Kathryn Lopez

Feminists, though, are not alone. The cult of victimology has taken on Yates as one of its own. Her actions, by the way, also exposed "the dark side" of home-schooling, a CBS report told viewers.

And why wouldn't everyone want to get a piece of Andrea Yates? She's everymom! As Rusty Yates said on verdict day, as he often does, "Andrea was ordinarily a loving mother, who was crippled by disease."

Enough! -- five times over.

That she was mentally ill was not breaking news the day the kids turned up dead. No stranger to psychiatric hospitalization, she had recently tried to take her own life. Why exactly was she home alone with the children to begin with? Does any logical person think that, with Andrea's psychiatric history and recorded psychotic behavior, this wouldn't eventually end poorly, whether it was for Andrea herself or her children?

As for her husband, is he kidding? Rather than refusing to place blame for murder where it's due, and instead attacking prosecutors for prosecuting, he ought to be reflecting on what factors led up to this completely irredeemable tragedy. Instead, this parental disaster has become a national shame.

Wait, no it hasn't. That's the problem.

We're told that Andrea and Rusty are "happy" about the verdict. It's been five years since their five kids were murdered. They've moved on. Perhaps we should move on too?

In fact, when I blogged on this the day of the ruling, many of my readers told me to do just that. Stop writing about the insanity of the Yates insanity verdict.

No, no, no, no, no. That would be ... insane.

The bond between a mother and child is humanity's most fundamental. In a country where abortion, cloning -- and other practices that make us less inclined to protect human life -- are routine, a lack of focus on the real, unreturnable victims of the Yates murders only further compromises our obligations to protecting the most vulnerable among us. And, contrary to Mr. Yates's contention, the only "tremendous victory" in Mrs. Yates's verdict was one for a culture of death.

"The jury looked past what happened and looked at why it happened," Rusty Yates said outside the Harris County courtroom after the "not guilty" word came in. Rusty, please ask Noah, John, Luke, Paul and Mary to look past what happened. Oh, wait -- you can't.

No one can.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.