After remaining largely silent following the Tucson shootings Saturday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has spoken. But instead of a healing address from her heart, Palin's remarks were mostly a counter offensive reflective of her favorite slogan: "Don't Retreat. Instead, Reload."
In fairness, Palin did express her sympathy, "My heart broke for the innocent victims...we do mourn for the victims' families as we express our sympathy." And she called for all Americans to, "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."
But the focus of Palin's eight minute address to the nation, read using a teleprompter, was an attack against "...the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event." Palin obviously doesn't like being in the crosshairs.
She quoted a 1968 speech by then Governor President Ronald Reagan, made during an era of great civil strife throughout the country. "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker," Reagan said at the GOP convention in Miami. "It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." That was a different time in our history, but his words always work well with her base.
Instead of toning down the rhetoric, Palin threw a punch, "...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." In so doing, she immediately created another controversy. A "blood libel" is an anti-Semitic term that has been used to persecute and kill Jews for centuries. The use of this term, in any context, is most reprehensible. Governor, Google it before you say it!
At one point, Palin said, "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." Governor Palin: "respectfully"? Like in "Second Amendment" remedies?
In her address today, Governor Palin could have been a great national leader. She could have focused most of her attention on the victims, expressing great emotion and empathy for those who have directly suffered from this great tragedy. She could have expressed her profound sorrow to the people of Tucson and the state of Arizona.
Yes, Governor Palin could have stood above all the rancor and bickering. She could have risen above the politics of hatred and personal attacks. She could have echoed the recent comments of many influential Americans that the rhetoric must be toned down. She could have apologized if anything thing she said, or displayed on her website, might have incited any violence. She could have been an inspirational national leader speaking powerful and motivational words. She could have called on all Americans to unite.
Instead, she refutiated the lamestream media and its commentators, "We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy." It was as if she is also a victim of this great tragedy.
Her address is certain to be a disappointment for most Americans, especially those who still believe in her. Now they can see for sure that Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan.