The hardworking staff hasn’t read everything in the wake of the Arizona shootings that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, but we’ve seen enough media coverage to form a few conclusions.
1) The worst sort of opportunism is at work here on both the left and the right.
2) Their attempts to disguise it are largely pathetic.
3) Some commentators, however, have made a modicum of sense.
• From the left, New York Times columnist Gail Collins in her Monday piece:
Today, the amazing thing about the reaction to the Giffords shooting is that virtually all the discussion about how to prevent a recurrence has been focusing on improving the tone of our political discourse. That would certainly be great. But you do not hear much about the fact that Jared Loughner came to Giffords’s sweet gathering with a semiautomatic weapon that he was able to buy legally because the law restricting their sale expired in 2004 and Congress did not have the guts to face up to the National Rifle Association and extend it.
Love gun control or hate it, you have to admit that Democrats have been gutless on the issue.
• From the right, Glenn (Instapundit) Reynolds in a Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed:
Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on “rhetoric” and a “climate of hate” to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.
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?
Good question – among many, as the chin-strokerati try to sort this out to their side’s advantage.
Not exactly Tocquevillean, is it?