NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Ex-Labor Secretary Robert Reich says Democrats should assault Sinema over filibuster stance in deleted tweet. “National Review’s Charles Cooke said Reich’s remark was tantamount to saying Sinema ‘must be slapped around by her party if she fails to follow the demands of a white man.’ ‘No big deal,’ tweeted radio host Larry O’Connor. ‘Just Democrat/Socialist icon [Robert Reich] encouraging violence against a female senator who didn’t vote the way he wanted.’”

Related: What happens when a congressman threatens a colleague with violence?

In March 2010, 10 months before the shooting, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin had posted a map of 20 congressional districts she and John McCain won in 2008 but whose representatives in Congress had voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act. The map marked each district with a set of crosshairs. Palin promoted the map by tweeting “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD.” One of those crosshairs targeted Gabby.

Although no direct connection was ever established between Palin’s map and Gabby’s shooting, surely Palin’s violent rhetoric contributed to a climate of political violence in America in which a delusional man would mark Gabby for assassination. Gabby herself had expressed concern about Palin’s map.

Just as surely, Palin’s inflammatory post was a step toward increasingly violent political rhetoric on the way to Donald Trump and the insurrection of 6 January.

—Robert Reich, The Grauniad, November 16, 2021.