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Tucson Aftermath: Palin Destructs, Obama Reconnects, Politics Change

By January 13, 2011

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Sarah Palin's career as a viable political candidate is over, as I wrote five days ago on the morning after the Tucson shooting atrocity. Since then, the former half-term Alaska governor has further decimated her shaky credibility, and along with it, caused angry Tea Partiers to sound self-absorbed and petty rather than righteous.

In vivid contrast, President Obama claimed the moral high-ground in his speech last night in which he poignantly memorialized the shooting victims and proferred comfort, healing and mature wisdom to the nation. And refound his inspiring political voice after two years of dazed, muddled messaging.

In The Political Implosion of Sarah Palin, Huffington Post blogger Andy Ostrey described a video released by Palin hours before the President's speech:

"... this week she quite foolishly and voluntarily gave us something we can 100% blame her for. Her behavior, tone and overall message in the video was beyond comprehension. Not only does it demonstrate a pathological narcissism, but a supreme ignorance of history (the unfortunate 'Blood Libel' reference); a shocking lack of empathy, sensitivity and compassion; a reprehensible use of the words 'blood,' 'pistols' and 'shooting' to accent her points; and outrageously offensive timing in terms of releasing it on the same day as the memorial.

"One has to ask, just what on Earth was she thinking? Did she really expect this 8-minute diatribe to show humility and repair her image? To help heal a shocked and grieving nation?... To date, despite moments of near-derailment, Palin's stayed on track. But with this video she has finally crashed, and crashed for good. She cannot and will not recover from this politically."

President Obama's remarks in University of Arizona's jam-packed basketball arena sharply contrasted with that of Palin's feisty, taut message tone.

In slow and rising cadences, the President expressed compassion, humility, and tender knowledge of each of the victims... as if to convey that President Obama knows each of us, cares about us, cares about the small details of goodness in our lives.

Strongly reminiscent of his famed 2004 convention speech, President Obama stressed American unity, "... I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

Much is unknowable about the long-term political effects of Obama's soaring reconnection and Palin's self-destruction over the last six days, but much also tantalizingly foretells of political changes for 2012:

  • Sarah Palin will not win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, if ever.
  • Not even one Republican member of the entire 112th Congress has publicly rushed to Palin's support.
  • Signifying bipartisan unity, President Obama was surrounded by both Congressional Republicans and Democrats at the memorial program.
  • To be heard, Tea Partiers must replace shrillness and intimidation with reason and rationality.
  • Gun violence imagery in campaigns will be roundly rejected by voters.

In a nutshell, under President Obama's leadership, the United States appears poised to learn important, humanitarian lessons of unity and caring in the sad aftermath of the Tucson shooting atrocity.

Lessons that President Obama spoke on July 27, 2004. Lessons and words of American unity and caring that first brought our 44th president to national prominence.

Take a few minutes to reread and remember Barack Obama's Inspiring 2004 Democratic Convention Speech . You won't regret it!

(Photo taken on January 12, 2011: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)


January 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm
(1) O/Siris says:

Sure, “Obama Connects.” At a pep rally. Nice memorial service, that. Whooping and hollering.

January 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm
(2) V says:

Obama’s use of Neural Linguistic Programming made everyone feel really good. Almost brought a tear to my eye.

January 17, 2011 at 3:02 am
(3) Veng says:

So Palin gets libeled as being somehow responsible for the acts of mostly apolitical nut case by many on the left including you. Is she supposed to just lay back and take it, even enjoy it.

How uncivil.

Actually, you should learn what blood libel means in contemporary discourse – evne as used by liberals recently. I am Jewish and am sensitive to its meaning.

January 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm
(4) Nana says:

Thank you so much, Deborah, for your take on these issues. It’s immaterial what the politics of Giffords’ shooter were; what matters is that the right of anyone to buy guns anywhere is the fault of the gun lobby, which is definitely right-wing. I remember in the 70s when responsible politicians were calling for some gun control and the rabid right wouldn’t listen to reason. Think how much less violence–and how many fewer victime of violence–there would be if there had been more legal control over gunship.

February 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm
(5) Painlessone says:

I think Mubarek got gun control established in Egypt…..look what the people have had to put up with for 30 years.

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