Blood libel

Someone Needed To Say This…

Not everyone feels bad about the Martin Bashir firing, but everyone should read the following piece.  It goes far beyond one person being fired for saying something negative against right-wingers…

Fox News and other networks have gone farther than anything Bashir has said in terms of insults to and about the POTUS, FLOTUS and even Malia Obama.  Not to mention their disdain for the “other”, period.  The following piece says everything I’m thinking and does so in a cohesive and formidable way:

Steve Marmel

So, Martin Bashir is off MSNBC. Because that’s what we on the left do. We love to pride ourselves on taking the high road.

All the while Fox News, or the militant right, or the gun thugs say and do whatever they want to push for things that damage the country or the people within it. Classless things. Bullying behavior. Below the belt shots. Flat out lies. And here we are, patting ourselves for being “better than that.” It’s time to stop.

Martin Bashir quit yesterday. Or was fired. Or resigned willingly. Or was pressured out. I don’t know the specifics and I don’t care. All I see is a strong, furious voice for the left being taken off the air. All I see is the left being told one more time: Be upset, but don’t get TOO upset. It’s time to stop rolling over whenever some harsh, vicious, shallow half-term grifter cries crocodile tears. Because the next day, she’s going to remain horrible and keep doing and pushing for horrible things, as one more person on the left is silent.

Martin Bashir, for all his ham-handedness, was not afraid to throw a forceful punch to make a point. And when he did, it resonated. But because he crossed some imaginary line we make for ourselves – because we have to worry about the feelings of people who accuse the President of “Pallin’ around the terrorists” or using racialist terms like “Blood Libel” – we silence ourselves. Why? Am I supposed to care about the feelings of the Palins, Bachmanns, Goehmerts, Ryans, Pauls and Cruzes of this world? I will not. What they want and what they are doing is far, far worse than anything a Martin Bashir said.Stupid Fox News Quotes

He had every right to be angry. We all do. It’s been five years since the right decided this President didn’t deserve his vision – elected by a landslide TWICE – to be executed. So the right jumped in the mud and started throwing it by the buckets. We have GOT to stop being afraid to be angry. Let our policies be the high road. But let’s stop fighting bad guys with one hand tied behind our back.

You know what’s uglier than what Martin Bashir said?

Cutting SNAP benefits from people who can’t afford it.

Demonizing 47 percent of America as lazy and moochers.

Turning our backs on our veterans and the homeless and the unemployed.

Suppressing votes.

It’s time to accept the inelegant and imperfect messenger in return for a powerful and fierce message that can resonate. We are debating people who – when they scream “You Lie” during the “State of the Union” speech, or point an angry bony finger at the President like he’s some sort of petulant child… they become heroes.

We are debating who – when George Zimmerman shot an unarmed black kid – practically gave him a crown, a cape and a scepter and made him their king.

They should be demonized. Daily. Hourly. Viciously. And we don’t. Why? Because we’re “better than that?”

Stop pretending there’s some advantage to muzzling just how pissed we are, and muzzling just how hard a punch that can be thrown. It’s not just seen as weakness, it is exploited as one. If we don’t want to continue losing ground on issues that matter, we have to stop ceding it.

There will be another Martin Bashir. He will saying something vicious. And some person on the right will boo-hoo about it. And then, that voice of left-wing fury needs to say “Don’t like it? Tough.” And then they need to keep on speaking.

It’s time to stop being afraid to get our hands dirty. It’s time to get angry. Stay Angry. Fight fiercely. And never forget it’s a fight. Because the minute you do… …you’ve lost. – Steve Marmel

Wash Times: Criticism Of Palin’s ‘Blood Libel’ Part Of ‘Ongoing Pogrom’ Against Conservatives

Sarah Palin at a campaign rally in Raleigh, NC.

Image via Wikipedia

What is wrong with some people on the Right?  Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo says it best:

I thought Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” comment was crude and stupid. And I understand that many found it offensive, though I can’t say I was really offended in any personal way. The truth is very few things actually offend me. But this actually did. The Washington Times says that the reaction to Palin is part of an “ongoing pogrom” against conservatives in America.

That strikes me as offensive and even disgusting.

I really don’t know what’s with these people.

Talking Points Memo

A Washington Times (not to be confused with The Washington Post) editorial defends Sarah Palin’s use of the phrase “blood libel” in the wake of the Tucson shootings, by calling media criticism of Palin “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.”

Palin had been criticized for using the term “blood libel” to characterize media attacks against her, because of associations between “blood libel” and persecution of Jews in Europe. The term has its roots in the false charge that Jews would murder children and use their blood in religious rituals.

The choice by the Times to describe media attacks as “pogroms” is even more unfortunate since the term usually refers to destructive riots that targeted Jews during the time of the Russian Empire, and often resulted in massacres.

Palin had been criticized for posting a map of the U.S. last year with gunsights over 20 Dem districts that were targets for Republicans, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head on Saturday. Palin responded to the criticism in a video this week: “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.”    More…

Sarah Palin to speak at gun convention

Apparently, this woman seeks to solidify her base and answer only to that base…

Washington Post

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Safari Club International (SCI) gun convention on Jan. 29. According to the organization’s Web site, the event is sold out.

News of the speech comes a little less than a week after the mass shooting in Tucson that left federal judge John Roll, 9-year old Christina Green and four others dead, and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 12 others wounded.

A graphic featuring the image of crosshairs over Giffords’s district had been posted on Palin’s Facebook page and political action committee Web site. A video of Giffords referring to the graphic as being overly incendiary was re-played throughout the aftermath of the shootings. Palin was also criticized for having used the phrase “Don’t retreat — reload” in the wake of the health-care overhaul bill’s passage.

On Thursday, Palin released an online video response offering both her condolences to the victims and a defense against her critics. However, the video also was criticized as having created more division.

Palin will be delivering the speech as some members of Congress on both sides of the aisle promote gun-control legislation in the wake of the tragedy. But the chance that gun-control legislation will reach the president’s desk is remote. As the Washington Post’s James V. Grimaldi reports:

Pro-gun majorities in the House and Senate jeopardize any chance for gun legislation this year. On Tuesday, for example, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) did not list a single gun-related bill in a lengthy speech outlining his legislative priorities.

The SCI convention will also feature comedian Larry The Cable Guy, The Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Praire League, Elvis impersonator Matt Lewis, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and conservative commentator Michael Reagan.     

(h/t The Hill)

Palin’s unfortunate response to controversy

Salon’s War Room is reporting updates on various political pundits’ reaction to Sarah Palin’s video…

Salon

UPDATE (12:59 EST): War Room editor Steve Kornacki’s response

Salon’s own Steve Kornacki explains that “This is why Palin ’12 just won’t work:”

Her defiant statement today will reinforce Republicans’ growing doubts about the wisdom of nominating her… FULL POST

 

UPDATE (12:33 EST): A roundup of the pundits

Digby scoffs at Palin’s attempted martyrdom, and name calling, on Hullaboo:

Memo to conservative morons: there’s a perfectly good all-American term to express your perpetual feeling of victimhood. It’s called “waving the bloody shirt.”

You don’t have to use the phrase “blood libel.” It’s inappropriate to use the term cavalierly at any time, but especially inappropriate when the real victim was Jewish.

 

Adam Serwer goes in depth on “The foolishness of the ‘blood libel’ charge:”

“Blood libel” is not wrongfully assigning guilt to an individual for murder, but rather assigning guilt collectively to an entire group of people and then using it to justify violence against them.

This is a new low for Palin, but outsize comparisons of partisan political conflict to instances of terrible historical oppression is a fairly frequent rhetorical device among conservative media figures.

 

 Jonah Goldberg, similarly, on the attempt to coopt a very old (and loaded) phrase:

I should have said this a few days ago, when my friend Glenn Reynolds introduced the term to this debate. But I think that the use of this particular term in this context isn’t ideal. Historically, the term is almost invariably used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews use blood — usually from children — in their rituals. I agree entirely with Glenn’s, and now Palin’s, larger point. But I’m not sure either of them intended to redefine the phrase, or that they should have.

 

UPDATE (12:23 EST): Josh Marshall in brief

TPM editor Josh Marshall:

Today has been set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre. And Sarah Palin has apparently decided she’s one of them.

 

UPDATE (11:59 EST): Dave Weigel weighs in

Dave Weigel reacted somewhat light-heartedly at first via Twitter but then speculates about what Sarah was up to in between Saturday and today in his early morning post:

It’s the other part, that the coverage of Palin served “to incite the very hatred and violence” that liberal pundits were condemning. She doesn’t say it, but I assume Palin got angry or hateful e-mails, and possibly some death threats, in the wake of the shooting.

Palin’s Persecution Complex Culminates With “Blood Libel” Accusation

This author is on point…”It’s always about Palin…”

Religion Dispatches

Sarah Palin just made her horrendous week worse with her new video in which she accuses her political critics of “blood libel.”

This gaffe — demonstrating both an ignorance of religious history and language — tops a disastrous week: her crosshairs map has been Exhibit A in the discussion of the use of gun-related imagery in political rhetoric. But her PR has been woefully inadequate in explaining the map away as “surveyors symbols.” Her TLC show will not be renewed by TLC, her chances for a successful run at the presidency have been downgraded, and even Barbara Walters expressed “feeling a bit sorry for her.” Palin, however, has remained aloof and cocooned in Wasilla, while hired minions wipe her Facebook page constantly so that negative comments do not show up. So how is Barracuda Barbie a.k.a. Queen Esther shaping her response? The persecution meme.

Palin’s typical pattern is that she takes a phrase from somebody (in this case, possibly Glenn Reynolds, writing in the Wall Street Journal), picks it up, and uses it for her own. In today’s debacle, referring to criticism of her “crosshairs” map as a “blood libel,” Palin shows that even if six people are killed, it’s still all about her. The strategic release of this video, before President Obama travels to Arizona today for a memorial service, shows her self-serving political ends. In addition to misuing the term blood libel — which historically refers to the accusation that Jews murder Christian babies — her additional reference to dueling shows that she will not retreat from any violence-laden speech.

Blood libel, a term rooted in medieval Christianity, started as a rumor that Jews were killing Christian babies, and using their blood to mix into matzoh. The blood libel, refuted first by Pope Innocent IV through a series of papal bulls, has nonetheless persisted throughout history as a way for Christians at times to scapegoat Jews. Palin, by calling the media’s alleged persecution of her a “blood libel” plays into this evil history by inference. But does she understand how this comment of blood libel appears anti-Semitic? Not only is Rep. Giffords Jewish, but accusing the media of “blood libel” could be seen as playing into anti-Semitic memes that Jews control the media.    More…

Sarah Palin’s Arizona Shooting Statement Blasts Journalists & Pundits’ ‘Blood Libel’

It’s hard for me to understand how Sarah Palin doesn’t address the cross hairs map, but accuses the media of manufacturing “blood libel“, essentially turning their criticism of her around by criticising them of the same thing.  

In the past, Palin has accused the present administration of creating death panels within the Healthcare reform bill.  

Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”  during the Presidential campaign in 2008.  On one occasion during that campaign season, someone in her audience yelled “kill him

It’s ironic to me that Mrs. Palin has decided to speak out on the same day that President Obama will address the nation at a memorial service in Tuscon, AZ this evening.

I guess my question is, why is it ok for her to commit the same “blood libel” against the POTUS and Democrats, yet when the tables are turned, she cries “victim”?

Mrs. Palin appears robotic and disconnected from the reality of the situation.   One more thing, who has a Flag near their fireplace?   The video seems so contrived, in my opinion.  It will play well to her base, but I have no doubt that others will not be as kind.

Huffington Post

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin broke her silence on the tragedy in Tucson Wednesday, releasing her first comments on the shooting since a brief statement following the incident Saturday.

In her extended remarks — transmitted in a nearly 8-minute address — Palin expresses sympathy for the victims and responds to a flurry of criticism that has been leveled at her and others for supposedly pushing vitriolic political discourse in a manner that may have encouraged the violent flare-up:

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. 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.

In her statement, she also blasts “journalists and pundits” for “manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.” She adds, “That is reprehensible.”

Palin has been criticized for placing Democrats — including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — under crosshairs during the 2010 election. A Palin aide denied that the crosshairs had anything to do with violence or guns, even though the former Alaska governor referred to the “bullseye” list on at least one occasion. Scroll down for a video as well as the full text of her remarks.      More…