Can’t we just be excellent to each other?

I’ve been struggling about what to think about what I call the Mo-Bomb-Hed controversy. Then I read what Hugh Hewitt had to say about it yesterday, and I think he gets it right:
But I think the third course between the cartoonist provocateurs and the radicals waving guns at the EU employees in Gaza is to denounce without ambiguity or excuse the latter but at the same time to delineate a very bright line between what the West stands for and the churlishness of the caroonist provocateurs. Our country’s founding document includes in its opening paragraph the explanation for why the Declaration is necessary: “a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that [we] should declare the causes which impel [us] to the Separation.” The cartoons were in bad taste, an unnecessary affront to many of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, just as Joel Stein affronted the military, the families and friends of the military, and as Toles did the same to the wounded, and their families, friends and admirers. Of course each of them had the absolute right to publish their screed, and the Danish (and now Norwegian) governments must reply to demands that these papers be punished with a steely refusal to be dictated to as to their culture of free expression and the protection of the vulgar and the stupid. But don’t cheer the vulgar and the stupid.
He has much more to say today, too. Read on.

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