The comment thread from Sarah Palin’s Facebook post on yesterday’s Tucson shooting, as it looked this morning at 8:35 am:
Same thread, six minutes later:
The comments from which the above Giffords quote was taken were made on MSNBC in March 2010, and can be found in full here.
Update | I should say a bit about why I posted that quote on Palin’s site, I guess. Commenters there have gone far beyond the (reasonable) claim that Palin’s rhetoric had no direct connection to yesterday’s tragedy — they’re claiming that Palin used no violent rhetoric at all, and that the current criticism of Palin’s speech is just after-the-fact piling on. I think that’s not just false, but demonstrably false, and it seemed to me that Gabrielle Giffords’ own words, spoken almost a year ago, were the best way of showing that.
The question of what role Palin’s words and images — and those of her friends and allies — played in yesterday’s events will be debated at length in the weeks to come, and may never be satisfactorily answered. But it is a fact that Gabrielle Giffords was the target of a sustained campaign of political violence and harassment in the last year. It is a fact that she drew explicit connections between that campaign and the rhetoric of Sarah Palin. And it is a fact that she called for such reckless, inciteful speech to stop.
It’s a fact that Representative Giffords criticized Sarah Palin’s “gunsight” graphic ten months ago. And it’s a fact that Sarah Palin left that graphic up online until yesterday afternoon, when Giffords lay in critical condition in a hospital — and a federal judge, a Congressional staffer, an idealistic nine-year-old, and three other Americans lay dead.
It’s a fact.
Second Update | It’s worth noting that Palin’s people are perfectly happy to allow extremist rhetoric from the right to stand in comments at her facebook site. Take this comment, posted hours before mine and still (as of 10:48 am) up, for example:
“This guy was a Hitler worshipper, a pure socialist. If you want to blame anyone, try the left wing agenda. She was against the Obamacare and all the radical left. She was a moderate democrat. That is what made her a target of the left. I would not put it past Obama and his regime to have perpetrated this horrific action. Chicago politics at it finest.”