You'd think they'd never seen a scandal before.
WASHINGTON -- We tend to remember leaders in characteristic poses. For Pope Benedict XVI, the college professor, it was delivering a much-misunderstood lecture at the University of Regensburg, which made controversial reference to Islam. For Pope Francis, it is kneeling to wash the feet of a young Muslim woman in a prison on Holy Thursday. With due respect to Benedict's learning, Francis' symbolic act managed to more effectively communicate the essence of the Christian gospel.
No one should pretend that dealing with leaks of highly sensitive and classified national security documents is easy. I remember hearing plenty of conservatives taking to the airwaves to accuse The New York Times of nothing less than "treason" for publishing materials provided by WikiLeaks.
Hold your applause. As milestones go, this one is disappointing. It is, at best, half a milestone. Or a down payment on a milestone. If you are of a more cynical bent, you might even call it an effort to forestall a milestone.
I have not seen the video. Not saying I won't, but for now, I've chosen not to. To rush online and seek out cellphone footage of two fanatics with machetes who butchered a British soldier in London on Wednesday, to watch them standing there, hands painted red with his blood, speaking for the cameras, would feel like an act of complicity, like giving them what they want, like being a puppet yanked by its strings.
The election of Chokwe Lumumba as the Democratic nominee for Jackson mayor has got everybody talking about race. That's not a good thing. If I'm not mistaken, white Republican northeast Jackson voted overwhelmingly for the blacker of the two candidates. So exactly how can this be about race?
You know a corner's been turned when someone in a legion of foreign sweatshop workers is given a face. That's happened in Bangladesh, home of hideous factory conditions -- as seen in the ruins of Rana Plaza, a former eight-story work warren. Death toll: over 1,100.
This administration aggressively hawked the fiction that the Benghazi attack was just an excessively boisterous movie review. Now we are told that a few wayward souls in Cincinnati, with nary a trace of political purpose, targeted for harassment political groups with "tea party" and "patriot" in their titles. The Post has reported that the IRS also targeted groups that " criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution."