Red, White, Blue And Gold

I know it’s cornier than a Norman Rockwell painting, but I love it when an American wins an event — any event — at the Olympics.

I love the flag-raising ceremony; I even sing along to our National anthem. I especially love the look on the athletes’ faces as the reality of reaching the pinnacle of their sport sets in.

I’ll even admit I prefer it when an American wins one of those only-at-the-Olympics events. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching a group of NBA all-stars drop the gym on the ballers from East Shortwhiteistan; but I know they’re headed back to prime-time television, multi-million dollar contracts and endorsement deals for shoes which pay more than most of us will make in the next few years. However, watching an American competitor in a sport which usually shows up on ESPN14—THE CATORCE!—between the late night bowling highlights and the early morning curling results standing on a podium in front of the whole world for that one shining moment — well — USA, baby!

So I waved my own internal Stars’n’Stripes upon the gold medal-winning performance of Gabby Douglas in the gymnastics competition. Granted, gymnastics gets a lot more attention than badminton (oops, spoke too soon!); but how many of us can honestly remember the last time they tuned in for the pommel horse at the Unitard Summer Invitational (or whatever non-Olympic competition makes up the rest of the gymnastics calendar)?

Douglas is a typically tiny little sprite who, like most gymnasts, makes up for a lack of height with a fearless attitude, the athletic skill and grace of a Bolshoi ballerina and more energy than Aaron Sorkin on his 2nd eight-ball of the weekend. And Douglas adds something else to the mix: an unshakeable and unmitigated belief in God. Following her victory, she took to Twitter: “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Gabby shared the breathless joy that can only exist in triumphant youth. And then, all hell broke loose.

Evidently, quite a few liberals amongst us are just as patriotic as the rest of us; unless our athletic avatars tarnish their medals with the stain of faith. According to Salon sourpuss Mary Elizabeth Williams:

“I’ve often wondered what it is about Christians like Douglas that unnerves me so… Douglas and her ilk seem to espouse a faith based on what is commonly referred to as ‘The God of Parking Spaces.’”

“Commonly?” By whom? Gabby Douglas is an exceptionally devout girl with an exceptionally bright future in front of her. Which part of that can Williams possibly find so offensive?

I understand the reasons for watching the Olympics extend well beyond the usual jingoistic expressions of sports fandom. Anyone who has seen Usain Bolt rocket through the 100 meters like a gazelle on amphetamines knows what I mean. Just as art can be appreciated for its own sake, so can athletic accomplishment. As an aside, those skimpy outfits the women’s beach volleyball players wear fall into both categories.

So, who are these miserable curmudgeons like Williams? They’re the people who sneer at us for chanting “U-S-A,” but don’t bat an eyelid when the Europeans bellow their way through most of Wagner’s Ring Cycle while watching a 1-0 soccer match. They’re the people who refer to soccer as “football” and football as “American football;” even though they’ve never been east of the Hamptons. They’re the people who just can’t bring themselves to be patriotic; even for a moment. We know who they are; we also know how they vote. To paraphrase Ms. Williams: they’re “commonly referred to as ‘liberals.’”

I would caution Gabby Douglas to ignore spoilsports like Williams and her leftist friends. But I doubt she needs the boost. She’s wrapped in Red, White, Blue… and gold.

- Ben Crystal

The Sad Story of Senator Slander

There are moments—albeit fleeting—during which I find myself feeling almost badly for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. After all, Reid has risen near the pinnacle of Democratic Party politics.

He is, given President Barack Obama’s disastrous reign and House Minority Leader Pelosi’s 2010 implosion, likely the most powerful Democrat in Washington. And yet, we only hear from or about him when he does something uncommonly stupid. Most Americans probably think he’s that crabby old guy who carries Nancy Pelosi’s purse around. It’s no stretch to imagine him sitting in a rocking chair on the steps of the Capitol shouting at passersby to get off his lawn.

However, my sympathies for the Sage of the Silver State are short lived. I don’t despise Reid because of his supercilious simpering. Nor do I abhor him because he whines incessantly about the supposed evils of his political enemies—all the while maintaining a privileged existence based on corruption appalling even by the depressingly low standards of Washington, D.C.

Reid has been linked to disgraced fundraiser Jack Abramoff, participated in nepotism-related scandals which are frowned upon everywhere west of the Kennedy compound, and even pushed for a taxpayer-funded “green” high-speed rail system which would directly financially benefit his cronies and him while providing a “vital” rail link between Las Vegas and that heart of West Coast travel and tourism: Victorville, Calif.

I expect nothing better from Reid. I expect nothing better from virtually every one of the jacklegs and circus barkers who infest the halls of national power. But I would rather appreciate it if Reid stuck to the liberal trifecta: greed, graft and hypocrisy. Instead, Reid has once again stuck his glowering mug into the main event; attacking the tone of the national discourse like a cinematic axe-murderer at a camp for wayward teenagers in small clothing.

Last Tuesday, Reid—no stranger to scandals himself—took an unsubstantiated shot at presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney: “He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years!” Clearly, this represents a continuation of the Obama campaign strategy of demanding a gander at Romney’s tax returns. However, Reid failed to pull the proverbial handbrake in time; stepping past peeking at tax returns and rolling right into falsely accusing Romney of a felony.

Despite touching off a firestorm of deserved criticism from parties as disparate as John Stewart and yours truly, Reid doubled down on his errant tack, repeating the baseless charges on the Senate floor; thereby taking somewhat more run-of-the-mill slander and reading it into the Congressional Record. Reid has defended his defamation by claiming that “The burden should be on (Romney). He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes.” As the new gag which will likely define Reid’s career goes: the burden should be on Harry Reid. He’s the one I’ve alleged rode shotgun for the Manson Family.

I have no idea what Mitt Romney’s tax returns look like. I feel confident that they look nothing like mine. He’s an enormously wealthy man with an established record of wise business decisions. Given Reid’s own extraordinary wealth, I suspect his own tax returns also feature some rather impressive arithmetic. And we know that Obama’s tax returns have grown in size in the last few years—he’s now worth an estimated $12 million; despite never holding down a private sector job.

An impressively self-important, hyper-liberal white guy slandered an impressively self-important, somewhat-liberal white guy on behalf of an impressively self-important, hyper-liberal somewhat-white guy. Two of the three are living examples of how shallow the political pool has become of late. The third is a moderate Republican; which makes him just another mealy-mouthed, fence-sitting electoral opportunist. Unfortunately, in the current environment, that also makes him a veritable Winston Churchill when compared to the former pair.

It’s indeed a sad saga which concludes with Americans considering which candidate is the least stomach-churningly awful. I suppose Reid deserves some credit for making the choice easier for a great many people; albeit not in the direction he probably hoped. I’m still not sold on Romney. But I am certain that I want nothing to do with Harry Reid, Barack Obama and the rest of the twisted cabal which has turned the Democratic Party into a rogue’s gallery right out of a b-grade mafia film. Actually, I heard Harry Reid really was in the mafia. The burden is on him to disprove it.

–Ben Crystal

Small Business, Big Words

The sign hanging below the roadside marquee in front of Gaster Lumber and Hardware reads: “I built this business without gov’t help. Obama can kiss my ass.”

Gaster Lumber and Hardware has often thrived and always survived in Savannah, Ga., through the efforts of its owner, Ray Gaster. Gaster is a bit of a political player in the area, and his influence is considerable. But his success as a small-business owner is due entirely to a combination of dogged determination and excellent service. Lest you think I have turned this space into an advertisement for Gaster’s business, let me assure you that I’ve never been to the place. I don’t even know Gaster, although I do know his son well enough to say hello in passing. And on the rare occasions I find myself in need of some hardware-related item, I have to admit I tend to drive to Home Depot. But such a strongly worded message deserves examination, if not celebration.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to read his rather — ahem — blunt response to President Barack Obama’s now-infamous Roanoke, Va., revelation. After all, I hardly expected to see a well-respected and long-established member of the local power structure of the fairly sleepy Southern city of Savannah step out to such a loud drum. To paraphrase Miss Manners: That sort of thing just isn’t done.

But stress can do funny things to a man’s thought processes. And stress unnecessarily created by a profligate, self-important elitist who declares your decades of tough labor and love in building a successful small business an exercise in futility can do doubly so.

I suppose I can’t really blame Gaster for his own declaration of business independence. While I suppose his wording lacks a certain poetry, it’s hardly fair to expect him to pen a sonnet under the circumstances. Gaster sells construction supplies to contractors. His clientele primarily consists of people who spend their days working jobs that guarantee that by the time they get home, they’re dirty, sweaty and tired. These are people who work hard, day in and day out. They aren’t looking for Shakespeare, and Gaster doesn’t offer it. My guess is the overwhelming majority of the people who spend money in Gaster’s store nodded their assent to his sentiment — probably with a fair smattering of adjectives which actually made his sign seem like a love note by comparison.

Democrats tend to go into hysterics when they see remarks like Gaster’s — especially when the remarks are so public. It’s no Olympian leap of logic to think that Gaster risked losing their business with his sign. It’s absolutely worth noting that he was so outraged by Obama’s slap in the face that he was willing to risk their business in order to take a stand. Some of the more prominent local liberals took offense at Gaster’s pronouncement. One, a local Democratic Party official, even complained about what he called the “vulgarity” to which Gaster had unwittingly exposed the Democrat’s daughter. I suspect his moral indignation gets lost in the laundry when far more prominent Democrats make far more vulgar remarks about far less deserving subjects. I wonder if he purchased one of those charmingly G-rated “BFD” T-shirts the Obama campaign offers (for a nominal fee, of course). One local union thug and “organizer” for Al Sharpton’s racist hate group has predictably demanded a boycott of Gaster’s business; here’s hoping the boycott doesn’t involve Sharpton smearing feces on a teenage girl — again.

This, then, is the real Obama economic legacy: Real unemployment in the double digits; Brobdingnagian bailouts for favored Obama cronies in the billions of dollars; a national debt that looms nearby like the villain from a slasher movie — just out of sight, but ominously close; a Nation as divided by the liberal politics of class envy and finger-pointing as it has been in nearly a century and a half; and a successful small-business owner reacting to an shockingly elitist statement by the President and taking a very public stand, despite the rhetorical storm his stand virtually guarantees.

I might have phrased it differently, but I can’t argue with Gaster’s sentiment. Mr. President, you can kiss my butt as well.

–Ben Crystal

Eat More Chicken… Or Not

Being the charitable sort of fellow I am, I thought I might take a moment to offer a bit of advice to the forces that have rather loudly arrayed themselves against the glowering evil that is one of the largest purveyors of not-so-fine food in the country. Although I’m no Sigmund Freud (I lack what appeared to have been some pretty serious “mommy” issues and the cocaine habit needed to qualify), I figure it’s about time someone says: “Sometimes, a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich.” It strikes me that the contest between supporters and detractors of marriage equality has mistaken the feather for the bird.

Recently, Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy publicly stated his opposition to marriage equality: “Guilty as charged.” Leftist groups immediately objected, even though few of them could have named Cathy the day before. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with liberal outrage, the situation spiraled into meaningless invective fairly quickly, with groups calling for boycotts, sit-ins and even “kiss-ins” in an effort to punish Chick-fil-A employees and diners for working at and/or eating at Chick-fil-A. The real fun arrived when noted nutrition and manners expert Roseanne Barr took to Twitter to declare: “Anyone who eats S*** Fil-A deserves to get the cancer…” I do believe that’s an even bigger jump of the proverbial shark than the great “two-Becky” controversy on Barr’s not-so-lamented sitcom of decades past.

Not to be outdone by such heavyweights as Barr, Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (who should probably consider adding some calories to his own diet) proclaimed “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values.” Far be it for me to suggest Emanuel should focus on some of the more pressing issues “Chicago’s values” have created in the Windy City. Chicago is a crime-ridden cesspool that has turned to Louis Farrakhan’s Islamofascist hate group in a desperate attempt to quell the raging epidemic of violence that is consuming the city. Joining Emanuel in his mayoral tantrum was Boston boss Thomas Menino. Boston suffers from similar crime issues to Chicago, compounded by the presence of an entrenched liberal power structure stretching back beyond Joseph Kennedy’s Nazi sympathies. Even the American Civil Liberties Union stepped forward to point out that Mayors do not have the authority to suspend the Bill of Rights in their municipalities, despite their pretensions to the contrary.

I didn’t eat Chick-fil-A the week before CEO Dan Cathy made his now infamous remarks about his opposition to gay marriage. As the oddly manufactured controversy regarding his view on the subject developed into a full-blown rhetorical war, I still didn’t eat Chick-fil-A. Tomorrow, as vast flocks of folk on both sides of the drive-thru either do or do not deliberately dine on what many of us will admit is a pretty tasty treat, I will probably not eat at Chick-fil-A. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ate Chick-fil-A. I am highly confident that I won’t be darkening the door to the coop anytime soon. But I’m not making a political statement; I’m just too lazy to drive to a Chick-fil-A.

My “boycott” of Chick-fil-A, such as it is, is entirely based on geography. I care as much about Cathy’s personal politics as I do about the politics of the presidents of McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s — which is to say, not at all. But liberals are up in arms about Cathy’s stance. They’re welcome to be so, but perhaps their squawking would ring less hollow were it not for their simultaneous support of Obama, Emanuel, Menino and the rest of the vermin who have turned their party into the biggest rat’s nest outside Chicago’s sewers.

Think of it this way: Emanuel and his liberal friends don’t want Chick-fil-A in Chicago, but Louis Farrakhan is welcome to pitch in? I’d rather have the chicken sandwich — with extra pickles, of course.

–Ben Crystal

Gunning For Tyranny

Late last week, as Democrats and their media minions jockeyed for position at the front of the macabre post-Aurora-massacre line of people who reflexively oppose the Bill of Rights, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) grabbed his moment in the glare. It’s well known that the space between Schumer and a working camera is far more dangerous than any place frequented by people with firearms, and Schumer’s latest publicly expressed folly was hardly surprising under the circumstances. A tragedy had occurred; and come hell or high water, Schumer was loath to miss a chance to use the coffins of the victims as a soapbox for yet another mind-numbing liberal pronouncement on the dangers of law-abiding citizens owning firearms. Worse yet, Schumer and a number of his fellow Senators were loath to miss an opportunity to force their anti-Constitutional criteria on a citizenry already suffering their presence in the halls of Congress.

Thus did Schumer proclaim:

(The) basic complaint is that the Chuck Schumers of the world want to take away your guns. I think it would be smart for those of us who want rational gun control to make it known that that’s not true at all.

Personally, I think it would be smart for all of us to recognize that the Chuck Schumers of the world have hardly hidden their desire to take away our guns. In fact, the Chuck Schumers of the world are joined by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) of the world, among others. And they are backed by the Brady Campaign and fellow fringe anti-Bill of Rights groups in their endeavors. That’s how the Chuck Schumers of the world get away with remarks like “rational gun control” while pushing for anything but.

While Schumer took to the floor to once again rail against things he doesn’t understand (which is hardly uncommon), he did so in an effort to throw a rhetorical blanket over an offensively secretive plan to do far more than simply abrogate the right to keep and bear arms. Following the Senate approval for amendments of the abominably invasive Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (itself a redressed version of the similarly appalling Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which Representative Ron Paul rightly identified as “Big Brother writ large”), Schumer and his friends pulled a fast one. They tacked an amendment onto the bill which might as well be known as the “Aurora Amendment.” Rather than try to take on the 2nd Amendment from the front, Schumer and his accomplices pinned their pusillanimous program to ban everything north of your daughter’s pink .22 Crickett onto the Federal cyberspying bill.

If Schumer, et al.’s S.A. 2575 seems familiar to observers of dastardly Democrat deeds, that’s because it is essentially a backdoor attempt to reintroduce the infamous “assault weapons ban” of years past. The new amendment is, in fact, virtually identical to the gun-ban bill introduced by Lautenberg. Feinstein sponsored the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. S.A. 2575 would, without a separate vote, “make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition,” according to The Hill. It’s worth noting that your current magazines, whether they be the 30-rounders most of us use for our ARs or one of those unwieldy 31 round monsters the Koreans make for the Glock 22 .40 caliber, are “grandfathered in.”

Before you panic and open a new tab on your browser so you can begin ordering replacement magazines for your AR-15, keep in mind that the bill still has to pass the Senate. That means the Senate will actually have to do something proactive — not exactly a strong suit under the listless leadership of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). And even if it does manage to make its way out of that wrinkled group, it’s as likely to pass the House as Chuck Schumer is to win the next 3-gun match at the local range.

The real problem with Schumer’s latest attempted abrogation of our Constitutionally protected rights — his protestations to the contrary be damned — is the same one that has plagued the Nation for decades: The basic premise of gun-ban proponents is fatally flawed. While liberals would ultimately prefer to relieve us all of our weapons, they know that will fly like a stone kite. So they try their usual incrementalist tack. They can’t get the guns, so they’ll limit the magazine capacity.

(Author’s aside: Stop saying “clips.” They’re not clips; they’re magazines. Your use of inaccurate descriptives reveals much more about you than it does about your intended targets. Likewise, weapons like my AR and my 1911 are not “automatic,” they’re semi-automatic: one round per trigger pull. Fully automatic weapons have been illegal in the United States without specialized permits since the early 1930s. Your argument might resonate more if you sounded even vaguely like you knew what the hell you were talking about. Imagine how you would feel if a conservative suggested cutting off taxpayer funding for the liberal twaddle on PBS with references to “Oliver the Grouch” on “Sesame Lane.”)

Some of Schumer’s carrion-feeding compatriots have even attempted to point to Aurora, Colo., suspect James Holmes’s ownership of a 100-round drum as proof of the need to limit magazine capacity. That argument falls apart fairly quickly when you realize the magazine wasn’t used during the shooting. The shooter didn’t need it; he had the advantage of knowing that anti-Bill of Rights activists like Schumer had already disarmed his victims through draconian restrictions that disallow any carry inside the Aurora city limits. It’s also worth noting that anyone who has tried to fire an AR with a 100-round drum magazine has recognized fairly quickly that it’s a fairly miserable experience — and that’s just the drudgery of loading the magazine itself.

For his part, Schumer added another amendment to his defense of the indefensible, suggesting:

We can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness, but we might be able to come to an agreement in the middle…Maybe, maybe, maybe we can pass some laws that might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary casualties.

Pardon my saying so, Senator, but the moment you and your cabal of Brady-backed gun grabbers began discussing limiting my Constitutional rights, you put “reasonableness (sic)” in the rearview mirror. There is absolutely nothing reasonable about agreeing to abrogate the Bill of Rights. There is no middle ground. And perhaps if people like you didn’t consistently focus on guns as opposed to criminals who misuse them, we “might, might, might stop some of the unnecessary casualties.” My suggestion is to arrest the Attorney General. At the very least, you’d be sending a strong message that arming homicidal narcoterrorists is generally frowned upon.

And once anyone offers Schumer and the Democrats “an agreement in the middle,” where does that leave the end? Should we agree to “the middle” on free speech? Perhaps allow some quartering of troops in our homes, but only squad-sized or smaller? Possibly we could compromise on… Come to think of it, the Federal government has already made a practice of doing everything to the Bill of Rights besides murdering it and burying it in Schumer’s backyard. Anyone who has watched as Transportation Security Administration agents have searched a handicapped person’s colostomy bag for explosives can testify that the 4th Amendment is certainly on life support, if it isn’t dead already.

Democratic attempts to institute limitations on the Bill of Rights routinely devolve into the dangerous or the absurd — as often as not, both. S.A. 2575 will have precisely the same prophylactic effect on violent crime as Aurora’s ban: none, at best. Meanwhile, the liberal arguments backing Schumer border on the absurd. Of course the Framers of the Constitution lived in a world with flintlocks and the like. Lest anyone stand on that wobbly rhetorical table, imagine the Framers’ reaction to the liberal argument in favor of Constitutionally protected partial-birth abortion.

The late, great Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) said “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” He was right. But defending liberty against the encroachment of people like Schumer is anything but extreme.

–Ben Crystal

The Ride Of A Lifetime

You’ll have to pardon my digression. Far more pressing concerns dominate our national consciousness, as well they should. Tragedy, war and economic chaos are indeed worthy of most of the coverage they receive in the headlines. And I will indubitably rejoin the parade of political punditry posthaste. Nonetheless, something grabbed my attention Tuesday morning; and while it might pale in apparent importance when compared the rest of the events of that and every other day recently, it meant something to me.

Sally Ride passed away Monday at the relatively young age of 61. Ride, who exemplified American exceptionalism as much as anyone ever did, was a rare breed even among her spectacularly intelligent peers in the world of astrophysicists. Yes, she was a rocket scientist; but she was hardly the lab coat-wearing, bespectacled wallflower of cliché. Ride wasn’t merely a rocket scientist; Ride was a rocket driver.

In June of 1983, Ride boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger to become the first American woman in space. She wasn’t the first of her gender to visit the heavens; two Russian women had already made the trip. But she was the first woman to visit space about whom I knew more than her name. At the time of her mission, I was a 12-year-old kid who had abandoned the standard childhood dreams of action-adventure-style spacefaring in favor of more reasonable stuff — like playing center for the New York Rangers. Ride’s beyond-stratospheric jaunt reignited my imagination. I didn’t particularly care about her gender; I just happened to be teetering on the edge of adolescent apathy at the exact moment Americans rediscovered a fascination with space flight, and I went along for the ride.

Even a preteen lad who was starting to notice girls were far less awful than he had previously thought was swept up in space fever. “Star Wars” was finishing up the part of the trilogy that should have been made. “ET” had just phoned home. The Voyager probes had delivered images of Jupiter and Saturn that far surpassed anything we had imagined. And then, Ride and her four fellow astronauts on STS-7 reminded me that science was even cooler than science fiction. Six months after Ride’s ride, a serious miscalculation on my part regarding the speed at which a Flexible Flyer becomes unstable while attempting to negotiate a very large stand of pine trees put an end to any chance I would ever have to slip “the surly bonds of earth” or even enjoy the privilege of serving in the military. I should note that the accident didn’t really change my potential astronaut status. The people who make it aboard American spacecraft are exceedingly rare. Not only do they have to be physically capable of withstanding the extraordinary demands of spaceflight, but they have to be mentally capable of being useful during such. They’re essentially Olympic athletes with genius-level IQs. Think: the star quarterback with the mind of the chairman of the physics department.

We live in an era in which a man who murders a crowd of people in a Colorado movie theater receives love notes online, and that makes bigger news than the passing of one of America’s greatest modern pioneers. More people can identify the real housewives of wherever than can name Americans who have flown into space.

Don’t mistake my remarks for some maudlin lament or “we need better role models” sermon. Nor am I offering one of those weirdly sentimental eulogies that some folks employ to connect themselves to someone noteworthy. Ride wasn’t really a great role model. She was an enormously uncommon human being, even among uncommon human beings. Only a tiny percentage of the rest of us could ever hope to equal a portion of her life’s work. In the days since her passing, details have crept out about her life that some people might find objectionable, like her 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama for President. But I say forget about all of that. Ride was nothing short of amazing. In an era in which American exceptionalism is viewed as either anachronistic or even shameful, she was neither.

–Ben Crystal

The Culture Of Vultures

Join me, if you will, on a journey back in time. Let’s visit those heady days of yore when the corporate media delivered unbiased accounts of important events, America met tragedy with sincerely respectful grief and former Bill Clinton Administration cabin boy George Stephanopoulos was revered as an icon of journalistic integrity. Just reading that sentence aloud ought to confirm one thing: I really need to lay off the sauce when I’m working.

Kidding aside, I can’t hearken back to those days for the same reason you can’t. Outside the fevered imaginations of left-wing sycophants and Stephanopoulos himself, those days never existed. So no one should have been surprised when, while covering the unfolding tragedy in Aurora, Colo., Stephanopolous and ABC News correspondent Brian Ross won the race to be the first liberal media to connect the suspect, James Holmes, to the Tea Party. It took Stephanopolous, Ross and the ABC/Democratic Party mouthpieces a few hours to find a “Jim Holmes” who belonged to the Tea Party and then erroneously associate him with the Aurora massacre. It took the same bunch of self-described “journalists” two years to notice President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were trying to keep a lid on the Operation Fast and Furious debacle. Granted, Ross did retract the report later in the day; but he couldn’t unring the bell. I expect that was the point.

But forget about Stephanopolous, Ross and ABC News. I have a feeling they’re going to be a mite busy for the foreseeable future. Something about a Tea Party member named Jim Holmes who didn’t shoot anyone being miffed that the aforementioned liberals gave him the “Spike Lee” treatment. Ross, help Stephanopoulos down from his booster seat. It’s time for remedial ethics training at the Richard Jewell School for Excessively Garrulous Sock Puppets.

Of course the left was going to try to pin the actions of a psychopath to conservatives. It’s a reflexive response. The entire philosophical foundation of liberalism rests on the concept of refusing accountability and exploiting emotion over logic. Rahm Emanuel, the ghoulish (in more ways than one) former Obama White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, said it best: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” What he didn’t add was: “Especially if you can blame it on your political enemies.” The smoke had yet to clear in Aurora, and the Democratic Party mouthpieces were racing out to pile on.

Noted patriot Piers Morgan led the way on that front, tweeting: “America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time.” Morgan was doubtless basing his question on the years of intensive Constitutional study required to be a British talent-show host. Actually, as I read Piers’ statement, I thought: “CNN’s resident limey just reminded me: America has got to do something about its immigration laws. Now is the time.”

He was far from alone. New York Mayor and Super-Nanny Michael Bloomberg chimed in while the smoke still swirled, tweeting: “It’s time for the presidential candidates to step up & tell us what they’ll do about guns in America.” Here’s a thought, Bloomberg: Stop enabling the sale of guns to Mexican narcoterrorists who murder American border agents. (Too soon?)

A host of Hollywood blowhards perked up at the possibility of gaining relevancy off the silver screen. Even the B-listers took their turns. Jason Alexander, previously noteworthy for his portrayal of George Costanza on the 90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” called for a ban on AR-style rifles. “They are not guaranteed or protected by our constitution.” He went on to equate ARs with nuclear weapons. I have one question for Alexander: “If you’re here, then who’s running Vandelay Industries? I hope you didn’t leave Kramer in charge.”

Democratic political vultures and entertainment industry buffoons raised the hue and cry: “Gun control!” Very few of them remembered that people had died and were still dying in Colorado — victims of a madman who had demonstrated the sort of skill with explosives that proves only that he would have found a way to kill, guns or not.

I have a tip for the anti-Bill of Rights crowd: There is no “gun control” story in Aurora. There is a human story in Aurora. Stop trying to manufacture the former at the expense of the latter. And if you won’t listen to me, ask Stephanopolous and Ross — assuming they’re not out searching for their credibility.

–Ben Crystal