Palin steps up rhetoric against her detractors
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had some harsh words for her detractors in the health care debate with a thinly veiled, March Madness-themed Facebook post in which she declared, “never retreat, instead RELOAD!”
The title of the former Alaska governor’s Facebook post on Sunday was “Warning: Subject to New Politically Correct Language Police Censorship.” Palin then discussed her love of college basketball and compared the NCAA tournament to a “heated, competitive primary election.”
The former basketball player then stepped some of the rhetoric she has employed recently to describe her dislike of the Democrat-backed health overhaul.
She wrote about using “strong weapons” and “big guns” to drive to the basket. She urged teams to “shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win.” She says “bombing through the press” is part of what teams must do to help reach their goals.
“To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season’s targets! From the shot across the bow – the first second’s tip-off – your leaders will be in the enemy’s crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics,” she wrote. “You won’t win only playing defense, so get on offense!”
“If the other side tries to push back,” she added later, “your attitude should be ‘go for it.’ Get in their faces and argue with them.”
Democrats have criticized Palin for using such loaded language at a time when lawmakers have reported receiving threats of violence for supporting the health bill. Over the weekend in Alaska, a window was reported smashed at the state Democratic Party headquarters.
Palin has dismissed the controversy over her words as “ginned up.” At a recent campaign appearance for her former running mate, Sen. John McCain, she said: “When we take up our arms, we’re talking about our vote.”
In a Facebook posting last week, Palin said she planned to use her political action committee to win for “Commonsense Conservatives” 20 seats held by House Democrats who voted for the health care legislation. Her pitch for people to join her in “a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington,” was accompanied by a map with crosshairs on those states.
Jerry McBeath, a political science professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said Palin’s rhetoric isn’t inconsistent with what she used while in Alaska.
“She’s a populist, so she wants to rev up the supporters,” he said Monday.
There’s nothing unusual about that, particularly during a political year, but there’s a responsibility that accompanies it, he said. He called Palin “one factor among several in a heated media environment.”