Liz Smith: Palin’s Fans Demand My Apology — or My Head. Or Both!

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And more from our Gossip Girl: the new, and quite unusual, Byron Janis book

“EVEN THE gods love jokes,” said that ancient philosopher Plato.

* * *

WELL IT’S very interesting to write something about Sarah Palin and see it explode on the Internet.

The other day after giving the ongoing Sarah situation the best of my thoughts, commenting on her obvious attractions, the devotedness of her fans, and the fact that she has become the most famous polarizing voice in American politics, I was bombarded by these same fans and informed that I owed Sarah an apology.

Maybe I didn’t explain myself too well in ending my piece by saying Sarah is a “joke” on the American people. I simply meant to convey that she is not equipped to become the leader of the country.

She is sensational as a factor in making her points on public opinion, in leading her flock — and she is absolutely great looking in the bargain. She seems to be the one mother in the universe who really actually “has it all.” And she well may be the greatest “character” to come along in the history of U.S. politics.

So, she isn’t a great sharpshooter. (I happen to think a woman as a great sharpshooter is pretty much of a waste. I’m so old fashioned.) But still, she isn’t ready for the Oval Office. As the jokers say, “This doesn’t make her a bad person.” (I think she pretty much proved my point by her “policy” speech about not blaming every crime committed in the world on the conservative right. She was right about that but why didn’t she just leave it alone? It was a very well-manufactured speech, yet she and her advisors made a huge mistake with the use of the words “blood libel.” They simply did not know or realize the meaning of this term that is so anathema to the Jewish people of the world.)

Honestly, I don’t expect any of Sarah’s fans to agree with me. And they’re wasting their time trying to goad me into a response to explain why I don’t feel I owe her an apology. Sarah Palin doesn’t owe me anything either. She hasn’t noticed I exist and that’s OK with me. But we are of different opinions, so while I can be corrected and when I make a mistake, I’m willing to say so … I can’t change my mind about the most important issue. If she ever got elected President, I’d be very despairing, since I can’t see how she is qualified. (But here is a quote I found by dear old Anonymous: “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”)

But, of course, she is qualified, and has every right, to act out, to speak out, to write books, to do TV shows, to be a star on Fox News, to make millions. More power to her.

Oh, the other thing about responding to readers is I absolutely hate the Internet. It takes too much time for an old-fashioned dolt like me to figure out how to reply. I tried the other day as I really wanted to engage with some of my critics who seem very smart.

But by the time I figured out how, I was exhausted.

So, I’m sorry if you think I should apologize to Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m sure she couldn’t give a… crosshair on a moose.

* * *

There’s nothing like a “celebrity” love story and while now, more and more, such romances do not last, here now is a new book where one does.

And this may be the most interesting part of the Byron Janis book about his life to someone like me. I especially love thinking on his marriage to the Beverly Hills beauty and excellent artist, Maria, the daughter of Hollywood’s Rocky and Gary Cooper.)

But, of course, the Byron Janis story, “Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal,” as written by himself alone, is much more than just his happy marriage. This child prodigy became an international music phenomenon, a protégé of Vladimir Horowitz, a protégé and eventual lover of the famous Wanda, daughter of Toscanini, who just happened to be married to Horowitz, and the story includes  thousands of other prominent names in music, art, and celebrity.

This is a book where the gifted musical child grows up to discover unknown music written by Chopin (and he does this not once, but twice.) He hangs in the purlieus of Boris Chapliapin, Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, George Schlee, Maria Callas, Elsa Maxwell, Walter Cronkite, Ronald Reagan, and on and on. He knows and has been known by the greats of the 20th century.

And he is a fighter who struggled to regain his manual artistry at the piano after an accident almost severed a finger. Then, later, Byron battles crippling arthritis and dabbles in the paranormal.

I know Byron and admire him greatly and I love Maria Cooper Janis who writes a handsome foreword to her husband’s life. This book is full of musical history, thrills and chills, personal battles, foibles, and adventures of the rich and famous and gifted.

A surefire hit if people who love music and musicians, stars and satellites are still reading.

* * *

On Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton in Hollywood, the Golden Globe Awards happen. Although the GG’s have gained more respectability in recent decades, there’s still a surreal quality to some of the nominees — Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in “The Tourist?” (Then again, the Globes are given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and “The Tourist” was a big hit in Europe.)

It’s down to “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” to garner the big GG’s. My bet is on “The King’s Speech,” unless the Hollywood Foreign Press wants to prove how “modern” they are, and honor David Fincher’s tale of Facebook machinations and betrayals.

55 comments so far.

  1. avatar Sandy B says:

    Don’t worry about it Liz.  Sarah herself in her speech pretty well defended your right to free speech (ok she defended HER right to free speech- her speech was all about HER- but I”m interpreting).  It would even be ok to put up her poster with crosshairs (er…surveyors marks) over it because that is protected by the first amendment.
    Anyway, of course she is not responsible for what a crazy shooter/assassin did.  However, by exercising her free speech in the manner in which she did, it was reasonable to expect that people would speculate that her weapons imagery might have inspired the shooter.  And it was within their first amendment rights to so wonder out loud.
    Just because there is free speech doesn’t mean people won’t have an opinion about what you say or will not vehemently disagree or even think you are promoting violence.  To me it is clear Sarah has promoted violence, through her lies, ignorance and weapons imagery.  I’ve been upset about that since before this shooting, and the shooting didn’t suddenly make me ok with it. But I do not hold her responsible for what happened.  But I DO have an opinion about her promotion of violence. (and no she isn’t the only one, but she is the one this article is about- and since she is the one that keeps putting herself out there- she the one that gets talked about.  Which is clearly what she wants.)
    I’m really jealous you met Colin Firth.  I can’t think of anything I’ve seen him in I haven’t loved and I hope he is Oscar bound for The King’s Speech.  He was fantastic and it was painful at times to watch him stammer through things.
    Have a wonderful day!

    • avatar Dianne Lopp says:

      What about all the violent rhetoric directed at Sarah Palin?  During the election Sandra Bernhard, well known comedian, said that she wished some “big black brothers” would rape Sarah Palin!!!! (Thereby exposing her own prejudices and hate). Where’s the outrage for that? Palin was wrong for putting crosshairs on that map but the crazy who did the shooting was not doing it for Palin or any political philosphy—he’s crazy.  The media does not simply report on what Sarah Palin says; they take pains to point out how stupid she is or uneducated or whatever they deem so repellent to about her.  Bush has been burned in effigy repeatedly by the left; Dan Quayle was the object of assasination jokes—all that’s all right?  The left needs to stop throwing stones from a glass house.

      • avatar Mary says:

        No, none of it is right, none!  There is a difference however in how those people responded to their own situations and like it or not the media is not only here to stay, it includes now instant emotional responses like never before.  We need to learn how to handle that instant access in more responsible manners, but we also have a right and the ability through the instant access to respond.  It is a double edged sword.

        When I say there is a difference to how people respond I am talking about the people you mention plus the many many others over the years and the history of our country who faced horrific threats by active violence, who were actually physically harmed and yes even assasinated.   Never never never did GW Bush, his father, Clinton, Ford, ( a victim) , Reagan (a victim), Carter, the Kennedy’s (victims)  nor their staff who have been harmed and even killed, ever responded proposing that anyone on the other side of the political fence was to blame or speak of being wrongly blamed etc for the results.  That is the difference.  What they may have said privately is probably a different story.  But never did they jump in a arena and say that they were being wrongly targeted etc.  The media had plenty to say, but no, those victims and truely victims did not address the negative and point fingers personalizing what was and is deeply personal.  To their credit they handled it in a manner that was dignified and thoughtful.  That is the difference.

      • avatar Sandy B says:

        I said very clearly I didn’t blame her for what happened.  But given what she’d said and done it was natural for people to wonder if it was one of her “fans”.  Things also happen in a particular atmosphere.  Words like “take the country back” or “don’t retreat, reload” create an atmosphere.  And she feeds her aura continuosly.  The media would not be doing their job if they pretended not to notice the amazingly ignorant things she says and does. They do not need to take pains to point out anything.
        However, if Sandra Bernhard is who I think she is (I’m not sure) I can’t stand her.  And she was absolutely wrong to say those things.  I wouldn’t exactly count her as media though.  I also don’t agree with effigy bunings etc. However, those are angry people doing those things.  Sarah is a leader.  She is trying to lead a poiitical movement.  She seeks out media attention.  She has “followers” and started a PAC.  That is a different story.

      • avatar BeanCounter says:

        I love Sandra Bernhard.  I’ve seen her in so many stand up shows I can’t even count.  This one comment most likely comes from a multi-layered extremely complex joke or political satire that you probably couldn’t comprehend.   Her jokes are amazing, as is she.   One of the most intelligent women I’ve ever heard speak.

      • avatar Sandy B says:

        I actually don’t think she is who I thought she was- but my answer would be the same.  I don’t think any “muliti-layered extremely complex joke or political satire” makes it ok to say that sort of thing.  And I imagine if I heard it in its entirety I would understand it just fine.  Pretty presumptuous of you to assume someone not sharing your humour as being incapable of comprehending it.

  2. avatar Anais P says:

    Liz, I’m glad you didn’t apologize. After all, Sarah’s statement on the tragedy in Tucson wasn’t focused on the lives lost or those wounded, but on HER and the perceived wrongs done to HER. And it used that awful “blood libel” term, which is all the more galling because the target was Jewish Congressman Giffords. Talk about rubbing metaphorical salt on literal wounds. Palin never apologizes for anything, and your opinions were harmless, so neither should you. Thanks for  your excellent columns. BTW, I agree with you on “The King’s Speech.” Just loved it. That’s what a real leader does when speaking — inspires, lifts up the listeners. A good lesson for all kinds of leaders.

  3. avatar Maizie James says:

    Dear Liz,
    Why should you become an apologist for voicing your opinion? I wish everyone would ‘shut up’ about Ms Palin. Enough.  Instead, my thoughts this week have been with the families of the innocent murdered victims of Saturday’s tragic shooting, and wishing/praying that Gabrielle Gifford and the other wounded survivors recover.

  4. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    (But here is a quote I found by dear old Anonymous: “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”)

    ______________________________________________

    As we have seen over and over and more and more of late.

  5. avatar Bella Mia says:

    An apology won’t make a difference; it’s too late, Sarah Palin is being flooded with death threats.
    Meanwhile, Loughner’s friend reveals to ABC News that Jared was obsessed with a documentary called Zeigiest -  essentially anti-religion, New Age Wackiness and 911 Trutherism
    ABC News interviewed Loughners friend Zach Ostler:
    “Loughner turns out to be a fan of Zeitgeist, a feature-length online documentary that is one-third arguments that Jesus never existed and religion is an evil fraud, one-third 9/11 trutherism, and one-third conspiracy theories about bankers. There’s been a lot of speculation out there about one of Loughner’s comments on YouTube, “I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!” — a sentence that may sound like something a gold bug would say, except that Loughner was also prone to describing strange schemes for an “infinite source of currency,” which is precisely the sort of suggestion gold standard advocates would reject.” (emphasis mine)

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/12/the-new-age-assassin
    So we have a guy with a Satanic altar in his backyard, listening to heavy metal music, pot and drug user, philosophically anti-Christian, anti-religion….sounds exactly like a Bill Maher groupie.
    Also, I would hope that as the presidential election gets underway that opponents of Mitt Romney remind themselves that when they use anti-Mormon rhetoric that churches are burned to the ground, business picketed and disrupted, people forced out of their jobs, missionaries roughed up, and in November, one local church leader was assassinated standing in the church foyer, leaving a widow and 6 young boys, one, a two month od baby.
    Following the vote in favor of Prop 8, seven Mormon church buildings were vandalized, some quite extensively.  In December, the 127 year old Provo Tabernacle was burned to the ground.  In October, a large Mormon church near Seattle was completely destroyed causing more than 1 Million dollars in damage, also caused by an arsonist.
    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/105111959.html
    Not once did I hear anyone in the Main Stream Media calling on the opposition to tone down the rhetoric.  Why the silence then? And so much blame hurled now?  The answer seems obvious.
     

    • avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

      Bella Mia  I did not see or read anything about those Mormon church attacks.  They are horrible and should be reported.  I am so sorry for those affected.  My prayers are now with them.
      I wish no ill to Sarah Palin, I do wish she would go away.
       
       

    • avatar Linda Myers says:

      Bella,
       
      Not all beliefs outside of organized religion can be put in one basket anymore than all religions can be grouped together. To link Satanic with New Age, Bill Maher and other unidentified connections you did not list is disconnected. Did you actually watch the old series with Bill Maher? Truth comes with discernment on individual levels and any person choosing to find that discernment does not make them wrong. When those judgments are used as an excuse to justify themselves in destroying the lives of others as an excuse for behavior, that in itself has nothing to do with any beliefs in a higher power or actions of terrorist. I think Barack Obama made a excellent point in his speech in saying “lets stop pointing fingers and work towards betterment” on all levels beyond just the unrest in America. Until people are willing to take those fingers of condemning views out of he air and give an effort to understanding the walls will remain intact.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.  And tit for tat is what starts wars. Which some in this country would like very much to do. Including the new governor of Maine. Another Mad Hatter of the Tea Party.  Telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt” says what to whom? 

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Bella, as always, you are making a great many connections that do not exist. I am an agnostic. I do not believe in “god”, or a single, omnipotent supreme power. I am also an iconoclast, which means that I have absolutely no respect or use for organized religion, and see it as a destructive, force, entirely created by mankind for purposes of garnering power, maintaining ignorance and fear in the masses, and promoting divisiveness and hatred and tribal mentality. I am not a Satanist (which is a much more complicated condition than wearing black clothing, having an altar, and handing crucifixes in the inverted position). Nor am I a follower of any sort of New Age theosophy.
       
      There are thousands of intelligent, compassionate, thinking, loving people just like me in this country. There are also thousands of people who do not think (notice that I did not use the word “believe”) that Jesus ever existed, as there exists absolutely no evidence other than gospels written well after his death. This does not automatically mean that we are blood-lust crazed murderers…anymore than people like Timothy McVeigh are representative of all Christians…or Warren Jeffs is representative of all Mormons. Have I made myself quite clear?
       
      As to the vandalizing of Mormon properties, it is a shame, but the greater moral outrage is the vandalizing of lives brought about by Mormon proselytizing against other human beings’ sexual orientation, and insistence that their religious dogma be forced on all humanity. I think that human life, and the oppression of human rights brought on by the misguided and erroneous dogmatic beliefs of religious fundamentalists are for more important than damage to man-made edifices of brick and mortar. So much suffering in the name of “god”.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I am also an iconoclast, which means that I have absolutely no respect or use for organized religion, and see it as a destructive, force, entirely created by mankind for purposes of garnering power, maintaining ignorance and fear in the masses, and promoting divisiveness and hatred and tribal mentality.

        _____________________________________________________________

        According to Freud it is a manifestation of mental illness.  I agree with Freud.   I suspect the founding fathers would have as well.  Which is why they wrote the 1st Amendment. Guaranteeing freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion.  It took almost 200 years for the states to finally get rid of the biblical law known as chattel law.  But  it is still applied every day in this country in our courts by judges who believe biblical law is the only law that matters. And if you listen carefully to the words of Antonin Scalia, chattel law was and is the law of the land.  The only protection and rights that women and others have are those under chattel law according to him.  All belongs to the man.  The Bible says so. 

        This country was a grand experiment in democracy.  It was a grand disaster in the end.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        “According to Freud it is a manifestation of mental illness.”
         
        Apparently some of us “nutjobs” are more discerning than others, as I have been diagnosed with several socially unacceptable, political-correctness challenging mental illnesses (by two rather distinguished and respected Houston psychiatrists, no less) of the sort that polite citizens would rather not think about…yet organized religions’ actual purpose as man-made institutions are screamingly clear to me, and blind faith in such institutions manifests as an absolute abdication of responsibility, accountability and rationality.
         
        It is some sort of insanity, or mental illness, perhaps of the personality disorder type…a kind of tribal narcissism that is unnervingly pervasive in today’s United States. In the glittering eyes of the proselytizing demagogues of the fundamentalist right, the Freedoms so valuable and intrinsic to the New World once wrought by the Founding Fathers can be seen drowning in a sea of vengeful, binding, oppressive dogma-bound rhetoric. Did you know that Sarah Palin’s church proposes eventually forcing all Jewish people out of the United Sates, by force, and at gunpoint if necessary (or not)? And further suggests that atheism, agnosticism and all alternative religions be made illegal and banned, on pain of fines and imprisonment?
         
        Is this America?
         
        I hear the cattle cars rolling…

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I’ve heard them for some time…can’t happen here everyone says. What everyone in Germany said as well. And we are pretty much going the way Germany went. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        And Briana thank you for being open about your mental health. As opposed to your mental illness. This will become part of the debate.  And most likely result in the scapegoating of many instead of actually addressing the problem which is not who has access to guns but simply the access to guns itself which allows individuals to purchase literal arsenals and weapons that simply do not belong in the hands of “law-abiding” citizens simply because the weapons are meant not to stop a burglar but kill as many as possible without reloading the weapon.  The NRA has been successful in turning Uzis into the “itty bitty guns” of Nancy Reagan.  Who probably regretted her comment about her “itty bitty gun” in what I believe was her first press conference as First Lady a couple of months later when someone took his “itty bitty gun” and nearly killed her husband.  

        You are proof that with the right approach to mental health in this country the “mentally ill” can become “mentally healthy” and live involved and productive lives.  Far more than many of those who claim they cannot. 

  6. avatar Bonnie O says:

    Liz -  No apology necessary.

    The anti-Sarah rhetoric has been venomous since the 2008 campaign.  Folks who support and or simply like Sarah are prepared to defend her on any issue to which she speaks.  Are they looking at Sarah through rose-colored glasses?  Probably they are, some of the time.  No one is perfect.  And apparently Sarah’s video which appeared on her Facebook page was much too long and, in my opinion, she should have waited a few more days before commenting on all those rabid folks from Chris Matthews of MSNBC to Krugman of the NY Times and even to that lame sheriff in Tucson who began the blame-game.   But Sarah’s video simply brought out more folks who not only want her to be blamed for the derangement of that young man in Arizona but are actually salivating at the possibility that his murders are in some way connected to her.  They are fools.

    The past week has been a time of mourning for most folks who keep abreast of the news.  It is very sad that the political junkies for the LEFT took the opportunity to attempt to not only smear Mrs. Palin but that many who attended the memorial service were acting as if the ceremony was a political rally.  I actually turned off the television, I was so appalled at the audience.

    Sarah Palin will make her first public appearance since the shootings tonight on the Hannity program on Fox News.

    • avatar Lizzie R. says:

      Since you have no idea of how people in “The Old Pueblo” (Tucson) react to things you should not have turned off your TV. They were just responding to the entire ceremony as a tribute to all who were killed or wounded in the tragic shooting. Nobody here took it as a political rally. Our governor, our mayor, the 2 senators in attendance are all Republicans, and to call it political is disgusting to those of us who live here. The people of Tucson are mourning and choose to show it in their own way, not needing critique from oursiders who are clueless to how our community of over a million acts and reacts to situations that bring them all together like a small town. If you think that was bad and disgraceful you should see how they acted at the funeral for Christina. It was a wonderful show, but bet a lot were appaled at over 2,800 showing up, including 200 bikers from Phoenix. loudly applauding Christina’s fathers words. It was a perfect send off/burial for this little girl…….BTW -our sheriff is not, as you call him, “lame.” Rushing to judgment is not appropriate at this time.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        Lizzie R -  The Sheriff acted inappropriately.  The audience at the memorial service applauding and cheering were appalling.  You disagree;  millions who witnessed these antics agree with me.  Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter where it occurs even in Tucson.  The antics of some of those on the Left during the last days cannot be whitewashed away by spinning their actions into some sort of explanation as to how
        those attending the memorial service were only mourning in their “own style”.   It was appalling!  Turning a memorial service into a political rally is not unknown behavior by some on the Left.  Remember the funeral service for Senator Wellstone? 

      • avatar D C says:

        Bonnie O — you’re aware, I take it, that you have now crossed the line and have called the entire city of Tuscon appalling people.  You probably should include Tuscon on your travels any time soon.  I know what you’re doing.  We all know what you’re doing. You are a Silly Sarah fan doing what they do. 

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        You are wrong again.  I am not “one of those Sarah fans” nor am I a tea party activist.  I like Tucson and I am quite certain most of the folks who live there are just fine.  But, you then presumed to add that I think the “entire city appalling”;  I did not say that.  You might have wished I had said such a deplorable thing so that you would have justifiable grounds to criticize EXCEPT I did not say Tucson was appalling …. you added those words and then proceeded to criticize me for words I did not write.  Incredible!

        Those at the political rally … oops Memorial service…. behaved badly. 

      • avatar alice ruth says:

        I believe the people who attended the memorial service in Tucson responded in support of those who survived the shooting and in honor of those who were slain. Their response seemed spontaneous and genuine. I, too, was taken aback at the first round of applause, but then decided that the service took on the celebratory quality of an Irish wake or a funeral march in New Orleans, specific to the region or background of the participants. I see no positive reason for passing judgment on how the people of Tucson who attended the memorial service chose to express their feelings.
        When my beloved grandmother died, forty grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought the handmade sock monkeys she stitched for us to the funeral service. I’m sure there are some who might find our behavior objectionable, but humor was one of the greatest gifts our grandmother gave to us, and the opinion of someone outside our family wouldn’t matter to us at all.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        At the memorial for my husband’s lovely, funny, absolutely unique and beautiful aunt, everyone wore jeans, and the children ran and played in the old cotton fields. Her sisters and nieces and daughter joined hands, and sang her favorite songs, from a CD my husband compiled. then played on his massive car stereo, then everyone took a handful of her ashes, and placed them somewhere that would have been significant to her or themselves, the now-empty rock tank, the barren old tree in which she swung and climbed as a child, the foundations of the house wear she was born. After every one was finished, they had a catfish fry, and her nephew, who does catering, brought barbecue, and many people had brought some sort of side dish or dessert.
         
        A single, awfully early butterfly (especially for spring in West Texas) put in an appearance), and settled on a framed picture of her as a sassy, tough, gorgeous young woman. There was some crying…but a lot more laughter, story-telling and playing than tears. It’s pretty harsh to condemn people for what you perceive as appalling behavior at a memorial.

      • avatar alice ruth says:

        Briana– Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been surprised that some people have felt it necessary to express negative comments about the memorial service in Tucson. It’s hard for me to understand the motivation for doing so.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        It was probably planned as a memorial but became a political rally. Sorry but that is how quite a few feel.  It became about Obama. Not about the victims.  Perhaps if it had been held after the actual funerals.  That is what bothered me most.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Surprising that no one on this thread had mentioned Rush Limbaugh’s instantaneous rush to mount an attack on “The Left”, blaming “The Liberals” for the shootings, and stating that Jared Loughner was merely a smug, self-assured pawn of The Left who knew that he would not receive any sort of harsh penalty for his heinous crimes, and would, instead, become a Media Hero, and veritable spokesperson for the commie-pinko-socialist-Nazi-godless-freako-welfare-loving-Libs. Did I miss anything? I am paraphrasing, you know…
       
      O, you missed that charming rant, did you? And you missed the point of the memorial service, which was the release of a tide of pain, and grief, and loss…and support for the victims left to cope. Honest outpourings are so difficult for some people to comprehend. Now, if, perchance, it had somehow occurred that Jared had been clearly motivated by some Left-Wing Moran, (Gosh, where have I seen that spelling?), and there had been a tsunami of emotion from Tea Partiers (with gunsight cross-hairs drawn over alleged instigators’ faces on misspelled signage, no doubt), you’d undoubtedly be nodding in righteous satisfaction now, saying, “Yes, yes, all true”.
       
      I like to think of the, ahem, “rabid” folks as the ones who have provided all of the thousands of death threats against Barack Obama, his wife, and his two small children since he won in the Democratic Primary. More by an enormous percentage than those received by any other president, including those with two terms, during their entire stay in office. I think that that puts it nicely in perspective.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        One of the victims, a veteran, has spoken out.  And laid the blame at the feet of all of them including Rush Limbaugh.   No doubt Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah and the Palinites, will go after him next.  Some of them have gone after Gabrielle Giffords. Claiming she knew the threat was there and should have had security. They warned her I suppose. After they targeted her. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        This man Eric Fuller attended a Tea Party event this afternoon and challenged statements made by the head of the Tea Party in Tucson and an Arizona state representative. And was arrested and charged with threatening the lives of both. Or so the deputies who arrested him say.  Tucson needs to get rid of the Tea Party. And probably needs to get rid of a couple of deputies.  Who no doubt will back up the Tea Party lunatics in whatever they claim. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        The incident happened at the Town Hall meeting hosted by ABC News and having watched it this morning I must say that the comments by Trent Humphries, the head of the Tea Party in Tucson, seemed to have this “we are right, everyone else is wrong” tone to it.  That is what everyone objects to.  This “our way or the highway” approach to politics and discourse.  Which is why a growing number of people do not wish to engage further in the discourse with these people and why a growing number of people find their political presence disturbing. 

        As for the deputies who arrested Eric Fuller they signalled to everyone that no one is allowed to speak out about the Tea Party and that if they do, they will be arrested. They could have just simply asked Eric Fuller to leave a town hall meeting that while public in nature was also private in nature. They were out of line. But then quite a few in all of this are out of line. But believe, again, that they are right and everyone else is wrong.  And that they have the right to ”target” those who oppose them. 

      • avatar Mary says:

        Briana, I’m with you.  As the days go by more and more is coming out and the flood gates are open re: Sarah and those who “speak ” for her .  It is all very interesting and it sheds alot of light on the workings of the Tea Party.  As for Rush, he is a instigater and I don’t hold to much of what he says to be of any relevance.  He is a paid entertainer who entertains those of his like mindedness.  The problem is that he is like a roach trap and draws the other little infestations out with his spewings.  

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        I whole-heartedly agree with you, Rush Limbaugh is a an instigator, a rabble-rouser, and a parasite who spreads infection every time he spews his filth and hatred. He is a media demagogue who should be easily recognizable as lacking in relevance because his agenda is simply his own elevation from cesspit to celestial.
         
        But, o, how the ultra-conservative, xenophobic, Bible-thumping, hind-brain motivated reactionaries of the far, far right adore him. They think he speaks The Word. Millions listen to him, and Believe (sort of like a lumpy, sweaty Jesus…but without the long hair or message of tolerance, patience and forgiveness…oops, I forgot, fundies don’t read the half of the Bible for which Christ-ians were named). The infestation isn’t little…it’s becoming a plague of…dare I say it? Biblical proportions.

      • avatar Mary says:

        Ahh, but Briana, I have to have a little bit of hope that it is all going to catch up with them, there is much more to this than we know YET, it is going to come to light and that I wholeheartedly believe.  It is interesting to see how loud they will get and how we will see how they try to diffuse it, but eventually it will catch up and I have a feeling it aint gonna be pretty.  I think we will have a rough Spring and Summer in this country, but it will be interesting.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        No Briana, I do not listen to Rush Limbaugh.   However, I do remember the time when he was catechized for his criticism of the actor Michael J. Fox.  It was not the words but it was the imitation of Michael’s infirmity that drew so much flack.  Limbaugh was doing a radio broadcast, not television, but, even so, his actions were in very bad taste.

        Yet this thread is about Sarah Palin’s supporters and their reactions to the accusations that the shootings in Tucson were a direct result of her political rhetoric.  Of course, those claims are hogwash and even the sheriff when asked specifically if he had any evidence to support his accusation was forced to admit that he did not.  Some of those accusations made by folks in the media against Sarah Palin were made the same day as the shootings.  The article in the NY Times appeared the next day.  All very disturbing.

        I understand that you may wish to correlate the behavior of those accusers to the behavior of Rush Limbaugh.  Yet, however you refute my statement, it still does not change the absolute appalling behavior of those accusers nor those who attended the memorial service and turned it into a political rally. 

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Ah, but BonnieO, you missed my point entirely, which is that the Right drew up forces immediately to condemn the Left and blame them for the shootings, and to even suggest that the shooter was in some sort of conspiracy with the Democratic Party to create an agenda to destroy Sarah Palin and become a media hero. Rush is merely the loudest advocate of this rather hideous theory.
         
        I’ve watched video of the proceedings repeatedly. I don’t see this horrific, appalling political rally you see. I am not a political animal, nor partisan in any way (and I do mean that). Yes, the rhetoric can get ugly on both sides. But the ultra-conservative Right has taken things to a whole new level of extremity. It is not just the talking-heads and demagogues (who are considered to be on a level with minor deities by all too many), or the Fundamentalist Christian Preachers who are spouting the rhetoric of hate, fear and violence (and Bonnie, either you have your head firmly in the sand, or you don’t want to hear. I voted for George W. Bush. I consider that to have been an error in judgment, due to the epic disaster his administration became. I am well aware of the various insults hurled at him by the media and the Left. I don’t personally engage in threats or childish nonsense. It was nothing compared to what the Far Right is currently engaged in)…it is the major political players. Don’t spout that nonsense about Sarah Palin just being a television personality, everyone knows, and she’s made it clear, that she intends to try for the presidency. When a potential presidential candidate begins drawing gun-sight cross-hairs (and we all know what they are, whiny disclaimers aside) over the faces of “The Enemy”, and advices her constituents to “reload”, and belongs to a Church that actively preaches such dogma as clearing the nation of Jews by the use of armed force, and sending them back to Israel, I think that the message of intolerance, willingness to actively engage in violence, and the tacit approval of such actions is remarkably clear.
         
        I saw people at the memorial who were letting off a lot of emotional pressure. A child was killed. Something that no one on this thread has mentioned is this: I am not directly blaming anyone for Jared Loughner’s actions, not his parents, not the school or Army, not anyone. The laws of this country, and the stigma put upon the mentally ill, and the incredible expense, and scarcity of care coupled with the society’s willingness to over-look the need for decent, affordable care (always until it’s too late, then we’re all “nutjobs”) is what is most to blame. But, consider this: a “normal” person (well, most “normal” people, there have been thousands of death threats against the Obamas, and I’d wager most of the people carrying automatic weapons to rallies and Town Hall meetings, and making those threats would be considered “normal”) know that drawing cross-hairs over someone’s face, saying she’s now a Target, and telling him to “reload” doesn’t give him permission to kill her…no matter how much he mistrusts and despises her. A person in the middle of a psychotic break…who has been repeatedly told by lesser authority figures that he cannot harm the object of his obsession and ire, who then sees such an obvious Authority Figure give Approval, Publicly? Well, that might be the proverbial straw, unintentional…or not. The true rhetoric of violence and destruction is very hard to fathom. And I’ve never said that Mrs. Palin was stupid. A snake-oil saleswoman…huckstering her wares to gullible marks? O, yes…
         
        If you want to question anything, why not Sarah Palin’s commentary on the shootings, which was actually Sarah Palin’s commentary on…Sarah Palin, and how wounded and demoralized and innocent she was…but how she was going to Stand Tall, and Hold Her Head High. Worked out beautifully for her, eh, BonnieO? The woman has the tent-show preacher buck-and-wing down to a science, can you say, Praise Sarah!  And Hallelujah! And pass me that box of ammo, would ya?

  7. avatar Mary says:

    Liz,  it is quite all right not to apologize.  I am not sure why Sarah chose the time for her “statement” nor do I believe that all of her statement was even written by her, however she read it , wrote it or promoted it and it was in bad taste to many.  Just to do a check on my own thoughts I read a lot yesterday and not all of the critisism is coming from the “Left”, there is some coming from the tea party and the Republican Party as well.  Many will say it is all from the left but it isn’t.  That is beside the point however, just tired of hearing about where those who don’t agree with Sarah Palin are all wrong. 

    I will also state that for someone who is so anti media, Sarah cannot live without it and makes sure she is always in the middle of it.  She earns a substantial amount of money from it and draws people to her by the victim card.  How can we feel sorry for her?  I don’t know her and I don’t know her heart.  She says she promotes family and “Christian values”, Maybe she and I differ on what “Christian values” are and indeed no one is perfect or we wouldn’t need “Christian Values” but, if you want to be a leader you have to be responsible for what you say and do.  I do not hold her responsible in any way to the Tuscon tragedy as I have said before, but it is no surprise that her symbols and words have led many to believe as they do.  She has a right to her free speech as we all do but when you put yourself in a high profile, esp. political position and you want to be in that position responsibility will be represented by what you say and how you act.  Sadly we have a lot of people who are in the same mindset as the killer and some who are so militant that they will and have used any reason to kill in any way they can.

    In the past two weeks in my little area of rural Ohio we have had two significant shooting tragedies.  One a 10 year old boy who shot his mother because he didn’t want to carry firewood into his house as a chore.  This boy killed her and was going to kill his sister as well.  How he had the guns and why is a puzzle since he has a history at his young age of anger management issues, but he did have them and did use one of them.  Last night a couple was found in their home in a quiet peaceful community here shot dead by their son who was released from the army because of mental illness.   The issue is not Sarah Palin, the issue is guns, mental illness and a society that refuses to acknowledge the dangers of this combination.   Sarah Palin’s problem is her response and her lack of intelligiance in how she stops being everyone’s victim.  By her speech and actions she jumps in waving her arms, look at me, look at me, I am a victim here, poor poor me!  If Sarah has substance as has been suggested, let Sarah use some of the brain cells and put them to good use.  Her words could have meant so much more had she done so.

    • avatar Ellie P says:

      Sarah Palin loves playing the victim.  She loves it so much, she plays victim over and over.  She knows that when she comes out with an ignorant or outrageous statement, her followers will flock to defend her no matter how silly or ignorant the statement was.  If you look back on the past two years, she has perfected the “i’m the victim” strategy.  Works like a charm for her.   

  8. avatar Dianne Lopp says:

    Liz, I love you and I’m a die hard Democrat but I simply do not understand the media (most of whom are liberal and never talk to anyone  in their personal lives who disagrees with them politically, I surmise based on my reading of the evidence).  You can’t have it both ways; libs scream that Sarah Palin is a dolt and not ready to be president (the last I agree with) and yet devote soooooooo much attention to her, dragging her into every controversy with disdain dripping from their mouths and pens.  Every single time they do it they elevate her in importance. They simply don’t  understand her. Fine, but there are millions of people out here among “the great unwashed masses” (to quote dear unbiased Katie Couric who tried to call that particular quote a ‘compliment’) who do understand Palin and also understand superciliousness and contempt.  They’re not pretty.  Just. Shut. Up. About. Her.

  9. avatar Tee Zee says:

    Liz, you don’t need to apologize, we love your opinion and your words on this site so keep on shinning your light.
    Sarah needs to keep talking like a shark needs to keep swimming, and I personally feel the more she talks the more people see her for what she truly is.
    We need to shine a light on the violence and hate in the country which the guns and anger are a symptom of.  Arming everyone is not a answer.  Sarah has no solution just offers more of the same. America is desperate for leadership, which I’m not finding in the current crop of candidates.

  10. avatar Tee Zee says:

    Liz, thanks for the tip on the Byron Janis book, I can’t wait to read it!
    I’m also looking forward to the Golden Globes, we all need to indulge in a little guilty pleasure this weekend and laugh a little.
     

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Liz may have already “gone to press” when the news hit but the real news is the lawsuit that’s been filed that claims the Golden Globes aren’t really awarded but sold.  

      Enquiring minds of course this year will not only want to know who won the awards but how much it cost them. 

  11. avatar Ellie P says:

    Liz-you should apologize to Palin after she apologizes for all the venomous attacks on the President, First Lady, Katie Couric, and everyone else that has disagreed with her.  But don’t worry, hell would freeze over first before a sincere apology passes through Palin’s lips.  So no need to trouble yourself over it. 

  12. avatar Maggie W says:

    I enjoyed Sarah’s video.  I’ve watched it four times.  There she is… trying her best to follow a teleprompter for a few minutes.   Priceless. 

    I taught my boys to offer an apology when their hearts suggested they do so.  No one should insist  another person apologize; it negates the true intent.  So Palin’s fans are incensed about the heat their Messiah is taking now.  Big whoop.

  13. avatar Sheila McHugh says:

    Sarah Palin is, simply put, a moron.

  14. avatar Lizzie R. says:

    Sarah Palin has managed to attract more attention than perhaps any other public figure, without being anything but a wannabe woman who is not yet a real “public figure” herself. She is so “In your face” constantly, and manages to rise the ire or the devotion of the many. She appears, speaks, and look what happens…right here we are all incensed over her behavior and what she said. She always manages to take on great “importance” when she speaks, even if it is inappropriate, as it so often is. In this case she coldly made it all about her, which she does so well, when she is not inciting others. I wonder if she possesses any warmth of feeling for others who are suffering? I think not, and that cannot be lacking in a person who aspires to lead the country. Well, she never did win that beauty pageant, it took her 4 years to get a degree of sorts attending 4 different minor colleges, then she couldn’t even hack it as governor for the full term. Way to go, Sarah. Ypu are successfully shooting yourself in the foot on a daily basis. Overexposure can be deadly.

  15. avatar Lizzie R. says:

    Just an addendum from Brian Williams who was here all week covering the tragedy (nothing to do with Sarah Palin) In a column from today’s paper he wrote this (among other things said) re the Memorial Service that has risen the ire of many. He said it best.

    “I will always remember the candles, flowers and cards outside the congresswoman’s office, and how kind and welcoming her staff members were. They were exhausted, depleted and sad – and yet they were so sweet to us, so hospitable.
    The memorial service was wonderful, I thought. Perhaps those viewers who tuned in halfway through didn’t understand why they heard cheering and applause from the crowd – I compared it to a steam valve releasing built-up emotion. Nothing was going to bring back those who were taken from us, but it meant everything to be able to cheer for a humble retired Army colonel who helped tackle the gunman.”

  16. avatar Andy C says:

    I do so agree with those that said Sarah loves the media and her followers will defend whatever ridiculous thing she says.  While we all have the right to speak our mind in this country, we all don’t have the media slavering after us to put them on national television.  This was not her place.  This was poor taste to the nth degree to use this tragedy as a means to further her political career….she will use anything and anyone:  her children, her husband and a tragedy such as that one.  No, she is not presidential material.  No and No.

  17. avatar Deborah Key says:

    @Bonnie O. 

    Sheriff Dupnik spoke out against violent rhetoric.  He did not single out anyone on either side of the aisle. 

    His statements are neither lame nor inappropriate. 

    I find it significant that you assumed that he was talking about Ms. Palin.  Guilty  conscience? 

  18. avatar starry Nite says:

    Liz, You are delightful no need to apologize.
    I feel sorry for the people of Arizona.  Not only have they been traumatized by a crazed gunman but by some of their fellow citizens who want to sit in judgement of their memorial service.   Words like appalling and inappropriate have been used to describe the service. 

    Sarah Palin is at times both appalling and inappropriate as she was with her videos and interviews making everything about her during the aftermath of the mass shootings in Arizona.

    I do hope we can get back some of the civility and tone down the rhetoric.  I hope we don’t become like Germany but I hear some of the same dog whistles.

  19. avatar BigMouthFrog says:

    I don’t think anyone should bother to apologize for ones own personal opinions or observations anymore than Sarah Palin would bother to apologize for anything offensive she has ever said…and she’s had several plum opportunities. I’ll never understand anyone who thinks her level of political intellect and insight belongs anywhere other than in front of a consignment shop in Wasilla! If such people think she’s a bright enough bulb to handle complex relationships with the likes of Russia, North Korea or even Iran, well, those folks are even more intellectually lacking than I suspected and I guess you’re just smart enough to drive a car and make small change. Did you know Einstein was so smart, he wasn’t able to make small change…they’re just like him, but the other side of the coin…I kid, sort of.
    She’s a classic sub educated mean girl who can’t speak off the cuff and has as much mental dexterity as a push mower.
    You’re All Very Welcome Palin Lemmings!