Sarah Palin’s role

In spite of the pleas from the Left for more civility in public discourse, the vitriol against Sarah Palin appears to be on the rise, and death threats against her are increasing. Public comments in recent days have been exceptionally nasty. And some of the comments I received here, in connection with the Tucson massacre, were absolutely awful.

The panel on Fox News Sunday addressed the Sarah Palin matter, and they resisted the tide of calumny. But as they evaluated her videotaped response, all four – Mara Liasson, Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, and Juan Williams – all seemed to miss the point of her statement and why it was necessary. They all evaluated it only as a defensive move, and as a group, they mostly felt that it wasn’t needed because the point about conservative rhetoric having anything to do with the massacre had been effectively dismissed.

The point they missed, which is a point that can’t be made enough, is that the response of the Left in trying to cast blame on conservatives, was in itself vitriol and represents absolute hypocrisy. In the name of trying to tone down the rhetoric, they have actually ratcheted it up. And that was her point. And I feel that she made it very well, and it did need to be made.

I was heartened to see that in an online survey on the Fox News website, where they asked visitors whether they thought her videotaped statement was appropriate or not, the results were overwhelmingly positive, by about five to one. But among pundits, few want to stick their necks out by defending her. It’s a shame.

Having said that, I do think that Brit Hume made an excellent point that caused me to reflect, and that is about her viability as a candidate. To illustrate the point, I will mention an incident in my own background. Years ago, in a professional dental organization, I led a group that was seeking to reform certain practices of that organization. After our battles were won, I had a number of dentists who wanted to see me on the national Board of Directors, so I applied and was endorsed by the nominating committee. At the annual meeting, my friends advised me to keep a low profile. If I were too vocal about some of the issues that were coming up before the membership, it would hurt my chances at being elected. Well, I was honestly rather ambivalent about serving on the board, and I made a decision that it was more important to have these issues fully aired than for me to be elected to the board, so I made my comments, ruffled some feathers, and narrowly lost the election. That seems to me to be Sarah Palin’s position on the national political scene. She has a strong core of dedicated followers, who may be a majority of active Republicans. But there are a lot of people who don’t follow politics that closely who have been poisoned by all the vitriol against her. It could be a difficult hurdle for her to overcome. I think that in the coming presidential election cycle, she could serve best as an endorser – an outsider who can help conservatives focus on one candidate. If conservatives split among too many candidates, it may prevent any one of them from winning the nomination. But if she helps us focus on one, she could be the deciding influence.

If she runs, I’ll probably support her. But I’m hoping she’ll play the endorser role, in which case I’ll likely support whomever she endorses.

About mesasmiles

By Dr. David Hall. Dr. Hall runs Infinity Dental Web, a small company that does Internet marketing for dentists. He has had a long-standing interest in politics and as a college student toyed with the idea of a political career.
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7 Responses to Sarah Palin’s role

  1. Jim says:

    Excellent point on her playing a supporting role…I’ve been feeling that way for a very long time. She can do a very good job of bringing focus on conservative values and which candidate is or is not true to those conservative values. AND, in the mean time the media & demonRATs will be too distracted to demonize the real candidate by her presence in the background.

  2. Sonia says:

    It isn’t just Palin’s choice of words that disqualify her to lead and represent the nation, it’s her tone. As a parent and an educator who has had to convey both approval and disapproval to my charges for over 40 years, I am painfully aware that both my choice of language and tone set the bar for decency, dignity and discourse.

    Response by David Hall,
    Sonia – you need to help me here. What choice of language has been a problem with Sarah Palin, and where has she breached any standards of decency? Specifics, please.

    And why is it that you Sarah Palin critics can have all this concern for decency, dignity, and discourse, and appear totally unwilling to even recognize the viciousness of the attacks against her? She addresses issues, I defend her, and I get these x-rated e-mails attacking me and her together. Why is it you can’t see that? I have learned, as I have gotten older, how much people see what they want to see. But the disparity between what is actually going on and what people want to see in Governor Palin is so stark, even I am having trouble reconciling it.

  3. Cccccc says:

    You are a complete idiot, just like Palin.

    Response by David Hall:
    Ummm, why don’t you check out “Palin derangement syndrome” on Google. There’s an excellent explanation of it on the Newsbusters website.

  4. Heather says:

    David, I have merely stumbled on your Blog/Website and LOVE it. I’ve “liked” it on FB and hope that other conservative-minded folks in my arena of friends, and Tea Party Patriots with like-minded cores, will follow. Love it – keep it up!! Agreed, on all counts about Palin – and I love your debate “returns” against those who have an issue with what you say. We need more people like you out there!!

  5. Robert says:

    The key to success in politics lies in breaking outside of your base. The devil himself could run for office and get 40% of the vote as long as he espoused the established party centric points of view. The successful candidates are those who are able to swing things over to their side.

    Palin seems to have no interest in doing this. Each speech, every comment, seems to only embolden her existing supporters, with no effort to reach those who don’t agree with her.

    I say this as a Palin opponent who has struggled with her appeal. Fine, some people love her, but doesn’t eventually have to reach out beyond that minority? I can’t help but cringe when she refers to the “real America”. So, the America I live in is….what, unreal? Fake? It’s strange, but I don’t feel the need to carry a gun to be safe and yet I live in one of the largest urban areas in the country. Can she get through a sentence without a gun reference? Once in awhile is fine, but why do they come so frequently with her? Does she have nothing else to relate to, other than a firearm and something dead on the other end?

    It struck me as significant that in the week after the Tucson shootings, Palin was very quiet. It was almost as if–in the silence of a sombered debate about political manners–she has nothing to offer. If she couldn’t be bombastic, there just wasn’t any value in her chiming in. I thought her speech on Wednesday was low class. Why Wednesday? On a day reserved for mourning the victims, she surfaces to complain about her victimhood? Why not Tuesday or Thursday? But no, Palin had to do it on Wednesday, a day when the president spoke to Tucson, a day when even Pat Buchanan and Glenn Beck complimented Obama. But there was Palin, not on board the national bandwagon, standing out with a message about her victimhood, not spending time talking about the victims as Obama did on Wednesday night.

    Those are just a few of the thoughts of somebody who doesn’t get the Palin craze. Yeah, the left was too quick to judge the shooter, but does that mean we shouldn’t calm down the talk? Do we have to wait until a dozen people are dead and the shooter has a Rush Limbach or Rachael Maddow tattoo on his arm before we say “enough”?

    Can she rise above it? Even for a moment? Last week says no. And that may be her political epitaph.

    Response by David Hall:
    Robert, thanks for your comments.

    I don’t think that Sarah Palin talks much about guns. I’m not sure where you’re getting that.

    And your comments about toning down the rhetoric are curious. First of all, there is no evidence that conservative comments have anything to do with violence. James Clyburn was wistfully remembering with fondness the good old days when we had the three major networks and we only listened to Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. Yes, the good old days when we had the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, and the attempted assassinations of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Then we lifted the embargo on Talk Radio by doing away with the Fairness Doctrine and we have had an increase in violence? These conclusions are products of fantasy, not reality.

    And then you only comment about conservative commentators where we cannot find one connection to violence, while polls show that the majority of Americans feel that the most vitriolic rhetoric comes from the Left. It makes it sound like what makes you uncomfortable is dissent with the Liberal agenda. I honestly believe that is the case.

    The strongest connection of Sarah Palin to violence is the rhetoric aimed against her. Why do you refuse to see that?

  6. Robert says:

    Threats against Palin have increased remarkably since her comments. That’s wrong. I don’t support that no matter what side it comes from.

    But your comment that conservative rhetoric has nothing to do with violence ignores the facts. The Olympic bomber in Atlanta, abortion clinic bombings, the murder of James Tiller, the killing of the head of the Arkansas Democratic Party. All of these were committed by people wound into a frenzy about typically conservative viewpoints. Even if you don’t believe those, what caused the attempted assault on the ACLU and the Tides Foundation? Had anyone even heard of the Tides Foundation before Glenn Beck made them an enemy of the state? Was he wearing a Nazi uniform when he lambasted them? He pulls out the swastika so often I lose track. Again I ask, how bad does it have to get before we decide enough is enough?

    And of course, it just couldn’t be a conversation unless it gets personal. I talk about Palin and the response I get deals with me–how I’m wrong, how I’m uncomfortable with…what was it again? Anyone against the “liberal” agenda? And we can’t deal with inflamed violent speech without a “your side is worse than mine” argument that goes nowhere.

    In her book Palin says, “Your leaders will be in the enemy’s crosshairs. You never win playing defense, get on offense! The crossfire is intense, so penetrate enemy territory. Use your weapons. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead reload!”

    You can think there’s nothing wrong with that. You can think it’s not excessive. You can join Palin and believe she’s really just a victim. But combined with a crosshairs map and inflammatory comments like that with no acknowledgement they should be toned down, most of America disagrees with you. Rather than try to analyze me and my liberal brain, you should probably try to figure out what the majority of Americans see in her that you don’t.

    Response by David Hall,
    Well, Robert, that’s so nice that you don’t support threats against Sarah Palin. Now if I could just hear some support for free political speech, I might start to believe that you’re actually okay with dissent. So what do you want to do with Sarah Palin? Muzzle her, I guess, and you’ll be happy. After all, the political targeting of your opponents – we can’t have that, now, can we?

    I maybe went a little too far in implying that no rhetoric that could be associated with conservatism incites any violence. I should have said that no rhetoric from leading conservative figures such as Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and similar figures, has been shown to have any connection to violence. There will be wackos of every stripe and varying political views as you are trying to point out.

    And I think you must be referring to George Tiller, the abortion clinic doctor. Yes, there are violent anti-abortion people. So what would you do? Outlaw anti-abortion speech? That’s where it sounds like you’re going. And I’m sticking to my guns (just a little metaphor tweak for you Liberals there :-)) that you are uncomfortable with dissent.

    And I also think you should go look at the polls. A poll released by CBS News on January 11 showed that only 33 percent of Americans felt that political rhetoric had anything to do with the Tucson shootings. So your attacks on political speech, fortunately, don’t look like they’ll go very far with the people. But it’s a constant battle with you folks (another one of my cute war-like metaphors).

  7. Robert Rowley, Tucson says:

    Between the Palin rallies on the East Coast where the chants of “Kill Him” and “Kill Them” were heard and recorded, Jesse Kellys’ picture of himself with a shaven head, tank top and an M16 which was on his website in the fund raising section and the Sarahpac “Targets” pic…neither the media nor a growing number of Americans are wrong to look to the Tea Party in regards this tragic event.

    Comment by David Hall:
    This is what makes this discussion so hard. One guy makes up a story that sounds good to the Left, and it goes viral and you all latch onto it. I remember that story that was put out, but you even embellish the original version in a truly delightful way. A reporter claimed that someone in a Sarah Palin rally in Scranton had shouted “kill him!” once. You make people chanting it, and chanting “kill him” and “kill them.” And yes, it even was recorded. And you make it plural – “rallies.” Well the Secret Service investigated the story. Funny thing – the Secret Service had agents scattered throughout the audience, and no one heard this. Funny thing, they interviewed dozens of other media people and individuals at the rally, and no one heard this. You can read about this in their local paper, in a follow-up story five days after reporter David Singleton fabricated this story.

    But the story serves your desires of trying to silence the opposition, and so you perpetuate it.

    While you’re into embellishing, why don’t you make the chants being led by a guy wearing a “save our Constitution” t-shirt and carrying a musket? Go ahead, post that on The Daily Kos. And say you were there. That’ll be the version that winds up in your history books. And throw in that Sarah Palin winked at him. You’ll get a good 20% of the people to believe you. At least.

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