Sarah Palin aide Rebecca Mansour gave an interview to conservative host Tammy Bruce in which she insisted the crossharis on Palin’s “target list” looked nothing like a gun target. They were just “crosshairs that you would see on a map.” In the last decade using map services from Mapquest to Google, never once have I seen a target on a map.
You may remember Tammy Bruce, conservative lesbian radio host, from Sarah Palin’s recent retweet about “homos.” In an interview with Sarah Palin aide Rebecca Mansour, Bruce tried her hand at absolving the Right from any responsibility in invoking violent rhetoric in their political battles. “It’s a surveyor’s symbol,” Bruce suggested of the crosshairs on Sarah Palin’s target list. Mansour agreed—”We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent.” It was simply “crosshairs that you would see on a map.”
Over the last decade I’ve used a variety of maps—from Mapquest to Google Maps—countless times. Never once have I seen crosshairs used to annotate location or anything else. Normal people put stars, flags, and pushpins on maps. Assassins and sociopaths put crossharis on maps.
Moreover, Palin always used gun-referencing language to describe her “target list,” calling the crosshairs “bullseyes” and urging her supporters, “don’t retreat, RELOAD.” If that doesn’t scream “surveyor’s symbol” I don’t know what does.
This attempt to eschew responsibility for the violent metaphor, if not for Jared Loughner‘s act itself, is pathetic. Gabrielle Giffords knew better. Last year she told MSNBC, “We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action.”
Talk about the writing on the wall. The right should be ashamed. Of course, they will never be ashamed, because you can’t feel shame without first accepting some responsibility. “Responsibility” used to be a catchphrase for conservatives—fiscal responsibility, social responsibility, responsibility to family. Forget the “no spin zone”—the right has spun into a “no responsibility zone.”