I wonder, when the “Co-exist” car is returned to its owner, whether he or she will keep the bumper sticker in place. One would not expect him to conclude, as the gays of Amsterdam and the Jews of Toulouse and the Christians of Egypt have bleakly done, that if it weren’t for that Islamic crescent you wouldn’t need a bumper sticker at all. But he may perhaps have learned that life is all a bit more complicated than the smiley-face banalities of the multicultists.

It’s very weird to live in a society where mass death is important insofar as it serves the political needs of the dominant ideology. A white male loner killing white kindergartners in Connecticut is news; a black doctor butchering black babies in Pennsylvania is not. When the manhunt in Boston began, I received a bunch of e-mails sneering I was gagging for it to be the Muzzies just as hungrily as lefties were for it to be an NRA guy, a Tea Partier, a Sarah Palin donor. But, actually, I wasn’t. On Monday, it didn’t feel Islamic: a small death toll at a popular event but not one with the resonance and iconic quality the big-time jihadists like — like 9/11, the embassy bombings, the U.S.S. Cole. After all, if the jihad crowd wanted to blow up a few people here and there IRA-style they could have been doing it all this last decade.

On the other hand, it didn’t feel like one of those freelance bumblers — the Pantybomber, the Times Square Bomber — finally got lucky. It feels like something in between, something new. Is it just a one-off? Or a strategic evolution?