Look, I’m not going to criticize Sarah Palin for using the phrase “blood libel” in her self-serving video today. She saw it on a Wall Street Journal opinion piece and apparently liked the sound of it without ruminating too much on the historical context. Hey, I’ve done that myself.
But let’s consider that only four days after a mass shooting, with half-a-dozen people dead and others still in critical condition, the event has been thoroughly overshadowed by one politician’s desire to burnish her image in advance of the 2012 elections. It’s no longer about maniacs buying guns with 31-round magazines or the idea that less-volatile rhetoric on both sides might have made a difference. It’s about poor Sarah Palin, and how she will bravely soldier on despite the vicious lies. We should not cry for Gabrielle; we should cry for Sarah. And by the way, the PAC is still accepting contributions. Somehow this reminds me of Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech: a little bit of petulance and a whole lot of political calculation.
On one hand, I guess I can admire Palin for gathering up lemons and making lemonade. On the other, it’s moments like these that illustrate why she will yet run for president, and why she could even win. She’s like Iron Man now, armored up in an exo-skeleton of thinkers and advisers to strengthen her Tweets and negate her shortcomings. The muscle isn’t necessarily hers, but the shameless audacity definitely is.