Surprisingly, even some Palinistas in this morning’s Headline thread were iffy about it. It’s not the substance of the defense that’s at issue — her point is that Schlessinger’s being attacked even though she didn’t use the N-bomb with any intent to demean — but her decision to get involved at all. Particularly considering that Dr. Laura was notably critical of Palin when McCain tapped her for VP.
Adversaries who have been trying to silence Dr. Laura for years seized on her recent use of the n-word on her show as she subsequently suggested that rap “artists” and other creative types like those producing HBO shows who regularly use the n-word could be questioned for doing so. Her intention in discussing the issue with a caller seeking advice was not to be hateful or bigoted. Though she did not mean to insult the caller, she did, and she apologized for it. Still, those who oppose her seized upon her mistake in using the word (though she didn’t call anyone the derogatory term) to paint her as something that she’s not. I can understand how she could feel “shackled” by those who would parse a single word out of decades of on-air commentary. I understand what she meant when she declared that she was “taking back my First Amendment rights” by turning to a new venue that will not allow others the ability to silence her by going after her stations, sponsors, and supporters.
I, and obviously many others, have been “shackled” too by people who play games with false accusations, threats, frivolous lawsuits, misreporting, etc., in an effort to silence those with whom they disagree. That’s why I tend to defend people who call it like they see it while others stop at nothing to shut them up. I learned this valuable lesson when the partisan obstructionists in my state tried to shackle, bankrupt, and destroy my family and supporters, and my record, with endless frivolous litigation when I returned from the Vice Presidential campaign trail. In order to shake off the shackles they wanted to paralyze us with, I handed the reins to another, much like Dr. Laura is doing, so that these obstructionists who hated a Commonsense Conservative agenda wouldn’t win. I didn’t retreat; I reloaded in order to fight for what is right on a fairer battlefield. So, more power to someone with good intentions who refuses to be shackled by their detractors when they are falsely accused of being racist.
She ends by reminding people that Schlessinger’s critics had no problem with Rahm Emanuel calling people “retards” when Palin complained. The strategic goal here, I assume, is to rally conservatives against the JournoList-ish practice of rhetorically throwing right-wingers through plate-glass windows via bad-faith accusations of racism. But based on a sampling of opinion among several black Republicans, I don’t think that goal’s been achieved:
I spoke to Michel Faulkner, the former NFL player and Harlem preacher challenging Charlie Rangel for a House seat, and he was unsparing in his criticism: “Why Sarah Palin feels she needs to join in to Dr. Laura’s personal meltdown is beyond me. She’s sounding like she just likes to hear her own voice—and the voice that she has is no longer credible. It says that a leading voice among conservatives has joined the ranks of the entertainers—trying to shock us each day with more and more outlandish commentary. And at that moment that person is no longer fit to lead.”…
Nationally syndicated conservative columnist Deroy Murdock took an even stronger line. “Sarah Palin’s tweets resemble something scribbled by a ninth-grade cheerleader. Is it asking too much for a reputed American political leader to communicate in complete sentences? Palin’s gravitas gap is growing into the Gravitas Canyon,” said the media fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. “Even worse, she deploys her vacuity to defend an acerbic talk-show host who just detonated herself by tossing around the word ‘nigger’ on the air 11 times, as if it were a volleyball. The American right can do better than this. And it must.”
From PJTV’s Joe Hicks:
“When I first heard this stuff, what came across was an extremely lame white chick trying to school this other woman about the N-word. … So I’m certainly not one to try and defend Dr. Laura. She has a history of being a negative and nasty persona. But Sarah Palin’s comments? Well, this is confusing stuff coming out of a woman who would have been the vice president if McCain had won. … Palin seems to be as equally detached from the real world where people operate and where race is a really volatile topic.”
It’s worth noting that they were reacting to Palin’s two tweets about this subject yesterday, not to her more comprehensive Facebook post today, but I’m guessing their opinions won’t change dramatically once they see the latter. (Note to self: Do not use a micro-medium like Twitter to opine on explosively sensitive issues like race.) Exit question: Should she have stayed out of this?