Posts Tagged ‘blood

28
Jun
11

she’s so, um, presidential

Boston Herald: “The American people have had enough. They’ve had it up to here,” a fiery Michele Bachmann told a crowd of roughly 250 gathered in a back yard in Raymond, N.H….New Hampshire is the second stop on her three state announcement tour…..

…… Bachmann even unloaded a risque revelation about her and her husband’s first dates, saying that they would visit the elderly in nursing homes. When the audience chuckled, she added “Well I didn’t tell you what we did afterwards … we do, you know, have red blood in us. What can I say?”

Realizing she may have revealed too much, she joked, “the kids won’t appreciate that mom said that.”

12
Jan
11

‘blood libel’

I’m reluctant to infest this place any more with mention of that woman from Alaska, but in case you want to read commentary on her bizarre self-pitying ‘address to the nation’ today and her extraordinarily ignorant use of the term ‘blood libel’ here are a few links:

Steven Benen at Washington Monthly – The UK Guardian – Adam Clark Estes at Salon – Greg Sargent at the Washington Post – Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post – Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast – even the right-wing Washington Examiner has its head in its hands

BBC: It’s not clear if she or her advisors understand why “blood libel” will be regarded as offensive by many American Jews. The term is overwhelmingly associated with a false accusation of despicable crimes committed by Jews against Christian children.

Conservative Jennifer Rubin:

And as Josh Marshall put it at TPM, “Today has been set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre. And Sarah Palin has apparently decided she’s one of them.”

This is a seriously great article:

Peter Stanford (UK Independent): Sarah Palin was straining to look presidential. With the Stars and Stripes at her side, the former Governor of Alaska read a scripted address in an effort to rebut persistent claims that she was guilty by association over the deaths of six people and the wounding of a further 13, including the Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, at an Arizona supermarket.

The charges against her – which arose because the unashamedly gun-toting Palin had placed a rifle target over Arizona during the 2010 election to designate that Giffords was a politician she wanted out of the way – were not only unjust and reprehensible, she intoned soberly, but were “a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they [journalists and pundits] purport to condemn”.

Her use of the two words “blood libel” made my jaw drop.

…this was not just another of Palin’s trademark foot-in-mouth broadcast moments, mixing up North and South Korea, failing to name any of the “many” papers she reads daily, or “refudiating” her opponents’ taunts. No, Palin intended to say “blood libel”. The real question is, did she have any idea what the phrase actually meant and therefore of the offence it might – and has – caused?

The generous view is that she was desperately seeking a way to make “false accusation” seem more dramatic and herself a bit more wounded by the scapegoating slurs of her opponents.

….Palin’s grasp of history isn’t any more celebrated than her geography. She once suggested Russia shared a land border with the USA and described Africa as a country. Indeed her ignorance is seen as part of her charm by her supporters. So why would she know that “blood libel” has a very specific and ugly meaning that, even in 2011, remains odious and to be avoided at all costs?

The blood libel myth, widely practised in the Middle Ages, held that Jews kidnapped Christian children, sacrificed them, and then used their blood in unleavened bread at Passover. If it sounds like the sick fantasy of an internet-only horror flick, then many in medieval Europe took it as gospel and, as a consequence, thousands of Jews were killed or driven out of their homes in pogroms.

…Palin’s use of the emotive words stands out from the usual rough-and-tumble of political posturing for other reasons, not least that the anti-Semitic overtones of the phrase she chose to use jars when 30-year-old Gabe Zimmerman, one of those killed by gunman Jared Loughner, was Jewish, as is his boss, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, still in intensive care after a bullet wound to her brain.

…For Palin to present herself as the real victim when six people are dead and 13 in hospital is wrongheaded and self-centred, but that’s politicians for you.

For her to go on to liken her treatment to the profound injustice done to generations of Jews down the ages when in Tuscon a Jewish man is about to be buried, and a Jewish woman is fighting for her life, took my breath away.

The just-another-of-Sarah’s-inept-gaffes excuse is wearing a little thin.

…Sarah Palin is playing with fire. She has been one of the most effective practitioners of the use of words-as-weapons, damning Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms, for instance, as “death laws”. But just as such poisonous oratory can get the crowds cheering, it can also lay you low. Perhaps the real choice that faces Palin now is whether she wants to join the ranks of politicians whose gaffes and casual ignorance of history make them a joke, or step up into the responsible mainstream.

….if there was, as seems likely, even an iota of calculation in what Palin said – whether by her or her speechwriters – then right now she should be bowing her head in shame.

Read the full article here




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