I was a little uncomfortable with James Taranto’s comparison in his latest “Best of the Web Today” column, comparing the Gaia-worshiping “Fire Make Sea Gods Angry!” left with the New Orleans looters. After examples from the usual suspects (Cindy Sheehan, Molly Ivans, Robert Kennedy Jr., the New York Times), Taranto writes:
Some people respond to a horrific natural disaster by taking cheap shots at their political opponents. Others respond by stealing TV sets. The underlying impulse knows no boundaries of social class.
This hateful post on a popular leftwing blog, however, really does seem to be verbal equivalent of a looting.
As Charles Johnson writes, “This is where the left has ended up, on their journey into hatred”.
Is there a journey back out? All of their writing is being cataloged on the Internet; a few years from now, will anyone remind them of what they wrote and said and ask them, “how on earth could you say such things?”
Update: In a sharp and welcome contrast to others on the left, former President Bill Clinton is taking the high road, working with Bush #41 once again, as they did after last year’s tsunami, and delivering some well-deserved smackdown to CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux.
(Via Michelle Malkin, who, as she has been all week, is loaded with Katrina-related links today.)
Another Update: Arthur Chrenkoff has rounded-up numerous additional examples of hurricane exploitation in action.
One More: Lorie Byrd writes, “New Orleans Is The New Iraq For The MSM”; Hugh Hewitt writes that this is a replay of the left’s dreadfully heavy-handed tactics at Paul Wellstone’s funeral–and will have similar blowback in terms of the public’s reaction.
Unlike Hugh, I think it’s waaay too soon to tell how all this will play out. But I do think it’s worth comparing the left’s remarks to similar ones made shortly after 9/11. We tend to think of that immediate period as being a time of national unity, but it was also politicized by the far left very early on as well: National Review Online kept a running “Kumbaya Watch” for a month or two afterwards cataloging the most ham-handed examples; a few of the folks who advanced them wound up this year being highlighted in Bernie Goldberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America book.
But what was different back then was the immediate reaction by the left to the lunacy in its midst. As Mark Steyn noted earlier this summer shortly after the 7/7 bombing in London:
For a few brief weeks after 9/11, back when Americans were celebrating the heroism of the brave passengers who rose up against their hijackers on Flight 93, it seemed as if the last words of Tod Beamer