Saturday, January 08, 2011

You cannot negotiate with terrorists

By now I am sure you all have heard the horrible news out of Arizona.

A 9 year old girl was murdered to make a political point. A judge was murdered to make a political point. A congress person was shot through the head to make a point. At least 5, possibly 6 people are dead because a terrorist couldn't get his own way. (I'm working on sketchy internet access here, so apologies if I get some facts wrong- the sentiment is still the same).

We already know how this story is going to play out in the news. Rethuglikans and tea baggers will claim this was the act of a lone, disturbed man and has nothing to do with their rhetoric. Democrats will try to use this to guilt rethuglikans into bipartisanship (it won't work). And Democratic politicians across the country will be even less likely to do anything but give into the right because of real fear of being killed for doing otherwise.

But Giffords is a moderate. She was already doing what she could to find common ground with people who will be gleeful that the bullet through her head gives them a chance to steal her seat. There is no middle ground to be found with them. There is no way to negotiate a fair deal with people who will happily load the gun that will be held to your head later. You don't negotiate with terrorists because their end goal is your destruction, and there's no middle ground between dead and alive.

There will be Democratic pundits and voters who will claim that this is what happens when you don't vote blue. Actually, this is what happens when you do vote blue. As unhappy as we on the left were under Bush, nobody tried to shoot Tom Delay and the violent factions of our country were resolutely quiet for 8 years.

So this is the word we live in now. The political left pays ransoms to the political right in hopes of saving their own skin and the political right stokes the fires violence. 9 year old girls die in the crossfire.

I have always thought that the measure of a person is not what they would kill for, but what they would die for*. If there is no amount of moderation that can save you from the bullet of a teabagger, then perhaps it's time to give up the idea of bipartisanship. They will kill you anyways. Go down fighting, or let someone take your place who will.

(Isn't it also funny that the people most likely to murder in these situations are white Christian dudes. I may be a godless atheist, but I'm pretty sure that the bible doesn't say "Jesus killed for our sins". What would Jesus do certainly never involved mass murder.)

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