THE PLANK APRIL 20, 2007
"What can be said about the Virginia Tech massacre?" writes Charles Krauthammer in the Post today. "Very little. What should be said? Even less." But there are, of course, column inches to be filled.
Krauhammer bemoans the fact that "in today's supercharged political atmosphere, there is the inevitable rush to get ideological mileage out of the carnage"; he then, inevitably, rushes to get ideological mileage out of the carnage.
His first target is gun-control advocates who've leapt on the tragedy. "If we are going to look for a political issue here," he writes, "the more relevant is not gun control but psychosis control." There may be merit to his suggestion that more unbalanced people should be institutionalized (it's hard to say, as he's vague on details). But it's a little rich for Krauthammer, a former practicing psychiatrist, to mount this hobbyhorse a few short graphs after condemning gun-control proponents for mounting theirs.
But wait, there's more. He then proceeds to attack Barack Obama for the tone-deaf speech he offered after the massacre, a complaint he concludes by sneering that Obama "proudly opposed overthrowing the premier mass murderer of our time, Saddam Hussein." Get it? He's soft on mass murderers everywhere, from Blacksburg to Baghdad.
Krauthammer concludes by proposing "a decent interval of respectful silence before turning ineffable evil and unfathomable grief into political fodder." Yes, it'd be nice, wouldn't it?