Today’s Los Angeles Times has an extremely encouraging story, if you believe it. The story claims that the latest stupid pet tricks from the Irish Repubican Army and its Sinn Féin sock puppets have finally worn out the patience of the Catholics of Belfast.
Murdering a man and telling the witnesses to shut up is no more than routine. But publicly announcing an offer to bump off the perpetrators suggests that the boyos have developed a tin ear to go along with their cast-iron hearts.
It would be nice to believe that Gerry Adams & Co. will get as much of a cold shoulder from Catholic voters as they are getting from politicians in the U.S. and in the Irish Republic. I wonder if it’s true? A big swing from Sinn Féin to the SDLP at the coming elections would be terrific news (though the swing to Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists, which seems inevitable, will be terrible news). But those bank robberies, and the rest of the IRA’s criminal enterprises, will ensure SF a very strong campaign warchest.
Some friend of open societies might think about extending some financial help to SDLP right about now.
[Slugger O’Toole has more. At least two SF candidates were in the bar at the time of the killing, but neither has spoken to the police. Best line so far (recalling that Sinn Féin is Gaelic for “Ourselves Alone”) from “Belfast Gonzo,” who notes that Gerry Adams’s public request that Sinn Féin members cooperate with the police doesn’t seem to have generated any actual cooperation:
What use is SF’s ‘help’ right now, except to itself alone?
Update: This Guardian story documents some other IRA murders. It reports that Gerry Adams’s personal popularity has dropped sharply, but support for SF is down only two points. Sigh. The Belfast Telegraph reports a poll showing SF down a bit more, but still neck-and-neck with SDLP.