So far, there's no connection between alleged murderer Jared Lee Loughner and the extremes of the Tea Party movement. But that's beside the point now, if you ask me. The horrific violence in Tucson saw Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) go from being in the crosshairs of opponents metaphorically to literally being gunned down on Saturday. As a result, we are now finally engaging in a long overdue conversation about the violent rhetoric and imagery polluting national political discourse.
Indeed, the reason so many people instantly thought of Tea Party/Angle/Palin/Jesse Kelly-type rhetoric when they heard about the Tucson shooting is exactly because it was/is so shocking and so recent that no one was surprised that it might lead to such an event.
That it might not have (which still needs to be sussed out) directly led to the Tuscon shooting makes it no less unacceptable, dangerous, and in need of discussion.