Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Palin still doesn't "get it"

Sarah Palin recently appeared on Fox News, given a friendly forum by Sean Hannity to explain—or rather, defend herself and attack the left at the same time. When asked what her thinking was upon learning of the Tucson massacre, Palin claimed that she wondered how evil a person had to be to do this. I frankly doubt this, or if she did, it was because she remembered her gun sight characterization of Gabrielle Giffords with the reload “metaphor,” and she feared the possibility that someone else would remember it as well. Palin came-off as excited, shrill, defensive and combative all at once during the course of the interview. While she mentioned other “unjustly” accused, like Rush Limbaugh and the tea party “patriots,” this was, as usual, all about herself. Palin has to be the most self-obsessed, self-important person in this entire country (Limbaugh is a close second). There was no self-examination, no stepping back to consider even the possibility of the impact of her violent rhetoric. For his part, Hannity complained about being labeled a “merchant of hate,” which is what he is. He once all but admitted that race-baiting radio host Bob Grant was his mentor; Grant, among other things, supported on-air the “philosophy” of the neo-Nazi group National Alliance, and insisted that the OKC bombing was the work of Muslims before the arrest of Timothy McVeigh. While Hannity constantly denounces “racism” allegedly perpetrated by minorities, he forgets to mention his former close ties with neo-Nazis like Hal Turner, and his litany of “guests” who espouse white supremacist views. So it is not surprising that in his book “Conservative Victory” Hannity makes totally baseless and outrageous claims as these:

“Obama and his party stand for America’s economic bankruptcy, virtual surrender in the war on terror, and a culture of death, from abortion to embryonic stem cell research to healthcare rationing tantamount to death panels. He stands for a comprehensive radicalization of our culture, from turning our schools over to homosexual activists, to undermining the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, to expanding the dependency classes. He stands for polarization and alienation between racial and ethnic groups, and between those of different economic circumstances. He stands for government swallowing the private sector and equalizing income and asset distribution; he may even use the courts, if he can pull it off, to impose what he and his fellow radicals call ‘economic justice,’ a grand-scale version of ‘spreading the wealth around.’”

If this isn't a sales job to the forces of hate, I don’t know what is.

Going back to Palin, when asked to explain her infamous “map,” she not surprisingly misrepresented it as completely benign and all in good fun, forgetting about the part where she advises people to “reload” on the targeted persons. She complained that the Democrats had not taken down their own maps of a similar nature, although the worst thing the Fox News crew could find was something that looked like bow-and-arrow targets on red states, but not on actual people, like Palin’s. She further demonstrated her habit of making baldly false assertions by claiming that Tucson shooter Jared Loughner was “left-leaning”; Loughner, in fact, was an aficionado of the declarations of the white-supremacist and anti-Semitic publication American Renaissance. Of course, the left hates her message (as do an increasing number in the center, if polls are to be believed) which she insists are “time-tested truths.” I suppose she means the tax-cutting that does not create jobs, or the “truth” that given unfettered deregulation, financial institutions would try to make ordinary people money instead of losing it all. Maybe she doesn’t even mean that; frankly, I think she would have a hard time explaining the simplistic clichĂ©s she routinely expectorates.

Palin also wouldn’t exactly say that she supported taking down websites with clearly violent imagery, and goes on to say suggest that she herself has been engaged in “peaceful” and “respectful” discourse and it is a lie to suggest otherwise. Palin is so hypocritical it is almost shockingly so. She, along with Hannity, Beck, Malkin and Limbaugh, are the last people who should be educating us on civil and respectful discourse; when asked if she would support not using violent rhetoric, Palin waffled, again defending it as a “time-honored” tradition. It simply boggles the mind how Palin will dissemble and deceive at any and all times; it is as if it is a congenital personality defect.

And then she has the absolute gall to quote Martin Luther King Jr. I wrote a post about how not only did Alaska’s Native population have a dim view of Palin as governor, but black leaders in the state were angered by her insistence on feeling no compulsion to hire blacks. The quote was “a lie cannot live,” meaning if there is no foundation of truth to a claim. No one actually said Palin or anyone other than Loughner pulled the trigger; they are saying that she and others contributed to an atmosphere of hate that made such an action more probable to occur. Palin, of course, is entirely in self-denial and self-pity; refusing to contemplate any scrutiny on the effect of violence-suggestive rhetoric has, she again launched into an irritatingly self-serving self-defense—completely oblivious to the fact that she had already promulgated several of her own lies in the space of a few minutes.

Palin never made any effort to even wonder if it was possible that a state where gun-rights fanatics and anti-immigrant fervor borders on the pathological may not be the right place to be putting gun sights on politicians. No, Palin only wants to protect her “career.” At least she had the honesty to admit that much. Her career will be “ruined” unless she “sheds light” on her version of the “truth.” She’s not going to “shut-up,” and neither are other fascist types like Limbaugh, Mark Levin and those tea party “patriots” with their “Second Amendment” solutions—such as the one Loughner utilized. The “republic” will be “destroyed” if Palin and others on the extremist right are “silenced.”

I rather beg to differ. If there is anything this country can benefit from, it’s fewer of these intolerant bigots.

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