Thom Hartmann Derides 'Sarah bin Palin' For Not Coming 'Out of Her Cave'

Agreed, the parallels between Palin and bin Laden are uncanny. To say nothing of women appearing so frequently to speak on behalf of al Qaeda.

If liberals have a strong case against Palin, why do they say such stupid things about her? (audio) --

HARTMANN: (After music at start of segment, "Give Peace a Chance," from bellicose pacifist John Lennon):  Sarah Palin. She hasn't come out of her cave up there in Alaska. Sarah bin Palin, should we call her? But she has issued a video!

What makes Hartmann's criticism on his radio show Wednesday all the more peculiar is that it came after Palin released her seven-minute video statement on liberals' unhinged reaction in according blame for the rampage in Tucson.


Regardless of what Palin did, critics like Hartmann would be churlish. If she didn't make a statement, they'd say Palin was laying low, a sure sign of guilt. If she did, her remarks would fall short. OK, Palin released the video -- why wasn't she on the "Today" show? Had Palin appeared on "Today," they'd ask why she wasn't on "60 Minutes" -- for the entire hour. Were Palin to go on "60 Minutes," they'd complain she wasn't sufficiently choked up. The demands would never end, until Palin was suitably repentant in the eyes of the MSNBC's tag team.

In describing Palin as living in a "cave up there in Alaska," it's almost as if Hartmann implied Alaska isn't part of America. You know, like Hawaii, for example.

More of Hartmann's take on Palin's remarks (audio)--

HARTMANN: But here's Sarah Palin, basically quoting Ronald Reagan saying society has no role in this.

PALIN: President Reagan said we must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state. Not with those who listen to talk radio. Not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle. Not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies. And not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

HARTMANN: So in this she's dismissing a), that the society has anything to do with this, and b), she's dismissing the notion that people using violent rhetoric, people showing up at campaign rallies with semi-automatic weapons thrown over their shoulders, that her using the language of violence, the rhetorical language of violence, had anything to do with this.

Whereas Hartmann is quite sure that it did, yet like so many other liberals he'd rather insinuate this repeatedly -- all the better to perpetuate its buzz -- than say so outright --

HARTMANN: She's dismissing that. She's saying no. This is a lone gunman. Don't look behind the curtain. There is no society, there is no larger culture. There is no societal responsibility for crime, because it's always the individual. Blame the individual. If somebody is poor, it's their fault. If somebody's homeless, it's their fault. If somebody's mentally ill or mentally retarded, it's their fault. ... And the implicit second part of that is, if somebody's born rich, they must be virtuous, they must be wonderful. This is Calvinism on steroid. But this is nothing compared to blood libel.

Palin isn't saying "there is no society," as Hartmann claims, making the common liberal error of conflating anarchy with conservatism. Palin is rejecting the inherently problematic notion that "society" is responsible for the heinous actions of a single person. As for Palin's alleged belief that "if somebody's mentally ill or mentally retarded, it's their fault," Hartmann is grasping at straws, suggesting that Palin looks at her toddler son with Down syndrome and says, it's all your fault, kid. Next we'll be hearing she's not the mother. Make that, hearing again.

Hartmann is also indignant that Palin has the gall -- the chutzpah -- to allege "blood libel" in describing the eerily uniform reaction of liberals blaming conservative discourse and campaign images for a gunman going berserk in Tucson. (Slap hand to forehead here) How could anyone miss the correlation?

Here's Hartmann weighing in on Palin's "blood libel" allegation, after describing the historical origins of the term (audio) --

HARTMANN: There's a long history to it and there's a very specific meaning. And anybody who has any knowledge of politics, which I guarantee you are the speechwriters of Sarah Palin's speech, know about this. And so here is Sarah Palin ...

PALIN: If you don't like a person's vision for the country, you're free to debate that vision. If you don't like their ideas, you're free to propose better ideas. But, especially 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 that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

HARTMANN: This is the trick, this is the artifice, that conservatives have used for centuries, to turn themselves into the victims of their own behavior. Here is Sarah Palin saying that she, like Jews for a thousand years, have been the vict-, is the victim of, well, I'll just leave it at that, is the victim, and using the phrase 'blood libel.' I mean, even on the right, even Jonah Goldberg is calling her out on this, who has been on this program and debated me. Andrew Breitbart used this phrase in a tweet last night before Palin's video went, came out. It was used by Pajamas TV host Glenn Reynolds. He says, where's the decency in blood libel? What?! This was on Monday. The very first use apparently in the wake of the Tucson massacre came from a political consultant, John Henke, who used the phrase on Twitter the very same day of the shooting. This is based on a Google search.

But this, you know, talk about making your head explode. Here is Sarah Palin trying to conflate her own situation of being criticized for putting crosshairs on Gabby Giffords' district, on her, and then the congresswoman goes on TV and says, you know, I'm very uncomfortable about this, I'm concerned, this is beyond the pale, this could lead to bad consequences. And Sarah Palin is trying to conflate her being accused of this crime as being some kind of an incredible victim, as if for a thousand years, well, I mean, I don't want to get into hyperbole here, but I just, I find this astounding.

How dare Palin respond to being "accused of this crime" when anyone so inclined can see her obvious complicity. Palin is defensive, Hartmann claims, about being criticized "for putting crosshairs on Gabby Giffords' district, on her" -- just as surely as Palin put crosshairs on that caribou she shot on TV.

It's as if Palin used the word "ghetto" not while specifically referring a close-knit Jewish enclave -- which has always been its only definition, and will be in perpetuity.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts