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Sarah Palin Blasts Media For “Blood Libel” Against Her Over Arizona Shootings

After several days of relative silence in the face of criticism of her and others over “heated rhetoric” and the shootings in Arizona, Sarah Palin took to her Facebook page this morning to mostly blast the media

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) released a statement Wednesday morning denouncing efforts to blame her for Saturday’s Tucson shooting rampage.

“Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance,” Palin said in a lengthy statement posted on her Facebook page. “After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.”

Palin called efforts to attribute blame for the shooting “reprehensible,” saying that “especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

Without naming him, Palin alluded to Rep. Robert Brady’s (D-Pa.) plan to propose legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or images that could be interpreted as inciting violence toward members of Congress or federal officials, saying the legislation “would criminalize speech [Brady] found offensive.”

“It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values,” Palin said. “Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.”

On the whole, I thought that Palin’s statement was fairly good given the circumstances, but her use of the term “blood libel” is likely to become a huge controversy:

Palin’s use of the charged phrase “blood libel” – which refers to the anti-Semitic accusation from the Middle Ages that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzoh for Passover – touched off an immediate backlash.

“The blood libel is something anti-Semites have historically used in Europe as an excuse to murder Jews – the comparison is stupid. Jews and rational people will find it objectionable,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic political consultant and devout Jew. “This will forever link her to the events in Tucson. It deepens the hole she’s already dug for herself… It’s absolutely inappropriate.”

To be fair to Palin, the “blood libel” characterization did not originate with her. Glenn Reynolds wrote a piece in The Wall Street Journal on Monday titled The Arizona Tragedy And The Politics Of Blood Libel, and John Hawyard had a column at Townhall yesterday titled The Giffords Blood Libel Will Fail. However, people aren’t going to focus on what Glenn Reynolds and some guy at TownHall said, they’re going to focus on Sarah Palin, and I’ve got to wonder if Palin really helped herself by picking up such an emotionally charged phrase and using it to portray herself as a victim when the real tragedy is the six dead and 14 wounded people in Arizona. To me, it seems like she is once again playing the victim, something that her supporters will sympathize with but which is unlikely to have much of an impact outside the bubble of Palin Fandom.

Palin’s statement is unlikely to move the needle on public opinion about her in any significant way. Her supporters will love it and will cheer her for standing up to “media bullies. Her critics will use it to criticize her, whether about the “blood libel” comment or something else. And an perusal of the early reaction confirms this.

Mistermix at Balloon Juice doesn’t see anything new:

She claims that debate now is more civil than back when there were duels, and says we can’t be stopped by those who seek to “muzzle dissent by shrill cries of imagined insults”. And, haters, take note: we’re better than “mindless fingerpointing”. When Sarah points her finger, as she does many times in this video, she wants you to know that her mind is fully engaged.

Palin’s toned-down appearance and scripted delivery show that she wants to adopt the appearance of reasonableness, but the message is more-or-less unchanged. The setting is presidential, but the message is classic Palin, lashing back at her critics. She was clearly hoping to show “gravitas”, but that’s more than set dressing.

Ed Morrissey is more complimentary, and thinks Palin said exactly what she needed to in this circumstance:

Palin does an excellent job in making her point without lashing out in anger over the attacks, and underscores the importance of personal responsibility rather than group guilt in a free society, the priority of free speech as an underpinning of democracy, and the determination of Palin and the rest of the conservatives to defend those principles. It’s precisely what Palin needed to say, and precisely the manner and forum in which she needed to say it.

Jonathan Capehart says that the statement shows that Palin doesn’t get it:

Sarah Palin has emerged from the protective cloak of Twitter and e-mails to Glenn Beck to speak directly to the American people about the tragedy in Tucson. In a video, she expresses condolences for the victims’ families and concern for those recovering from Saturday’s horrific events. But for nearly eight defensive minutes, the woman who has been at the center of a stormy national debate over our super-heated political discourse does her best to absolve herself of any role in that discourse.

Yes, as people grappled to make sense of what happened in Tucson, many leapt to early conclusions and pointed fingers before having any facts. Palin is right to bemoan such knee-jerk reactions. But, as I wrote on Monday, that there is no connection between alleged murderer Jared Loughner and the extremes of the Tea Party movement is beside the point. We, as a nation, are finally talking about the troubling tone and tenor of our political discourse over the last two years.

Palin is having none of it.

Like I said, Palin’s words will convince nobody who isn’t already convinced, and I’m not sure that they’re really going to help her all that much if we continue down the road toward a debate about whether the political climate in this country has become too confrontational and vitriolic.

For those of you without Facebook access, here is the full text of Palin’s statement:

Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy.

I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country.

Our exceptional nation, so vibrant with ideas and the passionate exchange and debate of ideas, is a light to the rest of the world. Congresswoman Giffords and her constituents were exercising their right to exchange ideas that day, to celebrate our Republic’s core values and peacefully assemble to petition our government. It’s inexcusable and incomprehensible why a single evil man took the lives of peaceful citizens that day.

There is a bittersweet irony that the strength of the American spirit shines brightest in times of tragedy. We saw that in Arizona. We saw the tenacity of those clinging to life, the compassion of those who kept the victims alive, and the heroism of those who overpowered a deranged gunman.

Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.

President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

The last election was all about taking responsibility for our country’s future. President Obama and I may not agree on everything, but I know he would join me in affirming the health of our democratic process. Two years ago his party was victorious. Last November, the other party won. In both elections the will of the American people was heard, and the peaceful transition of power proved yet again the enduring strength of our Republic.

Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

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.

Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment and more than simply “symbolic,” as some claim, to have the Constitution read by our Congress. I am confident she knew that reading our sacred charter of liberty was more than just “symbolic.” But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.

It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.

Let us honor those precious lives cut short in Tucson by praying for them and their families and by cherishing their memories. Let us pray for the full recovery of the wounded. And let us pray for our country. In times like this we need God’s guidance and the peace He provides. We need strength to not let the random acts of a criminal turn us against ourselves, or weaken our solid foundation, or provide a pretext to stifle debate.

America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy. We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country. May God bless America.

- Sarah Palin

UPDATE (James Joyner): While my initial reaction to this, perhaps owing to confirmation bias, was that this was yet more evidence that Sarah Palin is a nincompoop, Jim Geraghty has a compelling roundup of relatively famous people, many of whom are not widely considered dolts, who have made use of the “blood libel” term in equally or more egregious ways: Andrew Sullivan, Eugene Robinson, Peter Deutsch,  Jed Babbin, Michael Barone, Andrew Cohen, Alex Beam, and John Derbyshire.

The examples date from 2003 through 2009 and I don’t offhand recall any firestorm over the practice before now.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    Wingnuts always double down on the crazy.

    Always.

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  2. anjin-sanb says:

    I guess Palin was the real victim of the tragedy in Arizona…

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  3. sam says:

    “I’ve got to wonder if Palin really helped herself by picking up such an emotionally charged phrase and using it to portray herself as a victim when the real tragedy is the six dead and 14 wounded people in Arizona”

    But that’s her whole shtick, right? Victimhood.

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  4. James Joyner says:

    The fact that the most famous of the victims of the shooting was Jewish doesn’t help things, either.

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  5. sam says:

    Oh, and I will bet that she has no idea of the origin of the term ‘blood libel’.

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  6. Dave says:

    How can you think this statement is any good when she’s accusing people of inciting the very violence people are accusing her of inciting? Haven’t we already established that overheated rhetoric, whether coming from Palin or directed toward her, doesn’t incite violence? She sounds like Markos.

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  7. Mart Martin says:

    Excellent commentary from Sarah Palin about the tragedy in Tucson and the left-wing media’s typical over-reaction to it.. As for her using the term “blood libel” – well, that’s an excellent choice of words also. It’s a most apt description of how the media has largely behaved since this occurred on Saturday. The behavior by the media, and all the left-wing pseudo-journalists/bloggers, was simply over the top, even for that hypocritical bunch. I would recommened to all those on the left who are suddenly so concerned about ‘heated’ political rhetoric that they re-read all their words published during the eight years of GW Bush. That was ‘heated’ political rhetoric. What happened Saturday was the result of a lunatic, nothing more. What’s the excuse for the left-wing and their words?

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  8. Herb says:

    Blood libel? Is that supposed to be a metaphor?

    A quick joke:
    How do you know when Sarah Palin doesn’t know the meaning of a word? She uses it in a sentence.

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  9. [...] Colmes’ Liberaland, CNN, The Moderate Voice, The Plum Line, TPMDC, Guardian, BBC, Gawker, Outside the Beltway, Liberty Pundits Blog, Riehl World View, Patterico’s Pontifications, Runnin’ Scared, [...]

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  10. mantis says:

    Haven’t we already established that overheated rhetoric, whether coming from Palin or directed toward her, doesn’t incite violence?

    No, we have not established that.

    As for her using the term “blood libel” – well, that’s an excellent choice of words also.

    Sure. Criticizing of the right’s violent rhetoric is the same as saying they use the blood of children in their religious rituals. Using the imagery used for centuries to oppress and murder Jews against your political opponents is totally the right way to go, especially after some nut tried to kill a Jewish congresswoman.

    No shame whatsoever, these people.

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  11. Dave says:

    No, we have not established that.

    Doug seems to be pretty set on that logic, which makes his tempered praise of this statement from Palin a bit of a joke.

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  12. mantis says:

    Doug seems to be pretty set on that logic, which makes his tempered praise of this statement from Palin a bit of a joke.

    Ok, I get it now. Flew right past me. Kind of like Palin complaining about finger pointing while doing nothing but the same.

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  13. Terrye says:

    I think she did a good job with this video. She did not come off like a loon, which is more than can be said for so many on the left who have been raving about cross hairs for the last several days.

    I am not a Palinista. I like Sarah Palin, but there are also things she has said that I don’t agree with. However, the attacks on her in recent days have been absolutely ridiculous. The attacks on talk radio have also been absurd.

    Cry baby lefties jumped on this awful incident like vultures on road kill and in the process they actually gave Sarah Palin an opportunity to show the country that she is not half as nuts as many of her detractors obviously are.

    Way to go moonbats.

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  14. Terrye says:

    mantis:

    Palin is not complaining about finger pointing while doing the same thing…she is responding to insane charges from your side of the aisle. If you did not want to hear from the woman then maybe you guys should have left her the hell out of this. But nooooo, you just had to get on your soap box and start preaching to everyone else about the tone of the rhetoric.

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  15. Herb says:

    “I am not a Palinista. I like Sarah Palin”

    The second sentence negates the first.

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  16. mantis says:

    Sorry, Terrye, can’t respond now. I’m slaughtering Christian children to get ready for Pesach. It’s a little early, I know, but us Jews just can’t resist your delicious blood. You betcha!

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  17. anjin-san says:

    > I like Sarah Palin, but there are also things she has said that I don’t agree with.

    Why don’t you list a few for us? Because you come across as a garden variety Palin troll…

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  18. Rock says:

    Sarah Palin issues statement.
    Dem donkeys bray. Barking Moonbats howl. Talking heads explode.
    Shellacking continues.
    Sarah measures White House drapes.

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  19. anjin-san says:

    > The attacks on talk radio have also been absurd.

    Of course. It’s absurd to be upset about the endless hate fill rants on right wing radio depicting Obama as a Marxist/Jihadist who is dedicated to creating tyranny in America.

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  20. Terrye says:

    mantis:

    That was dumb.

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  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    The fact that the most famous of the victims of the shooting was Jewish doesn’t help things, either.

    A very important point. Do most people even know this right now? I don’t think so.

    Does Palin even know the historical meaning of the term “blood libel?” Does she even know that Giffords is a Jew? Maybe the answer is no, to both questions. Palin’s cluelessness knows no bounds.

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  22. PD Shaw says:

    The Update is interesting. I wouldn’t ever be comfortable using the phrase in this way, but YMMV.

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  23. Terrye says:

    anjin:

    What hypocrites you people are. Years and years of vitriol from the left and now the sanctimonious nonsense about hate filled rants. I don’t really listen to talk radio, but then again, I did not go see Will Ferrel’s show with him standing in front a picture of a limp penis he referred to as George Bush..nor did I watch the socalled documentary about Bush being killed, nor did I read the novel about Bush being shot…nor did I see Stone’s movie W all about what a religious loon Bush is.

    I did not listen to Air America and the idiot lefties on the air, but then again neither did anyone else and that is why they are off the air.

    I don’t watch TV when Sharpton comes on and starts the race baiting. I just turn it off and if you don’t like Rush Limbaugh then you should do the same thing.

    The truth is a lot of people on the left owe people like Sarah Palin an apology for the things they said this week about who and who was not responsible for the attack in Tuscon.

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  24. PD Shaw says:

    If I were looking for more strange word choices, I would start with sportscasters, preachers and Keith Olbermann, all people who tend to gravitate towards using two-bit words, when a half pence would suffice.

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  25. floyd says:

    Wingnuts always double down on the crazy. Always

    Ponce;
    While generalities are always false, you seem to have found a truffle!
    There’s certainly evidence of it here![LOL]

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  26. mantis says:

    While my initial reaction to this, perhaps owing to confirmation bias, was that this was yet more evidence that Sarah Palin is a nincompoop, Jim Geraghty has a compelling roundup of relatively famous people, many of whom are not widely considered dolts, who have made use of the “blood libel”

    Roy Edroso has addressed Geraghty’s defense:

    The main difference is that Geraghty’s examples refer to 1.) Claims that all gay people are pedophiles; 2.) Claims that all black people want to rape white women; 3.) A call for all Muslims to be profiled as terrorists; 4.) Claims that Al Gore tried to disenfranchise military voters (“almost a blood libel”). The last one’s a little over the top; the others are less so, because they portray groups of people as guilty of horrible crimes simply because they belong to those groups.

    The idea that wingnuts were blood-libeled because some people (including the victim) noticed the incendiary rhetoric used on Giffords before she was shot is worse than ridiculous.

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  27. Don L says:

    Ah, you have to just love that the party of limb by limb violence to fifty million innocent children sees fit to accuse the other side of violence.

    The good news is that over 300 million people didn’t shoot anyone — to use one nut’s actions, regarless of motivation, to take away the free speech and gun protection of the nation’s citizens is the only and real goal of all this crap from the left.

    Truth and freeedom are what they seek to destroy and as their savior,-Sol Alinsky says, use anything to do that.

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  28. mantis says:

    Don L,

    If you believe all of that, isn’t it time to get your gun and do something about it? After all, we’re coming after you, and we want to destroy truth and freedom. What are you going to do?

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  29. Terrye says:

    Actually Sarah Palin is the not the first person to use the words blood libel in regards to this incident:, Professor Glenn Reynolds:

    “So as the usual talking heads begin their “have you no decency?” routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?

    To paraphrase Justice Cardozo (“proof of negligence in the air, so to speak, will not do”), there is no such thing as responsibility in the air. Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on “rhetoric” and a “climate of hate” to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.”

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  30. mantis says:

    Ronin,

    Your repeated cut and paste is very tiresome at this point.

    Loughner was no tea partier. He didn’t even vote in 2010. The Tea Party folks voted. He was a nut who said all kinds of crazy and incoherent things, and you’re not going to be able to put him in a partisan box like that easy.

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  31. jukeboxgrad says:

    Palin said this:

    … 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.

    Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. And it was a beautiful moment, and more than simply symbolic, as some claim…but less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech that he found offensive.

    It’s ironic that she’s making a fuss about 1A, since a few years ago she demonstrated that she doesn’t understand what it means:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/31/palin-criticism-threatens_n_139729.html

    She’s still implying the same ignorant nonsense of her previous statement: that when the press and others criticize her, they are infringing on her 1A rights.

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  32. mantis says:

    Actually Sarah Palin is the not the first person to use the words blood libel in regards to this incident:, Professor Glenn Reynolds:

    Yeah, we know. Reynolds is a scumbag, and Palin is an unoriginal scumbag.

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  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    Some excellent commentary here:

    Blood libel is a term that usually refers to an ancient falsehood that Jews use the blood of Christian children in religious rituals. For hundreds of years, particularly during the Middle Ages, it was used to justify the slaughter of Jews in the street and their expulsion from entire countries. “Blood libel” is not wrongfully assigning guilt to an individual for murder, but rather assigning guilt collectively to an entire group of people and then using it to justify violence against them.

    This is a new low for Palin … [She is] drawing parallels between harsh, even unfair verbal criticism and genocide.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_foolishness_of_the_blood_l.html

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    I can’t blame Palin too much for “blood libel.” Not only am I sure she doesn’t know the origin of the phrase and its relationship to anti-semitism, pogroms and the Holocaust, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what a pogrom was, or for that matter what the Holocaust was.

    It’s a bit like blaming a five year-old for not knowing she shouldn’t quote what she overheard coming from her parent’s bedroom.

    She’s an idiot speaking to idiots.

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  35. [...] –Doug Mataconis: Palin’s statement is unlikely to move the needle on public opinion about her in any significant way. Her supporters will love it and will cheer her for standing up to “media bullies. Her critics will use it to criticize her, whether about the “blood libel” comment or something else. And an perusal of the early reaction confirms this. [...]

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  36. Gustopher says:

    Mrs. Palin says: “Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security.”

    Ah, how I wish that were true. I never noticed any politicians fighting the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security, I noticed a quick and steady erosion of freedom.

    As for the blood libel: Oy vey. Let’s just chalk that up to ignorance and move on. Same with her carefully using the phrase “innocent victims”, as if some of the victims were not innocent, and are not mourned. You know the ones… the Christ Killers.

    Part of me hopes that she is browbeaten into making an apology to those she offended with her ill-informed choice of words (she’s not the type to apologize without being browbeaten), and that she manages to accidentally slip in another slur. And that this repeats, forever.

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  37. michael reynolds says:

    That said, the effort by people like Doug to shut everyone up from talking about violent hate speech is wrong.

    We talk about issues when they come up. The issue is before us. This is exactly the time to talk about it. And efforts to stifle the conversation do not smack of maturity so much as they smack of political opportunism.

    Very few people — I am not among them — believe Palin or right wing hate speech is directly implicated in this case in a 1+1=2 way.

    But the deliberate effort by the right to create an atmosphere of paranoia and even panic by the use of dire, apocalyptic, gun-obsessed rhetoric is unhelpful at the very least, and increases the pool of potentially violent crazies who may take this kind of action. It paints a target for the crazies. It provides focus for the crazies. It provides a self-justifying, even glorious and patriotic rationale for the crazies.

    It is dishonest and ridiculous to pretend that hammering violent, paranoid rhetoric into people’s heads night and day is without effect. Is that what caused this particular whack job to go nuts? We don’t have anything close to 1+1=2. That does not mean that this scenario won’t be repeated, or that other fringe crazies aren’t watching and learning and hoping to emulate, or that a certain percentage of the wingnuts on the right don’t feel sympathy for Loughner’s actions.

    When gangsta rap was at its peak right wingers fomented against the cop-killing rhetoric of rap on the grounds that it set the table for real cop killers, that it made violence against police seem more acceptable. Now that the right has its own gangsta rap coming from Glenn Beck and LImbaugh and Palin, suddenly now they want to pretend that there is never, and can never be, a connection between rhetoric and action.

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  38. James Joyner says:

    @Michael: Who’s saying we can’t talk about this? Certainly, none of us at OTB. We’ve written over a dozen posts on the subject!

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  39. anjin-san says:

    > What hypocrites you people are.

    Terrye I am not sure what “you people” you are grouping me with. I am responsible for my own words. Period.

    I make no secret of the fact I think Palin is stupid. All you have to do to reach that conclusion is listen to her speak. I also think she is dangerous, much in the way Bush, a stupid man who gained great power and did great damage with it, was. If you can show where I have indulged in hate speech against Palin or Bush, please do.

    As for Will Farrell, I know an entertainer by that name exists, thats about it. I am not familiar with his work, nor am I responsible for it.

    If you had been on OTB for a bit longer, you would probably remember the comments I made when Bush was in office along the lines of “like him or not, Bush IS the President, and will be until the next President is sworn in. The office deserves respect, if not the man. Anyone who makes a veiled threat against any President needs to have a talking too by the secret service, and anyone who makes a direct threat belongs in prison.”

    > I don’t really listen to talk radio

    Spend some time listening to Michael Savage and his ilk, and come back and comment when you are informed.

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  40. Dwight says:

    “Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them”

    Is Palin no longer going to oppose a mosque near Ground Zero?

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  41. PD Shaw says:

    michael, reasonable discourse ends when Godwin’s law is invoked, the implication of her detractors being she’s anti-semitic at worst, insensitive to the anti-semitic history at best. The same outrage was produced when Dick Durbin compared Gitmo to a Nazi concentration camp. Everybody knew what he was getting at, but it was easier to talk about how the implicit accusation of genocide was out-of-bounds.

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  42. Muffler says:

    Patrick:

    The term “blood libel” is historical with an recorded definition. It is literally defined as related to the inflammatory lie that Jews use the blood of kidnapped Christian children for ceremonies and therefore libel for the blood and not something requiring interpretation. To expect that the term can be interpreted or used in any other way is either ignorant or done with purpose.

    Palin might be referring to the idea that some hold her libel or somehow partially accountable for the events in Tucson, but the term “blood libel” doesn’t apply. It is over the top and chosen (I say chosen as some think her brilliant – so it must be with thought) to create an “effect”. I suppose that is the exact reason people see her a major participant in vitriolic and confrontational discourse.

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  43. anjin-san says:

    > The truth is a lot of people on the left owe people like Sarah Palin an apology for the things they said this week about who and who was not responsible for the attack in Tuscon.

    Let’s start close to home. Can you show were one reasonable commentator on OTB “on the left” has said Palin was responsible for the attack? (Ronin does not count) If not, perhaps you should examine your own conciense before demanding apoligies. Certainly nuts on “the left” have said nutty thing. What alarms me about the right is that it’s leaders are the ones saying nutty things.

    I think Michael summed it up well:

    Very few people — I am not among them — believe Palin or right wing hate speech is directly implicated in this case in a 1+1=2 way.

    But the deliberate effort by the right to create an atmosphere of paranoia and even panic by the use of dire, apocalyptic, gun-obsessed rhetoric is unhelpful at the very least, and increases the pool of potentially violent crazies who may take this kind of action. It paints a target for the crazies. It provides focus for the crazies. It provides a self-justifying, even glorious and patriotic rationale for the crazies.

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  44. John425 says:

    Must be a slow day for you “liberal thinkers” so you trot out the “Get (KILL) Palin” stuff again. I wonder who has whom in the “cross-hairs”.

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  45. sam says:

    John the Bupkis weighs in with bupkis.

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  46. Wayne says:

    Jukeboxgrad
    Why would Palin or most Americans know what religion Giffords was?

    Surely you are not suggesting because a term can be trace back to a religious event that someone should know everyone’s religious preference?

    Do you know all the religious preference of every congressman? If not does that mean your cluelessness knows no bounds?

    As for Blood libel, it has and can be used against non Jews.

    “Some of the best documented cases of blood libel focus upon accusations against Jews , but many other groups have been accused, including Christians, Cathars, Carthaginians, Knights Templar, Witches, Christian heretics, Roma, Wiccans, Druids, neopagans, and Satanists.”

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Blood_libel

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  47. wr says:

    Yes, in crazyland, criticizing something Palin says is the same as urging her death. No wonder they can’t see how vile their leaders’ rhetoric is.

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  48. sam says:

    “As for Blood libel, it has and can be used against non Jews.”

    I wait with bated breath her invocation of that defense.

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  49. mattt says:

    I suspect Palin (or rather her speechwriter) is quite familiar with the historical meaning of “blood libel.” Remember one of the themes of Jonah Goldberg’s magnum opus: “The white man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism.” Some on the right really do believe they are being victimized to such a degree that these terms and comparisons are appropriate.

    I don’t get the feeling that Palin’s personal pathology of victimhood extends that far. This was probably more a clumsy attempt to deploy codewords that would further stoke the lunatic fringe.

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  50. sam says:
  51. mantis says:

    Wow

    A number of Republicans have come to the defense of Sarah Palin for her use of revolutionary imagery since the shooting in Tucson on Saturday, but Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) took it an extra step on Tuesday.

    “If every person in the world was like Sarah Palin, there probably wouldn’t even be need for government because no one would be in danger of any kind,” Franks said in a phone conversation with POLITICO. “If every person were like Sarah Palin, this world would be a peaceful, beautiful world to live in.”

    Hmmm, I seem to recall wingnuts constantly saying that Obama supporters all think he’s the messiah. I see they’ve found the real one.

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  52. PJ says:

    Good to see that teleprompters are now allowed. The speech didn’t fit in her palm?

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  53. Clone says:
  54. Mr. Grouchypants says:

    This debate reminds me of a scene from the Spider-Man movie where Parker accuse J. Jonah Jameson of slander and Jameson responds, “It is not. I resent that. Slander is spoken. In print, it’s libel. “

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  55. Don L says:

    It is with great amusement that I watch the audacity of those who play the immutable sanctity of the meaning of words; Blood libel has a fixed meaning in your attack the messenger as evil games, but “GAY” and “CHOICE’ can be perverted for political weaponry and the guardians of pure speech find no fault with that abuse.

    But then, picking on two words out of context is a heck of a good way to avoid discussing the powerful speech itself, lest she be given credibility. Nice try lefties, but disgusting as usual.

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  56. [...] Sarah Palin Blasts Media For “Blood Libel” Against Her Over Arizona Shootings (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  57. michael reynolds says:

    James:

    From Doug on OTB:

    The tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Arizona has started another debate about political rhetoric. It’s a stupid debate, and it’s utterly pointless.

    And,

    There’s only one person responsible for the actions of Jared Lee Loughner, and his name is Jared Lee Loughner. Rather than spending the next week or two gazing into our collective navels and decrying “heated political rhetoric,” let’s focus on the victims and on making sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

    That’s what I’m referring to.

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  58. anjin-san says:

    Don… my babble to English translator is offline. Can you rephrase that so that it actually means something?

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  59. michael reynolds says:

    PD:

    As you may have seen above, I’m not suggesting she’s anti-semitic. Or that she knew what she was talking about. I think she’s just clueless. Sarah Palin thinks a pogrom is something that comes on at 9 eastern, 8 central.

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  60. Don L says:

    That personal attack again in lieu of criticizing her speech, or the truth of what I said, Anjin-san. You guys are so predictable. Straight from Alinsksy’s playbook he dedicated to Satan -the Father of Lies.

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  61. sam says:

    Anybody know what the hell this means, for Don L:

    “It is with great amusement that I watch the audacity of those who play the immutable sanctity of the meaning of words; Blood libel has a fixed meaning in your attack the messenger as evil games, but “GAY” and “CHOICE’ can be perverted for political weaponry and the guardians of pure speech find no fault with that abuse.”

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  62. [...] Sarah Palin Blasts Media For “Blood Libel” Against Her Over Arizona Shootings (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  63. michael reynolds says:

    DonL:

    I had to Google Saul Alinsky because although I knew I knew the name from somewhere, I couldn’t immediately place it. And if I’m working straight out of some guys’ playbook, I feel I should know whose exactly.

    Here’s the lead quote from the Wiki on Alinsky, responding to a question about whether he’d ever been a Communist:

    “Not at any time. I’ve never joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.”

    Your statement connecting Alinsky to satan points to the source of your alleged thinking. Follow the link for an insight into Don L’s intellectual mentor:

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201009200054

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  64. An Interested Party says:

    This is a game we could play all day long…if Palin is so upset about a “blood libel” against her, perhaps she will now apologize for the “blood libel” of “death panels”…

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  65. rodney dill says:

    She’s more anti-semantic than anti-semitic.

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  66. mantis says:

    This is a game we could play all day long…if Palin is so upset about a “blood libel” against her, perhaps she will now apologize for the “blood libel” of “death panels”…

    Indeed. She accused Democrats of wanting to kill everyone’s grandmothers all last year. By Palin’s own confused reasoning, isn’t that blood libel?

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  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    if Palin is so upset about a “blood libel” against her, perhaps she will now apologize for the “blood libel” of “death panels”…

    Excellent point.

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  68. [...] Sarah Palin Blasts Media For “Blood Libel” Against Her Over Arizona Shootings (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  69. Rock says:

    Which words other than “blood libel” should Sarah have used? Because that’s what it is. She and her family has been in the crosshairs as targets of the Democrats and the blamestream media for a long time and they will not be satisfied until they have her scalp nailed to their alter of revenge. It’s a blood libel against her. It’s a contract issued by many vindictive opponents for the shellacking they got last November. I would suggest that there’s a Pulitzer Prize in it for any journalist who can take her out prior to the 2012 election.

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  70. anjin-san says:

    > “Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them”

    Is Palin no longer going to oppose a mosque near Ground Zero?

    An interesting point that should be further discussed.

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  71. PJ says:

    Sarah Palin should stick to twitter. With only 140 characters it gets harder for her, but not impossible, to contradict herself (or whoever is writing her tweets).

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  72. sam says:

    “She’s more anti-semantic than anti-semitic.”

    Ha!

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  73. Rock says:

    Speaking of Palin Twitters.

    Twitterers Tweeting Tweet Twats.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOhuaoYNZAY&feature=related

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  74. sam says:

    “Which words other than “blood libel” should Sarah have used? Because that’s what it is. She and her family has been in the crosshairs as targets of the Democrats and the blamestream media for a long time and they will not be satisfied until they have her scalp nailed to their alter of revenge”

    Ah, for Christ’s sake, spare us the Sarah-as-Victim crap. We get enough of that from the source. And for what reason would anyone want to seek “revenge” against a reality TV star?

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  75. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    PJ, I guess a 140 words are all you are able to digest. Anjin, how would you feel about a statue of the shooter built at that Safeway? A statue honoring the shooter? Your powers of reason are demonstratively lacking. Reyolds your unfamiliarity with Saul Alinsky reveals a vacuum behind those Foster Grants. You claim you do not know the author who had great influence on both the current President and Secretary of State? Bull sh*t.
    Sarah Palin did what any person would do when BLOOD LIBELED by the likes of the scum Krugman, only hours after the shooting. People like Mantis, Anjin et al, should be ashamed of what they have commented here, but that is not possible due to there Mama’s never teaching them about shame as they were too busy working the boulevard. Anjin, take remedial english if you cannot understand what Don L. clearly stated. Reyolds you used Mediamatters for a source? No wonder you are f ed up. Stop taking drugs and pay attention to the truth Glen Beck tells. If he is lying, prove it.

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  76. mantis says:

    People like Mantis, Anjin et al, should be ashamed of what they have commented here, but that is not possible due to there Mama’s never teaching them about shame as they were too busy working the boulevard.

    Lecturing people about shame and decency while calling their mothers whores! Priceless!

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  77. PJ says:

    @Zelsdorf:

    “PJ, I guess a 140 words are all you are able to digest.”

    Please. It was for her gain, please reread my comment, it was only 163 characters so it might be hard for you, but try.

    BTW, are you still advocating that people should report their family members if they display hatred towards elected officials?

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  78. sam says:

    Anybody surprised that Zelsdorf understands Don L? Well, I don’t know, perhaps I’m being uncharitable. I know I’ve watched two complete drunks carry on a “conversation” on the subway and, apparently, each understood the other perfectly. Though to us standing nearby, they’ve could’ve been speaking Martian for all we knew. I guess the important thing is that they knew what they were talking about.

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  79. Don L says:

    Just remember, according to the left, guns don’t kill people – keyboards do!

    Sam, still using the personal attack route in lieu of rational discourse? Tsk, tsk!

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  80. anjin-sanb says:

    > Anjin, take remedial english if you cannot understand what Don L. clearly stated

    Hmm. I got a college level english score when I was tested in the 5th grade. I have a reasonably strong understanding of the language. The thing with words is that you have to string them together in such a way that they actually mean something. For example:

    “When Putin rears his head and enters our airspace” does not really mean anything. It’s just babble.

    Suggested reading “Language in Action” by S.I. Hayakawa. I have a first edition, but you can’t borrow it. If you can process Hiakawa, which seems unlikely, you can move on to Korzybski.

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  81. Axel Edgren says:

    “MY WORDS CAN’T DO DAMAGE BUT THEIRS CAN!”

    Are any of you clowns actually swallowing that? You should be ashamed.

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  82. G.A.Phillips says:

    Palin is a target of the Left, and of the left on the right.

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  83. Benjy says:

    The Tea Party Shooter had a long history of being a conservative radical according to school administrators and teachers. He was in no way a liberal unless you choose to ignore all his stated beliefs and go on the speculation of ONE girl who was met him a couple times 4 years ago. One cannot choose dubious speculation over overwhelming facts. While there may be clear evidence that he has a mental condition there is ALSO clear evidence that he is firmly anchored to the right wing and Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

    Heres are FACTS about the Tea Party Shooter:

    -a gun nut
    
-anti-government
    -obsessed with “second” United States Constitution
    
-anti-abortion
    
-anti-immigrant
    
-pro gold standard
    -follower of far right activist David Wynn Miller
    -targeted and shot a Democrat

    Those are all exclusively right wing extremist Tea Party views or acts. They are FACTS not opinion. That’s plenty of evidence. Right out of the extreme Tea Party playbook. As much as the Tea Party try, no amount of spin or tortured rhetorical gymnastics can’t deny these facts.

    Sorry Sarah P and Tea Partiers. The Tea Party Shooter is definitively one of yours. This is all on you. The only thing you can wonder about is if the Tea Party attracts whack jobs, creates them, or both.

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  84. G.A.Phillips says:

    Benjy your momma is one of ours too…….

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  85. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***She’s more anti-semantic than anti-semitic.***

    Christine O’Donnell is pro semantic, verbal, and material :)

    Oh, right we was doing a hit job on Palin and saying how everyone is an idiot except for Harry, sam, mantis and ponce……

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  86. anjin-san says:

    > Straight from Alinsksy’s playbook he dedicated to Satan -the Father of Lies.

    Oh, yea – you are all about “rational discourse”.

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  87. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***Suggested reading “Language in Action” by S.I. Hayakawa. I have a first edition, but you can’t borrow it. If you can process Hayakawa, which seems unlikely, you can move on to Korzybski.*** I only read American, lol, and liberal…….

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  88. mantis says:

    I only read American, lol, and liberal…….

    Hayakawa was a United States senator, dimwit. He was also a supporter of making English the official language of the US, and famously disrupted an anti-war SDS rally in 1969. You would probably like him, if your bigoted knee didn’t jerk so fast at the sight of a foreign-souding name.

    Why are wingnuts so ignorant of, well, everything?

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  89. boomerang says:

    How is Sarah Palin like Herpes? For liberals, she’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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  90. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol…………………your so silly and pokeable…………………..talk about kneejerk hahahahaha….

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  91. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin, just get a copy of the book from your library. Rules for Radicals was dedicated to your hero Satan.

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  92. wr says:

    Since I am not a rightwing nutball, I’ve never read Alinsky, or even seen a copy of his book(s). I did Google the introduction, and Zels is kind of right here, although he completely misses the point, lacking both the intelligence and sense of humor to follow it:

    “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

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  93. mattt says:

    “Which words other than “blood libel” should Sarah have used? ”

    How about: “I regret using language and imagery that might have been taken as incitement to violence. That was never my intention, but in hindsight promoting the Crosshair Map and telling disgruntled people ‘Don’t retreat – reload!’ where not good ways to convey my meaning. My condolences to the victims and their familes, and prayers for swift and full recovery by the wounded.”

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  94. The Q says:

    It seems to me that, by washing her hands of the whole affair, Ms. Palin should now be nicknamed Pontius Palin.

    Hey right wing morons, let me tell you a story that might make sense to your feeble brains.

    Bear with with now, I realize your attention span is short.

    In the early 1960s, two radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were directed by their superiors at Bell Labs to find the source of a “buzz” which was interfering with the development of new communication satellites. Penzias and Wilson famously aimed their radio telescopes into the abyss of space and were puzzled by low level radiation which was a constant no matter where they directed their scopes.

    This buzz was uniform throughout the cosmos and no matter where the antenna was pointed there was always non-zero noise strength, even where the sky was visibly empty. A simple solution would have been to reset their receivers to zero, but they persisted in tracing the source.

    To make a long story short, Penzias and Wilson would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for basically discovering the ancient remnants of the Big Bang – cosmic microwave background noise radiation.

    Whether or not you can sense it, see it, or feel it….this radiation exists and effects everything from satellites to radio reception..

    Similarly, the right wing loons the last decade with their paranoia rants – government hate, Obama is a nig#ger born in Kenya, the “Marxist” takeover of healthcare, “reload” ‘bullets not ballots” – cannot now suddenly exclaim rather vociferously that this “background radiation of hate and paranoia” your warped minds have constantly promoted and preach doesn’t matter and hasn’t any effect on idiots out there.

    When Homeland Security releases its domestic terror threat reports and concludes its gonna be white boy skin head wingnuts who are most to be watch, you right wing loons scream bloody outrage.

    Yet when this violence clearly manifests itself in Tucson, we have to read the inane ramblings from brain dead dolts like Zag ragshaft and Marky Martin (a true imbecile btw)

    You aholes and the leaders you venerate who preach the gospel of hate (you lie! kenyan anti colonial, Obama hates white people) are responsible for the cesspool that spawn fellows like Jared Loughner

    This background radiation of insanity is responsible for shit like this news story:

    Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) health care-era “you lie” interruption of President Obama is now reportedly being commemorated with a place on a new, limited edition line of assault rifle components.

    The Columbia Free Times reports that the words are being engraved on a series of lower receivers manufactured for popular AR-15 assault rifles. Lower receivers are one of the primary pieces of the firearms.

    “Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver,” the weapon manufacturer’s site writes in the product description. “Only 999 of these will be produced, get yours before they are gone!”

    Read this story wingnut sh#theads and try to parse it and gainsay it away like Pontius Palin.

    Tell me the background radiation of right wing lunacy and paranoiac drivel isn’t responsible for affecting idiots like this gun company.

    In short , go fu%C^*ck yourselves especially some of the right wing dickheads who commented here today absolving themselves of any responsibility for this tragedy

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  95. jukeboxgrad says:

    wayne:

    Why would Palin or most Americans know what religion Giffords was?

    I didn’t say most people should know. I said most people probably didn’t know. Not the same thing.

    Palin, however, indeed should know, because she has chosen to present to the public a 7-minute script on the subject. Therefore it’s reasonable to expect that she would do some homework. Then again, homework isn’t her thing.

    Giffords’ background has been widely reported. She is the first Jew sent to Congress by AZ. Also, Giffords’ aide who was killed is Gabe Zimmerman. Is Palin too ignorant to know that’s a Jewish name? Maybe so.

    Surely you are not suggesting because a term can be trace back to a religious event that someone should know everyone’s religious preference?

    The connection is much closer than “can be trace back to a religious event.” The term refers to a specific phenomenon in Jewish history. Taking a moment to consider if the victims might be Jewish is not asking too much. And her use of the term would be offensive even if none of the victims were Jewish.

    Do you know all the religious preference of every congressman? If not does that mean your cluelessness knows no bounds?

    If I was going to make a seven minute presentation that was largely about one particular congressman, then yes indeed, I would probably have done enough homework to know their “religious preference,” especially if it was important to them. And Giffords has expressed how important her Jewishness is to her.

    As for Blood libel, it has and can be used against non Jews.

    That’s rare. In the article you cite, there is a long list of historical examples, and virtually all are about Jews.

    Palin’s usage is offensive because it trivializes the term. It’s like if I say ‘my basketball team experienced a holocaust when we lost the tournament.’ Or ‘did you know I was raped the other day? I was walking down the street and a man stared at my ass.’

    It’s also offensive for her to make a big fuss about her own alleged victimhood on the day that actual victims are being buried. Once again, it’s all about her.

    rock:

    Which words other than “blood libel” should Sarah have used? Because that’s what it is.

    You obviously don’t know what “blood libel” means.

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  96. Rock says:

    Well there you go. The Libtard Manifesto.

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  97. The Q says:

    Rock, no doubt your moniker derives from the substance between your ears.

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  98. The Q says:

    I mean, did you stay up all night coming up with “libtard”?

    Stay classy conservative idiots.

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  99. Rock says:

    Dear Q,

    Greetings,

    Nope I didn’t waste a moment on it. For your reference and reading enjoyment I submit the following:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=libtard&defid=1454864
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Libtards

    Explained as:

    Libtards want to live in a fantasy world (in which life is the way that they WISH IT WAS) as opposed to dealing with life the way it actually is.

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  100. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***I’ve never read Alinsky***we are not saying that you have read this book, we are saying that you are brainwashed with it.

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  101. G.A.Phillips says:

    The Q, lol……….I thought I ran you off, back for more? And why do you have to ruin, soil, and all around poop on the name of my favorite Star Trek Villain next to Borg Queen?!?!?!?!

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  102. ponce says:

    Isn’t it odd that the only people who claim top have red Alinsky are the most delusional of wingnuts?

    May it does work.

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  103. floyd says:

    “Isn’t it odd that the only people who claim top have red Alinsky …”(sic)
    “”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

    ponce;
    Was that on purpose, or was it just a plain hilarious error?

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  104. floyd says:

    Well, I guess you don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore…
    In fact most of you don’t even remember him, half due to age and the other half for the same reason you don’t remember the sixties!(lol)

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  105. ponce says:

    I have to admit the humor was accidental floyd.

    I would be nice if one of the less verbose and bitter wingnuts who post here could briefly outline what Alinsky’s plan we’re all supposed to be following is.

    Bullet points would do.

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  106. G.A.Phillips says:

    Dude you said bullet, arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……….

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  107. G.A.Phillips says:

    http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky.htm

    Or you could check it out for yourself Poncey:)

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  108. anjin-san says:

    Checkers anyone?

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  109. Ben Wolf says:

    Just followed Phillips’ link, and you know what? This Alinsky guy seems all right.

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  110. [...] erupted in the days after the shootings in Arizona, as well as the controversy that erupted after her video message last week: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted Monday that she did know the definition of, and correctly [...]

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