Anyone who has followed this blog for awhile knows I’m no fan of Sarah Palin. I find her annoying, self-serving and pretty damn dumb. However, there is absolutely no excuse for the excrementally evil way the Left has treated, not just her, but her family, especially her children. The absolute hatred the Left has for this family borders on a mental illness and I think some of these people need to take a deep look at themselves. I can understand people hating George W. Bush for Iraq, I can understand people hating Obama for Obamacare. People feel as though those figures have done something to them. Because of their decisions they’ve lost a loved one or lost their health insurance. The Palin hate is inexplicable. The woman lost the election, she doesn’t hold office, she will never be President, she has never made a single decision that substantively affects the lives of the people who hate her so much. She is essentially now a private citizen who appears on cable news shows once or twice a month and flaps her lips for four minutes. You should merely find her annoying. You shouldn’t hate her and her children to the point where you gleefully cheer when one of them is physically assaulted. The Left is so obsessed with this family that they lose their jobs over it. Remember Martin Bashir? Now CNN’s Carol Costello might be in trouble because she couldn’t contain her seething hatred for a family that is responsible for merely annoying her during an election cycle six years ago.
“Why won’t the Palins just go away??” cry Leftists, as they simultaneously post dozens of updates about their every move. (I can’t make that screen shot any bigger for some reason, but that’s all the Palin stories in the Talking Points Memo Twitter feed over a 24 hour period. Please seek help, guys. Your obsession with these people is downright creepy.
Backtracking a bit – for those who may not be sure why I’m talking about this – the Palin family got into some kind of brawl at a family event awhile back. There is newly released audio of Bristol tearfully describing to police how a man physically pushed her to the ground while screaming “slut” and “cunt” at her. Here’s Bristol’s account of the event, in her own words. Assuming she’s telling the truth, what happened to her is scary and awful and not something anyone should be celebrating.
One would especially expect it not to be celebrated by our so-called “feminists.” You know, the people who constantly bitch about how women are treated like “second class citizens” and who write long, whiny think pieces about how violence against women is “glamorized.” But if a Palin is assaulted by a man they laugh and laugh. If you push a liberal woman and call her a slut you should be banished from society. If you push a conservative woman and call her a slut it’s funny and awesome. If you’re a principled person you don’t spend every day railing against the abuse of women and then gleefully enjoy it when it happens to a woman you don’t particularly like. There are a lot of progressive women I can’t stand. But I can’t imagine cheering and grinning from ear to ear if Jessica Valenti or Nancy Pelosi’s husband physically assaulted them. But I don’t know why I’m surprised. I can count on one hand the progressives I know who actually have principles. It’s amazing how often Leftists show you who they really are. That they’re not actually “feminists,” they’re just Leftists.
Andrew Sullivan was the first Lefty I saw who gleefully jumped on the story, telling us to remember every time we look at John McCain that he almost put this family (who swears and gets into fights sometimes, like a lot of families) a heartbeat away from the White House. Yes Andrew, thank god we’ve been spared the indignity of having a Veep with less than glamorous children. You know, unlike Joe Biden’s son, a 40-YEAR-OLD man who just got discharged from the military for doing blow.
Charles C.W. Cooke – like me, not a Palin fan – has a great piece on all of this. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing:
I do not like Sarah Palin. I never have. I didn’t like her when she was chosen as John McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, I didn’t like her when she became an ersatz television star and part-time political rabble-rouser, and I don’t like her now, in the waning days of her fame…Because I broadly agree with Palin on a good number of political questions, I imagine that she does not irritate me to quite the volcanic extent that she aggravates my friends on the left, but, either way, there are few people within the Right’s extended firmament that I would less like to send out onto a stage in my name and even fewer that I would hope to see within the corridors of policy and power. A day on which Sarah Palin is silent is, in my view, a good day for conservatism and a good day for America, and, we would, I’d venture, be better off if she disappeared from the national scene.
That notwithstanding, there is a material difference between one’s personal view of a person and the manner in which one wishes to see them treated, and I think we all have a responsibility to understand where that line is. All in all, I can think of few people in public life who have been as disgracefully hounded as has Palin; and nor, for that matter, can I recall a single figure in the past decade who has been subjected to self-serving double standards by the press and by elite culture writ large. It is six years since the woman ran for public office and more than five years since she enjoyed any real influence at all, and yet she is still held up by her many enemies as the standard bearer for all that ails the country.
Here, progressive hypocrisy has been utterly breathtaking. Day in and day out, the more trigger-happy feminists within America’s media circus are moved to pen extravagant disquisitions on the nature of sexual inequality if and when a man they dislike so much as looks at them askew. Elsewhere, wholly substantive criticisms of Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton are held up as shining examples of deeply embedded sexism within the United States, and of the subtle, sometimes invisible role that “hatred of women” plays within the country’s political culture.” To take potshots at clownish figures such as Lena Dunham, we have learned, is to invite indignant death threats. And yet, when a veritable legion of male comedians elects to use foul, carnal, and, yes, “gendered” language to dismiss Palin and her family, our contemporary Boudiceas shrug at best and offer endorsements at worst. Sarah Palin, as the abominable bumper sticker has it, “isn’t a woman, she’s a Republican.”
The first question we might ask of Sullivan and of anyone else who has taken an interest in this story is, Why are we spilling so much ink on this topic at all? Sarah Palin does not hold public office. She is not running for public office. Indeed, she does not even have a television show. Certainly, she is not anonymous — her relentless lust for attention is one of the things I dislike about her — but we might expect that her success in drawing notice would be commensurate with her position. She has no position. Why, then, the obsession?
The second, related, inquiry is this: If it is a sign of poor “judgment” to choose as veep someone whose children are a mess, why does Joe Biden get a pass for the conduct of his son, Hunter, who was kicked out of the Navy Reserve for having been discovered using cocaine?…The third question, as The Week’s Matt Lewis observes, is this: “If Bristol Palin was physically and verbally assaulted by a man, shouldn’t we be up in arms about that, and not about her reaction”? This lattermost wringer is all the more poignant in light of the current focus on domestic violence and sexual assault, and our tendency to regard each and every incident in which a man uses his superior strength for ill as evidence of a broader “war on women” or a “culture of rape.” Who among us can say with a straight face that, if Malia Obama had been attacked at a party or at a concert or at her school, the headlines would have focused on her reaction to the onslaught?
The measure of a fair man is that he treats those whom he loathes as fairly as he treats those whom he loves. If Sarah Palin is our guide, there are few fair men left.
Now that I’ve yelled at the Left, I’m going to yell at the right a little bit, or at least the equally obsessed fans of Palin. Noah Rothman characterizes Palin Derangement Syndrome (which is a bipartisan phenomena it appears, if you define it as “someone who turns ostensibly normal people into foaming-at-the-mouth, wild-eyed nutcases”) accurately:
The wrath directed (on Twitter) at Cooke and Noah Rothman and a couple other conservatives/libertarians who have written in defense of Palin, while also daring to criticize her, is unacceptable. The idea that criticizing Sarah Palin is “un-American” is one of the most retarded things I’ve ever heard. It’s right up there with the Left’s claims that if you criticize Obama you must be a racist. I think I might have to endorse Andrew McCoy’s proposal:
We need to stop elevating political figures to cult-like status. These people are not above criticism. There are, in fact, few things that are more American than criticizing those who hold – or have sought to hold – power over us. There is, however, a line between criticism and pure nastiness, as Cooke and others have so eloquently pointed out this week.