In a piece on John McCain’s recent commentary on the president’s Tucson speech, Bruce Drake offers a helpful bit of commentary of his own:
The shootings in Arizona have prompted much introspection about the tone and tenor of American politics even though the reasons why the suspected gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, carried out the massacre remain obscured by his history of bizarre behavior.
Well said. Nice synopsis.
I welcome this discussion about the “tone and tenor of American politics,” but wonder why those engaging in such introspeciton now didn’t do so earlier, particularly during the George W. Bush era when the organs of “mainstream” opinion rarely (if ever) scolded their ideological confreres for their excesses.
Will those concerned with this tone and tenor take to task those who rushed to blame the Tea Party in general and Sarah Palin in particular for creating a climate of hate or some such? Will they wonder at their own failure to take on those who advertised their animus for George W. Bush when he was in the White House or dishonestly accused him of lying?
It is good to promote civil discourse, but in putting the focus on civil discourse in the wake of the Tucson shooting, will we lose sight of the real problem exposed as the evidence trickles out — of the failure of authorities in Pima County to detain a mentally imbalanced man whose actions provided numerous warning signs?
The real issue raised the the shooting is not the tone and tenor of American politics, but how we should act to prevent individuals with serious mental health problems from posing a threat to their fellow citizens.