It’s hard to avoid drawing parallels between the recent shootings in Arizona and Pakistan.
There seems little doubt that Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter in the Arizona attack, is batshit crazy, but who could doubt that Sarah Palin is also quite insane?
Palin published this map on her Facebook page, identifying the locations of 20 House Democrats who voted for healthcare reforms. The districts were identified with crosshairs of a rifle scope. She then followed up with a tweet saying
Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Pls see my Facebook page.
The map included the name of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Jared Lee Loughner shot Gabrielle Giffords in the face, as well as 17 others. He killed six people, including a judge and a young child in the shooting.
Giffords committed a crime of blasphemy in the eyes of Palin’s redneck followers: the crime of supporting better health care for the poor and the weak. And in her fundamentalist Christian zeal, Palin has blended two potent symbols: the gun and the cross, elevating one to a quasi-religious symbol, and reducing the other to a weapon. The liberal is Satan in Palin’s demented world.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab was shot by his own security guard, because he opposed Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Taseer was sympathetic to the plight of Asia Bibi, an illiterate Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting the Prophet. The accusation was made by local villagers after an argument, no corroborating evidence was produced, and there are strong suspicions that the villagers were simply settling an old score.
A radical Islamic cleric has offered a reward for anyone willing to kill Asia Bibi.
Taseer’s only real crime, it seems was being a liberal, just like Giffords. Both ran foul of illiterate ignoramuses spurred on by insane demagogues. Both were shot.
So what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and a crazy fundamentalist Islamic cleric?