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10/25/2008
THE MORAL COWARDICE OF SARAH PALIN

The answer is, yes - I prefer to go down in flames, hitching a ride with the Valkyries to Valhalla rather than cheerleading for a man who would choose a woman as his running mate with such a wretched moral sense.

I have, with few exceptions, tempered my criticism of John McCain’s proposed policies during this latter part of the campaign, concentrating instead on the horse race because frankly, there are many conservatives more qualified than I and more familiar with the issues who are doing a much better job than I could in making the conservative case for McCain despite his more problematic stands on issues.

I have also, for the most part, given a pass to McCain on the question of judgment, although I think the post mortems on McCain’s campaign will reveal some monumental blunders on the economic crisis as well as their electoral strategy (where they expended limited resources).

On the question of the Palin pick, however, I have had no such qualms in supporting McCain. Marc Ambinder (no fan of Palin) explains why the Alaska governor was really the only pick McCain could make:

A Sunday morning quarterback still makes a persuasive argument for picking Palin. In this environment, the Republican candidate could only win if he consolidates his base and wins a majority of persuadable votes; the Democrat simply has to turn out Democrats. Though McCain at one point wanted to pick Joe Lieberman, he’d have cut a leg from the stool and replaced it with one that, aside from his party affiliation — independent Democrat — has no real appeal among independents anymore. One step backward and no steps forward. By the time the news began to leak out that McCain wanted Lieberman, the trail balloon was also leaky. Republican delegations made it clear that they’d walk out on McCain. We still don’t know why McCain decided that the risk wasn’t worth taking — that’s for another Draper piece — but we know that he suddenly shifted back to someone who had impressed him early on, someone who, at the time, could check the two boxes: excite Republicans and convert independents and persuadables.

Whether the vetting was complete or rushed, whether Palin and her advisers were completely forthcoming about her record…. again, wait for the Draper piece. The point here is that the choice was defensible. That almost every piece of information that has come out subsequent to the pick has hurt Palin can be interpreted in several ways: either the media was preordained to crush her spirit from the beginning, or the McCain campaign didn’t know about them, or they’ve been distorted beyond any sense of the rational.

I would add that Palin defenders have hit the nail on the head when they make the case for distortion, bias, double standards, and outright lies and rumors being printed by the MSM. The case of Palin’s belief in creationism is a perfect example. The rumor started on a site written by a Palin hater in Alaska that she believed people walked the earth with dinosaurs and that she wished to teach creationism “alongside” evolution in Alaskan schools. The rumor was printed verbatim and passed off as truth in the Los Angeles Times among other outlets.

Palin never said any such thing nor does she believe that creationism has a place in a public school curriculum. It was a lie made up out of whole cloth, swallowed by the press, and given wide distribution by liberal blogs who never bothered to check the provenance of the story. Pattericio points out that the Times never retracted one bit of the story.

Ambinder makes the same case I’ve been making since Palin was chosen; that McCain basically had no choice but to pick her. (For your Romneyites I only have one word: Mormon).

But this doesn’t negate certain facts. Palin is unready to hold high office and won’t be, in my opinion, for perhaps a year. The public isn’t buying the counter argument and her negatives are so high now she has become a huge drag on the campaign with two groups that McCain absolutely must win over if he is to win; white women and independents. Palin may have solidified the base but you don’t win too many elections getting 30% of the vote.

No doubt a large part of the problem has been the unfair treatment she has received in the media. But you can’t just explain away the voter’s unhappiness with Palin by ascribing all her negatives to media bias and manipulation. The American people are a little smarter than that.

Perhaps they sense something about her that Palin worshipers fail to see. It certainly doesn’t help Palin’s case when she makes a statement like this:

Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?

Sarah Palin: [Sighs] There’s no question Bill Ayres, under his own admittance, was, um, one who sought to destroy, er, our US Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities, that, uh, er, that would be unacceptable. Uh, I don’t know if you’re going to use the word “terrorist” there, but it’s unacceptable and, uh, um, it, er, would not be condoned, of course, on, on our watch, but [sigh] I don’t know what you’re asking is if I regret referring to Bill Ayres as an unrepentant domestic terrorist. I don’t regret characterizing him as that.

Brian Williams: I’m just asking what other categories you would put in there. Abortion clinic bombers, protesters in cities where fires were started, molotov cocktails were thrown, people died.

Sarah Palin: I would put in that category of Bill Ayres anyone else who would seek to campaign to destroy our United States Capitol and our Pentagon and would seek to destroy innocent Americans.

There is no mistaking her answer. I sought out a fuller transcript in order to ascertain her exact words as well as her full response and any follow up question asked by Williams.

Sarah Palin is refusing to call people who would bomb abortion clinics terrorists. Yes, she condemns their actions. But she is parsing the definition of terrorism so as not to offend that small, but vocal part of the conservative base who may not see clinic bombers as heroes, but refuse to place their actions in a a moral context that equates the tactics of the jihadis with the Eric Rudolphs of the world.

This is moral cowardice. The purpose of bombing abortion clinics (it hasn’t happened in a decade) is exactly the same as fanatics who set off car bombs in crowded markets; that is, to intimidate and to terrorize people.

Have Muslim fanatics set off more bombs than Christians? Of course they have. But if you are going to base a moral judgment on numbers of dead, then you are probably able to parse the moral guilt of Hitler compared to Stalin - or perhaps Hitler compared to Idi Amin. The death of innocents perpetrated for political ends, be it fewer abortions due to the terrorizing of women and fewer abortion clinics due to their destruction, or the blowing up of a marketplace to intimidate and frighten people into abandoning support for their government is terrorism. It is always terrorism. It was terrorism yesterday, it is terrorism today, and it will be terrorism tomorrow. And anyone who can’t make the moral judgment that this is so is, in my opinion, a coward - especially since if Palin had admitted that bombing abortion clinics was terrorism, she would have angered a small but significant part of the conservative base.

Don’t believe me? Here are some observations by those moral titans in the anti-abortion crowd about whether bombing clinics is terrorism:

“No, you pro-abortion baby killing fanatics are the terrorists. What is a terrorist? Someone who murders innocent people. That is YOU. You pro-abortion babykillers murder innocent children each and every day.” — Rev Donald Soitz.

“We have shed the blood of the innocent in the womb, and we are now reaping it in the streets.” — Rev. Flip Benham, Operation Rescue

Ever since then, whenever someone brings up a terrorist attack carried out by Islamic fundamentalists, you are expected to practice the Fairness Doctrine and give appropriate lip service to the “Christian” attacks on abortion clinics in order to demonstrate that neither side is beyond reproach. Of course, there is something to be said about the fact that when “Christians” attack, they are not supported by a body of religious figures that can be recognized as a legitimate authority, are wholly condemned by the Christian community both far and wide, and are doing so not for religious reasons but because in their minds these abortion clinics are clinics of death where babies are daily being killed and thus their existence means the continued death of another child. Somehow it’s hard to generate the same feelings against someone who wants to preserve life as it is to generate against someone who uses planes as torpedoes. But I digress.

Perhaps the most telling thing about how absurd this argument is are the simple numbers. A simple glance indicates that, across America, there have only been 168 attacks against abortion clinics since 1982, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Bureau reports. These attacks come with surprisingly little casualties, and most attacks are rather measured in property damage, rather than human lives lost. Therefore to run it on average, every year there will be six or seven abortion related attacks across America, with a marginal increase in these numbers in Canada and Australia (one in Australia’s history, for example).

Moral equivalency between jihadis and Christians is not, cannot be based on comparative body counts but only on the intent of the attacker - the only possible moral context you can place any attack on innocents. Palin’s parsing is an ignominious example of a politician who would rather pander to the extreme of her base instead of taking a clear, unambiguous moral stand against political violence. She should be condemned for this by those on the right who claim moral ascendancy over the rest of us due to their religious beliefs as well as any thinking conservative who cares about the moral standing of our candidates.

By: Rick Moran at 10:43 am
59 Responses to “THE MORAL COWARDICE OF SARAH PALIN”
  1. 1
    The Moderate Voice Trackbacked With:
    11:32 am 

    McCain Campaign Tensions Swirl Around Palin And Former Bush Aides…

    As the battle between presidential wannabes Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain heads towards its final week, one candidate remains the subject of continued media scrutiny, cryptic and at times disrespectful references by othe…

  2. 2
    Mattie Said:
    1:26 pm 

    Moral cowardice? I doubt it. What it shows me is that Palin is learning not to jump in and bite every time someone in the mainstream media throws her some bait, hoping to get a response that they can use against her, over and over again. Obama learned that, too - he went from saying that he would meet with Iran unconditionally, to a more “nuanced” view. Why? That’s modern politics, buddy. Statements that are viewed as “absolute” are twisted, distorted, and come back to bite you.

  3. 3
    Smarty Said:
    1:29 pm 

    The left loves to point out ONE MAN who bombed abortion clinics and use him to juxtapose the muslims and the commies who have done multiple bombings throughout the years. It is dishonest, and don’t be a dope for going along with it.

    And learn the definition of terrorism. Just because a bomb is used it doesn’t make it terrorism. Murder is done with a bomb too. The abortion clinic bombings were simple murder.

  4. 4
    Antimedia Said:
    1:37 pm 

    Please! The word terrorist is thrown around with abandon and applied to everyone one disagrees with these days. Palin is clearly distinguishing between the criminal act of murdering people at abortion clinics and the terrorist acts of someone who actively sought to bring down our government (and still seeks it today.) Surely you wouldn’t argue that abortion clinic bombers are trying to destroy the US government?

    While both acts are reprehensible, the latter is much more serious than the former and deserves to be in a category by itself.

    The only reason you chose this line of argument is because you know that Palin is anti-abortion (or pro life - pick your poison.)

  5. 5
    hpb Said:
    1:40 pm 

    I disagree in this fashion: A domestic terrorist, such as Timothy McVeigh or Bill Ayers, is one with a beef with the government. Abortion clinic bombers, violent protesters, to me are much like those who shoot up schools: mass murderers and sociopaths.

  6. 6
    rrpjr Said:
    2:11 pm 

    Steady on, old man. Enjoy your posts but you’re slipping into crankdom here.

  7. 7
    danny Said:
    2:25 pm 

    a terrorist is a terrorist, regardless where they set off there bombs. bill ayers is no different than timothy mcvay. mcvay just got caught. he did not have friends like senator obama to get him off. as far as gov. palin, she is a good woman with morals and a love for her country. the media cant find no dirt on her, so they attack her over buying some clothes. why did they not attack hillary when she took 18,000 dollars worth of clothes as a donation ( 3 pant suits, 6,000 dollars a piece.) at least saraha paid for hers…

  8. 8
    JP Said:
    2:28 pm 

    As said above….Palin was right. A “terrorist” is a political radical/revolutionary. An abortion bomber (and they are very, very rare) is a common, civil criminal.

    Devout muslims are unsuited to become true Americans (or Westerners in the broadest sense), for Islam is not only a religion but a very strong, totalitarian ideology as well.

    Therefore, reduce muslim immigration. Period.

  9. 9
    Wramblin' Wreck Said:
    2:28 pm 

    Rick,

    Thanks for reopening comments. It makes your site much more interesting to see people’s reactions to your comments.

    Personally, I do not know enough about Sarah Palin to have an opinion one way or the other on her potential performance as VPOTUS. But one thing I do see that leads me to believe that she could do a reasonable job is this: the reaction of the liberal main stream media and the uberliberal blogs to her candidacy.

    A touchstone I have used for many decades now is the reaction of the liberal mainstream media to a politician. The relative merits of a politician seems to be directly related to the dislike by the mainstream media. The uberliberal blogs (DailyKos and the Democratic Underground for example) just mirror and amplify this effect.

    Sarah Palin appears to be universally hated by the liberal media and their blog followers so there must be something very good about her. Enough so that I want to find out more about her and see if their invective is indeed true or if she is truly the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Were the media indifferent then most likely she is just another politician made in the mold of every other politician since the Roman Empire. But their attitude, their foam at the mouth comments and utter hatred are intriguing.

    Like I said, I do not know enough YET about Sarah Palin to have a reasoned opinion but the attitude of the media towards her leads me to support her for now and to give her my vote for VPOTUS.

    Wramblin’ Wreck

  10. 10
    Plato Said:
    2:41 pm 

    Hate to break your dance, but this whole ‘terrorism’ thing is modern PC-Hollywood bullshit. There is no exact definition of terrorism, and certainly terrorism doesn’t start and stop at bombings.

    There is no war against terror. There is a war against Islamists, just as there was no war against guerillas in Vietnam, but a war against Communists.

    Jihadis are enemies, Communist undergrounds were *enemies* - that’s what is important here. Abortion clinic bombers were criminals, but not enemies of our way of life.

    I applaud Sarah Palin who didn’t give in to bogus PC crap. She has what it takes - unlike phony conservatives such as this blog’s owner.

  11. 11
    c17wife Said:
    3:08 pm 

    You have officially gone off the deep end. As a RS reader that used to enjoy your stuff, this makes me sad. IMO, you are not better than Kathleen Parker at this point. Hope you enjoy the Barack years. You certainly deserve them.

  12. 12
    Nagarajan Sivakumar Said:
    3:13 pm 

    Rick,
    Thanks a lot for opening up the comments again. I do feel queasy about trying to weigh the moral equivalence of an abortion clinic bomber to that of a terrorist.

    Both of them try to send a political message, no matter what the cost in innocent lives. Both of them are convinced that they are doing the right thing for society in large.And of course both of them rely upon intimidation.

    My biggest bone with people like Brian Williams is how they never question the likes of Obama/Biden on the question of abortion - when exactly do these people think that life “begins”?

    Biden is on record saying that he thinks that life begins at conception - wouldnt abortion be murder then ? Has Brian Williams ever asked Biden about this ? Instead, he wants to see if he can sandbag Palin knowing fully well that she is a staunch pro-lifer.

    As far as Obama is concerned, it was “above his pay grade” and he does not “presume to know the answers” to “theological questions”!!! Hmm.. does he atleast know the biology if not the theology ??

    Rick,i have never seen any post from you vis-a-vis Biden/Obama’s stance on abortion and their moral cowardice.(in my opinion). Or did you post about it ?

    Thanks,
    NS

  13. 13
    Brad Said:
    3:35 pm 

    Thanks for letting us post again Rick. I’m skeptical about Palin’s long term chances if Mccain loses. She certainly wouldn’t be appointed to an Obama cabinet so her natinal/international inexperience would be largely unchanged in 2012.

  14. 14
    Chris Said:
    3:39 pm 

    You did not come out and say you no longer support McCain/Palin, but I don’t see how you possibly could still be planning to vote for them based on how you feel. McCain lacks judgment. Palin is a moral coward. She has wretched moral sense. She should be condemned.

    Okay, so are you just sitting it out, voting for Obama, or going third party? Inquiring minds want to know.

  15. 15
    Shelby Said:
    3:56 pm 

    Thank you for opening comments again!

    I have been noticing all of these negative polls coming out about Palin, and although I don’t believe in keeping my head in the sand if I discover conflicting information about my favorite candidate, I really find the results of that poll a little strange considering the huge rallies she has. I mean she regularly has rallies with 20,000 people. These negative polls are not a big surprise to me when I think about liberal’s reaction to her though. To put it mildly, LIBERAL WOMEN HATE HER. It started with her “insulting” pro-life views, and then after the “Palin shoots wolves from helicopters” ad it just turned into outright hatred, LOL. And you know, I am not a psychologist by any means, but I think liberal women’s hatred for her stems from the fact that they are used to hating Republicans and feeling like Republicans are a part of the whole mystical oppressive male society that is keeping them downtrodden and taking away their right to an abortion and sending them back to the kitchen. In other words, hating Republicans is a deep part of their identity. It literally tears them apart to have to admit that Republicans are not out to get women. But instead of dealing with this important revelation realistically, they choose to hate the source of the discomfort for any reason they can find. It’s like high school all over again.

    About the abortion clinic bombings comment: I missed that part of the interview, but it is disappointing to me if any Republican refuses to call those wackos that bomb abortion clinics terrorists. I think she should have said that abortion clinic bombers are definitely terrorists, and if McCain had associated with an unrepentant abortion clinic bomber it would have been reprehensible. A comment like that would have pointed out the double standard at play here. Lefties think a 60’s radical domestic terrorist is OK, but when it comes to abortion clinic bombers they suddenly rediscover their moral compass.

  16. 16
    Roy Mustang Said:
    4:09 pm 

    True cowardice is taking away comments from your blog. I’m glad to see you are no longer a coward.

  17. 17
    Larry Sheldon Said:
    4:17 pm 

    Maybe the lady is tired pf playing “gotcha”, because a linguistic strict constructionist might in fact say that the objective of the clinic bombers is not to instill terror in the populace (”terror” in my opinion having a connotation of instilled fear that the bomb might go off any place) but rather to destroy clinics and kill medical staff.

    I will grant that in a less hostile, more professional journalistic environment she might have just said “yes” and moved on.

    But none of that is the most important thing on her plate right now, and I frankly have to question the integrity of a “conservative that wants that to be the biggest issue in determining placement of support.

    If that is so important, vote for Obama. Teach us all a lesson.

    Or just vote “present”.

  18. 18
    Karen Schell Said:
    4:57 pm 

    The blogger is obviously quite easily pulled around by the nose by the crazed “Burn the Christian!” media lynch gang. If I were a Fuller brushseller, vacuum claener salesperson or just an “Avon lady”, I’d head for this blogger’s door right out of the gate. Such purely emotionally fed and driven political “reasoning” as offered up by the blogger here will always lead to feverished, unbalanced conclusions. Move over “Excitable Andy”, you’ve got competition!

    I’m sorry but there is no way you could qualify for one of those jobs.

    I hear they have an opening for Crash Dummy over at the DOT.

    ed.

  19. 19
    pbuck Said:
    5:07 pm 

    Rick, your explanation for Palin’s answer is ridiculous.

    Just try visualizing it: “Palin is pro-life, and she kept Tigg and encouraged her daughter to keep her unborn baby, but - uh oh! she called an abortion-clinic bomber a terrorist! I can’t vote for her now!”

    Infantilizing nonsense.

    The only bar that the avidly pro-life require is that their candidate also be pro-life. Their positions on abortion-clinic bombings are irrelevant.

    If Palin didn’t condemn abortion-clinic bombers strongly-enough, then you are welcome to further speculate to her reasons. Maybe she was trying to keep the interview focused on Ayers and Obama and not diffuse it onto terrorism, generally?

    Just don’t say that it is because she is afraid that the strongly pro-life might abandon her. You are apparently unfamiliar with the voting bloc you attempt to describe.

  20. 20
    hope Said:
    5:29 pm 

    Unfortunatley the one time Palin could have shown some real intelligence in responding to Brian Williams question she failed. Why? like a lot of people who are posting she doesn’t understand what a terrorist or terrorist group is? This what he was really getting at when he asked her the question da! Anyone who understands the definition would have been able to stop him dead in his tracks. But opps! she doesn’t understand the concept. Dang! what a missed opportunity by Palin to leave Brian Williams mouth hanging. That is a real problem with Palin her ignorance, and lack of knowledge. What is even worst she doesn’t have a thirst for knowledge. You can ask her the same question a week from now, and she wouldn’t know the answer. The press recognizes this and beats her over the head with it. It’s painful to watch.

  21. 21
    Larry Sheldon Said:
    5:58 pm 

    You go ahead and continue to advertizet that you think Palin is a coward.

    I don’t want to see it any more.

  22. 22
    cedarhill Said:
    6:10 pm 

    Until 911 and the subsequent enactment of the Patriot Act’s definition at 18 USC 2331 - see text at Cornell online http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002331—-000-.html

    I don’t recall ever encountering terrorist defined in any criminal codes I’m familiar with. There has been “terroristic threatening” in the Model Criminal Code many states use but no specific crime of “terrorism”. I haven’t checked Alaska law.

    Having said that, since Palin is running for a Federal office, it seems clear to me an abortion bomber and a jihadist are both defined under the Patriot Act as “terrorist” either as an “international terrorist” or a “domestic terrorist”. Rick is correct in that Palin should have known some details of the Patriot Act or as would be more probable, have been briefed by McCain’s campaign staff since McCain raised the Ayres issue.

    But, I would argue, Ayres is not necessarily a “domestic terrorist” since that would be a lesser included offense for violations of 18 USC 2381, 2382, 2383, and 2384 text with links at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_115.html

    Note the death penalty under the Patriot Act only applies if death results. Under 18 USC 2381 ffwd, the death penalty is available regardless of whether a homicide resulted.

    Still, I’d be a tad more generous and mark it as ignorance instead of willful deception. It’s not very likely a governor have read the Patriot Act nor would a state, Alaska statutes included, do not define terrorism as a crime (murder, manslaughter, etc., seem sufficient for them).

  23. 23
    Nes Said:
    6:14 pm 

    No politician is perfect, there isn’t one that I agree with 100% or even 90% of the time.

    Palin is interesting. She is energetic, practical, from humble beginnings and seems, repeat, seems to have good, common sense that leans to the conservative side. She is hardly “very conservative”, regardless of how the MSM portrays her. Hell, the MSM calls GW Bush “ultra conservative”, when he is only moderately conservative if at all.

    Palin is being ripped apart by the MSM because they want her damaged for 2012. She is perhaps being treated the most unfairly of any major American politician in recent years (decades really).

    But she’ll survive it. Unlike most reporters, broadcasters, “journalists”, pundits and web bloggers, she is a true FRONTIER WOMAN and that strikes fear in feminized men - of which many, many American men are these days. She can shoot, hunt, fish, drive a boat, fly an airplane and still look hot! LoL!

    She makes many liberal (and “soft” RINO men) squirm a bit and wonder about their own masculinity.

    Go Sarah Go!!

  24. 24
    Jeremy Said:
    6:17 pm 

    This site has an interesting poll which shows what voters really think of Sarah Palin.

    http://www.polldaily.com/polls/2008-10-p21-sarah-palin-qualifications.aspx

  25. 25
    freetofly Said:
    6:21 pm 

    Lots I could say here. I get your point. I see Palin very differently in this regard. I have been paying VERY close attn to her conduct and answers. And 2 things - 1) I don’t see other signs of “moral cowardice”, rather I have seen evidence to the contrary. 2) I have also seen that she hasn’t come so far by being slow on the uptake. She has learned to watch for the bear traps and not step into them. Williams was angling for a “sexy” soundbite - in the sense that they play it over and over, with all sorts of interesting voice overs…she shrewdly avoided the trap. IMHO she has shown herself to value justice AND life, and as part of that she DID recognize them as evil doers. WHO really CARES WHAT YOU CALL IT, AS LONG AS YOU CALL IT EVIL AND WRONG. When did we succomb (we of sound mind and independent thinking - thinking outside of MSM Nanny Sate propaganda)to PC talk? Say it ain’t so?!

    A 3rd thing is I believe (having done this myself as a person being interviewed for a very much desired promotion) that she had a bit of tunnel vision going on. In that she was so focused on Ayers issue - she was expecting to have to defend it, that her mind was really focused on that aspect. Keep in mind she is in the role of attasck dog on this campaign trail. She is having to go out and discuss this everyday on the trail in multiple sorts of venues. She has had the added task of not just bringing up the issue - but also to educate the people first THEN bring it up- BC the MSM has TRAINED everyone to think this is “negative campaigning” (more PC talk - from the Nanny State). I have heard her over and over preface her talks - with “It’s not negative campainging to talk about real issues, real actions”. I honestly think btwn that tunnel vision and wisely evading the “bear trap” of the highly coveted (by the MSM) sexy soundbite, she answered truthfully and with accuracy. There was no cowardice. She is not of that caliber, I can’t believe that you really think this is true of her.

  26. 26
    Michael Giles Said:
    6:32 pm 

    So. The IRA was a group of terrorists trying to force the British out of Northern Ireland. And the ETA are a group of terrorists trying to bring about Basque independence. And Hamas is a group of terrorists trying to bring about the destruction of the Israeli state. Even the IslamoFascists are trying to bring about the worldwide triumph of Islam - a political religion. All of these organizations, are involved in a political movement with a political agenda.

    What political change were the abortion clinic bombers attempting to bring about - in their own words - not in motives ascribed to them by the media.

    If they don’t have a political motive, then they are nothing more then pathological loners “acting out”. Who were the spokesmen for their “group”? What was in their “group’s” list of demands?

    Was the Unabomber a terrorist or simply a psychotic loner?

    I don’t think the term “terrorist” should be applied to every nut with a grudge, that comes down the pike.

  27. 27
    Alexandra Said:
    6:40 pm 

    Sorry to say, I agree with #11. Want to know about Sarah Palin? Read Victor David Hanson at NRO, in which he says this:
    I don’t know whether Sarah Palin would make a great vice president. But I did learn that by the standard of John Kerry’s pick of John Edwards, and now Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden, as running mates, she is wise and ethical beyond their measure

  28. 28
    Scott Said:
    6:42 pm 

    The fact that I think Sarah Palin still stumbles around interview questions a bit is the only thing I think you have in this weirdly timed bitter diatribe against Governor Palin.

    Only liberals, jihadis, and their apologists have ever tried to determine a “moral equivalence” between Islamic terrorism (which is a principle of Islam as practiced around the world) and the very rare insane Christian person who takes their hatred for abortion to the point of murdering people.

    This race is only close because of Sarah Palin. Spend countless hours quibbling about her shortcomings after the elections, ok? And have better arguments next time.

  29. 29
    Will T Said:
    6:58 pm 

    Rick, are you kidding me? You need to get a life, buddy. There are more important things going on in this campaign than parsing Sarah’s words about abortion clinic bombers. You’ve joined the Weld, Parker, Powell, Noonan and Frum Club for Obama. Thanks !! Say hello to 4 years of Barack !! Freedom of Choice Act, partial birth abortion and 2 more liberal Supreme Court Justices coming right up !! You used too much energy tearing down McCain/Palin and helped Obama get elected.

  30. 30
    Alaskan Said:
    7:20 pm 

    Sarah Palin is an honest real Alaskan, she has made a fine governor. I have not always agreed with her but she makes her decisions honestly and without malice. Her chief detractor in “Troopergate” is H. French a bottomfeeder.
    I thought Sarah was smarter than to expose herself too the vitriol that is prevalent in this election.
    nuff said.

  31. 31
    rational-thinking Said:
    8:35 pm 

    huh…..as a rural person stuck on dialup (DSL not available), I tend to avoid blogs because so many of them are so poorly designed (mega-bloat slooowww loading page).

    So I didn’t know “Rick Moran” from a hole in the ground. But over the past couple weeks I’ve been gritting my teeth and loading the blogs, as the only reasonably-accurate source of info in the world.

    Thus, I’ve come across an article here and there by a “Rick Moran”…..and each time, I’ve thought “what a fooking idiot….he’s an apologist…..not truly a conservative and not a libertarian either”.

    Today, via a link, I stumble across this page/post/blog and discover that this Moran person is considered to be some great ‘conservative’ blogger???

    pull-eeeze.

    I’m neither dem nor rep, nor religious. I’m an agnostic libertarian, and above all a propaganda-resistant rational thinker.

    And I don’t think Moran has any valid reason to call himself a ‘conservative’ blogger.

    As several have already noted, ‘terrorism’ is poorly defined, but it IS very widely considered to be something against a GOVERNMENT; not an attack on something like a clinic.

    The destruction of language is a KEY element in propaganda and manipulation of citizens. It’s pretty disgusting to see a so-called ‘conservative’ join in that nasty practice.

  32. 32
    alwyr Said:
    8:43 pm 

    Dante noted there “is a special place reserved in hell for those, who in the time of crisis, who will not make a decision.”

    So, which is it, f*k face….McCain/Palin or Obama??? PLEASE let us know.

  33. 33
    highcotton Said:
    9:03 pm 

    It really is hard to know where to begin when responding to such tortured reasoning. First, Williams asked Gov. Palin who else she would characterize as a terrorist in the same vein as Ayers. Before her response, he suggested some possibilities: a) abortion clinic bombers and b) Molotov cocktail-throwing political protestors. (Just as an aside, I felt this was a rare instance of a media rep being scrupulously fair. Those who sanction murder in the name of the pro-life cause are tiny in number, but they’re invariably right-wing lunatics. And whether we’re talking the ‘68 Dem convention in Chicago, the riots in Watts or whatever, mob violence has, for many decades, been solely confined to the radical left. So the interviewer made no attempt to stack the deck.)

    Secondly, it is true that she did not specifically condemn Eric Rudolph and his fellow-travelers in her response. You failed to note, though, that she also did not go off on some diatribe about attacks on senior citizens by protestors at the Republican convention in Minneapolis. You did, however, thoughtfully provide the money quote (which you were obviously unable to comprehend): “I would put in that category of Bill Ayers anyone else who would…seek to destroy innocent Americans.” Rather than opting for specifically repeating a) or b), she chose to give a much more inclusive answer: c) ALL OF THE ABOVE.

    Mr. Moran, although I sometimes disagree with you, you have always seemed to me to be intelligent, sincere and (dare I say it?) patriotic. Many of the columns you’re written for American Thinker have driven me to weird things like fist pumps. But now this. What’s with the strawman of quoting off-the-ledge anti-abortion freaks? What possible bearing do their ravings have to do with her? Are we supposed to ‘project’? To believe she secretly espouses their evil and destructive thoughts? Here’s what I find to be the most revealing sentence in your blog, btw: “She should be condemned for this by those on the right who claim moral ascendency over the rest of us due to their religious beliefs.” That’s the crux of your objection, isn’t it — her strong religious faith? Well, it’s a poor argument, Mr. Moran. Mike Huckabee does not understand the concept of separating church and state. All evidence indicates that Sarah Palin does. You need to chill. I’m not particularly religious myself, but I hate to think what America would be like without those who are!

    Of all the objectionable things about this post, by far the most offensive is the title. I’m a lot older than you. I do not claim to be wiser, but allow me to share a few of Life’s lessons that I’ve learned:

    ** Moral cowards do not willingly choose to give birth to Down Syndrome babies.

    ** Moral cowards do not usually raise sons who join the military.

    ** Moral cowards worry more about negative publicity and possible ethics
    hearings than protecting their 11-year-old nephew from abuse.

    ** Moral cowards do not face a rabid press corps day after day, deflecting
    lies and slander with smiles and honest answers — and the occasional wink.

    Sen. Obama is a disciple of at least 3 known Marxists, not to mention, the son of 2 others. Sen. Obama’s inner-circle of advisors is so anti-Semitic I’m damn glad I’m not a Jew. Sen. Obama is ACORN’s proudest pupil. Sen. Obama’s website has deactivated all security controls so that millions and millions of dollars could be contributed to his campaign illegally. Sen. Obama was the second-biggest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hush money. (But, of course, only because he had just been in the Senate 3 years, and the #1 guy had been there for 20.) Well, I could go on and on. But what I really want to know is how you (and Colin Powell, and Peggy Noonan, and Ken Adelman, and Kathryn Whatsherface) can DARE to question Sarah Palin’s integrity? Don’t you feel even the tiniest twinge of conscience???

    When confronted with a different viewpoint, most people say, “Wrong!” Only a journalist would have the (fake) balls to holler, “IMMORAL!”

  34. 34
    Karen Schell Said:
    9:10 pm 

    “Roy Mustang Said:
    4:09 pm
    True cowardice is taking away comments from your blog.”

    Indeed, Roy. In a previous comment, I pointed out the fact that this blogpost was entirely emotional-based, there’s just no there there. The blogger was easily spun by a PDS-driven media. No naughty words at all. But it was “disappeared”. I expect the same fear of critique will necessitate this comment be immediately deep-sixed as well, which should say something just as loudly about actual (not a perceived) “moral cowardice” in action.

    Why is it that only people who would stifle other viewpoints themselves accuse others of doing it?

    ed.

  35. 35
    Mike M Said:
    10:24 pm 

    Jeesh Rick. “Wretched moral sense” A little harsh don’t you think? Isn’t she the one for protecting the unborn. Is that a wretched moral sense? You are taking one paragraph during an interview with a member of the proven hostile press, and making a conclusion about her morality.

    Also, you believe that “a small but significant part of the conservative base” would be upset if Palin said that bombing abortion clinics was terrorism? Small? How about negligible part. As a number of other posters have suggested. The reason Palin didn’t want to draw this equivalency probably has more to do with her avoiding a trap. Not that she didn’t want to anger the ten people in the country who would be upset with her.

    You’re deluded if you think a significant part of the conservative/Republican movement condone the work of abortion clinic bombers. Do you have any statistics to back up this flawed thought? It says a lot about you that you think that a “significant” number of conservatives condone blowing up clinics/people.

    You don’t like her. We get it. But your arguments are weak. I really can’t be bothered explaining why we are so excited about Sarah Palin.

    I knew I couldn’t continue to read you when you wrote your article defending Noonan. You and Peggy are like Barack, you attack the somewhat flawed reality that is life and and glorify an as yet unseen example of perfection. All Obama says is we need change. No concrete examples of what he would do differently. Likewise, you and Peggy are sure that Sarah Palin is not the answer, but I don’t see any examples of someone better. Please, pick one Governor or Senator and explain why they are the ones we should pluck out of relative obscurity to save the conservative or Republican party. Peggy, George Will, National Review etc. were telling us how flawed each of our candidates was during the primaries. Great. Thanks a lot.

    I’m done reading them, and you.

  36. 36
    kazoolist Said:
    12:19 am 

    Re: “She is parsing the definition of terrorism so as not to offend that small, but vocal part of the conservative base who may not see clinic bombers as heroes, but refuse to place their actions in a a moral context that equates the tactics of the jihadis with the Eric Rudolphs of the world”

    I flat out reject the notion that any significant number of people would be upset if Gov. Palin had described abortion bombings as “terrorism.” I further submit that is any such group of people does exist, it is non-significant, not at all “vocal,” and distinctly NOT part of conservative “base.”

    Additionally, it strikes me that if such people existed, they’d object to Palin’s unequivocally denunciation of abortion bombing as “unacceptable” just as much to as if she had labeled it “terrorism”.

    And finally, yes, it is full of nuance and parsing, but it is not unreasonable to label things like what Ayers did “terrorism” while leaving abortion bombing outside that category.

    It is noteworthy that the Pentagon was bombed by both jihadists and the Weather Underground but not by abortion bombers. The aim of the jihadists and Ayers were to cause general fear (terror) and political upheaval. Not so with an abortion clinic bomber who primarily just wants the abortion clinic destroyed and is willing, regrettably, to take morally unacceptable actions to bring that about.

  37. 37
    Canadian who likes Palin Said:
    2:18 am 

    Rick you say, “Palin is unready to hold high office and won’t be, in my opinion, for perhaps a year”. And you also say you “prefer” not to be found “cheerleading for a man who would choose a woman as his running mate with such a wretched moral sense”. Perhaps you think her “wretched moral sense” will all be rectified in a year? Perhaps you don’t care if her “wretched moral sense” is ever rectified? Personally I think you currently have a “wretched moral sense” concerning Palin but perhaps that “wretched moral sense” can be cleared up and maybe you will be ready in a year.

    I also think that in view of what could be written about the “Moral Cowardice” of John McCain, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden and the “Moral Cowardice” you actually chose to write about, then your article would have been more aptly titled: THE MORAL COWARDICE OF RICK MORAN.

  38. 38
    Cecil Hill Said:
    5:04 am 

    Moral cowardice is when a pro-abortionist refuses to acknowledge that the child being murdered is a human being and thus is being provided with the ultimate in human rights violation. The choice is simple: human or not human. Never met a pro-abortionist who would go down this path. If human, then the ultimate child abuse. If not human, then what? The baby has to be something: a pig, an acorn or a human. No other choices available. Moral cowardice, you say. Me thinks you have a problem in understanding what that means.

    I am not justifying an abortion clinic bombing but I would not call it a terrorist act which is defined as solely political. July 20, 1944 Hitler assassination attempt at the Wolf’s Lair. Political or trying to stop the killing? Moral equivalence? Terrorist attack? Not quite as cut and dried as you have convinced yourself, is it? If you believe that Hitler was good, it was a terrorist attack. If you thought Hitler was evil, then . . . But, wait, we all know that Hitler was evil. In my mind, abortion brings on the same feelings. Just think, we have denied human rights to over 50 million fellow humans. That makes us third in the all time rights abusers in human history behind Stalin at 55 million and Mao at 70 million. But then, they had it figured out that their victims were really not human either. Moral cowardice, you say?

  39. 39
    Cecil Hill Said:
    5:14 am 

    And furthering the issue of “conservatives” voting for an Obama presidency, I live in China and will continue to do so for at least the next four years. For those “conservatives” who think that Obama will not be as bad for America as indicated by your own conservative core values, enjoy your regime. China has been turning away from socialism now for nearly three decades. But then, they tried socialism and it was a disaster. Chinese seem to me to be a lot more pragmatic than Americans these days.

  40. 40
    Palin: Abortion Clinic Bombers Aren’t Really Terrorist : Gay News from Gay Agenda - GayAgenda.com Pinged With:
    6:14 am 

    [...] 26, 2008 by James Hipps  From Right Wing Nut House: Sarah Palin is refusing to call people who would bomb abortion clinics terrorists. Yes, she [...]

  41. 41
    Why I'm (Grudgingly) Supporting Obama Pinged With:
    9:11 am 

    [...] are terrrorists, bring the stinging rebuke of conservative blogger Rick Moran of being a “moral coward.” McCain just didn’t do proper vetting of Palin and will end up costing him the White [...]

  42. 42
    Lawrence Miller Said:
    9:11 am 

    I enjoy reading your column, Rick, but I think you have lost your way this time. First, you say categorically, “Palin is unready to hold high office and won’t be, in my opinion, for perhaps a year.” What is so magic about a year’s time? Nothing that I can see. She is as ready now as is necessary. She has exhibited good common sense and is an accomplished woman. Her instincts are good as is her judgment. What more is necessary? Nothing. If Joe Biden is the standard, I’ll bet Sara Palin knows that J-O-B-S is a four letter word, not a three letter word. And I’ll wager she knows that FDR wasn’t president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that he never went on TV to calm the people. It’s Joe Biden who needs another year–or two–or three.

    Rick, you are over the top calling Sarah Palin a moral coward. Strong words indeed. Whether abortion clinic bombers are murders or terrorists is debatable; it’s not a black and white response. Abortion clinic bombers could be both murders or terrorists or they could be described as either. Why is calling them murderers moral cowardice? I think you’ve gone over the top on this one.

    Larry M.

  43. 43
    Smarty Said:
    9:26 am 

    Wow rick,

    must be getting hard to walk around your mom’s basement with all these boots broke off in your a$$.

  44. 44
    shaun Said:
    11:32 am 

    Bravo, Rick, bravo.

    The feeble parsing of Mattie, Plato and some other commenters is precisely why the conservative Republican brand has become so ethically and morally corrupt.

  45. 45
    Brad Said:
    11:43 am 

    The more comments I read from the critics of moderates the more I think maybe - just maybe - I should vote for Obama. If for nothing else to see the GOP form its last circular firing squad amongst its base and implodes.
    Only conservatives belong in the party - even the great Rush says so. Fine maybe I’ll just move on over to the Democratic party after 30 years of supporting mostly GOP candidates.
    The holy base acts treats moderates like the ugly cheerleader — until election night lots of sweet talk and encouragement. Once the deed is done her number gets blocked…If enough moderates did so the blue dog dems would be a force to reckon with for the extremes of both parties.

  46. 46
    Robin Said:
    11:55 am 

    “China tried socialism”? How utterly moronic. What China tried was an insane Asian personality cult and tyranny.

    Adding three points to the highest tax bracket is “socialism”? You are an idiot whose thought processes are limited to wingnut talking points.

  47. 47
    ajacksonian Said:
    12:57 pm 

    Well, it is interesting that Brian Williams couldn’t define terrorism, either.

    It was an utter sand-bag question so that no matter how you answered, you could be sniped at: it was ‘gotchya journalism’ because Brian Williams had no idea what terrorism is, either. But then, most people can’t. It is very strange that neither those on the Left nor the Right have ever bothered to determine just what terrorism is and what its actual definition is… so you can get the sand-bag question of trying to see if there is a difference between domestic and international terrorism. If you believe there *is* then *you* are trying to dilute the meaning of the word… there isn’t, it is defined by the activity taken.

    If Gov. Palin gets it wrong, then so does nearly everyone in CONGRESS and the MEDIA.

    That is in case you haven’t noticed, both sides are trying to water down its meaning so they can excuse barbaric activity on ‘their side’. Unfortunately that puts that side against civilization, and I have deep problems with those looking to excuse it no matter *what* the motivations are. It is the act that is uncivilized, and NO motivation can justify it EVER. I apply that to Rudolph and Ayers and Mugniyah and al-Kassar and actually to a largish number of the Red Mafia… and all of those have had or still have operatives in the US.

    So, if you can hit Gov. Palin on that, you had better be prepared to also tag anyone else who cannot give a clear and succinct answer to the question: what is terrorism?

    And then notice the excuses that come up from various people you ask.

    Am I worried about the few idiots acting in a savage manner at abortion clinics? Yup.

    How about a ring of agents sending millions per year back to an organization that has killed hundreds of US soldiers that they got through activities in the US? Oh yes, very much so do I have worries and problems with that.

    Which is a potent threat to our culture and civilization? I have priorities there, yessiree, bob! And if I had to make law enforcement funding decisions, I know exactly which sort of thing would go higher up the list, no two questions about it. Because the threats are unequal.

    But we treat them equally and don’t go after either well at all… shame that. That is ‘moral equivalence’ blinding you to a really nasty threat.

  48. 48
    G B King Said:
    1:11 pm 

    My twisted opinion: In a perfect world, Ted Stevens would resign or retire and Sarah Palin would appoint herself to his Senate seat. She would certainly be no worse than the other 99 in that august body. It would get her the OJT she appears to be so much in need of. And heck, it (sort of) worked for Hilary, didn’t it?

  49. 49
    funny man Said:
    1:12 pm 

    Why do people in this blog always bring up the ‘left’ in what is a moral argument. Ok, so the left is hypocritical, big deal. That still doesn’t make bombing of places that are run according to the laws of the United States any better. And then you have people like “rational-thinking” who claims to have the ultimate authority who a conservative is and who isn’t. Well, I got news for you: Rick Moran is a conservative! BTW, who appointed you to preside over this court.
    I respect conservatives who believe Sarah Palin is a good choice but likewise I expect people to respect my decision not to support her for a number of reasons. That does not make me a bad conservative, that’s just my right as a free citizen.

  50. 50
    Nes Said:
    3:26 pm 

    It is not socialism to raise tax rates a few percentage points, HOWEVER, if you actually mouth the words that you “want to spread the wealth around” that is a GIANT red flag to those who have some knowledge of political/economic ideologies.

    “Spreading the wealth around” smacks of socialist philosophy. Basically, the belief that the “experts” in government know best and they will decide if you make too much money or have too many things and re-allocate it to their preferred constituents, i.e., the particular class of dependents which they claim to represent. In B. Hussein’s case, inner city blacks, radical professors, academics, radical muslims and assorted fellow travelers.

    Generally speaking, it’s better to reduce taxes DRASTICALLY in a time of economic recession in order to stimulate economic activity and thus job growth, capital growth, etc.

  51. 51
    Indigo Red Said:
    4:24 pm 

    It’s probably the height of hubris to say I know what terrorism is and it’s not at all difficult to understand. Terrorism the philosophy and act of instilling intense, overpowering fear which is called terror.

    Terrorism does need to involve murder or violence of any kind. The practioner of fear need only know what the target group is afraid of and promise delivery. If the promise isn’t enough, then escalate to the actual from the virtual.

    The purpose of terrorism is to make folks so afraid they will change their behavior if only to avoid the percieved feared thing or idea. If abortion clinics are bombed night and day, them I’m afarid to go to abortion clinics at any time, and abortion clinics shut down. If financial centers are bombed, then I’m afarid to use financial institutions.

    That’s the elementary theory. It just doesn’t work in the long run. There has never been a successful terror campaign nor a successful anti-terror campaign. Periods of terrorism have come and gone. And that’s precisely what happens - terrorism just goes away, no winners, no losers, just destroyed property and destroyed lives.

    “It was terrorism yesterday, it is terrorism today, and it will be terrorism tomorrow.” With this statement, I’m in agreement with Rick. Redefining attempts to instill intense, overpoweing fear is always terrorism no matter who does it. And the action is always wrong. It’s just that sometimes, it is right to do the wrong thing. I am in inveterate supporter of the American Revolution, but when I look seriously at the reasons for revolution, I find them rather flimsy and downright idiotic. But, revolution (the wrong thing) was the right choice.

    Terrorism is always a choice. The terrorist should also be prepared to be terrified in return with the threat of death, capture, prosecution, and any form of public humiliation the establishment deems appropriate.

  52. 52
    Cecil Hill Said:
    5:58 pm 

    I love it when the so-called intellectuals call people names:

    “Adding three points to the highest tax bracket is “socialism”? You are an idiot whose thought processes are limited to wingnut talking points.”

    The Chinese under Mao was a socialist experiment. Who owned the means of production? Certainly not the Chinese individuals as is now happening. Seems you are rationalizing that the Chinese experience was not socialism.

    And speaking of “What China tried was an insane Asian personality cult and tyranny.” Do you see any correlations in this and your friend Obama (if, indeed, he is your friend)? Aak a member of the “cult of Obama” a well-thought out question or a serious question and see what happens. Been doing that for the last two years and I always get STONE COLD SILENCE.

    Been to China lately or are you just calling people names because your inability to provide reasoned discussion? Don’t worry, I will not call you a name.

  53. 53
    Bagley Said:
    7:37 pm 

    “…and her negatives are so high now she has become a huge drag on the campaign…”

    Source, please. (And, no, fevered imaginings do not count.)

  54. 54
    Tippecanoe Said:
    10:12 pm 

    I used to read your blog more than I do now. And this article is one reason. One has to sift out that which is irrelevant and unimportant. With the abortion bombers (domestic), well we can’t even find one now. It is just simply a total non-issue. How then can you compare that to perhaps 10% of 1.5 billion Muslims that are radical terrorists in waiting? You cannot. There is just simply no comparison and any attempt is just something that does not matter in this very real world.
    I think Palin is just fine. Moreover, she is ordinary folk using common sense. That alone beats any politician out there. That alone is what we need. With a good base you can learn what little you need along the way. Without a good base, you are a lost cause.
    She has the good base, conservative values and common sense.

  55. 55
    Robert Said:
    11:03 pm 

    williams was just trying to change the subject off of Ayres and Palin wasn’t going to let him. She continued to get her point out about Bill Ayers being associated with Obama and being a terrorist. Good for her. She knows more than you about how the press works.

  56. 56
    michael reynolds Said:
    3:52 am 

    Rick:
    If you keep these comments open sooner or later your head’s going to explode. There are two possible scenarios: 1) Cantaloupe with a firecracker inside. 2) Daffy Duck. If the latter, you’ll be okay, though singed and temporarily denuded of feathers.

  57. 57
    the Fly-Man Said:
    5:07 am 

    It was really simple folks, McCain pawned all of his Maverick credentials to ironically appease the part of the base he thought would complete the deal for him. Unfortunately the people he alienated during this surrender apparently have standards too, and just a wee bit more clout in the party. For all you anti-abortion folks out there let me ask you a few questions: Don’t you all feel like complete stooges? Really, W, Bill Frist and Tom Delay were all in charge of Congress for 6 years and all you got for your loyal votes was the Teri Shivo act? You have been played again and reminded how radical and insignificant your power really is. Get your own party won’t you please? You all stomp your feet and demand equal treatment like kindergartners.

  58. 58
    the Fly-Man Said:
    5:09 am 

    Oh, thanks Rick for opening up the comments. Mike Pence 20012!I said it here first.

  59. 59
    flyerhawk Said:
    10:04 am 

    Geez. And you guys wonder why Rick turned off comments. Some of you have no respect for this site.

    As for the diary entry, I don’t think it was moral cowardice. I believe this is another example of Sarah Palin simply being in over her head. She didn’t know the appropriate answer/non-answer to this question. In retrospect I suspect she could answer the question easily. But when the question was asked she locked up and gave a hodgepodge answer.

    Had the McCain campaign thought things through they would have been prepping her all summer. She still would have been behind the curve but at least she could have come out a little more prepared.

    To be clear, I am not speaking about her intelligence or competence. I am referring solely to her readiness to face the brightest political spotlight on the planet. In 4 years, she may be ready but she isn’t right now.

    What the Republicans SHOULD have done is have her do the Obama track. Give her the keynote speech and then start to cultivate for 2012. She would have been a formidible force. The question now, is whether she has damaged her brand too much.

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