In my post about the attempt to smear House Speaker John Boehner for “skipping out” on the Tucson memorial service, I mentioned that, to my knowledge, the first person to put the real story together was Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo. This prompted a commenter to declare that Beutler’s honesty somehow discredits the notion that the Left manufactured the “Climate of Hate” narrative, because TPM is a liberal site.
That’s a silly idea – the Left is no more monolithic than the Right is – but it made me think a salute to the honest liberals who have stepped forward during the past week is in order. This is hardly a comprehensive list, and no slight is intended to anyone I leave off. Feel free to add more laurels in the comments section.
Kirsten Powers: Writing in the Daily Beast, Powers was adamant that a “mentally ill gunman” was responsible for the Tucson atrocity, not “how we treat each other.” She thinks Obama should have done more to shut down “the nonsense about how Sarah Palin or right-wing talkers caused the shooting” during his speech in Tucson.
Alan Dershowitz: The famous liberal lawyer quickly defended Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel,” noting he has used it metaphorically in exactly the same way. “There is nothing improper, and certainly nothing anti-Semitic, in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim,” he told Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government.
Jon Stewart: He made it clear, in his calm and reasoned opening monologue after the shootings, that he wasn’t buying into the attempt to blame the murders on “a toxic political environment.” “We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations,” Stewart mused, “and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine.” Considering his popularity, and how hard liberals were pushing the “Climate of Hate” nonsense in the first hours after the events in Tucson, his level-headed approach deserves high praise.
Juan Williams: On Fox News Sunday the day after the attacks, Williams said, “Obviously, this is a horrific event, and it’s the kind of thing that just chills you and makes you worry about a free and open government, but it doesn’t mean you should be free to attack people. I think it’s important to say this, as someone left of center, that you can’t just blame this on some kind of right-wing rhetoric. I mean, clearly, I think this kid was unstable.” I can’t imagine why he didn’t fit in over at NPR.
I wish I could think of more. Given the intensity the Left has invested in pushing the “Climate of Hate” narrative, the integrity displayed by these four is quite remarkable.