Political Hay

The Dismissal of Sarah Palin

Political war by any means at its dirtiest.

By 1.11.11

Send to Kindle

I am neither shocked nor surprised that this nation's most prominent liberals see fit to blame Sarah Palin for causing the shooting in Tucson that severely injured Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and claimed six lives. But it does sadden me.

Before the shooter was identified much less his victims were identified we witnessed the spectacle of a Nobel laureate and an Academy Award-winning actress amongst many others falling all over themselves to excoriate the former Alaska governor.

Yet perhaps the most insightful of these denunciations of Palin was that of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Now when I use the word insightful I am not referring to the merits of his arguments. Olbermann's arguments are devoid of any, of course. But his arguments do provide us with a keen insight into the mindset of American liberalism in the early 21st century:

If Sarah Palin, whose website put and today scrubbed bull's-eye targets on 20 Representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics -- she must be repudiated by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling, and they must in turn be dismissed by the responsible members of their own party.

So does Olbermann think the Democratic Leadership Council should be dismissed from politics? Surely Olbermann believes the DLC should repudiate its part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics after it, on behalf of John Kerry in 2004, put bull's-eye targets on nine states won by President Bush in 2000. After all, the DLC did describe these nine states as being situated "behind enemy lines."

Does Olbermann think President Obama should be dismissed from politics? Surely Olbermann believes Obama should repudiate his own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics after he said a Republican Congress would mean hand-to-hand combat.

Does Olbermann think Vice President Biden should be dismissed from politics? Surely Olbermann believes Biden should repudiate his own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics after he said he wanted to strangle the next Republican who talked about balancing the budget.

Does Olbermann think Joe Manchin, West Virginia's newly elected Democratic Senator, should be dismissed from politics? Surely Olbermann believes Manchin should repudiate his own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics after firing a bullet into the cap-and-trade bill in one of his television ads.

As far as Olbermann is concerned, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Senator Manchin, and the DLC are free to do what they please. Oh, he might have an unkind word for them now and again. But make no mistake. Olbermann knows who keeps his bread buttered and has no intention subjecting them to the impossible standards he reserves for Palin.

Now I know full well that President Obama has no intention of punching John Boehner in the nose.  I know full well that Jim DeMint's throat is safe from Vice President Biden's hands. I know full well that Senator Manchin will not use his rifle in the rotunda of Capitol Hill. I also know full well that the DLC doesn't consider Missouri and Nevada to be part of enemy territory.

You would think that Keith Olbermann would know full well that all Palin was looking to do in targeting Gabrielle Giffords seat was to raise funds on behalf of Giffords' opponent, Jesse Kelly and to help Arizona's 8th District to elect a representative who would vote to repeal Obamacare. Despite Palin's efforts, the voters in Arizona's 8th opted to keep Giffords. Palin has nothing for which to apologize. You win some. You lose some. That's politics. It's something a 9-year-old girl would have understood.

But in the crazy world of Keith Olbermann, Sarah Palin must be dismissed from politics. She must be excised from our public discourse. Her thoughts have been deemed impure and thus they cannot be heard in polite society. This is at the heart of Olbermann's real agenda. The same can be said for Paul Krugman and Jane Fonda. So devoted are they to banishing Sarah Palin from the public square that they are willing to say anything, no matter how untrue, to make it happen. The end justifies the means. So it doesn't matter if Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a deranged man who was angry with her before Palin became a national public figure. It is still Palin's fault. If liberals could they would blame Palin for the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. Liberals believe these things because they want to believe them. And as long as liberals want to believe that Sarah Palin bears responsibility for the murder of six people and for the attempted murder of Congresswoman Giffords, then there is no hope for elevation of our public discourse.

If Olbermann and other liberals are somehow successful in expunging Palin from public life as a result of this horrific tragedy, it will embolden them to dismiss the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the whole Tea Party Movement and anybody else they deem to be undesirable. But if liberals succeed in ridding themselves of the riff-raff and still cannot bring about hope and change, then who will be left to blame? Liberals get no satisfaction in taking responsibility for their own actions.

But if Olbermann and other liberals want to carry on their campaign to dismiss Sarah Palin from politics then by all means let them. When will they learn she cannot be so easily dismissed?

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.