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What David Frum Needed To Say After Giffords’ Shooting

What David Frum Needed To Say After Giffords’ Shooting

David Frum takes Sarah Palin to task for not being more public in her reaction to the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, not being sufficiently empathetic, and not grasping the scope (no pun intended) of the accusations against her, What Palin Needed To Say After Giffords’ Shooting:

“Palin failed to appreciate the question being posed to her. That question was not: “Are you culpable for the shooting?” The question was: “Having put this unfortunate image on the record, can you respond to the shooting in a way that demonstrates your larger humanity? And possibly also your potential to serve as leader of the entire nation?””

Frum complains that Palin’s expression of condolences was not enough.  Here is Palin’s statement released soon after the shooting:

“My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

Frum criticizes Palin for not doing more, and for the fact that Palin supporters have defended her against the blood libel that she was responsible for the shooting:

“Instead, her rapid response operation has focused on pounding home the message that Palin is innocent, that she has been unfairly maligned by hostile critics. Which in this case happened to be a perfectly credible message.  And also perfectly inadequate. Palin’s post-shooting message was about Palin, not about Giffords. It was defensive, not inspiring. And it was petty at a moment when Palin had been handed perhaps her last clear chance to show herself presidentially magnanimous.”

Why shouldn’t innocence be a complete defense when you are dealing with people spreading lies? 

The lie is and always has been that there is a connection between the electoral map — which used completely common terminology and graphics — and the shooting.  There is no evidence that Loughner saw the map, or even was motivated by the politics of the day.

The attack on Palin has been a complete non-sequituir in which two completely unconnected facts are used to reach a political conclusion.

Frum wants Palin to play on a the field drawn by vicious liars who never will be satisfied with any response from Palin.  Any of the responses Frum suggests, such as going to Giffords’ office to lay flowers, would have ignited even more dishonest fury from the left-blogosphere and mainstream media.

Palin has acted appropriately in expressing condolences, and in not further making the story about her.  Frum has his sights (no pun intended) set on the wrong person.  Frum should be going after the liars, not the innocent.

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Not to be nit-picky, but you should really look up what "blood libel" is before using that term. I don't think it means what you think it means:

Blood Libel – The blood libel is a false accusation that Jews sacrifice Christian children either to use the blood for various "medicinal" purposes or to prepare Passover Matzoth (unleavened bread) or for vengeance and mock crucifixions.

@JMarler – I think the term also is used more broadly when someone falsely is accused of causing the death of another, which is exactly what took place here.

Has Frum's own reaction to the senseless shootings been adequate? What were his reactions? Did he publicly denounce violence by the shooter? NOT Did he call for non violent political speech? NOT Did he call for peaceful political debate and disagreement? NOT Has Frum criticized the Tuscon police department for falling down on the job given they KNEW of this specific person of interest?????? NOT!!!!!

FYI – Palin's campaign material DIDN'T have gunsights on them but circles, the commonly called bullseyes. The sniperscope sights were ADDED by the very people who criticized her.

hat tip

Progressivism: To progress from the state of "assumed innocent until proven guilty" to "assumed innocent especially if muslim" to "assumed innocent, unless an insanely ridiculous link to Sarah Palin's existence can be hinted."

So much for the genius of political pundits. Frum gets more asinine every day which I suppose means he will soon be referred to as a Washington fixture, a respected observer of the national scene and so on…..

It is my understanding that David Frum quite frankly is a marginal player in republican politics. He doesn't seem to be able to get along with anyone. Am I wrong?

To resume politics now that 48 hours have elapsed:

As someone who would only vote for Palin in extremis, I am aghast that Frum et al, and of course the Left, could in effect be helping her get elected.

(Pop psychological afterthought deleted. –gs)

I wonder what the bumptious Canuck Frum would say about Major Hasan if the media accused him of being in contact with AlQaeda hitmen like American fugitive Al=Awlaki. Would that be a blood libel? Of course, numerous e-mails back and forth to AQAP have now been uncovered, but the slumbering herd isn't interested.

On the other hand, as Hillary's chief gunslinger Mark Penn noted, Obama will need another Oklahoma City and the lamestream media will give this humble offering to him whether he wants it or not.

His silence at the accusations of agitpreppies like Keith Olbermann indicates he wants it.

Since it has become impossible to communicate with liberals using the now hopelessly mangled English language, I am suggesting that we return to the dead but static Latin whose vocabulary we can all agree on, for a while. And it might cure the new troll problem too.

"Nos vadum suscipio a novus dies"

We can invent the missing words (like "pants", The Romans didn't wear pants).

What Frum really needed to say was, "I'll shut up now."

sort of runic rhyme | January 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I don't have the prissy misgivings about Palin that some here do. She's shown more moral stamina and resistance, and especially after having been thrown down into the ninth ring of an unrelated tragedy, than nearly all the rest of craven opportunists who love the downward pull of a vortex of their making.

Sarah's no drama queen as her virulent opponents would have her, nor is she culpable for teh crazies as those who would shame and embarrass themselves as so-called moderate blamers, claimers and valerie plamers in the face of abject lunacy would have her.

The Left's blood libel (against any popular conservative du jour) is mere and terrible political projection by desperate and mean partisans. It's an old story getting recycled to death. Problem is how effective it still could be, without the dogged and responsible pushback by Professor Jacobson and others.

On the subject of blood libel, it has a much wider meaning than the outdated one mentioned by the troll.

For example a modern blood libel against Israel was played out in 2000 when a young boy was allegedly shot by the Israeli army. That whole story was staged. There is film evidence showing people running past the boy and his father and yes, instead of cowering they could have joined those who were running!! A boy was in the hospital, but was it that boy? Where is little Mohammed these days? Then there was the alleged massacre in the Jeddah camp. In that case there was film footage of the person who was on the funeral bier alighting from it… ooops!!

The latest blood libel was that of the woman who was allegedly killed by tear gas. Yes she died but was she even at the protest? The young woman had a condition that killed her. No autopsy was done on her remains. There is no proof that she was killed by the tear gas.

In the current situation it is correct to call this a blood libel because Sarah Palin and the Tea Movement is being falsely accused. The DNC had a target map well before any map produced by SarahPac. Of course Gifford's seat was listed as a target. Why not, it was winnable for the Republicans.

The truth is that Daily Kos is the one that has blood on the hands. In this case it is the post by Blueboy where he said "Giffords is DEAD to me". For all we know Blueboy is Loughner.

Frum is a fool who used to work for the Bush message factory. That should tell you something. Frum's advice to Palin is to dance to the tune of the people who want to destroy her and her family, as if that would satisfy him.

Frum avoids asking the question of why the slanderous blood libel was brought in the first place. Palin, for her part, understands fully what is going on.

Not so, Frum, sadly.

Some might say that having run for public office once upon a time and won makes me a "politician". Some might say that having my own blog these days and posting comments like this makes me a pundit. Having said that, I must say that the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords is not a problem with our society. Ever since Cain slew Abel there have been killers and there always will be killers. It has been absolutely disgusting watching and listening to and reading the politicians and the pundits floundering around the past few days trying to claim the moral high ground in the wake of the Arizona shooting. Don't they know there is no high ground in a swamp, especially the putrid one we are all wallowing around in these days?

__t_i_m_o_t_h_y__ | January 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

David-No Labels-Frum labels Palin inadequate.

Agreed, Papa B.

Fortunately political assassinations are rare in the US, so data is limited and empirical conclusions are not robust. That said, the Giffords shooting apparently does not stand out from the infrequent events in its class.

Frum is an idiot and gives new meaning to the word "muckracker."

"Frum is an idiot and gives new meaning to the word "muckracker.""

Well, to the extent that he gets down in the much and apparently both enjoys it and has no desire to leave, yet.

I'm not just being a troll. A blood libel is an accusation of blood used as part of a ritual. A smear that is typically thrown at Jews.

I can only find scant evidence of this term being used for anything other than ritual human sacrifice outside of the recent events. I don't have access to Lexis Nexis, but I'm fairly adept with Google.

We always admonish the left for throwing out the Nazi reference, and I think the term is wrong here. Unless we are implying that the victims were ritually sacrificed. Is that what we are saying?

Troll –
If you can’t argue the facts, either change the subject, or argue semantics. I see you’re taking the semantics route.

Bill589 and Maggie:

Do I get an apology now? If Palin had taken my advice, she could have avoided this new trumped up controversy. I happen to agree with this article and Palin's statement today. My only recommendation was that we try to avoid using terms that will take the discussion off track. Looks like I was right, but do feel free to keep calling me a troll.