Palin Spokespeople: Those Are Surveyor Symbols; Palin: Remember Those Bullseyes?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Palin

Yesterday they said this…

“We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” [Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour] said.

“It’s surveyor’s symbols,” the interviewer Tammy Bruce suggested. [...]

Mansour agreed. She said that the graphic was contracted out to a professional. They approved it quickly without thinking about it. “We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent,” she said. Rather, she said, that it was simply “crosshairs that you would see on a map.”

There is “nothing irresponsible about our graphic,” she said.

In November…Palin said this…



So…what’s going on here? Was Palin simply misinformed? Or are her spokespeople playing fast and loose with the truth? Either way, I think it’s pretty obvious that this type of rhetoric has no place in our national discourse.

And to that point…one of the aims of this blog has been to try and stop the bomb throwing rhetoric. This is a moment in time when we can point towards some particularly stupid messaging on her part and say, “Please stop.”

On this I hope we can agree.


This entry was posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2011 and is filed under Palin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

27 Responses to “Palin Spokespeople: Those Are Surveyor Symbols; Palin: Remember Those Bullseyes?”

  1. Terry Says:

    This is such a re-write on the truth it’s amazing, but not shocking coming from the Palin group.

    Remember, 24 hrs after this bullseye graphic was used, Palin tweeted her infamous ‘don’t retreat RELOAD’

    And is her group now trying to hide behind ignorance, like the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing? SERIOUSLY?

    Pathetic, but then again we have seen so many pathetic and ridiculous statements from Palin we are just numb to her. As we are to Limbaugh. But I tell you, even if there is no direct connection, there is blood on their hands. They have specifically created a calculated environment for this type of violence. Bachmann as well. And lest we forget Hannity, Beck and a long list of others. Well, you get what you ‘pay’ for. In this case, you get what rhetoric you buy into…

  2. mol Says:

    One is reminded of the claim that her “refudiate” was a typo, despite that she also said it live.

    The “survey symbol” around the net is just taken from the Palin map itself.

    You can do a google image search of “crosshairs” and find hundreds like this

    http://s2.macupdate.com/util/iconlg/11396.png

    Any honest person associates this symbol with crosshairs.

    Now they are putting up a Democrat map with dart-style bullseyes as equivalent (or worse!). To understand why a bullseye (which the Democrats used) is obviously not as violent as GUN crosshairs (which she used): Her first attempt to spin it as harmless attempted to claim that she “only” used the allegedly offensive Democrat symbol — she said they were “Bullseye Icons” , as explained above.

  3. kranky kritter Says:

    I would say that what’s going on in this particular case is that some folks are doing their level best to sanctimoniously lose their minds about a graphic symbol.

    And my negative opinion of Sara Palin is well established here.

  4. Agnostick Says:

    “A well-drawn map, necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear surveying equipment shall not be infringed.”

  5. michael mcEachran Says:

    KK – It is not just the symbol that is important, but the context in which it was used. I think you are being disingenuous here. This symbol was used at the same time that nutcases like Sharon Angle were touting “2nd amendment solutions”, and when astro-turfers were shouting down members of congress at town hall meetings. The coding here was unmistakable – intimidate the people who are trying to “take your country away from you”. Sarah Palin was consciously stoking that sentiment and tyring to use intimidating symbolism.

  6. blackout Says:

    @MM “This symbol was used at the same time that nutcases like Sharon Angle were touting “2nd amendment solutions”

    Exactly. Not to mention the gun-toting at rallies and town halls. No one’s saying that this is mainstream politics; it’s the fringes that are worrisome, and whether or not Loughner was tied to any ideology is beside the point. Anyone who’s been paying attention has seen the rhetoric on all sides escalate, and was witness to volcanic eruptions of anger at HCR town halls and various rallies. It’s not inconceivable that the intemperate climate in which we find ourselves, a good part of which is the responsibility of Angle, Palin and others, encourages and enables the unbalanced.

    Read James Fallows’ take on “assassination”, and how various incidents are marked by either their seeming divergence from the political disputes of their day or their clear motivation by them. I don’t think that anyone can argue that we are in anything but a time of extreme contentiousness in our political conversation, and I think it takes some doing to completely divorce an attack on a politician from that contentiousness.

  7. Tillyosu Says:

    It is not just the symbol that is important, but the context in which it was used.

    Exactly! And Palin released that map in the CONTEXT of a political campaign, identifying candidates to be defeated in an ELECTION. Any SANE person would recognize that.

    But that’s not the point. The point is that there isn’t a single shred of evidence – not one – that Loughner was motivated in any way by Palin, her map, or Sharon Angle or town hall protesters for that matter. And in fact, there is ample evidence to the contrary.

  8. Chris Says:

    http://obamalondon.blogspot.com/2011/01/inexplicable-edits-on-sarah-palins.html

    Interesting observation by a blogger on how well Palin has her FB comments editied – until this comes up:
    “It’s ok. Christina Taylor Green was probably going to end up a left wing bleeding heart liberal anyway. Hey, as ‘they’ say, what would you do if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a kid? Exactly.”

    Funny enough that comment wasn’t removed by Palins team of expert PR morons. Lets take a leap and say the insane shooter wasn’t influenced by any right wing hysteria, it doesn’t change the fact that the extreme right wing is becoming more and more militant and uses violence invoking imagery as a tool to get the idiots that vote for them worked up.

  9. michael mcEachran Says:

    @ Tillyosu: “Any SANE person would recognize that.”

    EXACTLY! It’s the insane people that we have to worry about, T.

  10. Simon Says:

    blackout Says:

    No one’s saying that this is mainstream politics; it’s the fringes that are worrisome,

    Everyone will agree with that, on its face, but the problem is that you and your compatriots on the left appear to believe that the mainstream is bounded by Alan Grayson on the right and Jesse Jackson on the left. My observation has been that most people, no matter how wide or narrow they believe the mainstream of politics is, believe that they themselves sit smack dab in the middle. I’m not a tea party guy, but if you think the tea parties represent the fringe, you are wrong.

    whether or not Loughner was tied to any ideology is beside the point.

    No, it is central to the point. The claim that “violent” rhetoric has begotten violence is meaningless (indeed, one could even say disproven) unless you have an act of violence motivated by the rhetoric. If Loughner was not tied to any group that uses such rhetoric, nothing has changed since 10am Saturday. Well, nothing, that is, except another example of the venal, cynical, opportunism of the hard left and their vassals.

    By the way: for a veritable gallery of civil politiking, google “Alan Grayson quotes.” What a nice man!

  11. Chris Says:

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/bill-moyers-journal-rage-radio
    GLENN BECK: “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out of him. Is this wrong?”

    Yum.

  12. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “you and your compatriots on the left”

    I’m not a liberal in any way, shape or form. You’re the ideologue, Simon, not me. Of course, at this point I’m familiar with the conservative’s confusion of anyone who disagrees with him, or who points out his bias, as “liberal”. IMO you’ve allowed the Right-Left polemic to so damage your opinions as to render them useless. I do read your posts with the abiding hope of being pleasantly surprised.

  13. blackout Says:

    “Alan Grayson”

    Try polling ten people on the street and asking them if they know who Grayson is. Then ask them if they know who Sarah Palin is. I put Grayson in much the same category as Angle, except he’s slightly worse because he actually achieved office.

  14. blackout Says:

    “The claim that “violent” rhetoric has begotten violence is meaningless (indeed, one could even say disproven) unless you have an act of violence motivated by the rhetoric.”

    I can only imagine how explicit and ironclad the connection between rhetoric and action would have to be before you’d be satisfied. I assume you’re willing to concede that violent rhetoric has led to violent actions somewhere in the annals of human history. lol

  15. Simon Says:

    blackout Says:

    I’m not a liberal in any way, shape or form. You’re the ideologue, Simon, not me.

    Feel free to explain a few areas where you depart from left orthodoxy. Soi-disant independents can sometimes be the worst, because they lack the self-awareness and humility to admit that they aren’t a precious little snowflake and that their views a re cloyingly ordinary. By contrast, I can defend myself from charges of being an ideologue: I’m against the death penalty, I was against abolishing the filibuster when we were running the Senate (a position that was certainly not popular in conservative circles at the time, I can tell you), I’ve supported CPB funding (and spanked the right for an even dumber budget meme), warned about the limits of the tea party’s tenth amendment arguments, defended the Obama administration over the “BP shakedown,” I castigated the conservative response to “deem and pass,” supported DADT repeal—I even criticized Keith Olberman’s suspension. And that’s just the few that jump immediately to mind. There are plenty more. See, one of the things about being a blogger is that you’re on the record, and you accrete a record with which to falsify or prove charges like “you’re just an ideologue.” No one has to take my word for it; the record is there. Unlike the pretend independents of the left, my ego isn’t bound up in faux heterodoxism. So I call your bluff. I’m not an ideologue and I can prove it. I’m willing to bet you can’t prove that you aren’t.

    blackout Says:

    I can only imagine how explicit and ironclad the connection between rhetoric and action would have to be before you’d be satisfied.

    The connection would have to be rational, as a threshold condition. It is ridiculous to claim that rhetoric by a politician can inspire implementative action by someone who isn’t a supporter of a politician. Of course, a politician’s rhetoric can incite people who oppose them to act contrary to the message, but no Obama speech ever inspired a McCain supporter, for instance, to go out and knock on doors for Obama.

  16. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “It is ridiculous to claim that rhetoric by a politician can inspire implementative action by someone who isn’t a supporter of a politician.”

    Hmmm, lots of problems with that formulation. You assume that the rhetoric issues only from politicians, that this is about specific direction to act rather than about contribution to a general escalation in and degradation of tone, that actors are rational, we could go on.

    As for my politics, I’m not surprised that you’d mistake a list of policy positions as the arbiter of where one falls on the spectrum. And I regret to inform you that nothing you’ve listed above ameliorates the numbing predictability of your reactions in general. Perhaps I could enumerate all the Republicans and Libertarians for whom I’ve voted to demonstrate my indifference to the Left. What a surprisingly pedestrian mentality. lol

    No, my issue with conservatives is less policy and more philosophy. I come from a family with a proud tradition of conservatism and GOP support, and my disappointment with what your party has done to itself can’t possibly compare to theirs. Regardless, I rejected the GOP long ago as it became apparent to me that what was professed as a passion for conservation was in fact fear masquerading as such. And for all the talk of values, the GOP has too easily opted for expedience at their expense in my 40 years. I view liberals as generically hopeless; while I can appreciate the kernel of relativism in their ideology I believe they’re incapable of committing to its implications, and I reject the urge to legislate and regulate humanity into perfection. OTOH, I find the GOP’s indulgence and exploitation of its most extreme and venal elements, and the hypocrisy of their actions under the banner of ‘values’, ‘principles’ and ‘real America’ to be beneath contempt. I have no qualms about which group represents the greater failure of spirit and purpose in my world view.

    I hope that answers your question.

  17. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “the pretend independents of the left”

    LMFAO. You really have disappeared up your own ass.

  18. Simon Says:

    Blackout, as to the pretend independents of the left: every pretend independent I’ve ever encountered is a Democrat with Precious Snowflake Syndrome. Most Republicans just aren’t needy enough to feel the need to put on some show about how they think for themselves. They just do it. Nor am I surprised that you tacitly concede (by failure to refute) that your pretense at deviating from Democratic orthodoxy on any point is just that. Your claim that I’m an ideologue is thus reduced to name-calling and projection.

    Moving briefly through your specific points:

    Hmmm, lots of problems with that formulation.

    Well, perhaps as a general proposition it could use some craftsmanship, but that honing can await another day. As it is, it’s certainly sufficient to refute your position. You claim a connection between Loughner and the rhetorical bidding of a politician with whom he has no identification; that is quite obviously false, to the point of ridiculous.

    I regret to inform you that nothing you’ve listed above ameliorates the numbing predictability of your reactions in general.

    I’d say it does, and I think most rational people would think so. I also suspect that “predictabile” is the half of the tag team you use when his buddy “inconsistent” can’t come out and play. I’m not fooled by games like that, and neither is anyone else. It’s a convenient rhetorical strategy, but it’s watery gruel.

    Perhaps I could enumerate all the Republicans and Libertarians for whom I’ve voted to demonstrate my indifference to the Left.

    Without evidence, you’re left with the goodwill you’ve built up in insulting me and accusing me and my party of being complicit in Saturday’s rampage: while I can prove my position, you ask us to simply take your word for it. On trust. That’s not going to fly.

    No, my issue with conservatives is less policy and more philosophy.

    Policy flows from philosophy. You might as well say “my issue with the chrystler building is less the facade and more the foundation.”

    Regardless, I rejected the GOP long ago

    Doubtless.

    it became apparent to me that what was professed as a passion for conservation was in fact fear masquerading as such.

    Wah wah wah. That’s it? That’s seriously your conscious understanding of the reason you left? Good grief! If you were a kid when you left, I could understand such adolescent pseudo-reasoning, but one truly expects rational adults to reevaluate such jejune nonsense.

    I have no qualms about which group represents the greater failure of spirit and purpose in my world view.

    Nor do I. I see one party hell-bent on fundamentally changing this country for the worse, on utterly uprooting us from our history and traditions, a party of arrogance and Oakeshott’s rationalism personified, and the other one doing an imperfect job of trying to preserve it. It is not a difficult call in the slightest.

  19. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “Most Republicans can’t think for themselves.”

    Fixed. And nothing you’ve posted “proves your position”. Breaking with your party on Public Broadcastinfg funding and DADT repeal? Wow! No ideologues here! As I said, a pedestrian mentality. I’m not surprised that my refusal to honor your pathetically reductive terms of debate — feel free to be the sum of your policy positions; it’s your funeral — frustrates you. Like most ideologues you’re the victim of your own unacknowledged fears, control issues and epistemic hubris. Admittedly, the necessarily attendant state of denial never ceases to fascinate.

  20. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “Policy flows from philosophy.”

    Well I see where a good chunk of the problem lies. Too much cognitive dissonance between purported philosophy and it’s compromise by actual policy for anyone on the ideological spectrum to make that claim. FWIW, my issues with all manner of ideology stem from the same disconnect, and there’s nothing I’m saying to you that I haven’t said to many a liberal, or TPM, or my communist ex-wife. lol

    I am amused that you believe that your record of “dissent” begins to meet the standards of objective detachment and assessment. You’ll have to do considerably better than that if anyone’s going to believe you’re objectively critical of your party. I stuck up for Keith Olbermann! I mean, you have to see that that’s laughable. Please say yes…

    “You claim a connection between Loughner and the rhetorical bidding of a politician with whom he has no identification”

    Can’t let this pass. Clearly false. I’ve actually stated explicitly that I see no direct connection between the rhetoric I’ve cited and his actions. Ideologues do often read/hear what they desire to argue against. If you don’t understand my arguments just ask. Disagreement is fine, it’s the mischaracterization that’s an issue.

  21. Simon Says:

    blackout Says:

    nothing you’ve posted “proves your position”.

    As noted above, I’d say it does, and I think most rational people would agree. I can see how you’d miss it if (as it appears) you think that one’s political core exists in some pristine detachment from its practical manifestations. Your position boils down to the claim that it’s no kind of heterodoxy to hold positions contrary to orthodoxy—hardly durable or credible.

    One occasionally meets self-described catholics who barely believe in God, don’t attend Mass, have no regard for the magisterium, who live and act for all intents and purposes like an atheist, and you wonder, “gee, how can this person call themselves a catholic?” And the answer is that their parents were, and they think that it’s a cultural label they can use. Well, we don’t have to get into that, that’s a whole other thing, but the point is that politics is just the same. There’s a lot of people who believe that they can just apply a label to themselves and they’re a ___, no matter that their actual political views have nothing to do with it. Typically they’re an “independent” because despite a political record indistinct from any other Democrat, they’re an independent thinker and one voted Republican when their pal Steve ran for County Surveyor on the GOP ticket. (This of course leaves your accusation that I’m “in denial” looking even more of a screech.)

    As I said, a pedestrian mentality.

    Said Jared Loughner of Gabrielle Giffords when she failed to correctly answer what befalls government if words have no meaning because the government controls grammar.

    I’m not surprised that my refusal to honor your pathetically reductive terms of debate … frustrates you.

    Actually, it delights me; if you’re going to throw away your own credibility, it saves me the bother of stripping you of it.

  22. Mike A. Says:

    Well don’t mean to break up this Blackout/Simon party, but thought that this may be of some interest. Watched The Daily Show two nights ago and thought Jon S did a good job with this issue….someone may have posted this elsewhere on Dphant, but so many posts…

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-january-10-2011/arizona-shootings-reaction

  23. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “if you’re going to throw away your own credibility, it saves me the bother of stripping you of it.”

    As if you’re the arbiter of credibility. Your casual resort to terms like “rational people” reveals the exact lack of self-reflection — only my side is rational — one would expect from an ideologue. Truly rational people don’t dedicate time and energy to making the world smaller, as you do. And while it’s fine for you to reduce the world, and existence, to a size that’s comfortable for you, attempting to impose that size on the rest of us is not.

    As for stripping me…well, wow. There’s not one interpretation of that hyperbolic “threat” I can entertain which doesn’t act as its own odd and sordid window into your tortured soul. lol

  24. Simon Says:

    blackout Says:

    Your casual resort to terms like “rational people” reveals the exact lack of self-reflection — only my side is rational — one would expect from an ideologue.

    Straw man. Plenty of people who are not “on my side” are rational—and they unanimously reject your position. KK for one. Jon Chait for another. The President, come to think of it. Your mistake is in thinking I’m reflexively labeling your position irrational because you’re a Democrat, whereas I am in fact saying that your position is irrational because it lacks rationality. That’s not the only thing it lacks, either.

    Truly rational people don’t dedicate time and energy to making the world smaller, as you do.

    The airline industry has been acting irrationally for decades? Or perhaps you mean metaphorically; is the FDA irrational because it limits the number of drugs available on the market? Is the Obama administration irrational because it has supported tighter regulation—a smaller world of allowable conduct? How about raising taxes: while it’s fine for you to reduce your income to a size that’s comfortable for you by voluntarily giving the money to the government, “attempting to impose that size on the rest of us is not.” There are any number of situations in which imposing or even constricting limits on conduct (“making the world smaller”) is rational.

  25. blackout Says:

    @Simon: “One occasionally meets self-described catholics who barely believe in God”

    This, btw, make absolutely no sense as an analogy here. Applying those terms, I would actually have to be someone who behaves as a Catholic and denies being one while you farcically insist that I am. I’m glad that you put that out there as it shows exactly how ludicrous and irrational your assertion is when properly framed.

    But he acts just LIKE a Catholic. lol

  26. blackout Says:

    @Simon: ” your position”

    You wilfully misstate “my” position, so everything that follows from that is flawed. The straw man is the “position” you attribute to me that is not mine, which is explicitly a straw man, btw, not your loose usage.

    As for making the world smaller, I do enjoy your interpretations. I believe you were the one who used the word jejune recently. lol

    Ideology requires negation or elimination. By definition you make the world smaller and rationalize the process as necessary, when it is in fact a choice. The ideologue often mistakes their choices for necessities.

  27. blackout Says:

    @Simon: ” Feel free to explain a few areas where you depart from left orthodoxy.”

    I think if one had to get to the crux of your dysfunction it would be this proposition. Another one of those happy moments where your rush to make your point serves instead to reveal your prejudices and limitations. Stripping you of your credibility as it were. lol

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