'Puter's friend continues to be on a tear about Sarah Palin, crosshairs and Rep. Giffords and the Tucson Massacre (ed.-- not a good name for a band). Friend posts on Facebook a link to this article, headlined "Tell Sarah Palin: Violent Threats Have Consequences." 'Puter's friend added the following commentary:
C'mon, Ms. Palin: be the leader you pretend to be. (Or is it only okay to ask, say, all Muslims to "refudiate" violence when some of them want to build a place for prayer a few blocks from Ground Zero?) You're standing on a turning point in our nation's history, and possibly in your own. Here's hoping....
So, sucker he is, 'Puter read the article, which is really a press release/call to action/fundraiser, and commented thus:
Seriously, [Friend]? Please identify one "violent threat" made by Sarah Palin against anyone. Just one. It's OK to dislike Ms. Palin, even intensely. It's OK to not like her rhetoric. But this claim that Ms. Palin has made a "violent threat" against anyone is a flat out lie.
Friend dutifully replied as follows:
Yes, seriously, ['Puter]. (Read the whole piece--the headline is terribly written and misleading; they don't accuse her of making any specific violent threats.) I want her to step up and apologize for employing violent rhetoric and contributing to a culture of violence in our current political disagreements as a people. I doubt she's woman enough to do it. The combination of "Don't retreat: RELOAD" and the gun-sights and the other targeting and shooting language she and others have used constitute threats to me--not in the legal sense, of course, and not, as I've said, in any way that is directly responsible for any particular lunatic's actions--but in an ethical sense, she has sewn the wind with this wink-wink bullshit and we're all reaping the whirlwind. If, by her logic, we have to respect her call for all Muslims to denounce violence perpetrated by any of them when some of them have the temerity to suggest building a house of worship, she ought to have no problem whatsoever seeing the need for her, as a past and putative-future leader of her party, to renounce her own use of violent rhetoric and imagery in the wake of Tuscon. That's all I'm asking of her. It's honest to God not much. And if you can't see that, we're probably done talking on this.
'Puter responded, so as to end the fruitless dialog:
Yup. We're done talking about this.
I did read the entire piece before initially responding to you. I didn't write the headline, presumably the article's author did, and you reposted it. You admit the headline of the entire article is a lie. There have been no violent threats made by Ms. Palin. None. Not one. You admit in your non-response (i.e., not providing a single example of a violent threat and offhandedly brushing the entire libel under the rug, stating "the headline is terribly written and misleading") the premise of the article is a lie, then you go on to defend the lie by changing the topic.
Your argument attempts to implicitly blame Ms. Palin's crosshairs imagery on a district (which Markos Moulitsas did as well (where's the outrage there)) for the deranged actions of a lunatic who murdered six. In doing so, you implicitly link Ms. Palin's "not really a violent threat as I initially claimed, but I still think it's a quasi-threat of some sort" of causing the massacre. You must know it's simply not true. Sarah Palin's crosshairs did not cause batshit crazy boy to shoot his Representative.
Here's what I see when I read this. "I'm not saying Sarah Palin caused the massacre, but she put crosshairs on an election district, then the representative got shot. I'm not saying there's a connection or anything. But I'm not saying there's not one, either. I'm just saying she said something I think might be a bit violent --but completely legal First Amendment protected speech-- and people got killed." I'm likely misreading you, much as you misread me.
Violent warlike symbolism has been a staple of politics for probably the last fifty years. Its presence is not the problem. As (I believe) a Democrat once said, "Politics ain't beanbag." The problem is what you see here in this thread. Two ideologies that have become so removed from each other that neither can understand the other any more. And this unfamiliarity breeds suspicion of and contempt for the other side's beliefs and motives.
Sarah Palin does not appear to be a bad person, and I believe she's done nothing wrong in this instance. And I say this as a conservative who would never vote for her in a primary, and probably not in a general either. I simply do not understand this irrational hatred of her. I think it's the Left that owes Ms. Palin an apology for this sordid, libelous smear campaign.
All that said, I promise I will no longer comment on anything political you post, no matter how wrong I believe it to be. There's no point, and to continue to do so would damage our respect for one another.
Again, this logic and argument comes from a highly credentialed graduate of allegedly excellent institutes of higher learning. 'Puter's sad, because he was faced with a choice: ignore ignorant, false rants that defame his beliefs or lose a friend.
'Puter's not certain he made the correct choice.