The more the left tries to demonize Sarah Palin the more grotesque they make themselves look. The lefties at at Politico are all aflutter over Palin's comparison of the liberal slander of conservatives in the wake of the Tucson tragedy to a "blood libel". The reaction on the left was the sort of thing you might see if you threw a snake into a cage full of monkeys.
It was yet another occasion for an irrational, mean-spirited stomping of Ms Palin. Doesn't she know, they sniffed, the historical resonance of "blood libel" (For those like me who had to look it up, it was the charge against Jews in medieval times that they were using the blood of Christian children for certain religious rites)? How dare she apply this term in any other context than the one in which it arose? How dare she insinuate that conservatives are being slandered like medieval Jews? She should be "publicly shunned". Etc.
So Jim Geraghty at NRO did some research and found numerous instances of people on both the left and the right using the term, including Andrew Sullivan who, as if wishing to make himself the very exemplification of hypocrisy, is among those deriding Palin for using it. None of the examples Geraghty cites elicited any outrage from anyone, but then none of the examples involved Sarah Palin. It's just different in the left-wing fever swamps when Sarah Palin says it than when they say it.
It'll be an interesting research topic for future historians and psychologists to explore exactly how it was in 2010 and 2011 that people with impressive IQs became so completely stupid when the topic was Sarah Palin.
Nora O'Donnell of MSNBC sought, on this morning's Morning Joe program, to explain the media fascination with Palin. She said that apart from her extreme (!?) right-wing views it's partly because Palin is a Republican woman which is a political oddity. O'Donnell asserts this despite the fact that currently there are four female GOP governors - twice as many as the number of female Democrats in that office - five women in the U.S. Senate, and two dozen Republican women in Congress. How many Republican women must there be in elective office before Ms O'Donnell thinks they're not unusual?
Mark Halperin on the same program a couple of days ago faulted conservatives like Palin for pushing back against the onslaught of vitriolic rhetoric coming from the left in the wake of the Tucson killings. Halperin opines that conservatives should just "turn the other cheek" when liberals smear them.
Sure. When a conservative woman is accused by liberals of being an accessory to the murder of a nine-year old child and five others she should simply sit there and allow the accusers to defame her in whatever manner they wish regardless of how dishonest and vile it may be. A woman should know her place, the thinking seems to be, and besides, to speak up and refute the accusers will show the world that they're actually either lying or are incredibly stupid. Either way they'll look very bad, and since they're liberals we certainly can't have that.
Jacob Weisberg at Slate.com concedes that conservatives like Palin didn't actually cause the Tucson atrocity, which is certainly kind of him to admit, but they're to blame for it anyway because they oppose Obama's policies, or something like that.
The more important question, though, is why people, especially at MSNBC which is obsessed with the woman, hate Sarah Palin so much. Perhaps it's for the same reason that the Iranians and other dysfunctional states often refer to the U.S. as the Great Satan. They need a devil in order to keep the mind of the rank and file off their abject misery.
Likewise, the left needs a devil in order to focus the hatred of their troops (oops, sorry for the violent metaphor) on something other than their ideas and policy proposals, because liberal ideas simply don't survive the scrutiny they receive when they're the focus of our political discussions. The left can't convince people to vote for them on the basis of their ideas so they seek to turn people's attention instead toward some conservative devil and convince people by sheer repetition how evil the devil is. Now that Bush is gone Palin happens to be the devil closest at hand.
It seems absolutely crazy and irrational, I know, particularly since Ms Palin is neither a declared candidate nor a front-runner for the presidential nomination in 2012, but what other explanation could there be?
Well, maybe there's another. I'll bounce that theory off you tomorrow.