Liberal hopes were dashed with the revelation that the Boston Marathon bombers were a couple of Chechen Muslim immigrants. The Left was so sure they had finally bagged the elusive Tea Party murderer! The bombings occurred in Boston on Tax Day. Surely, at long last, the opportunity to smear libertarians, small-government conservatives, anti-tax crusaders, and the whole hellish tri-corner hat crowd was at hand! "Two plus two equals...?" Michael Moore burbled happily, retreating back into his copious shell of sub-human idiocy when the answer turned out to be "Islam."
That's how the junior member of the bombing team, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, explained his "outlook" on an Internet profile. Family and friends talk of the brothers growing more intensely involved in the stricter aspects of their religion over the past few years. The older brother, Tamerlan - named after a brutal Islamic conqueror from centuries past - seems to have led the way, with Dzhokar trotting after him like a "puppy." Somewhere along the way, they became radicalized - a process that will be of great interest to investigators in the weeks ahead.
Substitute the Tea Party for Islam, and liberals would be hitting the floor in a swoon of ecstasy today, their every fantasy about the adversaries of Big Government joyously fulfilled. The Internet would groan beneath the weight of their blog posts and op-eds. And it's not hard to imagine various officials of the Obama Administration egging them on, linking the bombers to everything from the defeat of gun-control legislation to sequestration. (Well, they're already trying to connect the bombing to sequestration - at one point, Nancy Pelosi's Threepio unit, Steny Hoyer, explicitly blamed the loss of life on those brutal sequester "cuts." The difference is that the terrorists themselves would ostensibly have been inspired by sequestration, seeking to finish the work Republicans started by insisting on a 1.8 percent reduction in the growth of government spending instead of more tax hikes.)
Every Republican would become an accessory to the bombings. They would be expected to offer ritual denunciation of Boston Marathon attacks every day, for months to come. Then they would be presented with lively figures from the outer edges of non-violent conservatism, and expected to denounce them, too. Anything less would be tacit acceptance of the "climate of hate" that could lead to more murders. Voodoo dolls from closer and closer to the mainstream of conservative thought would then be chosen for these denunciation rituals, presenting Republican political leaders with an increasingly difficult choice between meeting the expectations of the liberal media, and alienating their voters. We saw a dry run of all this when liberals invented their "climate of hate" out of then air to link the Tucson shooter to their political enemies. Back then, two plus two was supposed to equal Sarah Palin and her bullseye-festooned electoral map.
The embarrassing failure of their "climate of hate" Tucson hysteria didn't stop the Left from doing exactly the same thing last week, and last week's narrative implosion won't stop them from trying it again next time. Sooner or later, one of these maniacs will turn out to be someone who doesn't like ObamaCare! There's no practical reason for liberals to stop running this game; they pay no real price for getting it wrong. Dzhokar Tsarnaev celebrated Barack Obama's re-election online, but he could easily restart the entire liberal Climate of Hate greenhouse-gas system by casually remarking to his interrogators that he's thought it over, and now really wishes Mitt Romney had won. Do not for one moment doubt how quickly that would unleash a tidal wave of triumphant "aha, we knew it!" blog posts from the same people who got the "Tax Day bombing" smear wrong.
Sick and evil people also tend to have some more "normal" interests. They can fixate on anything as the "inspiration" for a mad rampage. They can sign themselves up for fan clubs that would rather not have them. Look at the manifesto left behind by L.A. spree killer Chris Dorner. He named a lot of people and organizations in that rambling screed, speaking very highly of some. Those people are not responsible for his foul deeds. Lunatics and murders should not be allowed to define the boundaries of acceptable discourse and association.
Along those lines, decent Muslims are not responsible for the atrocity perpetrated by the Tsarnaev brothers. However, it is hopelessly naive at this point to speak of a "tiny minority of extremists" hijacking the religion of a billion people. The radical elements of Islam are larger and more powerful than that. They enjoy financial and cultural support from malevolent political factions who find Islam a comfortable fit with their ideology. The same media that never stops trying to weave an intellectual web between mainstream conservatism and bloodthirsty murderers is willing to discreetly avert its gaze from the radicalization of Islam overseas, and the tentacles these radicals are working patiently to extend into the United States. Islam has a problem, and only good, outspoken Muslims can solve it. We're not doing them any favors by soft-pedaling the magnitude of the challenge they face, or setting a low bar of expectations for their achievements.
We might have gotten a good look at one of those outspoken good Muslims last week. (It seems patronizing to refer to them as "moderate Muslims." Moderating between what - support for terrorism and good citizenship? We shouldn't be looking for the "moderate" region between those "extremes.") The Tsarnaev brothers' Uncle Ruslan - a man who must have been going through a private hell few of us can imagine, as word of his nephews' responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombings spread - thundered that these despicable acts of murder were an insult to the honor of his family, the Chechen people, and Islam. He denounced the terrorists in no uncertain terms, calling them "losers" who sought to ruin the lives of hard-working people making an honorable place for themselves in the great "mini-world" of America. Instead of hunting for the mythical snipe and wumpus of Tea Party murderers, the Left should take a lesson from Uncle Ruslan on calling out the real extremists in our midst.