Posted by: zhak39 | July 5, 2009

Republican Implosion and Free Speech

I understand that a lawyer for the outgoing governor of Alaska has sent a warning to bloggers to back off.  This is from an associated press article.

…Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein on Saturday warned legal action may be taken against bloggers and publications that reprint what he calls fraudulent claims.

“To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as ‘fact’ that Governor Palin resigned because she is ‘under federal investigation’ for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation,” Van Flein said in a statement. “This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.”

Now I know that defamation is the false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another so I will be very careful here.

Based on observation and analysis of public record, Sarah Palin is a loose wing nut in need of the firm application of thumb and forefinger.

So sue me.

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Responses

  1. Sarah Palin is that tragic combination of ignorance and stubbornness. She wants what she wants when she wants it, and isn’t particularly concerned regarding her lack of preparedness. Of course, there is some precedent for her position — we just completed eight years with an inarticulate president who wasn’t up for the task.

    So anything’s possible.

    I’ll say this for Sarah Palin though: if her goal in life is not to be president, but instead to be a Republican fund raiser, then that’s a very attainable and important role that she’s absolutely qualified to hold. My God, she came here to Des Moines and really rallied the far right fringe of the Republican base. Friends of mine from that political viewpoint were absolutely lathered up after she came here for a speech during the election campaign.

    She has that “us” versus “them” thing that is so popular right now absolutely down. She drops those lines every time she speaks. You saw it in her resignation speech. She couldn’t just step down without taking barbs at “the media” and other favorite targets of the far right. She created the whole “victim” thing during the resignation speech, anticipating she’d be attacked by “them,” whoever “they” are. I don’t know that she expected the “media” from FOXNews to be among the “them.”

    Let’s treat Sarah Palin like the looney stepchild, then. Let’s let her go and do, and possibly succeed but more possibly fall on her face. If she falls on her face, perhaps then she’ll go away. If she succeeds, God help us all.

  2. I think you nailed it, Bill. Somehow she can simultaneously pull off the moose-shooting wolf-slaying pioneer warrior mama and the oh poor pitiful picked-upon me. She is so far from either sympathetic or even interesting that I don’t understand her appeal. It is powerful for those who fall for it and lucrative as well. I thought she might become more involved with leadership in the Republican National Convention although with her FOXNews anti-endorsement that may not be the first stop.

    I have never ascribed to the behavioral model (if you ignore it, it will go away). I would like to ignore the small number of adherents to that far right fringe. I would like for them to fade away. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Someone like Palin comes along and whips these loonies up and they do nasty things, like the incident last fall just a few miles from my house (http://blog.news-record.com/staff/capblog/archives/2008/10/report_from_pal.shtml) and (http://joekillian.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/how-i-became-joe-sixpack/). When the us-them victimization game gets played out to an extreme, people tend to exhibit extreme behavior. When the basis of victimhood is deception and misdirection, tragedy.

  3. Well, it’s palpable, I’ll say that. I’ve been feeling the destructiveness of “us” versus “them” for at least the past five (5) years. It’s always been there but not to the extent it pervades the news media and talk radio now. And I know ’cause I don’t listen to music in the car and I drive around town a lot. I listen to talk radio. I think I need to listen to NPR more — where many ideas go through in an hour, not where one issue and viewpoint is pounded for a day.

    Or more.

    Anyway, it sounds as though some of these “victimhood as deception and misdirection” issues are now being confronted in the national media. For example, I heard a story the other day about some soldier who returned home and claimed he’d been spit on, and then claimed he was spit on at every event he attended. Next thing that happened to him was, he because a “correspondent” for the Shawn Hannity show. So someone started following him around and videotaping him. And noting the saliva he claims keeps finding its way to his body, didn’t fly at any of these events. Not that it didn’t stop him from telling Shawn the next evening that it had.

    I realize you’d like to ignore “the small number of adherents to that far right fringe.” To do that, you have to ignore the fact it’s not a small number anymore. The last campaign cycle, and the result, resulted, not only in the fringes you’d expect — white lower middle class folks — but, given Judge Sotomayor’s comments, now upper class white men, and throughout, women who thought Sarah Palin was the answer to their prayers, and several other groups that are still in power but feel their power bases eroding.

    And those power bases aren’t eroding. White men still run the world. But the fact their power base is even being questioned, and the paradigm of power changing, is enough to make them worried that the world may change.

    They’ll be dead a long time before that occurs, but that isn’t how humans think. Humans, individually, think they’re the center of the universe. So, you get an Hispanic judge who flippantly says she’d hope someone with her background might have a richer source of information from which to draw than a white man, and may make a better decision, informed by that decision. And you get a minority party in the Senate (lower case “m” in minority) filled with old white men — even effeminate, especially irritating ones like Lindsay Graham — and what should be an isolated comment becomes a national scandal.

    But that’s okay from their perspective. Because once you are victimized by one of those self-seeking Hispanics, then all is well. We’ve been complaining about Mexicans and Puerto Ricans for decades. If we can do that again, things will appear back to normal.

    Please don’t think I agree with any of this. Please don’t think I condone it. I just see it and feel it and hear it.

    And it makes me appreciate that I’m a combination of Spanish, Italian and Irish, but appear Irish so I can pass through anybody. I just have to remember to keep my mouth shut.

  4. You have always been an acute observer and I understand that you are commenting rather than condoning. We as a country are going through some real growing pains and I am concerned that there is too much fear and too little confidence informing many people’s responses.

    Embracing diversity is a truly daunting challenge and I would argue that those old white men that didn’t want to pay their taxes in 1776 had an inkling of the genie they were letting out of that bottle. The idea of balancing local and centralized control, of respecting the rights of individuals while maintaining stability of the group, nurturing consensus and compromise. These are the true revolution, the revolution of ideas that is still playing itself out in our generation.

    Several years ago I was a coordinator in an effort to build trust among ‘faith leaders.’ We had a brilliant facilitator. At our first gathering he talked about suspending disbelief, checking animosity at the door. He challenged us. “Think about how you are going to be tolerant of the intolerant.” It was kind of funny because every person there prided himself (I was the only woman) on being particularly tolerant. Yet I knew every single one of them had areas or issues that they could not countenance. They were deep in their separate faiths and over time we did explore their differences and how they could co-exist with maybe even a little respect.

    As convenient and ingrained as ‘us vs them’ may be, that is the road to oppression. At some point the journey has to be taken together not one riding the other but side by side.

  5. I like that.

    The only reluctance that I would have, if I had the opportunity to participate in such a collection of ideas, would be a concern about how able the participants would be to accept the new ideas they received, and the compromises they could make as individuals, and how they could assimilate that information into what they could bring home to the folks who sent them to that meeting in the first place.

  6. The objective of having that collective was of course to build trust and forge connections between the leaders of disparate faiths which they would then carry to their congregations or adherents. There were a few (mostly who were doing it anyway) that grasped that and were key in forwarding the notion. There were many more that attended (or signed up and didn’t attend) merely to say that they supported interfaith discourse. The facilitator was wonderful. He and I had a long talk one day about whether or not we should seek and invite a leader from the Wiccans. He did talk to her but she was not ready to be public.

    It did not turn the town on its ear. But then no one got shot, turned away, or lynched either.


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