Kanjorski Becomes Conservatives’ Counterpoint to Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin and her bullseye map dominated political chatter in the aftermath of the shooting in Tucson. Now it seems conservatives have found their Democratic counterpoint in former Rep. Paul Kanjorski.
Kanjorski’s harsh words for Florida’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott have provided a rebuttal to conservatives accused of incivility in public discourse. Reported the Times Tribune in October (emphasis added):
“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”
Kanjorski’s quote resurfaced the day after in shootings, highlighted by conservative magazine the American Spectator.
“It is a despicable tactic that has been aped by many on the left who quote conservatives either wildly out of context or simply ignore the reality of a loose metaphor or using a figure of speech as Kanjorski did to be incendiary, or bombastic, not threatening.”
Kanjoski was dismissive of the controversy, telling the Citizens’ Voice that, “‘only fruitcakes’ would take his statement about Scott literally.”
“I probably would never have made the statement if I anticipated anything like this happening,” Kanjorski said. “It was obviously not in humor, but not literally.”
Mark Hemingway of the Washington Examiner was particularly critical of Kanjorski in light of a January 11 op-ed the former Congressman wrote for the New York Times. In the piece, Kanjorski made a call for more civility in Congress.
“Only fruitcakes would take violent political rhetoric seriously?” wrote Hemmingway. “Well, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Or does the logic connecting political rhetoric to acts of violence only applicable to Republicans and conservatives?”