Did Somebody Take Sarah Palin’s “Targets” Seriously?

Via Jay Winston
on Jan 8, 2011
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Update: President Obama video.

The image above was posted on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page before the recent midterm elections, cleverly highlighting Democrats her political action committee was “targeting,” with actual targets.

Today, a gunman opened fire on one of these “targets,” Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. One of her aides was killed, twelve others were injured, and, at the time of this writing, Giffords herself is in critical condition, having been shot in the head.

Sarah Palin has offered her condolences.


About Jay Winston

Jay S. Winston, founder and proprietor of Yoga for Cynics (http://yogaforcynics.blogspot.com), has a PhD in English, making him the kind of doctor who, in case of life-threatening emergency, can explain Faulkner while you die, is currently (semi-)(un-)employed as a freelance writer and editor, teaches creative writing to homeless men, tutors recovering addicts in reading, was recently certified as a Kripalu yoga teacher, gets around mostly by bicycle, is trying to find an agent for his novel, resides in the bucolic Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, State of Mildly Inebriated Samadhi, U.S.A. and, like most people who bike and practice yoga, used to live in Boulder.


27 Responses to “Did Somebody Take Sarah Palin’s “Targets” Seriously?”

  1. Carol Horton says:

    Check out this interview with Rep. Gifford where she discusses the threats, violence, and vandalism of her office. This didn't come out of nowhere. http://kateoplis.tumblr.com/post/2655554409/msnbc

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Even extreme Right Wingers are furious. It's the kind of moment we can all come together. http://biggovernment.com/mbachmann/2011/01/08/i-a… ~ Waylon

  3. Juliana says:

    Back in June 2010, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-AZ) Republican opponent Jesse Kelly had an event at which voters could shoot an assault rifle with the candidate, promoted as thus:

    Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.

    Read this: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/flashb

  4. elephantjournal says:

    The last update on Gifford's site is the public Congress on your Corner event where she got shot, which bills itself as a chance to discuss any concern or problem. These are the events that were shouted down across the country last summer or the summer before—the vents that helped but the Tea Party's anger on a national stage. Let us remember that anger is fine, but violence never is.

    ~ Waylon

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Waylon Lewis, Jack Daw, Red Fox and others. Red Fox said: Did Somebody Take Sarah Palin’s “Targets” Seriously? http://bit.ly/eSZcAA […]

  6. elephantjournal says:

    CBS News: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., released a statement saying he was "horrified by the violent attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families.

    "Whoever did this, whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law," he said.

  7. elephantjournal says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    ‎"Like" if you're heartbroken. Whether Republican or Democratic or other we're Americans, first, and humans before that. "Like" if you agree with PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "Such a senseless + terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.” "Like" if you wish 40-year-old Congressman Giffords godspeed. "Like" if y…ou're furious, and our fury will be expressed as love and forgiveness. ~ WL

    Steve Corso Politicos of all stripes need to rathet down the rhetoric–there are far to many unbalanced minds out thee who will take their rhetoric literally. Irresponsibly sprayed hate speech can be nearly as deadly a weapon as a firearm.

    Elizabeth Lewis So sad.

    Louise Thompson Kpfk-la, Pacifica report that Giffords had just entered a legislative bill to cutback all congressional pay by 5%…2 days ago…

    Adenia Linker ‎"heartbroken" for the children who see adults use these means to address their dislikes, "agree" that violence is disgusting in any society as blessed as America, and "wishing" the child lost is this tragedy had Congressman's Giffords outcome, and "furious" that love hurts this much…

    Stacey Gunderson I agree with that whole post. But don't forget that Love does not remain silent and allow violence to continue. There has to be a LOUD and overwhelming response from all people that this divisive, violence inspiring language will not be tolerated from our politicians….period.

    Maylin Sambois I pray we as humans learn to love one another. When we hurt others really we are hurting ourselves. I ask God daily for everyone even if I don't know them. We can make a difference by starting to share love, compassion and respect for our families, friends, neighbors and even those that do us wrong. God be with those that are hurting and need you most. @ Obama… I love your professionalism and your good heart to lead our country. GOD bless you and your family always. Amen!

    elephantjournal.com http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/01/president-

  8. Carol Horton says:

    Sorry, but I won't feel a sense of "coming together" until I see some GOP and Tea Party leaders stepping forward and speaking out against the widespread use of violent language and imagery among their followers. They have a responsibility to speak out that's not being met.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    So hearbreaking: "I just heard her husband landed in Tucson in a NASA jet and is on his way to be with her."

    Rep. Giffords target of harassment, threats http://www.msnbc.msn.co mhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/36033690#36033690

  10. Roger Wolsey says:

    1. Tell Sarah Palin to stop inciting violence: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_sarah_p

    2. Prayers for the victims and their families, as well as for the person who did the shooting and his family, are also welcome at this time.

    3. In case you're wondering why I said "..for the person who did the shooting" instead of the far shorter "gunman," — I avoid using the word "gunman" as it makes it seem like people who use guns are ontologically different than the rest of us. Its every bit as dehumanizing as when people refer to Muslims as "ragheads," etc. When an act of violence is committed, it is done so by a human being/person against other human beings.

  11. Unbelievable. My prayers to everyone involved and for us, the USA. There seems to be a segment of the population who is sinking to new lows. They are easily driven to mis-action by people like Palin and the hate radio talk hosts. Our country needs yogis to direct their positive energies toward healing on and off the mat.

  12. moonlion says:

    The information coming out about the shooting does not indicate that the young man was politically motivated. His reasons seem to be some deranged obssession centered on illiteracy. While the comments being posted about the political climate and extremism in the country are valid, let's wait and see what this young man was really about in carrying out this heartbreaking act before jumping on any bandwagons about his assumed motivations.

  13. His motivations, certainly, are questionable, but that's not the only issue.
    There's also the climate of violent rhetoric, of which Sarah Palin's crosshairs map is a shockingly apt example, but only one of many (and some equally apt examples have been given in comments above).

  14. Kristof Reiter says:

    This is a pathetic excuse for journalism.

    Waylon, you should be ashamed.

    Where were you when Obama called Republicans "the enemy?"

    Today's assassination attempt for Representative Gifford is a tragedy. Only someone with a massive agenda would run such a clearly partisan piece of "journalism" on a day where our "national shock and anger" over this attack is so fresh. Representative Gifford has been in the hospital for less than 12 hours and already you are stoking the flames of politics?

    I encourage all readers to pray for Rep. Gifford, her family, the Conservative Federal Judge appointed under President Bush that was killed, and all the other dead and wounded victims of this tragedy, regardless of political affiliation.

  15. […] the liberal (actually, corporate-owned) media and anyone who would point out a connection between Sarah Palin and others’ militant rhetoric and such a tragic, senseless […]

  16. Brooks_Hall says:

    It is so sad! And so strange that Ms. Giffords practically presaged this event with her quote from a NY Times article:

    “We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09c

    And as of this moment the image is still on Ms. Palin's Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=37385497

    I don't have words!

  17. […] on the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and others here, here, here, here. Things to do about it here. From the NY […]

  18. […] Sarah Palin’s team laughably claiming that their infamous map of targeted congressional districts represented not a gun’s crosshairs but a surveyor’s symbol, it’s clear that they feel the need to run from their actions. […]

  19. elephantjournal says:

    I was probably in Boulder. ~ Waylon

  20. tamingauthor says:

    Carol, your comment reflects both bias and a lack of observation. Violent language and imagery have been much more a part of the extreme left of this administration than with the right. One could list Obama's comments alone to start the list.

    What you are missing is the intentional stoking of civil unrest in this country by an administration that was raised on community organizing as tutored by Saul Alinsky who openly advocated for deceptive means of creating unrest and antagonizing those who held other views.

    The radical extremists tied to this administration, such as ex Weather Underground members and Communists (yes there are specific people with such ties), work on the playbook, used in Europe and elsewhere, of creating unrest in order to "transform" the government. If you take only the comments of Van Jones and Mark Lloyd you are well on your way to understanding the nature of the rhetoric.

    Van Jones, who is an admitted Communist agitator, has been calling for unrest from the beginning—citing his "bottom up, top down, inside out" approach to bringing revolution.

    Mark Lloyd, the "diversity czar" of the FCC lauds the success Hugo Chavez has had shutting down the media in Venezuela and the success of this wonderful revolution. If you have not noticed, the people of Venezuela have lost their liberty, their freedom of speech, and, in many cases, their lives, to a Marxist bully who is "transforming" their society. That we have a presidential appointee who publicly celebrates these horrors should signal you need to do your homework when it comes to these public cries for censorship.

    When you add the financing of George Soros, who, at the age of fourteen, was a Nazi collaborator, a man who openly advocates for "one world government" based on Marxist principles and the destruction of the U.S. dollar (read "you will be in extreme poverty") then you will begin to understand exactly what is happening with the rhetoric.

    The killer in Tucson was a nut job from start to finish. And he was responding to the manner in which Gifford insulted him when he asked a goofy question at a prior rally. Best to study this much more closely before going off on a brainwashed rant against the GOP and the Tea Party. Best to figure out who has your back.

    If you are not familiar with any of these people and events, then you are woefully ignorant of the true situation at this time. Best to study up.

  21. tamingauthor says:

    Tell Obama to stop inciting violence.
    Tell Van Jones to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the Daily Koz to stop inciting violence.
    Tell Mark Lloyd to stop inciting violence.
    Tell MoveOn.org to stop inciting violence.
    Tell George Soros to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the Communist Party of the U.S. to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the Center for American Progress to stop inciting violence.
    Tell Hollywood to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the video game industry to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the schools to stop inciting violence.
    Tell the mental health profession to stop prescribing medication that incites violence.
    Tell left wing extremists and anarchists to stop inciting violence.
    Tell environmentalists to stop inciting violence.
    Tell illegal alien drug runners to stop inciting violence.
    Tell Democratic Party politicians to stop inciting violence.
    Tell MSNBC to stop inciting violence.

    Most of all, tell yourself to stop inciting violence. Tell yourself to drop the rhetoric and speak to the human condition as a pastor instead of as a political radical.

    Oh, yes, tell mentally unstable youth to get help before they go on a rampage.

  22. elephantjournal says:


    Michael L I'm afraid a lot of people may have taken that seriously.

    Christina B you betcha! someone probable did.

    Holly: I heard the shooter was not a Palin fan at all.

    Mary Ann: our government has a history of taking such websites very seriously, at least if you are an animal rights activist trying to STOP violence. But apparently republicans get a pass for inciting it.. .http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/sarah-palin-terrorism-giffords/3403/

    Melissa: http://animacenter.org/blog/?p=2187

    elephantjournal.com Holly, hear that on Fox perchance? I've heard from CNN that he was inspired by Palin and Tea Party in recent months, year…that said, who's to say. What matters is that sane people should be able to keep a handle on our rhetoric, so we don't create angry atmosphere: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/01/president-

  23. tamingauthor says:

    As long as Waylon is posting up libelous hate speech by bizarre folks who hate Palin, we might as well look at the complete scorecard. See the linked litany of hate speech. When you are done maybe consider how we can get past this utter insanity, a karmic dramatization brought on by those who want to turn the lights out on freedom, prosperity and enlightenment.

  24. […] districts of “Obamacare-lovin incumbent seats,” including Giffords’ district, has led to considerable criticism both at the time of its creation and now in the aftermath of the tragedy. Giffords stated when […]