So, everyone now agrees that the Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona shooter, wasn’t motivated by any political agenda, or by so-called “extreme” rhetoric. One look at Jared Lee Loughner’s mug shot makes it pretty darn obvious that this kid’s deck doesn’t come close to containing fifty-two cards. Yet, Palin Derangement Syndrome on the left is so pervasive that the tragedy in Tucson has somehow morphed – in their eyes – into a disturbing controversy that demonstrates how terribly unfit the former governor of Alaska is to lead.
Pundits on the left like Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and David Brock stepped beyond unintentional self-parody in the realm of lunacy in their desperate attempts to find something – anything – to pin on Palin and thus make political hay out a completely apolitical tragedy. The seven minute video that Palin posted on her Facebook page to talk about the events in Arizona sparked the left’s outrage, but then “outrage” seems to ensue on the left whenever Palin dares to open her mouth. The words that she utters don’t actually matter, because guys like Olbermann will attach a sinister shade of meaning to anything that Palin says. As a matter of fact, Olbermann will find sinister shades of meaning even if Palin says nothing at all. Here’s KO blustering away, while discussing the Arizona shootings on Tuesday night:
[W]hen does the normally, supremely efficient, self- publicizing machine that is Sarah Palin come out from behind the proverbial skirts of her mouthpieces in the media and forswear the rhetoric of violence?
The “rhetoric of violence” – whatever that is – had absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Tucson on Saturday, but no matter, Keith still demanded some kind of response from Palin. And, on Wednesday morning he and the rest of America got it: an entirely reasonable, empathetic response showing a woman who was clearly distressed by the killings and who used her bully pulpit to appeal for unity. And while his reaction shouldn’t surprise anyone, Olbermann listened to what Palin had to say and he decided that he was terribly offended that she had the effrontery to actually do what he had demanded the day before: say something. Here’s KO ranting on Wednesday night:
Earlier, as Richard suggested, it may have easily been the worst timed political statement ever, the morning of the memorial ceremony. Was it also the worst, most self-damaging statement ever?
Flip flops like Olbermann’s give the phrase “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” a whole new meaning. For others, like Matthews, Brock and mainstream media outlets, Palin’s biggest sin was the use of the term “blood libel” to describe the way that the left tried to pin the Arizona attacks on her, Rush, Beck and other voices on the right. The left claimed that using the term “blood libel” was insensitive to the Jewish community, generally offensive and needlessly inflammatory. This Polish Catholic correspondent is not qualified to say whether using “blood libel” is offensive to Jewish people or not, but – as the National Review’s Jim Geraghty points out – it is a term that is used by politicians and pundits on the left and right all of the time. Yet, because it was Palin using the phrase, the left went nuts, leading directly to what her staff described as “an unprecedented level” of death threats against Palin. How’s that for toning down the rhetoric?
Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi was amused and disgusted by the blood libel controversy, satirically observing: “Wasn’t it moving to see progressive tweetdom and punditry unite in the defense of Jewry — in the Middle Ages? As a member of this most oppressed minority, I personally want to thank you.” Later in the piece, Harsanyi took the anti-Israel website “J Street” to task for chastising Palin:
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of Israel antagonists at “J Street” (an outfit that USA Today accidentally referred to as “a political organization for Jews and supporters of Israel”) spoke for hundreds when he claimed that the hearing about “blood libel” “brings back painful echoes of a very dark time in our communal history when Jews were falsely accused of committing heinous deeds” and demanded that Palin retract her comment, apologize and make a “less inflammatory choice of words.
Really? Memory? Inflammatory? Painful echoes?
Jews well, we can be offended like it’s 1257.
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