Wall Street Journal: Glenn Reynolds: The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel
Shortly after November’s electoral defeat for the Democrats, pollster Mark Penn appeared on Chris Matthews’s TV show and remarked that what President Obama needed to reconnect with the American people was another Oklahoma City bombing. To judge from the reaction to Saturday’s tragic shootings in Arizona, many on the left (and in the press) agree, and for a while hoped that Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree might fill the bill.
It’s a little more of the same when it comes to a summary of the weekend’s unfortunate events, but Glenn Reynolds–better known as Instapundit among the New Media folks on the right–was the first one I know of to point out the comment by Mark Penn following the mid-term elections.
(He also brings up the reaction to the Fort Hood shooting and the Arizona shooting, but one comparison he doesn’t make between the two is what happened in the days, weeks and months leading up to the tragic events. Just as Nidal Malik Hasan was well known to have radical ideas but was never confronted about them because of political correctness, it looks as though Jared Lee Loughner was well known to be unstable — could it be that people were worried about singling him out as such? I’m guessing that we’ll learn just that as time goes on.)
The Mark Penn quote, as pointed out by Glenn Reynolds, reminds me of what I wrote about from the floor of a Hyundai dealership on September 19, 2009 as my car was getting an oil change. From Gathering Tinder for a New Reichstag Fire:
The manifestation of the left’s growing obsession with political violence, especially if that violence is taken to the presidential level, could inevitably mean a loss of freedom, a shuttered conservative infrastructure, and silenced voices of those on the right. The resulting chaos would empower the left to clamp down and silence dissent more than it has been capable of doing for years, and America would be far worse for it. Blame for any perceived insurrection would be placed squarely on the shoulders of people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin or, on a smaller level, people like myself.
My unease grows when I look at the modern Democratic Party. I see a group so devoid of values and accountability, so unconcerned about morality and ethics that they would gladly rather engage in the politics of personal destruction than address an argument posed by ordinary American citizens. I see a party so consumed by politics and power in perpetuity that it would not think twice about annihilating the morale of our intelligence community or putting the lives of American soldiers in jeopardy in order to score a few points within the Beltway.
Never forget that absolute power corrupts absolutely, that the first inclination of power is the perpetuation of power. Furthermore, never forget that a rabid beast is often most dangerous when cornered. And, considering the dwindling support for the Democratic Party, for the president and for the policies advanced by both, the time when they could be the most desperate—and most dangerous—is almost upon us.