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Palin and Clyburn add fuel to raging fire with “blood libel” and intellectual deficits

I’m just going to summarize what I said in the comments because I’m still on an iPad app and it’s not designed for mini novels.

Regarding Sarah Palin’s video this morning, she was defiant. I found it decidedly unhelpful.

I was waiting for her to acknowledge that conservatives may have gone too far. I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear her acknowledge that the atmosphere in Arizona and other states had made liberals afraid for their safety even before Giffords’ shooting. Nope, right wing pundits were just being spirited, not incendiary.

I don’t like the constant references to god or the amnesia that the country lost its mind after 9/11 with the help of right wingers to the point that we started an unnecessary war with Iraq or the fact that America’s Enduring Strength was completely undermined by lies about weapons of mass destruction. Nope, Republicans and their media lackeys had nothing to do with that. It just happened.

BTW, what is her definition of an innocent victim? Would Giffords fit that category? She was not very specific.

I will stick up for Sarah’s right to be treated with respect and not demonized. The left has been relentless in using her as a whipping girl for the past two years and the behavior of Jeralyn and Digby and just about every other lefty blogger has made us at The Confluence very angry with the behavior of what should be our side. We have always condemned the demonization and dehumanization of Sarah Palin because it undermines our moral authority and it is wrong.

But I am very disappointed that her message wasn’t more like Bill Clinton’s, who condemned, unambiguously, the demonization of those you disagree with. To Sarah, it’s all just very spirited. Yes, let’s just continue this level of spirit!

How about we let all of the political spectrum have equal access to spirited debate? The fairness doctrine would ensure free speech for everyone. Who could possibly be against that?

Sarah? Do you have something to say in support of the fairness doctrine? Sarah? Sarah?

She’s not a demon. But I disapprove of he company she keeps. She doesn’t meet my WWHD standard. In fact, this speech may have done more harm than good by giving the wingers an excuse to pick up where they left off.

In fact, it’s worse than that. My heart stopped when she used the words “blood libel”. You know as well as I do, myiq, that blood libel is a term that Christians foisted on Jews as collective guilt for the death of Jesus. It gave Christians an excuse to ghettoize Jews in the medieval centuries and lead to pogroms and persecution. So, in essence, she is equating criticism of right wing political speech as going on a pogrom against conservatives and not just any conservatives. Way to go. Enhance that persecution complex of the conservative Christians out there in Glenn Beckistan. In this part of her speech, she is specifically talking to religious conservatives who feel is is their mission to protect the country of Israel because the Jews must be converted before Armageddon.

That’s not intellectually stupid at all. That’s knowing her audience. I’ve always said she is a skillful politician and democrats would be wise to take her threat more seriously. But Clyburn and others are the stupid ones when they continue to insult her and by extension her fans. But what can we expect from Clyburn, who bludgeoned Hillary Clinton and her supported as being racists. Talk about stupidity, look no further than yourself, James. In America, it’s not only unacceptable to be a liberal, according to Republicans, it’s doubly unacceptable to be a liberal who prefers a capable woman over an inexperienced and ruthless man. That makes you a racist liberal. And they say only Republicans can come up with this stuff.

He should have done what bill Clinton did yesterday and condemned demonization against anyone, Sarah could have no come back to that. But now, blood libel, will be the word du jour and every right wing religious fox news viewer will know exactly what she means and will be eating right out of her hand.

So, Sarah has just added kerosene to this fire. Well done

Sarah – 1; Clyburn – 0


319 Responses

  1. Here is my original response:

    She knows her audiences, plural. She is tweaking the noses of *certain* people and they are reacting in a predictable way.

    The past four days she has sucked up all the spare oxygen and she will continue to do so as long as people on the left keep focusing on her. The only other GOP contender to get any airtime was Tim Pawlenty and he shot himself in the foot by mildly criticizing Sarah. He quickly had to walk it back.

    Let me add:


    You were never gonna vote for her anyway. She wants to win the GOP nomination. The more she is attacked by the left the more the right rallies behind her and the less attention her opponents get.

    Since last Saturday Sarah Palin has gotten more airtime than Gabrielle Giffords. During that time Sarah has said very little.

    Meanwhile, public opinion polls are on her side. The left needs to let go of this for strategic reasons if nothing else.

    • Disagree. She must be forced to acknowledge that demonizing liberals and democrats is as wrong as what the left did to her. Otherwise, her fans feel vindicated. It’s not a matter of election results. It’s a matter of upping the crazy nshe just gave them permission to carry on because THEY are the persecuted ones.
      The left has to call on someone who has been through it to oush back forecfully and call the wingers in it. It has to be someone who understands how this works. It can’t be Clyburn or Obama or any of the current crop of lefties because they just spent the last three years calling anyone who didnt like Obama racists, whether they were republicans or democrats.
      I pick Bill or Franken. They get it better than just about any other politicians. But Franken is a hated liberal, so that leaves Bill.

      • How do you intend to “force” her to do that?

        Are you going to threaten to withhold your vote from her?

        The harder you push the stronger she gets.

      • Clearly, it can’t come from me. It has to come from a respected figure who has the moral authority to make the right look like they are taking things too far.
        I suggest Bill because he has never demonized anyone. It’s not his style. He knows better. In fact, Bill has never demonized Sarah or put her down.
        He’s made one statement on the issue. Maybe it’s time for another,

        • Sarah plays two dogwhistles at the same time. One is for her base and the other is for the progressive bloggers.

          She has the proggers very well trained. One puff on her whistle and they are barking and foaming at the mouth.

          • Yep, and we are the wild card. Let’s keep it that way.

          • And a third whistle for us independents who never heard the phrase ‘blood libel’ but think it’s a good description of how she’s been treated.

            It’s strong, maybe too strong to the groin (like ‘death panels’ but unlike ‘death panels’ imo it’s pretty accurate).

            I figured she was up to something, using (I thought she’d invented it) a phrase so memorable and so likely to be criticized at great length, till everyone in the country has heard it. It sums up what’s been happening to her and others, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it became shorthand for the flap, even among people who disapprove of the term.

            But why does it appeal to Evangelicals? Whether it means a false accusation (libel) of using babies’ blood — or an accusation of being guilty (liable) for Jesus’ cruxifiction — either meaning isn’t exactly a credit to the Christians.

          • This is as decent an explanation as I’ve seen from the left.

          • J Street hates it, Geller strongly defends it…of course they are both very political. Dershowitz says it’s fine. ADL issued a polite objection.

        • There’s a premise that somehow she’s done something wrong. I disagree with that.

          • ITA.

          • I agree, Dario. Yes, her use of a target map was bad judgment — as is the map of the DLC. Neither caused the actions of this young murderer. It would have been nice for her to be more statesman-like. But it makes political sense (in the short term) for her to appeal to her base.

            And she may have been upset about getting widely blamed for the actions of an unstable young man, who likely never saw her map or if he did was not greatly influenced by it (or he might have voted in the 2010 election).

            Her map (and the DLC’s) pale in comparison to words of others on the right: Michele Bachman, Sharon Angle, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, just to name a few.

            So why is the left focusing on her? Is she a scapegoat? And if so, isn’t that letting more dangerous people off the hook?


      • She’s a fighter, and taken that tack once again. I think it’s a strategy she enjoys and will keep win or lose. Her core is uncompromising.

      • Very sensible.

        “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

        But two wrongs do make a completely dysfunctional right and left.

        • Why do I feel like one of those cartoons where there’s a big fight, and one cartoon character, the subject of the fight, just sort of steps out of it. Usually bugs. 🙂

    • I agree with you myiq2xu. It looks like now most of the nonextreme media sources, and not so nonextreme media, are keeping the discussion to mental health awareness/care and gun control. It’s like whenver the left turns its sites (sights?) on Palin, she gets stronger. I often think that perhaps that might just be the goal of many.
      It certainly benefits sites like Huffingtonpost, etc. who probably get enormous amounts of hits and shows like olberman where even people who hate him tune in to see what kind of frothing at the mouth performance he will put on.

      • I remember when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. The reaction on the right was “We finally got the bastard!”

        But the impeachment backfired on the GOP and it was Newt Gingrich that lost his job, not Bill.

        • That’s Eric Berne’s “Now I’ve got you, you son of a b*tch!”

          And both sides are playing it.

          Which is why RD’s call for a third path is so powerful and appropriate.

          • And I think that’s the majority of people. Independent working class (moderately liberal even if they don’t know they are). We are indeed a wild card.

        • but it was a win/win for the talking heads.

          OMG a big hawk was just outside my window catching a poor little starling. Now I feel guilty as I put out food for the birds in the feeders in this weather and they are like sitting ducks for predators….

  2. Here’s Sarah’s video:

    • Good Morning 🙂

      She’s your baby, Palin protectors!

      • 🙂
        Palin doesn’t need to be protected.

        • None of them do, in either legacy party. They have highly paid staff and strategic hate managers to do that.

          There’s no reason for us to invest time doing, for free, what others are doing for money, and making out very well, too, thank you very much.

    • My first thought was that looked like a hokey fake fireplace. Where’s the bookcase that’s usual for such scenes?

      But this is Alaska and it’s probably a real fireplace and really keeps them warm and she built it singlehanded.

  3. She’s becoming the female Reagan. No one is taking her seriously and there she is with “There you go again.”

  4. The interesting thing here is that Palin is moving very much into the Republican mainstream now. Think Huckabee. Think the Texas Republican Party’s platform with its declaration that the US is “a Christian nation.” Up until now, much of Palin’s support has come from the perception that she’s a maverick (pace McCain.) The more she begins to look like one of the R-Boyz, the less she’s going to project the independent and free-thinking image she’s cultivated so far. This sort of thing could actually damage her more in the long run than it helps, even with Republicans.

    • I think she had to remain mainstream.

    • She went over to the Beck side not long after the presidential election. The mainstream Republicans are afraid of her and her supporters. Thats why Karl Rove and Pawlenty have to walk it back after the criticize her. She is beyond even their reach.
      She may have been independent at one time. But it’s so much better and lucrative to have your own constituency that answers only to you and gives Karl Rove the willies. He unleashed a leviathan.

      • She went over to the Beck side because that was where the action was. She is now the de facto queen of the Tea party movement.

        If and when she secures the GOP nomination she will tack back towards the center.

        • You mean she’s playing 11-dimensional chess?

          I think there’s a great deal too much “What will ___ do,” and a great deal too little “What can we do?”

          Our crop of celebrity politicians in both legacy parties are going to do what they do. We can’t affect that, because the system is not electorally responsive. And assuming that we can is really rather like “Cargo Cult” politics.

          What we can do is affect each other and our neighbors and readers. That is, again, why RDs framing of the gun rhetoric issue in terms of personal morality and accountabilty can be so powerful.

        • Don’t know about that, myiq. They would abandon her if she tacked to the center. Right now, she gives them permission to misbehave. No one wants to be reined in after so much freedom.

          • It worked for Obama. Perhaps she’ll tack to the center with a wink and a nod to her base who will think she’s playing 11-dim chess. Why invent a new approach when there’s a perfectly good example to co-opt.

          • No they won’t. They’ll do just like the Obots and say “She has to do that to get elected. Wait until she’s sworn in!”

        • Exactly, myiq. In fact, wasn’t there a leak of a snarky comment she’d made about Beck–just before she and he became best pals?

          I still believe the SP who governed Alaska as a moderate is the real SP–you know, the one who was then and still is happily married to an ex-union man and registered Independent… ? 😉

          • I sure hope so, because she did a good job in Alaska. She did what worked, which came out to centrist. She taxed the oil companies (left) and sent the money to the citizens (right).

            She didn’t go on a moral crusade against gay partners’ benefits, she just did the math and said it would cost more to fight it in court than to pay the damn benefits.

  5. I simply disagree with you, RD. Her tone was that of a fighter, and she correctly should. I thought Palin she failed when she called the man who has yet to be convicted “evil”. She should respect our “not guilty until proven guilty” assumption. I think because I saw the the feeding frenzy without a single shred of evidence. Not one. It is wrong to assume guilt in any way shape or form before the facts are in, but that’s what the media and the blogosphere did. I think she’s speaking to those who are willing to hear her. Many will.

    • Let’s just say that my observations come from personal experience and she is more formidable than you think.
      Forget the feeding frenzy. That is noise that is distracting you from what she is doing. The blood libel term was a dead giveaway. You may have missed it because you aren’t familiar with modern day eschatology movements. I know exactly what she is saying. She’s playing this moment like a virtuoso.

      • “She’s playing this moment like a virtuoso”

        excuse me, BWAHHAHHAHAAA (blush)

        RD, time to take a mulligan

        • If you have something to add to the discussion please feel free to join in. But if you’re going to act like a troll don’t be surprised if you get treated like one.

        • I never walk it back. Get your head out if your ass. We have been following palin closely since she arrived on the political radar. Lefty bloggers keep making the same mistakes wrt to Palin. They don’t see her like myiq and I do. But even myiq has to admit that the blood libel thing is going the persecution route.
          Wait and see.

          • I never walk it back.

            That’s one of the things I most admire about you RD, and paradoxically, one of the things that also sometimes gets me riled.

            And don’t kill me for saying this, but in this way you are kind of like Palin in that you are both fighters who don’t back down.

          • hehhehhhe (what a day here). I kinda like this site but I guess it is “evoluting” (snort) hehhhee

            “but in this way you are kind of like Palin in that you are both fighters who don’t back down.”

            She resigned halfway through her governorship to go make a buck. Also what Clyburn said was simply the truth, nothing sinister.

            BTW, rd why so defensive? I never walk it back?


      • Riverdaughter, if my choices are to follow people like Willie Buck Merle or Sarah Palin, I’ll be out pounding the pavement for Palin. That’s how a lot of people in this country feel, the faux left has gotten so hysterical and hate filled, Palin has become the voice of reason.

        • not sure I would go that far but the extremes on both sides seem to live in little bubbles and have no idea what the rest of the world is actually think, doing or saying.

        • Hey, even *I* wouldn’t follow Willie buck Merle. You haven’t been paying attention to the evolution of this site if you think we are going to listen to people like him.
          No, no, we know a heartache when we see one.
          But if you think there are only two choices, left wing crazy or right wing crazy, then you have a failure to imaginate.
          Decide what you believe and vote for the person who comes closest even if that person is not in a major party. If more people did that, the parties might take notice.
          And don’t expect instant results. You have to be in it for the long haul.

          • imaginate

            So now you’re inventing new words? Who do you think you are, Sarah Palin?

          • She may have just created 2011’s word of the year!

            And speaking of words, “blood libel” has indeed sparked a huge debate, like many things that Palin says, or that people think she says. There is a historical context to that expression, but there is also the generic definition, which is: baseless accusation of responsibility for bloodshed. I go to christian church every week and the word did not call out to me as a code word.

            Look at the word crucifixion. It has a powerful historical context essential to Christian tradition and is the prelude, if you will, to the resurrection, which is a foundational concept of faith and of teaching for millions of people around the world. Yet we use the word crucifixion all the time in many contexts in public, non-religious life and it’s not considered a dog whistle at all.

            But, I probably differ from most folks here because I generally do not see most uses of the word god, or references to faith or religious practices as dog whistles–or at least I am open to the notion that they are not always used as such.

          • dog whistles is the popular expression. I guess what I noticed is the language of the Christian church peppered throughout her speech.

            I normally don’t hear “precepts” used in speech outside of church. It is a common term that doesn’t necesarily have a church relationship, but regular attenders hear it all the time. There were some other words that I’d have to listen again to remember – but precepts really stood out to me.

      • I agree with you that she’s formidable. I didn’t miss the blood part.

      • I agree she is playing this like a virtuoso and having the left try to hold her to any account is just helping her. She amazes me in her ability to capitalize on any outrage directed at her.

        The religious language is peppered through her speech – major dogwhistle.

        ** I don’t agree with her views but I do pay attention to the power she is gaining as the left turns into pretzles over her.

      • She’s a formidable and highly skilled politician.

        The sexism and classism of the “golden horde of assholes” among the “progressive” destroyed “the left’s” ability to respond credibly on this. Why I never joined it, even aside from the immorality: The tactics were sure to backfire, and the classism even more than the sexism. Of course, since “the left” is in Versailles, the blowback won’t affect them. But it will affect us.

        That’s why RDs framing of the rhetoric as a moral (I’d say safety) issue is so powerful and important: It’s something we can all do without waiting for the left to do anything.

        It also has the great virtue of being true.

      • She’s playing this moment like a virtuoso.


    • I just listened to that speech and my jaw was on the table for nearly the whole time. If her side would just live by her words, things would be so much kinder. But, they don’t. Her contradictions to the beliefs of her party/ies (R & T) were stunning. Embracing our differences?? The Palin/Tea Party supporters I know condemn everything that is even slightly different than how they believe.

      Well-crafted speech – well delivered. But, as dishonest as they get.

    • Who cares what Palin does or does not do? Celebrity politicians all do what they do.*

      The question isn’t what they do. The question is what do we do?

      NOTE * And there’s only one, as I should caveat, that I’d even consider voting for.

    • What? Not guilty until proven guilty is just in terms of the state having to prove that an individual committed a crime rather than say back in the USSR when a person had to prove their innocence rather than the state proving them guilty. Has nothing to do with political rhetoric especially concerning the fact that the young man was a mentally ill, nihilist who actually did commit these atrocious acts. Pretty evil behavior if you ask me. Of course, being evil can be a symptom of having a mental illness. Of course, we are assuming the kid was mentally ill.

    • I so totally agree with you, Dario. I, too, didn’t like references to “evil” and “God.” In fact, as an atheist, I hate it, but I thought her push back against the avalanche of accusations and condemnations these passed few days was done in a clever way and in the right tone by not lashing out at individuals (the way BO does) or by making it about herself (the way BO does), but rather by making wider reference to how political differences have and should play out in this country — i.e. through the ground rules of debate and the ballot box. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s good to remind people that there are non-violent ways to disagreeing and resolving political issues. Also, I like that her speech is being discussed before Obama’s. Boy, she really knows how to get under his skin! Brava, on that point alone!

      I do think, however, that it is a big stretch to expect Palin to admit to accusations — especially when such accusations are based on conjecture and in some cases hysteria (as in Olberman) — about her ostensible link to Loughner. Perhaps she could have been more touchy-feely or kumbaya-ish in her speech, or could have talked more about how the vitriol has gotten out of had on both sides, but to concede to her accusers and admit guilt when the facts do not support such accusations — would be just DUMB on her part. If the facts prove in a court of law that she is ultimately responsible for Loughner or an accessory to his “alleged” crimes, then she should confess, apologize, and suffer the consequences. Until then, no way Jose! (Note: Palin’s map contained topographical map symbols [“Principal Point] like those used by the U.S. Geological Survey] http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2655200/posts) I’m glad to see her fighting spirit! I agree, the more people try to bring her down, the more buoyant and stronger she becomes.

      And no, she is no Bill Clinton by any stretch of imagination. But then again who is? Bill — and Hillary — will always be above the pack. Can we pleeeeze turn back the clock to the 1990s?!!!!!

  6. Oops, I deleted a portion of a sentence. Below is the corrected sentence:

    She needed to reject what I saw, the the feeding frenzy without a single shred of evidence,. Not one.

  7. The blood libel was Palin smiling in our face and shaking our hand while delivering a groin kick. Typical conservatism.

    We’re playing checkers now. We are so dumbed down no need for 11 dimensional chess. Of course blood libel was outrageous. Of course it will be discussed. Of course pointing out how outrageous it is for someone who claimed death panels will kill the “sick, the elderly and the disabled” now comes out with a “can’t we all just get along” you blood suckers video will be the “left” unfairly attacking Palin.

    “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil,” Palin wrote last week.


    • Yes, smiling and kicking the junk. Youve got it.
      The left completely underestimates her and slits its own throat.

      • And they have no idea why they feel pain and are on their knees. When will they ever learn.

      • We all saw her do that at the Republican convention.
        She reminded me so much of Reagan-shudder.
        Never doubt that Palin is a formidable opponent.

        • I remember that speech. My reaction was “Yikes! She’s really good!” And my second thought was that the Rs were hardly trying in 2008, really (I mean, the swiftboating was half-hearted and didn’t even really begin ’til October) because they’d written 2008 off and were already looking to 2012. And now I’m playing 11 dimensional chess! Addictive…

          • The Rs hadn’t written 2008 off–they were backing their Trojan Horse candidate and making little if any attempt to pretend otherwise.

      • exactly!

  8. “You know, Sarah Palin just can’t seem to get it, on any front. I think she’s an attractive person, she is articulate,” Clyburn said on the Bill Press radio show. “But I think intellectually, she seems not to be able to understand what’s going on here.”

    Rep Clyburn

    ..is patronizing at the very least and loaded his comments with negative disdainful assumptions of women like Sarah and Hillary. Hopefully at least his female peers will call him on his biases I for one do not want this man in any position of leadership that can impact women.

    • many on the extreme left still believe erroneously that Obama won because (1) he was a progressive left-wing slanted Democrat (which he wasn’t and isn’t) and (2) the country leans left (which it didn’t and it doesn’t). Someone should send them a clue.

    • I sincerely doubt that any of Clyburn’s colleagues will call him out on his sexism. It’s just not done these days.

    • In other words, “she speaks well.”

      • He thinks we are still playing SP is teh stoopid game.

        All the while, her speech looks like a leader and calls out to the RW at the Christian conservative AND Teaparty level. Those GUYS really need to stop. just stop.

        They are giving her the high road with a boost up.

  9. Well, after watching that video, I have to say it’s pretty darn presidential. It shows genuine leadership. And I think she’s been having voice training.

    This video more than anything else convinces me she’s going to run for the Republican nomination. I’d guess she announces on Feb 6, Reagan’s b-day.

    • She does not meet my presidential standards test. You can vote for whoever you want but I’m not interested in style over substance. That’s why we have Obama.

    • So she’s got your vote? Good to know.

      • “good to know”

        or what? whats with the threatening tone?

        In 2012 there will be 2 candidates to vote for….Barack Obama or someone else.

        There is no reason on this earth I would ever vote for him.

        • “Threatening tone”? Please.

          • whattaya doing? keeping a list

          • Er, I don’t keep a list of people I want to shoot or threaten (and it’s not clear to me where you would get that idea).

            I do keep a list — just as I did in the trenches of Kos before they banned me — of posters that I’m concerned will say what they say because they’re fans of one candidate or another, and not in support of policy.

          • ummm…just a reminder….THIS is not YOUR blog.

            Please feel free to GO TO YOUR BLOG and keep track of whomever you please.

      • If McKinney doesn’t run again, Obama does and Palin somehow ends up on the Republican ticket, I might just embrace chaos and give her my vote. Why not? I’m so disillusioned with American politics that I find the idea of picking the wild card somewhat attractive.

        • I am only certain of one thing. I will never vote for him.
          Could I embrace chaos? maybe.
          But especially if the left continues to act the way that they have been (frothing at the mouth hate and sexism).

          • Me too. Not voting for Obama is the only thing I’m absolutely sure of. Who I end up voting for, if I decide to even vote, is a wait and see. I’m hoping (with a healthy dose of pessimism) that we’ll have some good candidates to choose from in 2012.

          • Well voting for her would surely be the end of the GOP. So if you’re on the ones that wants to end the whole “legacy” party franchise then strategically that might be something to think about.

          • I have a liberal friend into the chaos idea. He’s going for Palin all the way. I’m not sure he’s alone.

        • I’m with you. I voted for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008 because I’m a proud Librul and it was the more liberal ticket (Mac wanted to revive the HOLC, remember?)

          If it’s Obama vs. Palin in 2012 I will probably vote for her again–if I bother to vote at all. Whatever else she may be, a corporatist she’s not, and if she governs the country the way she governed Alaska (if she’s allowed to, I should say) it will be a major step forward for what’s left of this country.

          BTW, I’m curious–has anyone ever seen Willie Buck and ABG in the same place at the same time?

      • yttik said she looks presidential, she didn’t say she was voting for her. (Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t maybe she’s waiting to decide until SP actually runs).

        But why the antipathy to an honest evaluation of her speech?

        • Because it’s not “genuine leadership.” If you ask WWHD, you see that right away.

          • “looks presidential” isn’t about genuine leadership – it’s about how she comes across on the screen.
            Just like on her show, she projected a “just like you” persona, on that video she has successfully projected a presidential persona.
            It’s a big milestone for her. Some politicos never manage it.

          • ah, I missed that ytiik said the “genuine leadership.” Bah. Stupid eyesight.

          • I got nothing but respect and admiration for Hillary but I was not thrilled that she immediately jumped on the “extremist” bandwagon.

            Loughner is not an extremist. He’s a violent, possibly mentally ill, young man with a misogynist mean streak a mile wide. So, in this instant, WWHD ends up being the wrong thing. IMHO, of course. But then that’s one of the things I love about HRC, she’s human.

  10. Loughner was a paranoid schizophrenic who was off his meds in a “gold star” open carry state.

    Therefore, it’s really OK for people to call for -r even imply — their political opponents to be killed!

    • Strawman much?

      • Oh? What do the words “blood libel” mean to you?

        • It means to falsely accuse somebody of having blood on their hands. Libel/slander, blood. It is precisely what the media and some bloggers did to Palin in the wake of the shooting.

          • People who forget the mistakes of the past will live to repeat them. Google blood libel and find out just how poisonous that concept was. I was stunned to hear someone manipulate that phrase, with all its wicked history, for political advantage.

          • I meant (heh) “means” in the sense of “what results can we expect” rather than “what is the definition of.”

            See here.

            I agree that the word of Climer are so on point to Palin’s response that, my goodness, it’s almost like he was throwing a slow, high floater her way, which of course she slammed out of the park. Kabuki!

          • There was no manipulation of that phrase for political advantage. That phrase is precisely what was done to Palin by the media and bloggers. They falsely accused her of having blood on her hands. The only manipulation for political gain came from those who jumped on this tragedy and tried to turn it into a condemnation of the right and Sarah Palin.

          • You don’t spend enough time around fundy evangelicals.

          • She wasn’t the first GOPer to start using that term but it seems effective.

            I doubt many people will care about the history of the term. Those who do weren’t gonna vote for her anyway.

    • RD’s right .. “blood libel” was a heavily-used term I heard when I grew up and was used as evidence of persecution of Christian peoples & the primo motivation for fundies to become politically involved — ala “Moral Majority” … although I always thought it meant just persecution of Christians in general … now it takes a new meaning

  11. Palin has done what she does best. She’s turned the discussion back to her attackers. I expected it. No surprises there. Now the media will be asking if her attackers used blood libel.

    • Palin has done what she does best. She’s turned the discussion back to her attackers.

      What she does best is grab the spotlight. But in this case she’s done both.

  12. Palin was never going to apologize for the “target map”. The statement is pretty much what I expected except for the “blood libel” reference. I agree with RD that it’s a call out to Christian conservatives.

    • Last night I asked you to provide proof that Loughner was parroting AM radio conservatives. You never did.

      The link you provided above is just someone else making the same kind of unsubstantiated claims you made last night.

      Loughner talked about gold and Glenn Beck talks about gold so therefore he must have been a fan of Glenn Beck!

      • William Jennings Bryant was a Beck fna too?

      • sheesh — I’ve been hearing “liberal” economists talk about why we need to get back on the gold standard and why Nixon’s support to get off of it during the 70’s was undermining the value of the dollar was hurting our economy especially our trading power.

        What does your website even prove? Nothing. Get a new meme.

  13. Haven’t watched the video yet…I’ll do that at home (not work on lunch hour). However, I did read what was supposedly posted on her facebook and I was impressed with her statement. I think what was posted was said with concern, respect and decency. JMO, as always.

    • The other day the PDS crowd was saying she didn’t do enough. Now it’s too much.

      Both times they said it wasn’t sincere.

  14. Do people know what “blood libel” means? It’s a term often used to refer to the false allegations that Jews murder their children and use their blood in rituals. It is a term that means to falsely accuse somebody of having blood on their hands when they don’t. It means to slander/libel somebody by accusing them of being evil, having blood on their hands.

    • Yep.

      Which explains why:

      1. The “left” and “progressive” response, which did exactly that, was so very… Well, if you think that both legacy parties form a single entity that’s dragging the country to destruction, you’d say “very effective.” In fact, those wise fools did do what Palin says they did. Not only that, though, although they don’t represent us (nobody in Versailles does) they won’t bear any consequences for it. We might, since see point 2:

      2. RDs framing as cleaning up the discourse is brilliant (a) because it frames the issue as morality, and (b) doesn’t demonize or personalize.

      It’s no wonder that it’s difficult to put this idea across, because — guess what — it’s not about this or that celebrity politician, but creating a political system that functions in some other way than the unjust enrichment of its elite participants.

      So — and I say this, I’m not saying RD says it — anybody who reacts to Climer by saying “I’m voting for Palin” isn’t just not getting it, they’re obscuring it.

      • The shooting itself was not politically motivated (from the evidence so far, but we will wait for the full investigation.) The reaction to the shooting was intensely politically motivated, and 90% of the reaction was from progressives on the left, and 90% of the content was to blame Sarah Palin for the shooting. So if there’s a moral framing or lesson to be drawn from the past four days, it would seem to apply predominantly to the left.

  15. Just out of curiosity, does anybody have any thoughts on how a faction that perceives itself to be beleaguered and threatened, but is nonetheless heavily armed, might react against what they see as a pogrom?

    Buehler? Buehler? Buehler?

    • “..a faction that perceives itself to be beleaguered and threatened”

      You’re trying to point fingers at the Right, right? You’re trying to say they’re feeling beleaguered and threatened? Did you miss the midterms? 43 of the candidates that Palin endorsed where sworn in last week. Far from being beleaguered, the Right is gaining power. Sorry to say, but they are winning right now. You’re implying that they’re some sort of pissed off and armed minority on the fringe of society.

      • “Point fingers”? Dear me. Let’s drop the blame frame, shall we?

        The trope of being a persecuted minority is often used on the right; it’s a rhetorical staple (though, as you point out, completely at odds with reality).

        One might even point out that when a commenter converts a neutral statement about rhetoric into a statement of blame (“pointing fingers”) that they’re making my point for me!

        Well done!

        • “The trope of being a persecuted minority is often used on the right”

          Seriously, I think you’ve got it backwards. It’s usually the other side of the aisle that tries to claim persecution and how they can’t ever seem to get anything done because there’s still one bloody Republican left standing in congress. They are forever whining about how persecuted they are by big bad Republicans.

          • That is different. That is the leadership whining about big bad republicans keep them from working for the people who elected them.

            This is where the conservative leaning people on the ground believe the libruls are taking away God, guns and liberty. This is where they are told they are the minority and they have to mobilize.

      • You don’t need to point fingers. This is clearly what she is doing. And the brain trusts of the left are so high up maslows pyramid they cant see what she’s pulling off.

        Omg, the clover pressed coffee at starbucks is amazing! Damn, there’s no room in any NJ starbucks for the clover machines. Holy hemiola, I can drink this without cream and sugar.

        • We warned them who Obama was and what would happen, they didn’t listen. We’re warning them about Palin’s tactics and how she’s maneuvering, they won’t listen.

          This will be the cost of the rest of the left blogosphere for not making up to us and people like us and joining forces.

          • Just like they believed their own hype about Obama, they believe their own lies about SP.
            They really think she is stoopid, eviiil, and as I read yesterday on various lefty comments, “horrible disgusting person”, and “a sack of sin”.

            The wonderful transcendent Obama and the stoopid eviil Palin exist only in their minds. In reality Obama is a corporate hack who can’t speechify without a teleprompter and Palin is a pretty standard GOPer with a flair for politicking.

          • HONK!

        • Lattte? Ha ha, my most hated post EVAH (forgive shameless self-promotion).

          * * *
          Seriously, the framing as:

          1.) Moral failure on this issue

          2.) Means failure of a test of leadership

          is brilliant and also speaks can be generalized and extended on the Maslow’s hierarchy issues, since at the bottom of the pyramid — which the self-actualized “creative class” won’t care about until they lose their jobs — is stuff like food and shelter, which the foreclosure frauds and 10% nominal (20% real) DISemployment impact directly. And neither party is talking about that. Of course, to do that, we need to work toward a discourse where implying that one’s political opponents should be killed is seen as immoral…

        • I am intolerant of inferior coffee. Can’t even drink the stuff that comes in a can from the grocery store anymore. Gotta have standards.

          • ¡Disfrute de un buen café! – Juan Valdez

          • Comment of the day from votermom:

            In reality Obama is a corporate hack who can’t speechify without a teleprompter and Palin is a pretty standard GOPer with a flair for politicking.

            For some definition of “hack” and “standard,” of course.

    • many on the left and right and in between are “heavilty” armed in many parts of this country, particularly rural parts. Your pogrom analogy is offensive, who have you been getting your talking points from, ed schultz?

      • 1. As far as “pogrom” being offensive, check the thread for the definition of blood libel.

        2. As far as the even distribution of guns in rural areas, sure. That’s one of the many reasons why Obama’s “cling to” statement was so offensive, besides its classism.

        However, in political or systemic terms, the gun rhetoric is clearly driven from the right, and many of Palin’s supporters are deeply invested in it.

    • Maybe like this:
      During the interview Adkisson stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country’s hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of major media outlets. Adkisson made statements that because he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them into office. Adkisson stated that he had held these beliefs for about the last ten years.

      The following books were found in Adkisson’s home during a police search:

      Liberalism is a Mental Disorder by radio talk show host Michael Savage
      Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism by talk show host Sean Hannity
      The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly
      In his manifesto, Adkisson also included the Democratic members of the House and Senate,[12] and the 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America of Bernard Goldberg in his list of wished-for targets.


      Or maybe like most of these:

      What I can’t seem to find is a long list of crazies influenced to violence by left wings vast magaphone.

      • During the interview Adkisson stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country,

        Obama talked about Hope, change and unity, and then people put into the stupid message whatever was in the subconscious and voted for him.

        I see the crazy right wing as mean and that it adds nothing to the political discussion, except bring out their anger, and if it was up to me, I’d take away their megaphone, but I think Ackisson heard his own voice when he heard that the “liberals should be killed”.
        Just because Ackisson says that’s what he heard, it doesn’t mean that’s what was said.

        • It’s really simple:

          Political rhetoric that implies one’s opponents should be killed is unsafe and immoral.

          We can parse the individual cases all we want — “even if the voices from the world were the same as the voices in from his head, he was still acting from the voices in his head” is as fine an example of parsing as I have seen in a good long while — in systemic terms the issue is really, really simple.

      • Adkisson’s manifesto[12] also cited the inability to find a job, and that his food stamps were being cut. His manifesto stated that he intended to keep shooting until police arrived and expected to be killed by police.

        • Yes.

          That’s why policies that don’t take account of those for whom needs at the bottom of Maslow’s heirarchy are immoral (as well as being pragmatically bad, unless you think that having schizophrenics fixing on public features and shooting them is a feature).

          And as moral issues, they’re tests of leadership, which all “leaders” in both parties are failing, including not only Obama but also Palin.

      • What I can’t seem to find is a long list of crazies influenced to violence by left wings vast magaphone.

        Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Arthur Bremer, Sirhan Sirhan, Squeaky Fromme, Leon Czolgosz, Lee Oswald, John Hinckley, Nidal Hasan, Timothy Johnson.

        • Good Gravy!

          That’s a list of crazies. Jim Jones?! Good Gravy!

          That is not a list of crazies “influenced to violence by left wings vast magaphone.”

          Just to take one name, Lee Oswald :
          His commitment to Marxism and communism appears to have been another important factor in his motivation.

          It was a trick question. The left wing has never had a vast megaphone.

  16. I supported Palin when she was a VP candidate. I have not heard anything constructive from her in a long time. All I see now is a shameless self-promoter.

    • I’m glad you noticed. That’s what she is. And she’s a right conservative. What else do you expect. The trick here is to be smart enough to not play right into her hands. Sadly most in the left blogosphere and the media aren’t smart enough to handle her.

    • wait, I thought “shameless self-promoter” was a prerequisite for attaining higher political offices?

      • Anyone who aspires to public office has to have a pretty high opinion of themselves and their abilities to perform. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
        People who have been tested and don’t know their boundaries and so have low self esteem make lousy leaders.

    • That’s the way i see her. Not stupid. She’s bloody brilliant at what she does.
      I just wish she were more honest and contrite.
      But once she fell in with the wrong crowd, of her own volition, it was all over for me.

      • she should be contrite? For what? She is not guilty of anything and crazy people are crazy all on their own.
        You can’t blame her for defending herself after days of keeping quiet as people on the left kept saying directly or implying that her targets graphic cause the shooting in AZ.
        She is not guilty and shouldn’t be contrite for something that had nothing to do with her. Congresswoman Giffords was in this crazy guys sites long before the tea party movement or Palin’s appearance on the national political stage. Besides that, schizophrenics do not act on the words of mere mortals, they listen to the Gods.

        • More than that, she and her family were (and probably still are) getting death threats from people who are convinced she incited Loughner to kill Giffords.
          I am amazed, actually, that she can project so much calm.
          I don’t think a guy could do it, in her shoes. Maybe Big Dawg.

  17. Good post, RD. I think people are forgetting that the initial impulse to defend Palin was because of the foul language and misogynistic nature of the attacks on her. That defence still stands. But it was not a defence of her political position. Now she is defending the foul language and murderous nature of the attacks her side make on the left. That’s unconscionable and just because Sarah Palin said it, no reasonable person can defend her for such loose and reckless rhetoric. Criticising the left for its sexist rhetoric and criticising the right for its gun-law rhetoric are the same thing. Watching people tie themselves up in knots because they see themselves as still doing the first while refusing to acknowledge the justice of the second is very depressing.

    • Brian writes:

      Criticising the left for its sexist rhetoric and criticising the right for its gun-law rhetoric are the same thing.

      It’s not about waving the pom poms for this or that candidate.

    • Now she is defending the foul language and murderous nature of the attacks her side make on the left.

      huh? She is stating the facts as she sees them. She was pissed off and she should be, for days the left has been trying to make her responsible for a mass murder.

      Do you feel victimized by the right? Do you really think that the ranting of scum like Limbaugh and Savage cause people to murder congresswomen and nine year old girls? Come on, he was crazy, Palin and others on the right are not to blame. The left should NOT be trying to capitalize on this tragedy.

      • “One side is lying and the other is not telling the truth.”

        And both sides are capitalizing.

        I’m not on the side of the Globetrotter, and I’m not on the side of the Washington Generals. In fact, I can’t even afford a ticket to the game!

  18. What would Jefferson say:

    Consider Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, delivered at the close of an election in which a Federalist newspaper described the choice as one between God and John Adams and Jefferson and no god. Jefferson, in a plea for unity, spoke of the dreadful consequences of bringing religious absolutism into politics:

    having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.

    This system of government demands both dissent, and tolerance of it. “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form,” Jefferson said that day, “let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Else, reason is lost.

    • Smart man, that Jefferson!

    • Good answer. I think we now have three reasonable POV here. Myiq has laid out the paranoid schizophrenic defense. I ask the right And the left, but mostly the left, to seek higher moral ground. You bring Jefferson and historical perspective.
      Oh and Kbird is tackling the gun control debate. It’s all working according to my master plan, bwahahahahahhhh!
      Ok, never mind.
      Well, at least we aren’t killing each other. It’s a start.

      • And the other issue is one I just brought up above. We’re here having warned the left about Obama and who he was and were right, and now warning them about Palin and how to better handle her, and they ignore us. And that will be the longer term cost of treating us and a big part of the base they way they did. And the cost for the left blogosphere not seeing that and making up to us and joining forces.

      • In systemic terms, though, the paranoid schizophrenic defense of the political celebrity works in favor of cleaning up the discourse.

        It’s a safety issue: People’s rhetoric should no more incite to killing, in an environment where undiagnosed schizophrenics can fix on public personalities and have access to guns, than people should wave a gun around in the woods with the safety catch off. It really is that simple.

        So, does the “blood libel” rhetoric increase the net level of safety for the country as a whole? I’d argue no.

        • From Salon:

          To try and untangle the influences that might lead one lone gunman to fire his Glock at a political rally, we turned to Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, respected psychiatrist and one of the foremost experts on paranoid schizophrenics. Torrey has written several books on the mental illness, including the bestselling classic “Surviving Schizophrenia.” He is founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Virginia, a national nonprofit for the mentally ill.


          We’ve heard a lot of debate about how heated political rhetoric might have led to this. What do you think about that?

          I think it’s a red herring. We have seen these kinds of things in periods with relative peace in the political environment, we’ve seen it in turbulent times. I think it’s unrelated, frankly.

          The only reason we’re talking about this today is that he killed six people rather than one person and that one of the people he shot is a congresswoman. These are not uncommon events. People like this man, with likely untreated schizophrenia, are responsible for about 10 percent of the homicides in the United States. That means about 1,600 homicides a year.

          • 1. Is your point that those who imply that their political opponents should be killed are moral exemplars who have passed your leadership test?

            If not:

            2. It’s still a safety issue. See under Radio Rwanda if you don’t think discourse that incites people to murder doesn’t, ultimately, do that.

          • You’re raising strawmen again.

          • OK, Radio Rwanda didn’t have any consequences. What could I have been thinking?

          • Fuck off Lambert. I’ve had enough of your smarmy bullshit for today.

            It’s not like the people in Rwanda always lived in peace and harmony until the radio was invented. If there is such a direct link between political rhetoric and political violence, why is political violence so rare in this country?

            Take a couple weeks to think about it then come back and let us know.

          • thanks myiq ~ gawd he’s been like the heteroasshole “lesbian trapped in a man’s body” hitting on every comment like it’s closing time.

  19. “But now, blood libel, will be the word du jour”

    Her ability to grind down to one or two word ‘bullets’ (please forgive the lousy pun) is pretty much masterful.

    I may not agree with her politics and/or her religiosity – but due respect for her ability to use these things to suck all the oxygen from anyone else.

    ‘Blood Libel’ will go down with ‘Death Panels’, ‘Fake Greek Colums’, ‘You Betcha’, ‘Lock and Load’, ‘Can I call you Joe?’ and several others as just another in a long line of ways she brilliantly communicates to our ADD society.

    I also agree it looks like she got a little voice training – she needs a little more IMO – maybe she could take on a Southern Drawl or Preacher’s tone when she makes a big speech (I’m sure plenty of that will be on display later today – if she cares to watch and take notes).

    … and I agree that the ‘moral’ position (if I’ve got RD’s intent correctly) does sound like the way for Sarah to have gone – but now that she’s satisfied her base – what’s to stop her from moving to what’s moral while everyone else is still fighting over ‘Blood Libel’

    Seriously… this is just friggin’ fun to watch.

    • Jeffhas writes:

      I agree that the ‘moral’ position (if I’ve got RD’s intent correctly) does sound like the way for Sarah to have gone – but now that she’s satisfied her base – what’s to stop her from moving to what’s moral while everyone else is still fighting over ‘Blood Libel’

      “Moving to what’s moral”? You mean like secondary virginity?

      • Pretty much exactly.

        Sure, she ‘could’ve’ been moral all along and chose that route to begin with… but as a politician, she couldn’t risk losing her base by being moral (I know, funny isn’t it).

        So, now that she’s covered the base, She can go to being the moral one in the room… I’d say go ‘-back- to being the moral one’ but I’m not sure that exactly fits (see paragraph directly above).

    • “I also agree it looks like she got a little voice training – she needs a little more IMO – maybe she could take on a Southern Drawl or Preacher’s tone when she makes a big speech ”

      Maybe she should watch some of Obama’s speeches, Obama who having no ties to a Southern Drawl was able to phony up one when he spoke to southerners and we all are aware of his preacher’s tone replete with wagging finger.

  20. I guess I’d reframe what RD says at the end of her post — and here I think we part company:

    Sarah – 1; Clyburn – 0

    Like this:

    Legacy parties – 1; American people – 0

    Palin is the Globetrotters; Clyburn is the Washington Generals. And Clyburn played into Palin’s hands so beautifully it can’t possibly be an accident.

    • Sadly I think Clyburn and the left blogosphere really are that stupid. That’s not to say there aren’t owner class types behind the scenes pushing and prodding and laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Oh I see, it’s all a giant game the two main parties are in it together. Gotta go get my tin foil. I have a hat to make. After that I think I’ll go throw away my vote.

      • Of course, if you’d worked for single payer, which both parties (including the “golden horde of asshole bloggers) suppressed, or if you looked at FinReg, where both parties worked together to rescue the big banks and make them bigger, or if you looked at torture and executive authority, where Obama normalized everything that Bush did, or if you followed the 2008 primaries, where Team Obama recycled every smear the Rs ever used against the Clinton, and threw the rest of us under the bus, you might indeed conclude that the two legacy parties are more alike than different.

        Or, you could throw out a cheap talking point like “tin foil.” And I see that you’ve made your choice!

      • Well, I think that big money HAS captured both parties, which is why Hillary had to be stopped because she could not be bought.
        The way the msm target Palin, I have a strong suspicion that she isn’t bought either. At least not yet?

        • I don’t think she is either, votermom, and I’m wondering if she’ll be allowed to keep the 2012 nomination if she wins it.
          Ahhh, don’t mind me, that’s crazy talk. What political party would be stupid enough to take the nomination away from the rightful winner?

        • I think that’s it. When someone on either side turns up who isn’t bought or hobbled, the corporate media goes after them.

          Gore in 2000; Hillary in 2008; Palin now.

      • To tack on to Votermom’s comment…

        They work for the same people (not us, btw). They may still be on “opposing sides” but the purse strings and held by the very rich and they both try to do “good” things to please them.

        As for our votes? I don’t know – it seems like it’s been a while since the intention of elections was to have the majority of people’s choice win.

  21. Back the point. I agree, Palin didn’t do the moral thing. She defended herself from attacks, and did it very well. But a true leader would have done the moral thing. She is not such a leader.

  22. So… tonight/tomorrow do you think anyone will be talking about how eloquent Obama’s speech was? – or will they be talking about ‘Blood Libel’?

  23. It should not be lost that Palin gave her speech before Obama gives his “unity” speech in AZ. This ensures that her position will not be seen as an answer to what Obama says.

    • It also puts the responsibility on the media. Like I’ve written before, more people watch the news than subscribe to Sarah Palin’s Facebook. If they think this shooting should be answered with a renewed civility, they should want to suck the oxygen out of Sarah Palin’s rhetoric by not airing her video. If instead they want to beat her up so they can ruin her political career, go ahead and throw her in the briar patch again.

    • She completely trumped Obama’s speech and she didn’t need the Corporate Media coverage of her speech to do it. ROFLMAO.

  24. We have to be careful about going down this road. I was never one of those who bought into the notion, for example, that violent video games or music cause violence in society. If we lay some of the blame for this shooting on Palin, what does that mean for these other forms of “incitement”? Just a question…

    • There’s more evidence, not that it’s right, that violent TV shows and games are connected with those who cause violence. It can be said that those who do violence often do drugs, or may isolate themselves and play or watch violent games. There’s been no evidence that Loughner listened, liked or in any way approved of Sarah Palin. Similarly, there’s no evidence that Loughner listened to any in the right wing media.

      People have made an association to the right wing that’s not supported by any evidence.

      • Maybe it was Rock-n-Roll. We know Loughner liked this song:

      • The author of one book I read, On Killing, by veteran Dave Grossman, believes violent video games do condition people to kill; says they are a lot like military training modules where the purpose is to condition the mind to violence.

        • The studies on this are pretty screwed up methodologically. It’s correlation, not causation.

          • The murder rate (along with the rates of other violent crimes) has been dropping since 1993 – while at the same time the sales of violent video games have increased.

            That’s not even correlation.

          • If it’s negative correlation, maybe the juvenile delinquents are too busy playing video games.

          • Malcolm Gladwell, the glib social scientist attributes the drop in murder rate to roe v wade.

      • But it isn’t that violent games/shows lead to violence — it is the person’s pre-disposition toward violence that attracts them to violent games/shows.

        • When it’s for kids though, they likes are so malleable that it seems like a gray area to me.

  25. I’m finding it interesting that in today’s instant news via the internet and archived videos that anyone on either side of the spectrum would be accusing others of words and tone they themselves are guilty of. There are examples aplenty of both the right and the left using violent metaphors and imagery.

    As for “blood libel” guess it depends on which side uses those words.
    “Capehart’s Washington Post colleague Eugene Robinson complained about “…The blood libel against black men concerning the defilement of the flower of Caucasian womanhood.” Was Mr. Robinson using anti-Semitic language? Should he have been “more careful,” as Capehart instructed Palin to be?”

    • In 2006 an anti-Bush journalist said Rove was using ‘blood libel’ against liberals. Nobody criticized that usage, sfiak.

      What Rove is giving voice to here is nothing less than the new blood libel of our age: that those who oppose the Bush Administration’s unconstitutional actions are opening the door to a new 9/11. The implication is clear: anyone who speaks up for the Constitution is working for the death of innocent Americans.


      By Chris Floyd, the author of Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime.

  26. Jared Loughner’s friend says suspect ‘Did not watch TV … disliked the news’

    This morning on “Good Morning America,” ABC’s Ashleigh Banfield sat down with Zach Osler, a high school friend of Jared Loughner, the suspect in the Tucson massacre.

    Osler says his friend wasn’t shooting at people, “he was shooting at the world.” Regarding the high-pitched talk radio and cable news political rhetoric, Osler says his friend didn’t even watch the news.

    He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.

    • It sounds right that Loughner did pay attention to the right wing megaphone or what the left cares about.

      • Zeitgeist: The Movie is a 2007 documentary film by Peter Joseph. It asserts a number of conspiracy theory-based ideas, including the Christ myth theory, alternative theories for the parties responsible for the September 11th attacks and that bankers manipulate the international monetary system and the media in order to consolidate power.

        • Tinfoil stuff mixed with truth. Deadly.

          • Yep:

            Bankers manipulate the international monetary system and the media in order to consolidate power.

            Crazy talk!

            * * *
            Seriously, since neither legacy party talks about the banksters in any serious way (see Yves), that leaves the space in the discourse for CT to enter. From the bankster perspective, if Loughner didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him. (Of course, both creatures of Versailes, “the left” and the right, collude here is well. “Look! Over there! Sarah Palin!” has endless utility for both sides…

        • Does that mean “malefactors of great wealth” is off-limits now?

      • Wow, a currency show shaped his views. How is the left going to fix the mess it has made?

    • Very likely, Lougner was busy listening to his own voices.

  27. Here is the the youtube part 1 to Zeitgeist

    The similarity of Zeigeist and Loughner’s videos is striking in that both use similar font style for the text as it appears on the screen.

    • They should probably investigate a connection to truther sites. The left would be healthier without those conspiracy nuts imo.

  28. whoa–I just listened to the video. I also think she has been taking speech lessons, or voice.

    • She does better when reading off a teleprompter. Think the Repub convention. Though her off the cuff isn’t bad, but she gets more colloquial when she does that.

      • She had prepared remarks during the convention, but the teleprompter malfunctioned during her speech. She doesn’t need the machine to tell her what to say.

      • Nice call and response on the teleprompter, but do either of you have any linky goodness on it?

        • Palin never said that the teleprompter broke, but that it got “messed up”. Here is her quote, and others refuting what she said. If one is to believe her, the teleprompter was not working for her, and if one is to believe other pundits, she made it up. Take your pick.

          Palin and the Teleprompter

          There Ohio was right out in front, right in front of me,” Palin said. “The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn’t follow it, and I just decided I’d just talk to the people in front of me. It was Ohio.”

          • Either way, it was a great speech. Come to think of it, I remember one Bill Clinton SOTU where he used a teleprompter, and then threw the speech away and ad libbed. The press hated it because it ran over time (Oh the humanity!) but people thought it was great. So, it could certainly happen, especially given a politician with Palin’s evident skills.

        • Thats my own analysis. So no links.

        • Call and response? Who’s whistling now?

          Anyway, here’s one link out of the zillions that seem to exist, most of which probably just argue the author’s already entrenched opinion:


  29. OT except from the 30,00 foot level:

    A must-read post from Global Sociology on corporate and cultural transformation since the 1970s (that is, since the neo-liberal consensus shared by both parties took over). The author segues into a really useful discussion of the role of the “creative class” in electing Obama, too. (I suppose one might think of the operatives who made the Palin video, are giving her voice training, helping with the talking points, running the fundraisers, and building the web presence as “creative class,” too — just on the “other side.”)

  30. If “blood libel” doesn’t describe this latest Liberal/Progressive Misogynist witch hunt then I don’t know what does. Yeah it is an ugly word and it also describes the deranged behavior of the Left who suffer proudly from Palin Derangement Syndrome. And it won’t just be right wingers who know what she means by it. Independents in the middle understand also.

    • And speaking of the — talking point alert! — “deranged left,” here’s another example:

      The Arizona Republic reports that Miller, 43, a former campaign worker for Sen.John McCain who was re-elected to a second one-year term last month, has been concerned for his family’s safety by constant verbal attacks and blog posts from some local committee members with tea party movement ties.

      Miller told the state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen via e-mail that he was quitting. “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask [sic] me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

      Miller, the first and only African-American to hold the party’s precinct chairmanship, said he had been called “McCain’s boy,” and that, during a speech, a member of the audience made the symbol of a gun with his hand and pointed it at him. “I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday,” Miller said. “I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”

      It’s really pretty simple. It’s immoral to call for the death of your political opponents. I don’t know why it’s so hard to understand this.

      • You keep propping up that strawman but nobody wants to play.

        Nobody here is asserting that it is moral to call for the death of political opponents. What you’re really trying to do is get people to tacitly accept your premise that Sarah Palin is calling for the death of Democrats.

      • I agree and “they” can’t understand such a simple concept because they are deranged.

        It also isn’t a good idea to conflate the actions of a mad man with a political woman whom you show irrational hate for and whose speech habits are not any different than the political men of the last 20 years. That is if you object to people calling you deranged.

      • I don’t think anybody on either side has really called for the death of any opponents. Certainly not anybody at Palin’s level.

        It might be a tad bit counterproductive.

  31. I have been reading (on comments on Violet’s site) that circumstantial evidence is coming to light that Loughner is a misogynist — he wrote “Die, b*tch” the day of the shooting, and he posted r@pe aplogia online.
    How can we force the misogynist punditry and bloggers to acknowledge and accept their responsibilty in inciting and inspiring Loughner to shoot a woman authority figure with their violent sexist rhetoric?

    • Good question.

    • I agree with you. Obama should have called out the misogynists in the 2008 primary, instead he encouraged them and now they are feeling powerful and entitled to their special hate.

      In man world where the misogynists live, hate speech against Jews incites violence against Jews, Hate speech against blacks incites violence against Blacks, but it is absolutely ludicrous to think hate speech against women incites violence against women and even crazier to think violent pornography incites violence against women. And such is the catechism of Liberal man world.

    • The Obamacrats will never touch the word “misogynist”, lest they put on their sack cloth and throw ashes on themselves.

  32. Wow, a bunch of people on CNN are going batshit over Palin all over again on the blood libel thing, saying it’s a direct attack on jews and another specific attack on Jeffords, who is jewish. They’re going apeshit (even crazier than batshit).

    • no way! didn’t see that coming…

    • That’s why I think she done politically. She’s been dropping bombs that haven’t detonated and finally this is one bomb that has blown up all over her face.

      • I rather think myiq is correct in his first comment.
        The people who are getting offended are solid Obama voters anyway, so in political math, she doesn’t lose by this.

        • She absolutely gains by this. She has completely trumped Obama’s speech and the screeching elitists are going to alienate moderates. I can’t wait to get home to watch it!

          • yeah – again I ask, are we going to be talking about Obama’s speech tomorrow? or ‘Blood Libel’… The strategy would be called brilliant if they hadn’t already called her a moron repeatedly.

          • The top 0.01% by income are screeching? Do tell.

            * * *

            Actually, the elite isn’t screeching. It’s laughing. All the way to the bank.

        • I’m offended, and I’m never voting for Obama again.

          Or Palin.

          • Are you saying that you would have voted for Palin, if only she hadn’t made the “blood libel” comment?

      • I have heard she’s done politically for about 2 years now….. I think there is a lot of wishful thinking going on.

      • Disagree. I think that will backfire just like the stuff over the last few days have backfired. It’s all so over the top and irrational that anyone from far right to moderately conservative will come to her defense.

        Sure, she hasn’t acted in a responsible, moral way as we’d like, but we’re not her base. Having said that, I think a lot of us partyless independent types are wild cards no one is understanding. So who knows.

    • While Allan Dershowitz defends her use of the term. Go figure.

    • Yeah, there was some headline in the WaPo afternoon email… I probably should have looked it over but it comes across breathless and panic button worthy, I’ll look later.

    • LOL

  33. This guy is always whining about something:
    Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League:
    “While the term ‘blood-libel’ has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.”

    And who does this guy think he is:
    “Palin’s comments either show a complete ignorance of history, or blatant anti-Semitism,” said Jonathan Beeton, communications director for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Either way, it shows an appalling lack of sensitivity given Rep. Giffords’ faith (she is Jewish) and the events of the past week.”

    Look, Palin was just defending herself using a centuries old Jewish slur. Nothing to see here, move along.

    Besides we all know the jews control the media anyway:
    Today, the myth may be as widespread as ever–and no one is refuting it. Every type of far-right propaganda luridly revives the spectre of the “Jewish media.” In a pamphlet and website entitled “Who Owns America?” the prolific neo-Nazi William Pierce, author of The Turner Diaries, tells us that the news and “entertainment media” are “Jew-controlled,” which is why they push miscegenation, homosexuality and other race-polluting practices.

  34. I think Palin sent a dog whistle to her supporters but I don’t think it did one thing to help her with anybody else out there.

    • At this point, she only needs her supporters to stay firmly with her. The rest of the RW will watch out to avoid pissing them off and the left will look stupid trying to find a way to make something stick.

      • She has to win the GOP nomination before she needs to worry about winning over anybody else.

        • It’s really ironic that the more the left attack her, the stronger her position for the GOP primaries.
          Timing is everything, you fools!

          • But not “us” fools, right?

            No real danger, I don’t think *that* many people listen to us.

          • er, them fools?

            Definitely not us. Nobody listens to us. It’s like the Cassandra curse.

          • Yep. They’re playing right into it. All the while they scream that they’d love her to be the nominee because then Obama would surely win in ’12. But clearly that’s not true otherwise they wouldn’t be so afraid and foam at the mouth at anything Palin. If she were the ultimate lose candidate, say like Dan Quayle, they would cleverly only say nice things about her.

          • Yeah, like they were talking about a cute child or something – instead they give her all this power.

          • I think it’s even worse than that – I think they have put forth this idea that she is a loser candidate – but by attacking her over and over, she becomes teflon.

            They might be right, she might be a loser candidate – but if she wins the nomination, her teflon shield will protect her from anything they say – they will have only the debates to scuttle her – and if she appears REMOTELY capable/presidential next to our 11th dimensional-chess-playing-debate-star President, I think he’d be finished.

            This is so Reagan all over again it’s like someone put me in a time machine and gave Ronnie a Hot Hairdo and CFM pumps.

          • You know what? I think that’s Obama’s game. She’s the one that he really wants to run against along with Newt Gingrich because they both poll so badly. Any of the others like Huckabee are running neck and neck with him.

    • I agree. I think she failed miserably in presenting herself as serious presidential material, unless, of course, you’ve already sipped that koolaide. Her favorability ratings overall have been poor. And this, tight-lipped defiance and defense will not change that perception.

      Where are the ideas and solutions in any of Sarah Palin’s speeches? It’s the same old cliche, platitude-driven material that might suffice for quick campaign work but simply does not cut it in trying to sell yourself as a serious contender for 2012, someone with leadership abilities, policy knowledge, etc. Not merely to avid followers but to the country as a whole.

      Blood libel? What was she and her advisors thinking? Not much, I would say, which is par for the course.

      Btw, I’m someone who hated the way Sarah Palin was treated and spoken about during the 2008 GE. But Palin is being judged by her own words and imagery now. And this I cannot, will not defend.

      She is a savvy political hound and has turned many of these moments to her own advantage. This wasn’t one of them.

  35. Good luck to the pundits taking the word “blood libel” and trying to portray Palin as anti-semitic. She’s about as pro-Jewish as they come and even hung the Israeli flag in her office as Governor. The current left are certainly not the brightest bulbs in the box.

  36. New post up, same topic

  37. *shrug* The “blood libel” brouhaha will rebound to her favor. The media are barking idiots. Almost 60% of the country, including 60% of Independents (read: swing voters) is not disgusted with Palin over this crap, they are disgusted with the media. Palin is not the one who has been on thin ice with the general not-rabidly-partisan public in the past few days – the media has.

    So…given that reality, what is the strategically smart thing to do? Hey, I know! Let’s attack her some more for not apologizing for what we accused her of, and throw some more accusations on top of that!

    Right or wrong, agree or disagree, the talking heads and many bloggers are dumb, dumb, stooooopid wrapped in clueless. Anyone saying this is going to seriously hurt Palin overall hasn’t been paying attention.

    Y’all are free to disagree with me, of course. I could be missing the call. But so far, for a couple of years now, I’ve been the freaking Amazing Kreskin in my predictions of the responses of the public. 😀 We’ll see how it plays out this time.

    In the current political climate, the ONLY way for the left to succeed is to take Palin and other conservatives seriously, and go head-to-head with them over policy, and the role and function of government. Demonizing isn’t going to work. Calling them selfish or cold-hearted or crazy isn’t going to work. The debate is going to have to be over the role and function and limits and benefits of govt. Liberals can actually win that debate, if they’ll have it honestly. If they refuse to have it, if they sidestep and rail on conservative personalities themselves, and how “hateful” they are, expect another ass-whipping in 2012.

    • Pretty much sums it up.

      In the current political climate, the ONLY way for the left to succeed is to take Palin and other conservatives seriously, and go head-to-head with them over policy, and the role and function of government.
      Problem with that is the incumbent Dems now have a solid track record of talking pretty and stealing us blind.

      • No, no! Turn the knobs up to eleventy! We got the b*tch this time!

      • Yep. Their seeming inability to defend and champion, not necessarily specific legislation (which we sometimes disagree even amongst ourselves on), but the liberal’s underlying philosophy and overarching vision of govt as still within limits, but a HELPFUL AND NEEDED FRAMEWORK for positive individual achievement is telling.

        Are they afraid they’d lose? Or are they just devoid of any real liberalism, and into partisan power for its own sake, and more agencies to give plum jobs to the cronies? If they don’t believe it, it’s no wonder they don’t seem too keen to defend or expound it.

        • If you argue policy people might wonder why you say one thing and do another.

          You said single-payer was the best plan, so why did you take it off the table?

          • Yes, there’s that. It would make them look pretty bad. Unless of course they had championed and FOUGHT for it, and compromise was a practical necessity in the end, not a Byzantine favor-trading lobbyist-ridden stinking main course from the get-go.

        • Or are they just devoid of any real liberalism, and into partisan power for its own sake, and more agencies to give plum jobs to the cronies?

          This is a rhetorical question, right?

          • Sadly, pretty much yes. Which is why the left is losing the “function of govt” argument by default, without even HAVING it.

            When you expand the role of govt to the benefit of no one but your own political apparatus and its donors, good luck convincing the people the next time you tell them you need the money and power to do something good.

    • Honk! Honk!

      You’re right – it’s about Competence. Results Matter. Even if you have better policies, if you put through lukewarm version, and they don’t deliver results, then we the people are free to look at alternatives… and we do.

    • Good to see you.

      Since 2008, the left comes off as a one-trick pony. Too bad for us, the trick is not debating solidly on the issues.

    • You know what? The conservatives aren’t making that argument either. They really aren’t putting forth any policy prescriptions for our problems other than lay more people off.

      • Yes, they are making arguments about the role and function of govt – in a concerted and cohesive fashion. You may not like what they are saying, but oh yes indeedy they are addressing it like gangbusters.

        The Dems are not. They are walking around acting as if it’s just ridiculous to even talk about that. Behaving, in the face of a real grassroots disgust with a bloated, corrupt, expensive, ineffective State, as if they do not even have to address the issue of WHY more govt is so much better than less govt, and what is their vision of its role and its limits.

        It is a deadly error on their part.

  38. i read palin’s speech earlier and liked it… just watched the video and loved it. .. i think she did take the moral high ground…she made valid points about the right to disagree and yet she embraced all sides without the need to insult anyone… imo she is the only one in the field today that can make a difference… hope she goes all the way… i am so over people manufacturing offence…

  39. Palin is getting stronger. As a non supporter, I am duly impressed.

    The ruling Tea Party militias know that the leading Christian patriots Sarah Palin and Gabrielle Giffords, like Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy, serve the American People by the sacred laws of their God and Country.
    And they know that the failed political attempts to blame the Tea Party militias, Palin and other leading social and economic Conservatives for this assassination attempt on Giffords’ life are intended to instigate fear and distrust of the popular social and economic conservatives, who are seizing political control of the House and Senate.
    Everyone in World now knows that this failed assassin, Jared Loughner, is a Crypto-Neo-Marxist Jew, whose has listed the “Communist Manifesto” as one of his favorite books. As such, he has been much inspired the notorious rhetoric of such zealots as Paul Krugman, Abaham Foxman, Ben-Ami, Simon Greer, the insidious lobbyists of National Jewish Democratic Council, the Israel Lobby, and their colluding Crypto-Neo-Marxist propagandists in the news media.

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