On facebook Sarah Palin puts out a video that first talks about the victims:
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.
Then quoting Ronald Reagan
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.
Then hits the media about responsibility:
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.
And quotes some history:
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?
And celebrates America:
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.
And a defense of liberty:
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.
A thought provoking speech so how does Morning Joe react? They attack her for the use of the words “BlOOD LIBEL”. Ignoring that for two days the phrase has been used in this context:
The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel
That’s Glenn Reynolds (my guest this Saturday) on the media and the shootings. One of the most important bloggers in the world two days ago in the Wall Street Journal. It was quoted widely, but I didn’t remember the media hitting him over it.
But this is Sarah Palin, she who must be stopped. Apparently like the gift of flowers there is no occasion where attacking Sarah Palin is not proper, additionally the media had hit her for saying nothing, now they say she should be quiet.
Morning Joe followed up with Tim Pawlenty who failed to reject the “target” nonsense. This unwillingness to reject this meme has not only confirmed that I will not support him, but also means I will happily work against him. That’s not what a leader does.
Does this surprise me? No, I’m not surprised. Anyone watching the full statement can describe it in one word Presidential. President Obama’s statement will be held in comparison against it and it will be a tough act to follow.
And here is my conclusion/opinion. The “No Labels” crowd Morning Joe, David Frum, Andrew Sullivan crowd is using this incident and the blood of the dead and wounded to attempt to silence and put conservative voices that they consider “dangerous” on the defensive, voices they can’t beat in the court of public opinion or in the ballot box. I would call that Blood Libel.
If they are not ashamed of themselves they ought to be if they are capable.
Update: Tell me: if an unapologetic liberal lawyer who is also Jewish says Sarah Palin’s use of the term Blood Libel isn’t inappropriate can we let it go?
I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.
Will that do?