Wednesday, January 12, 2011
You already knew the feigned offense to Governor Palin's video address today was absurd, but let's go through the motions nonetheless. John Hayward writes "Top 5 Absurd Responses To The Palin Video: Eight minutes of video produces a full day of meltdown":
I was going to write a nice introductory paragraph, but I think I’ll just say “For crying out loud…” and get on to business.
1. The phrase “blood libel” is an affront to Jews: I guess that would make Glenn Reynolds and me anti-Semites too, since we both used the phrase before Palin did. Well, we’re not, and neither is she.
Anyone who thinks they’re scoring points against Palin with this ridiculous complaint could not be more mistaken. The vast majority of Americans, listening to breathless liberals run through the detailed history of medieval slander they just memorized, will blink a couple of times and ask, “So what?”
“There are few more freighted phrases in the history of hate than ‘blood libel’,” Howard Fineman shrieked in the Huffington Post. Horsefeathers. Ninety per cent of the people trying to make hay out of the term heard it for the first time three hours ago.
Incredibly, AOL News quotes former Gore speechwriter Robert Lehrman describing the use of “blood libel” as a coded message to Jewish reporters. “Because the Right and some Tea Party people, like Tony Katz, talk about the Jewish-dominated media, the unspoken implication is this: Most people won’t get this, but you Jewish reporters know what I’m saying.” So the Tea Party is full of bigots who think Jewish reporters respond to dog-whistle language? Way to defuse that “Climate of Hate,” Mr. Lehrman!
Some Palin critics are even suggesting she’s too stupid to know what the “blood libel” was. Let me assure them I know exactly what the term means, and I knew before last week. I first heard “blood libel” used many years ago, as a metaphor for contemporary Palestinian propaganda against Israel, and became interested in the historical precedent. I consider the metaphor apt in this case as well. That’s why I used it.
“Blood libel” is not a capitalized reference to a specific event, like “Holocaust.” It has a history, but so do many of the terms we commonly use today. Let me give the floor to Alan Dershowitz for a moment:
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report.
If you’re Jewish and sincerely find the use of this term offensive, I do apologize for inadvertently hurting your feelings. Obviously that was not my intent, or Sarah Palin’s. Your feelings are your own, and it is not my place to judge them invalid. I would only ask you to consider the massive propaganda effort of the last few days, designed to slather the blood of Tucson across the entire conservative movement, and decide for yourself if there is sufficient similarity to historical events to justify calling it a “blood libel.”
2. You can see a teleprompter reflected in Palin’s glasses during the video: I’m sorry, I’m laughing too hard to type a response to that one. Please insert your own Obama joke in this space.
3. Palin made the “Climate of Hate” worse by responding to the slander against her: I can see why liberals would try to double their bets by pushing this pathetic line, but if I were you guys, I’d shut up and hope to God everyone forgets I tried. The only people who will buy that argument are the ones who thought using the dead of Tucson as political props was a good idea in the first place.
Let me be blunt, liberal America: no one, outside your own fever swamps, trusts you to decide what discourse is “fair”, or where the “Climate of Hate” begins and ends. You don’t get to drop buckets of blood on Palin for days, then call her a hatemonger for responding. Your behavior over the last few days is a crime against discourse, and you did not get away with it.
4. Palin is trying to “insert herself” into the Tucson story: Boy, dehumanizing people is hard when they actually show up to respond, isn’t it? Once again, the Left is assuming Americans are too slow-witted to remember who dragged Sarah Palin into this terrible story. The Left is wrong, and looks absolutely foolish by trying to hypnotize millions of people into forgetting the last three days of wall-to-wall press coverage.
5. Palin should have been more “inclusive”: In other words, she should have pled guilty on a few of the murder counts against her, and cut a deal with her media prosecutors. Maybe she could have chuckled at the mischievous spirit of those lovable scamps who accused her of providing Jared Loughner with a hit list, and baking his mind in an oven of hateful rhetoric.
She did repeatedly call for unity and the peaceful resolution of our spirited differences, but she really should have flogged herself and promised to support ObamaCare, just to build some bridges with the Left. She could have won a victory over herself, and learned to love Big Media.
The Tucson blood libel was nothing less than a deliberate attempt, willingly assisted by top figures in the media, to end meaningful discourse by ruling one side completely illegitimate. It’s tough to be less “inclusive” than that. The proper response to the hatred of the Left is not submission, or negotiated surrender. Sarah Palin demonstrated leadership by sweeping both options off the table today. Now that we’re through with that nonsense, we can get back to our passionate arguments, clear in the understanding that no one will be able to silence anyone else. As Palin said in her video, that’s one of the reasons America is so exceptional.