Jacob Heilbrunn

Sarah Palin's Blood Libel

Sarah Palin has once more flagrantly demonstrated why she is not simply unfit to be president, but should not even be considered a serious public figure. As Rep. Gabrielle Giffords lies in a hospital, Palin is depicting herself as the true victim of the shooting. In her Facebook entry today, she is complaining that critics are committing a "blood libel" in criticizing her.

This is an inversion of reality. It is Palin, the self-styled tribune of the masses, who has been indulging in incendiary rhetoric. Her response to the Arizona tragedy is heartless and obtuse. Heartless because she is milking the tragedy for personal publicity. The slaughter in Arizona is not about Palin. It is about the murdered and injured victims. Obtuse because even she should know better.

Instead, she invokes President Reagan, implicitly attacks President Obama, and whinges on about America being an "exceptional" nation. Maybe so. But what does that have to do with the shooting of Giffords? Palin isn't exposing anything except her own sheer creepiness.

Most odious is her use of the term "blood libel." As the New York Times observes,

The term blood libel is generally used to mean the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. That false claim was circulated for centuries to incite anti-Semitism and justify violent pogroms against Jews.

Apparently there is nothing to which Palin and her camarilla will not stoop in trying to attract publicity. She believes that the best defense is a good offense. But she possesses an infallible talent for being merely offensive.