Enduring Strength (or: Together We Connive)

January 12th, 2011

Inspired by Sarah Palin’s video address to the nation, “Enduring Strength: Together We Thrive.”


“Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance.”


I guess you had to explain your silence somehow

(As well as your unwillingness, the crosshairs map to disavow).

Sorry if I don’t believe what you’re saying

That you spent all your time thinking and praying.


 “After this shocking tragedy, 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.”


What you really mean is apportion blame to you.

Were you really so “puzzled” how anyone that could do?


“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.”


No one is dishing out collective blame

As you appear to righteously claim.

All that people are saying is that we reduce the vitriol,

And try to debate more civilly and all.


You and other right-wingers have been especially fond of violent images,

And I realize that now you’re worried about your images.

But wouldn’t it be better to own up and join the call for civility

Than to let this video destroy what was left of your electability?


A propos campaign rallies, I know that it’s fun,

But do people there really need to carry a gun?


“Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions.  And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere.”


Some people shake hands and get back to work, and some don’t.

(Funny how it’s usually the Teabaggers that won’t.)


“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.”


I too don’t like it when journalists make stuff up,

So I understand why you feel all huffed up.

Like you said, that was a surveyors mark, not a crosshair.

It’s reprehensible when journalists make things up out of thin air.


I can’t believe you brought up blood libel— 

Are you trying to make this even more tribal?

They only “purport to condemn” hatred and violence, you say to the critics you’re refuting,

Echoing Limbaugh’s statement that liberals “have been just wishing for” the shooting.


“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?”


It seems you’ve just proved your critics’ point

If you had to go back 200+ years for a more violent data point.


“When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.”


Oh, so that’s what you’ve been talking about – I have to say I’m relieved

(Assuming this retroactive reinterpretation can be believed).


“Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional. No one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent, and we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good. And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.”


Yes, we’re exceptional, that’s clear.

But one of the ways we exceed is in gun deaths per year.

They –like the six dead in Tucson—aren’t imaginary,

And ignoring them won’t make them go away (on the contrary).


No one wants to stifle peaceful dissent or debate—

What people are proposing is to just tone down the hate.

And, you have to admit, as a rule,

Debate in the last two years hasn’t been peaceful.


And who are you saying is out there embracing evil?

Are you trying to create even more upheaval?


“Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment and more than simply ‘symbolic,’ as some claim, to have the Constitution read by our Congress. I am confident she knew that reading our sacred charter of liberty was more than just ‘symbolic.’”


You’re attacking those who said reading the Constitution was symbolic?

(Talk about vitriolic.)

You’ll use any occasion, your critics to goad:

Do you have anything but attack mode?


“But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.”


Now you’ve apparently set out to destroy

Brady’s proposal to give Congress the protection from threats the Pres and VP enjoy.

Most people would agree that such threats are offensive.

(Sounds to me like you’re just being defensive.)


“It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security.”


What values and freedoms do you think need protection?

The right to foment armed insurrection?

How about the right to not get shot at the store?

Isn’t that a right anymore?

66% of gun owners supported the Assault Weapons Ban which Bush let expire.

Do civilians really need extended magazines and full automatic fire?


“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.”


No, we can’t let “random acts” us of our foundational strength rob

(After all, turning us against ourselves is your job).


“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.”


When you refer to “the evil we saw displayed last week”

Is it to lump your critics in with the shooter that you seek?


“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.”


You won’t back down, and consider that to be strength.

But are you willing to go to any length?

Yes, my ideas are different than yours,

Which precisely the need for civil discourse underscores.


It would have been nice if you’d admitted some small degree of guilt.

But instead, you doubled down and went all in, to the hilt.

And you’ve made it very clear

That you think you’re the real victim here.

***

Here’s Sarah Palin’s “America’s Enduring Strength” video (click here for the transcript).

 

Sarah Palin: “America’s Enduring Strength” from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.

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2 Responses to “Enduring Strength (or: Together We Connive)”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Blood Libel Says:

    […] Sarah Palin’s “America’s Enduring Strength” video (click here for the transcript). The contrast between this self-centered, bitter […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » The Real Victims (or: It Must Have Been Some Other Body) Says:

    […] statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.” — Sarah Palin video address to nation  “There isn’t any correlation. It’s like blaming Jodie Foster for the individual who shot […]

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