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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I said what I had to say on Sunday.

Krauthammer has the must-read to start the day today: Massacre, followed by libel. It includes the quote of the month: "The origins of Loughner's delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman's?"

Sarah Palin's video responding to the slanders:

Of course, as is to be expected, there are people for whom nothing is good enough (as though reason matters to most of these same when it comes to Palin), and now her use of the term "blood libel" is the latest excuse for venom. Remember, most of these are people who thought nothing of falsely assigning blame for bloody murder on her, now posing with indignation (h/t to Legal Insurrection for the thought).

For the record, I have seen the term used far too casually and often inappropriately by plenty of people, including many of my pro-Israel Jewish friends. At worst it's a chance for discussion, not yet another reason to bash Sarah Palin. The ADL did what I would expect the ADL to do (and I meant that seriously). It's their turf and I expect them to defend the seriousness of the term. They do so in an appropriately measured way, here. Alan Dershowitz, no Palin fan, defends her on this, here, as does lefty Jonathan Chait, as quoted in William Jacobson's excellent post, here. A snip (Jacobson here):

Palin was not just "criticized on television," she was accused of inciting murder even though there was and is no actual evidence that the electoral target map played any role in the Tucson shooting. The connection of Palin to the shooting was a smear by people who did not care about the truth.

Similarly, the smear has made Palin a target for hatred and violence, including widespread death wishes and threats:

Continuing on, O'Reilly was quite good the other night:

Roger L. Simon states what should be the obvious: The Sixties Were Violent, Not Today



3 Comments

Sol,

If one thing Palin knows it is that a libel pushed far enough can lead to bloodshed and it becomes a "blood" libel.
Having prominent people like Krugman and that sherrif dipstick come out in the manner they did with all the psychos running loose it won't take much to fire off an attempt.
Why, Kathryn Jean Lopez from NRO discloses that one Harold Meyerson in the Wapo in 2008 libeled Palin with the "Dual-Loyalty" one because of an Israeli flag in her office.
Maybe the Krugmans better start worrying that if something happens to her their rhetoric might come back to bite them.
Apart from trying to police words and symbols maybe it is time to start policing who may run for office, work in the media and who in the civil service.

The hatred directed toward this woman and the rest of the "right wing" is simply unbelievable. I'm sure I don't have to give you any examples. They are (and have been for a long time) doing exactly what they have been accusing Palin and the right of doing.

You're absolutely right that if something happens to Palin, people like Krugman and the other opportunists will actually have something to answer for, unlike Palin herself.

When Clarence Thomas stood accused by Anita Hill of sexual misconduct, he claimed that he was the victim of a "high-tech lynching." For most people whether they agreed or disagreed that Thomas's claim had merit probably depended in large part on whether they saw his account or hers as the more credible. Be that as it may, given that lynchings were not all that remote in time or place, and that "strange fruit" dangling from tree limbs that Billie Holiday sang about were almost all African Americans (Leo Frank was a notable exception), what no one could say was that Thomas was appropriating a history of terrible victimization to which he had no connections. Now, if Thomas had claimed during or after the confirmation hearings to know exactly what it must have felt like to be a Jew shoved into a cattle car bound for Auschwitz, or the target of a "blood libel," that would have been pretty inapt and outrageous. But of course he said nothing of the sort.

Sara Palin didn't in any way encourage a paranoid schizophrenic not under treatment to kill 6 and wound 13 in that senseless rampage last Saturday. So she can say that she has been falsely accused in the instance case, and that which is both false and defamatory may constitute "libel" though it is much harder for a public figure to bring a successful libel lawsuit. For Palin to claim to be the victim of a "blood libel," however, that the descriptor of a horrible history for Jews like "lynching" is for African Americans, is jaw droppingly outlandish, and offensive to those who have been the target of a true "blood libel" which Palin has not in any way been. And to say that Palin has more reason to fear for her safety and that of her family after the Loughner murders, in the way that Jews in Eastern Europe had to fear if a Christian child should disappear or be found dead, is preposterous.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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