In a polished eight-minute video defending her inappropriate comments, including the now-famous fund-raising image of cross-hairs over Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ district, Sarah Palin continues to make things worse for herself. She accuses the media of manufacturing “blood libel” to incite the kind of violence that struck Tucson this past weekend.
Hopefully, Representative Giffords will recover swiftly and will be able to speak for herself very soon. While I don’t want to put words in the Jewish congresswoman’s mouth, Palin’s remarks are an insult to Ms Giffords and Jews everywhere. And they should be an insult to Christians, too. “Blood libel” refers to the medieval assertion that Jews used the blood of Christian children as an ingredient in cooking of matzoh - unleavened bread. It has become a popular tag line among anti-Semites both in ancient times and today.
I’m not accusing Sarah Palin of being anti-Semitic. But Ms. Palin is a professional communicator and I’m sure her YouTube videos and Facebook pronouncements are vetted by experienced message handlers. This inappropriate choice of words could not have been accidental.
Republicans are masters of Orwell’s Newspeak: if an untruth is repeated often enough, it is taken for truth. Witness the legion of Obama birthers, “death panels”, and other commonly oversimplified lies coming from the Republican Tea Party. That’s what makes Palin’s remarks dangerous and frightening.
For some reason, Ms. Palin is being given a free ride by the media. Howard Dean’s crying and George Allen’s “macaca” moment were important factors in their respective campaign failures. Sarah Palin’s insensitive remarks are far more incendiary. In her own words, she should unequivocally “refudiate” them immediately.
Thank you to my friend LHK who provided the impetus to post this article.