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Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Friday question

By Jennifer Rubin

It was a trying and terribly sad week for the whole country. What was the most inspirational moment of the week, and what was the most disheartening?

Responses must be in by 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. As usual, I'll read them through and highlight the best on Monday.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Friday question  
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Jennifer -

Most inspirational moment:
Gabrielle Giffords opening her eyes for the first time. Testament to the human spirit and the magnificence of on-scene first responders & the Tucson trauma team.

Least Inspirational Moment:
Paul Krugman's smearing his political opposites within two hours of the massacre, before anyone knew anything about the shooter (a fact Krugman openly conceded, yet he "knew"). In Krugman's "Alice in Wonderland" pundit-world his rule for those he dislikes is "Sentence first, trial later."

John Wohlstetter
Letter from the Capitol

Posted by: jcw47mypost | January 14, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll go with two events not related to the Tucson shootings:

Most inspirational:
After 23 years of iron-fisted rule Tunisian
President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was driven from power by protesters who'd had enough. There is much yet to be done, but this is an enormous beginning.

Most disheartening:
Maine Governor Paul LePage saying those disappointed with his decision not to attend weekend MLK Day events in his state could "kiss my butt." He accused them of playing the race card (hello, this is the NAACP we're talking about: although the proposed gathering was primarily a gesture of unity, race does factor into it), then turned around and played the race card himself by inviting his detractors to speak to his Jamaican-born adult son. He could have left it with simply saying he had prior commitments, but somehow wasn't able to do so.

Posted by: MsJS | January 14, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

For me the most uplifting result of the Tucson Week was the fact that words like "demonize, villify and smear" have now become an everyday part of our national conversation and vocabulary, as the Democrats' vile slanders became so very apparent to the vast majority of Americans who care. How can any good American take seriously a party which has been given over to the dirty tactics of totalitarian thugs? Even 0bama was forced to try to distance himself from this spiteful, transparent and wanton ugliness.

I was disheartened by the mindless students cheering at what should have been a solemn memorial. What does this say about our system of "higher learning" with so many clueless young dupes? And, who provided those stupid T shirts?

Posted by: ZoltanNewberry | January 14, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with MsJS on the most inspirational was Tunisia. That an "elected" dictator anywhere would actually flee the country without external pressure, or a civil war, was thrilling. The film on today's BBC showing a protestor and police/army embracing in the street was inspirational.

Second most inspirational moment was seeing a video of young Australian man lying face-up, drinking a beer, on his surfboard, floating on the floodwaters of brisbane. True resilience.

Most disheartening moment was seeing a two foot snow drift on the peak of my roof and knowing I really have to get out the extension ladder, climb it, and rake it off with my Made-in-Canada roof rake (for snow).

Oh, the most disheartening moment outside of my house? on ongoing depression as to why the "news" is so rarely about anything truly important. Still wondering why Kyrgyzstan finally settled their 100+ year old border dispute with China, and why China wants that bit of the Pamir mountains.

Posted by: K2K2 | January 14, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Most heartening moment was Mr. Obama's speech and the thoughtful commentary from both sides afterward.

Least heartening moment was the uptick in vitriol after the Giffords shooting, both the vitriol coming from the left and the vitriolic responses coming from the right. Yruly the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: randy1macon | January 15, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Just what the WaPo needs another neocon writer in the tradition of Krauthammer, whose neocon views took us into the unnecessary, costly unending Iraq debacle.

Is there a WaPo agenda here?

Posted by: mcafla | January 15, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Most inspirational - In line with another poster, President Obama's speech and the sensible commentary from all sides that followed.

Most disheartening - The general agreement that there is no hope that a simple measure to limit gun clips so you can't shoot 30 rounds in 7 seconds has no chance of prospering. I can't for the life of me see the legitimate use of such clips.

Posted by: ab15 | January 15, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

K2K2, you have my sympathies regarding the snow. Hope it all goes smoothly.

Posted by: MsJS | January 15, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey, just want to point out that in his diatribe against Democrat's for demonizing, villifying, and smearing, ZoltanNewberry demonizes, villifies, and smears Democrats as "a party which has been given over to the dirty tactics of totalitarian thugs . . . spiteful, transparent and wanton ugliness . . . mindless . . . clueless young dupes."

Just saying.

Posted by: rgray | January 15, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Disheartening: The Left's knee-jerk reaction blaming their political opponents for the Arizona shootings, attempting to use this tragedy for political advantage; the MSM's willingness to parrot that narrative.
Heartening: The Kooks and MSM were unsuccessful.
Heartening: The effectiveness of alternative media standing up to and revealing the dishonesty of the kooky Left and the lock-step support of the MSM.

Disheartening: That a stupidly partisan Arizona county sheriff has anything to do with investigating the shootings, and arguably, that he would attempt to deflect his culpability by defaming his political opponents.
Heartening: The more he talked the more his stupidity was revealed (thank you alternative media); and it will be heartening when the residents of Pima County kick the bum out!

Disheartening: Obama's planning and advance team selecting a college gymnasium for a solemn memorial occasion and the absence of traditional religious ceremony.
Heartening: The dignity, courage and grace demonstrated by victims' families and the true heroes of this tragic episode.

Disheartening: The Latina seeing who the shooter was exclaiming that she was thankful it was not a "gringo."
Heartening: This racist/bigoted nonsense gets called out.

Disheartening: Even normally sensible commentators accepted the premise that "civility" was to blame for the actions of a mad man.
Heartening: Those outside the echo chamber of the Beltway knew better and had access to alternative media to let their views be known.

Disheartening: To find out that Jennifer Rubin's disagreement with Sarah Palin goes much deeper than the political, and that she would accept that certain terms are never to be used outside of their specific historical context.

Heartening: Sensible people, including highly respected Jews, thoroughly rebutted the "inappropriate use of blood libel" meme aimed at Palin. The would-be rhetorical assassins missed their target, shot down by intelligent argument and historical reference (thankfully available via the internet).

Posted by: DocC1 | January 15, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

MsJS: Thank you for your snow-drift sympathy.

I add to my most disheartening moment of the week reading last night that Loughner's detailed plan included self-portraits with his Glock19 whilst wearing only a red G-string. PLEASE do not share those images with the public!

The more details that emerge, the more I wonder if Loughner watched too many crime mysteries on television...after all, almost 22 million Americans watched NCIS last Tuesday. Very heartening to know that exceeds the combined audiences for all political news and talk radio.

Not that the pundits and talking heads would ever think to connect Loughner's descent into mad-fantasy with popular media or online gaming.

Posted by: K2K2 | January 15, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Most inspirational was the Congresswomen openning her eyes. Second most inspirational was the blogosphere jumping onto certain commentators (e.g. Krugman) who wanted to blame conservatives for inspiring the Tucson gunman. It's great to know that some people in this country still believe in honest, reasoned thought rather than jumping to conclusions that fit a political bias.

Posted by: DrBerkeley | January 15, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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