Ed Driscoll

The Newspaper Just Went Off

Now is the time at Ed Driscoll.com when we juxtapose!

As spotted by David Foster of the Chicago Boyz blog, here’s E.J. Dionne warning us that “abstractions are the enemy of responsible government”

E J Dionne, an establishment liberal who writes for the Washington Post, complains that many House Republicans “behave as professors in thrall to a few thrilling ideas”–ideas, that is, about limitations on the power of government–and says:

Their rhetoric is nearly devoid of talk about solving practical problems–how to improve our health care, education and transportation systems, or how to create more middle-class jobs.

Instead, we hear about things we can’t touch or see or feel, and about highly general principles divorced from their impact on everyday life…

Earlier this week, Patterico spotted this example of hyperbolic eliminationist rhetoric from Richard Cohen from 1999:

For hypocrisy, for sheer gall, [Newt] Gingrich should be hanged.

Curiously though, when confronted with someone who did far more than rhetorical harm to a politician, a federal judge, and other victims, as spotted by the Truth About Guns blog, here’s Richard Cohen warning us that extreme anthropomorphism is the enemy of responsible history:

I had a teacher in college who used to ask, Who discovered America? He would offer some choices. They were Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus or the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. The answer he wanted was the three ships with which eventually someone would have discovered the New World and without which everyone would have remained in Spain.

It is no different with the tragedy in Tucson. Hate speech and madness were part of the mix, but it was the gun and our insane gun laws that resulted in six deaths. Until we come to grips with that, as a nation, we remain armed and dangerous.

Cohen adds:

[M]y own moderate paranoia cannot make me duck the obvious. Six people are dead and 14 wounded in Arizona not just because a man went crazy or just because political rhetoric has gotten too raw, but because they were shot. It’s the gun that did it.

Hey, Jesse Walker of Reason wasn’t kidding when he warned us about the dangers of paranoid moderates!

(Concept via SDA)

E J Dionne, an establishment liberal who writes for the Washington Post, complains that many House Republicans “behave as professors in thrall to a few thrilling ideas”–ideas, that is, about limitations on the power of government–and says:

Their rhetoric is nearly devoid of talk about solving practical problems–how to improve our health care, education and transportation systems, or how to create more middle-class jobs.

Instead, we hear about things we can’t touch or see or feel, and about highly general principles divorced from their impact on everyday life…