Barak Obama, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh…A Compare/Contrast

It’s true that in the first days after a Democratic Congresswoman was shot in benighted Arizona, some jumped to the conclusion that the shooter had to have been connected with the Tea Party. Now it’s become apparent that the shooter was mentally instable. Of course, these two things are not mutually exclusive, but that’s not the point. The point is this: regardless of whether this deranged dude even believed in any particular coherent political philosophy or agenda, American citizens and politicians have been sufficiently uncomfortable enough to begin a discussion on a return to civil discourse. Not Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin of course.

While even Peggy Noonan said of President Barack Obama’s Tucson address, “The speech had a proper height. It was large-spirited and dealt with big things. It was adroit and without rancor. The president didn’t mourn, he inspirited.”, Palin and Limbaugh have spent their time since the shooting not in reflection but in rejection of the notion that their rhetoric could even be considered inflammatory. Here are examples of all three both after and before the tragedy:

Obama: “Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

Limbaugh: “They’re shutting down any opposition and criminalizing it. They’ve had a plan filed away in a drawer to take away as many of our political freedoms as they can.”

Obama: “As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility.”

Limbaugh: “This is not 1988, or 1993, when the drive-by media had total control. I am not going to be silenced…”

Palin: “If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a ‘blood libel’ that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

Obama: “And I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.”

Limbaugh: “they (Liberals and Democrats) think it (the Tucson shooting) advances their sick and perverted purposes.”

Palin: “And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.”

Limbaugh: “There is no evidence that he saw Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. No evidence he saw her lame website with the crosshairs.”

Obama: “If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate — as it should — let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point-scoring and pettiness that drifts away in the next news cycle.”

Limbaugh: “Sad tragedies, where people die, are seen first as political opportunities by these people…”

Obama: They (the victims) believed — they believed, and I believe that we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved life here — they help me believe.”

Palin: “Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere.”

Limbaugh: “They’re accusing a majority of Americans of being accomplices to murder.”

Obama: “We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that’s entirely up to us.”

Limbaugh: What’s wrong with saying I want the president to fail?”

Palin: “Don’t Retreat…Reload!”