Jan. 12th, 2011


Arizona allows for family, friends or even acquaintances to petition a local court for a mental evaluation, said Suzanne Hodges, chief compliant officer at the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, the group that provides mental health treatment for Pima County, where the shooting occurred. The court would have then sent someone to interview Loughner and determine if he needed treatment — even if he was not an imminent danger to himself or others, as most other states require.

Being in such treatment would have prevented him from purchasing a handgun, according to Arizona’s gun laws.
"The voices inside my head are trying to convince me that all we need to do is keep guns away from the mentally ill."
‎"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”

Woops, that was the liberal Molly Ivins (whom I loved too).
Palin isn't the first to apply the term 'blood libel' to political speech that accuses the opposition of, in effect, having blood on its hands. Here's a Democrat in 2006 saying that Rove (and the Bush administration) is practicing 'blood libel'.

What Rove is giving voice to here is nothing less than the new blood libel of our age: that those who oppose the Bush Administration's unconstitutional actions are opening the door to a new 9/11. The implication is clear: anyone who speaks up for the Constitution is working for the death of innocent Americans.

By Chris Floyd, the author of Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime.

Hm, I wondered if any GOP jumped on Floyd for stretching the meaning of the term 'blood libel', but a quick Google didn't find anything.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League:
“While the term ‘blood-libel’ has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.”
In fact, as Jim Geraghty of National Review Online documents, the use of the term “blood libel” in political discourse is common both on the left and the right to describe incendiary false accusations which tend to blame a person for inciting violence and making the person a target of violence.
Much like the use of the term “holocaust” (e.g., nuclear holocaust) is not used in the strict sense of The Holocaust, the use of the term “blood libel” does not offend the traditional meaning of the term.
The looser, more modern usage of the term certainly seems to fit here.
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