Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Blood Libel"? Yes, It Is

Well, that didn't take long.  Within hours --- minutes? --- of my last post, there were plenty on the far Left who went looking for scapegoats, and found them, conveniently, among ideological foes.  Including the Arizona Sheriff for the jurisdiction in which the shooting occurred.

What is it that Rush Limbaugh says about the dangers of illustrating the folly of the far Left with the absurd?  Something about coming up with a satire, and finding out shortly later than it has, in fact, become a policy proposal of some Democrat official, candidate, or constituency.

And anybody who makes the far Left this insane must be doing something right.

I speak, of course, about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who was immediately accused by far Left moonbats and their media apologists for having some responsibility in the tragic mass shooting occurring in Arizona on Saturday (see here and here for whole series of idiocies).  To be sure, there were a few responsible people of the Left who declined to enter into the feeding frenzy and use this tragedy as an excuse for attacking those they loathe, but they were largely drowned out by the moonbat contingency.

Or, as Governor Palin put it:
"Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."
And of course, the far Left howled!  Howled that Governor Palin had the temerity to defend herself against their smears.  Howled that she dared use the term "blood libel."

Even some normally sensible Conservatives were discomfitted by use of the term.  Here's how Jonathan Tobin, at the Commentary website, described the roots of the term:
the false accusation that Jews kidnap and murder Christian children and use their blood to help bake matzoh for Passover. This canard was popularized during the Middle Ages by European Christians and has been revived in recent decades in the Arab world as Jew-hatred has become an unfortunate staple of contemporary Islamic culture.
In fact, Tobin goes on to defend Palin's use of the term though, of course, it is divorced from its roots in anti-Semitism (another disease of the far Left not implicated in their current slanders):
[T]he claim that Palin has crossed some bright line in the sand and “stolen” a phrase that has always and should always be used to describe only one thing is absurd. Like so much else that has been heard from the left in the wake of the shootings in Arizona, this further charge against Sarah Palin is groundless. The fact is, those who are trying to link her or other conservatives to this crime are committing a kind of blood libel. Take issue with her politics or dislike her personality if that is your inclination, but the idea that she has even the most remote connection to this event is outrageous. So, too, is the manufactured controversy over “blood libel.”
Tobin's point is a valid one: the "blood libel" is a smear used against one's enemies to accuse them of having the blood of innocents on their hands.  And it has been used to justify actions against a perceived enemy (Jews in Europe in the Middle Ages, and in more recent times, and in the Arab world more recently).

Hmmm.  "Toxic rhetoric"?  "Overheated political rhetoric"?  "Hate speech"?  Reimpose the "fairness doctrine" to stifle Conservative talk radio?

Sounds like Governor Palin has it just about right to me.  "Blood libel," indeed.


BillRead said...

What I always find interesting is how the very people who accuse certain conservatives of ignorance and inexperience, jump again to the acusation when something is said that they don't understand. Because they only know one definition of a word, or worse, misunderstand the word spoken (think niggardly), the very ones who scream we must have open minds (we do), are so closed minded that the possibility that their interpretation is not only wrong, but ignorant, escapes them. And all too often we are stupid enough to think we might engage them intelligently — actually, not stupid, it's just that we are the ones who truly have faith in others and the greatest system on earth, and therefore give them the benefit of the doubt (undeservedly).

James Young said...

Of course, you're right, Bill. As I was thinking about writing this post, the whole "niggardly" controversy of a few years ago occurred to me, too.

It's intellectual vanity. Or narcissism.

Kurt said...

Just wondering why in your previous post, James, you suggest that Federal District Court Judge John M. Roll might have been the primary target?

James Young said...

Note the date of the post, Kurt. It was posted on the same day, when we knew very little about the suspect or his actual motives.