To Keillor A Mockingbird

In Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus tells his children, “shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Miss Maudie explains this to the kids: “You’re father’s right. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.”

So, to quickly segue to the point, in the war against terrorism, which side is closest to the mockingbird, and which side is best represented by the blue jay?

Garrison Keillor’s op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, entitled “Once again, politicians fail those who died on 9/11,” makes it clear: America, especially certain Americans, are blue jays.

I’m singling out the Keillor piece for example purposes only. Everybody knows that Garrison Keillor is a “feelings should rule the world” liberal to the nth degree and that the drinking water in Lake Wobegon is obviously contaminated with a quirky offshoot strain of the Stockholm Syndrome virus, but at first when I read his column, I was surprised. I was in agreement… at first:

It was painful to hear the woman in anguish on the 83rd floor of the World Trade Center, crying, “I’m going to die, aren’t I? I’m going to die.”

Melissa Doi was 32, beautiful, with laughing eyes and black hair. She was lying on the floor of her office at IQ Financial, overwhelmed by smoke and heat, calling for help. And then there was Kevin Cosgrove on the 105th floor, moments before it collapsed, gasping for breath, saying, “We’re young men, we’re not ready to die.” And then he screamed “Oh my God” as the building started to collapse. It’s in their voices, what they went through.

Those were two of the 1,613 calls to 911 released by New York City last week, on almost all of which the caller’s voice was beeped out. The city argued that to hear persons in anguish in their last minutes constitutes invasion of privacy. The truth is that the callers had no interest in privacy, they were desperate to be heard, and censoring them now is a last insult by a bureaucracy that failed to protect them in the first place.

So far so good. Yes, we need to be reminded of that horrific day on a regular basis, a fact that the mainstream media, run in great part by Keillor’s liberal pals, refuse to do under the guise of not wanting to “sensationalize” 9/11. However, they seem to have little trouble talking about the JonBenet Ramsey murder 24/7 these days or showing deaths in Lebanon said to have been caused by Israel.

Then it all falls apart. Keillor goes on to castigate President Bush, lovingly referred to as “The Current Occupant,” along with Rudolph Guiliani.

Keillor says Guiliani was at fault for New York’s lack of preparedness, and also that the Mayor fled uptown during the attack instead of toward the disaster. Bush stood upon the pile of WTC rubble in a show of patriotic tableau, according to Keillor.

Let’s get this straight: If politicians flee, they’re cowards, and if they stand and attempt to rally the nation in the wake of an attack, they’re playing politics with peoples’ lives?

Keillor’s not abnormal as far as liberals go. He thinks we need to be reminded of that day, but not by Republicans. If a Republican politician attempts to rally the country in the wake of an attack, they’re engaging in dangerous nationalism. It’s all the fault of politicians for not addressing the problem, but when they do, they’re fear-mongering or usurping our civil rights. I’m no particular fan of politicians in general, but even I wouldn’t attempt to create such an ironclad Catch-22 for our leaders.

Through all Keillor’s finger-pointing, there is no mention of the delinquencies of the Clinton administration as it concerns thwarting terrorism in the 90’s, very little castigation of the people who want us all dead in the first place, and no praise for those who are giving the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free — the latter are simply addressed as additional senseless casualties.

The mainstream liberal view of 9/11 is that America did something to invite all this horror, like campers who kept their food in their sleeping bags while in bear country. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

If “To Kill a Mockingbird” were authored by Garrison Keillor & Friends, Atticus would have told his children, “shoot all the mockingbirds you like, for their singing causes the blue jays to ravage the garden.”


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: