Ok, so I’ve written several posts here about how weird the chattering classes’ reaction to Sarah Palin has been. I’m done with that, though. Not because I’ve said my piece or because the issue is resolved (it obviously isn’t) but because it’s clearly gone past the point of rational discussion. For no reason I can see, this woman has become a love-or-hate lightning rod for half the people on the right and almost everyone on the left (to his credit, as I’ve said before, that 99% of the left doesn’t include Barack Obama, which is encouraging since he’ll probably be our next President)
So, my new plan is to “vet” both presidential candidates based on their stated positions and whatever reliable third-party information I can find. I do have a life, so we’ll see if I get that done. What I am done with, though, is talking about, reading about or thinking about Sarah Palin. A whole lot of people need to take a chill pill.
A few of my faves:
Yes, she did giggle when someone called Lyda Green a “bitch.” Yes, Lyda Green is a cancer survivor. Yes, it was the same Lyda Green who tried to force a scheduling conflict that would make Palin miss her son’s high school graduation. Yes, this would also be the Lyda Green who complained no one had asked her about Palin during the vetting process.
That’s small town politics for you. I know, because my parents are involved in small town politics and it’s just like that, i.e. just like high school when, say, anyone who got it in their head that you snubbed them will show up again later with an interesting, off-the-wall and untrue story about you for public consumption.
Yes, it seems unlikely that she’s going to be in hiding for the next two weeks, seeing as she’s been in rallies twice in the last two days. Or at least it’s going to be real rough, given that she has three media interviews scheduled today (September 6) alone.
Having Palin “hiding from the media” is a big meme for Andrew Sullivan and others pushing the theory that she’s a doe-eyed rube nominated without any vetting whatsoever by the McCain campaign. Of course that theory is obviously ridiculous, but it’s clear that only hard proof is going to make the Palin-haters shut up – maybe that’s why Sullivan’s blog has been pretty quiet the last several hours (I wrote this post yesterday – Sullivan’s back now but the focus is conspicuously off of Palin.)
No, she didn’t cut funding for unwed mothers; yes, she did increase it by “only” 354 percent instead of 454 percent, as part of a multi-year capital expenditures program. No, the Washington Post doesn’t appear to have corrected their story.
I can actually sort of see why the Post wouldn’t consider this one a big deal – in DC, it’s common to describe a smaller budget increase as a “cut”. Of course that in itself cuts in favor of Palin’s outsider image.
Yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes, it was “rhetorical,, at least as was reported contemporaneously in 1996 (and thanks to Cecil Turner@ Just One Minute for this); yes, she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also a close friend of the chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute.
This is important – the book-banning thing, if true, is a big point against her. It’s also (like a lot of the rumors) a stock caricature of Christians/rural people/anyone else outside Manhattan, so the press needs to dig deeper. So, as with everything else, the
press blogs will dig deeper.
No, she’s not from another planet.
No, I haven’t actually heard that one yet, but you wait.Okay, I have now heard it.
Yes, she was vetted extensively, not just in three days — I’ve got links to press reports about people coming to Wasilla on May 29, and we had her on our Veepstakes at PJM from the first day we ran it.
Uh oh, what ever will Sullivan do with this obvious news???
Isn’t this all the media vetting that the media has been clamoring for? Wait, except it was done by alternative media, while the MSM were .. uh, what were they doing again? Oh that’s right – perpetuating the rumors. Great reporting there, Lou!
For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was ‘the other’ – the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. They might have soberly examined her reputation as an opponent of political corruption to see if she was truly the reformer she claimed to be. They might have gently mocked her idiotic creationism, while carefully avoiding all discussion of the racist conspiracy theories of Barack Obama’s church.
But instead of following a measured strategy, they went berserk
Yes, just as they were meant to, they went on a month-long bender of Kos-level blind hatred (I know it’s only been a couple weeks — they’re still at it) and have now built up an effectively bottomless archive of fatally embarrassing words and actions in the category of “urban elites sneer at smalltown America”.
As Cohen notes (and I’ve been saying) they’ve thrown away any chance of “vetting” Palin at this point. The public won’t care. I barely care anymore. I’m too shocked at the utter hatefulness of the left and supposedly professional journalists. I’m ready to throw the entire press over a cliff and start from scratch. They might want to remember that — should someone make the over-a-cliff part happen — we don’t even need to start over. We’ve got plenty of alternative media already, and it mostly does the job better anyhow.
In fact, here’s another bold-yet-obvious prediction. With this huge new bloody shirt to wave, Obama’s “god, guns and bitterness” comment is about to come back and strike him a mighty blow in the ass. And the shit of it will be, he alone doesn’t deserve it. With friends like this…
P.S. Here’s a very interesting analysis of the shifting winds in the Presidential campaign, conspicuously lacking any explanation for said shift.
From TSG, via Andrew Sullivan who is still the all Palin-bashing, all the time blog. This is in reference to the Enquirer accusation that Sarah Palin had an affair with a business associate of her husband some years ago. The same man just tried (and failed) to have the court seal the records of his divorce, which apparently happened around the same time. The real explanation is exactly what I thought it would be:
According to the filing, Richter wanted the documents deemed confidential in a bid to cloak details about his home, workplace, and phone numbers because “reporters and news agencies” were using that information to contact him. Richter, a 39-year-old contractor, noted that he is “friends and land owners in a remote cabin” with the Palins and, as a result, journalists were intruding on the “cabin life and private life” of him and his 11-year-old son.
So the guy wanted to hide his dirty laundry because reporters were ransacking his life to try and smear his friend. Imagine that. Sullivan and others like to act as though the GOP is crazy to campaign against the press, but part of the overall problem is that Sullivan thinks this is the press “doing its job”. People not members of the press don’t think its job includes trashing everyone in sight to serve a political agenda, and they’re sick of it. The MSM is more hated than Congress or lawyers, and if they keep acting like they have a ___-given right to run roughshod over the denizens of flyover country for any reason or none, they may well bring on a reaction that won’t be good for anyone.
No, the whole MSM isn’t going the Andrew Sullivan route (just most of it – and by the way, Sully, last I checked the networks run their own cameras, so stop blaming the GOP for all the panning shots of Palin’s kids) – here’s Chris Orr on the TNR blog, raising some real issues about Sarah Palin:
2002 is the year that Sarah Palin tried to make the leap from mayor of Wasilla to higher office, running for lieutenant governor of Alaska and earning consideration for Frank Murkowski’s Senate seat when he resigned to become governor.
It’s also the year that Palin’s husband quit his seven-year registration in the secessionist Alaska Independence Party and re-registered as an “undeclared” voter.
It’s also the year that Palin, who was baptised as a Pentecostal in her teens, stopped attending her Pentecostal church in Wasilla and switched to an independent evangelical church.
I’d like answers to these kind of questions, too. As for her pregnant daughter and the conspiracy theories about her baby son (or the AIP for that matter), how’s about a nice hot cup of STFU…
ST. PAUL — Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17-year-old Bristol Palin, plans to join the family at the Republican Party’s nomination here of mom and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president.
The 18-year-old father-, husband- and celebrity-to-be left Alaska this morning to join the Palin family at the convention, according to his mother. Gov. Palin’s speech is scheduled for Wednesday night.
I was just telling my wife the other day that what we could really use is a Bismarck, but that there’s none in sight. Maybe the McCain camp has one, though, since they seem to be putting the Palin family’s middle American-ness on public-enough display to keep the offensive attacks coming from the chattering classes, but also without (maybe) hitting middle America over the head with them.
One of Bismarck’s central insights was to see the essential conservatism of ordinary people. That may not seem remarkable here and now, but in 19th-century Europe with Marx on the rise it was counterintuitive in the extreme – and 100% right. Whatever else she is – and again, I’m not endorsing her per se – Sarah Palin is a regular person, a strong woman and has a family life that about 90% of the voting public can directly identify with. Publicly mocking her, and worse, her teenage daughter, (and worse than that, clumsily blaming the victim by saying the McCain campaign put them in the spotlight) is tone-deafness on the scale of Hillary Clinton’s national healthcare campaign.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step:
Sooner or later, the Obama camp will realize that [Sarah Palin] is an enormously talented populist in a year that is ripe for populism. For their own sake, it had better be sooner.
It’s an email posted by someone else on their blog and quoted by Sullivan on his blog. But it’s a start.
Now that we know Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter – the one all
Jerry’s the Kos Kidz were rumoring was the real mother of Palin’s infant son – is pregnant with her own baby, we can take a fresh look at statements like this recent one by Andrew Sullivan:
The Press Is Asking Questions – In other words: doing their job. And the McCain camp is appalled:
A senior McCain campaign official said the McCain camp was appalled that these rumors had not only been spread around liberal blog sites and partisan Democrats, but also were the subject of heightened interest from mainstream news media.
Now they’ve cleared the air on this – and good for them – what harm would it do to release the medical records showing that Sarah Palin delivered Trig on April 18 in Wasilla? This is not hard: there must be an obstetrician, medical records, and data that can easily refute this rumor. It is not out of the ordinary either: candidates routinely issue medical records. So let’s have them. And then we can move on.
Let’s be clear; the press isn’t “doing their job”. They are taking out their crazy prejudice against suburban and rural people, and against large families. ‘Asking legitimate questions’ is just the rationalization for going on a rant that just happens to also (in their minds) support their favorite in the upcoming election. At least that candidate has his head located definitively outside his ass. I never realized Sullivan had such a hardon for ‘breeders’, but now I know.
“Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.
“And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off limits.”
In other words, “stop making me look like an asshole, assholes!” And let me say again, Obama isn’t the asshole here. My whole point is that the idiots who think they’re doing him a favor are really making him look bad by association. Of course, not everyone got the memo:
What would the response be if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and his wife Michelle had a pregnant unmarried teenage daughter? — [Jake Tapper]
Like, I suspect, a lot of people, my reaction to McCain’s veep pick was “er, who?”. Then I read up a little bit on Sarah Palin, and mostly liked what I saw. She has executive experience at two levels of government, more than either of the headliners this year. She’s her own woman and is willing to call out asshattery, even when it comes from her own party.
Wait, she’s a woman? And conservative? I went out and got some microwave popcorn, and sure enough, I didn’t have long to wait. First out of the gate with the most (but not the worst) stupidity, Andrew Sullivan:
The more you think about it, and the more you consider how many charges he has leveled against Obama’s alleged inexperience in a time of peril, the more outrageous it is that she he picks an unknown local politician he has only met once before to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Palin isn’t the issue here. McCain’s judgment is. It’s completely off the wall. Is there something wrong with him?
Palin looks to me like a lovely person and a good local politician, with some inevitable rough spots. I’d be delighted if she took a leadership role in the GOP in the future. But in the same league as Obama? Do Republicans really think that little of him?
[the next two are reader email that Sullivan decided to post]
The VP isn’t just some vote-grabbing machine – it is the second-highest Constitutional office. For JM to offer this slot to someone with such meagre credentials, whom he hardly even knows is a sign of serious character disturbance.
No sooner did my best friend hear about the Sarah Palin pick than I received an e-mail from her. It said simply: “Sarah Palin is a Bad Mother!”
But it appears that Pallin’s [sic] last child, a baby with Down’s syndrome, may not be hers. It may be that of her teenage daughter.
Seriously, get. a. fracking. grip.
Something the Obama camp should keep in mind, but won’t, is that Karl Rove’s big strength was jujitsu, pulling moves that brought out the crazy in a big way among the GOP’s opponents. What will the party of identity politics and rigid talking points-enforcement do when faced with a strong woman who doesn’t profess their ideology? Heads asplode, that’s what. Look for lots more of this in the next two months. If you’re an Obama supporter you now know who and what to blame if he loses.
Edit: Let me add that I’m not approving or disapproving of Palin, McCain, or anyone else. Just saying that the media and Kos Kidz are about to cough up an epic fail, taking out their sexual obsessions and social prejudices on McCain’s veep, and that’s probably just what McCain is hoping for.