One of the more interesting points of last night's debate came not from a candidate or moderator, but from the audience members -- many of whom loudly cheered the state of Texas and Gov. Rick Perry for their steadfast support of the death penalty:
Perry is correct -- the vast majority of Americans do support capital punishment for capital crimes. But left-leaning media outlets were nevertheless appalled. Here are some of the more colorful responses I've seen today:
Daily Kos: Seriously, the crowd went absolutely wild over the death penalty---I now picture Perry in a toga giving a thumbs-down to some poor sap in a giant arena before unleashing the lions.
ThinkProgress described the scene as an "enthusiastic burst of applause" for "state-sponsored killings."
Gawker: Rick Perry gets heavy applause for his heartfelt defense of state-sanctioned killings of unarmed people — "the death penalty," they call it.
Huffington Post: [Need I say more than this?]
Given that they claim to be opposed to the death penalty, these sites' outrage is understandable. I get that they don't think criminals should be put to death. That explains their similar display of outrage after President Obama ordered Osama bin Laden's assassina... Oh, wait...
Time for a flashback!
I'm guessing that the thousands of Americans who danced in the streets in Washington and New York were not all blood-lusting Republicans. I'm guessing conservatives and liberals got a kick out of YouTube videos celebrating the al-Qaeda leader's demise. And I'm fairly certain it wasn't just pro-capital punishment Republicans who broke out into spontaneous chants of "USA! USA!"
Daily Kos bloggers declared "Mission Accomplished"!
ThinkProgress marked the death of bin Laden by reminding their readers that President Obama had promised he'd deliver a dead bin Laden:
Let me translate the hypocrisy: Obama executing bin Laden with no trial or military tribunal (and going on national television for a post-mortem victory lap)? Yay! Rick Perry governing over a state which which executes select criminals convicted by a jury of their peers? Boo!
Gawker proudly displayed this photo-shopped item, poking fun at "birthers" and praising the president for overseeing bin Laden's final moments on earth:
Aaaand the Huffington Post marked the occassion with this headline (Note how there's no speculation of how Obama will sleep at night):
I'm not commenting on whether bin Laden's crimes are comparable to Texas criminals' crimes. I'm not saying that the death penalty is right or wrong. I just thought it was worth pointing out that when capital punishment is politically more viable, the liberal left is noticeably less outraged.