U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin,
to use a phrase he once used, unleashed hell on himself yesterday
by intemperately Tweeting a suggestion that President Obama
and Nancy Pelosi
were somehow to blame for a shooting incident unfolding outside the Capitol while Griffin sheltered in the House cloakroom.
The universal negative reaction prompted him to take down the Tweet ('stop the violent rhetoric') and issue a statement. He did not apologize. He merely regretted unfortunate timing. He stood by his insistence that Democrats' language has been unacceptable. From the Democrat-Gazette:
Speaking from the House cloakroom while the chamber was in lockdown over the shooting, Griffin told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette shortly before posting the Twitter message that he is worried about the “coarsening” of public dialogue.
“Debate is part of democracy, and we need to keep it civil,” he said. “It’s outrageous to me.”
Griffin's hypocrisy is simply breathtaking. Digby provides here a summary
of some of Griffin's own past excesses. The best, of course, comes from Griffin's glory days at the right hand of Karl Rove
in the 2000 election stolen from Al Gore
after a Bush campaign marked by attack after attack on Gore from the campaign war room where Griffin worked as a key opposition researcher.
Griffin was featured prominently in a BBC documentary. "Digging the Dirt."
It's instructive on several levels, including to those who wanted to alibi yesterday that Tim Griffin had made a little mistake and everyone should just forget it and move on. The documentary highlighted how Griffin's oppo research team would pounce on words and phrases for orchestrated attacks aimed at producing giant tabloid screamer headlines about candidate Gore's latest "lie."
Griffin's objection to violent terms is particularly amusing in light of the likes of these direct quotes, all available on film (my emphasis)
"If there's something really good that we can attack on then we will... Research is a fundamental point. We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war. Research digs up the ammunition.. We make the bullets."
Behind Tim Griffin in the RNC Oppo Room, the BBC camera captures a large sign he has erected. "On my command - unleash hell on Al."
To quote Harry Truman: I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
PS — Somebody ask Bud Cummins sometime about Griffin's gentle ways. Ugliness is a trademark of Griffin, who participated in a coup to get Cummins' job as U.S. attorney, and of his most rabid supporters. Remember when a coven of Republican harpies
berated former Congressman Vic Snyder and his wife while they were trying to have a quiet dinner out?