Sarah Palin went after President Obama Friday. Turns out Obama and liberals are “exploiting” recent shootings to promote our anti-gun agenda. I guess by that logic, any attempt to respond to any tragedy in order to reduce that likelihood it will be repeated, is a form of exploitation. Sorry, hurricane victims. Sorry, tornado victims. It’s called causation, Sister Sarah: C-A-U-S-A-T-I-O-N. Look it up.
Of course, Palin was speaking to an NRA crowd at a convention in Houston. Probably not the best of circumstances to bring up pesky factual things like causation. You know, that deal where a parent buys a gun, leaves it out, and a kid finds it and shoots the parent or a sibling, or himself, or when parents give a 5-year-old boy a gun and he accidentally shoots his 2-year-old sister to death.
Palin accused Obama of writing the book on exploiting tragedy, and not without attacking the hated “poodle-skirted” media.
Cause and effect. Not exploitation.
Ironically, Palin wore a t-shirt that said “women hunt.” It should have mentioned that some women, like certain failed presidential hopefuls, can’t hit what they aim at. Her shirt should say, “Women Hunt…some miss.” That would be accurate on a number of levels.
Gird your loins and check it out, keep barf bags handy (thanks, CNN):
So Palin says Obama is practicing the ”politics of emotion.” I don’t know about you, but I get emotional when people get shot and killed for no reason at all other than the complete absence of laws that might have prevented the death, especially of children. And I like a president who can emote. Empathy is a great thing.
But the simple fact of the matter is that the GOP- and Palin in particular – has made an art form of exploiting events on an emotional level in order to prevent people from actually stopping to think about them. It was emotion, not fact, not reasoning, not logic, that was behind the entire Republican presidential efforts of that past two elections. Dollars to donuts their 2016 platform is all emotion too. I mean, it doesn’t get any more emotional than damnation and hellfire.
Yet hyper-hypocritically and disingenuously as all get out, Palin now condemns her money maker, the politics of emotion, saying,
“It’s the opposite of leadership. It’s the manipulation of the people by the politicians for their own political ends. It’s not just self-serving. It’s destructive and it must stop.”
Cripes. She’d have put herself right out of business in 2008 with that sort of thinking. I mean, she couldn’t have made a single speech during that entire campaign! But she’s right. Playing that game is destructive and self-serving and manipulative. And she oughta know. She’s rich because of it. But maybe she just can’t imagine anyone else not being the manipulative, dishonest grafter she herself is.
There is a difference between owning your emotions and acting on them. For the cold calculating wannabe dictator Republicans and Tea Partiers love to portray Obama as being, all this emoting seems a reach. You don’t get to be an über-successful Manchurian candidate by emoting all over the place! And c’mon, one criticism leveled at Obama even by some liberals is that he is too cool-seeming, that he does not emote enough.
And of course, since liberals have been asking why nobody makes a fuss out of all those people being needlessly killed as a result of gun violence in Chicago on a regular basis, Palin has to go after Obama, not the gun-lobby, for that as well:
“We could use a bit more emotion by the way of what goes on every single day on the streets of cities like Chicago and New York.”
Oh, so now emoting is a good thing? As long as Obama doesn’t actually try to do anything to stop all those killings? You know, with like, background checks and stuff? With limits on assault rifles and 100-round clips?
Typical of Palin, she does not ask how we can stop this violence. She won’t even say “gun violence” but points vaguely to “what’s going on” instead. She just wants to score a point or two on an emotional level so facts aren’t really all that important. But then, she’s probably not even sure where Chicago is.
You almost wonder if Palin is intentionally bad at arguing a point, if at some deep-seated level, she doesn’t want to win. Because this is the kind of vapid, fact-free, emotional reasoning that lost her 2008. And if they keep at this sort of reasoning – God willing and the river don’t rise – and Sarah Palin helping – they’ll lose another in 2016.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.