The Washington Post editors have a well-meaning editorial up today, condemning the recent acts of vandalism and violence and overheated, threatening rhetoric that has dominated the landscape in the days following the passage of the health care reform bill.
Basically, they want people to keep calm and carry on, and would appreciate more of the examples set by John Boehner -- who called violence "unacceptable" and urges people to "channel" their anger "into positive change" and Nancy Pelosi -- who insisted that "All who participate in our freedom of expression should not be painted with the same brush."
Still, as is all too typical, the striving for "on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand" balance gets a little strained, here:
Acts of vandalism such as that committed at the home of Mr. Perriello's brother, or the bullet fired through a window of Mr. Cantor's campaign office, or bricks heaved through plate glass doors at other legislators' offices -- these are inexcusable. They should be condemned and, more to the point, investigated and prosecuted as the crimes that they are.
One of those things is, as they say, not like the other, and in this case it's the "bullet fired through a window of Mr. Cantor's campaign office." Not that you should go around firing bullets at architecture connected to Eric Cantor or anyone else! But surely the Washington Post is aware that the Cantor-window incident has been investigated! They could, for instance, read their own newspaper!
Thursday, March 25, 2010, "Richmond police investigate shot fired at Cantor's office."
Richmond police are investigating a shot fired at U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's downtown office on Main Street early Tuesday when no one was in the building.
A police statement this afternoon said that a preliminary investigation shows that a bullet struck a window, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the window but did not penetrate the blinds.
Cantor's office is in a small building several blocks from the heart of downtown, near the historic Jefferson Hotel. It has several small offices in it, of which Cantor's is one.There are no Cantor signs on the doors or windows.
Friday, March 26, 2010, "Police say gunfire that hit Cantor's office was random"
The bullet that hit U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's campaign office in downtown Richmond early Tuesday was random, Richmond police spokesman Gene Lepley said this morning.
"It is a stray bullet as part of random gunfire,'' Lepley said. Police said they have no suspects.
So, the "investigation" found that a random bullet, fired into the air, with no definitive political leanings, hit a building not identified outwardly as Cantor's, by pure happenstance. Unless someone wants to litigate whether the gravitational constant or the laws of physics have a heretofore unremarked-upon lethal anti-Cantor bias, it's the sort of incident that really doesn't belong included on a list with bricks thrown through windows and gas lines cut at the homes of people related to politicians -- events which occurred because angry bloggers called for actual, politically-motivated mayhem.