I’ve written dozens of posts since 2011 debunking this. I’m not writing another one. Read this if you’re interested. All I want to note is that the people who continue to perpetuate this egregious smear are not ignoramuses. Last year it was the New York Times editorial board that pinned the blame on Sarah Palin for “incitement” before Giffords was shot, which earned them a defamation suit. (The suit failed because it’s all but impossible for public figures to recover on libel claims.) This time it’s Paul Kane, who’s spent years covering Congress for Washington’s most prestigious newspaper. If you were to survey Americans based on how well informed they are about politics, Kane would doubtless finish in the top one percent, possibly the top one percent of the one percent. His job literally depends on him knowing the subject better than nearly everyone else.

Yet because the left has its own version of “alternative facts” in cases where those “facts” fit very well with their political priors, even WaPo’s man on the Hill missed the memo that Giffords’s would-be assassin was a deeply mentally ill crank motivated by incoherent theories about grammar, not politics.

Kane has now apologized — sort of — after eight thousand righties called him out on his mistake. I almost don’t blame him for his blind spot. The insistence with which the left and its media enablers tried to pin the shooting on the tea party in the aftermath of the Giffords horror was so sustained and ferocious that I think even an intelligent person operating in good faith might believe to this day, as Kane seemingly does, that the shooting really was a political hit. That’s not to say that he is operating in good faith here — but it’s possible. That’s how febrile the effort to build that narrative was at the time. It remains the single most cynical Democratic messaging op I’ve witnessed in 12 years of writing for this site, a transparent attempt to delegitimize critics of Obama’s policies by treating them as conspirators in murder. And it went on for weeks. The press spent maybe three days doing half-hearted “soul-searching” last year when a nut who really was motivated by politics tried to mass-murder a bunch of Republican congressmen, screaming “this is for health care!” while he fired according to Rand Paul. The effort to blame Sarah Palin and tea partiers lasted weeks.

It was worse than the Kavanaugh episode, if only because the target of the smear wasn’t a high government official. It wasn’t even Palin, really. It was you, the right-wing “mob.” Which is precisely how the Democratic Party described Republican protesters during the ObamaCare battle, I’ll remind you. Wait until Kane finds out about that. Why, such dehumanization could eventually lead a deranged progressive to try to kill legislators from the opposing party.

Here’s the RNC paying them back with a new ad of its own.