A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, April 02, 2010

Palin Watch: Sarah’s Fightin’ Words

Recently, sound-bite sensation Sarah Palin has been out and about riling up the right. One appearance was to campaign for her old running mate, John McCain, who is facing a tough primary battle to hold on to his Senate seat. Apparently, his newest opponent is even more extreme right (as Jack Palance used to say, "Believe or not!") than the ole Senate maverick himself. Then, within days, she went to a Tea Party rally in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hometown in Nevada. The Tea Partiers cheered her on as she fired up their enthusiasm.

The media give her a lot of attention because they feel she’s “newsworthy”. There’s several different ways to interpret this. She could be thought of as newsworthy because the things she says and does can influence how many people see the world. Or she could be considered newsworthy because she says or does something so stupid that it makes good copy and a nice catchy sound bite on the evening news, you betcha! Actually this could apply to any person in the spotlight; Palin just seems to be the celebrity du jour at the moment.

Her appearances came on the heels of the passage of Obama’s health care reform bill, which got quite ugly near the end. A few Tea Party protesters showed that they were not above hurling racial epithets at members of Congress. After it was all said and done, some members of Congress reported receiving death threats because of their vote on the bill. As far as I know, none of the threats has been traced back to any of the Tea Partiers...yet.

We should review a basic ground rule for maintaining civility in public debate. Agreed, everyone has the right to speak their minds and their opinions in a thoughtful way so as to allow people with opposing opinions the same opportunity to speak their peace. I am emphasizing this rule because members of the Tea Party (and a few Republican members in the House) have forgotten this point of order. Tea Partiers have been shown shouting down opponents at town hall meetings last year, in total violation of conducting themselves as civilized human beings. Whether they like it or not, this has become the dominating image of their group.

We should also keep this rule in mind when reviewing Ms. Palin’s comments at the Nevada rally. At one point in her speech, she claimed that she was not advocating violence. Then she urged Tea Party members “Don’t retreat, instead reload.” It was at this point that the liberal media pounced...

Excuse me, Ms. Palin, but when you use words like retreat and reload, I don’t feel warm and fuzzy inside. To me, retreat is most commonly used by the military, or any representative body thereof, which is trained and maintained to force ideologies on other representative bodies. Diplomacy is not necessarily a primary tool in their arsenal.

Her use of the word reload is even more alarming. Let’s see what one would reload and why? Well, we could reload cookie dough into a cookie gun to bake Christmas cookies. No, that can’t be it. I saw footage of the Nevada rally and I certainly didn’t see any baked confections anywhere in the vicinity. More commonly, reload can be used in the context of another kind of know, the type used by representative bodies in a military engagement, as in armed conflict.

I hope you can see where this is going. The Tea Partiers may totally forget they are exercising their First Amendment rights and proceed directly to exercising their Second Amendment rights. If this happens, blood will be shed.

The maverick from Alaska should probably consider tempering her remarks in the future. Sure, she can fire up the conservative Republican and/or Tea Partiers all she wants. On the other hand, Ms. Palin should bear in mind that there is a thin line between encouraging spirited debate and armed insurrection.

(Thank you for reading and have a safe holiday weekend!)


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