When Hindsight Isn't 20/20

Mark Hemingway deconstructs the New Republic’s latest deconstruction:

At The New Republic, Chris Orr has a blog post deconstructing the latest Weekly Standard cover:

How far can the Weekly Standard sink? Time will tell, but the cover of its current issue gives a pretty good sense of its depth at the moment. Accompanied by the cover line “Here the People Rule,” the illustration—it’s a bit small here, but I’ll gladly link to a larger version if I find one—is of, well, an angry white mob. Though the central figure looks relatively temperate, he is flanked on one side by an enraged older woman holding brass knuckles and on the other by an equally furious man crushing a pamphlet entitled “health care.” (Saddest touch: The flanneled man in the center, in addition to his anti-Obama pin, has a copy of The Weekly Standard tucked into his coat pocket. Subtle.)

Why is it an “angry white mob”? It’s possible Orr was being literal, but that description is pretty loaded and seems to infer opposition to Democratic health care plans is motivated by racism. Yet, the cover clearly depicts a “temperate” conservative being attacked by angry two leftists. Does Orr not understand what’s going on in the picture? Further, the Mary Katherine Ham story being illustrated is all about violence on the left — so it should have been clear. On that note, Orr also wins the prize for disingenuous analogy of the day:

Moreover, Ham’s authority comes entirely from hindsight: The fact that no serious act of violence occured doesn’t mean it couldn’t have (or might not still) or that the people whose concern she mocks—principally Chris Matthews—were wrong to be concerned. The drunk driver who makes it home safe is hardly an authority on automotive safety.


As Mark concludes, “Yes, I know it’s crazy how Ham draws conclusions based on what actually happened in the recent past rather than outdated speculation by liberal commentators that didn’t come to fruition.”

Update: As Moe Lane asks, “TNR didn’t get the Norman Rockwell reference?”


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