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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

You might have thought we were all past the divisive stage, if you hadn't read Hillary Clinton's latest screed, imitating Paul Krugman. She proclaims the murders an act of political "extremism." Sheesh, "even her boss, whose own past love affair with leftist anti-Americanism and moral equivalency still periodically flares up from the embers, performed admirably enough on the mass murder."

Maybe Sarah Palin will learn some restraint, if she listens to the negative reaction to her video from movement conservatives. I'm not the only one on the right who finds her effort here distasteful.

Neo-isolationists are kidding themselves if they think that pulling out of Afghanistan is justified by the money it would "save." Max Boot writes, "Think of all the millions we could have saved by ending wars prematurely -- quite a bonanza, especially if you ignore the rather substantial costs of defeat. . . . [W]e are locked in an existential struggle against Islamist extremists and that defeat in Afghanistan would have severe consequences for us that make the cost of winning the war seem cheap by comparison. It's the lack of liberal support for the war effort that we have to worry about." And an irresponsible neo-isolationist coming along to snag the nomination in 2012.

The Lebanese have a country, if they can keep it. Elliott Abrams explains: "Newspapers today are reporting that Hizbollah-backed members of parliament have withdrawn from the Lebanese government, effectively bringing down the coalition led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. . . . [A]t bottom this is far less a test of the United States than of the Lebanese. No one will resist Hizballah unless they do. The majority of Lebanese who oppose Hizballah, and who are mostly Maronite Catholics, Druze, and Sunni, must demonstrate that they have the will to keep their country from complete domination by the Shia terrorist group. This is asking quite a bit, to be sure, but Lebanese should have learned from the impact of their March 14, 2005 demonstrations that world support can be rallied and their opponents can pushed back. But they must take the lead." Read the whole, tragic story.

Palin isn't helping, if you want to elevate the national tone. Nathan Diament perfectly sums up: "I am not offended by Ms. Palin's resort to this response, I think her to be a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. But to my ears, her response keeps our political and civic discourse in the gutter. It does not try to lead Americans to a better place, which might offer the most modest measure of comfort that the victims in Tuscon did not die and suffer completely in vain."

Paul Krugman is a good read, if you don't care about the truth. James Taranto points out that Krugman's characterization of a Michele Bachmann quote is "fraudulent." James writes: "If the broader claim -- that the 'rhetoric' of Republican politicians and the nonliberal media was to blame for last Saturday's act of mass murder -- is true, why can't it be presented without false factual assertions? Krugman's little lie undermines the big lie he and his newspaper are attempting to purvey. Krugman and his colleagues on the Times editorial board are not skilled enough to be effective liars. That is far from the worst thing you can say about newspapermen. But when did the people who run the New York Times forget that their job -- their duty -- is to tell the truth?" Come to think of it, Krugman makes stuff up in his area of "expertise."

The real focus should be on mental health, if you want to address a problem and not score political points. Charles Krauthammer: "It started in the Kennedy era with the deinstitutionalization, which was supposedly humane. But today what we are doing with this insistence on individual autonomy and the reluctance to want to put anybody into [involuntary psychiatric] commitment is that the homeless are dying on the street, freezing on the streets . . . .And what we're doing with the dangerous mentally ill, like this Loughner guy, is leaving him loose in society, like the Virginia Tech killer. Remember him? There were all kinds of signs of derangement in him. . . . There were five incidents in the college that Loughner was in -- five encounters with the police, the campus police. One of his professors said: Can't you do anything? And they answered: We can't do anything until he does something."

The left would look much less foolish, if they got the facts before spouting off. It seems --no kidding -- the lunatic wasn't into politics. Amazing,

You see how House Speaker John Boehner has grown into the job, if you watch his memorial speech.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Arizona memorial: It's not about politics
Next: What the left did wrong


Ari Fleisher & Ed Rollins=2 movement conservatives??? Really Jennifer, is that the best you can do? If you want to ally yourself w/those 2 go right ahead but it really raises questions about your conservative bona fides.

Posted by: cajunkate | January 13, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Jen so Sarah Palin is not Albert Einstein. She never claimed to be. I don't know what you and the left haters expect her to be. Possibly you would want her to be, an ex community organizer with black theology background and bought a house with the aid of a convicted felon. Or perhaps a Yale graduate who's daddy was a president like some royal blood line. Or perhaps a southern gentleman that is a proven liar and an adulterer that preys on female interns in the oval office. No i don't believe she is any of these things. She is just an average American mother of five with old fashion American values that has been thrust upon the national political scene. yes partially of her own doing for reasons known only to her. I will finish with this. After 3 days of the left almost accusing her of murder for 24 hours a day she comes out with a response and what does one of the msnbc pundits say. There she goes making the story all about her.

Posted by: eddiehaskall | January 13, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer - Once again I have to take issue with your continuing "issues" with Sarah Palin. While it is highly unlikely that I would vote for Palin in the presidential primary in 2012, your own hasty criticism does you no good in making your point that Palin is not Presidential. How can you claim that Ed Rollins (long-time hired gun) and Ari Fleischer (associated with the anti-movement conservative George W. Bush wing of the party) as "movement conservatives"? Perhaps you have further examples - if so please produce them.

I understand your pique at the term "blood libel", but I must say that the term has been popping up in a lot of places in relating to this event. Indeed my first thought was that a specifically terrible term was used to describe a particularly heinous meme that numerous leftists were trying to implant in the public's collective mind. Blaming gun laws merely impugns legal gun holders. Directly blaming specific individuals representative of a movement with causing THIS PARTICULAR CRIME is beyond the pale.

While the specific association of that term with Jews is understandably horrific, that does not put the term off-limits for any other usage. Incidentally, neither is the term "Holocaust".

With all due respect and appreciation for your work,


Posted by: Free_American | January 13, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

So today we get authoritative quotations from Max Boot and Elliot Abrams on matters of the Mideast. What's the problem, were Billy James Hargis and Bozo the Clown unavailable?

You can tell Sara Palin is from Alaska because she doen't know that "Blood Libel" and "Holocaust" are proprietary words that must never be spoken by a gentile.

Minefields everywhere.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | January 13, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse


You can admire the fact that Palin is a completely self-made woman, without believing that she has any future in national politics.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 13, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Palin Derangement Syndrome – MRV (Mainstream Republican Variety)

Posted by: jcp370 | January 13, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"W]e are locked in an existential struggle against Islamist extremists and that defeat in Afghanistan would have severe consequences for us that make the cost of winning the war seem cheap by comparison. It's the lack of liberal support for the war effort that we have to worry about."

So Max Boot's latest incarnation is as a self-proclaimed "military historian" despite as is usual with conservative leadership and bloggers, never having been anywhere near a battlefield or uniform.

Born in Russia, Boot is the standard issue conservative critic who has never done anything in his life BUT be a critic since leaving college.

To illustrate his views, all that needs to be said is that he called Brown vs. Board of Education the "Magna Carta of judicial activism" in a previous psuedo-career as a critic of the judiciary. He might agree with Glenn Beck's recent statement that regarding slavery things were "on the right track" until the Civil War.

Regarding liberal lack of support for the war, all that needs to be said is as usual conservative support for the war is exclusively vocal in nature and not in any way related to their own fighting and dying nor of anyone in their family doing so.

Contrast Boot with Senator Webb from Virginia who has opposed the Iraq War, and whom Boot would probably include in those liberals about whom he is speaking.

Yet, as most know, Webb is a highly decorated combat veteran and his son also a soldier who has served in Iraq. Boot . . . eh, not so much.

But it's not just Americans who Boot wants to make cannon fodder, as his op-ed piece a few years back writes;

"Now is the time to consider a new chapter in the annals of American immigration. By inviting foreigners to join the U.S. armed forces in exchange for a promise of citizenship after a four-year tour of duty, we could continue to attract some of the world's most enterprising, selfless and talented individuals"

The delicious irony in all this is that I can find no evidence that Boot has ever even become an American citizen himself (I freely admit that this is speculation)although as we say in archaeology "Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence".

So to conclude, we have Boot an American patriot, who may not even be a citizen, a judicial critic who is not an attorney, and a military historian who has never served, and a war hawk who will not fight.

That about covers it!

Posted by: 54465446 | January 13, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Good grief. The writer refers to "strategists" and then names two, Rollins and Fleischer, who are mildly critical (again they just criticize "blood libel," a discounted criticism by Jew and non-Jew alike). Matalin makes no critical comments ("Still, said Republican strategist Mary Matalin, the video at times showed Palin at her best.")

PDS is obviously not limited to the kooky left. Rubin is in "nice" company with Krugman, Olbermann, Mathews, KOS, the NYT, et. al. I do not think Rollins and Fleischer are holding her hand in this estimable group. I am sorry to say she appears to be a member in good standing, at least when it comes to her animus toward Palin.

I admire Palin for her achievements and her ability to stand up to assaults by the likes of the kooky left and even those who are suppose to be political allies. Personally, I believe Ryan, Rubio, Cantor, Julliani, Christie and Jindal are strong contenders to defeat Obama. But I'll take Palin, too. She is not the dope Rubin tries to picture or the evil witch portrayed by the kooky left.

Regrettably, it would not surprise me that were Palin to be the nominee against Obama, Rubin would pull the lever for Obama. PDS is very powerful. And so, apparently, is the cultural influence of the Washington Post. Sad

Posted by: DocC1 | January 13, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

As an independent who leans conservative on many issues, Sarah Palin wouldn't be my first choice for POTUS. Having said that, I admire her for her measured response to essentially being called an accomplice to murder by the left. Standing up for oneself and firing back is a sign of strength in my book, and I applaud her for doing so. If you want to see a symbol of weakness, look no further than the current occupant of the Oval Office. It may be one of Palin's cliche's, but "don't retreat, reload" sounds pretty good to me these days.

Posted by: coffeetime | January 13, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am Jew and an Israeli and I have no problem with Sarah Palin's choice of words, including "blood libel", to describe the ugly and inciteful manner in which the American Left and Democrat party are exploiting the tragic murders in Tucson to attack their Conservative and Republican opponents.
All those Democrat and Liberals who are finding fault with Sarah's use of the expression already hate Sarah Palin and will not miss a chance to attack or sully her fine name. This is probably because Sarah Palin, unlike them, really does love the Jewish People and Israel unreservedly, and is willing say so publicly.
Again, I am a Jew and not a Christian, but I seem to recall the Jew Jesus having said, "Let ye who is without sin be the first to cast a stone" when a crowd of self righteous Jews prepared to murder a harlot.
Well I would suggest that all of you self righteous Jews and Christians who wish to figuratively stone Sarah Palin keep that bon mot in mind, and examine your own motives and see if they are morally justified and not just an expression political hatred.

Posted by: kenhe | January 13, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DocC1 | January 13, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

DocC wrote:

"Personally, I believe Ryan, Rubio, Cantor, Julliani, Christie and Jindal are strong contenders to defeat Obama."

Interesting group. You have to rule out Guiliani and Jindal right off the bat though. Rudy has too many personal issues, and has been out of office a long time. Jindal has a Thune problem in that his state is too small. Plus, given LA's otherworld history of corruption, scandal is always lurking around the corner, even if it doesn't touch him personally.

Rubio is attractive, but given his newness probably not ready for 2012, likewise Ryan who is the best of the best on the GOP side.

Cantor is a very curious case. A very smart guy, but has never been out of the House. Historically speaking, that's the graveyard of presidential ambitions.

Christie's candidacy depends on how well his state fares economically in the next 12 months as he has hitched his wagon to that test. A big recovery, could put a big man as one of the insiders toward at least a VP slot.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 13, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Give it a rest Jen your bias is showing.

Posted by: jmcfan2 | January 13, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe Sarah Palin will learn some restraint, if she listens to the negative reaction to her video from movement conservatives. I'm not the only one on the right who finds her effort here distasteful."

I'm sure you're not. There's lots of people trapped in Washington DC who go a bit delusional at times, and get caught up in the vapors of the Left.

It's just too bad that you've done so in this case.

the Profesional Left decided to use the murder of a nine year old girl, and the murders of 5 other people as well, to launch an unjustified political attack on the Tea Partiers, on conservatives, and on Sarah Palin. The people who did this are scum of the earth political vultures.

Kicking them in the teeth for their reprehensible behavior is a moral imperative. Their behavior was utterly outside the bounds of acceptable behavior, and deserves attack, and contempt.

Their attack was a blood libel, and they deserved to have that thrown in their faces. Palin wasn't the first conservative to point that out, and there was nothing wrong with her pointing it out.

Far from harming HER, by using that term, she brought the haters out again, to attack her for using the term, and then have their own words thrown back at them, for all the times they HAVE abused the term.

She correctly described our enemies behavior, and so enraged them that that they said more stupid things that opened them up to further derision.

If that's "stupid", then there's damn few people out there who've ever been smart.

Posted by: GregD1 | January 15, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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