Right after the Tucson shootings, liberal Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter called on President Obama to use the moment to shut down political critics on the right. Of Bill Clinton’s famous speech after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, he wrote that the former president “did more than just speak movingly…and pull the country together as griever-in-chief. He was able to use the event to discredit the militia movement and tamp down hate speech on talk radio ”
In other words, this is the time, according to Alter, to silence Obama’s political critics – like those conservative desperadoes targeted by Krugman.
“Of course the viciousness of the attacks eventually resumed,” Alter went on, “but they weren’t as fierce again until the Obama years.”
No? What happened to all those intervening years when George W. Bush was the object of increasingly vicious and hysterical political slander? Oh, right – that doesn’t count.
Stuart W. Mirsky is a Queens-based writer and columnist for several local papers. He is the author of the historical novel “The King of Vinland’s Saga,” about Vikings and Indians in eleventh-century North America, and “A Raft on the River,” the true story of a 15-year-old girl’s escape from the Nazis in Poland during World War II.