Palin Blasts 'Reprehensible Blood Libel' Over Arizona Shooting
By David A. Patten
Sarah Palin has released an Internet video condemning the crass politicization of the shooting rampage in Tucson that killed or wounded 20 victims, calling it “reprehensible” and a “blood libel.”
Palin’s video, titled “America’s Enduring Strength,” is her first extended remarks on the tragic shooting on Saturday.To read the full length text, go here:http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah...th/487510653434To view the video, go here:http://www.facebook.com/sarahpalin
“After this shocking tragedy,” says Palin, “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."
Responding to allegations from some on the left that her rhetoric and a map that appeared to target Democrats for defeat somehow had fomented a violent political atmosphere, Palin reminds listeners in the video that she has spoken out repeatedly against violence.
“As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, ‘We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms,’ we’re talking about our vote,’” Palin says in the video, which runs about eight minutes.
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Within hours of the shooting rampage which is believed to be the work of a mentally troubled 22-year-old, pundits and progressive Democrats pointed the finger at Republicans, blaming them for superheated political rhetoric that they said could incite someone who was mentally unbalanced.
Only later did the facts emerge: The gunman’s statements appear to indicate he suffered from paranoid delusions and did not appear to have a coherent political philosophy. Moreover, his first angry encounter with critically wounded Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords came in 2007, well before the rise of Sarah Palin and the tea parties to national prominence.
National religious and conservative figures, including the Rev. Franklin Graham, columnist and author Michael Reagan, and Media Research Center watchdog L. Brent Bozell, have come to Palin’s defense.
The attacks against Palin appear to be based primarily on the symbols she used to designate vulnerable Democratic-held congressional districts on a map posted to her Facebook page nine months ago.
Although some contend that the symbols were cross hairs similar those on a gun sight, Palin's camp maintains they are surveyor symbols. In any case, Palin’s defenders counter that the Democratic Leadership Council published a similar map in 2004, also targeting congressional districts, that designated them with bull's-eyes.
In 2008, the left-wing Daily Kos blog specifically targeted Giffords for her centrist positions, and wrote of putting her in the bull's-eye. Indeed, just two days before the shooting, the site posted a comment about Giffords that read: "My Congress Woman voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!"
Conservatives are perplexed why such statements from the left have not been linked to the mayhem in Arizona, yet a Palin post from March has.
In today's video, Palin sharply criticizes the mainstream rush to politicize the shooting.
“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,” she says.Palin also said: "There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated?"
“Back in those 'calm days' when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women,” Palin says. “If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure."
Palin’s video was posted on her Facebook page early Wednesday morning, accompanied by a transcript of her remarks. She begins by expressing sympathy for the innocent victims. “No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy,” she says.
Noting the attack at a Tucson-area supermarket occurred as Giffords and her constituents were exercising their right to free speech and assembly, she declared: “It’s inexcusable and incomprehensible why a single evil man took the lives of peaceful citizens that day.”
Palin, who says she spent the last few days reflecting on the tragedy and praying for guidance, struck a bipartisan note by saying, “President Obama and I may not agree on everything, but I know he would join me in affirming the health of our democratic process. Two years ago his party was victorious. Last November, the other party won. In both elections the will of the American people was heard, and the peaceful transition of power proved yet again the enduring strength of our Republic.”
In some ways, the video represents the most statesmanlike speech to date delivered by the former Alaska governor.“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 says, adding: “America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week.”
“We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy,” she concludes. “We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country. May God bless America.”
Palin’s video statement is sure to be the focus of intense media scrutiny Wednesday, in the run-up to President Obama’s address to the nation from Tucson at 8 p.m. Eastern.http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Pal...omo_code=B731-1