Thursday, January 13, 2011
There were two Big Speeches yesterday, one from Herself, Sarah the Momma Grizzly, and one from His Serenity, the President of the United States of America, LLC, Imperial, Barack Obama, on the matter of the The Shooting in Tucson.
Herself spoke first in a Facebook posting. [Note: This obsession with communicating through Facebook -- whether by Sarah or anyone else -- has long been a curiosity to me. What's up with that? Especially with all the security and privacy issues Facebook has had. And now with Goldman Sachs, the leading looters of the American Economy becoming a prime investor in the Facebook enterprise, one has to question the wisdom of entering Facebook-land for any reason. But that aside...] She denounced and condemned and hurled invective at those who were persecuting her with "blood libel." Jeebus Christmas on a bowling ball, WTF? But there you are. Six people are dead, more than a dozen wounded in a shooting spree in a congressional district "targeted" by Palin unsuccessfully in the election, and the congresswoman who won against Palin's rage is gravely wounded, and all Herself can think of is the dreadful fact that SHE Herself, of all people, is the Real Victim. It was a stunningly self-obsessed turn by the Rightists' favorite, and it did not sit well with much of anyone.
Later, Himself went to Tucson and presented what many interpreted to be a "healing" oration honoring the (real) victims of The Shooting and the (real) heroes of the day, and much to the chagrin of some observers, the crowd of some 24,000 cheered and whooped and hollered at practically everything he said. How inappropos! "This was a solemn occasion," intoned the purse-mouthed Puritans. How dare they express positive emotion! The very idea!
Surprisingly enough, most of the Puritans on this occasion were on the (supposed) "Left." Some of them were -- rightly -- concerned that the occasion would be "Wellstoned", ie: become a Rightist "Bloody Shirt" to wave in condemning Obama and The Left, but that, somewhat strangely, didn't happen except on the fringes of the Right where all things Demon live and flourish.
In fact, much of the Rightist media gave the President's speech a respectful hearing and many Rightist commentators offered at least mild praise for its "tone."
Meanwhile, the frustration over "What To Do" about all these repeated incidents of mass killings by untreated mentally ill shooters -- and others -- continues. There is still an ideological lockdown that makes it difficult or impossible to approach the problem rationally. An ideological lockdown that makes it difficult for many to recognize there is any problem beyond their narrow ideological concerns.
But there is an attempt to break through, and that ultimately may be a sign of hope. I'm not holding my breath, but neither am I in despair.
This is, believe it or not, progress.