Last night Vice-President-elect Joe Biden told Larry King that he felt “somewhat badly” for President Bush, and that he feels that “the incident in Iraq was unfortunate, that guy throwing the shoes…it was just, it was just uncalled for .” But it was called for. It was absolutely called for and then some. This is why Muntadhar al-Zeidi‘s rude and intemperate act triggered such a huge reaction worldwide. Because of a consensus that there was enormous justification for what he did.

As I wrote on 12.15.08, al-Zeidi “has articulated a popular rage in the same way Peter Finch ‘s Howard Beale did in Network. Throwing those shoes was an act of civil disobedience no different than Boston patriots throwing tea into the harbor. Al-Zeidi did an impolite thing, but he didn’t use a weapon or hurt anyone and said what an awful lot of people (myself included) feel.”