According to certain opinion-makers, anyone who suggests that Palin (and others) might consider toning down their rhetoric a bit, is now guilty of “blood libel.” Yes, it’s a pogrom being waged against Sarah — a virtual holocaust of blame for this Princess of Peace. She should lock up her daughters before the Cossacks beat down the doors.

As the wagons circle around the little lady from Alaska, I keep coming back to this clip from those long-ago days when the only Palin we’d heard of was the one who sold dead parrots:

Back then Sarah was tough. She felt women should learn to take the heat, and it did nobody any good for them to whine about the press.

Isn’t it kind of sexist that her honor is being defended so gallantly by male pundits while she hardly says a word? Shouldn’t the lady herself issue a statement? A direct one, not an aside to Glenn Beck as though she’s now too fragile to speak to everyone at once. Why she’d just die! Faint dead away! Delicate flower that she is…

Of course the national conversation shouldn’t even be about Palin, or Beck.  There shouldn’t even be a conversation about turning down the volume or taking away offensive graphics.   The volume part should have happened organically on both sides. Everyone should have just shut up for a while, followed by a few bowed heads and contrite statements about doing better in the future.

After that, the opinion makers should have started talking about the necessary steps to prevent something like this from happening again, and the lawmakers should have gotten busy drafting proposals to that effect. Imagine if Boehner and Pelosi announced bipartisan support for bringing back an automatic weapons ban or at least a plan that would keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill?   Can’t you see John and Nancy walking up to a podium together to make an announcement?  They’re calling it Christina’s Bill for the youngest victim.

I’m sorry, I must have been conscious dreaming for a moment.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if instead of trying to repeal the health care bill that finally passed, Congress looked at the laws regarding community mental health organizations and strengthened them?  Came up with consistent policies to be administered on a state and county level for dealing with the people suffering from mental illness? Imagine if we had had guidelines so that Loughner would have been subject to an outreach visit and emergency evaluation back when he was exhibiting bizarre behavior at the community college?  Even follow up care and treatment?

Oh, did I fall asleep at the keyboard again?

Palin may or may not be running for President in 2012. My guess is, that she’s not. She may realize that it’s dangerous out there. But wouldn’t now be the time for anyone who wants to lead, to begin?

UPDATE 1/12/2011 — This post and the previous one were both written during Palin’s time of silent reflection before she released her video in which she herself accused her detractors of “blood libel.” Of course her statement was issued after the conversation had pretty much turned away from her and moved on to more relevant topics such as gun laws, mental health and the political climate in general. Her use of the phrase in this context must be taken as deliberate, incendiary and desperate. It once again propels her onto center stage.

Second UPDATE: It now appears that after statements from the ADL and other Jewish organizations, Sarah has now removed the blood libel video. This is truly perplexing. Clearly, whoever wrote her speech knew what he or she was doing. How could her handlers not have expected this reaction?  Unless of course they did expect it.  The plot thickens, and sickens.

Third Update:  She’s re-realised the video.  Newly edited,  but with the “blood libel” still left in.  And now with what sounds like more references to God.  I officially give up and will leave tracking this woman’s every utterance to the pundits who get paid to do it.

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