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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Palin Video: "America's Enduring Strength"

Sarah Palin has released a statement on Facebook and video responding to the Tucson shooting and accusations that she caused Jared Loughner to shoot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and to murder several people:

Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength" from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.

Here is the full text of the statement:
Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy.

I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country.

Our exceptional nation, so vibrant with ideas and the passionate exchange and debate of ideas, is a light to the rest of the world. Congresswoman Giffords and her constituents were exercising their right to exchange ideas that day, to celebrate our Republic’s core values and peacefully assemble to petition our government. It’s inexcusable and incomprehensible why a single evil man took the lives of peaceful citizens that day.
There is a bittersweet irony that the strength of the American spirit shines brightest in times of tragedy. We saw that in Arizona. We saw the tenacity of those clinging to life, the compassion of those who kept the victims alive, and the heroism of those who overpowered a deranged gunman.
Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.

President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

The last election was all about taking responsibility for our country’s future. President Obama and I may not agree on everything, but I know he would join me in affirming the health of our democratic process. Two years ago his party was victorious. Last November, the other party won. In both elections the will of the American people was heard, and the peaceful transition of power proved yet again the enduring strength of our Republic.

Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

No one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent, and we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good. And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.

Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment and more than simply “symbolic,” as some claim, to have the Constitution read by our Congress. I am confident she knew that reading our sacred charter of liberty was more than just “symbolic.” But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.

It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.

Let us honor those precious lives cut short in Tucson by praying for them and their families and by cherishing their memories. Let us pray for the full recovery of the wounded. And let us pray for our country. In times like this we need God’s guidance and the peace He provides. We need strength to not let the random acts of a criminal turn us against ourselves, or weaken our solid foundation, or provide a pretext to stifle debate.

America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy. We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country. May God bless America.

- Sarah Palin
Update:  Some people (actually, much of the left-stream media) is taking issue with Palin's use of the term "blood libel," which has it's origins in the accusation in Europe (and more modern times, in the Middle East) that Jews use the blood of Christian children to make matzoh.

As Jim Geraghty at National Review documents, the term is used with considerable frequency on both the left and the right in our political discourse. Yet the term only seems to be objectionable based on the traditional meaning now that Palin has used it.

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  1. No wonder so many weak men fear her:She has balls. Now to persuade Governor Pawlenty and Congressmen King and the other Republican nebbishes and dopes to read this slowly and out loud until they get it.

  2. "Blood libel"? Really?

    Two days ago I quoted to friends: “So why has Lady Blah Blah stopped tweeting? Is she feeling guilty, under advice of counsel to keep quiet, or just unsure how best to profit from the situation?”

    I was right when I said, it’s probably going to be the latter.

    You self-serving hag. You regret nothing regarding the irresponsibility of your rhetoric, whether your message had something to do with the freak in Arizona taking up a gun or not. I’m sure it took two days for you to respond with your carefully crafted word salad only when you saw yesterday’s polling that most American's don't hold you accountable and your flunkies told you it was safe to finally show your face again to capitalize on the tragedy to get back on track for 2012 now that your Wasilla hillbilly reality show was canceled. Your career in politics is over with. You quit halfway through your first term to enrich yourself from your celebrity and don't deserve the title "Governor" anymore. Go away.

    P.S. : Remember she says you're free to debate... except on her Vimeo page.

  3. What an excellent statement. I truly can't think of how the left will twist this. But they will try. Thank you for posting the video and the transcript. Let's hope that The One can make such a presidential statement in AZ today. I'm hoping that he won't pull a Clinton; we'll see.

  4. So Pawlenty attacks Palin and now Palin hurls a veiled attack against Rush Limbaugh for saying that Democratcs support the gunman. A revolution eats its own.

  5. Well Said. If The One wanted to heal this nation (which he doesn't) today in Tucson he would turn off his teleprompter and read Palin's statement.

    Fortunately, he won't. It would cause his approval ratings to go up 25 pts.

  6. Thank you, Professor, for posting the MLK video. We need to be reminded. We need his methods, his ideals, his stand for truth, his love and respect of our Constitution, today. Thank you.

  7. Professor, perhaps you can address something that no one wants to address: why is the left wing media doing these hit pieces on their political opponents? Why?

    As we learn more and more about the shooter, we learn that he was a deranged individual who was a 9-11 Truther, who believed that our monitary system was illegal, who did not believe in God, who was insulted when given a Bible at a recruiting station, and showed no tendencies of being a conservative in any way. Yet, the left media continues to spin the story, ignoring the deaths of fellow Americans in the process, as if he was.

    When Nidal Hassan murdered 13 at what should have been one of the safest places in America, an Army military base, we were told "Don't jump to conclusions" even as it became clear that Hassan was driven by his particular faith. Now we are being told to draw all kinds of conclusions based on what the media tells us, facts be damned.

    Are these "journalists" (and I use that term lightly) not fomenting the same "hate" speech they denounce? The clear answer is "yes", but the reason is less clear. Is it anger at seeing their chosen party loose power last November? Are they putting into action the tactics they have been taught by Saul Alinsky and the other far leftists in tony universities?

    This rhetoric coming from places like the NYTimes and the LA Times are reminiscent of the vitriol and anger I witnessed during the Days of Rage. Those angry comments brought is one of the most violent eras of our nation; the death of JFK, RFK, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and MalcolmX. Bombings, shootings, deaths, protest marches, a nation torn apart. Is that what the hacks are trying to acheive again?

    I do not understand what is happening. Perhaps someone can explain it for me.


  8. vasi is a nice example of why the Democrat Party is going down in flames. But he or she did cover all the Journolist talking points even if the comment lacked internal logic.

    The pharse "blood libel" has become the newest lefty anti-Palin talking point. I guess most of them haven't read Glenn Harlan Reynolds commentary "The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel" in the Wall Street Journal of January 10, 2011. Governor Sarah Palin obviously has.


  9. IMHO, an answer to retire05.

    Nemesis - something that a person cannot conquer, 2. an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 3.( initial capital letter ) Classical Mythology . the goddess of divine retribution.

    After the Tucson tragedy who was the figure who was instantaneously singled out for blame? The left vanguard didn't single out, as retire05 puts it, opponents. The singled out one opponent, Sarah Palin. From the days of late August 2008 and Journolist the left has instinctively and intellectually recognized it's nemesis. They have worked like orcs to defeat and vilify her and this latest employment of tragedy for political gain is also the most recent battle of a two year war. I expect the left may, yet again, be on the losing end in it's pathological effort to destroy Sarah Palin.

  10. Wow, the private citizen from tiny Wasilla hit it out of the park.

    Let's all hope the bloated staff of pointy headed wordsmiths we the taxpayers pay to feed the teleprompter have loaded it with the right words.

    I'll say a special prayer that the teleprompter's fuses and circuit breakers hold and that it's up to the challenge.

  11. The reason her use of "blood libel" is ignorant on its face is because the phrase has had a specific meaning for a long time, a meaning that Glenn Reynolds, Malkin, and the rest of the right (including this blog) apparently hadn't bothered to inform themselves about. (Reminds me of when the Tea Party finally looked up what "teabagging" refers to.)

    Unless she is A) claiming to be a Jew, and B) claiming that her opponents are accusing her of baking the blood of Christian children into matzos, her use of "blood libel" has about as much relevance as a Denali reference.

    In any case, her speechwriter makes a beautiful case for coming together in the time of tragedy, a case made all the more poignant by glossing over the toxic spew she has been dropping since she first flew down from Wasilla, repeatedly, needlessly and recklessly playing with the fire of gun-themed metaphors.

    The only question remaining is how many days it's going to be before she tweets, "Now get back out there and lock and load!" ?

  12. Vasi, in all honesty. Did you even read her statement? Any of it? Just a little piece? At least I give liberals a chance by reading what they have to say.

    You demonstrate your total ignorance when you say that her 'hillbilly reality show' was cancelled, as It was one of TLC's most watched shows. Did you know that by law TV stations are required to give all candidates equal air time? Might that have something to do with a second season?

    Love her, or hate her (personally I don't feel either way), that was a great speech

    P.S. You call her a 'Self-Serving Hag'. You do realize that dehumanizing your opponents is a tactic frequently used by armed forces to make it easier to injure or kill their opponents? I don't see how you can dehumanize someone and decry irresponsible rhetoric in the same paragraph.

  13. Another thing...(and trying to leave aside how only a complete narcissist would attempt to make today about themselves),

    It's very interesting that her speechwriter wrote, "But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel [sic] that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."

    Wait, so words can cause hatred and "violence?"

    Then why go on for several more paragraphs about how speech isn't really the cause of events like this?

    Which is it?

  14. Sarah Palin was wise to wait a few days before delivering a statement. It is definitive and timely and well-written. She waited just long enough for a fairly clear picture to emerge - that Loughner was apolitical is VERY important. She is a natural at politics - and I mean that in acomplimentary way. She is improving by the day and has genuine character. Brava. Her opposing commenters on this blog...not so much. You can feel the hate.

  15. I for one am not a fan of Sarah Palin's, but I really felt the accusations that somehow her rhetoric incited this sort of tragic violence were not only unfair, but libelous. I read the transcript of her talk, and I think she would agree - that we are not only free to debate the issues we differ on, but we are also free to "tune out" any such rhetoric. She and Ronald Reagan are correct: the responsibility for an individual's actions lie with the individual.

  16. Thoughtful speech that will be panned by the make believe media. Tonight Pr.Obama's speech will be described as the best speech since Gettysburg.

  17. Sarah Palin will not back down. She continues to emulate the best virtues of faith, hope and charity, effortlessly and gracefully. Light and truth reigns.

    Obama has been revealed for all that He is or will ever be. That is why the P/L/Dems have to keep up the attacks on Palin. She gets better, stronger and smarter with every step, while maintaining sincere humility. A vision of hope and change. God, family and country. In that order.

    I see the crushing blow to family, individual freedom and(to replace a God based faith) the adoption of self aggrandizing behavior. These are some of the fruits of entitlement policy the last 40 yrs. No social program or entitlement can fulfill or replace the natural instincts or migration of the human soul to love. We know it can't be bought, so I object to funding social justice programs that unhinge that natural progress to an individuals freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness in their own unique way. Teaching people to be dependant is easy. The real courage is to teach them to take a risk and challenge themselves separate from their earthly enablers.

    Sarah Palin has proven herself again to be deserving of my respect.

  18. @sky: Do you really not understand that using false accusations to condemn violence is hypocritical, at the very least?

  19. Swibbie, no, the left does not understand that while they are denouncing hateful rhetoric on the part of the right by slinging slurs at the right they themselves, are the problem, not the solution.

    If there ever was an example of the stupidity of the left, these last four days have provided us with an enclyopedia of examples.

  20. @sky: I'm not a personal fan of Palin. But its clear you've been infected by what I could only describe as the Left's Loughner-esque obsession with a political figure. Can you cite a specific Palin quote/speech which qualifies as 'toxic spew'.

    Do you find Palin's use of 'gun-themed metaphors' as objectionable as Obama casually telling Philly voters in '08:

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,...Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl...”

    Or Pelosi resorting to a paramilitary metaphor to describe how she'll circumvent constitutional checks+balances and force through health legislation.

    These modern day Gorgons should look upon their own reflection.

  21. I see I was correct - they have started with the idiocy already! "Making herself the story" and supposedly irresponsible use of the term "blood libel" - those counter-attacks didn't take long. Or much imagination.

    Glenn Reynolds (instapundit) had a great op ed piece in the WSJ on Monday with "blood libel" in the title: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703667904576071913818696964.html; Jim Geraghty has a wonderful summary of this term's use in modern-day politics (by BOTH sides of the aisle): http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/256955/term-blood-libel-more-common-you-might-think.

    LSM - (emphasis on the LAME) you beclown yourselves.

  22. Just saw the update to your post - sorry for the duplication of information. And the clear explanation of the term "blood libel".

  23. vasi, I saw your post verbatim at another site. You should have noted the footnote on your e-mail
    *This is a template. Use your own language. (you DO know what a template is?)

    I will say that putting the shoe on the other foot changes the dynamics of this whole issue. President Obama has vilified the rich, big business, and fatcats on Wall Street for 2 years. Were there an assassination attempt of a CEO of a Fortune500 company, when those belied bonuses are announced and underling's raises are minimal, would the right blame President Obama personally? Of course not. We are not wired to think that way.

  24. Only two days ago Jennifer Rubin linked to and quoted positively Glenn Reynolds' WSJ article entitled: "The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel".


    Today Rubin blames Palin for using the term without knowing the "specific historic context".


    One day it's part of a great piece of thinking and two days later it shows historical cluelessness.

    Which is it? Some on the right can't seem to get their talking points straight either.

  25. Re vasi@January 12, 2011 8:48 AM:

    1. Lady Blah Blah. Good one!

    2. You self-serving hag. Unnecessary roughness. Fifteen yard penalty. Out of bounds. Fifteen more.

    3. Presumably Palin could find a venue for her TV show even if TLC cancelled it (which I doubt). This is consistent with my skepticism. Maybe Palin is not refuting the cancellation gossip because she considers it less damaging than reinforcement of the quitter accusation.

    4. Otoh, I suspect that her book launch was deliberately scheduled to follow close on Bush's. The Palinistas have been quiet--touchy, one might say--about the relative performance of the books.