I posted the following comment on my Facebook page. It’s generated an interesting discussion among my friends, including my wonderful former student, and Notre Dame Law School grad, Michael Fragoso (who does not quite see eye to eye with me on this one):
Conservative Friends: I know that both sides in politics take people’s remarks out of context whenever doing so provides a way of making opponents look bad. Liberals do it to conservatives; conservatives do it to liberals. Democrats do it to Republicans and Republicans do it to Democrats. Republicans do it to Republicans, and Democrats do it to Democrats, in primary elections. But that doesn’t make it right. The public good is not served by it, and often it is disserved. At the risk of coming off as prissy and perhaps something of a scold to boot, may I respectfully request that we not seize upon President Obama’s remark about losing four men in Libya being “not optimal”? In context, the remark was not disrespectful, callous, or otherwise untoward. Honestly, it is not fair to use it to depict the President as making light of the killing of our Ambassador and those who were murdered with him. My Facebook friends know I have been very tough on the President for his handling of the Libyan affair (and for many other things). I am working hard, as I know many of you are, to defeat him. I have been extremely critical of what I believe was a grotesque lie told by the President in the most recent debate, suggesting that from the start he had identified the Libyan attack as a premeditated act by terrorists, and not merely a spontaneous attack by a mob that had been enflamed by an offensive anti-Islamic film. I believe he will pay a heavy political price for that lie. And he should. But let’s criticize the President, and our political opponents generally, for what they deserve criticism for. Let’s not criticize them unfairly. Let’s be citizens, not partisans.