Palin: Hate Speech Monger, Powerless Bumpkin, or a Breath of Fresh Air?
By Tabitha Hale on April 08, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
There are few names that fire people up as much as Sarah Palin.
I've watched Palin since her August 2008 entrance onto the national stage. I immediately loved her. I went to see her speak. I daresay she's part of the reason I became politically active.
As the weeks wore on, the glitter faded. She fumbled her way through things and insisted on making bad choices over and over again. She blew her chances at earning credibility, and I tired of hearing her play the victim. Her "blame the media" strategy only worked for so long - no matter how hard they tried to tear her apart, there came a time where she chose to perpetuate the battle.
Her move to Fox brought mixed reactions. Would she hone her media skills and learn how to handle reporters? Would she expand her knowledge and prove that she could bring new ideas to the table? She hasn't really done either. She did, however, launch a new show, aimed to highlight and inspire the American spirit. As is usually the situation with Palin, the reaction was much more exciting to watch than the show actually was.
Slate published a piece that I thought was fascinating, if not ridiculous. The writer, Dahlia Lithwick, was surprisingly positive about Palin's show, expressing appreciation for a less partisan Palin. Her bone of contention? This:
If Sarah Palin wants to be responsible for introducing us to "extraordinary Americans," I will be the first to applaud her. But she must also accept responsibility for the fact that her words and threats about the ordinary Americans who don't share her political views have very real consequences, too.
On some level she has a point - you have influence, or you don't. However, a fluffy show that is designed to lift spirits and make them feel good doesn't necessarily denote power. Commanding people to raise arms doesn't either - unless they respond. Palin hasn't done the latter - and if she had, where is the reaction from these gun toting, violent activists?
Also overlooked is the obvious double standard held by her detractors. If she is as stupid and useless as they portray her to be, how does she have so much power? She can't be a bumbling idiot that no one takes seriously and simultaneously be the largest destructive force on the Right, running the conservative movement.
The accusations of violence are a knee jerk reaction to the rhetoric being thrown around by the left. The perpetuation in the media is nothing more than lazy reporting. The idea that the conservative movement is a violent one completely motivated by race is unsubstantiated and ridiculous. Those who have made the accusations have begun backpedaling due to consistent lack of evidence. The AP finally discovered that black people are taking heat, not from the Right, but from the the Left. How DARE they turn their back on the government that has worked so hard to enslave them! The only nasty language and threats I have seen have at rallies come from the SEIU thugs and the LaRouches that have shown up at the rallies. I challenge people to show me one video of any of the alleged attacks from a conservative at a rally.
Let's look at the quote she cites from Palin.
Sarah Palin who urges us to "be inspired" and "celebrate the American spirit" in promoting the show, took a very different tone to her supporters on Twitter in the wake of health reform's passage last month: "Don't retreat. Instead — RELOAD," she chirped, sweetly. She also supplied a convenient map showcasing Democrats to go after in the midterm elections, depicting her targets through virtual gunsights and crosshairs.
Talk about overreacting. Reloading? Does that imply that Democratic Congressional offices have been shot at or something? Oh...wait. This has nothing to do with Palin's word choice or power to incite violence. She's looking for another reason to whine about the supposed violence coming from the right, and it's a waste of space. A map with targets? Come ON... that's far from dangerous speech. The DCCC did the same thing. Where are the cries of violent rhetoric?! I DEMAND light be shed on this!
Palin, right now, has very little power. She is not in office, nor is she running. She's quickly losing credibility with her conservative supporters by stumping for McCain and failing to transition from over-hyped VP pick to a viable candidate for national office. Her strongest appeal was always her personality - she's likable and the reality is that a lot women relate to her. Maybe this show will revitalize her? I don't know. Ultimately, I don't think she'll ever rise to national power, but as long as she's a whipping post for the left, they're not paying attention to the people that are actually rallying widespread support. Go ahead and shoot yourselves in the foot, guys. Palin's not your girl.
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