WBEZ | Tucson http://www.wbez.org/tags/tucson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en McCain Thanks Obama, Defends Palin, In Washington Post http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/mccain-thanks-obama-defends-palin-washington-post <p><p>Sen. John McCain may be one of the few people this week to embrace both President Obama and Sarah Palin. He certainly is a unique position, having run against Obama and with Palin in 2008.</p><p>In a <a href="washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/14/AR2011011403871.html">Washington Post op-ed piece Friday</a>, McCain praised the president's Tucson speech for its unifying message. "I commend and thank him for it," he said.</p><p>In the same piece, McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, seemed to have his 2008 running mate in mind when he asked readers to consider how hurtful it would be to be accused in some way of contributing to the Tucson attack.</p><p>Not only did McCain thank Obama for delivering a healing speech, he also rejected charges that Obama is anything less than a patriot.</p><p><blockquote></p><p>I disagree with many of the president's policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country's cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that Americans who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them.</p><p></blockquote></p><p></p><p>A few paragraphs later, McCain appeared to defend Palin not just from charges that she somehow had culpability in the crime, though he never mentioned her by name.</p><p>He also appeared to defend her controversial video defense that went viral the morning of the Tucson unity event at which Obama spoke.</p><p>Politics is a "bruising business," he said. Even so:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>That doesn't mean, however, that those injuries are always easy to slough off and bear with perfect equanimity. Political leaders are not and cannot reasonably be expected to be indifferent to the cruelest calumnies aimed at their character. Imagine how it must feel to have watched one week ago the incomprehensible massacre of innocents committed by someone who had lost some essential part of his humanity, to have shared in the heartache for its victims and in the admiration for those who acted heroically to save the lives of others - and to have heard in the coverage of that tragedy voices accusing you of complicity in it.</p><p>It does not ask too much of human nature to have the empathy to understand how wrong an injury that is or appreciate how strong a need someone would feel to defend him or herself against such a slur...</p><p></blockquote></p><p>Again, his defense of Obama and Palin isn't so much interesting for what he says about the two people as it is for the history he shares with them. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1295053931?&gn=McCain+Thanks+Obama%2C+Defends+Palin%2C+In+Washington+Post&ev=event2&ch=129828651&h1=White+House,Congress,It%27s+All+Politics,Tucson,Sen.+John+McCain,Arizona,President+Obama,Sarah+Palin,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132945011&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110114&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=130357600,130215202,129828651,128569305,126945775,126141354,126026613,125944232,132783213,127088100,132937527,132935358,132935356,129459555,128654323,127602855,127602802,103943429,131960177,132783213,132935868,129865776,129828651,132783213,132934340,132934338,127602855,127602596,127088100,126951452,103943429,132933897,132933849,127602855,127602464,126928281,103943429,132933287,132933276,130215202,129865776,129828651,125936742&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 18:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/mccain-thanks-obama-defends-palin-washington-post In Defense Of Heated Political Rhetoric http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/defense-heated-political-rhetoric <p><p>Is it possible to have American-style politics without the kind of heated partisan rhetoric that is now in the spotlight because of the Tucson shootings?</p><p>It's hard to imagine. Our two-party system, which pits Republicans and Democrats against each other in an endless struggle over just how activist and large a role government should play in people's lives, is tailor made for passionate arguments.</p><p>That's especially true when each side sometimes honestly believes the other side's approach to governing could be ruinous to the Republic.</p><p>That can get people very passionate and passion means emotion and sometimes emotion means getting carried away.</p><p>Politics is also, at bottom, about power. In most of world history, power is gained and maintained by violence.</p><p></p><p>Fortunately for the U.S, its tradition has been to transfer power peacefully even when the rhetoric has been fairly hot-blooded.</p><p>Still, when it comes to power, people tend to fight to get or keep it, even if they aren't physically coming to blows.</p><p>So, again, it's difficult to envision American politics being denatured of its political passions with our politicians becoming as emotionless as Spock, the Star Trek Vulcan. Indeed, one of the raps on President Obama is that he's too much like the fictional character.</p><p>Jack Shafer over at Slate <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2280616/pagenum/2">writes in defense</a> of heated political rhetoric.</p><p>An excerpt:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Our spirited political discourse, complete with name-calling, vilification—and, yes, violent imagery—is a good thing. Better that angry people unload their fury in public than let it fester and turn septic in private. The wicked direction the American debate often takes is not a sign of danger but of freedom. And I'll punch out the lights of anybody who tries to take it away from me.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>And let's not forget that superheated political rhetoric has led to some historic great comebacks.</p><p>President Franklin Roosevelt showed how humor can be used to blunt such rhetoric when he <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/the-daily-need/photo-fdr-defends-fala/3769/">famously invoked his dog</a> in a response to his Republican critics. He said:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>"These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include <a href="http://bushybarney.tripod.com/mylitdg2.wav">my little dog, Fala</a>. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him--at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars--his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself--such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."</p><p></blockquote> Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294731427?&gn=In+Defense+Of+Heated+Political+Rhetoric&ev=event2&ch=129828651&h1=Tucson,partisan+politics,Rep.+Gabrielle+Giffords,Bipartisanship,Campaign+tactics,It%27s+All+Politics,Around+the+Nation,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132815566&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110110&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 18:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/defense-heated-political-rhetoric Tucson's Victims: Young And Old, Public Servants And Citizens http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/tucsons-victims-young-and-old-public-servants-and-citizens <p><p>The dead victims of the Tuscon shooting attack represented a range of people that might be found at any congressional constituents' event.</p><p>They included a 9-year-old girl just elected to her school council who wanted to see a real politician close up; a federal judge who happened to be nearby and stopped to see his friend the congresswoman; a congressional aide responsible for community outreach, and several senior citizens, representative of the demographic of the  nation's most active voters.</p><p>Of all the tragedies, the death of 9-year-old <strong>Christina Taylor Green</strong> seemed to cut the deepest, as children's deaths invariably do.</p><p>The grade-schooler was recently elected president of the student council at the Mesa Verde Elementary School.</p><p>According to someone who knew her, she wanted to be a veterinarian. But she was outside the Safeway supermarket at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" event because she was also interested in politics.</p><p></p><p>Her grief-stricken father, John Green, a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, told an interviewer through a voice that broke at times:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>She was born on 9/11. So she came in on a tragedy and she went out on a tragedy. Those nine years in between were very special. We're all going to miss Christina. We were four people. Now we're three. All I can say is we're going to be strong for each other. And we're going to honor Christina because she was a beautiful strong little girl. And we're going to remember all the good things about her.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>She was the granddaughter of <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7082435">Dallas Green</a>, the former Phillies pitcher and manager.</p><p>Also killed was <strong>U.S. District Judge John McCarthy Roll,</strong> 63.</p><p>Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, Roll was on his way from Roman Catholic Mass when he stopped by the shopping center to visit his friend Giffords before going home to clean his floors, a weekly ritual according to another friend, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.</p><p>Roll was drawn into the immigration controversy in Arizona when he certified a $32 million lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against a rancher.</p><p>He became a heated topic on talk radio and received death threats that required the judge and his family to receive protection for several weeks from U.S. marshals.</p><p><strong>Gabe Zimmerman,</strong> 30, was Giffords' director of community outreach. He was a former social worker who was engaged to be married.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/09/20110109gabe-zimmerman-gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting.html">Arizona Republic</a>:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>As director of community outreach, Zimmerman had organized the event.</p><p>"He was asking them what they needed," said Mark Kimble, a speech writer standing a few feet away.</p><p>Zimmerman, a 30-year-old social worker with a master's degree, brought compassion to his job.</p><p>"Gabe was a master at dealing with people," [Giffords' spokesman C.J.] Karamargin said. "He truly cared about helping people. There were no politics involved in this."</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The three additional victims were retirees: Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorwan Stoddard, 76, and Dorothy Morris, 76.</p><p>Stoddard's wife, Mavanell, was wounded in the leg but expected to recover.</p><p><a href="http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_b2b92758-1b9e-11e0-bbe2-001cc4c03286.html">According to the Arizona Daily Star</a>, Stoddard was active at his church, doing maintenance.</p><p>From the <em>Star:</em></p><p><blockquote></p><p>Mike Nowak, the couple’s minister at Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, said Dorwan Stoddard was “a terrific guy, a jack-of-all-trades.”</p><p>Stoddard performed maintenance work at the church; he and Mavanell — everybody calls her “Mavy” — spent their summers traveling. Friends said they visited all 50 states and 28 foreign countries during their trips.</p><p>The Stoddards were among the first to visit friend Frankie Williams when she was recovering from hip surgery.</p><p></blockquote> Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1294602068?&gn=Tucson%27s+Victims%3A+Young+And+Old%2C+Public+Servants+And+Citizens&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Arizona+Rampage%3A+Congresswoman%2C+Others+Shot,Rep.+Gabrielle+Giffords,Tucson,National+News,Crime,Arizona,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132782471&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110109&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/arizona/tucsons-victims-young-and-old-public-servants-and-citizens