The Blame Game

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Immediately following the attempted assassination of Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise there was an appeal for unity and civility from both sides of the aisle and from President Trump. My wife and I glanced at each other, each of us thinking the same thing, and I felt a momentary twinge of shame at my cynical reaction. I shouldn’t have.

Almost before the shooting was over, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe fired the first shot (you should pardon the expression) by blaming guns. He was followed by a host of the usual suspects, and then in rapid succession by the NY Times and the LA Times both of which blamed the NRA. Multiple US Senators, Representatives, Governors and MSNBC blamed Donald Trump. Nancy Pelosi, always distinguished for her trenchant perspicacity, managed to blame both the Republican Party (for having impeached President Bill Clinton twenty years ago) and Fox News.

On the other side, various politicians and self-proclaimed pundits put the blame on the shrill chorus of Progressive fanatics who deny Trump as president, on the Democrat Party, on the idiotic comments and actions of second-rate entertainers such as Madonna and Kathy Griffin, on the New York Public Theater’s admittedly tasteless and unimaginatively obvious choice to present a modern-day production of Julius Caesar with a president who looks just like Donald Trump, and on the leftwing media generally.

A few putatively deeper thinkers have put the blame on, variously, both sides, the American political system generally, the electoral college, campaign financing, fund-raising, and gerrymandering.

I have an observation about all this.

If you are such an egregious moron that you have to go around assigning blame for the actions of an evil and clearly unstable loser, you are too stupid to hold public office, run a newspaper, host a show, be a pundit, or even be allowed out in public. Evil exists, just as stupidity exists, and all the preposterous legislation in the world will never stop either one of those. But trying to deflect culpability from the randomness of evil and search for a root cause among your enemies is a sign you have nothing intelligent to say. Put the blame where it belongs: on a man who would qualify as pathetic if he hadn’t been so evil. After that, shut up.

In the meantime, I rejoice in the tentative and cautious good news about Rep. Scalia, and I pray his recovery will be complete and swift.

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