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Bill O’Reilly, interviewing a young lady defending John Edwards, asked with his usual bombast: Would you have fired the bloggers if you were Edwards? The young lady – a spokeswoman for the Young Democrats – evaded. He pursued. Finally, cornered, she admitted, No, she wouldn’t. O’Reilly pounced: If they had attacked blacks – the same way they attacked Catholics – would you have fired them? The young lady promptly demonstrated she is not cut out for politics. She gave a blunt, truthful answer: Yes. Big O’Reilly grin, followed by another pounce, That’s hypocritical.

Despite O’Reilly’s, shall we say heavy handed, assault on the young lady, he has a point. She is saying there is nothing wrong with attacks on ethnic or religious groups – until they violate her own peculiar the standards of political correctness. He had another point too: John Edward’s response to two young bloggers in his campaign excoriating Catholics was peculiar.

Edward’s choice was simple. If he thought the messages the two young women sent sailing into cyber-space were egregiously wrong he could have terminated them. Instead, he put his finger to the political wind. At first, he decided, his safest course was to fire them. But, then, a howl of outrage swept through the left-wing blogsphere. Determining he had miscalculated Edwards promptly reversed course, giving us a portrait of a Presidential candidate buffeted to and fro by political winds, lacking the conviction to take a stand for fear he would offend the sensibilities of a gaggle of left-wing bloggers. The ‘affair of the bloggers’ is a tempest in a teapot — but Bill O’Reilly’s second point is more serious: Can you imagine President Edwards dealing with Iranians?

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