Palin And Victimhood
I haven't commented much on Palin and the crosshairs because I think it's a bit of a sideshow --- which she's now taking full advantage of to push her own victimization. The pistol-packing mama grizzly is a celebrity riding the zeitgeist, she's not creating it.
The real problem, in my view, is that there is a subset of Americans who believe that government is illegitimate if their chosen leaders aren't elected. They simply don't believe in democracy. Voting is a ritual for them, something one does, like go to church. But it's expected that their preferred leaders will always win and their preferred agenda is the only one that will be enacted. (In one of the greatest ironies ever, they are undoubtedly the same people who stuck with George W. Bush to bitter end --- the most illegitimate president ever.) They get very, very agitated and angry whenever they are not "in charge." (Sadly for them, they never actually are.)
I watched it happen in the 90s and we saw it rise up almost immediately after Obama was elected. They believe that they are "the people" and Americans who disagree with them are either unworthy and irrelevant --- or they don't actually exist (which I think is far more common these days with the right wing noise machine.) Palin is one of them.
She listened to Glenn Beck's sob fest on Monday, in which he urged her to "get protection" for her family, and realized that she was now the leading victim of the victims:
“Sarah, as you know, peace is always the answer,” said Mr. Beck, reading from an e-mail he sent her. “I know you are feeling the same heat, if not much more on this. I want you to know you have my support. But please look into protection for your family. An attempt on you could bring the republic down.”
That's an important person. Presidents have been shot down while in office and it didn't bring the Republic down. Since many Real Americans already believe they are under seige from this "outside force" which has taken over the government against "the people's will" this will probably solidify her as their leader.
She won't be president now but then, that was never going to happen. Now she is a martyr, without having to actually be martyred, which is ever so much better. And lucrative. It's a good career move.
ALSO: Memo to conservative morons: there's a perfectly good all-American term to express your perpetual feeling of victimhood. It's called "waving the bloody shirt."
You don't have to use the phrase "blood libel." It's inappropriate to use the term cavalierly at any time, but especially inappropriate when the real victim was Jewish.
Update: Palin's champions: