“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Stupid Palin And The Meaning Of Words.

with 15 comments

We tend to expect politicians to be conversant with words. To know of their usage, to be aware of their affect, yet not unsurprisingly Sarah Palin’s continued ignorance precludes that literate self-awareness.

Frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised at anything that Sarah Palin says, despite the fact she was almost one heart beat away from being President of the United States. She makes George W. Bush seem like a Shakespearean scholar.

You would be hard put to find a bigger ignoramus on the American political scene at the moment and there’s a lot of competition.

Still, you would hope that her advisers (who presumably can walk and chew gum at the same time) will be capable of looking up a reference to blood libel after they written her speech, and appreciate its sensitivity.

But no, they couldn’t even do that.

It is frightening to think that she could have been Vice President of the USA.

If she or her aides read this, then try this link it might help to explain exactly what the Blood Libel is.

Next time, she should follow Samuel Clemen’s advice:

“It is best to keep your mouth shut and be presumed ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Update 1: Rebecca has a good piece on this issue, including Pat Buchanan’s intervention, but I particularly liked this:

“Far be it from me to disagree with the distinguished Professor Dershowitz, but the fact that he used it in the case of his criticism of the Goldstone Report hardly validates the use of the term outside of the proper historical context. At various times when I’ve been living in Israel I’ve heard Israeli politicians use the phrase to protest against other people’s (usually correct) criticisms of their (often corrupt) behavior. This metaphorical use has always struck me as an absurdly exaggerated attempt to play on the sympathies of the audience.

I would prefer to use the phrase “blood libel” to refer to actual blood libels.

The first recorded blood libel was the accusation in 1144 that 12-year-old William of Norwich had been murdered by Jews for ritual purposes before Passover. The Medieval Sourcebook has published the first written account, from 1173, by Thomas of Monmouth, of the supposed torture and death of William at the hands of local Jews. [Warning: not for the faint of heart]. Accusations of ritual murder by Jews for religious purposes have been made since then, including up to the present in the Arab world.

Not a phrase to use lightly.”

Written by modernityblog

13/01/2011 at 02:08

15 Responses

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  1. When someone is cynically, viciously, and falsely implicated in a brutal murder, what are we permitted to call it?


    13/01/2011 at 13:01

  2. Allow me to temper the discussion a bit. Unfortunately, you are riled by only one aspect of the whole story, which has started with the tragic shooting. So, with your permission a few remarks*:

    1. The histrionics in the so called “progressive” media blaming the right wing in general and Sarah P. in particular started even before the last bullet was fired.

    2. After the smoke dissipated a bit, it became abundantly clear that there is nothing to link the mentally ill murderer to the right wing. Still the attacks on Palin and others continued.

    3. You may be (or may be not) aware of it, but, unfortunately, the term “blood libel” is used in modern discourse by every conceivable wing for every conceivable reason, just as Holocaust, Nazi, Commie you name it.

    4. Yes, she shouldn’t have said…. but so shouldn’t many others, both on the right and on the left. So what?

    5. And when you observe such a peak of hypocrisy as Andy Sullivan defending Jooz from Palin – come on, MB… it really sucks:

    (*) I am not in any way a supporter of Sarah P., but still – don’t you think that this preoccupation with her mental abilities is a bit of an overkill?

    If you are really interested in the shooting and America: try this:




    13/01/2011 at 13:16

  3. Snoopy, I agree with much that you say.

    Despite following events in Arizona, I deliberately chose not to post on the subject until some of the issues became clearer.

    As for Palin, I make an exception with her:

    1) Had McCain won,
    2) and presumably died in Office, with the strain of being President (and we can notice that it even ages someone as young as Obama, what would it have done to McCain?)
    3) then she would be President of the United States.

    That prospect is truly frightening and even hardened Republicans have said they rather vote Democrat than let her in.

    She is an absolute ignoramus.

    She’s in a position of power and influence, she abuses it.

    She deserves all the criticism I can muster and more.

    She is, like many politicians, intoxicated by power, ego and her own self worth.

    I merely wish I had more time and the inclination to deal with her idiocies.

    PS: Thanks for the link.


    13/01/2011 at 14:24

  4. OK, MB, I am not going to defend Sarah, in fact I am going to add some oil to this conflagration:

    Cheers 😉


    13/01/2011 at 16:50

  5. I think the liberal/left who rushed to ascribe this killing to Tea Party rhetoric made a big mistake. The Tea Party guy from Arizona who was being interviewed on this said that it was too soon to jump to conclusions about the motives of the murderer, and that you shouldn’t make political capital out of it. He was quite right and looked dignified. There was definitely indecent haste to seek the original cause, and it’s an original cause that matched the seekers’ politics and prejudices. I was reminded of those who knew exactly what the motives of the 9/11 guys were in about a day, and. amazingly, those motives were exactly those that fitted their own politics.

    Mind you, Sarah Palin’s ignorance is pretty amazing – both wide and deep.


    13/01/2011 at 21:14

  6. Agreed, there is a natural (unnatural?) tendency to see *everything* as political and try to make an point, something of a “I told yer so”, we’ve all done it.

    I was tempted to post, but thought better of it until I had some concrete facts (I quickly found out about his YouTube channel and the reference to Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto, etc., but that wasn’t enough to go on).

    Sometimes I feel it is better to shut up until you really know something, or have something to say…

    I wish Palin would learn that, after she’s mastered World Geography 101 that is…


    14/01/2011 at 01:29

  7. Mod, Palin was subject to an unrelenting and vicious blood libel for at least 72 hours before she said anything at all.


    14/01/2011 at 01:31

  8. “unrelenting and vicious blood libel “?? WTF

    mesq, come on, do you know what Blood Libel *really* means (and not some Humpty Dumpty version: “words mean whatever I want them to mean”)??

    Please, I expect more from you.


    14/01/2011 at 01:56

  9. Well, mod, I’m searching for a word here. When someone is viciously, cynically, and falsely implicated in a vile, brutal crime, what do you call it? Help me out.


    14/01/2011 at 03:58

  10. So people have been taking potshots at the idiot Sarah Palin?

    Hardly surprising is it?

    She only needs to open her mouth for some idiocy to leave it.

    But if you were searching for words to defend her you might say she was politically vilified, blamed for the ills of America, culpable for North Americans love of guns, etc

    Anything, but Blood Libel.


    14/01/2011 at 04:18

  11. But if you were searching for words to defend her you might say she was politically vilified, blamed for the ills of America, culpable for North Americans love of guns, etc

    But those a generalities, mod. Within minutes of this crime being reported she was blamed for it, based on zero evidence. So give me a word for that.

    Is your hatred for Palin such that you would defend to the grave the vile tactics of Markos Moulitsas?


    14/01/2011 at 13:39

  12. mesq,

    For your sake I made an effort, but I am not here to explain the English-language to North American readers, I’m sure that they have their own competence in the subject and can look up words, should they choose.

    Even from here, it is clear Palin has increased the level of political polarisation by her outlandish comments, etc and is now reaping that reward (both fiscally and politically).

    No one needs to show her any sympathy she’s made a conscious effort to drag American politics back into the gutter (from where it was potentially trying to leave).

    She’s a demagogue, and like all demagogues, open to criticism.


    14/01/2011 at 13:56

  13. The Demagogue, “A”, stays silent for three days.

    The Anti-Demagogues, “B”, rush to their keyboards and teevee studios to blame “A” for the atrocity, despite the utter lack of evidence.

    Crazy, crazy stuff.


    14/01/2011 at 14:28

  14. mesq,

    Do we live in an alternate world?

    Palin is a professional politician, she should choose her words carefully, she doesn’t.

    Palin is a professional opinion former, yet her opinions are often based on hearsay, stupidity and her lack of education.

    Palin’s actions, IRRESPECTIVE, of anything else were wrong.


    14/01/2011 at 14:32

  15. Mod

    The shooting had zero to do with Palin. In fact the shooter was quite fond of Marx and Mein Kamf and was described as leftist by many of his peers. Palin supporters tend not to be fans of Marx or Truthers like the shooter

    I am not a Palin fan myself. However, one need not look further than the economy to see what fuels the Tea Party movement.

    There is a sense that government is out of touch with the American People. There is an anti establishment resentment at political hacks. There are plenty of loons, but the hypocrisy by the Tea Party critics is amazing. One can observe antisemitism and far more hatred at so called “Peace protests” organized by Communists front groups such as Code Pink.

    I am sorry that you don’t like Palin, neither do I. However, much of the anger at Palin is from Obama defenders who really need to return to reality. All governments mess up at times and can be second guessed. However, any comparison of leadership and vision of the unfocused Obama to a Michael Bloomberg shows Obama to be inferior on every level.


    22/01/2011 at 15:43

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