Please (press) release me

Brad Gregg

In the 17 years since the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, political leaders of all stripes have reflected on the tragedy in written statements peppered with words and phrases like “resilience,” “resolve,” “the Oklahoma Standard” and the like.

But it took the absence of one press release for all hell to break loose.

KOKH-TV Channel 25 was the first to
admonish the White House for not issuing a press release April 19 to
commemorate the tragedy’s anniversary. State Republican Party Chairman
Matt Pinnell called the oversight an “epic fail,” suggesting that
President Barack Obama dissed Oklahoma because the state is a solid GOP
win in presidential elections.

Fox
News predictably picked up the story and found equally predictable
outrage from U.S. Rep. James Lankford, who tsk-tsked that the White
House should know better.

Then
the dominoes of outrage came a-tumbling. Oklahoma Democratic Party
Chairman Wallace Collins, while confessing disappointment in the lack of
an Obama statement, went on to tell Fox that if bombing perpetrator
Timothy McVeigh were alive today, “he most likely would be a tea partier.”

Pinnell’s
response was in the oh-no-you-di’n’t vein. “This is as offensive and
despicable as they come,” he said. “To imply that a deranged madman who
killed 168 people, including 19 children, is someone like me, a
‘right-winger,’ is way over the line. He should immediately apologize.”

“Resilience,”
“resolve,” “the Oklahoma Standard” — words and phrases you likely won’t
find describing partisan gamesmanship in the Sooner State.

None

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