The weather is about the same so I will get right into some comments. First up, Sarah Palin's self serving hypocrisy. I do agree with her a little bit. Criminal acts are the responsibility of the criminal. That is why Loghner has been arrested and will, eventually, stand trial. However, for Palin to disavow any responsibility for the climate of hate that has grown in this society is like saying that Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's Minister of Propaganda) and other Nazi leaders weren't responsible for the Holocaust (which claimed the lives of 12 million people) because he didn't personally assign specific individuals to labor and death camps or pull the trigger of a gun aimed at any specific person. I doubt very much that many of Hitler's 'willing executioners' (from the title of a social history of Nazi Germany focusing on the participation of 'ordinary' Germans in the Holocaust published a few years ago) would have done more than make nasty jokes about Jews, the mentally ill, eastern Europeans, Gypsies and others consigned to oblivion by the Nazis without the permissive climate fostered by Goebbels and others that tapped into and fostered deep seated resentments. In disavowing any role in inciting the gunman Palin basically claims that words don't matter but in the next breath she blames the media and liberal politicians for their words that she claims inflame hatred. She can't have it both ways. If her words don't matter, her opponents' words don't either. If their words matter, her words must also. And if words don't matter, incitement of certain crimes wouldn't be criminal. And for my final observation (unless she utters some other idiocy which irritates me beyond endurance), the notion that somebody else has uttered inflammatory words does not, in any moral universe, absolve her of responsibility for uttering her own inflammatory words. Nor does the notion that, at some infrequent points, she expressed revulsion for violence and vitriol wipe out her other expressions of violence and vitriol. That would be like absolving a thug of beating up and robbing his victim because he stuck around long enough to bandage the wounds and call 911.
On a different aspect of this story--is anyone really sure that the Tucson shooting was a political act? So the idiot had had a copy of the Marx (and god knows what else), whoopee. I have (or have had) copies of (and have read large parts of) Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, The Book of Mormon. It doesn't mean I am a Communist-Nazi-Mormon or that these writings have inspired me to act in any particular way. I think it is very possible that any fairly large gathering of people would have suited Loughner's purpose--it didn't have to be a Congresswoman's meeting with constituents.