Courage to sit

The Krugmania that has descended over the MSM over the past three days has one purpose and one purpose only. It means to silence the voice of conservatives in public life, whether the voice comes from Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh or the Tea Party or the conservative movement or Fox News. The MSM’s weapon of choice at the moment is the association of conservatives with the attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords and the related killings.
The MSM’s Krugmania has cast the spotlight on Sarah Palin’s 2010 political map of the United States identifying congressional targets. The implication that there is anything wrong with Palin’s map in this context in my view is wrong. Discussion of her map in the context of the attempted assassination should be a non-starter. It is illegitimate, an obvious token of bad faith on the part of the interlocutor
Any putative conservative leader who doesn’t understand the Krugmania of the past three days needs to take a time out and get a clue. When asked about Sarah Palin’s map in this context conservative leaders need to condemn the question as a bloody outrage.
In my view, Tim Pawlenty failed the test today. When asked about Sarah Palin’s map on Good Morning America (see the clip here, or the full interview here), he rejected the implication that it had anything do with with the attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords.
But Governor Pawlenty went on to add that “it wouldn’t have been my style to put the crosshairs on there.” He also told the New York Times that he wouldn’t have produced such a map. Ed Morrissey sought Governor Pawlenty out to expand on his comments. Governor Pawlenty proceeded to make the same two points again.
Well, bully for you. I guess you are too sensitive to use a martial symbol (if that is what it was) in a political context. Or you are too smart to employ a symbol that could be turned against you in the event of an attempted assassination with respect to which liberals falsely seek to impute responsibility to conservatives. That’s awfully smart.
But speaking only for myself, I would prefer a conservative leader who has the courage to stand and tell the MSM that he understands their game and they can shove it.
JOHN adds: I think that some have exaggerated Governor Pawlenty’s failure to stick up for his party. On balance, I think his performance on The View, for example, was pretty good. Having said that, I share Scott’s disappointment that Pawlenty didn’t stand up more forcefully for his fellow Republicans.
He had, of course, a different agenda, and the last thing he wanted to do in these appearances was talk about Sarah Palin. But he should have anticipated that topic number one would be Tucson, and that if he wants to be held in high regard by the party’s base, he should take advantage of the opportunity to be a hero by standing up to the pathetically weak left-wing narrative. That he didn’t do so, strongly enough to be perceived as doing so by conservatives, is unfortunate, to say the least. We are in a moment in time where most Americans are ready to turn away in revulsion from the Democrats’ ghoulish opportunism, and Pawlenty played it much too safe.
PAUL adds: Making a willingness to defend Palin’s map into some sort of a litmus test for loyal or courageous conservatism strikes me as an overreaction to “Krugmania.” Pawlenty could have refused to answer what I think is a legitimate question about a controversial ad. Or, in an act of solidarity, he could have said that using what he perceives (reasonably) to be crosshairs in an ad is fine, even though that apparently is not his view. (It may not be Sarah Palin’s view either, hence the “surveyor” defense).
Either option might have worked out better for Pawlenty politically, as John suggests. But I don’t think less of Pawlenty for having given what I take to be an honest and reasonable answer to a question on the topic of what the tone of political advertising should be.

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