Rachel Maddow has pointed out to me what is the most revelatory question made regarding Prudence Palin and her little map. I think the question bears repeating here:
If Palin is so convinced that her little map had nothing to do with the Tucson massacre, why was it removed from her website shortly after the event?
When you’re in middle and high school, you end up studying the Holocaust about every two years or so. You read the Anne Frank book. You are expected to try at that age to wrap your head around the figure of “six million people.” You view photographs of emaciated people, and you learn about the heroic Americans liberating them.
You probably spend more time on the Holocaust then you do on any other subject in history; at least, that’s the way it was when I was coming up. But let me tell you, folks, you may think you’ve received an immersion in Holocaust studies. But you’re not even skimming the tippy top of the tip of that iceberg.*
Adolf Hitler did not just wake up one morning and go “You know, I really hate those darned Jews. We really should do something about that.” No, no, friends. Old Uncle Adolf got the idea from history, from culture, from ideas that have been deemed as acceptable for centuries. Who do you think the Germans blamed for the Black Death in 1350? Must be those Jews poisoning the wells. What, you think the Crusades were just about Muslims? Yeah, they killed a few Jews then, too. Indeed, in 1916, decades before the death of Paul von Hindenberg, Germany was taking a “census” of Jews, meant to question their patriotism—despite that more Jews per capita gave their lives for Germany during World War I than any other group of folks. Nope, folks. Adolf Hitler was not just some crazy fucker who pulled the idea out of his ass. He wanted the Jews gone because his history and his culture led him to believe it was the right thing to do.
Central to these ideas was a 1903-published tome called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” This was advanced as actual minutes from actual meetings of the Jews whose fervent desire is to go all Pinky and the Brain on the world. This forgery is from where many myths and misunderstandings come regarding the Jewish people originate. The Jews killed Jesus, it says. They murder children and use the blood for religious ceremonies, or to make matzoh, it says. They poison wells, it says. And so on. The second charge to which I refer has a specific name: Blood libel.
From the Wiki, specifically:
Blood libel (also blood accusation) refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays. Historically, these claims haveâ€“alongside those of well poisoning and host desecrationâ€“been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.
Now our good friend and colleague, Failed Vice-Presidential Candidate and Half-Term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has accused the media and the pundits of “blood libel” for suggesting that she has said or done anything remotely irresponsible that might have possible feed into the violent and horrifying assassination attempt and killing spree in Tucson. TPM in fact notices that the term has been tossed around like a beach ball in the right-wang media circles regarding this case as of late.
Her use and their use of the term in this context is disgusting. It is ignorant. It is wholly inaccurate. It is disrespectful. It just goes to further show that Palin and her supporters are ignorant fucktards who have no reverence for anything.
I was going to end this entry with a simple “You horrible, nasty pigs.”
But I like pigs.
*You explore the rest of the tip of the iceberg when you have a semester of class with this guy.
I can’t watch “The View.”
I mean, I have. I’ve sat through it and attempted to watch, I think when the lovely Beth O’Stern was guest hosting. I just found that the aural frequency generated by the show tended to make blood sap out of my ears and tear ducts.
It is an interesting concept for television. You get a team of yentas, anchored by the most respected female television journalist in the biz, put on a couple of comedians and/or show biz types and a reality show nobody, and they sit there and yenter it up and occasionally one of them says something stupid or does something outrageous and it makes the news and garners additional viewers. I mean, look, I reckon that programming morning television is a pain in the ass, so I bet this thing is a relative gold mine for these people.
I can’t watch it. Yet, as noted, from time to time, I know about something that happens on the show anyway. Because of the stupid things said and the outrageous things done thing, and how for some reason said action is deemed newsworthy. Like the other day, when Barbara Walters said this:
This is a deranged young man. This is a Timothy McVeigh. Whether this happened because there is…too much commentary, too much violence…whether that really spurred him on or whether he’s just a very sick person, we don’t know and we don’t know what his motives are…to blame Sarah Palin, as some are doing, I think is very unfair to her.
We’re hearing a lot of this backtracking from media figures, oh, no, I have to indicate to you that I don’t think for a minute that Sarah Palin bears any responsibility for any of this. There was even some of this backtracking by a guest yesterday on Big Eddie’s radio program. The problem with it is that it denies recent history and gives Prudence Palin an easy pass for a now long and proven proclivity for disseminating hideous propaganda and inciting language.
If there is one national public figure one can point to and say “that’s the one” who stirred up this hateful, putrid shit-pot, one’s index finger would be unquestionably trained then on one Prudence Q. Palin. This is a person who brought a special brand of hateful, death-laced political expression with her from a state that before her most Americans just thought of as an icy, quiet wasteland, and she opened this previously sealed biological weapon in the face of the rest of these Untied States of America. The statements she made while a vice-presidential candidate were so outrageous that the McCain campaign often found itself walking backward from them, white-knuckled all the way. The scapegoating and name-calling that Palin was able to accomplish during that campaign—and, believe me, I hate to draw the comparison, but windows were broken, folks—had Joseph Goebbels burrowing from his grave* just out of a sheer urge to high-five the lady.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, to pity Prudence Palin for. She willingly stepped out of obscurity to ask the American people to allow her to be Vice President of the United States, and she used her rather sizable soap box to quite purposefully rile up this nation’s mouth-breathing raving loony conspiracy freaks. Since, Palin has been the de facto leader of this out-of-control legion of mongrels, and she has whistled at them every goddamn chance she’s had. Whether or not this kid heard the tones or just got pushed with the big wave she created, don’t make any mistake about it: Sarah Palin bears some responsibility for what happened in Arizona on Saturday. Nothing unfair about that.
*Yes, I know Goebbels was partially cremated, then buried, then disinterred and finally cremated for good in 1970. You know. Figuratively.
I’m not sure why the ongoing fever pitch of ugly behavior in these Untied States of America is causing any sense of surprise among anyone who’s been paying attention.
The reactions and the stories you’ve been seeing of late are not new and they are not random or accidental. The spitting on a congressman and the gay and racial epithets hurled as reported last weekend, you don’t think that’s the same force that drove James W. von Brunn to make his way to the Holocaust Museum in June 2009? You don’t think the same force that caused Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s Rochester office to get pelted with a brick is the same force that caused Raymond Hunter Geisel’s arrest for allegedly threatening to assassinate then-candidate Barack Obama in August 2008?
There is an ugliness brewing in America. It is a nebulous, corrupted, churning cloud of poo-poo. And it is billowing. It is not random, and it is not by accident, and it is not merely driven by racism, though that is one of its most powerful currents. Paranoia, fear, anti-abortionism, ignorance, economic despair, there are so many ingredients in this shit-storm that Martha Stewart would have trouble divining a recipe from it. But it’s there, and I emphasize that it is not there by accident.
Remember, then-candidate Obama had been a child when Bill Ayers was blowing shit up. And yet, Prudence Palin was one of the most out-front and most unspoken when it came to America’s newest “ism.” In fact, I’d say that in this, the post-Dubya era, she was the pioneer of talking as ugly as you can to whip up a frenzy.
Guess what she’s doing today?
She’s campaigning for John McWeirdsmile in sunny Arizona.
Despite John Boner’s lame protestations of late, his party is one that does not take this ugly cloud seriously. But, as our good friend Rachel Maddow pointed out to us, such firing up by our political leaders can have horribly tragic consequences. Go on, watch it, and be sure to perk up your ears at 3:45.
Dear Prudence Palin…
This is a note card.
Note cards are handy tools for public speaking. You can write notes on them that you intend to use while you are speaking in public. Showing up with a few of these can even make people believe that you have thoroughly prepared for your presentation. A speaker with note cards can appear to be collected and can even rely on them as a bit of a crutch.
It can even, in some cases, help the speaker pronounce words correctly.
But all anyone who ever writes anything on her hand ever looks like she’s doing is cheating.
Listen. If a note card like the one above was good enough for President John F. Kennedy…don’t you think it might be okay for you, too?
Does it bother anyone else that Rahm Emanuel has had to apologize to “advocates for the disabled” for using the word “retarded,” but he hasn’t had to apologize to his own political base, to whom he was referring when he used the slur?
It is also bothersome to note that Prudence Palin has seen fit to liken use of this word to the use of another certain pejorative term historically used in reference to African-Americans. Sorry, Prudence, but there is no word in the American lexicon that carries more cruel weight with it than that one.
Or did I miss it when they turned hoses on the developmentally disabled?
I don’t want to write about Prudence Palin anymore. But the lady just keeps on walking into rakes.
She’s asked by Fox “News'” resident academic Glenn Beck, so, who’s your favorite Founder? Which reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry and George discuss their favorite explorer. She says:
You know…well, all of them because they came collectively together with so much diverse opinion and diversity in terms of belief but collectively they came together to form this union…and they were led by of course George Washington…so he’s got to rise to the top. Washington was the consumate statesman. He served. He returned power to the people. He didn’t want to be a king, he returned power to the people, then he went back to Mount Vernon, he went back to his farm.
I’m not making this up. See for yourself.
(Am I hearing right, or does Beck say “bullcrap” to her at some point?)
Her answer, for starters, belies the simplistic nature of Palin’s thinking. This is why the answers she gave Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson during the presidential campaign are so stunning—it’s because they are utterly revealing of just how the synapses connect behind those designer frames. If you set her answer to Beck right next to her answer to Couric regarding her foreign policy bona fides, there is a strikingly similar linguistic quality that’s hard to put a finger on:
We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right next to, they are right next to our state.
See the simplistic, black-and-white, and uninformed nature throughout the structure and syntax? It’s quite remarkable.
I think it’s clear, too, that Palin’s “all of them” is a stall for when she’s having trouble thinking on her feet. She doesn’t really favor “all” of the Founders; she doesn’t even know who 90 percent of them are (as nor do I, actually—we don’t tend to study all of those old guys in school, just the ones painted into heroism by history). But, it is interesting that, once Palin is done stalling, she lands upon a name that’s drilled into our heads from the time we’re like seven years old.
I mean, as founders go, Washington isn’t too bad. But you have to remember, Beck and Palin are visible leaders of a neo-media cult whose guiding principle is a blind and wholly inaccurate worship of these legendary superheros known as “the Founders,” in fact, Beck has staked part of his entire broadcast career on rubbing his own shit into Thomas Paine’s hair. I guess what surprises me is that they didn’t rehearse this softball question and that Palin didn’t have a bit more of an eclectic reply at the ready.
Though Washington was revered as a great military leader and a great presnit, he’s not the first one off the top of my head as a “Founder.” The man didn’t even get to sign the nation’s most basic founding document—he had been included in the Continental Congress as a delegate from Virginia, but he resigned to act as commander general of the Continental Army and therefore could not be a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
And let’s not pretend that Washington didn’t have his detractors at the time. He most certainly did. There was in fact a plot to remove him as general, an effort that included fellow “Founder” Benjamin Rush, among others. The Conway Cabal, led of course by an Irishman, was eventually exposed and therefore thwarted. Later in his life, Rush would express regret for his role in the matter, though this expression sounds to be to be a bit grudging:
[Washington] was the highly favored instrument whose patriotism and name contributed greatly to the establishment of the independence of the United States.
Yes, George Washington is surely a great historical figure. But his own record isn’t as cut and dried as Palin seems to imagine.
No, Prudence, if you’re trying to jettison the conception that you’re a dolt, you’ve got to do better than Washington. How about George Mason, whose refusal to sign the Constitution in part led to the creation of a Bill of Rights? Or Richard Henry Lee, whose motion in the Second Continental Congress caused the Declaration of Independence to be, um, declared?
Oh, you’d like him, Prudence:
To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.
Or, for hell’s sake, why not just go all the way and name the greatest Founder of them all? Jefferson? Ring a bell? And no, I do not mean George Jefferson…dolt. Or the most-quoted Founder, B. Franklin? No?
See, it’s great to think you’re leading a history cult that worships “the Founders” on the one hand. It’s even better to have some modicum of intellectual curiosity to bother to do a Google search or three or even to READ A DAMNED BOOK. (I suggest “What Would Jefferson Do” by Thom Hartmann for starters.)
A while ago, I wrote that, perhaps, a sitting senator ought to know the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Now, a 60 Minutes interview reveals that twice-failed presidential candidate John McWeirdsmile nearly brought into the White House a person who was even less informed a person than is John Boner.
In public, Palin looked like the game changer McCain had wanted, but in private, the authors say she was struggling to learn too much too fast.
“Her foreign policy tutors are literally taking her through, ‘This is World War I, this is World War II, this is the Korean War. This is the how the Cold War worked.’ Steve Schmidt had gone to them and said, ‘She knows nothing,'” Heilemann told Cooper. “A week later, after the convention was over, she still didn’t really understand why there was a North Korea and a South Korea. She was still regularly saying that Saddam Hussein had been behind 9/11. And, literally, the next day her son was about to ship off to Iraq. And when they asked her who her son was going to fight, she couldn’t explain that.”
Prudence Palin was born on February 11, 1964. Yet, she had to have the Cold War explained to her. She apparently could not keep the world wars straight and had trouble wrapping her gray matter around the 38th parallel. Apparently, she’s never seen a single episode of M*A*S*H.
Today, we learn that Palin is all set to become part of the great corporate “media filter.” On Fox “News,” of course.
I’m not sure if this confirms or disproves the Peter Principle.
Regardless, it is absolutely mortifying that John McWeirdsmile nearly placed this idiot in the OEOB. Just remember that. Remember that every time this jackass opens his mouth. He nearly put Prudence Palin, whose knowledge base probably only nearly approximates that of Sal the Stockbroker, into the White House.
He should be made to wear a “Palin 2012” t-shirt wherever he goes.