Thursday was a tough day for the people of West, Texas. They gathered to bid a final farewell to their friends and family, 15 of whom died in the catastrophic explosion and fire at the West Fertilizer Co. storage and distribution center.
As a resident of Savannah, Ga., I have a sense of just how far a tragedy at a major local employer can reach. In February 2008, an explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in nearby Port Wentworth reverberated far beyond the harrowing damage at the scene. Nearly everyone in the area was connected by blood or friendship to an employee at the plant.
To the best of my recollection, the various Imperial Sugar memorials evoked tears at best and indifference at worst. If someone tried to exploit the nightmare to press some twisted liberal ideological button, I neither heard nor read about it. While the usual Democratic vultures found their familiar roosts soon enough, the memorials themselves were treated with at least respectful silence.
Pity the same can’t be said for the folks in West. As they grieved together, Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman published this macabre substitute for humor:
Get it? See, the pencil-necked artist thinks the tragedy was caused by a lack of government bureaucracy. So he depicted Texas Governor Rick Perry — who has been enthusiastically recruiting businesses away from job-crushing, union thug-infested States governed by Democrats — as luring people to their doom in a fiery explosion. And, hey, there was a fiery explosion in West! Yeah, that’s some funny stuff, right there.
Perry tweeted the following response to the Bee’s ghoulish glee: “Disgusted by the @sacbee_news cartoon mocking death of fellow Americans in explosion. They owe the citizens of West an apology.” He didn’t say that the Bee should dump Ohman for shamelessly stomping on the graves of the West victims; he didn’t even point out the obvious fact that Ohman is a no-talent hack who is almost as funny as bone cancer. He simply noted that politicizing tragedy is inappropriate at best and cruel at worst.
Of course, The Bee chose to attack Perry rather than admit to atrocious comic timing. Bee Editorial Page Editor Stuart Leavenworth even took the inexplicably ugly step of blaming Perry: “Yes, a Texas governor is beating up on a cartoonist instead of taking some responsibility. shocking.” Leavenworth’s decision to double down against decency begs the question: Why be ghoulish and creepy when you can be ghoulish and creepy and blame your ghoulish creepiness on someone else? If Democrats want to ascribe every tragedy they encounter to some lack of adherence to their ideas, I suppose they’re welcome to it. Despite their own opposition to the 1st Amendment, they have the right to free speech — even unfunny, unpleasant and/or uncaring speech.
They have the right to spurious attempts to tie the Newtown, Conn., massacre to a lack of anti-Bill of Rights laws that wouldn’t have had any effect on the Newtown massacre. They have the right to bewildering efforts to tie the Boston Marathon bombing to “white Americans.” They have the right to pretend they’re not repudiated by actual facts at every turn. And, sadly, they have the right to pretend jokes about their fellow citizens dying in blazing infernos are funny.
Liberals politicize everything because to a liberal, everything is political. The air you breathe is political; ask the zealots at the Environmental Protection Agency. The food you eat is political; ask New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the first lady. To a liberal, even life itself is political. And judging by the President’s make-out session at Planned Parenthood last week, they’re solidly against it — unless the life in question belongs to a cop killer or an islamofascist. Ultimately, if you’re mourning the loss of family or friends and the Democrats can make political hay out of your grief, it’s not personal; it’s politics.