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Monday, January 17, 2011

Palin the victim of blood libel??

So, I wasn't going to make a post on this, but I guess I've got a few extra things to say. Besides America made the right choice when she was on the ticket. :)

She's in the news again blaming the media for jumping on this. Some people wonder why people insist on picking on her and others wonder why bother. I do believe that if you have run for the highest office or intend to, that you have to answer for certain things. More than that- Palin, unlike some, who go into radio silence after office or unfavorable election, has done her best to stay in the public eye with a book, reality show, social networking, inflammatory remarks on every major news story, etc. She can't claim to be a victim, here. If she'd tried to stay private and busied herself with raising money for charity or something and the press still tracked her, sunk their teeth in and wouldn't let go, I'd say she was a victim. But she's not only dangling the bait, but manufacturing it at pretty high speed- maybe she thinks it will help her presidential bid or maybe her book and TV deals, but she really can't claim she's singled out. She did that all on her own.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027454.php

I've shared this link elsewhere already, but here's the flap. She had a map with crosshairs on races she wanted ot win for the Tea Party or Republicans or whoever. Giffords reprimanded her for the tone. Giffords and others are shot by a possibly mentally unstable man.

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights," [Palin staffer Rebecca
Mansour] said.

"It's surveyor's symbols," the interviewer Tammy Bruce suggested. [...]

"Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

With all of Palin's hunting analogies and love for the 2nd amendment, surveyor's symbols was pretty lame. She clearly didn't murder anyone. Why the backpedaling and defensiveness? She could have acted like a leader and taken the high road. She could have spoken about healing and using the tragedy to examine ourselves and stolen Obama's thunder. Even during the election season I guess she wasn't too fond of hope and change, though.

While she's not responsible for Giffords' murder, an apology for the tone regardless of the fact that a tragic coincidence happened (and everyone else may indeed be participating), would have been the gracious, responsible thing to do.

I agree with the author that she sould have said - "In retrospect, those crosshairs were inappropriate. I regret it."

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Here's a friend's link:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/palins-test.html

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Palin's response to critics of her crosshairs and the violent tone in politics was not to lead and take responsibility, but to respond with more violent rhetoric- blood libel. In classic Palin form, she digs herself deeper. Yikes.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/12/132866209/palin-warns-journalists-pundits-against-blood-libel

She tries (maybe she wasn't trying, but this is what blood libel is; maybe she meant libel) to compare herself to Jews who were accused of killing Christian children for their blood and who were persecuted and killed for the false offense. Instead of standing up and being one of the first to take responsibility for the pervasive violent tone in politics and using it as an opportunity to push for change and civility and lead by example, she chose to try and paint herself the pitiful victim. She didn't miss the opportunity to blame the media, either.

No, I don't believe she's guilty of murder or accessory or any of that. In that sense, there is one (I think) person to blame and the police are looking into that. In another sense, I believe public figures have a responsibility to use their fame for the common good in a tragedy or when they can. They are role models whether they like it or not. People who are, were, or want to be president, especially if you are intent on staying in the public eye, have a greater responsibility. It shocks me that she was on a presidential ticket had any political aspirations at all. Leaders make speeches like Obama did in Arizona. Palin was much more concerned about her image in the same way she was more concerned that people knew the crosshairs were surveyor's marks rather than the greater issue of the appropriateness of the crosshairs-like symbol in the wake of the shooting. As much as I still see her as unfit to lead the country, I wanted to see her take the high road for once. Respond and act as though you know those who accuse you of murder are wrong and acknowledge that most Americans are smart enough to know this, too. No luck, there. She's said her share of offensive and factually incorrect statements. This was pure coincidence and I was waiting for her to be gracious and accept fault (as a leader, not as the only one at fault) and call attention to a tone that needs to be dialed down. All we got was petty argument and defensiveness and zero apology or recognition of a problem. Except with the media. Aren't they always to blame?

Obama's remarks:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/us-politics/8256760/Barack-Obama-Tucson-Speech-in-full.html

Now, that's what a leader says.

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This talks a bit about the contrasting nature of the Palin and Obama ractions and speeches.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/obama-and-palin-a-tale-of-two-speeches/?nl=us&emc=politicsemailema1

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I've seen this bumper sticker:

How's That Hope & Change Thing Working For You ?

That speech kind of sums it up. America made the right choice. I'll take hope any day over the usual toxic political tone. I hope it will change. :)

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