As much as I enjoy pissing matches among commentators Left and Right, parsing Sarah Palin’s usage of “blood libel” seems to me particularly foolish in our post-literate circumstances.
I think it most likely Governor Palin repeated a phrase that sounded good. Glenn Reynolds [and perhaps others] had used the two-word phrase. The phrase was therefore in play among people who would never look it up at wikipedia, let alone research the term thoroughly. The chance that Gov. Palin knew what she was saying I judge to be remote.
That should lead pundits and opinion-shapers to remind us all that Gov. Palin seems to lack competent staffers. A vice-presidential nominee for a major political party appears to have no one who speaks American English or understands the denotations or connotations of words that gush from Gov. Palin.
This woman needs political help! Gov. Palin needs other assistance as well, but she needs intellectual and linguistic assistance around the clock.
Who monitors Gov. Palin’s transmissions and transgressions? Who censors Gov. Palin’s gibberish?
Or should we be very afraid that Gov. Palin’s remarks were vetted? Even if Gov. Palin did not mean what she uploaded, perhaps someone around her did?
Whatever is the case, Gov. Palin represents the majority: the mindless, the ignorant, the unlettered, and the unreflective mass of our fellow citizens.
A republic if we can keep it, Dr. Franklin?