Some people really know how to ruffle feathers. Better yet, some people thrive on it. They like to get a rise out of others and/or have them up in arms. They call it passionate. I call it too much time on their hands.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard about the tragic Arizona shooting. If you have been living under a rock, catch up on it HERE. Briefly, I can say that a madman opened fire at a public event killing six people, including a 9 year old girl, 3 seniors over the age of 75, and a federal judge. The shooter also critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. I won't even begin to go into the reasoning behind the shooting because as most logical people know, there is no reasoning for an event so tragic. Trying to make sense of the senseless is futile.
What's alarming though was not only the tragedy itself, but the aftermath that was arguably comparable in it's senselessness.
The media quickly found a scapegoat in former Alaska governor and former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. The name alone evokes strong feelings/opinions in almost everybody, but even I was a little disheartened by her treatment in the media. How Palin's name was even brought into the debate is relevant, but I believe blame was placed where it should not have been.
A little backstory: Last March when President Obama's healthcare legislation was signed into law, Sarah Palin put a map up on her website (see it here) with crosshairs over congressional districts that supported what has become known as Obamacare. For those of us who don't know what crosshairs are, they are the circles with the lines on all four sides, that one sees when looking through a gun at a target. Think Duck Duck goose if you've never been hunting, or sniping like myself. Anyway, that map is what brought Palin into the debate seeing as how Rep. Gifford's district was one of them. That wasn't cool at all. #Fact. Although, I don't think the blame for the shooting and the behavior of a madman should be placed solely at Ms. Palin's feet. The language that she uses is definitely powerful and divisive. I just call that politics as usual. Dems aren't devoid of that sort of behavior themselves. Politics is that sort of subject, which is why it's typically advised that it be avoided.
Taking all that into consideration, it baffles me that this lady will take any moment and turn it into HER moment. Yesterday morning, as President Obama headed to Arizona* to speak with the real victims of the tragedy, Sarah Palin released a video denouncing those who imply that she was to blame for the shooting, and accusing the media of "blood libel". This is America, and we have free speech...granted. That's more than many other countries can say. For that and many other reasons I am proud to live in and be a part of America. But I can't help but notice that free speech can be just as damaging as it can be uplifting. To take this moment to victimize herself, in my view, takes the focus off of the real victims. Some of these victims, are sitting in hospitals waiting for doctors to tell them that their loved ones just breathed their last breath. Some of them are already mourning the loved ones they lost on that fateful day. To take THIS moment to absolve herself of any blame and connection to the shooting was just, well, tacky and most definitely in poor taste.
People should be allowed to stand up for themselves and speak out against what they feel is wrong, but there is a time and place for everything. And this, Sarah Palin, was not the time.
Ma'am?? What are you talking about?
*President Obama addressed the nation last night in an emotional speech that sought to provide a certain sense of comfort and a message of resilience. Check it here and here.