Ed Driscoll

Two Papers In One, Part I

The New York Times, November 6, 2009 on “The Horror at Fort Hood:”

It is always a shock — and a cause for deep sadness — when a gunman fires malevolently at crowds of innocent people. We have seen it far too often: at Columbine High School in Colorado a decade ago; on the campus of Virginia Tech two years ago; at a center for immigrants in upstate New York in April; and in downtown Orlando, Fla., where a gunman shot and killed one person and wounded five others on Friday.

Still, this week’s rampage at the sprawling Fort Hood Army base in central Texas seems especially shocking.

On Thursday, an Army psychiatrist, clad in a military uniform, allegedly sprayed bullets inside a medical building, killing 13 people and wounding at least 30. The suspected gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, has counseled scores of soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. His victims on Thursday were men and women who were preparing to deploy to the battle zones or had returned from there.

Even more shocking, they were attacked on a heavily guarded military installation within the United States where they surely must have felt secure.

In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East.

President Obama was right when he told Americans, “we don’t know all the answers yet” and cautioned everyone against “jumping to conclusions.”

Paul Krugman of the New York Times, January 8, 2011: “Assassination Attempt In Arizona:”

A Democratic Congresswoman has been shot in the head; another dozen were also shot.

We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before. And for those wondering why a Blue Dog Democrat, the kind Republicans might be able to work with, might be a target, the answer is that she’s a Democrat who survived what was otherwise a GOP sweep in Arizona, precisely because the Republicans nominated a Tea Party activist. (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.

Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.

Or as one of Ace’s commenters put it, “Either he’s a Tea Party extremist or… please, no labels.”

Related: And also from Krugman, “A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy.”

Related: Timesman Charles Blow on Sarah Palin: “She’s like the ominous blob in the horror films: the more you shoot at it, the bigger and stronger it becomes.”