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Protesting a Wee Bit Too Much

January 19th, 2011

Sarah Palin claimed that criticism of her was “blood libel,” implying that not only was the criticism false, but it was putting her in physical danger. Later, her office claimed that there were “unprecedented levels” of death threats against her after the Tucson shooting, apparently evidence to back up the earlier claim–but did her office did not report anything to the authorities, nor change security one bit, making it apparent that the claim was a flat-out lie.

Following that, the right-wing Washington Times took the “we’re just as persecuted as the Jews” meme one step further, claiming that there is an “ongoing porgrom” against conservatives. Pat Buchanan, apparently wanting to add that conservatives are also a persecuted as blacks in the 1960’s South, said that the left is conducting “something of a lynch mob” against right-wingers.

Those poor right-wingers, they are just being persecuted like there’s no tomorrow! It’s rather surprising that they haven’t been completely wiped out, considering the massive violent offensive being perpetrated against them.

Of course, the most interesting thing here is that these people insist that their own violent rhetoric has absolutely nothing to do with actual violence against others. At the same time, they claim that the act of other people just criticizing them, even with cautions against violence, means that suddenly they’re all in mortal danger. Get that? The use of gun metaphors against political opponents is not a problem and could not possibly be connected to actual gun violence; requests to tone down the gun rhetoric, however, is dangerous and could get them killed.

It would be quite spectacularly hypocritical–if it weren’t for the fact that they say stuff like this as a matter of course. So, by now, it’s only routinely hypocritical.

To those on the left, this is a matter of principle and public safety, as well as maintaining civil public discourse.

To those on the right, it’s all about taking political advantage.

Fortunately, Palin’s message is not resonating too well; according to recent polls, she has taken something of a plunge following the shooting and her handling of it. Palin has recently defended her use of the term “blood libel”; you can always count on her to never apologize, never back down. Naturally, she continued the characterization of recent criticism as trying to make her “shut up.” Of course, it’s a completely false charge–people are just asking that she not use gun metaphors within political debate. That would be a call for her to “shut up” if the only things that came out of her mouth were violent rhetoric. Although if anyone is trying to say she should stop saying stupid crap, that would entail her having to stop talking more or less completely.

  1. Troy
    January 19th, 2011 at 15:49 | #1

    It is odd that nobody really called the right out on their BS 2009-2010.

    They really needed an intervention.

    if FOX was a mirror-image of itself they could have snuffed this fear/hate movement in the crib.

    But of course FOX was pushing this stuff, not fighting it.

    For the later tea party protest in 2010 they had to tell people to leave their signs at home since everyone was going off message with all the hate and stuff.

    All the have is propaganda, the actual reality is buried too far for most people to see any more.

    The libertarian radio host on KGO tonight was having a call-in on the Republicans repeal act, and saying they should first have proposed the Republican alternative to “Obamacare”.

    Of course that prompted me to yell at the radio that the current law *is* the Republican alternative to “Obamacare”.

    Though the Dems did cleverly include in the reform changes to Medicare Advantage to basically gut it. That program (aka Medicare Part C) was created in 1997 by the Republicans.

    I guess they’re not too happy about that.

  2. Tim Kane
    January 20th, 2011 at 00:54 | #2

    “They are either at your feet, or at your throat.”
    – Winston Churchill, in reference to the Germans

    Either she’s the victim or she’s using innuendos of “second amendment solutions” against her opposition.

    As I have suggested before, the threat of civil discourse or of eliminating vitriolic eliminationist rhetoric in our politics, is for movement conservatives and existential threat.

    They can’t win debates on the merits, so they must eliminate the debate: either by not allowing the debate or attacking or intimidating the opposing side in a debate.

    Without that, they’ve got nothing.

    So to them, the reaction to Tucson all looks very dangerous. That’s why they feel persecuted.

    Lefties don’t have a problem with eliminating the vitriolic eliminationist rhetoric because they are confident they can win the debate, or in the event that they lose, better policies will still stem from it.

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