Back on April 19, while reacting to the strange violence of that week, I wrote:
If there’s a lesson to be learned from this week, it’s that if there’s an emergency, rely on the burly, decisive ones around you and not those chattering about themselves in the peanut gallery, trying to score political points off it all. The first will give their life for you without hesitation. The second will watch you die and then turn your corpse into a political pinata, also without hesitation.
Then a few days later, on April 25, the Sacramento Bee published this cartoon.
Gov. Perry is outraged and has demanded an apology. The Bee has doubled down. There won’t be an apology.
Jack Ohman’s cartoon of April 25 made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations. It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful of the victims of this tragedy. As Ohman has made clear on his blog, he has complete empathy for the victims and people living by the plant. What he finds offensive is a governor who would gamble with the lives of families by not pushing for the strongest safety regulations. Perry’s letter is an attempt to distract people from that message.
As of yet, there is no cause known for the fire that led to the explosion. The investigation is ongoing. The best that can be said of the Bee is that it is extremely premature in judging that any policy, local, state or federal, had anything at all to do with the accident. Yet the Bee, ostensibly an outlet of journalism and keeping watch on government as a member of the fourth estate, leaps immediately to conclude that more government regulation is the answer, and Gov. Perry is personally at fault. Why the Bee doesn’t similarly find Democrats at fault for, say, the murder rates in cities they govern or the fiscal calamities facing the blue states is a question the paper’s readers should demand that it answer. The Bee should also answer why it has published just three stories about the Gosnell trial, which is clearly linked to longstanding government policies at the state and federal level, and none of its stories highlight those links at all. One story notes the lack of inspections at Gosnell’s clinic, but does not connect that blind eye to the politics of abortion. Another of the Bee’s stories presented the defense case in its headline.
The only word I regret writing in that predictive April 19 post is “pinata.” “Puppet” would have been more accurate. Leftists like Jack Ohman and his employers at the Bee claim “empathy” with the victims, but that’s a lie. They’re happy to have victims to exploit, and eager to exploit them. They are are making puppets of the dead in West in making claims on behalf of the victims that they may not have made in life. The living matter far less to these leftists than the dead. The living can, at least, speak up for themselves.