WHERE WAS CHARLES BLOW GETTING HIS NEWS?…. One of the stranger pundit reactions to the tragedy in Tucson comes by way of the New York Times‘s Charles Blow, whose disappointing column this weekend was largely inexplicable.
Tragedy in Tucson. Six Dead. Democratic congresswoman shot in the head at rally.
Immediately after the news broke, the air became thick with conjecture, speculation and innuendo. There was a giddy, almost punch-drunk excitement on the left. The prophecy had been fulfilled: “words have consequences.” And now, the right’s rhetorical chickens had finally come home to roost.
Seriously? Blow perceives liberals as being “giddy” about a mad gunman trying to assassinate a Democratic congresswoman and massacring six people? Blow found “punch-drunk excitement” that came “immediately” after the violence?
I haven’t the foggiest idea what Blow is referring to. I’d gladly consider the merit of his examples, but he doesn’t offer any. Blow simply asserts his interpretation as fact: the “giddy” left launched “a full-fledged witch hunt to link the shooter to the right.” It’s true, apparently, because Charles Blow says so.
(Ironically, within hours of the violence, there was an aggressive effort among conservative activists to tie the shooter to the left, a push that included GOP members of Congress. Blow somehow missed this, en route to getting his argument backwards.)
Blow went on to argue that “Democrats” ended up “nurturing a false equivalence within the body politic.” There were plenty of false equivalences this past week, but blaming Dems for them strikes me as pretty silly.
The great irony of Blow’s column is his emphasis on supporting one’s assumptions with “evidence.” He argued, “[P]otential, possibility and even plausibility are not proof.” Those who hope to “score political points,” Blow added, did so “in the absence of proof.”
The problem, of course, is that Blow is guilty of his own allegations. He sees a “giddy” left, where none existed. He sees “punch-drunk excitement” among liberals on a “witch hunt,” but offers literally nothing by way of support.
Mr. Blow, there may have been a “potential, possibility and even plausibility” that some liberals would act irresponsibly in the wake of the tragedy, but “in the absence of proof,” this column is a careless mess.