Man-Up Tim Pawlenty

2012 presidential hopeful, Tim Pawlenty, is taking some well deserved heat from conservative bloggers because of his “weak-tea” responses to a questions posed to him about Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map.

Here’s what Pawlenty had to say, as reported by The Politico:

“It would not have been my style to put the cross hairs on there,” he said Tuesday on “Good Morning America,” referring to a map like the one posted last year on SarahPAC’s website showing gunsights on the congressional districts represented by Giffords and a select group of lawmakers who supported health care reform.

“But then again, there’s no evidence to suggest that had anything to do with this mentally unstable person’s rage and senseless acts.”

“I wouldn’t have done it,” the two-term governor told The New York Times on Monday when asked about the map.

Okay, so that was two opportunities he had to smash a liberal narrative that amounts to blood libel…. and he punted.

Stephen Green says he’s tempted to scratch Pawlenty off his short list for President:

I’m no Palin partisan. Far from it. In fact — and here I go starting trouble again — although I like her, there’s not much chance I would vote for Sarah in any primary. So I’m not tempted to scratch off Pawlenty because he supposedly dissed Palin. It’s clear to me that he did no such thing.

My problem with Pawlenty’s statement is twofold: It’s weak tea (no pun intended) and this is the exact wrong time to make even the smallest concession to the lefty narrative. By weak tea, I mean: Pawlenty didn’t say much at all, and I’d rather have a stand up guy sitting at the Resolute desk. As to his concession, it was tiny but it was there: Words, symbols even, can be bad naughty evil things that make otherwise nice boys shoot at congressmen.


We fight the Left on this and we fight it hard.


And here’s my problem. “It would not have been my style.”

Really? If some Web guy had done that map, Tim Pawlenty would have looked at it and said, pre-Tucson, “Oh noes, those look like crosshairs! Take them off!” Tim Pawlenty may say he would have done that, and for all I know may even think he would have done that. But to me, agreeing with Stephen Green, above, it looks like an instinct to separate himself from controversy, and ingratiate himself with the interviewer, that speaks poorly.

“It would not have been my style”.

You know what that is? That’s “Minnesota nice” for ” Good God, NO”.

I’ve had my own run ins with “Minnestota nice”.

Like my Minnesotan mother-in-law saying, “It’s not what I would have done…”, the time I sponge painted white tulips all over the bathroom of my husband and my first house. (Yes, it was hideous).

Maybe he really feels that way, (doubtful) or as Insty says, it’s an attempt to ingratiate himself with the interviewer. Here’s the problem with that: 90% of his the MSM is left leaning. If his first instinct is to ingratiate himself with lefties, he’s going to be butting heads with  conservatives on a regular basis. Kinda like Michael Steele did. And we all know how that turned out.

Scott, at Powerline, says:

…speaking only for myself, I would prefer a conservative leader who has the courage to stand and tell the MSM that he understands their game and they can shove it.

John pipes in with:

I share Scott’s disappointment that Pawlenty didn’t stand up more forcefully for his fellow Republicans.

He had, of course, a different agenda, and the last thing he wanted to do in these appearances was talk about Sarah Palin. But he should have anticipated that topic number one would be Tucson, and that if he wants to be held in high regard by the party’s base, he should take advantage of the opportunity to be a hero by standing up to the pathetically weak left-wing narrative. That he didn’t do so, strongly enough to be perceived as doing so by conservatives, is unfortunate, to say the least. We are in a moment in time where most Americans are ready to turn away in revulsion from the Democrats’ ghoulish opportunism, and Pawlenty played it much too safe.

Paul is being a squish:

I don’t think less of Pawlenty for having given what I take to be an honest and reasonable answer to a question on the topic of what the tone of political advertising should be.

Charles Krauthammer shows how it’s done, today in his WaPo oped:

The charge: The Tucson massacre is a consequence of the “climate of hate” created by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Obamacare opponents and sundry other liberal betes noires.

The verdict: Rarely in American political discourse has there been a charge so reckless, so scurrilous and so unsupported by evidence.

Such a reckless and scurrilous charge warrants a stronger push-back than, “But then again, there’s no evidence to suggest that had anything to do with this mentally unstable person’s rage and senseless acts.”

That sounds like someone on the defensive – someone  implying that the false narrative is valid, instead of expressing  moral outrage and indignation at an unfair, and slanderous charge.
Not impressed.
Check out Ace, today, talking about the false narrative dream world the left is asking everyone to indulge:

Thus we are all summoned to discuss the effects of Sarah Palin’s target symbols on the mind of Jared Loughner (quick version of that discussion: None) and pretend that it was a Tea Party “climate of hate” that cause Jared Loughner to get violent over his belief that the government was using grammar to mind control us and keep us from escaping into the world of “conscience [sic] dreaming.”We’re really supposed to have this discussion. And we’re supposed to be buttoned-up serious about it. People are dead, after all, so of course we must pay lip service to our opponents’ own Loughnerian escape into fantasy worlds of conscience [sic] dreaming.

As Allah asked: Am I awake?

Yes, yes you are. All of this shit? It’s really happening.

So, because one segment of the population has, along with Jared Loughner, fled to a dream world that they control, “consciencely” [sic], by simply asserting that white is black and day is night, we’re supposed to join them, and find common ground with them, and find something interesting that we can jointly agree upon.

I suppose: Yes, this world of conscience [sic] dreaming you’ve made is certainly a nice one, and, assuming the various false premises you’ve conscience [sic] dreamed into existence, I do see that your syllogism does follow (again, Loughner-like) from those false premises.

I guess I’m supposed to say that.

Pawlenty basically did.


A Trust Betrayed

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

An oath.  73 words.  Defined as “a formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation.”  And something serious to many, but not all.

It is easy to get lost in the horror of what madness can do.  In the world of a 24 hour news cycle, people can often find themselves barely treading water in the rushing tide of blood libel unleashed by partisan media hacks pretending at neutrality and sanctimony, but we have the right to expect better of a select group among us.  These are the people who put themselves forward as qualified to represent us, and they are set apart by the duty that we trust them with.  It is good to remember that no one is perfect.  Humanity at its best will still be flawed.  Mistakes will be made, judgment will be clouded.  Nevertheless, if one accepts the public trust, then one also has a minimum obligation to not to betray it.

And yet this is exactly what has happened in the wake of the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, as several of her contemporaries have proposed legislation that offends the freedoms guaranteed by the document that they swore to support and defend.

One day after this tragedy, Congressman Robert Brady proposed legislation that would make it a Federal crime to to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress. 

“Perceived as threatening” casts a very wide net.  And then there is that little matter of the First Amendment that very plainly states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” .  In Congresses past, Representative Brady might have had an excuse for forgetting such a plainly written prohibition, but seeing as we were still on a media hue and cry about the stupidity/waste of time/waste of money that occurred when the incoming Congress read the Constitution and Amendments just last week when a mentally ill man succumbed to his urges, it seems to me that he loses this excuse. Maybe the Representative was in the rest room when the part of the Constitution that he is rushing to assault was read?

He isn’t alone in this attack on a Constitutional pillar of our society.  Representative Jim Clyburn has also taken up arms with his proposal to revive the long-dead “Fairness Doctrine” to insure standards to guarantee balanced media coverage.  Even if I thought he meant it, I can see that what he proposes will hinder free speech, and since I’m fairly certain that his idea of “balanced” and mine are not the same thing, I’m even less in favor of such a proposal, especially since the Democrats’ preferred method of achieving such goals is to altogether forego the legislative process and go straight to regulation by government agency.  Having someone else do the dirty work at his suggestion doesn’t relieve him of the oath that he took, either.

These two are not alone, however. 

Representative Peter King has decided that further restrictions on firearms are an appropriate response:

“It is imperative that we do all that we can to give law enforcement the tools they need to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and prevent an attack before it happens,” King said at a news conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “That is why, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Illegal Guns, I will be introducing legislation that would make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within a 1,000 feet of certain high-profile government officials.”

Now I would be hard-pressed to think how this law would prevent an insane loner who thinks that he is being controlled by grammar from deciding that he is going to take a shot a Representative or Senator, but I can see that law-abiding citizens could get caught up in nebulous enforcement of “knowingly” carrying too close to a government official.

I suppose that we could think of this as a test.  They failed, and its good that we know that now, because it tells us something important.  These are people who by virtue of their position will be looked to for leadership.  Emergencies and crises are trying times for all.  That does not excuse forgetting their primary duty.  And either by accident or design, these repositories of the public trust have either let themselves get carried away in the hysteria rather than remaining calm and providing an example to others, or they have seen an opportunity, and chose to act like people who rule, rather than people who govern.

Congress is a place where it is possible to find fame.  There are those who have walked its halls, and are remembered as legends, and those who should be, and this is why it is easy for their focus to become misplaced.  But in truth, the real stars of this process are the American People.  They are the ones who, election after election, preside over a peaceful transition of power, regardless of the rhetoric or its tone, and present an example for the rest of the world, where change is often accompanied by bloodshed.   This can only be possible because of the genius of the Constitution, and the freedoms it guarantees. 

Anyone who lets themself get carried away by emotion to the degree that they would assault what they swore to protect fails those whom they represent.  Anyone who purposely designs against it after undertaking the responsibility to defend it shows a contempt for the people who entrusted them with the duty, and an unforgivably cynical outlook by asking for that trust in the first place. 

While it is disappointing to have members of a new Congress that is more filled with promise and an emphasis on the right things than we have had in a long time, we are fortunate that these failures have occurred so early, because it gives these Representatives ample time to redeem themselves, and us time to seek others to fill their offices if they don’t.