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Sarah Palin, the "Annie Oakley" Of Social Media

Supposedly she qualifies to be a Daughter of the American Revolution. She is a gun-toting member of the NRA and likes to shoot Moose when she's not taking pot-shots at Obama and members of his party. But this Hockey Mom needs to reassess how she un-holsters her 'gun' analogies when she brazenly tweets and posts gun-sights and cross-hair maps on her Facebook and Web site pages.

Whenever our country transitions through a new presidency, new legislation and /or proclamations of war, the fervor of the people usually gets ratcheted up. Tempers boil over, debates get heated and protesters begin to assemble. This is a natural concurrence of events. It happened during the Bush administration and it's occurring again during Obama's first year in office. This is a part of the political process and we've all come to accept it.

However, when a politician's uses these opportunities to change the discourse and heighten the rhetoric to incite crowds and be a catalyst for the subsequent mob mentality that results, we need to closely examine the rationale and decision-making of these political leaders. Such is the case with Ms. Palin.

With 1.4 million on Facebook and another 115,000+ on Twitter listening to every status update and tweet as if they were pearls of wisdom - on top of a best-selling book - Palin has the clout to telegraph messaging via social media that can easily be misinterpreted, particularly when she relies on gun imagery to make her point.

FACEBOOK

On a Facebook page titled, "Sarah Palin: Don't Get Demoralized! Take Back the 20!," she is attempting to rally her conservative base, many of which hail from the Tea Party movement, a grass roots organization that initially had  difficulty in understanding social media - see "Tea Party Movement Does Not Move Social Media." However, with time she has enticed these folks to 'friend' and 'follow' her on both Facebook and Twitter.

With this particular social network campaign, she is literally 'targeting' the 20 Democrats who voted in favor of what the GOP call "Obamacare" and represent districts that Senator McCain and she carried during the 2008 election race.

She notes, "Three of these House members are retiring – from Arkansas’s 2nd district, Indiana’s 8th district, and Tennessee’s 6th district – but we’ll be working to make sure that those who replace them are Commonsense Conservatives. The others are running for re-election, and we’re going to hold them accountable for this disastrous Obamacare vote. They are: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ-5), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8), John Salazar (CO-3), Betsy Markey (CO-4). Allen Boyd (FL-2), Suzanne M. Kosmas (FL-24), Baron P. Hill (IN-9), Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL), Charlie Wilson (OH-6), John Boccieri (OH-16), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3), Christopher Carney (PA-10), John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC-5), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Alan B. Mollohan (WV-1), and Nick J. Rahall II (WV-3). "

Again, while this is the normal political process, what is disturbing about Palin's approach is her repetitive use of 'artillery' images to make her point. Here she states: "We’ll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington." While some might argue that this language isn't incendiary, they may be right. And perhaps, I am reading too much into these metaphors. However, the following visual couldn't be any more clear when she posts gun-sights and cross-hairs to make her point of targeting the 'infamous' 20 she is gunning for…


TWITTER

Representative Anthony Weiner was most disturbed by Sarah Palin's assertion that she isn't responsible for encouraging attacks on Democrats over the course of the last couple of days, even after her now famous "RELOAD" tweet of March 23rd.


What transpired shortly after this tweet was the delivery of a questionable substance with a note addressed to the Congressman to "Sniff and you'll see." While he was in DC, his nine staffers were isolated and decontaminated in his Kew Gardens office in New York. 

In response, Weiner says, "When Sarah Palin uses gun analogies and gun imagery when she makes her political point, she may believe that she's engaging in metaphor. But there are too many people who have twisted minds who might think that she's being literal," Weiner told CBS. "What might seem as an obvious metaphor for some people may seem like an invitation for someone else."

YOUTUBE

While introducing Sen. John McCain today, Fox News correspondent Sarah Palin referred to the "ginned up controversy" in "news reports" about conservatives "inciting violence because we happen to oppose some of the things in the Obama administration." Palin added: "We know violence isn't the answer. When we take up our arms, we're talking about our vote."



According to "Superiorgreen" who posted this YouTube video on March 26, it should be noted that while Sarah can be 'deputized' to help take pot-shots in support of her ex-running mate, she doesn't come cheap.  Each speaking engagement, whether it be for the GOP or otherwise is $1 million an event? If true, that's a healthy price tag, and doesn't make her look too altruistic helping out her ex-running mate - you betcha!

So with a little help from her social networking friends, the Palin Posse (with Todd in tow) continues to grow and attract bigger and larger crowds. Perhaps if she toned down her rhetoric, she could mature at some point in time over the course of the next decade in becoming a potential candidate for office. But knowing Palin, she's not one to wait (as even a governorship was getting in the way of her more lofty political aspirations).

Annie OakleyAnnie OakleySo she's using up all the ammunition she can get her hands on and accessing the power of social media to do her bidding. Will she succeed? I don't know. Annie Oakley ended her gun-slinging career as a novelty act in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.  Maybe Sarah will be as fortunate.

Back in 2008, I published the following 'kidd millennium' cartoon when I heard the name "Sarah Palin" for the very first time. As you can see, she hasn't changed much, except that she was defeated in her last duel. Who knows, in the next match-up, if she doesn't join 'Buffalo Bill,' she just might be taking twenty paces with the number one man himself. You know the one that beat out her and her sidekick, Maverick McCain.

Sarah, better get your gun! High Noon isn't too far off!



 

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Ron Callari
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Comments
Mar 27, 2010
by Anonymous

Soccer Mom???

Nope, a HOCKEY MOM. Same genus, different species :-)

Mar 27, 2010
by Anonymous

Get a grip. You're upset

Get a grip. You're upset that so many Americans are listening to her, and realizing that this administration is drastically overstepping it's bounds and infringing on various freedoms that Americans have grown to love and want to keep.