In last Thursday’s column, Paul Krugman admitted to having fun watching “right-wingers go wild.” One of the things that apparently delighted him was this map which Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page:
Each of the cross-hairs represents a Democrat from a conservative district who voted in favor of health reform. Immediately after highlighting the map, Krugman wrote:
All of this goes far beyond politics as usual…you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials….to find anything like what we’re seeing now you have to go back to the last time a Democrat was president.
Really, Paul? I’ll search in vain?
The map appears on this page of the Democratic Leadership Committee website (dated 2004 during the Bush years).
I guess we could argue over whether the DLC counts as “senior party officials” but they’re certainly as much a part of the party as Palin who, after all, currently holds no elected office.
Granted these are bulls-eyes instead of gun-sights, and the targets are states not individual congressmen. But we’re really splitting hairs at this point. This map and the language it uses (Behind enemy lines!) are, if anything, more militant than what Palin used in her Facebook posting.
But wait, there’s more!
When Palin’s map became an issue, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), rushed on MSNBC to denounce it, telling Chris Matthews:
I really think that that is crossing a line…In this particular environment I think it’s really dangerous to try and make your point in that particular way because there are people who are taking that kind of thing seriously.
Really, Chris? So what do you think about this map?
Each one of those red targets represents a “Targeted Republican” like this one:
There’s even a helpful legend that makes it clear that’s precisely what the little red targets represent:
You’ll never guess where I found this map. That’s right, it’s on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) website. They launched the site and the map on February 23rd of this year, making it just over a month old. And yet Van Hollen was quoted by Politico just today denouncing Republicans for “pouring more and more gasoline on the flames.” Right back at you, pal.
Rep. Van Hollen used MSNBC to claim Palin’s map was dangerous. In fact, the website of the organization he runs has a nearly identical map. Rep. Van Hollen should be asked to explain the differences between the two maps. Specifically, what makes Palin’s map “dangerous” and his map not so much?
Paul Krugman used the megaphone of the NY Times to state that Palin’s Facebook map went “far beyond politics as usual.” He further claimed, “you will search in vain for anything comparably menacing…from members of Congress.” Notice he didn’t say it was hard to find or rare. He said, in effect, that it didn’t exist. But since my search was not in vain, the Times should issue a correction noting that Krugman got it wrong.