Opinion | Gov. Greg Abbott Has a Lot of Nerve


Maybe prose can make a difference? I’ll start with a few of the best passages about the Uvalde horror.

Here’s Bret Stephens in The Times: “The United States seems to have a not-so-secret death cult that believes that the angry god known as the Second Amendment must be periodically propitiated through ritual child sacrifice.” (Thanks to Scott Howie of Glenview, Ill., and Randy Komisarek of Tucson, Ariz., among others, for nominating this.)

Also in The Times, Maureen Dowd: “We’ve become a country of cowards, so terrified of the unholy power of gun worship that no sacrifice of young blood is too great to appease it.” (Sylvie Kimche, Manhattan, and Marc Etter, Detroit)

In The New Yorker, the conclusion of Jessica Winter’s excellent essay about Uvalde echoed lines from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” while excoriating Republicans who offer only “thoughts and prayers” for the dead: “If the leaders of this political movement, which in Texas managed to ban most abortions and criminalize health care for trans kids in the space of a school year, took real offense to murdered children, they would never simply accept their deaths as the unfortunate cost of honoring the Founding Fathers’ right to take up muskets against hypothetical government tyranny. They would act. If America were not afraid to know itself, we could more readily accept that gun-rights advocates are enthralled with violent sorrow. This is the America they envisaged. It is what they worked so hard for. Their thoughts and prayers have been answered.” (Conrad Macina, Landing, N.J., and Mark Wilding, Studio City, Calif.)

And in an essay in The Atlantic that deserves to be read in full, Clint Smith pondered sending his soon-to-be kindergartener off to school in these blood-soaked times: “I picked up my phone and began scrolling through photos of my son from the day he was born, almost five years ago, his pink-brown body awash with wrinkles and wonder. I kept scrolling and saw photographs of him in the crib where he slept (and too often did not sleep); photographs of him chasing a flock of birds in the park, his arms raised as he toddled toward them with breathtaking inelegance; photographs of him after he had applesauce for the first time, his eyes gleaming, his smile as wide as the sky, his lips covered in a chaos of golden mush.” (Lois Ambash, Needham, Mass.)

For pure prose joy, no recent passage tickled you more than this from Matt Flegenheimer in The Times, reflecting on the career of Guy Fieri: “In the 15 years since he began ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,’ his Food Network flagship, Mr. Fieri, 54, has become perhaps the most powerful and bankable figure in food television, the éminence grise of the eminently greasy.” (Thanks to Peter Comerford of Providence, R.I., and Monica Tarantino of Walton, N.Y., among many others for nominating this.)



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