Dear Ms. Palin:
Seriously? “Blood Libel”? Seriously?
Did any member of your staff, take a moment, either during the writing process or when they transcribed it for the teleprompter, (And let’s keep it real, you were using a teleprompter so let’s put the “Teleprompters are evil” meme to rest right now.) no one said to you “Gee…that blood libel thing…uh…you know that Sen. Giffords is Jewish? Right?”.
(Granted Dr. Juan Cole at “Informed Comment” has an alternate theory that you were cribbing from some friends…
I believe that the phrase was taken over by Palin’s speech writers from right wing Israeli discourse. Historian Melani McAlister argued in her book Epic Encounters that the US white right wing began using the Israelis in the late 1970s as a kind of collective Rambo figure to make themselves feel better about their declining power in world affairs. With the loss of the Vietnam War, the oil price spike, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the hostage crisis, the US went through what Jimmy Carter called a “malaise” and was threatened with loss of control over the Third World.
Israel also seemed besieged by Third World enemies, especially the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and so forth. Thus, a successful Israeli operation such as the rescue of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976 gave the American right wing heart. Israelis were promoted into the ranks of white people (“whiteness,” which began by implying a northern European Protestant ethnicity, can be gained or lost over time by ethnic groups in the United States). The Israelis’ victories over brown peoples were psychological palliatives for the raw feelings of declining American white populists. This surrogacy, Rambo function of Israel for the American right wing was reinforced by September 11 and by the reconfiguration of the Palestinians, among the more secular people in the Middle East, as wild-eyed Muslim fanatics (an image that rather erases the Christian Palestinians from the scene).
…but right now, for the sake of argument, let’s just go with the “yanked it out of thin air theory.)
And I do agree with you that the 1’st amendment should not be infringed upon. (And I will spot you Rep. Robert Brady’s massive overreaction.) And I am also more than willing to concede that the shooter in question did so because of mental problems and not necessarily any sort of political rhetoric.
Having said that, Come on!
Do those look like surveyor’s symbols to you, sister?
Or what about the “Obama pals around with terrorists” meme you flung around during 2008, despite the fact that Bill Ayers had minimal contact with Obama during his years in Chicago. That wasn’t a honest policy dispute. That was an attempt to stoke fear in the voters. “A vote for Obama is a vote for terrorism” was the subtext.
That is not peaceful. To someone unbalanced, that’s terrifying. And if that someone has a gun and he thinks “Oh my God, if Obama’s a terrorist…”, well, I’ll let you finish that thought.
And as for the bulk of your little video yesterday, it smacked of ass covering. It was small minded, defensive and petty.
Now compare and contrast that with Obama’s speech last night. He paid tribute to all the victims, he didn’t point fingers and he spoke of a larger vision of America and the responsibility of living up to it. (Now an argument could be made that his actions do not always live up to his words but that’s another post for another time.) The contrast couldn’t be more stark.
And this brings me to my response to your video.
You need need to be quiet now.
Now let me make this clear. There is no physical or any sort of personal threat in this. And I don’t wish to impede your right to speak out on any issue you want. I merely wish to point out that you really suck at it.
-In your acceptance speech at the RNC in 2008, you said this...
And a writer observed, “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity,” and I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.
That writer turned out to be Westbrook Pegler. A Newspaper Journalist and Columnist, famed for his opposition to F.D.R.’s “New Deal” policies. The quote in question is mentioned in Page 31 of Pat Buchanan’s book, “Right from the Beginning”.
When Harry Truman came into the presidency, Pegler welcomed him. “We grow good people in out small towns, with honesty, sincerity and dignity,” he wrote; but earlier, Pegler had told his readers that this man from Missouri was someone to watch out for. “This Truman, ” Pegler wrote, when Harry was nominated for vice president, “is thin-lipped, a hater, and not above offering his hand to yank you off balance and work you over with a chair leg, a pool cue or something out of his pocket.”
Oh, and he once said of Robert Kennedy, “Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.” Gee, is that what he meant by good people grown in small towns?
-The Aforementioned Bill Ayers nonsense.
-The Dr. Laura nonsense a few months back.
-The idiot “Death Panels” nonsense, that I actually wrote about back in 2009!
In every instance I’ve mentioned, your comments have badly reasoned and detrimental to any serious discussion of the topic at hand. At worst, downright harmful.
It is now painfully apparent that the only thing you are interested in is your own self aggrandizement. You have the spotlight and damn it, you are going to milk that bastard like a Jersey Heifer!
By most accounts, you were a decent enough Governor. But then John McCain plucked you from the state house and pulled you on to the National stage like a college girl at a Springsteen concert. And that’s when the trouble started.
This is not an uncommon phenomenon. Hell, you see it all the time in Hollywood. Some young ingenue gets a taste of fame and it puts the zap on her head. The next thing you know, she’s hanging out in the Viper Room, doing tequila shots with Charlie Sheen and flashing her hoo-hah.
The difference between you and the ingenue is at least she’s not trying to use her hoo-hah to block the START treaty.
It’s also made it harder to legitimately criticize President Obama on certain issues (Afghanistan, an invasive domestic security policy, etc.) because we’re too damn busy debunking your nonsense.
Which is why I need to repeat this. You need to be quiet now.
These are serious times and we need serious people. And as you have repeatedly demonstrated time and again, you are too concerned with you and your concerns.
I have disagreed with President Obama in the past. Odds are good that I’m going to disagree with him even more in the next couple of years. But I do not doubt for a moment his intentions about getting this country out of this hole.
As for you, I don’t think you could dig your way out a metaphorical hole with an equally metaphorical steam shovel.
And you as President? You quit half way thought your term as Governor because you said you were distracted by people saying mean stuff about you. Something I’m sure sends Hillary Clinton into a laughing jag every time she thinks about it.
These are serious times and we need serious people to fix them and sister, you have all the heft and gravitas of a dick joke in a Kevin Smith film.
And just to let you know, we have no intention of shutting up either.
We are going to call you on every logical flaw, every misstatement, every jaw dropping “Holy crap, did she say that moment”. between now and the GOP convention.
Maybe you can fool enough people into buying your snake oil to make a decent living but I will be damned if we let you anywhere near the Nuclear Football!
Oh, and one more thing. The next time you start spewing balloon juice about someone palling around with terrorists, you may have to take a closer look at your friends.
You may want to lock up the gun rack the next time he comes over for brunch. He doesn’t look all that stable.