Post that it turns out he was/is a registered INDEPENDENT. Now will the two sides quit spewing their rhetoric? Probably not.

    January 10, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Jeff

    An individual that plans the assassination of a member of congress obviously has a political motive regardless of their mental state or party affiliation. It is absurd and contrary to the known facts to state: "To ascribe a political motive to this shooter right now is impossible."

    January 10, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  6. B

    This country is breeding this kind of mentality with a culture of Hate, political extremism, and total intolerance of other views.

    The media is awash with Hate mongers of every stripe making huge amounts of money spreading their vile rhetoric.

    We always seem to let things get completely out of control before addressing anything in this country and then forgetting it all two weeks later.. But we are the BEST, right ?

    January 10, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Indy

    The problem is there is two different agruments that are going on which were brought on by the hoffific murders in Tucson. We do not know what brought the murderer to his breaking point so it is true we cannot blame, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh,Republicans or Democrats or the Tea Party. We do however have proof that Palin had a very sickening web page with Gifford's district in her sights and Gifford has now been shot any many others are dead including a nine year old. You will never ever be able to expect people to forget that Giffords was in Palins crosshairs.We also have proof that both parties have been full of rhetoric and some have behavior that we should never hear or see from professionals. We do know that Palin continuesly used the "don't Retreat, just Reload" and the very divisive "Real Americans" slogan and all of that causes division and outrageous behavior that can lead to violence. I do not think it is much of a stretch to think that all the hate talk from Palin, Beck, Limbaugh could have a very negative effect on an unstable person. The argument should be that moving forward everyone should stand up for good and denounce the ones that incite division and hate.All of this has to start at the top and Obama and Boehner have started te process and all others need to follow suit. I think more people are not blaming Palin, Beck and Limbaugh but are saying their type of behaviour can bring on more horrific situations unless it stops right now.

    January 10, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. Lena from MN

    It has been time for a long while... dialing back the rhetoric would allow more Americans to get involved. A larger part of the population wont get involved because of all the mud slinging. Your policy ideas should not be an attack on you personally. Will it prevent future attacks, I dont know, this man may have done this no matter the climate. I am not trying to be some sort of PC person. I know I dont comment on public posts because of all the hateful comments that might follow. What a shame that we are afraid to voice our given right. I am not in the minority....peace

    January 10, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    can we stop debating if this guy is a right winger or a left winger and just agree he's a lunatic that could have been set off by anything? No matter which way you lean we need to STOP all this name-calling, race, sexual orientation and religious hate baiting and try a more civil course. And we also need for the ones who are doing it both in politics and the airwaves to stop denying it or saying "it's them not me" or "they did it first" to grow up, admit it's wrong and cease.

    January 10, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |