Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chait Takes Palin's Bait

I'll have a lot more to say about this entire topic later but I couldn't let this bit of total non-sense from Jonathan Chait pass by without comment. In a post defending Sarah Palin today Chait writes,

Okay, it's a little over the top for Sarah Palin to accuse her critics of "blood libel." But she does have a basic point. She had nothing to do with Jared Loughner. He was not an extremist who embraced some radical version of her ideas...

What's happening is that Palin has come to represent unhinged grassroots conservatism, and people in the media immediately (and incorrectly) associated Loughner with the far right. Moreover, the Republican establishment understands her potential candidacy as a liability and is looking to snuff it out. So you have this weird moment where Palin is on trial for something she has no connection with at all.

Let me state this clearly for Mr. Chait - Sarah Palin is not on trial for anything. She has been mildly rebuked by some for her violent rhetoric in the wake of a terrible national tragedy. Sarah Palin is not a victim in this tragedy. She is not "on trial." The rush by Chait to tut-tut what have been relatively sedate criticisms of Palin is ridiculous. In doing so he has unequivocally adopted Palin's framing of herself as some sort of victim who is being unfairly targeted. This notion that Palin is "on trial" is patently absurd.

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