Anyone unaccustomed to the tone and tenor of the political dialogue in America might think that it would take very little self-awareness on the part of those who reach for their keyboards every time an event of national significance takes place to see the absurdity of condemning the alleged rhetorical excesses of their political opponents by charging them with being accessories to murder. Yet much of the rhetorical outpouring that followed closely in the wake of the Tuscon shootings of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and some nineteen others (six of whom have died as I write) was precisely to that effect. Even those of us who are familiar with the ways of the American media might have expected, or at least hoped, to find just a couple of cases where one of these writers stopped himself in mid-flight to say, “Oh, dear, I’ve just listened to what I’ve been saying.” Or perhaps, “Hate? Oh, golly. It looks just a bit as if I’m...


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