I have watched the phenomenon that is Sarah Palin unfold now for a couple of years since she burst onto the scene at the Republican National Convention in 2008. At the time John McCain announced her as his running mate I felt that she was nothing more than a political stunt. Back then her stunt was designed to distract attention away from the democratic ticket which was gaining ground. But as her political life began to grow, Sarah Palin never did. She remains to this day a poor example of a political stunt. When she couldn't answer what books she liked to read, she thought she could change the rules about access to the media. Suddenly Katie Couric became part of a vast elitist plot to undermine poor Sarah. At the Vice Presidential debate the moderator should have ended the debate 15 minutes in and declared Palin ineligible. Question after question brazenly ignored, Palin spitting in the face of America, thinking she did not have to answer the questions the American people deserved to know before casting their vote. Suddenly, Gwen Ifill became part of a vast elitist plot to undermine poor Sarah.
Yet she survived. Her 15 minutes of fame seemingly continuing on life support, Sarah Palin the political stunt survived. She survived not knowing any Supreme Court decisions. She survived the incredibly stupid comment about seeing Russia from her porch as proof of her foreign policy experience. She survived John McCain and all the reports of her diva-esque attitude during the campaign. She survived quitting her job as Governor of Alaska, amidst multiple charges of ethical violations and abuse of office. Time seemed to slow for Princess Sarah as her 15 minutes continued to tick away, defying America. That was until this morning when she bypassed traditional media again to post on facebook her response to the flood of criticism she has received since the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The response was yet again devoid of grace. Devoid of empathy. It was again, nothing short of a political stunt and it shatters the last shred of credibility she had as a public figure.
In response to the tragic shooting Sarah Palin decided this morning to make the victim in this incident herself. Forget Gabrielle Giffords lying in a hospital room with a hole in her head. Forget the six dead, including little nine year old Christina-Taylor Greene -" who were barely mentioned during the nearly eight minute facebook posting. Sarah went into the living rooms of America this morning to let us all know that this story is really about her and how poorly she is being treated. Her own words betray her. Her own words condemn her. Her own words are all that is needed to see why she never was more than a poor political stunt gone awry. From her facebook posting today:
"It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for their own actions"
Amen Sarah, amen. That is what we have been trying to do since this nightmare unfolded in Tucson. We are trying to examine all facets of this tragedy and how we can emerge from it a better people because of it. Jared Loughner will be held accountable for his actions; no doubt. But will you apply the same wisdom to yourself? Do you ever do anything wrong? Do you think that it was a good idea to incite crowds with the mantra it is time to "reload?" Do you think it was a wise decision to have a map up on your Sarahpac page with gun sight crosshairs over the district of Gabrielle Giffords? Did that contribute to the fabric of healthy political debate in this country or do you think that maybe it provided a target for someone who was mentally unhinged and looking for a target? You are right Sarah, everyone should be held accountable for their actions, including YOU.
"Maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle"
No Sarah, you do not get to continue to lie with impunity. I have yet to see a swing district map other than yours that used gun sights and crosshairs. That is the point. You know it is the point. So please, stop lying.
"Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel the serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible."
The height of arrogance mixing with unsavory imagery here. Blood libel carries severe connotations that simply put do not belong in this conversation. But it also conveys a "blood accusation"; once again Sarah making this issue about Sarah. I have watched the majority of coverage since the shooting. Pundits have bent too far backwards to clearly state that the responsibility for this tragedy lies in the hands of Jared Loughner. Even the most liberal of liberals have denounced the notion that anyone else is responsible. That said; is not appropriate to at least examine how we speak about each other in political discourse in this country? If not now, when? If someone places a gun sight over someone and then that person gets shot, is it that far of a reach to say maybe we can do better in a civilized society? Maybe elected officials should not be saying they want their constituents armed and dangerous the way Michele Bachman did. Maybe people running for public office should not infer armed revolution in response to losing an election the way Sharon Angle did with her now infamous "second amendment remedies" comment. Maybe we can do better as a society? Maybe we can have a political discussion about views instead of personalities? Maybe we can teach our children that disagreement does not have to be disagreeable -" or in this case violent. What is reprehensible Sarah is that you chose to use this moment of national tragedy to make it about you again. Not about Gabrielle Giffords or Christina-Taylor Greene. Not about coming together as a people to clean up how we talk about each other. Not about creating a new spirit of debate founded upon mutual respect. Instead, you continued to distort and make yourself out to be the victim:
"There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal."
First of all, let us all stop conveying the notion that this was apolitical. Let's stop dissecting his reading lists and his email rants. Clearly Jared Loughner was mentally unhinged but he purposefully and willfully tried to assassinate a sitting US Congresswoman so to pretend this was not somehow political is nonsense. But moving past that I do not recall seeing anyone make the assertion of causality. I do not think that anyone believes that political rhetoric caused Jared Loughner to kill six people. But here is the thing folks. It sure doesn't seem to have helped. Jared Loughner could have chosen any Safeway to go into to commit his massacre but he chose the one that Giffords was appearing at. While his mental state may have been random, this choice was not.
"Public discourse and debate isn't a sign of crisis but a sign of our enduring strength"
Put the talking points down Sarah and walk away from the teleprompter. This is what is known in debating circles as a strawman argument. No one suggested that public discourse and debate are signs of crisis. But that doesn't mean that you do not examine discourse and debate to try and make our society even better. Promoting violence is not debate. It is reprehensible.
"People are using this as a pretext to stifle debate"
No they are not Sarah. They are actually using this to have a debate. To have a frank discussion about how we can become better as a people through this tragedy. You had a chance today Sarah to prove that maybe you had what it takes to be a serious person in a serious debate. You had a chance to come out and speak about Gabrielle Giffords and the six dead in Tucson. You had a chance to prove that you are more than a cheap political stunt. But instead, you are so self absorbed that you thought this was all about you. Poor Sarah. America now awaits the 16th minute.