Remember when Jesus said "torture thy enemy"? Neither do I, but the walking, talking, life-sized self-parody Sarah Palin apparently does. "If I were in charge," Our Lady of Guantanamo said on Saturday at a National Rifle Association event, "they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."
In saying this, she did a huge disservice not only to those trying to reform the image of the GOP, but to Christians and gun owners who believe in limited government.
The one-liner was part of a 12-minute speech in which Palin repeatedly sabotaged any legitimate message about gun rights by drifting from government policies to American culture, framing both as an us-versus-them battle between righteous conservative Christians and godless Washington elite liberals (and their "evil Muslim terrorist" allies).
A few small government-type conservatives of different Christian denominations have quickly clarified that, in fact, inflicting painful drowning-like sensations on people who are indefinitely detained for political reasons until they become card-carrying members of Christendom is not part of their belief system, and that the former governor of Alaska, who has described herself as a "Bible-believing Christian," is actually a huge hypocrite.
Andrew Sullivan puts it particularly well. He notes that Palin voiced "a bona fide fascistic sentiment. It revels in violence…. It is the kind of statement you might expect… from the Chinese Communists," and that her statement was "disgusting and blasphemous in the morphing of Christianity into its polar opposite."
What Palin said wasn't taken out of context. It wasn't a slip-up. Republicans who aren't Christian, Republicans who are Christian, and gun owners who don't believe in big government torture programs would all best serve their causes by ditching her.
Bipartisan Bonus: MSNBC's Steve Benen tries to defend Obama's "extremely aggressive" "counterterrorism program" (a.k.a. other forms of torture) against Palin's accusations of softness in the same breath that blasts Palin for advocating waterboarding.
(h/t Stormy Dragon)