Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Charles Krauthammer: Palin's Statement on Tucson 'Unfortunate and Unnecessary'

Krauthammer responds to Jewish criticisms of Sarah Palin's use of the term "blood libel."

He mainly laments that Palin gave the speech at all. Sure, it might be a sensitive issue given that Gabrielle Giffords is Jewish, and she's fighting for her life while the rest of the nation debates allegations of "blood libel"? I'm personally not bothered by the use of the term as it's applied to the libelous attacks on Palin and tea party conservatives. Frankly, Glenn Reynolds' essay at WSJ the other day has been one of the most penetrating: "The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel." Harvard's Alan Dershowitz vigorously defended Palin today. And Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider writes that "Sarah Palin has finally weighed in with a long, thoughtful reaction to the Arizona tragedy and all the talk that it was somehow the result of 'heated rhetoric'." There's still lots more up on this at Memeorandum, but see the Los Angeles Times, "Sarah Palin Video on Giffords Aftermath Stays True to Who Palin Is":
The video had elements of a presidential-level address, with an American flag featured prominently in the frame. Palin spoke in a calm tone — noticeably different from her rousing "mama grizzly" style during last year's election campaign — about the democratic process and the need to condemn violence "if the republic is to endure." She appealed for a common response to the tragedy, saying, "We need strength to not let the random acts of a criminal turn us against ourselves, or weaken our solid foundation, or provide a pretext to stifle debate."

She released the video on the same day that President Obama traveled to Arizona to speak at a memorial service, and won a position opposite the president on many news outlets. By comparison, potential GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee this week issued statements on the shootings that went largely unnoticed.

Ken Khachigian, a former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Reagan and a longtime GOP strategist in California, said he was struck by Palin's bearing in the video, saying he thought the former vice presidential nominee "appeared more grown-up."

"She captured some of what she did at the [Republican] convention in '08," he said. "She was more conversational, more dignified."

In her message, Palin did not refer directly to accusations that her use last year of a map showing Giffords' Arizona district, among others, targeted in crosshairs helped foster a climate of violence. Instead, she said, "After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern and now with sadness to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event."

The resulting "blood libel" serves "only to incite the hatred and violence that they purport to condemn," she said. "That is reprehensible."

Jewish groups and others reacted swiftly, saying Palin had associated her political plight with centuries of anti-Semitic behavior. A "blood libel" is a term that dates back to the Middle Ages, when Jewish people were accused of using the blood of Christians in religious rituals.

"Palin's comments either show a complete ignorance of history or blatant anti-Semitism," said Jonathan Beeton, a spokesman for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who, like Giffords, is Jewish. "Either way, it shows an appalling lack of sensitivity given Rep. Giffords' faith and the events of the past week."

But Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz, commenting Wednesday on the Big Government website operated by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, defended Palin's use of the term.

"There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim," Dershowitz said.
More at the link.

And previously: "
The Great Communicator: Sarah Palin Calls Out Despicable 'Blood Libel'."

And see Instapundit
here and here.


Just a conservative girl said...

Had they not come against it, I wouldn't have known that blood libel referred to that.

Also, I disagree that it was unnecessary. She had to make a statement at some point and the more she waited the harder it would have gotten. I thought it was a good statement.

inge said...

I usually like Krauthammer, but recently he has lots to say about Sarah-100 percent negative. His antipathy towards her is puzzling.
I personnally thought of her speech to be 'presidential', Reagensque even.
It always shows that 'the establishment' do not want her to succeed; they have their candidate picked already; Sarah will win if she runs-people see her sincerity as well as her positions as positive.
To hell with all these monday morning quarterbacks!

Dennis said...

The fact is that one cannot let the lies, dissembling, et al of the Left not be responded to and refuted. Bush made that mistake and allowed the Left to control the narrative and suffered accordingly.
One of the reasons that the Left failed so massively in the Arizona case is that the response was quick and took command of the narrative before it could gain a foot hold in the minds of those who pay little attention to what happens each day.
The response was so effective that after 4 days even Democrats are trying to distance themselves from the Left. Obama threw the Left under the bus as well as a significant part of the MSM. It took him four days of putting his finger in the wind to gauge which way the wind was blowing, but he did get the message.
Nothing the Left alleges can be allowed to sit without vigorously being challenged. For too long Conservatives, et al have thought that people would not believe the lies, et al of the Left only to be disappointed. A quick response by everyone will aid in allowing stuff thrown against the wall to see what sticks by the Left from taking hold. We need to keep the "wall" cleansed of the filth perpetrated by the Left.

Dave said...

Why would anyone be surprised?

Krautie outed himself as a Palin-hater some time ago.

My only issue with Palin's response to her unhinged attackers on the left was that it took her so long to get it out there.

Conservatives need to stop letting the left beat them shitless for days on end before responding.

After all, we are in what is, for the moment at least, a verbal civil war for the immediate future of our republic.

And in this war, those who play nice are going to lose.



Dave said...

The fun part of all this is going to be watching Sheriff Dipshit go from media darling to pariah virtually overnight.

After all, Loughner tried to kill a democrat congresswoman, one who is pro-abortion and also voted for ObamaCare.

Not only that, but it is becoming obvious as more and more information comes out that Loughner was no stranger to Sheriff Dipshit and his department, and just perhaps they could have taken some action or other that might have prevented this tragedy.

At a certain point, at least some members of the Ministry of Statist Misinformation (MSM) are going to put down their Kool-Aid, extinguish their bongs, and take notice.