When I opened my web browser yesterday, at yahoo.com, there was Sarah Palin, smiling at me.
"Oh, God," I said to myself, "what has she done now?"
The headline was "Palin Defends 'Blood Libel'". That's interesting, I thought. What else might Palin be defending? Cannibalism, maybe?
Well, it turned out to be a report on Palin's disjointed remarks on Sean Hannity's show, regarding the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. I then watched the report. Let me summarize it for you:
Palin: I am so misunderstood.
Hannity: I am so misunderstood.
Palin: I am so misunderstood.
But there was one person who seemed to understand Sarah Palin quite well. Gabby Giffords, herself, during the health care debate. Discussing threats against Democratic Members of Congress. After the door to her office was shattered. This is what Gabby said:
"You know, for example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is the way that she has depicted it is the crosshairs of a gun-sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize that there are consequences to that action."
And here is Palin's blithe response, on Hannity's show: "That map wasn't an original graphic."
What is that remark supposed to be, Sarah? An exculpanation?
Even before I heard earlier Palin's whining about "misguided finger-pointing" and "irresponsible statements from people who are apportioning blame," I thought about this:
Palin came to my district, and told her people to "take me out."
Palin told people again and again, "don't retreat, reload."
The day before the health care vote, one of my five-year-old twins received a telephone death threat intended for me.
A right-wing commentator offered anyone $100 to punch me in the nose.
We received so many threats of violence from teabaggers that we started a file.
And the day before Gabby was shot, I received a postcard saying "you better get some personal protection. You could very well be getting your ass kicked soon."
Cause and effect. As Gabby put it, "there are consequences."
Of course, I wasn't the only target of these threats.
Gabby's tea party opponent held fundraisers in which he invited contributors to fire an automatic weapon.
Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's opponent conducted target practice on her initials.
Democrat Ron Klein's opponent told his supporters to make sure that Klein was "afraid to leave his house."
Democrat Frank Kratovil was hung in effigy.
Democrat Tom Perriello was burned in effigy. And the gas line to his brother's house was cut.
Democrat Emanuel Cleaver – a minister – was spat on.
Democrat Russ Carnahan had a coffin left at his home.
I could go on, but you get the point. Cause and effect. "There are consequences."
And the Republicans? The shot supposedly fired at Republican Eric Cantor's office was quickly exposed as a hoax.
As I observed on MSNBC last week, there has been a stream of violence and threats of violence by the right wing against Democrats. Gabby warned against it, and then became a terrible victim of it. Palin has instigated it, and then tried to pretend that it doesn't exist.
What do I think? I think that Gabby said it best: "We can't stand for this." We have to stand against it.