PREVIOUSLY: “This message—even at a time of national crisis—was a base-rousing rallying cry, perpetuating her own victimhood and alleged bloodthirstiness of her opponents. One would have thought that Palin, like any responsible person in her shoes right now, could have mustered some sort of regret about the unfortunate coincidence of what she had done in the campaign and what happened afterwards. Wouldn’t you? If you had publicly defended a map with cross-hairs on a congresswoman’s district, and that congresswoman had subsequently been shot, would you not be able to express even some measure of regret at what has taken place, even while denying, rightly, any actual guilt? Could you not even acknowledge the possibility that your critics have and had a point, including the chief Palin-critic on this, who happens to be struggling for her life in hospital, Gabrielle Giffords.” MORE
PREVIOUSLY: Did Sarah Palin Just Have Her Chappaquiddick?
RELATED: One hundred and ten years ago, during another low point in the nation’s political discourse, newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst – who was angling for a presidential run in 1904 – published a pair of columns fantasizing about violence against President William McKinley. Columnist Ambrose Bierce wrote that a bullet “is speeding here to stretch McKinley on his bier.” Next, an unsigned column widely attributed to Hearst editor Arthur Brisbane declared: “If bad institutions and bad men can be got rid of only by killing, then the killing must be done.” Six months later, a deranged man named Leon Czolgosz assassinated McKinley. The killer claimed he was inspired by an anarchist, not by Hearst – but that didn’t stop opponents from falsely claiming that Czolgosz had a copy of Hearst’s New York Journal in his pocket when he did the deed. Secretary of State Elihu Root later accused Hearst of driving the “weak and excitable brain of Czolgosz” to murder. The outcry against Hearst’s incitement – there were boycotts and a burning in effigy – dashed his presidential ambitions. MORE