Archive for January 19th, 2011
In a very real sense, WC is tempted to declare a permanent ban on All Things Palin here at the Conscience. Alaska’s Shame is such a narcissist that she craves any attention anyone gives her, even unfavorable attention. Criticizing her, demonstrating the silliness or hypocrisy of her arguments, even calling out her lies; it all feeds her narcissistic craving for attention. WC’s blog posts included. A better solution might be to shun her.
But it’s so very hard to let her idiocies pass without comment. WC will examine a few from her appearance on Sean Hannity’s show last night to illustrate the challenge:
Caribou Barbie, in her infamous post in response to the tragedy in Tucson, AZ, called the claims that violent comments could induce violent behavior in others a “blood libel.” She told Hannity the term referred to those “falsely accused of having blood on their hands.” Um. No, that’s not what it means. WC recognizes that the subtlety of connotative meaning is also wasted on this woman, but still. As WC and others have pointed out, the term has been used for about 2,000 years as a justification to commit despicable crimes against a religious minority.
Still, it might have been nice if The Quitter had apologized to anyone she had accidentally offended by her choice of words. But being Sarah Palin apparently means never having to say you are sorry.
Crosshairs and Playground Arguments
Palin said her political action committee’s use of crosshairs to identify targeted congressional districts for Republican pickups was not original and has been used by Democrats. As she spoke, the 2004 Democratic Leadership Council map was shown on the screen with circular targets of districts Democrats wanted to win. WC has already weighed in on this one. It’s not the same as crosshairs, or telling readers to “reload,” but it is still wrong.
WC is fairly confident that, while growing up in Wasilla, someone suggested once or twice to the future beauty pageant contestant that two wrongs didn’t make a right. “Tommy did it first” is a playground argument, a lame excuse unworthy of, say, a presidential aspirant. It’s also an implied admission of an error. Now the former VP candidate might have said that under the circumstances it was the wrong way to convey the message, but that would have sounded like an apology, and being Sarah Palin means never having to apologize.
Criticism of Violence
Palin has insisted that she “repeated over and over my condemnation of violence.” Palin also said she was frustrated that conservatives who defended against accusations they were to blame for the shootings have become part of the story.
WC isn’t aware of your claim of repeated condemnations of violence. WC knows of two. That would be a lame “over and over.”
But it’s not enough to claim to condemn violence, especially if you use words that carry violent themes. “Don’t retreat, reload.” “Mama Grizzly.” “First salvo in a fight.” As WC has pointed out before, not all of the citizens who follow you understand you are using metaphors. it’s one hazard of violent speech. Another is that it makes it terribly difficult to have a useful discussion. “Hot” speech, the kind of words that are loaded with with very strong associated meanings, seriously impair critical thinking. They get in the way of reaching a decision.
A criticism of violence that doesn’t include criticism of violent speech isn’t helpful in addressing the problem. But, again, that would also sound like an apology.
Palin said she supported calls for civility in politics but added, “we should not use an event like that in Arizona to stifle debate.” This is pure spin. If it could be bagged it could be sold as garden fertilizer. No one has called for “stifling debate.” The Republicans, aware of the political risks associated with their earlier violent speech, have adopted this phrase as a non-response. No one has suggested “stifling debate.” It’s an illustration of the straw man fallacy.
It’s entirely possible that Palin might be “stifled” by a requirement of civility. Her appeal is mostly feeding raw meat to her supporters. Being civil would distinctly cramp that appeal. WC doubts that she is capable of it. That narcissism, that craving for approval from her fanboys and fangirls, will compel her to continue with her use of violent metaphors and calls to metaphoric or literal arms.
Those of you who comment on WC’s posts: what’s your view? Do posts on Palin help, or are they more fuel on the fire? WC is unsure.
But WC is sure that Palin still hasn’t offered what is needed most: an apology. Several apologies. And WC isn’t holding his breath.