January 13, 2011


For what it's worth, from a distance both geographical and cultural, I for one am proud to live in a time where this man is the leader of our free world. It reflects well on us, and our time.

UPDATE: By the way, anyone who doesn't think using the phrase "blood libel" in this situation wasn't just about the dumbest thing you could ever do just needs to ask the question: how would people have reacted if someone had implicated Sarah Palin in the shooting of a black congressman and she responded by saying she was the victim of a "high-tech lynching"?

Look, Ms. Palin is nothing more or less than a pretty airhead who through her own intellectual insecurity has surrounded herself with a coterie of morons, none of whom know much about the English language or history or public relations. ("Surveyors marks?" Come on...) Which means, lacking any grownup advice, she has to fall back on her own instincts in situations like this, and her own instincts are horribly provincial and narrow. I don't debate the lady's right to say anything she likes, ever, but her reaction to this whole affair has been, anyone surely has to admit, way way far past the other side of stupid. I honestly can't see how Americans elect her to anything in two years after this sorry display of what passes for her personal judgment. Thankfully.

Matt Taibbi seems almost prophetic on this now in his highly amusing column from over a year ago.

UPDATE #2: And I know this might seem entirely antithetical to the entire Obama message yesterday to bring up, in spirit if not in fact, but one really saw the "crazy loner" theory assembling itself in the media even before all the facts were in, this time (largely, it should be noted, by those defending violent imagery and Palin). I have no reason to believe there's any link in Loughner's papers now in police hands to Palin or even politics as most Americans understand them, but the fact remains the alleged shooter's links to the rejectionist sovereign citizen movement are yet to be fully defined, too. One shouldn't be too surprised if there's another shoe yet to drop there, and that the shooter turns out to have been legally sane, acting on an extremist but not sui generis political motivation. Certainly there's going to be a whole prosecutorial team trying to prove it, with the capital punishment options available.

All loner assassins are to some degree deranged, it would seem, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily apolitical in their motivations. One suspects in this case that history will come to see the accused killer as more like a Leon Czolgosz than a John Hinckley.

Posted by BruceR at 05:18 PM