Sarah Palin chose to forget today that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords brought up Palin’s “targeting” of her when lamenting the vitriolic political rhetoric in this country before Jared Lee Loughner tried to assassinate her in Arizona.
In a weirdly disembodied and out of touch statement from the abyss of her self-imposed political exile, Palin picks today, the day Pres. Obama will address the nation in Arizona, to come out to mount a defense of herself using the term “blood libel” for anyone saying she’s played a part in the escalating negative rhetoric in this country.
Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online has this correct:
I should have said this a few days ago, when my friend Glenn Reynolds introduced the term to this debate. But I think that the use of this particular term in this context isn’t ideal. Historically, the term is almost invariably used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews use blood — usually from children — in their rituals. I agree entirely with Glenn’s, and now Palin’s, larger point. But I’m not sure either of them intended to redefine the phrase, or that they should have.
After a gaping silence, using “blood libel” is a very bad move on Palin’s part. J-Street has demanded an apology.
She seems clearly not to understand the meaning any more than she does what her own complicity in the toxic atmosphere debate has come to mean in this country.
No one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent, and we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good. And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.
There was nothing “imagined” in the gun-laced rhetoric and crosshairs targeting of Sarah Palin. Rep. Giffords found them offensive herself we now know, because she said so on camera, not from some undisclosed location in presidentland.
No politician was more important in 2010 than Sarah Palin, who rose from the embarrassment of her vice presidency nomination, then leaving her governorship prematurely, to be the face and energy of a movement that began during George W. Bush’s profligate presidency, then went on to take the Democratic Party out in the midterm elections. However, as much as she understands and can exploit the politics of the moment, her lacking in self-awareness and the narcissism revealed once again today proves why so many Republicans don’t want her to be their nominee for the presidency.
Is there a reason Sarah Palin’s first statement to the public after the Arizona domestic terrorism came in a canned video statement? It was no mistake it was set up similarly to what presidents do in speaking to the people after a tragedy. Playing president isn’t what Palin needed right now.
I did hope she’d be able to at least have the personal fortitude to speak on the record to the public personally on Fox News, which is friendly to her.
It’s very sad to see a powerful female politician, someone who was the primary jolt responsible for the Republicans taking the House in such numbers, like Palin be reduced to this. That she hasn’t earned the right to pretend to be president seems to have escaped her completely. But at least we can all be assured her gigantic ego is intact and she hasn’t learned a thing.
Too bad no one will ever forget “don’t retreat, reload” and the crosshairs targeting image that helped fill the political air in this country with gun metaphors, along with her negative bomb throwing, with one of the people she named with her gun sights almost killed in a political assassination attempt, with 6 others dead and many more wounded.
Former governor Sarah Palin had a chance to prove prowess in this moment and she failed abysmally, because she continues to talk only to her own choir. She simply thinks too small to be able to harness a moment of self-reflection, grace or greatness at a time of such great national tragedy.
This essay has been updated.