S—t happens, and the media go off the rails

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.

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a campaign stop in Bedford, N.H. Potential voters who take their curiosity about presidential candidates to Google are interested in Hillary Clinton's age, Jeb Bush's height, Chris Christie's weight, Donald Trump's net worth, Carly Fiorina's marital status and Bobby Jindal's birthplace. Those were among the top questions that the Internet search engine was asked about each candidate over the past couple of months.  (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

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.





Obama insists “I’m OK, you’re OK” in response to global terrorism

President Obama, speaking to an audience that included unrepentant leaders from repressive countries who couldn’t care less and who regularly brutalize their people and deny them basic human rights, argued on Thursday that force of arms was not enough and called on all nations to “put an end to the cycle of hate” by expanding human rights, religious tolerance and peaceful dialogue.


“Oh sure, the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen actively plots against us, terrorists have murdered ambassadors, Americans have been killed at Ft. Hood and during the Boston Marathon, in Syria and Iraq the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians, we’ve seen deadly attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris and Copenhagen, the Pakistan Taliban has massacred schoolchildren and their teachers, al-Shabaab has launched attacks from Somalia across East Africa, and in Nigeria and neighboring countries, Boko Haram kills and kidnaps men, women and children,” Obama said. “But hey, shit happens.”

Calling the slaughter of thousands of Ukrainians by Russian-backed rebels supplied with Russian equipment “a hiccup on the pathway to peace”, Obama insisted that the cease-fire that came into effect in eastern Ukraine on Sunday was holding. “The Russians are honorable, peace-loving folks,” he said, “and I’m sure that if Putin and I got together he’d be overwhelmed by the force of my personality and insist that the rebels pull back.”

As the rebels raised their flag over Debaltseve, Ukraine and celebrated their humiliating defeat of the Ukrainian forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope that this wouldn’t scuttle the peace deal.

Promising “swift, meaningful punishment for those who terrorize peaceful nations”, Obama called for another conference to be held at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. that would “offer more strong words in response to beheadings , immolations, child-killing, and other barbarities.”

“We’ll take an important step forward as governments, civil society groups and community leaders from more than 60 nations will gather in Washington for a global summit on countering violent extremism,” Obama said. “Our focus will be on community organizing, which I know a heck of a lot about, and empowering local communities.”

Dismissing concerns about his feckless foreign policy, Obama  said, ” Not to worry. I’m OK you’re OK.”