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  • January 9th, 2011

Palin’s Bullseye Hits the Target

By Joel M. Vance

I swore I wasn’t going to rant for a while—that I was going to blog something funny and I will next time unless some crazy person shoots someone else for no reason other than delusional patriotism.  But until something funnier comes along…..

Let’s just talk a while about Sarah Palin, the rootin’ tootin’ quittin’ Grizzly Mama from Alaska and from wherever she can con someone out of a fat paycheck for spouting nonsense.

Ms. Palin, during last fall’s campaign frenzy, targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on a web site naming folks she wanted to see go down, presumably in the polls and not literally from gunfire.

We all know by now that a nutcase shot Ms. Giffords in the head.  Ms. Palin was quick to express sympathy…but did she accept even partial blame for what happened?  That ain’t the Palin way, folks.  Ms. Giffords, way back in 2010 expressed concern that intemperate talk about taking down candidates might just trigger violent action from the lunatic fringe.  She specifically mentioned Sarah Palin’s crosshairs graphic.

You holler “Fire!” in a theater, you’d better be able to accept the consequences if somebody gets trampled to death.  No use claiming, “Well, they didn’t have to listen.”

What got the Less-Than-Divine Sarah all bent out of shape was the sheer audacity of Ms. Giffords to vote for health care for 32 million citizens who didn’t have it.  Yes, the dreaded Obama Care which puts the clamps on rapacious insurance companies, which prevents them from dropping coverage or refusing health care for pre-existing conditions—pretty good provisions.

It’s not perfect, but any plan is better than no plan at all, which is what the health industry folks would like to see.  You can tinker with an imperfect plan but you can’t tinker with what doesn’t exist.  Universal health care in the United States, by the way, is an idea that goes back more than a century (the first notable president to endorse the idea was Teddy Roosevelt) and is a program that exists in virtually every other advanced nation.

Isn’t it comforting to know that we have a system that ranks right up there with the best of the Third World countries.

Ms. Palin explained her gunsights-on-Giffords graphic—she said, “We’ve diagnosed the problem; you provide the solution.”  And she advocated “”Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”  Now, she probably didn’t mean Annie Get Your Gun, but who knows?  At the very least that kind of rhetoric is an invitation to some crazed nutcase to practice frontier justice.

Much of the nuttiness has happened in Arizona which lately has come to represent the lunatic fringe of politics.  There’s the governor, Jan Brewer, who claimed there were headless corpses littering the landscape between her and the Mexican border, a claim that proved the only body missing a brain was hers.

And of course Sharron Angle in Nevada, who ran against Harry Reid and implied that things were heating up in the country to the point that the “Second Amendment solution” might be necessary.  Is it possible that Jared Loughner, Ms. Giffords shooter, was listening?

I’m a lifetime hunter, a gun owner who cherishes my guns. I have no use for anyone who wants to take my guns away.  But this crazy let’s solve it all with shootin’ irons mentality is mushrooming like a cancer and it hurts every responsible gun owner and gives, if you’ll pardon a pun, ammunition to the anti-gun folks.

The shoot-‘em-up attitude is whipped up by right wing talk show types like Beck and O’Reilly and Limbaugh.  They appeal to the violent and extremists among their listeners.

Example: Glen Beck: “”I say we nuke the bastards. In fact, it doesn’t have to be Iran; it can be everywhere, anyplace that disagrees with me.”  Or how about Ann Coulter: “We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens’ crème brulee.” She added, “That’s just a joke, for you in the media.”

Somehow I’m not laughing.  These folks are media hate mongers and they do it because they appeal to the worst in us (and the worst of us).  I doubt they really believe the slime they spew—they’re in it for the money and they know that hatred sells.  It’s lynch mob mentality and they’ve refined it to a dubious art form.  Sean Hannity ran a poll titled “What kind of revolution appeals most to you” giving the choices (a) military coup or (b) armed rebellion.  A third choice was “war for secession” and I thought we had one of those 150 years ago.

No one with much sense believes that Hannity is actively encouraging violent remedies or that he truly supports any of them—but by making the poll one of his talking points he gives it life and offers it as a possibility to the folks teetering on the edge of insanity.  These radio messiahs make millions of dollars annually and the only way they can keep the money rolling in is by agitating their jittery audience.  Bore the audience and you lose them and then you lose the sugar tit.

The worst solution would be to censor the Hannity’s, et al.  They have a right, short of actually inciting riot (you can imply it, but not call for it) under the First Amendment to say outrageous things and that amendment is too sacred to tamper with or water down.

What should happen to these saps is a boycott of their sponsors.  Just don’t buy from the companies who furnish them with a platform and pretty soon those sponsors won’t pay them.  Then the hate mongers will fade into the rotted woodwork from whence they oozed.

Next time something funny…..


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  1. Kirk Giloth

    January 10th, 2011 at 9:16 am


    Very well said Joel!

  2. Jeff Frischkorn

    January 10th, 2011 at 9:22 am


    Joel: Glass house occupants ought not to throw stones.. Making big on outlandish statements is not the sole domain of the right. the left, too, has made its share of heated exchanges. In fact, the Phoenix Sun Times says the Arizona nut job is being described by a fellow high school classmate as “a left-wing pot head.” While you and I continue to disagree on a bunch of issues from OWAA to the NRA to the right-vs.-left, I still respect you; even if I am the better steelhead fisherman…

    • joelvance

      January 10th, 2011 at 10:56 am


      Never said it was exclusively a right wing thing–Lee Oswald was a communist. If the left wingers were saying the things that Beck, et al are I’d be just as quick to chew them out. But the fomenting today seems overwhelmingly to be coming from the right wing radio and TV types. And, yes, you are far better at steelhead fishing than I am.

  3. Derek

    January 10th, 2011 at 9:57 am


    You lib’s never cease to amaze me, and I’m not even a Palin fan. This country is headed for utter collapse hurled by the tide of socialism that is fanned by likes of your idiotic accusations. Rational thought seems to be a foreign concept when trying to defend your emotional impulses. I would challenge you to name one program that government has run more efficiently than the private sector and the fact that the nation has spoken up and said we do not support these railroad Dem’s has you reaching for these kind of inane comments to save your cause. I hope and pray that my fellow Americans will continue to fight for limited government and the ideals of conservatism.

    • joelvance

      January 10th, 2011 at 10:52 am


      Grab your Mac10, Derek! The black helicopters are hovering just over the ridge!

  4. Barbara McKenzie

    January 10th, 2011 at 10:24 am


    Amen!!! Why does it always take a tragedy such as this one for people to really take notice to a situation. The congresswoman had been interviewed last fall and was very concerned about the tone that the political rhetoric was taking. I just hope that this will make some of the extreme media announcers to tone down their commentaries. I know that these people would like to call themselves news commentators, but they are strictly entertainers that are in the business to make a quick buck. As for Sarah Palin, she knows she was in the wrong or she wouldn’t have taken the mentioned web page down as soon as the event in Arizona happened. If you shout fire in a theater when there is no fire and people are hurt trying to leave the building, you are held accountable. I’m guessing that nothing will be done to any of these people that added fuel to the flame inside of this poor sick boy’s head. Our prayers go out to all the people in Arizona that have been touched by this tragedy.

  5. DeerHunter

    January 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm


    “If the left wingers were saying the things that Beck, et al are I’d be just as quick to chew them out.
    “Oh, really? Why don’t you start with these, all from Barak Oboma:

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
    “Get out there and “punish our enemies”
    “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    “Punch back twice as hard.”
    I want to know “whose ass to kick”
    “…I’m itching for a fight.”

    • joelvance

      January 10th, 2011 at 4:05 pm


      This argument is a time waster–at my age I try not to waste time. Obama disappoints me; Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Counter and Beck disgust me. By the way, you probably should learn to spell the President’s name right.

  6. Joe Bachant

    January 10th, 2011 at 6:00 pm


    The lack of civility in this country is unfortunately not new. It has waxed and wained ever since the founding. I myself have experienced the darker side of our Republic in my career, but not to the degree that I have seen within the last couple of decades. What has changed?

    It sounds bizarre to say this, but I wish that this tragety would somehow temper our natinal spirit. But I doubt it. Ingrained (and implanted) idiology..both political and religious has poisoned our societial mindset. I don’t think that it is so much that we have lost the ability to conduct civil discourse, but instead have allowed ourselves…collectively speaking… to empulate the tone of the spokespersons of our new fifth column.

    Perhpas the old addage of following the money applies. In a broader sence, I have seen our counrty become more of a plutocracy than a democratic republic. I am also concerned that too many folks are still sitting on the sidelines and not acting as true citizens. We each have some role to play in our form of government. I’m pleased Joel, that you have taken up the poker to stir the ashes and coals. Your blog sure beats the poor excuse of what we have as journalism today.

    …and forgive my lack of typing skills….50+ years of thinking with a yellow legal pad is a hard habit to break! Joe B

    • joelvance

      January 10th, 2011 at 7:25 pm


      Hi, Joe, With you I fear for the country, given the divisiveness today. Maybe it always has been that way. Certainly through the 1930s there was great unrest and it took a world war to bring us together. I hope that isn’t the solution this time. And we have been ruled by the rich before, too–think the robber barons of the late 1800s. They’ve always been with us and certainly are today. But I’m not sure there ever has been such a pervasive influence of the news media by megacorporate entities before. Used to be that you could count on newspapers to expose corporate greed and power mongering, but now they are the greedy mongerers. Blogs are no substitute for real journalism–mostly they’re uninformed drivel. Where we go I don’t know, but I guess I’ll keep tilting at those ol’ windmills as long as I’m able. Hope you’re well and grumpy as ever.

  7. Joe Bachant

    January 11th, 2011 at 6:07 am


    My kids don’t call me Grumpy for nothing! Although writing, at least in this format is not my main skill area, I’m trying. Look for me in other places, as in Legislative forums and Congressional offices. Years of walking the walk has at least schooled me in that arena. Like I say, we each have some skill or talent to bring to the forum. So keep at it my old friend. I’ll be reading…and you do have my email address and phone number if needed……Joe

  8. Nestor Trunk

    June 23rd, 2012 at 1:02 am


    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your site in web explorer, might test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market chief and a large component of people will omit your wonderful writing because of this problem.

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