LOOK, first: would I be upset if the Boston bombings turn out to be the work of one of Roger Ailes' disgruntled minions, or some Sidewalk Second Amendment Expert, or the good Christians of Westboro? I'll be piling on, same as everybody. The major difference between my side and their side is that we didn't have anyone screaming Mooslems Mooslems Mooslems between the two blasts.
Well, that's one difference, anyway. Another is that the Right has to resurrect Bill Ayers to accuse the Left of domestic terrorism, while we need only harken back to the Murrah building. (Take a moment today to remember the nearly 900 victims of that one, including the 168 who never got out. I won't ask you to remember Bob Dole announcing immediately that the bombing had to be the work of "Arabs". I won't mention which party resisted giving additional investigative powers to the FBI.)
We could (but won't) point out that interest in the Anthrax Attacks plummeted the minute it became obvious to everyone but Judith Miller that the source was domestic. Allah is Great! We could go further, if that was what we were up to, and point out that that's pretty much the direction of American law enforcement since the days when the Pinkertons were conducting it. Or point out that the US has been bombing women and children, on a regular basis and without a declaration of war, for seven decades now.
For that matter, someone in my little Midwestern burg might remember that two people died last year when the house next door exploded, in a plot to turn insurance payments into fucking Ferraris and fucking tokens for fucking slot machines.
I'm not gonna mention that any or all of that went through my head once the initial shock subsided.
I will tell you, though, that I examined all that in myself, and decided that none of it motivated me.
That is, that none of it motivates me to hope that Boston will be the lesson I'd hope it to be. Because I don't hope. It's senseless, stupid, ugly violence. It is, as Pierce says, a political act, and it has political ramifications we can't ignore. And like Zhou Enlai and the French Revolution, I guess someday we'll see. I'm glad for Patton Oswalt if he can find solace in human altruism. Humans are the only animals that will knowingly rush into a bombing site to help total strangers. They're also the only animal that needs to.
So lemme tell ya, for real: anyone who shed a tear for an eight-year-old boy who died waiting to see his Daddy finish a race should be reminded that eight-year-olds die all the time while we fucking dick around about gun violence. They should remember Fallujah, and the Christmas Bombings, and the torture that's been done in their names, right out in the open. Sorta. Not because they have any political axe to grind, but because senseless violence is senseless violence. And excusing any of it is a political act.
Me, I'll be satisfied if there's a closet in Hell somewhere where Chuck Todd gets to say "The President did not use the word 'Terrorism'" over and over, for Eternity, while he watches his paycheck shrink.