So much has been written about the unsubstantiated accusations regarding the Tucson shootings that I hate to dwell on it, but the cartoonists have just now caught up with the issue, thereby providing some pertinent commentary. One has compared the conspiracy mentality with the ongoing mania over Pres. Kennedy’s assassination back in 1963:
Who are the real crazies here?
It was only a matter of a couple of hours before the accusations started flying:
It kind of brings to mind the infamous quote from former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel:
In this case, though, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stood in for Rahm. The whole thing has become rather surreal:
As most of these cartoons recognize, Sarah Palin has borne the brunt of the false accusations. What do you do when you are accused of being responsible for the actions of a deranged individual? She could have remained silent, of course, but a measured response, I believe, was necessary. She delivered that measured response yesterday on her Facebook page in the form of a video dealing with the entire situation.
For the video, go here. I watched it carefully, and came away impressed with the manner in which she handled not only the accusations, but also with her upbeat spirit as she pointed Americans toward a proper perspective on the events of the past few days.
Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.
That is a statement pointing to personal responsibility for one’s actions—one heard all too rarely nowadays. She also called the journalists on the carpet for their irresponsibility:
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
Palin delivered her message with a soberness befitting the tragedy. She decried the political atmosphere around the tragedy without focusing too much on how she personally was a prime target. All in all, it was a fitting word for a troubled time.
Yet her critics pounced again: the use of the term “blood libel,” they yelled, means she is anti-Semitic. Even liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz came to Palin’s defense on this one, making it clear that the term has a much broader usage in our society. Palin, when she was governor, had an Israeli flag in her office; her evangelical Christian faith ties her spiritually to the Jewish people.
Commentator Jonah Goldberg made fun of the reflexive, knee-jerk Palin critics, noting that if she had used completely innocuous terms, they still would have found something wrong—probably criticizing her for her use of semi-colons. And as that famous philosopher Forrest Gump reminds us, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
There’s a lot of stupid going around these days.