Could Sarah Palin Just Apologize For the Gabby Giffords Crosshairs Already?

Map of Palin Crosshairs

Sarah Palin has apparently been hiding behind her computer screen as it seems that her handlers have noted a correlation between her opening her mouth and her being pegged as a moron. The recent shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has shown, however, that the internet is not necessarily the insulation that Palin perhaps thought it was.

Do I blame Sarah Palin for …

… Gabby Giffords’ shooting at the hands of apparent nutjob Jared Loughner? No.

At the same time, however, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Giffords appeared on Palin’s website under a rifle crosshair. Although the targeting of Giffords was surely meant in terms of politics, not mass murder, Giffords herself raised concerns about potential repercussions to Palin’s dubious metaphor in an MSNBC interview that has been making the rounds since the shooting.

Still, is it fair for Palin to be under fire (no pun intended) for crass campaigning?

From The New York Times:

Ms. Palin’s close circle of advisers and supporters asserted that bringing her name up in connection with the Tucson shooting was unfair, and that she should be able to ignore it as liberals try to score political points or as the news media try to provoke controversy.

“I’m just waiting for the D.C. media to link Sarah Palin to birds, crabs and fish dropping dead around the planet because she has an outdoor reality show and enjoys hunting, because the two are about as connected,” said Nick Ayers, the departing executive director of the Republican Governors Association, who has at times given Ms. Palin advice. “Whether you love her or you don’t, no normal American thinks we should view this tragedy through the lens of her next political move, nor will they.”

But even some Republicans sympathetic to Ms. Palin suggested that she needed to find a more substantive and nuanced means of addressing the criticism to avert any risk to her political standing and to maintain control of her political narrative.

In other words, “The Annie Oakley thang’s getting old, Sarah … and saying things like, ‘Don’t retreat, reload’ does not look good given the current state of affairs.”

And realizing that she had to say something, Palin chose to make her statement through that paragon of fairness and equality Glenn Beck.

Under criticism that her political rhetoric had helped create a climate for political violence, Sarah Palin addressed the issue in trademark fashion: via e-mail to the conservative commentator Glenn Beck.

“Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence,” Ms. Palin wrote to Mr. Beck in an e-mail that he read Monday on his radio program.

Mr. Beck said he received the message over the weekend, when Ms. Palin and her aides were otherwise ignoring requests for comment about the Tucson shootings from members of the mainstream news media.

Yup, vintage Palin!

And it’s getting increasingly difficult for the Republican coterie to defend her, if right-wing golden boy Tim Pawlenty is any indication. (And to be completely fair to Palin, Pawlenty is widely thought to be her competition for the Republican nod in 2012.)

“There’s no indication at present that those cross hairs, Fox News, any particular commentator or show or set of remarks or person was a motivating factor in his thoughts,” Mr. Pawlenty said of Mr. Loughner.

When asked if he would have produced a similar map, Mr. Pawlenty said, “I wouldn’t have done it.”

There seems to be a basic belief among Republicans that Palin is going to have to cut the social networking snark if she wants to be taken seriously. I find Sarah Palin as deplorable as anyone does, and I think her Giffords crosshairs would never have become the issue that it has if she’d just come out and apologized (or at least expressed remorse) in a legitimate, honest, straightforward way.

But she didn’t … and people are noticing.

Ari Fleischer, who served as White House spokesman for President George W. Bush, said Ms. Palin had to address the shootings with more than a Facebook post, though he said he would advise her to wait a few days as the political dust settled.

“At a time like this,” Mr. Fleischer said, “what the nation wants more than anything else is for people to rise above the nonsense and the politics and to be gracious. There’s nothing like letting people see your heart, your emotion. Facebook and Twitter don’t convey emotion.”

So why is it that Sarah Palin can’t have the basic human decency to openly and vehemently denounce this despicable violence in more than a cutesy social networking status update or a letter to Glenn Beck?

I cannot understand how anyone can support this woman …

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36 thoughts on “Could Sarah Palin Just Apologize For the Gabby Giffords Crosshairs Already?

  1. I love me some ZL as much as the next guy, but seriously, she is only a problem as long as people allow her to be.

    The anger and rhetoric continue because of postings and articles of her dismal ramblings, a majority of which don’t deserve any notice.

    Maybe a Palin related moratorium on ZL?

  2. I dislike Sarah Pain so much. And it’s not just her politics. I actually am repelled by her personality.
    I disliked the job George Bush Jr. did as president, and politically, I have almost nothing in common with him. But I think I’d enjoy hanging out with him in a normal setting.
    Sarah Palin would make me want to smack her even if she was bagging my groceries.
    I think the fact that she has never accepted responsibility for any of her mistakes is a big part of why I can’t stand her.

  3. No, she can’t apologize. This made total sense to her target (heh) market, and backing down would be to lose face. Her reaction makes total sense, and the main criticisms are coming from an area she doesn’t need to win over. In fact, the fact that they criticize her adds to her credibility in other areas.
    She obviously had nothing to do with the shooting, and any attempt to connect her to it is dumb.
    She obviously does thrive on angry, opponent-bashing rhetoric, and she fully deserves criticism for the shoddy politicking. But she deserves that for her tactics – completely unrelated to what some other asshole did.

  4. I mentioned earlier that this liberal vs. conservative cancer is killing the feminist movement. The blind hatred for Palin is an example. What is it that grinds your gears?
    Political speech it largely based on military parlance. It is politics and diplomacy that allow differences to be settled without violence. The very word campaign arises from armed conflict.
    Attacking Palin for engaging in typical political behavior is petty and speaks of the little minds that seem to control the forefront of equality thinking (or more lack thereof).
    I personally think it’s wonderful that she is out there going toe-to-toe with the idiot men who seem to be doing such a great job running the country now.
    Or you can all just suck it.

    • I have no hatred for her. But I don’t believe feminism is a good reason to support a woman just for being a woman. Feminism has afforded her the opportunity to work and to run for office, and it has afforded me the same opportunities whether or not I choose to take them.
      I respect her as a woman, but don’t care for her as a politician. Don’t take my distaste for her political behaviour as approval of anyone else’s. Anyone who runs an attack ad loses a fair bit of credibility in my eyes. Same as I wrote in another post recently – ad hominem is for people who don’t have anything useful to say on the issues.
      At first glance, I had a good opinion of Sarah Palin. With a little more time, her lack of preparedness for the sought position became clear, and I did not support her ambition, even if not minding her personally.
      When she quit her job as Governor mid-term, she lost my support in any future political aspiration, everything else aside. I think she has every right to decide she would rather be a reality star than a Governor, but by not fulfilling the term she started, she lost any credibility in future politics.
      Of course, for me this is all academic, but the same would go if I were a voting american.

    • Her personality is odious. And she has no ability to laugh at herself. The only time I’ve ever heard her say anything that is supposed to seem self deprecating, it’s got a false note.
      She kind of reminds me of that brief period of time when Kate Gosslin was trying to seem likable. It was obvious that she’s a raging bitch, but she was trying very hard to put on a false smile.
      Put all that together with a dislike of her personal politics and rhetoric and I can’t find a single reason to like her.

    • My abhorrence for Sarah Palin is not a conservative vs. liberal thing … it’s a “How dare you make women look like a conniving, opportunistic, manipulative lot?” thing. It’s a, “Why do you tout your special needs son as holier-than-thou proof of your pro-life stance when you put his life at risk on numerous occasions during your pregnancy with him?” It’s a, “How can you reinforce gender stereotypes about women not being able to hack it by resigning your elected position?”
      I could go on, but I hope this sampling explains my distaste, as both a feminist and a woman, for Sarah Palin and that it has little to nothing to do with her politics.

    • Speaking of sucking it,can you believe its been 13 years ago that Drudge broke the Lewinsky story! I’ll go back to my deck now.

  5. I think there are a lot of personality types that can grab onto the republican message and run with it. Of those, dangerous individulas such as White Supremesists and NRA extremist militias. Inciting a “civil war” is what these people would love to see happen. Sarah Palin feels free to flap her gums from Alaska, meanwhile people are being shot and killed at supermarket rallies. While Loughtner may have been insane, you better believe there are lots of extreme right wing hate mongers who stood up and clapped their hands that day. Believe it.

    • Of course there were. but there is no reason to assume that those few represent the majority. There are hate-filled extremists on both sides, and there are doubtless a similar small set of extreme left-wingers who are thrilled anytime an old white guy dies of anything, and who are excited when the US loses any face on the world stage.
      Judging any group by the fringe crazies doesn’t help.

        • Sorry I meant majority obviously. I haven’t had my coffee yet D: just wanted to point out that there is a worrisome uptick in activity by those groups.

  6. Of course Sarah Palin’s ad had nothing to do with the shooting. However, since said shooting has occurred, the ad looks to be in extraordinarily poor taste, no? I don’t expect her to apologize, but at the very least stop defending the stupid thing. It was a dumb ad to begin with, and it’s even worse now. Just give up; there’s no way you’re going to win this one.
    On a side note, I cannot believe that people still seriously think she could run in 2012. She is such a joke; her inability to apologize illustrates this the most. I would say a very, very high percentage of politicians have to apologize for something (whether an affair or something that they said 15 years ago, a la Sonia Sotomayor “wise latina woman” thing). It shows humility and an ability to compromise, even if you really did nothing wrong. Palin cannot seem to do this.

  7. I’m not judging the group I’m judging Palin for inciting those fringe elements. I live in AZ and the political atmosphere has been very hostile and resentful since Obama took office. Many people here remarked that they were saddened but NOT ONE BIT surprised to hear about what happened in Tuscon. Sorry to clue anyone in, but she appeals to a certain section of Americans who are niether very bright nor invested in a better world for everyone.

    • I’m not sure how I feel about blaming her for inciting crazy people.
      Do I think she does inflame loonies? Yes.
      Do I think that she sets out to inflame loonies? Not really.
      I think that she knows that it isn’t difficult to make disfranchised people love you if you seem just as angry as they are on their behalf.
      “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” is not an original concept, but it’s a rousing one.
      And that is a large part of why I dislike her style. It’s why when I see people comparing her to Hitler I understand that it’s not necessarily her politics but her rhetoric that invite the comparison.
      She may make people feel that she is on their side, but everything she does seems designed to make Americans less happy. Angry people don’t think clearly, and if everybody is angry, nobody will be looking at anything she says or does logically.
      It’s insulting and dangerous, but not because crazy people will go on rampages.
      It’s dangerous because the American public is being encouraged to act from a base of anger rather than thoughtful deliberation. Nothing good can come from that.
      And it’s all self serving. That is deplorable.

    • “… the political atmosphere has been very hostile and resentful since Obama took office.”
      Leave it to Jess to”perk” things up.

  8. The shooting made people stop and think about the ugly rhetoric that has been dominating the airwaves lately. And those people, after thinking, said “you know, I’m not comfortable with such heated, violent metaphors and fearmongering.” And then those people pointed to the person at the helm of such rhetoric, one Sarah Palin.
    The fact that Ms. Palin and many others have TOTALLY MISSED THIS LOGICAL THOUGHT PROCESS and instead think that she’s being blamed directly for the shooting just shows once again that A) Sarah Palin is like a bull in a china shop when it comes to discussing anyone who isn’t her political ally / any policy she doesn’t agree with; and B) Sarah Palin really needs to do a little more research on both current events and history before she says anything. It would save her the embarrassment of putting her foot in her mouth all the damn time.
    And regarding T-Paw (what we Minnesotans call Tim Pawlenty) – I really hope none of you conservative folk are taking the man seriously. He left our state in a total mess, in debt 6 billion when he “borrowed” that amount from our schools to balance the budget, with no plan to pay it back, conveniently in the last stretch of his final term as governor. So much for fiscal responsibility eh?

  9. Let me get this straight,those crosshairs inspired a lunatic,bit Rosie O’Donnel getting on a national TV show and stating that 9-11 was an inside job didn’t. that Loughner dude was obsessed with conspiracy bullshit that is strewn about by the fringe left.

    • I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Sarah Palin inspired this guy to kill since he’d been fuming about it for years. Also, Rosie O’Donnell is a crazy person.

          • The only reason the left is dancing around blaming her,like your doing,is because they clearly see that the American people won’t buy it.

          • …..I’m not blaming Palin.
            Also, I don’t blame Sarah Palin for the shooting.
            Hey, also, on a related note, I do not feel that Palin is in any way culpable for the heinous shooting that happened in Arizona.

        • Hey Joey,
          Finger pointing is the American way. We’re not happy unless we have a scapegoat whether it be the community college, video games, weed, his parents, or a politician. That’s what we do.

  10. This country is broken and no one, not a single person in the Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, or whatever is going to be able to fix it until we all back down from ideology kool-aid.
    Know what? Shit happens. It’s been happening since the country’s inception. If you’re going to blame Palin (who makes my skin crawl) then you have to blame JD Salinger for John Lennon’s death and the attempted assassination of Reagan.
    I just want one goddamned day where I can have a conversation about something and not have it devolve into another asinine political conversation fueled by half-assed understandings of politics.
    Until then, I remain an Independent and will continue to vote against stupidity, bigotry, and general asshattery. And let me tell you, it makes each election that much more difficult to stomach.
    Should Palin apologize, yes. It’s the humane thing to do. But sadly, it’s not the American thing to do.

    • Gonna have to agree with Jeneria, except I don’t have conversations that generally devolve into asinine political conversations.

    • Um, this began as a conversation about asinine politics. You could have read the title and moved past. It didn’t devolve – the topic was there in the first place.
      On the other hand, I’ve very rarely seen a conversation here that is not about politics end up there.

      • The point is, as long as we continue to entrench ourselves in this ridiculous binary opposition of liberal v democrat, nothing gets accomplished. Look at this discussion. The question is simply “Should an adult woman apologize for putting cross hairs on a map targeting her political opponents in the wake of an attempted assassination of one of the said targets?” The adult answer is “Yes.” I really don’t see where political affiliation comes into play.
        If one of my students (college-aged) wrote an essay about wanting to kill people, I have a process I need to follow to ensure that the student body and that that student is mentally sound. Same thing goes if a student shows up sporting knives or guns. But there is no check on politicians. So she should just nut up and say “It was a bad idea, I’m sorry” and move the fuck along. Instead, we get mired in this ideological debate that does absolutely nothing but allow infantile adults the opportunity to hear themselves scream.

        • No, I don’t think she should apologize in the wake of an attempted assassination. Or at least, the attempted assassination should have no bearing at all on whether she should apologize. I think it was in poor taste in the first place, but logical imagery given her areas of support.
          But if she wasn’t going to apologize in the first place, I see no reason that she should after the unrelated actions of some other nutbar or asshole.

          Many people who express a dislike for Sarah Palin do it outside of party affiliation. sure, she gets attacked by the left for obvious reasons, but it’s not just that.
          While I am not an American, there’s a good chance I might tend towards voting republican if I were. But I’d be sitting there going “god I hope people aren’t dumb enough to run her, or I’m going to have to vote elsewhere.” I’ve had to do that up here when the party that works for some of what I want runs candidates I hate.

  11. I haven’t seen a politician attacked like this since Reagan,and the refreshing thing about both of them is they could care less.

    • I didn’t have much problem with her as a politician. I discounted her as a politician once she left office mid-run. That’s fine if you’re done with politics, but terribly credibility-destroying if you ever want back in.

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