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.
As blogger Floyd R. Turbo points out, why is the use of “blood libel” suddenly so offensive, when the left routinely misuses another word that has far more current meaning to the Jewish community:
[H]ow many times do people on the Left use “Holocaust” to refer to any group’s suffering? For Pete’s sake if there’s any recent word that should have proprietary limits it would be the word “Holocaust” — reserved to the Nazi extermination program. But no — from the Left we get the African Holocaust, the native American Holocaust and Gaiadammit — the Environmental Holocaust…
Over at Media Matters, the CEO of the ultra-leftist web site, David Brock, used Palin’s comments as an excuse to do what Brock does best: promote David Brock. After noting that he agrees with Palin that “the ‘monstrous act of criminality’ committed this past weekend in Arizona stands on its own and that we as Americans are better than mindless finger-pointing in the tragedy’s wake,” Brock promptly launches into a nine-hundred word diatribe that consisted almost entirely of mindless finger-pointing and virtually ignored anything that happened in Arizona or with what Palin actually said. Instead, he shamelessly used the deaths of six innocent people at the hands of a deranged gunman in an effort to stifle legitimate debate. “We are just off a campaign cycle in which you and the Republican candidates you supported raised the prospect of armed revolt if Washington did not change its ways,” Brock raved. “Much of your message centered – like the Tea Party moniker itself – on imagery of armed revolution and existential clashes in which the freedom of our country is at stake.”
This is all silliness of course, but Brock’s schtick today is the same as it was when he was the young, rising star at the American Spectator two decades ago: find someone famous to glom onto, do your damnedest to vilify them and thus make yourself relevant. In the 90s it was the Clintons. Today, it’s Sarah Palin, but Brock’s show is exactly the same.
Palin simply pointed out the obvious truth that there was nothing about politics, rhetoric, messages or anything else even remotely related to right or the left in Jared Lee Loughner’s rampage. Nothing. Dragging politics into the tragedy can accomplish nothing but exactly what people like Olbermann, Matthews and Brock claim to be against: to turn up the burner on heated political discourse. Thanks to their fabrications and misleading tales, and those of their many cronies on the left, Sarah Palin is the object of more death threats than ever. It’s madness, but it’s the kind of madness that seems to make perfect sense over on the left.