Here's an idea: Maybe attacking the grieving mothers who give convention speeches isn't the most stand-up idea.
When Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the Benghazi attack, gave a moving and heartbreaking speech at the Republican National Convention, the liberal media jumped to attack her. I'm not talking about criticism or the suggestion that her solutions for what happened shouldn't be enacted; I'm talking about personal attacks.
Smith, who is still obviously grieving over the loss of her child, blamed Hillary Clinton for it. Clinton was the secretary of state at the time and appeared to make conflicting statements about what caused the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
"For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism the tragedy in Benghazi has wrought upon America, I blame Hillary Clinton," Smith said Monday night. "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son."
MSNBC said her "gross accusation" against Clinton "ruined" the night. A GQ writer tweeted: "I don't care how many children Pat Smith lost I would like to beat her to death." He has since deleted the tweet. Still others, like Salon and the Guardian, claimed the GOP was "exploiting" her pain to score points.
But as Jim Geraghty at National Review pointed out, this accusation of exploitation (and the harsh words directed at Smith) only come from the media when Republicans are involved. Geraghty mentioned how Democrats and the media weren't lodging similar claims when Cindy Sheehan traveled to President George W. Bush's home in Texas to protest the war, nor when Mitt Romney was blamed for causing cancer.
These attacks also don't come from the Left or the media when the grieving parents are calling for gun control or for cops to be arrested (things media often endorse).
"If you're one of those folks who found Pat Smith's remarks shamelessly exploitative, I wonder if you'll see the same grumbling about the speakers at the upcoming Democratic National Convention," Geraghty wrote. The list of grieving mothers appearing at the DNC includes the mothers of Eric Garner (killed by police), Michael Brown (killed by police), Sandra Bland (killed by police), Trayvon Martin (killed by George Zimmerman) and others.
I doubt the Left or the media will call their speeches "gross" or suggest beating them to death.
To be clear, all of these mothers should be able to speak. They might be wrong, but they have lost a child, they have perspectives, and they don't deserve to be denigrated for that. They are all being used by the political parties to push their own agenda, but I don't think the mothers see that as a bad thing if it helps save another parent's child.
And while we shouldn't attack the mothers for who or what they blame for their children's deaths, it doesn't mean we should accept their solutions without discussion. Arresting Hillary Clinton for Sean Smith's death makes as much sense as criminalizing gun ownership after a mass shooting. There are other stakeholders and other people with rights involved in these situations besides the grieving parents.
It's why our laws aren't created based solely on what victims or accusers want. It sets up a one-sided system that is ripe for exploitation.
Let the mothers speak, let them grieve, and don't attack them for that grief, no matter what side of the aisle they're addressing.
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.