The headline seemed too implausible, too sensationalist to be true, but you can’t make stuff like this up – Sarah Palin called on people to “bomb Obamacare” as her political action committee released their latest anti health reform advertisement:
The 2+ minute long video is available to view on YouTube here:
I comprehensively “refudiated” Sarah Palin’s “death panel” claims on this blog a year ago, as did every other sentient person on the internet, so there is no need to cover this old territory. So where to start with this latest deliberately provocative outburst by the half-term governor from Alaska?
Perhaps with the fact that the GOP-led House of Representatives has now voted 40 times to repeal ObamaCare, each time in the full knowledge that the repeal would never pass the Democratic-held Senate, let alone be signed by President Obama.
Or maybe the fact that Obamacare (or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to use the correct title) is President Obama’s signature domestic legislative accomplishment, he campaigned on a platform of health reform in 2008 and won re-election by a significant popular and electoral college majority in 2012 after having brought it to fruition.
Nor has the “grassroots tsunami” against the bill, invoked by Senator Rand Paul, materialised in any meaningful way. Polls continue to show the American public divided in support of the word Obamacare itself (a testimony to Republican misinformation and scare tactics), but broadly supportive of the various measures contained within the bill.
And so apparently the only recourse left to Palin and her legion of fact-averse followers is to dust off the violent, revolutionary rhetoric as though Obama were King George reincarnate.
I make no apology for always assuming the worst about Sarah Palin’s motives, so my theory for this bizarre use of phrasing in her appeal for a popular revolt against Obamacare is that she deliberately used the word “bomb” in the knowledge that the fiftieth anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was fast approaching, hoping to get a rise out of offended liberals who would then accuse her of race-baiting or racial insensitivity, allowing her to play her patented Palin Persecution Card and receive even more unearned air time.
If you think that this is a harsh accusation to level against someone, recall that Palin has accused the president of the United States of “palling around with terrorists”, treason and a litany of other crimes and misdemeanors. Accusing Palin of being a sneaky, calculating, insensitive charlatan is pretty mild by comparison.
First we had the gun sights over Democratic-held congressional districts that Sarah Palin’s PAC was targeting in the 2010 midterms. Looking at this action in isolation, I can understand and forgive; showing literal targets over parts of the map that Republicans want to target politically does not seem unreasonable or violent to me, and I felt that the left-wing furore and attempts to link the imagery to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Arizona were craven and opportunistic.
But there is no comparable popular imagery relating to a bomb. We don’t talk about bombing a goal that we want to accomplish in the way that we might talk about targeting a goal or an aspiration. The word “bomb” has connotations only of violence and terrorism.
Sarah Palin, of course, does not wish for any literal bombs to be detonated in opposition to Obamacare, and would doubtless be horrified and appalled if one of her supporters were to read her words too literally and actually start blowing things up. But she is quite happy to use a charged, loaded word – a word associated only with war and terrorism – in relation to the US healthcare debate, to ensure that her fading political voice gains more prominence.
It doesn’t make Palin a terrorist supporter. But it does reveal her to be a shrewd, conniving, opportunistic and (still) dangerous political presence, willing to say and do almost anything to demonstrate her opposition to President Obama’s policies and legislative accomplishments.
Which, of course, we all already knew.