You know what Jeb Bush was saying. I know what Jeb Bush was saying. President Obama and the Democrats know what Jeb Bush was saying. Media of all stripes know what Jeb Bush was saying.
But that hasn’t stopped the media from serving as part of an echo chamber for the manufactured outrage.
Yesterday (Friday, Oct 2), speaking at en event in Greenville, S.C., following on the horrific shooting deaths at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Oregon, Bush talked about how people respond to school shootings.
“We’re in a difficult time in our country and I don’t think that more government is necessarily the answer to this,” Bush said. “I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s just, it’s very sad to see. But I resist the notion — and I did, I had this, this challenge as governor, because we have, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
Bush said hasty, ill-considered responses to events that lead to more government intrusion in our lives are not always the best answer to troublesome events.
He didn’t casually dismiss the Umpqua deaths with the sentiment, “Shit happens”. He didn’t callously shrug off the UCC deaths as inconsequential.
But in today’s hyper-divisive political climate, liberal critics saw an opening. Without a second to lose, the web lit up with pejorative comments about Bush’s statement.
As CNN reported, Democrats pounced when Bush’s comments went viral.
At the White House, in what the New York Times described as a “sharp rebuke” to Bush, President Obama opined, “…the American people can decide whether they consider (mass shootings) ‘stuff happening’.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, quickly tweeted: “A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. “Stuff” doesn’t just “happen.” Inaction happens.”
The liberal Mother Jones magazine described Bush’s comment as an “astonishingly callous summation of Thursday’s deadly rampage that killed 10 people and injured seven others”.
The New York Daily News said Bush, in making his comments, was “flippant” and “shrugged-off the slaughter of nine people at an Oregon community college by a gun-toting maniac”.
Exaggerated rage reigns in this political season. And to think we have more than a year of all this ahead.