Sunday, January 9, 2011

Moderate Democratic, Jewish Congresswoman Shot; Six Die in Arizona Shooting

.by Barry Rubin
Giffords seems to be a moderate Democrat--my kind of politician--who is pro-Israel and pretty centrist, the last profile of someone who would be targeted by a left- or right-wing extremist. Jared Loughner, 22, is the shooter and appears to have created his own blend of extremisms. He seems to be a deranged person--among his favorite books he lists both Mein Kampf AND the Communist Manifesto. Some of his statements can (and probably will) be attributed to conservative influences--mistrust of government, obsession with gold/silver backed currency--but he seems actually quite mental. He also did things like burn an American flag. No clue yet as to whether Giffords was targeted for any particular reason other than her availability.

I have seen at least four tweets by people who claim to have known him saying he was left-wing--though this may or may not be true.
From JTA::

A gunman shot US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) Saturday.

Giffords was shot outside one of her signature "Congress at your Corner" events just north of Tucson. A gunman approached and shot her in the head....he gunman killed [six] others before he was tackled.

Giffords, 40, was elected to Congress in the Democratic sweep in 2006. The first Jewish woman elected to Congress from Arizona, she made her Jewish identity part of her campaign.

"If you want something done, your best bet is to ask a Jewish woman to do it," Giffords said at the time. "Jewish women -- by our tradition and by the way we were raised -- have an ability to cut through all the reasons why something should, shouldn't or can't be done and pull people together to be successful."

Giffords fought a hard election this year, against the national anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic mood. She tacked to the right of her party on immigration, saying border security was of primary consideration. The election was called in her favor weeks after the vote.

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