The Corner

The Secretary and the Sheriff

Today, as you’ve read, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in Abu Dhabi: “Look we have extremists in my country. A wonderful, incredibly brave young woman congress member, Congresswoman Giffords, was just shot in our country. We have the same kinds of problems. So rather than standing off from each other, we should work to try to prevent the extremists anywhere from being able to commit violence.”

This is little different from the sheriff in Tucson, Clarence Dupnik calling his state “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”  

Why is it little different?  Because it’s quite hard to discern just what motivated the assassin in Tucson — he’s been described by friends as a drug user, a lost soul, a lefty, and his own rants include opposition to our currency and the constitutionality of his community college.  In sum, from all we can tell, the assassin in Tucson had a coherent philosophy about nothing.

Last year, Sheriff Dupnik called members of the tea party “bigots,” and the sponsors of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law “racist.”  Who’s promoting prejudice and bigotry? Who’s painting with a brush so broad as to lose all meaning of category?

It is the job of law enforcement officials to investigate crimes and to calm and cool passions –but he’s jumped to conclusions and used this terrible moment to further posture.

As for our secretary of state, she needs to be reminded we are in a war against Radical Islamists — not extremists against our currency or Pima Community College. There is no use whatsoever in conflating a confederation of radical Islamists destined on slaughtering Americans and other citizens of the world who are simply in their way with an insane man who stands for nothing but senseless mayhem.  To do this is to at once elevate the credibility of the Tucson assassin and diminish the very serious threat from Radical Islam.  

Both the secretary of state and the sheriff of Pima County need better understandings of their jobs right now, much better.

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