After Sheriff Clarence Dupnik spoke out against the use of violent imagery and hateful rhetoric in political discourse, right-wing commentators and politicians began attacking Dupnik with further vitriol and malice. Read about just some of the attacks against Sheriff Dupnik emanating from the conservative echo chamber:
David Limbaugh: The Left Is Not About To Waste This 'Crisis'
Instead, let's focus on the left's accusation. It is patently ridiculous and puerile. No intellectually honest person believes that Sarah Palin had violence on her mind in using that imagery or that her words could be fairly construed to promote violence. More importantly, liberals know that neither Palin's "maps" nor rhetoric had anything to do with the mass murder. Therefore, it is irresponsible and incendiary for any of them to make this suggestion.
But they're going way beyond making the suggestion. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik blamed Palin and Sharron Angle and refused to back down when confronted about having not a scintilla of proof to support his slander.
Media Research Center: Bozell Says Left "Play[s] Politics With Tragedy;" Accuses "Democrat" Tucson Sheriff Of Having "A Political Agenda All His Own"
By the way, this Sheriff, a Democrat. It’s not been mentioned anywhere, he is a Democrat. So he has a political agenda all on his own.
Temple of Mut: SHERIFF DUPNIK is about to experience the full force of a TEA PARTY
Dear Friends: While on the David Asman Show, America’s Nightly Scoreboard, a point I brought up was the lack of intervention by the local sheriff’s department after Jared Lee Loughner had had repeated run-ins with law enforcement. I hold this to be the root cause of the Tucson tragedy that took the lives of six great people and wounded a Congresswoman. Since I did that broadcast, it seems that citizen journalists and real reporters have been investigating the involvement of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s department — while the sheriff has spent his time talking to elite media and blaming Rush Limbaugh (instead of, you know, doing his job).
I told David Asman that I would recommend that Tucson area Tea Party groups take a good, hard look at the sheriff’s department and the reasons for the lack of intervention. It seems they were ahead of me (hat-tip Bhamason of Covert Conservatives)
Rush Limbaugh: The Irresponsible Sheriff Dupnik Ignores All Real Evidence in Case
The shooter did what he did in your community! You're in charge of keeping that community safe, Sheriff. What did you do? Was this the first time you heard about the shooter or did you have knowledge of the shooter before this? I would wager that the sheriff knew of this shooter long before this event, but the sheriff has gone ahead now with these comments, and he's given... He has given the defense a case. My guess is the sheriff wouldn't mind president shooter's acquitted. After all, it's not the shooter's fault! If you carry the sheriff's logic all the way out.
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA): Kingston criticizes Arizona sheriff's remarks
“I don't see any link whatsoever at this point between vitriolic discourse and someone plowing down his fellow citizens,” Kingston said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I think frankly it's irresponsible of the sheriff to say that.”
“This incident happened under the jurisdiction of the local police," he said. "If the local jurisdiction knew about this guy, there's a question to me of this sheriff who's so quick to condemn vitriolic political discourse ... how come he missed it?”
Michelle Malkin: Truther. Pothead. Creep. Nihilist. Psycho.
There has been zero indication that Loughner directly or explicitly complained about immigration; instead, he ranted about illiteracy in general and inveighed against grammar control. But this, of course, didn’t stop pro-illegal alien amnesty sheriff Clarence Dupnik from shoehorning SB1070 and its aftermath into his press conference about the Tucson massacre.
Heritage Foundation: Libel is No Path to a Civil Society
Americans like Sheriff Dupnik, who claim that they are interested in creating a more civil discourse, ought to think long and hard about pointing their fingers at other peoples’ words before making completely unsubstantiated accusations. Those who blame the rhetoric of their political opponents for these heinous crimes, when no such evidence exists, only further coarsen our civil discourse.
Media Research Center: Tom Brokaw Praises Sheriff Dupnik For Remarks Against Violent Rhetoric, Wishes More Officials Would Speak Out As He Did
The Pima County sheriff simply claimed that there's "no doubt in my mind that when a number of people night and day try to inflame the public, that there's going to be some consequences for doing that and I think that's irresponsible to do that."
Brokaw, on Monday's "Morning Joe," lamented the political violence in America over the past decades and condemned inflammatory rhetoric of the past year.
What instances of "violent rhetoric" was Brokaw referring to?
Curt Levey (RedState): As Sensible As Son of Sam
Claiming that Arizona gunman Jared Loughner was motivated to kill by heated political rhetoric is about as sensible as believing the Son of Sam’s assertion that he was motivated to kill by the barking of his neighbor Sam’s dog.
Moe Lane (RedState): Did Dupnik dismiss Loughner threat?
But if it comes out that the Sheriff’s office was aware of the threats, and did not act on them, then Clarence Dupnik needs to stop blaming the Right for the murder of six people and start blaming himself. Because Sheriff Dupnik is not in office to, say, fight partisan battles over state immigration policy: he’s in office to keep the peace. If he’s forgotten that, the voters will be happy to remind him.
Allahpundit (Hot Air): Supercop Dupnik: There must be a lesson about Rush Limbaugh somewhere in this story
Naturally that’ll make him an instant hero to the left, but I can’t believe there’s a cop anywhere who won’t watch this and cringe all the way through. I’m also trying to imagine the reaction in the county D.A.’s office as this imbecile does his level best to prejudice the trial they’re eventually going to have to conduct. But then, what does a conviction of a mass murderer matter when Diane Sawyer’s sticking a mic in your face?
Keith Olbermann, Sheriff Dupnik and the others trying to score political points by blaming political rhetoric are going down a very dangerous road both because it absolves violent killers of full responsibility for their actions and because it aims to silence the passions that are an important part of public debate. Martin Luther King and his fellow civil rights activists used passionate and heated rhetoric to rouse the nation against white segregationists. But, surely, that does not make Dr. King and his colleagues partly responsible for the violent crimes of the Black Panthers and James Earl Ray.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ): Clarence Dupnik, Arizona Sheriff, Criticized By Sen. Jon Kyl Over Shooting Comments (VIDEO)
First, I didn't really think that that had any part in a law enforcement briefing last night. It was speculation. I don't think we should rush to speculate. I thought that the report that we just saw from Tucson seems to have it about right: We really don't know what motivated this young person except to know he was very mentally unstable as was pointed out in the piece.
Judson Phillips (Tea Party Nation): Tea Party Group Blames 'Leftist' for Giffords Shooting
TPN founder Judson Phillips, in an article linked off the e-mail “The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the left's attack on the Tea Party movement, ” described the shooter as “a leftist lunatic” and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik as a “leftist sheriff” who “was one of the first to start in on the liberal attack.”
Media Research Center: Arizona Sheriff Admits There's No Evidence 'Vitriolic Rhetoric' Incited Giffords Shooter
In the end, Dupnik is just another Democrat that is hostile to Republicans and is expressing his opinion as such. Yet media outlet after media outlet have quoted the comments he made Saturday as if they were coming from a legal perspective and not a political one.Maybe in the future when his views are being cited, a "D" should be next to his name just like any other politician's. At least then the viewer or reader would have a better idea of the source.
National Review Online: The Dishonorable Sheriff
Evidently, some people just can’t help themselves. When a tragedy happens or a crime is committed, they can’t resist the temptation to blame their political opponents. By exploiting a tragedy for partisan advantage, they cover themselves with dishonor.
Exhibit A: Pima County, Arizona, sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
Big Journalism: Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Thinks He’s the Media
It’s irrelevant to me that Dupnik is a Democrat and an elected official; he should not be using the press conference for a tragic event to parade his partisan politics and engage in an embarrassing one-sided blame game. It seems a pattern with Dupnik.
Considering that we now know suspect Jared Lee Loughner was stalking since 2007, and that he publicly made available red flags all over the Internet, it would be judicious for Sheriff Dupnik to not give the public any reason to think that his fondness for insensitive electioneering is related to how Loughner was left to simmer.
Moe Lane (RedState): Prediction: Clarence Dupnik will lose his next election.
“If the Arizona GOP can’t make a case for replacing a man in his late seventies who threatened to taint a critical federal murder case through hasty partisan - and, frankly, somewhat paranoid - speculation, then they might as well give up now.”