Palin Uses Her Voice in Response to Tucson

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Sarah Palin’s video statement likely won’t satisfy many of her critics. But she did a good job of answering criticisms without making it about her.

But about her: She does get in a quote from the past campaign year — in Arizona — lost on most who have been pointing to a map these past few days.

She’ll get grief for quoting Reagan, but it was a good quote. 

The last two sentences here are likely to be among the most quoted on Palin TV today (MSNBC): 

If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

This will, too: 

Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

Some of the other lines are the most profound but may be lost in the coverage. Those last few paragraphs are beautiful and true. That may be lost on everyone who already has an opinion about the woman who delivered them. 

There will be countless stories about whether or not Sarah Palin rose to the occasion. Was she presidential? The former governor was bizarrely forced into a all-consuming news story. With an appropriate pause, she made use of her voice to bring some light to some ridiculous frenzied noise. She made a good and responsible use of her voice, not for the first time.

And, while she may be on contract with Fox News, she may just keep MSNBC in business.