Palin: Out with the 'In' Crowd

In the latest manifestation of the long-running phenomenon known as Palin-hatred, several liberal and left sites have excoriated her for wearing what they assumed was a black memorial bracelet meant to commemorate a member of the military killed in action, but bearing the name of her very-much-alive son Track who has served in Iraq.

The venom unleashed was of the usual variety:

[Wearing such a bracelet] demonstrates a horrifying contempt for those who gave their last full measure of devotion or an almost unbelievable ignorance of the importance of symbols in American history.

But it turns out it was actually the Palin-haters who demonstrated the horrifying contempt and the almost unbelievable ignorance -- or at the very least, a failure to use Google. In fact, Palin was wearing something known as a Deployed HeroBracelet, meant to honor the service of a loved one who is still living. Palin’s bracelet was not even black but bronze, and was given her as a gift by the makers, who also presented one to Joe Biden in his son’s name.

The author of the original piece about the bracelet, Eric Robinson, at least had the grace to apologize. But not before a torrent of contemptuous hatred had already been displayed in the comments sections of several left-wing blogs.

It is hardly surprising, however, that many of Palin's detractors jumped at the chance to blast her for the bracelet without even bothering to confirm the basic facts. It was a case of assuming the worst, seeing what they expected to see. They considered the incident to be only one more piece of evidence confirming what they believed they already knew, and what they feel should be self-evident to any thinking person: Sarah Palin is a stupid, lying, child-exploiting, shameless, opportunistic right-wing nut. That there might be a more benign explanation for any of her behavior does not even occur to them, and therefore no further fact-checking would be needed.

This rush to judgment is not the exception but rather the rule when criticizing Sarah. Palin-hatred is as old -- and as persistent -- as her presence on the national scene (that’s “hatred,” as distinguished from mere disagreement on issues). There have been countless explanations for it. If anything, the phenomenon is over-determined, representing a toxic brew of class warfare, misogyny, envy (much of this coming from women), and elitism.