Still suffering from foot-in-mouth disease, Sarah Palin reloaded again?not her gun but her incendiary mouth. Now she’s the victim of the shots in Tucson; no doubt she will release another statement in a few days, stating that pundits and commentators have no right to criticize her for using the loaded term “blood libel” in her defense of her innocence.
Palin and her conservative friends have attempted to make little of her website with the hunting images, the crosshairs, and the implication that it is appropriate to shoot politicians who do not agree with you. If those images were not offensive and likely to provoke, then why have they been removed from her website? Isn’t that proof that they should never have been there in the first place?
Palin was urged by other Republicans to remove the attack images, suggesting that a new stage of conservative excisions has begun. Rewrite, alter, change the past?so that you can shape the future without questionable images or facts. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the “abbreviated” version of the Constitution Republicans approved for reading the first day of the new congress. If the Constitution is that sacrosanct?if it should be taken literally–why does it need to be “edited”? Is this the way it’s going to be in the future? Rewriting history? Censoring documents?
When are Sarah Palin and her followers going to learn that the reason that most Americans are outraged at her is because Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ modus operandi is concern for others, decency, humility?characteristics that the ex-governor of Alaska has yet to demonstrate?
CHARLES R. LARSON is Professor of Literature at American University, in Washington, D.C.