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Tasteless Beyond the Limits of Reason – Response to Derbyshire

John Podhoretz dismantles with simple logic the asinine and distasteful criticism by fellow National Review Online columnist John Derbyshire who said the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings lacked courage enough to defend themselves.

Why didn't anyone rush the guy?" Derb asks. Gee, I don't know. Because he was executing people? Because if you rush a guy with a gun, he shoots you in the head the way he executed the teachers in each classroom?

He also mock's Derbyshire's defense that he's simply doing a journalist's job by broaching difficult subjects and asking hard questions.

Derb claims proudly to be touching a "third rail" by raising something no one wants to talk about. The third rail is a metaphor for electrocution. What happened in those classrooms was no metaphor.

Podhoretz is right, of course. To think it's in any way reasonable to blame the victims of that shooting is to betray your deeply cynical and twisted feelings about violence in America. To imply that these kids and their professors were actually the victims of a "Nanny State" that disabled them from even being able to fight back is beyond the pale of even the toughest political discourse. For the party who claims to abhor situational morality, here's your chance to call out what is WRONG—without equivocation.

Further discussion on Time's Swampland Blog.



So many of these commentators on the right lack dignity, empathy, or even a basic respect for their fellow human beings (unless they're part of the faithful). I'm not surprised by the garbage Derbyshire has been spewing, but it's infuriating. When faced with human tragedy, right wing commentators often just panic, and start attacking. They don't know what else to do. Remember this crowd pleaser from Ann Coulter, after 9/11? "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Hmmm... yes... More excellent commentary on world events from the nutjob right.

I'm surprised Coulter hasn't added to the nonesense yet. This issue seems right up her, um, alley.

Great tragedy often spawns great stupidity. (See Iraq war, for example).

Derbyshire knee jerked himself right into the spotlight. Some of these people will do anything for attention. Good or bad. That's just the way they're wired. Can't help but wonder how many of them were bullied in school.

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