The recent shooting in Arizona has sparked a media sensation, sent shock waves through the government and both parties, and has begun to stoke the debate over gun rights. People all across the country are trying to understand what happened and why, and are trying to appropriate blame to those who they feel deserve it.
Some of the reactions to this have been understandable. For one thing, Sarah Palin has removed a picture of a U.S. map dotted with gun sights (Talk Radio Host Tammy Bruce said they were "simply crosshairs like you'd see on maps" and said they could be seen as "surveyor's symbols.") The interesting thing about this is that, if these symbols were truly meant to be innocent "surveyor's symbols," why would Palin feel compelled to take them down? Out of respect for the shooting of a woman she had clearly targeted (pun intended) as an opponent to be run out of office.
Some reactions, on the other hand, are no less crazy but much more convoluted. For example, The GOP backpedaling and claiming that their obstructionist rhetoric and continual fear-mongering over HCR was in no way a reason for the attack. This is odd, considering that this is not a direct conclusion anyone would draw from reading into the facts of the incident. If anyone bothered to look into what happened, it is pretty obvious that, while there are some implications, the direct reason for the attack is currently unknown. So, why would the GOP go through the trouble.
I think it's because they are now having to go on the defensive in the media environment that they helped form. They are trying to send up a smoke screen of disinformation and denial the preempts any accusation that they indirectly led to the shooting in AZ.
I don't want to read into their actions, but they do raise some eyebrows. It's similar to denying a crime to the cops that they didn't know about in the first place.