‘You Never Want A Serious Crisis To Go To Waste’
The horrific tragedy of the Aurora Town Center movie theater massacre will impact hundreds, if not thousands of people for the rest of their lives. A secondary tragedy – although unmentionable in the context of this despicable event – will be the shameless and obscene exploitation of the shooting by those who seek political gain from its occurrence.
As Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
We saw it in the immediate aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting as liberal commentators almost instantly branded Jared Lee Loughner a “right-wing fanatic.” (Ironically, classmates of Loughner later called him a “left-wing pothead.”) Was this instant label attached to Loughner because a Democratic Congresswoman was shot? Of course not. Was it because the tragedy in Tucson was seen as an obscene opportunity to gain political ground by everyone from the gun control crowd to Sarah Palin haters? Of course it was.
I remember listening to Barack Obama’s masterful Tucson speech and hoping he really meant it – wondering if his words would have an impact on those who choose vicious personal attacks and naked exploitation over civil discourse. Immediately following Obama’s speech, I wrote a post entitled I was Proud of my President Tonight, in which I not only praised the president for his compassion and the insight of his words, but also questioned whether we could truly choose a better, more dignified and respectful way to disagree with one another. I also wrote:
“The skeptic in me questions whether this can truly happen. The optimist in me hopes so.”
Unfortunately, Obama’s words ended up being just that – words. Within a week, he appeared on a Latino radio station and admonished Hispanics to work to defeat their “enemies.” Shortly thereafter, he stood at the Mexican border and ridiculed Republicans for wanting nothing less than “moats full of alligators” on that border. Many of the vile comments made by angry liberals about Sarah Palin – including death threats – were too graphic to include in this post.
Sadly, Barack Obama’s words quickly rang hollow. I fear we’re about to go through the whole disgusting nightmare all over again.
The optimist in me wants to believe that this time, things will be different. The pessimist in me knows they will not.
Mark my words, folks; it will begin before the day is over – if it hasn’t already started, that is.