Recent discussions are a good occasion for me to write this post, which has been on my mind and in scribbled notes on my desk for more than a year. Those discussions surround Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s decision to describe his opponents in a strategy session as “f—— retarded.” Denunciations from the Special Olympics and other organizations were ignored until days ago, when Sarah Palin weighed in with her rebuke. He has subsequently apologized.
Even among conservatives and others who oppose Rahm Emanuel, the consensus is that Sarah Palin’s facebook post was a political maneuver–whether foolish or inspired–and nothing more. According to Ann Althouse, “This is a good place for Palin to posture, but, seriously, I think that anyone who takes this trumped-up offense seriously is… pretty silly.”
I do not believe this is a trumped-up offense or silly. The outrage Sarah Palin expressed was just what I have felt when Al Gore talked about the “extra-chromosome right wing,” and when a cruel but anonymous person coined, “even if you win, you’re still retarded.” I’m not a stickler for people-first language, and I don’t need “Congressional legislation that would remove the word [retarded] from federal law.”
But Gov. Palin’s words ring true to me, because they could easily have been mine. I, too, am a (more…)