Oh spare me. A Jewish congresswoman gets shot in Arizona. Various talking heads wonder aloud whether the level of talk of violence in current US politics, particularly on the right, might have contributed to the shooting. And persistent media hog Sarah P inserts herself in the discussions by saying this gem in a video:
"Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn."
Oh the irony. The Jew gets shot; the non-Jew seeks to appropriate the blood libel for her own purposes. But I'm not spending time discussing the significance of the words blood libel
to Jews. And I'm not raving about how America's most visible bigot, Pat Buchanan, thinks this is so very excellent
. No. The question this latest kerfuffle raises for me is Sarah P's persistent pursuit of making everything be about her, and her even more consistent and tiresome efforts to be the primary victim in any story in which her monicker is inserted.
To have a victim you have to have a perpetrator. And if you have a victim (even if the perpetrator isn't quite visible or identifiable) you almost always have rescuers, those who want to come to the aid and defense of the seeming victim. There are probably more rescuers by far than there are victims, because each victim can have thousands of rescuers, thousands of defenders. So when a politician consistently grabs the victim mantle, she is probably manipulating her audience. You can bet the ranch on this. She wants them to rescue her, to defend her, to give her money, to argue in her behalf, to denounce the perceived perpetrators. But most of all to make donations. Big donations.
Seen in this context, Sarah P's speechwriters-- nobody believes for a second that Sarah P writes this stuff for herself, do they?-- sought again to ring their familiar bell. The bell that brings in the checks. This bell has but one note: Sarah P's victimhood. No matter. They sought to transform a story about the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman into one all about poor Sarah P. And they again attempted to mobilize all of those very gullible AM radio listeners who have been content repeatedly to stand up for a rescue of Sarah P from the unjust, unwarranted attacks on her egotism and grandstanding by the supposedly liberal press and/or the supposedly liberal D party.
But, alas, there's something weird about Sarah P's most recent claim of victimhood. For me, it's that there is something really familiar. And also quite off. No, I'm not referring just to Sarah P's many previous attempts at victimhood. Not just them. No, it reminds of a seminal event in September, 1991.
Confronted with allegations that he had committed sex harassment and violated Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act while he himself was running the EEOC, another circumstance chock full of irony, Clarence Thomas made a flat out drive to become a victim and, thereby, save his endangered Supreme Court nomination. When he made his move, he of course wrapped himself in America's taboo about discussing race. The future Associate Justice told the Senate committee considering his nomination this gem:
"This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It is a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I am concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity-blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that, unless you kow-tow to an old order this is what will happen to you, you will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree."
That bit of hyperbole, of course, made him a victim. It equated the Senate with the Klan, but no matter. It worked. And of course, the Senators voted 52-48 to rescue him. So it worked really, really well. And it went into the Republican play book.
And now, almost 20 years later, Sarah P's writers have trotted it out this well worn, but extremely effective ploy. Except Sarah P isn't Jewish. The congresswoman in critical condition is. But no matter, it's close enough for current politics. In current politics, like horseshoes close enough is good enough. Sarah P's speech writers have taken umbrage at the idea that Sarah P's speeches and web media might inspire lunatics to resort to Second Amendment solutions. And they say that the accusation is so unfair that it amounts to blood libel. Wow. Except, not quite. In fact, not at all. Not even close.
Seeing this video, all I can say is, "Oy gevalt, you writers for Sarah P are shameless after all."
The remaining question, in fact a question that really fascinates me, is whether Sarah P's present writer is the same person who wrote those unbelievably inventive lines for Clarence T. If it is, s/he has now officially jumped the shark.
Etiquetas: Clarence Thomas, sarah palin, writers guild