If Republicans want to know exactly what not to do to win in 2012, then follow advice similar to that offered by David Frum as to why Sarah Palin should “stop talking now” about the false accusations that she was responsible for the Tucson shooting:
“There is no one left in America that would blame her.”
Oh really? Two polls show otherwise.
I previously posted about a CNN poll showing that 35% of all people (including 56% of Democrats and 34% of Independents) believe that Palin has a great deal or moderate amount of responsibility for the shooting. A PPP poll reflects that 26% of all people (including 45% of Democrats and 22% of Independents) believe Palin bears “at least some responsibility” for the shooting.
These are big numbers, considering that there is no evidence as of this date that Jared Loughner ever even saw the Palin electoral target map which put Palin at the center of attacks over the shooting.
The false connection of the Palin electoral target map to the shooting did not start in the mainstream media. As I have documented, that false connection started with bloggers at DailyKos and Think Progress using Twitter to push the issue into the mainstream media within hours of the shooting with the help of their followers.
The ruthless efficiency with which the left-wing blogosphere tied Palin to the shooting, and the success of their efforts in equating Palin with mass murder, is a lesson we should not forget.
The Democrats and their mainstream media supporters were put back on their heels in 2010, and are regrouping. And if regrouping requires falsely accusing a major Republican figure of complicity in mass murder, and then amplifying that false accusation for several days in the face of contrary evidence until a substantial portion of the population believes it, they will do it.
But it did not stop with the accusation. When Palin tried to defend herself she was savaged again in the mainstream media.
Palin supposedly didn’t issue a statement soon enough or she issued it too soon; she was accused of using the term “blood libel” improperly by people who had used the term themselves in less dire circumstances; she was making it all about her; her tone was not right; she didn’t really feel what she was saying, and so on and so on.
Having created a false narrative of Palin’s responsibility for the shooting, the mainstream media tried to deprive Palin of the ability to defend herself against the charges. And unfortunately, some who supposedly are on our side have jumped on that bandwagon.
And all the while, Barack Obama stood back for days and let his supporters in the media rip Palin apart, much as he left it to his supporters to go after the Clintons during the primary, only then to proclaim that we don’t really know why Jared Loughner did what he did. And the media narrative was how wonderful Obama was, how he helped heal the nation.
Any Republican or conservative or Tea Party supporter who dumps on Palin in any way over the Tucson shooting or her defense of herself should just stop talking now.
It does not matter whether you support Palin for President, whether you think she is electable, or even whether you like her. This is not about Palin, it is about the mainstream media’s desire to have Barack Obama re-elected at any cost and to take down any Republican candidate who stands in the way.
Everyone else will inevitably melt (like even grizzled veteran John McCain did) when they get close to the blast furnace that will be going up against the Obama juggernaut. Far more than anyone else in conservative history, Palin has been forced to prove just how fireproof her convictions are and how deep her resolve is.
In the vile attempt to tie Palin to the Tucson shooting we have witnessed the test run for how the left-wing blogosphere will target Republican candidates and propel false narratives into the mainstream media, and how the mainstream media will take those narratives and run with them.
If Palin is taken down politically over the Tucson shooting, there is not a single Republican candidate who can survive the coming onslaught.
Update: John Hinderaker at Powerline writes that it’s all over for Palin, and the “time has come to put any thoughts of Sarah Palin running for President to rest.” The basis for this analysis is a CNN poll showing Palin with all-time high negatives in the wake of the accusations that she was connected to the Tucson shooting.
If this is the standard by which we choose candidates, then the time has come to put thoughts of Republicans winning in 2012 to rest.