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The so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither a mosque (it's a YMCA-like community center that includes a prayer space) nor is it located at Ground Zero (it's a couple of blocks away), but that hasn't stopped it from generating a degree of controversy in New York. Think it couldn't get crazy enough? Enter Sarah Palin. On Sunday, Palin tweeted:

The former governor quickly deleted the tweet, replacing it with this:

Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too realless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

On Twitter and blogs, the criticism against Palin's original (and even replacement) tweet quickly mounted. Palin gradually responded, first to the criticism of her implicit argument and second to her use of the non-word "refudiate." Her use of "misunderestimate" and "wee-wee'd up" are references to Presidents Bush and Obama, respectively:

Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healingless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

"Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!less than a minute ago via web

Here are the jokes and the serious criticism:

  • Palin's Troubling Logical Error  The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder muses, "Which is potentially more troublesome for a general audience? The first Tweet, the sentiment behind it, the logical error behind it (you are a 'peaceful Muslim' IF you ...), the corrective Tweet, or the semi-apology Tweet?"
  • Proves Palin Really Writes These Tweets  Blogger Charles Johnson notes, "I almost hate to point it out, but 'refute,' although it has the advantage of being an actual word, is still the wrong word to use in this context. But the posting and subsequent deletion of the 'refudiation' tweet does establish one thing — it’s probably really Sarah Palin writing these tweets, since she used the same non-word last week on Fox News."
  • Bloomberg Aid Hits Back on Twitter  Politico's Maggie Haberman reports on tweets from Andrea Batista Schlesinger, a policy adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "mind your business ... whose hearts? Racist hearts?" Schlesinger deleted those tweets, later writing: "Deleted post bc I regretted curt response. But fact is, I believe this city belongs to everyone - and no one more than another. ... Unlike @SarahPalinUSA, I was born here grew up here. Was showing off to a visitor today - look at how beautiful and diverse my city is. ... I felt pain of 9/11, the trauma. I got through it by believing in my city. Not through fear and hate."

If republicans can demand that immigrants speak English, can't we demand same of Sarah Palin?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Can some peaceful Muslim refudiate this? MT @JonHenke: building a mosque at Ground Zero shows Al Qaeda that we're bigger than themless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

We want peaceful Muslims to distinguish themselves from radical Muslims, but we can't distinguish between a peaceful Mosque & terrorists?less than a minute ago via Seesmic for Android

Palin says English is living language. Does that mean Constitution is a living document?  Yay!  Gay marriage for everybody! Refudiate THAT!less than a minute ago via web

@owillis Don't misunderestimate her! She's clearly surrounded herself with itellectualizers!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

BREAKING: RNC insists "refudiate" has always been a word, Dictionarian elites engaged in conspiracy to embarrass Palin Christ.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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