Reader L.G. alerted me to an interesting comment Brit Hume made the other day on Fox News Sunday. Host Chris Wallace noted the deadly bombing in the parliament building inside the Green Zone and asked Hume if the violence “makes it awfully hard ... to claim progress.” Hume, not surprisingly, didn’t see it that way. (from a Nexis transcript, no link available)
“I mean, people are citing the casualty figures. When you decide to fight — which is basically what’s happened here. We’ve decided to put the necessary troops into Baghdad to try to secure the capital in the hopes that that atmosphere created by doing that will allow political progress to go forward.
“There’s going to be more bloodshed when you do more fighting. And the enemy is not going to sit still and just take this. So the enemy is going to pull out all the stops.
“What we have is a situation where some people seem to be reading the newspapers every day, and if there’s a big episode it shows that the strategy is failing. That’s not a mature way to look at it. And we desperately need some people looking at this in a mature way right now.” (emphasis added)
Good to know. If there’s less violence in Iraq, it’s progress. If there’s more violence, it’s still progress because the mature grown-ups say so.
If we disagree, the problem isn’t just that we’re wrong, it’s that we’re childish. It’s as if the right is rewriting the rules for stages of grief — start with denial (”last throes”), move on to demagoguery (”critics are emboldening the terrorists”), and end up at misplaced, condescending arrogance (”That’s not a mature way to look at it”).