Friday, January 14, 2011

Redux Redux Redux

We've seen this movie before. Sarah Palin is boldly going to a gun show in Arizona to play up her (purely political) love of guns, gun fans, and the gun money they bring. For the short-of-memory, she's reading from the Charlton Heston script from after the Columbine High School Massacre. Charlton Heston appeared at a gun show and gave an impassioned speech in defense of unfettered access to guns. We can certainly expect a speech from Palin using the phrase, "From my cold dead hands."

This reminds me of two other stories recently. Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh accused everyone in attendance at the Tucson massacre memorial service of engaging in a "Pep Rally." This slur was used first to describe the memorial service for Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002. His campaign jet crashed days before the election, killing him, his wife, and his daughter. Republicans attacked his memorial service as a political pep rally because a couple speakers touched on Senator Wellstone's passion for grassroots organizing and people-powered politics, urging people to commit themselves to participate in the upcoming election. Limbaugh recycled the slur against President Obama yesterday, ostensibly because he too called mourners to rise above their grief to build a better world for their children.

The other story that this reminds me of is the Cordoba House debate. Conservative bloggers attacked the project as some sort of triumphalist jewel in the caliphate's crown for its location in lower Manhattan. Of course, Imam Rauf is a steadfast supporter of more humane and modern Islam than the Wahabism which underlies global jihad's rhetorical basis, and commonly criticized the radical anti-Western strains. In any event, I recall the argument that because the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center had something to do with Islam and that the Cordoba House project had something to do with Islam, that it was simply too soon, too close, or otherwise too--something.

One of the more apt metaphors commonly referenced was, 'this is like putting a gun store near Columbine High School.' The project was stalled amid vocal opposition from morally outraged bloggers, who were ostensibly outraged by the insult to the families of the victims. These bloggers displayed a terrific sympathy with the victims of tragedy. So where are Pamela Geller and her ilk now? Sarah Palin is essentially cutting the ribbon on a gun store down the street from a national gun violence tragedy. Isn't this kind of like exactly what conservative bloggers detest?

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