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I haven’t paid a ton of attention to the Giffords coverage over the past two days, but hoo boy —  was Sarah Palin’s video response yesterday one of the most ill-conceived political speeches ever? I’m not even talking about the “blood libel” thing. For all I know, she doesn’t even understand what the phrase means — though I’ll bet we’ll soon get some kind of snarky, defensive tweet claiming that she does too know what it means and then concocting some absurd explanation about why it was appropriate.

No, I mean the whole thing. I happen to think Palin was treated unfairly over her “bullseye” map: if it was over the top, it was only slightly over the top, and it’s hardly the kind of thing we don’t see and hear all the time in political campaigns. But you know what? Unfair or not, the Giffords shooting isn’t about how badly the world treats Sarah Palin. Sometimes you just have to let things go, rise above your critics, and appeal to everyone’s better natures. But not Sarah. She’s been wronged, and that’s the only thing that ever matters in Sarah land. Her narcissism was practically off the Richter scale yesterday.

I think Doyle McManus is right: “The Arizona shootings and their aftermath will probably be remembered as the end of Palin’s chances of being taken seriously as a Republican presidential candidate. She had an opportunity to rise to an occasion, and she whiffed.” In any case, I hope McManus is right. If Palin can’t handle a few days of partisan invective from the lefty blogosphere, it beggars the imagination to wonder how she’d do against some real critics.

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This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

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