DOWN IN THE TRENCHES OF THE CULTURE WAR, it’s frequently observed that concepts like nuance, like irony, are subtleties of perception the ignorant neither appreciate or understand. Like the inability to spell correctly on a Tea Party protest sign, or a misspelled note around a brick threatening to kill someone, it just. doesn’t. register with them. So when Sarah Palin‘s “Lame Stream Media” began saying “We told you so” by linking the toxic hate-filled rhetoric of the Right to the murderous acts of Jared Loughner, the involuntary twisting of Right Wing underoos reached elephantine proportions:
FXNWS CEO Roger Ailes:
It’s just a bullshit way to use the death of a little girl to get Fox News in an argument… You know, they’re using this thing… apparently there was a map from one of Palin’s things that had her [Congresswoman Giffords] targeted district. So, we looked at the internet and the first thing we found in 2007, the Democratic Party had a targeted map with targets on it for the Palin district. These maps have been used for years that I know of. I have two pictures of myself with a bull’s-eye on my head. This is just bullshit. This goes on… both sides are wrong, but they both do it.
Thank you, Roger; eloquent, as always, in a trailer park sorta way. Of course, a false equivalency argument from Roger Ailes is certainly no surprise, since the last time nuance reared it’s ugly head in Roger’s world view he was probably able to look down and see his own… toes.
Like so many mentally corpulent conservatives, Roger cannot— or chooses not— to appreciate the nuance of facts, like: The Democratic target map referred to states— not individuals; that it wasn’t published for the public, but by and for the Democratic Leadership Council. Sarah’s map targeted the districts of individual human beings, and was broadcast across the nation. The DLC map had targets, which get shot; Palin’s map had the crosshairs from the scope of a rifle— which does the shooting.
Palin certainly has cultivated an image of herself that depicts her as “armed and dangerous,” as sister Michele Bachmann likes to say, and the conservative right, white male, self-proclaimed “patriots” quickly warmed to her gun-totin’ ways. It’s only a few real gun toters up in Alaska who know it’s all “bullshit” as Roger says, and that Palin is no more comfortable holding a high powered rifle than she is a 12 inch latex sex toy.
After a litany of other Republicans, from Roger Ailes to Ari Fleischer, suggested that calmer rhetoric is warranted in the aftermath of Tucson, Palin — after remaining essentially silent for three days — amped up the rhetoric in a pointed counterattack, accusing “journalists and pundits” of manufacturing a “blood libel” against her by suggesting that she somehow is to blame for the toxic political atmosphere in Arizona.
There are few more freighted phrases in the history of hate than “blood libel,” which is the ancient and false accusation that Jews secretly murder Christian children as part of their religious rituals. This anti-Semitic attack has resulted in countless pogroms and massacres through the ages.
Saint Sarah, it seems, is now comparing herself to one of those martyrs.
Shallow thinkers, including Palin herself, are busy defending the hysterical vitriol of the Right, arguing there is absolutely no “evidence” that Jared Loughner ever even saw Palin’s crosshairs map. That may turn out to be correct, but that’s not the kind of “evidence” that makes Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Bachmann, Hanity, [sic] O’Reilly, Savage, Malkin, and a host of other gun jargon rightwing agitators culpable for creating an atmosphere of hatred, bigotry, and fear in the United States.
I live in Texas and have experienced the crazy first hand. I was slapped and called an abortionist in a Lowe’s parking lot for have a Kerry campaign sticker on my bumper. Just a few weeks ago a neighbor told me he should probably kill me because I had a Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas, sign on my door. I’ve lived here 57 years and have never experienced anything like it. These nuts are being encouraged by something and I think it is right wing hate radio and television. —Hoppy25
Absolutely nothing in human life happens in a vacuum. Families, groups, and nations— all are relationships of association which possess individuality; and therefore does every member of such group, no matter how large or small, reap the benefits— and suffer the consequences— of the rightdoing and the wrongdoing of all other members of the group, or nation.
“Don’t Retreat! Reload!” It may never be obvious to the shallow thinkers on the Right when or why that kind of jargon became hate speech that can provoke sick-minded Americans to take a gun and try to kill other Americans, because they’ve been told, and they believe, President Obama is about to take their guns away from them; because it’s up to them to save America from a tyrannical government takeover of healthcare; because if they can’t get their way with ballots, that only leaves bullets. . .
Does Sarah Palin deserve any of the blame for the deaths in Arizona? Indirectly, of course she does. And so does the Bloviator in Chief, Rush Limbaugh. So does the Blackboard Psycho, Glenn Beck. So does anyone who willfully uses language that incites violence; including Republicans like John Boehner who keeps using the term “Job Killer” without a shred of evidence that legislation designed to improve healthcare affordability and coverage is causing jobs to disappear; not “killed.”
Even in the front line trenches of the culture war, the mores change slowly. But moral consciousness evolves; in the individual, and in the nation. The growing recognition by Americans that our political dialogue, completely shot through, so to speak, with the metaphor of gun-killing power and intimidation, is no longer morally acceptable; to all those who can perceive nuance, it has become morally repugnant.
Palin’s glaring failure to publicly recognize the toxic immorality of gun-killing jargon not only exposes her inability to be socially gracious enough to admit that morals change and grow, and apologize to the victims of the Tucson slaughter, and to the American people; but it is still more evidence— real life proof— of her utter lack of leadership skills. And that’s her fault, too.
The shadow of a hair’s turning, premeditated for an untrue purpose, the slightest twisting or perversion of that which is principle— these constitute falseness.
—The Urantia Book