A Conservative View of the Last Six Days

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 04:58 PM

About ten minutes after the Tucson shooting, when little information was available and few knew what had happened, the narrative was quickly written by the left: Sarah Palin was responsible. She had posted a map with cross-hairs targeting the Congresswoman and now the Congresswoman had been shot. The connection couldn't be clearer.

Any attempt to argue that perhaps we should wait until all, or even some facts were released about the shooting were met with truly vile responses. If Sarah Palin is responsible for the murders, and you're defending Sarah Palin, then you are complicit too! Any attempt to use arguments to show the same type of rhetoric and imagery had been used by the left was deemed "politicizing" the shooting. Liberals wanted conservatives to be quiet and accept being accused of murder. They wanted Sarah Palin tarred, feathered and removed from the national stage. They would accept nothing less.

As information trickled out and it turned out that the shooter was an atheist, pothead, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, some people altered their "Sarah Palin did it" theories, but only slightly. The popular position on the left became "she may have not been responsible directly, but her rhetoric permeates our political conversations and so she is still ultimately responsible." Despite having zero to do with the shooting, Palin's accusers called on her to, wait for it, apologize. The best part? When Palin finally spoke out, to defend herself from these disgusting, inaccurate and crazy accusations, she was accused of inserting herself into the story and vilified for correctly pointing out that she was being blood libeled. There was just no winning.

Today, six days later, most of the liberals who hysterically pointed fingers at Palin are fairly quiet. Some still sputter about "rhetoric," mostly because they went so far out on a limb with their blame that they're finding it hard to climb back down. I have come across none that have apologized for their despicable actions and none that have realized that it was their rhetoric that causes our country's divide. Instead, there is a call for civility, to put all this behind us and to accept that we're all Americans and we're all in this together.

That's not going to happen.

If the past six days have shown anything it's that most liberals consider conservatives their actual enemies. People I never would have imagined would embrace lunacy and blame Sarah Palin, or me, for the actions of a mentally unstable person opening fire into a crowd did just that and did it so with such venom that I can't imagine ever looking at them the same way again. Now they want to come together and pretend that none of this happened? Now they want to move forward as a country? I don't want to move forward with people who would behave this way. I want to use Obamacare to get them all counseling for their troubled, sick minds. I want apologies for their divisiveness in the face of a tragedy for us all. I want them to see that their finger-pointing prevented us from grieving as a country and getting through this together as a country. I want these people to feel shame that they projected their hatred of Sarah Palin onto an atrocious act by a sick person. And finally, I want all the liberals who didn't speak up and call out their political bedfellows on their twisted accusations to finally do so. I appreciate that not every liberal called Sarah Palin a murderer, but where were most of them in disciplining the ones who did? If a conservative says something outlandish, a line of conservatives instantly forms to denounce them. Where were all the liberals doing the same thing?

If we're going to move forward as a country, all of the above needs to happen first. No thirty-five minute speech by President Obama is going to change that. No conservative is going to forget what happened during this terrible week and the country will not heal until those who caused this deep divide regain their sanity, take responsibility and show some remorse.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [26]

willegge from Chicago IL

Sarah Palin had nothing to do with creating a culture that incites , violence and hate, the liberals have done that all them selves. Statistics tell us that largest percent of the people in prison are democrats, liberals. The cities with the most violence and murder, are predominately democratic. Detroit, Chicago, New York , LosAngeles. Sarah Palin is a wonderful leader, Christian, loving mother of five, who has received hundreds of calls for her murder and assassination because of being blood libeled, by the MSM, and by others, like some writing on this very comment blog. She will rise above this adversity which doing it;s work, and forming greatness in her . It is my hope that she becomes the next President of the United States.

Jan. 23 2011 11:38 PM
Karol from NYC

While I, and the American people who voted in Republicans in record margins last election, disagree with you, EJ, and while I know many more than 3 people who pushed the Sarah Palin is a killer story, I would like to see some apologies before we go back to politics as usual. As you seem to be a liberal, can you organize this? Thanks.

Jan. 22 2011 10:28 AM
E.J. from Brooklyn, NY

There is a sports analogy that applies here. In boxing, when one fighter is getting soundly beaten, round after round, when he puts up a little bit of a fight, it is common for judges to overreact and score the round for that fighter, even if they didn't really win the round. After the fight, unsurprisingly, that is the only round the loser wants to talk about. That's how this moment feels to me for conservatives. It's obvious that a miscalculation was made by about three liberal people to overstate the effect that Palin's inane rhetoric may have had in this situation, and the fact that they are even approaching being on the right side of an issue, no matter how small and unimportant, fills conservatives with confidence. "I'm right about something!" They can shout, sobbing with joy... "Finally, I am right about something, without any trace of hypocrisy or intellectual dishonesty! I am truly and unapologetically correct that Sarah Palin is not responsible for this!"
If three of us apologize, can we go back to talking about everything they are wrong about?

Jan. 19 2011 05:09 PM
Nick from The bitter frigid tundra of NJ

Regime change doesn't imply violence. Come on! You grew up in Russia. When Gorbie left, he wasnt hung in a square, he left on a bus. Someone that uses the phrase "regime change" is saying that the current political atmosphere is like an authoritarian regime, and they want it to change! Unless of course, the person is from the 19th century or prior, then I will say yes, you are correct.

I wouldn't worry about your pal Sarah Palin. She is gonna be just fine. She has a ton of leeway to say terribly moronic things. She can also continue her job as the official Overexaggerator Minister of the Right. I truely believe the only way she can lose her power would be if she were caught in some kind of Ted Haggard situation (crystal meth and prostitutes). Even then it would be tough. She is just fine, you don't have to spend every waking minute defending her. It's bringing your value down.

Jan. 18 2011 01:03 PM
Karol from NYC

Hahaha, 1.4 million image results for Obama Hitler? How about SEVEN MILLION for Bush Hitler? Why are we comparing crazy people, though? Who cares how many people with nothing better to do made Hitler graphics?

And "regime change" implies violence. When a new president gets elected in the US, that's not regime change, that's democratic process.

Jan. 15 2011 11:57 PM
Karol from NYC

I haven't read the rest of your comment yet, Chip, but you should know I have zero control over blocking IP addresses.

Jan. 15 2011 11:44 PM
Chip from Indianapolis


Although I appreciate your effort to block my ip address in my attempt to post a further reply to your message, I do have access from both work and home! :-)

Have you watched Rep. Giffords video yet? Your comments on it?

Now, to address your attempts to counter and defend the right's rhetoric, please note:

"As for the second amendment solutions, while an extremely stupid thing to say, was not much different than the people who called for "regime change" under Bush. She was talking about armed revolution, what were the regime changers talking about?"

They were talking about changing the administration...i.e. at the ballot box. Please cite any references to an American citing an "armed" regime change of President Bush. Let's not even go there...

"Birthers have been rebutted and ignored by nearly everyone on the right. Most bloggers I know won't even allow birthers to comment on their sites (I do, I think insanity needs to be exposed, not hidden away, even when the insane are on your political side)."

GOOD FOR YOU! Too bad more on your side wouldn't do that, including the 17 congressmen that can't seem to "repudiate" them!


"Nazi displays? Seriously?"

Yes, unfortunately, seriously. Do a search on Google images for "Obama Hitler". Yes, it returns 1.4 million results. Rather sad, isn't it? And you SERIOUSLY? question the references to Nazis?

"A) Nazis were socialists so I don't consider them even slightly on my political wavelength "

Then please let me enlighten you. The definition of "nazism", from Wikipedia:

Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism; alternatively spelled Naziism[1]) was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] It was a unique variety of fascism that involved biological racism and antisemitism.[10] Nazism presented itself as politically syncretic, incorporating policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies; in practice, Nazism was a far right form of politics.[11]

"and B)I'm pretty sure everyone everywhere has fearlessly condemned Nazis."

Yes, everyone except those creating those 1.4 million images.

And please, one final comment. You may very well feel that you are "disgusted" by people making that reference. That's fine...that's your right as an AMERICAN!

Why would you then deny or denigrate the right for others to be "disgusted" with the violent rhetoric to begin with ? You can't have it both ways...

I do appreciate your attempts to have a civil discourse about the matter, therapy comments excluded. ;-)

Jan. 15 2011 08:46 PM
Karol from NYC

"No, I don't blame her for murder. I blame her for helping create a culture that incites it. "

If you've read my post above, you know I consider this unacceptable-- same as accusing her of murder. She created nothing of the sort and saying so is a weak, cheap way of making the same disgusting accusation. Unacceptable.

Jan. 15 2011 12:25 PM
Peter from New York

And speaking of honesty, do you believe Palin's aide who said those weren't 'targets', like in a gunsight, but rather like on a surveyor's map?

Show me a surveyor's map that has indications like that.

But of course, Palin revels in simultaneously being a messiah AND a victim. Her whole speech was 'let's talk about me'.

The wicked flee, when none pursueth.

Jan. 15 2011 11:51 AM
Peter from New York


No, I don't blame her for murder. I blame her for helping create a culture that incites it.

If the map had nothing wrong, it makes no sense to take it down - what happened to being a mama grizzly/hockey mom?

Didn't Palin in fact, blame the tv show "Murphy Brown" for encouraging single-parenthoood?

And if only the people directly responsible for something are guilty, what possible reason could she have to oppose the Islamic prayer center/mosque in lower Manhattan?

Likewise, how can she criticize Obama for 'palling around with a terrrorist'?

Lastly, the reason people bring guns to those meetings is plain and simple - it's a threat, it's intimidation. They bring them to rallies about taxes. They mention them anytime someone votes in a way they don't like.

I know it's true, and so do you. Let's have some honesty here.

Jan. 15 2011 11:47 AM
Karol from NYC


1. It was the right things to do after hysterical leftists blamed it for a mass murder. I'm glad she didn't bend to pressure to remove it before.

2. She meant armed revolution and it was an extremely stupid thing to say. But John Kerry called for "regime change" in the US which is the same thing and no one cared one bit.

3. Guns are legal and they're a part of the culture in many places in the US. Also, after the last 6 days of angry, vile finger-pointing at them, I don't blame them.

Anyone care to guess how many death threats Sarah Palin has received after so many people thoughtlessly blamed her for murder?

Jan. 15 2011 11:18 AM

dear wnyc,

i can understand that you want to have bloggers with different political points of view on this site, but this person, who is ranting about partisanship in the most partisan fashion, is limiting discourse, not encouraging it, by being completely wound up in her own defensive, vindictive loop. the blog is no longer viable as a place for debate about issues - it seems simply a venue for the author to vent (hatefully, i might add). i would have thought wnyc would be a little more sophisticated.

Jan. 15 2011 10:50 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

1) If Palin feels she did nothing wrong, why did she take down the 'target' map?

2) What exactly did Angle mean by "Second Amendment remedies"?

3) Why do so many 'tea partiers' bring guns to political rallies?

Jan. 15 2011 09:42 AM
Don L from CT

" I have come across none that have apologized for their despicable actions and none that have realized that it was their rhetoric that causes our country's divide"

They reflexively behave like a pack of stray dogs chasing a deer (Sarah?) in hopes of invicerating it. Just because they didn't catch it is no reason for them to change their behavior. It's natural for dogs and democrats to behave like that.

Jan. 15 2011 08:36 AM
yankhadenuf from Florida

Sarah spent all last year and part of this year with violent threats. Bush spent 6 years with violent wars. But if the left exposes the obvious, then Palin and Bush are suddenly "victims". And I suppose war is "peace,...

Jan. 15 2011 12:54 AM
Karol from NYC

Also, Chip, the left spent 8 years in frothing hate and seems to not be letting it up now that Bush isn't president. So don't tell me about hate, police your own.

Jan. 14 2011 08:18 PM
Karol from NYC

Birthers have been rebutted and ignored by nearly everyone on the right. Most bloggers I know won't even allow birthers to comment on their sites (I do, I think insanity needs to be exposed, not hidden away, even when the insane are on your political side). Nazi displays? Seriously? A) Nazis were socialists so I don't consider them even slightly on my political wavelength and B)I'm pretty sure everyone everywhere has fearlessly condemned Nazis.

As for the second amendment solutions, while an extremely stupid thing to say, was not much different than the people who called for "regime change" under Bush. She was talking about armed revolution, what were the regime changers talking about?

Jan. 14 2011 08:11 PM
Chip from Indianapolis


Thanks for your reply, but I really don't think that Elizabeth Hasselback speaking up once constitutes a "long line of conservatives". Please name and demonstrate two others who denounced the crosshairs.

Please answer this question...have you watched Rep. Giffords interview? If you need help finding it, here it is:

And you're outraged that the relevancy question DARE be asked? Remember, it was asked first by the woman who took the bullet to her brain.

Please cite your conservative rebuttals to:

the birthers
the Nazi displays
the second amendment remedies

I won't list Rush's comments, because I KNOW that no one on the right stands up to him.

Sure, great if you can pick out one or two conservatives here or there that said something. The problem is that the general message being sent, like it or not, is that the violent rhetoric and ideas are what you stand for.

I know better than that, the true conservatives want smaller government, fiscal responsibility, etc. All great ideas.

However, when you have goons parading their guns at political rallies, members of Congress being spit upon, and people demanding to see a birth certificates, those principles and their message gets lost.

What's the solution for the right? Find a new deliveryman for your message. And try a message other than "hate".

Jan. 14 2011 07:29 PM
Karol from NYC

Geneva, that you continue to call Cong. Giffords a "victim directly related to Palin's crosshair" means you should go to the front of the line for the therapy I recommend.

Also, anyone who claims "no one" is saying Palin is responsible I direct you to Geneva's comment.

Jan. 14 2011 07:02 PM
Geneva from New Rochelle, NY

If you won't "forgive and forget" then, sadly, that's a serious problem for you. There is legitimate outrage on both sides of the aisle and if you can't see that, then I guess that all you can do is continue to live quite unnecessarily as a pseudo-victim of the situation. The one real victim directly related to Palin's crosshair is Gabby Gifford who, provided she continues to recover, will forever remember that, with her own prescient warning (and that's the "killer" here!), a pictoral cross-hair was put over her name and the picture became literal. Of course Sarah Palin did not intend for such a thing to happen; but in light of the fact that no one yet knows whether or not a passing glimpse of the picture may/may not have triggered something in a crazy man is reason enough for a measure of human decency on the part of Sarah Palin to stop and self-reflect in some degree of humility.

Jan. 14 2011 06:59 PM
Carol Sone

If Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh et al, etc. do not think that vitriolic language has an effect on people, WHY DO THEY USE IT?

Jan. 14 2011 06:54 PM
Karol from NYC

Chip, I think you proved my point as Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a conservative and yet denounced Palin. I can give you a long, long list of conservatives who denounce other conservatives. Hey, our last presidential candidate made a whole career out of it!

Perro, I won't get over it, that's the whole point of this post. It was so inflammatory, so disgusting, so above and beyond what I consider normal that I won't forget or forgive. The weirdest thing was that it wasn't only leftist lunatics, it was people I consider sane that were pushing the message that Palin was responsible.

I forgot to mention it in this post but the argument that it wasn't mainstream liberals doing this finger-pointing will only hold if you don't consider Paul Krugman of the NY Times mainstream. If the NY Times is now fringe, someone please inform me!

Jan. 14 2011 06:21 PM
Chip from Indianapolis

Being a Democrat married to a conservative, I've seen your pain felt in the last week.

Was it unfair to blame Palin directly for this murder? Yes...absolutely.

What I have yet to find from most conservatives was an acknowledgement that it was wrong for Palin to begin with to put up that map It was wrong to say, "don't retreat...reload!".

It was wrong of Ms. Angle (sp?) to promote "second amendment remedies".

When you state that "If a conservative says something outlandish, a line of conservatives instantly forms to denounce them", did you really type that with a straight face?

Please watch the clip of how Rep. Giffords felt back in March and her pre-cognitive advice to Mrs. Palin. Please watch Elizabeth Hasselback back in the Spring call her map "despicable".

And although the reaction by some was over the top, can you REALLY be surprised or incensed that the question might be asked or debated as to cause and effect?

Yes, I've seen your pain this last week. I would liken it to a punch in the gut, when you realized what your "mama grizzly" is really all about, and then you got to see what a President is all about.

Like I've told my wife, I understand (and even agree with) part of what the conservative message is all about. It's just unfortunate for your side which messenger you have chosen.

Jan. 14 2011 06:00 PM
Sam from boston

I knew people dislike sarah but to tell the truth l was shock last week and hurt too. I saw so much hate for one woman. Its scary on blogs, social sites, news sites like the new york times and the huffington post are obessed with saying hateful things about sarah.

I don't know what sarah calling is but she is going to play a major role in some way. People are more interested in her than the president. I have never seen anyone in politics that garners the attention she does.

Jan. 14 2011 05:45 PM

Horse is very dead, stop beating it. I have heard very few people actually put blame on Palin, and fewer as time goes on. The discussion is on senseless arguments and statements, like this one. The report had much more to do with Giffords view on the atmosphere post health care. My only gripe with the Republican party is they preach small budgets and lower taxes and invariably don't practice accordingly. Leaving us with soaring deficits. We have legitimate issues. Republicans have congress again. Hold their feet to the fire. Send the horse to the glue factory.

Jan. 14 2011 05:43 PM
Adam from Dallas, TX

Excellent blog, Karol. You hit the nail exactly on the head - the heated rhetoric and "vitriol" came exclusively from the left, following the tragedy in Tucson. Simply a disgusting display of irresponsible journalism and politically-motivated venom. Now, after being completely proven wrong, they don't even have the decency or character to admit it. I hope Americans paid attention to the reaction from the left over the past week.

Jan. 14 2011 05:37 PM

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