Good editorial cartoons rip the heart from the moment and always piss people off.

… But even some Republicans sympathetic to Ms. Palin suggested that she needed to find a more substantive and nuanced means of addressing the criticism to avert any risk to her political standing and to maintain control of her political narrative. … But other Republicans said that if she was serious about becoming president, the shootings in Tucson might require Ms. Palin to step out of the political comfort zone she has defined for herself, whether she viewed the current criticism of her as fair or not. The task may be all the more pressing given that polls, too, suggest that Ms. Palin has to pass the kind of “political character” test that a moment like this can present. […] Ari Fleischer, who served as White House spokesman for President George W. Bush, said Ms. Palin had to address the shootings with more than a Facebook post, though he said he would advise her to wait a few days as the political dust settled. – Palin, Amid Criticism, Stays in Electronic Comfort Zone

Joe Scarborough said it perfectly yesterday on “Morning Joe,” calling out politicians who have done “reckless and irresponsible things.” He stated exactly why what happened this weekend wasn’t just a tragedy, but something that goes to our country’s founding soul.

“… It’s not an overstatement to say it’s an attack on democracy itself. This is the very essence of what makes this country great. … That citizens can get up and talk to and hold accountable and ask questions of their elected leaders.” – Joe Scarborough

The Arizona domestic terrorism tragedy has caused a chill to run down Lady Liberty’s spine.

…and once again all the signs were there, people knew something was wrong, but the community couldn’t connect it all to stop what was going to happen.

It’s become so cool to hate our government that those who attack it forget that the founders risked their lives and those of their families to create just such an institution to keep America running.

Tea Party activists have to come to grips with this part of our history, too, however inconvenient it is for them to admit government has a real purpose in people’s lives.

Scarborough called out Rep. Michele Bachmann, as well as former Gov. Sarah Palin, for their heated rhetoric, especially the gun-laced invectives. It’s not that either of them inspired Loughner, which no responsible person is saying or believes. It’s about the hate speech that they help spread that breeds on Fox News, especially through Glenn Beck, and right-wing talk radio, which Rush Limbaugh laughingly called free speech yesterday, forgetting that words have consequences. He couldn’t help but continue his hatred Monday: Democrats Eager to See Obama Profit Politically from Mass Murder, was the top headline on Rush’s website early this morning. Right-wing hate speech has built on itself until it’s been accepted as the norm, especially when it’s profitable.

“We have extremists in our country,” (Sect. of State Hillary Clinton) said. “A wonderful and incredibly brave young woman congress member was just shot by extremists in our country. “We have the same kinds of problems, so rather than standing off of each other we should work to try and prevent the extremists wherever they are from being able to commit violence.” – The Telegraph

Words also fuel energy into cities and states, culminating in the fury of negativity we’ve all been experiencing for years now. It’s infectious, contagious and deadly. That’s part of what caught Jared Lee Loughner up when he started stalking Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Mika Brzezinski spoke of the ability for elected officials to connect with constituents, “a little bit of that freedom, a little bit of that right has been damaged.”

That’s an assault on our very way of life, our civil society, uncivil right now.

“This was another one of these massacres,” Patrick J. Buchanan offered.

No, it wasn’t.

However Jared Lee Loughner’s state of mind will be judged by professionals, he admittedly “planned” an “assassination” that succeeded in killing 6 people, wounding 14 others, with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life. Loughner has anti-government sentiments, as well as strong views about women and abortion. He called one woman “a terrorist for killing a baby.”

From conservative David Brooks today in “The Politicized Mind”:

Before he allegedly went off on his shooting rampage in Tucson, Jared Loughner listed some of his favorite books on his YouTube page. These included: “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Through the Looking Glass” and “The Communist Manifesto.” Many of these books share a common theme: individuals trying to control their own thoughts and government or some other force trying to take that control away.

What Jared Lee Loughner wanted to do was disrupt our democratic republic by attacking one of the things that matters most to our form of government. The right to interact with those we elect to hold them accountable, as well as to gain their assistance, but also to thank them when good service is delivered and teach new generations about how it all works.

Loughner’s violence was an unprovoked, nonsensical, violent assault on our form of representative democracy. The shock of it is so intense and petrifying that it could scare people away from ever engaging again. The thought of this happening again terrifies people, making them afraid to participate.

“There is nothing patriotic about hating your government, or pretending you can hate your government but love your country.” (President Bill Clinton, May 6, 1995, after the bombing of the federal building at Oklahoma City and murder of 168 people.)

Speaker John Boehner said “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.” He’s correct.

POLITICO describes it today as “the bloodiest attack on a federally elected official in decades.”

When someone threatens our way of life and how this democratic republic operates, with all it’s flaws, there’s only one name to call the crime committed.

It is domestic terrorism.