Here’s an interesting sidenote to Sarah Palin’s invocation of “blood libel” to describe the criticism of her extreme and violent rhetoric, demonstrating how quickly these memes bubble up from the crazy base directly into right wing media and the speeches of right wing politicians.
Yesterday, there was a very curious edit to the Wikipedia page for “blood libel.” Here’s a link to the January 11 revision page for Blood libel, showing what was added. The timestamp shows that the edit took place at 13:58, 11 January 2011, and has since been reverted:
Blood libel (also blood accusation) refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays. Historically, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews. Contemporary libertarian observers have begun to use the term to refer to attempts by the American Left to accuse American conservatives of contributory responsibility for various incidents of violence.
The footnote for this edit links to Ann Althouse’s site; her post doesn’t contain “blood libel,” but there are two comments that do. And they’re both completely crazed, of course.
They’re not turning it into a passion of the Palin. They are rebutting blood libels. And note, they are not saying that in fact it was liberal ideology that caused this shooting. What they are saying is that libs are full of shit. Big difference.
Some phony folksy and the rest of the Lefties here, having had their little blood libel explode in their faces with the exposure who really wallows in the imagery of violence, now feel obliged to backtrack from The Zero’s Alinskyite rhetoric of 2 years ago. Uncle Saul has been their Bible for 40 years. It must be devastating to them to know their game is finally over.
I’m not suggesting a conspiracy; the timing is amazing, but it’s most likely a coincidence that the Wikipedia edit appeared the day before Sarah Palin used the same term.
And yet, in a very real way this isn’t a coincidence at all. The “blood libel” talking point has been emerging from the right ever since the Arizona mass murders. Palin simply capitalized on it, because she knew it was a guaranteed hit with her base.