While Paul Krugman and other liberal commentators continue to exploit this weekend's tragedy by making hay out of supposedly extreme rhetoric on the right, perhaps they would do well to examine some of the rhetoric that has come from the left. On October 23, The Scranton Times reported that Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., said this about Florida's new Republican Governor Rick Scott:
"That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks."
Kanjorski did not win reelection in November. Perhaps the former Congressman was not sincere when he suggested Scott be shot, nonetheless this remark is a far more literal and explict call to violence than the relatively benign (and bipartisan) matter of putting than targets on a map. Yet, Kanjorski's remarks were virtually ignored at the time. One wonders what the reaction would have been if a Republican congressman had called for a Democrat to be put against a wall and shot. I very much doubt it would have been dismissed by Democrats and the national media.