Palin Video: Do We Feel Your Pain?

I find myself in an odd situation that I don’t often find myself in.

I substantially agree with Sarah Palin. She released a video statement today, in which she makes some very strong and valid points:

Political discourse is not to blame for the act of one deranged young man.

Trying to limit speech by law is a terrible idea.

Kudos, Sarah. We have some points we share. As you stated in your own video, in this country, we have elections to reflect the will of the people.

However, those are elections which you should never win if people watch your video and reflect on it. Yikes. While I agree with several of Palin’s main points, she also manages (surprise) to say things that ought not to have been said, and avoid saying things that needed saying. There are serious—dare I say crazy? I dare—flaws in what Sarah stated, too. What are those flaws?

She needs to own up to the language of violence she has used in the past. She’s criticizing the media for being critical of her, and she has a completely valid point in terms of cause and effect related to the shootings. But she totally ignores valid criticism of her past rhetorical tone. She is refusing to acknowledge that her own previous statements were, at best, tasteless in the light of the tragedy. If she wants a higher plane of discourse, owning up to her part in that lowered discourse would be a nice first step that she completely failed to take.

“Blood libel?” Sarah displays what appears to be an odd lack of historical sense, although I don’t believe her handlers are so ignorant that they didn’t know what they were doing. “Blood libel” is a reference to an anti-Semitic lie, that Jews drink the blood of Christian children, and particularly offensive since Rep. Giffords is Jewish. Sarah, you’re not the victim of a “blood libel.” The cynic in me thinks the line was thrown in to stir up Jewish passions so that you can pose as the victim of those “others” once again, but you’re no victim here. Giffords and the dead and other wounded are.

All right, I will own up to going a bit far in my previous blog post—although I wrote that post to blast you Sarah, for your previous rhetoric while carefully (I hope) not claiming you were to blame for the Arizona shootings. Still, there is an extreme line in that heat of the moment post that I wish now I had phrased differently. I called you “loony,” a pretty low, derogatory term. Such strong hyperbole is not political discourse at the highest plane.

But then again—“blood libel?” Man. Mama Grizzly is too smart to be crazy, but she can sure talk crazy.

Some links to commentary of Mrs. Palin’s video from Newsweek and The Washington Post.


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