Friday, January 14, 2011

Civility Pros and Cons

In all the hoopla about concern for the survival of Congreswoman Gabby Giffords, and consoling the survivors of the victims of the shooting, particuarly the parents of young Christina Green -- but really all of the victims -- and concern over those who are still fighting to recover in the hospital, we have neglected to remember the REAL victim of this tragedy: Sarah Palin.

Ms. Palin, who on the day of the solemn memorial to those who died, issued a self-serving video on Facebook reminds us that yes, there were people who died and people who were injured and people who became heroes that day, but we really need to remember that this was the day when the media unleashed "a bloodbath" against her and took advantage of the tragedy to unleash vitriole against the right.

It is no secret that I have never been a Sarah Palin admirer, but I have to admit that if Ms. Palin had come out with a sincere statement which showed concerned for the victims of the shooting, which asked for a return to civility in discourse, and which admitted that while she did not believe she had any part in the tragedy, she understood that maybe the language of violence should be toned down, I would have grudgingly respected her.

But Sarah Palin doesn't get it. She doesn't get that nobody feels she hired a hit man, but that acknowledgement that she has been a part of an atmosphere of violence would go a long way. She's not the only one. The right isn't the only side. Lots of people, left, right and middle, have made disturbing statements, but it's mostly the right that are putting their hands up and yelling "It wasn't me!" "You can't blame me!" "No fair!"

My friend, fellow journalist Jan Y and I agree on very little politically, but even she said that the president deserved praise for the tone he set in his speech at the memorial service. Heck, it seemed like every right wing news medium was heaping praise on the president for the way he dealt with the memorial service.

(Of course John Boehner was too busy to attend, since he had a cocktail party to go to...and someone interviewed on his staff justified it by saying that he hadn't been required to attend the memorial service. Gee no, Mr. Speaker. We just thought it might have been a kind thing to do, remembering all those dead people and all. But I'm sure a RNC fund raiser was much more important to attend.)

I wonder if the Tucson Tea Party president attended the memorial. He seemed to feel that it was Gifford's own fault that she and all those other people were shot. When interviewed, he said that the Arizona congresswoman shouldn't have attended an event "in full view of the public" if she had security concerns.

Obviously it's Gifford's fault that six people were murdered. How thoughtless of her.

Not sure where Limbaugh got this information...

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."

...but at least his people did have the sensitivity to take down the billboard for his show, which has been up for several weeks.

billboard.jpg (49112 bytes)

This doesn't contribute at all to an atmosphere of Wild West justice, of course.

I don't know about you all, but I was so proud of our President yesterday. He honored all those killed or injured, he honored the heroes who prevented things from being worse, he didn't point fingers at anybody, he just asked us all to honor the victims by being kinder toward each other, by being civil to one another, by making our country a bit more of a good place in which to live. It was surely one of his finest hours. Heck, even Glenn Beck liked it.

Limbaugh's reaction to the speech? “They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons. It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like,” Mr. Limbaugh told his audience members. He wondered why President Obama waited a couple days to have the memorial. (Uh...was it up to Washington to plan a memorial in Arizona?) He theorized that Obama waited to act after receiving significant poll data on how to proceed, adding, “plus they needed time to print those T-shirts.”

Well, I guess not everybody is into civility.

Maybe, after reading over this, I'm not either.

Oh...and the sale of guns in Arizona has gone up 60% since the shooting. That should improve things I'm sure.


Harriet said...

Mr. Limbaugh, incapable of being smart, civil, or articulate, not to mention educated, just has to put down anyone who scares him. It never matters if he's got his facts straight.

The scariest aspect of all this vicious talk is that there are innocent people who believe him.

Bev Sykes said...

My former roommate, who is an otherwise very intelligent person, worships the ground Limbaugh walks on. Scary.