Blame Twitter, or…blame something, but not Sarah Palin

I was unexpectedly called to work yesterday and so did not have the occasion for addressing Kathleen Parker’s post Tucson, Arizona apologia about Sarah Palin. Or shall we put it bluntly, her liberal white wash of the former Governor. Having the night and most of the morning to really think about it while working on my afghan, I decided to address Ms. Parker here, instead of at the Spokesman-Review. But before I begin, remember Noam Chomsky?

When Mr. Moyers interviewed Tom Wolfe following his interview with Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Wolfe regarded it as “rubbish” that (back in the 1980s—1990s) we had a repressive almost authoritarian type of government that controlled everything through propaganda (official state truths) and the news media. And this despite the fact that we have a democracy. Yes, Mr. Wolfe, for when he was interviewed and ultimately the interview was published in the book “A World of Ideas,” was deemed to be “conservative” for what he presented in ideas especially with respect to his novel, “Bonfire of the Vanities.” However, it seems that those more than 20 years ago who would have deemed Chomsky to be “rubbish” and “Marxist lite” for his opposition to the “system” or the “establishment;” would also ultimately sound much like Chomsky, even to the same kind of language today. And how would Wolfe be treated or reacted to? The Gods alone knows.

Oh yeah, you see, Noam Chomsky with his anti-repressive state point of view would now fit in quite well with the “TEA Party” and the self-proclaimed Libertarians. Which is what makes the following a very interesting take on society today.

Today, if you represent the establishment (government), then you are a threat to the very freedoms we are supposed to hold dear.  Sounded a lot like Chomsky in his interview.  The government (under a Democratic administration) only lies to you.  Again like Chomsky.  The news media in the tank for Obama.  The cabal that Wolfe only dismissed in his interview.  We as a country are verging on tyranny.  Sounds like the Chomsky interview.  We need to take back our country.  The Chomsky interview in which he argued that the people were actually forced into isolation from the democratic process.  The Republicans in Congress who also whined prior to the November 2010 elections much like Chomsky.  If today, this is the definition of “conservative,” then the Gods help this nation.  Major gut-busting LOL!  Maybe back in the 1980s they were truly more conservative during the Reagan administration.  You can’t make that argument today.

Parker’s editorial published on 23 January 2011 correctly enough would have regarded calling someone “Hitler” was not acceptable.  But let us remember that the former Governor, Ms. Palin herself associated with people who had no problem calling Obama Hitler.    No doubt in retaliation for GW being referred to as Hitler.  (Aside note:  The best recollection of Hitler’s speech when it came to the “Final Solution” of the Jewish peoples, was practically word for word GW’s own speech about terrorism and terrorists.  The parallels were striking indeed.)  Hate speech isn’t only to be found on one side of the partisan divide after all, but across the entire spectrum of fringe radicalism.  Only the calmer and cooler heads such as Mr. Wolfe, would not likely engage in truly ugly language, even though he would tell you the way it is.  Oh yes, it is entirely possible to not throw in vitriol, hateful language, shrieking hysterics and still get your point across.  Nor do you have to be an “outdoorsy kind of gal” to on your website, inform people on the best way to campaign and get rid of some obnoxious Democrats without painting cross hairs on their respective states, districts, and names.  Had Ms. Palin not engaged in such childish behavior on her website:  SarahPAC; then it is also highly likely that there would never be a loose association between Loughner and herself.  Problem is, that when you take what was done on the SarahPAC website in conjunction with the former Governor’s statements to the “TEA Party” post her run for the Vice Presidency in 2008 as well as how she whipped up the crowd in utter fury during the 2008 presidential primaries, those cross hairs on the campaign map are of a piece with the rest of her history.  Unless you are a Kathleen Parker, of course, with a penchant for ignoring some uncomfortable truths.

Instead, blame the age of Twitter.  Ms. Parker has a thing about Twitter, try squeezing one or two sentences into a 120 character line.  Well, the first inkling about the “TEA Party” appeared on Twitter.  Invitations (almost like a flash mob) to protest a hostile government (now that it was in Democratic hands) flooded that social networking site.  Send your “used” Tea Bags to Washington, D.C.  Donate them to “me” opined a “TEA Partier,” and I’ll send them to the proper destination.  Wonder why Ms. Parker over-looked the use of Twitter as a means to organize the “TEA Party” protests?  Guess maybe she was too busy getting antsy about some woman discussing her miscarriage on-line.  So, if Twitter becomes the means to convey “hate speech,” if what I interpret from Ms. Parker’s editorial being correct, then both the “TEA Party” as well as Ms. Palin now have an even bigger guilt by association on their hands.  They only made themselves part of the problem.

On the other hand,  you had to truly like conservative commentator Leonard Pitts, jr.  From his editorial republished in the 24 January 2011 edition of the Spokesman-Review,  “I considered it simplistic to think the average kid would hear that song (referring to Body Count’s “Cop Killer” song) and suddenly decide to go shoot a cop.  I agreed with Body Count’s lead singer, the rapper Ice-T, when he said that if somebody aspires to kill a police officer, ‘all I did was make him a theme song.’  But at the same time, I wanted to ask him:  Does that make it OK?  Do you really think you should be providing that individual’s theme song?  Does it not, ‘should’ it not, give you pause to find yourself so loudly in sync with someone that hateful and demented?”

“The same chain of logic—and the same questions—apply here.  I do not believe alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner was an average guy who, upon hearing some violent rhetoric from Sarah Palin, suddenly snapped and decided to shoot Giffords.  But at the same time, I wanted to ask Palin:  Should you really be providing that individual’s theme music?”

Suddenly, Ms. Parker was all for dismissing the former Governor as nothing more than an entertainer.  Kind of like rapper Ice-T and the Body Count?  Instead of a politician with presidential aspirations.  A kind of “oh, she’s nothing to worry about; she’s just another Rush Limbaugh.”  Or is that regrettably a damning with faint praise?  I quite frankly have to wonder if Parker is ultimately losing it.  Trying to cobble together a reason why it is justifiable for the Governor to claim to be a “victim” on her website video in the aftermath of the Tucson, Arizona rampage.  But unlike Ms. Parker, Mr. Pitts (much like Mr. Wolfe) does hold people accountable for their “theme music.”

And for that, I think that at some point I should get “Bonfire of the Vanities,” and check out Mr. Wolfe’s decades old novel.


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