Juan Williams shows why he was much too reasonable to have worked at NPR. "Now, to get to the quick summations that people are rushing to here -- and I think it's important to say this as someone who's left of center -- is that, you know, you can't just blame this on some kind of right-wing rhetoric. I mean, clearly, I think this kid was unstable. . . .So I think that there is a temptation to say, oh, this is the result of right-wing attacks. But, you know, my sense is that, let's wait a second, and let's make sure about any kind of connections. . . .I would hope that people aren't so base as to make this into a political debate at this moment." Oh, but they are.
An unnamed Democratic operative shows why Juan Williams's hope for decency is misplaced. "'They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,' said the Democrat. 'Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.'" If you are going to be "deft," it's best not to reveal your sleaziness.
A Democratic congressman shows why Congress should read the Constitution. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) is planning to introduce a bill banning bull's-eye and crosshairs images. (Does Target know about this?) Next time, there should be a quiz after the reading.
Glenn Reynolds, Tea Party-chronicler, shows us how ludicrous is the blame game. "The critics were a bit short on particulars as to what that meant. Mrs. Palin has used some martial metaphors--'lock and load'--and talked about 'targeting' opponents. But as media writer Howard Kurtz noted in The Daily Beast, such metaphors are common in politics. Palin critic Markos Moulitsas, on his Daily Kos blog, had even included Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's district on a list of congressional districts 'bullseyed' for primary challenges. . . . To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the 'rhetoric' of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the 'rhetoric' and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?"
Daniel Hernandez shows us what grace and courage under fire look like. The president and Congress should honor him, rather than rail at political rhetoric or dwell on the crazed murderer.
Delay in the Iranian nuclear program shows why espionage and targeted assasination are useful weapons against a revolutionary Islamic state. It saves lives and delays war, as David Ignatius argues: "Officials won't discuss the clandestine program of cyberattack and other sabotage being waged against the Iranian nuclear program. Yet we see the effects -- in crashing centrifuges and reduced operations of the Iranian enrichment facility at Natanz -- but don't understand the causes. That's the way covert action is supposed to work." That's exactly what I had in mind.
Jack Shafer shows what cogent analysis looks like. "For as long as I've been alive, crosshairs and bull's-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such 'inflammatory' words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. . . . Our spirited political discourse, complete with name-calling, vilification--and, yes, violent imagery--is a good thing. Better that angry people unload their fury in public than let it fester and turn septic in private. The wicked direction the American debate often takes is not a sign of danger but of freedom." Read the whole thing.
Both sides show some class. "The shooting in Arizona continues to have impact on the political conversation in Washington. Organizing for America, the political arm of President Obama and the Democratic National Committee, on Sunday announced that it was postponing plans to fight back against the Republican efforts to repeal health care legislation. On Saturday, Republicans in the House announced they would delay the repeal efforts that had been scheduled for this coming week."
Benjamin Wittes shows how the New York Times editorial board makes stuff up. "Once again, the Times is clearly alleging that detention without trial is unlawful -- contrary both to 'basic constitutional protections' and international law. And once again, it is doing so either without reference to or by grossly mischaracterizing a large and growing body of case law that stands for precisely the opposite proposition-the proposition that detention without trial for counterterrorism suspects can be lawful under the [congressional authorization of force] and, indeed, is an inherent incident of the power to wage war."
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