Nearly four days after her notorious map targeting Congresswoman Giffords with crosshairs was alleged by some people to have possibly influenced crazed Tucson gunman Jared Loughner, Sarah Palin has finally spoken. In a long Facebook message and corresponding Vimeo video posted online in the middle of the night, mainland-America time, Palin focuses much of her attention on such accusations that, it seems at this point, lack merit. Missing completely though is any acknowledgment at all that, upon reflection, the crosshairs map was inappropriate anyway.
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.
Maps with crosshairs on congressional districts are just as innocuous as "proudly voting in the last election," see? Not only did they not influence Loughner, but they couldn't possibly influence anyone, ever!
But Palin goes much further than defending her crosshairs. Though many calls have been made over the past few days for a calmer political discourse, one based on respect for the other side instead of demonization and violent rhetoric, Palin doesn't see anything wrong with the political climate. It's way better than it was in the 1800's after all, and that's a century we always want to measure ourselves against.
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?
Two hundred years ago, people used to duel each other, so it's impossible for the political debate in 2011 to have become too intense? How about the nineties? We don't remember anyone running for the Senate warning of "Second Amendment remedies" back then.
But Palin just can't give an inch. She can't acknowledge that there's any way she should be acting that is any different than how she has been doing things all along.
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.
In Palin's world, calls for politicians to tone it down a bit are tantamount to "intolerance of differing opinion" and the "muzzling" of dissent. In her stubbornness, in her unwillingness to cede any ground ever, Palin is forced to argue against freedom-stomping straw men.
But we guess this is the mindset you get from being an oppressed minority.
[E]specially 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.
"Blood libel," whether Palin knows it or not, is the term for the anti-Semitic slur that Jews kill Christian babies and use their blood to make matzoh. (Impossible, since that would require matzoh to taste like something.) Surely she was just copying the phrase from an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by conservative political commentator Glenn Reynolds. And we get what she means, at least: She thinks the media is making up wild, evil accusations about her. But it probably isn't the best term to throw around.
America's Enduring Strength [Sarah Palin/Facebook]