Friday, March 23, 2007

Andrew, Politico, Reagan

Yesterday several bloggers jumped the gun with respect to the Edwards campaign and the effect Mrs. Edwards' battle against cancer would have on it.

While most people are crediting (?) Politico with the first erroneous posting, too many were too eager to follow suit and several, among them Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, posted that the campaign would be suspended, just a few minutes before the actual news conference would announce that Edwards would continue his campaign in defiance of the cancer and its ramifications. Politico should have waited a few minutes; Sullivan certainly should have waited, why risk one's integrity on the word of someone else's "scoop" in this day of easily verifiable facts?

Back in the 1960s Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment warned against arriving at a conclusion without proper investigation.

Ronald Reagan in the 1980s warned against accepting too easily Soviet assurances of geo-political detente with "Trust, but verify."

It seems ever 20 years or so we need to be reminded of engaging in precipitous actions without having taken prudent precautions--planning for peace in an invaded country; repeating a "scoop" without double checking the scoop.

While it might be easy to forget Mark Lane's contribution to caution, it is less easy to understand how so many contemporary conservatives forget Mr. Reagan's suggestion. They invoke his memory, reverentially, with frequency.

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