Those of us who see Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as a clear sign that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is developing what Michele Bachmann once called a "titanium spine" were further encouraged by Romney's recent message to Barack Obama: "Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago!"
Romney, of course, can't (and therefore won't) say it, but that campaign of division, anger and hate has now turned violent. In a desire to talk about anything but the effects of Obama's disastrous policies, he and his surrogates — in and out of the media — have adopted a reckless strategy of lies and distortion that has now resulted in what the FBI is investigating as an act of domestic terrorism.
I refer to the attack on the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, in which a security guard was shot. When disarmed, the gunman, who was reported to be carrying a Chick-fil-A bag, cried out, "Don't shoot me! It was not about you! It was what this place stands for!"
Whatever do you suppose he meant by that? Even Brian Ross, ABC News crack investigative reporter, who was so quick to mistakenly link the Aurora, Colorado, shooter with the Tea Party, was nowhere to be found on this one. Well, let me connect the dots for you, Brian.
Ever since Dan Cathy, chief operating officer of the family-owned Chick-fil-A restaurant chain expressed his support for traditional marriage, radicals on the left, emboldened by Obama's newly minted support for same-sex marriage, have attacked Cathy and his company as purveyors of hate. Those accusations have extended to the pro-family organizations Cathy supports, one of which just happens to be the Family Research Council.
In searching for the same kind of explanation for the Colorado shooting, Ross came up with a name he said was associated with a Colorado Tea Party organization. Oops, he said a few hours later, apparently that was a different guy with the same name. Yet, in the initial coverage of this shooting, only Fox News Channel — which Obama and his minions perpetually dis as the ugly, right-wing pariah of the national press — was even reporting the shooter's statement, which clearly indicates his animosity toward the Family Research Council.
Appallingly, the Associated Press told the story with an almost "What-did-they-expect?" tone, which was dutifully picked up by such news outlets as the Washington Post.
"The Family Research Council advocates conservative positions on social issues and strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion," the AP reported. "FRC President Tony Perkins was an outspoken defender of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's public stand against same-sex marriage, which made the fast-food chain a flashpoint in the nation's culture wars. The Cathy family foundation has funded the Family Research Council."
AP went on to quote Perkins as saying, "Chick-fil-A is a Bible-based, Christian-based business who treats their employees well. They have been attacked in the past about their stand, but they refuse to budge on this matter, and I commend them for what they are doing."
There was, however, no mention of a possible motive for the shooting in the initial AP coverage. On that score, you see, unlike Colorado, there just wasn't enough evidence to reach any conclusions.
For his part, Romney issued an appropriate statement. "There is no place for such violence in our society," it read. "My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council, whose sense of security has been shattered by today's horrific events."
David Axelrod and other Obama handlers may yet convince the president to at least acknowledge this attack and express concern for those victimized by this gunman, but in the early hours after it happened, there was nothing. The FreeRepublic.com web site reported the following:
"Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reacted quickly, long before most cable networks even reported the crime, releasing a statement condemning the act. The Human Rights Council, which just a day ago labeled the FRC a 'hate group' for its traditional values, even tweeted that its hearts went out to the FRC. But a look at President Obama's twitter timeline shows no reaction to the attack at all."
Hope and change has now given way to division and silence.
© 2012 by Doug Patton, Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to email him with their pithy comments at email@example.com. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using his column at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOPUSA Editor's Note: President Obama released a statement on the shooting Wednesday afternoon.