Political Animal


April 19, 2013 8:44 AM Daylight Video

By Ed Kilgore

Boston under lockdown. A bombing suspect dead, another on the run, possibly with explosives attached to him. A policeman dead, a thousand others deployed. Explosions, gunfire, fear everywhere.

This is the only song that seems appropriate now to convey the mood (please don’t read any political meaning into it): The Clash performing “Guns on the Roof”:

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on April 19, 2013 9:01 AM:

    They’ve LOCKED-DOWN the entire city of f*cking BOSTON?
    BOSTON, AND SORROUNDING TOWNS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    FOR ONE F*CKING GUY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Hopefully, they’ll catch the surviving brother, alive.

    But, I doubt it.
    Everybody in authority is better off with him dead.

    They'll say, 'Well, it's one thing to approach an armed suspect. It's another kettle of Islamic terrorist fish when you have to approach an armed suspect, who might have a bomb strapped to him."

    This guy's a goner.

    I’m more nervous about that lock-down, than I am about anything else in this story!

    I think we've gone completely overboard in our over-reaction.

    And I just heard, they've declard a "No-fly Zone" over Watertown.

    FOR ONE F*CKIN' GUY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 19, 2013 9:20 AM:

    Ok, I read some of the narrative about the manhunt over at the Globe, and it totally reads like a Michael Bay production: convenience store robbery, carjacking, explosions, gun fights, explosive device found on the suspect's body at the morgue. I was half expecting Optimus Prime to make a cameo somewhere. Unreal.

    Though I hate to debase the events into "news entertainment", I am quite curious to know more about our suspects.

  • JR on April 19, 2013 9:25 AM:

    First, I keep thinking of the families of these young men who, most likely, are dealing with their own shock and grief.

    Second, I think how lucky it is that the carjacking victim didn't try to grab a gun. Odds are, he'd be a third casualty.

    Lastly, it's a reminder to we Americans to embrace the other. The dead suspect claimed to have no American friends, that he couldn't understand us. Maybe it would have been a list cause, but I can't help wondering if none of this would happened if only someone had successfully tried.


  • esaud on April 19, 2013 9:27 AM:

    I live in Watertown and it was so bizarre to wake up and see that we're in lockdown! I can't believe I slept through a shootout less than a mile away.

  • Mikhail the History Grad Student on April 19, 2013 10:04 AM:

    Esaud, I here you. I live a little further south and I'm staring at the news and going "Hey, I know that place. I've shopped at Watertown Mall"

  • smartalek on April 19, 2013 10:16 AM:

    I have friends who live -- with their 8-yr-old child -- three blocks from Watertown Square (but to the south, across the Charles, so not quite in teh red zone).
    Just two days ago, one texted me, refusing to accept the meme of "the new normal."
    Spider Robinson's observation might be right:
    "God is an iron."
    (As in: if one who commits felony is a "felon"... )
    Among the most galling aspects or this is knowing it will make the wingers *happy* that it's #$%&ing Chechnyans.

  • smartalek on April 19, 2013 10:49 AM:

    I love and respect you for having that thought.
    And who knows, maybe you're right.
    But I gotta say, one of the first things that went thru my mind on Monday afternoon was, "what kind of 'mind' [sic/k] deliberately targets children?"
    I mean, I can -- sorta -- understand, intellectually, the theories of "collective responsibility," and the rationalization of "asymmetric warfare," even as I reject them.
    I even recognise that I might feel very differently on the subject if I were, say, Palestinian.
    (And yes, I remember Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Trail of Tears -- our hands are not entirely clean.)
    But you'll forgive my skepticism that some friendly outreach from even the finest American hearts and minds could have had an impact on someone who sets out to slaughter kids, even if they're the kids of the hated Crusaders.

  • JR on April 19, 2013 5:09 PM:

    @smartalek, I totally get it. When I read Dave Weigel's piece about the suspect on the train, it really struck a chord. Much like when I heard Matt Stone, in Bowling for Columbine, talk about Harris and Klebold - wishing he'd had a chance to tell them to hang in there, it does get better.

    I'm not saying the Chechnyan brothers could have been helped, but there are so many Americans that live in fear of the other. Maybe I'm idealistic - not always a bad thing, especially since I can also be very jaded - but I have to believe in kindness and goodwill... Otherwise, we are lost.