The Corner

Give Me a Break

From a regular liberal reader of mine:

Imagine John Kerry had won the election. (I can hear you shudder from here). Now imagine that authorities caught a terrorist (think al Qaeda or maybe an extreme Left Wing environmental group) responsible for multiple deadly bombings here in the US… and that prosecutors cut a deal with him that avoided the death penalty.

Do you think there would be at least one post on the Corner wondering, maybe with a little outrage, why he avoided the death penalty? Kerry’s “soft” on terrorism… he’s too French to apply the death penalty… etc. Maybe it would be a time to reflect on the risks of extremist ideology on the safety and security of our nation.

I haven’t seen anything on Rudolph on the Corner, or Fox News all day. This is, in my understanding, the 3rd deadliest terrorist in American history. Every little wanna-be terrorist moron Muslim we arrest (Think the Buffalo six) gets a ton of attention, even if they’re eventually released because they were really not much of a risk at all. This guy successfully bombs over and over… and… silence.

It’s almost like some folks think his heart was in the right place.

I’m sure there’s a better explanation… I just can’t think of it.

Me: He should think harder.

I get this sort of email all of the time. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to read the “significant silences” on blogs. What someone chooses not to write about can say a great deal about a writer. But this simply strikes me as nonsense. I haven’t written about Rudolph because I haven’t followed the story much. I suspect it’s the same for a lot of folks around here. From what I have read, it sounds like the plea deal was an issue of prosecutorial discretion. Personally, I’d have no problem with Rudolph getting the chair. I doubt anyone at NR — who supports the death penalty — would disagree. (It was, recall, Ashcroft who decided to seek the death penalty in the first place and no one complained about that).

But there’s a lot of apples-and-oranges thinking here. Rudolph is certainly newsworthy — and if you google his name at NRO, you’ll find it’s come up a lot. But he’s hardly representative of a news story nearly as huge, complex and interesting as al Qaeda and the war on terrorism. It’d be nice if folks didn’t automatically leap to the conclusion that the lack of comment on something is an explicit endorsement of the most execrable position possible. Alas, it happens every day and it says more about the people leaping to conclusion than it does about those of us who are leapt upon.

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