Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – January 14, 2011

We try to make sense of the Tucson Massacre and immediately there are too many voices saying too many things. Sometimes it is not possible to make sense out of nonsense yet we are compelled to try.

Barack Obama for President

During the aftermath of the Tucson Massacre there was some very real question about what President Obama should say and when he should say it. Having given the obligatory statement of remorse and regret he made the personally courageous act of flying to the scene of the crime to deliver what can only be described as an oratorical masterpiece.

He was able to blend themes of grief, compassion, exhortation and promise. President Obama has been criticized during the past year as being aloof and “cool”. On January 12th he touched the hearts and minds of Americans, not only those in attendance in the Arizona University field house. During that thirty minute speech he reminded all who listened as to how and why he was President of the United States.

His ability to articulate the emotional and psychic architecture of the American public is remarkable. That he could do so with so many disparate forces at work in Arizona resulted in a truly memorable address.

This week Barack Obama reasserted himself as President and Commander in Chief by providing leadership in a moment when it was truly needed.

The Decline and Fall of Sarah Palin

This past week also saw the beginning of what I predict will be the precipitous decline and fall of the political career of Sarah Palin. There is an expression about pride going before the fall. Ms. Palin’s pride is certainly precipitating her fall.

Knowing that one of the finest orators in modern American politics was going to give a speech on Wednesday evening, Sarah Palin decided to release a videotaped statement on Wednesday morning. And it was a disaster – for her.

She could have chosen to express compassion for the victims of the Tucson Massacre and left it at that. She could have chosen to call upon all actors on the political stage to turn down the rhetorical volume if only out of respect for the losses suffered by fellow Americans.

Instead, she employed a Fractured Fairytale version of American history, trying to channel the intentions of the Founding Fathers while justifying her reckless and remorseless assault on the sensibilities of the American public.

She refused to acknowledge the viability of the concern of many that her placing a cross-hair target on the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was, at the very least, an unwise act. Of course, one of the many who had that concern was Congresswoman Giffords, one of Sarah Palin’s “targets”.

That one of Ms. Palin’s targets was shot in the head may just be an ugly coincidence. Given the tortured brain patterns of the accused killer, we may never know. But the ugliness of the coincidence would be enough to give one pause. Unless that one is Sarah Palin. For more on the connection between words and deeds in today’s culture please go to this link – http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2011/01/11/rappers-catch-heat-for-inflammatory-words-why-cant-sarah-palin/

Somehow Sarah Palin sees the aftermath of the Tucson Massacre to be all about her. Her narcissism ranks with Snooki, Paris Hilton and Kanye West. But none of them presume to speak seriously about the issues that are important to the future of this country. It is past time for Sarah Palin to show similar restraint. For details on her outright attempt to change the subject in her recent video please go to this link – http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47588.html

And, as if the hole she dug wasn’t deep enough, she excavated some more by referring to criticisms of her as being a “blood libel”. With those words Sarah Palin showed that she not only has she no shame, she also has no sense of good taste.

It is time for her to go.

Have a great weekend!


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