Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Message to Sarah Palin: It's not about you
For the first minute and a half of Sarah Palin's seven minute, forty-three second video addressing the murders last weekend in Tucson, the former Alaska governor sounded almost- dare I say it- presidential.
She hit all of the right notes, condemning the violent act that took the lives of five people and gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Mrs. Palin sounded as if she was going to rise above the legions who quickly, and wrongly, fixed the blame on her moments after the shots rang out.
That course would have been the best thing for a country still in shock over the tragedy. As we have learned over the two years that Sarah Palin has been in the public eye, there is nothing that happens in our national discourse that is not about her. Admittedly, she had to endure a number of cheap shots in the hours and days following the supermarket shootings. Her detractors, both in and out of the media, did not hesitate to make her public enemy number one, though she did not pull the trigger, and there has not been a shred of evidence that the killer has ever given a thought to Mrs. Palin.
During the final six minutes of her video, Mrs. Palin swings back and forth between efforts to say the type of things that leaders say during moments like this, statements that are designed to bring a country together, not rip it apart.
Unfortunately, she could not leave well enough alone. She had to steer away from the real victims of the killings, including a nine-year-old girl and a highly respected federal judge, and accuse her old enemy, the mainstream media, of committing a "blood libel" against her.
Tonight, President Obama will speak at the memorial service for the shooting victims. Hopefully, he will be able to bring this country together, in the same way that President Bush did after 9-11. From the time Jared Loughner fired his first shot Saturday morning, he committed a crime against all of us.
It is that crime we should be thinking about today, not the slights, real and imagined, toward a poliitician who needs to develop a thicker skin if she ever hopes to take the presidential oath of office.