If the post-Speech reaction of the talking heads at CNN, PBS and MSBNC, or the op-ed ravings of Gloria Steinem, Maureen Dowd, Eleanor Clift or Sally Quinn are any indication, the Secret Service better enlist the Alaskan National Guard for help ensuring the Alaskan Governor’s safety.
A beautiful, confident, articulate, independent, accomplished—and conservative—woman apparently has enraged Team Obama, the mainstream media, and the entire American intelligentsia, as if they were collectively hit by a cruise missile aimed from Middle America.
When Palin talks about her present life it sounds as authentic as Biden’s showy populism came off as false. Enraged feminists are apparently the gatekeepers for less well-educated American women, who are supposed to have 0-1.5 children not 5! Their husbands must be professors, lawyers, CEOs, editors—not snowmobile champions, union members, oil workers, and fishermen—or, worse, all in one! And unlike a Pelosi, Quinn, or Clinton, Palin, God forbid, did not rely on a powerful, wealthy husband or father to energize her career. Worse still, she took no women’s studies class, never attended the Ivy League, and shoots moose. The danger is not just that Sarah Palin could win McCain the election, but she could expose the entire flimsy structure of doctrinaire liberalism as the hypocrisy—and chauvinism—it has become.
Dumb and dumber
At about the time that the Republicans were making the case that liberals were hyperpartisan, a little unhinged, and out of touch, hundreds of nutty demonstrators were outside the convention screaming in the usual street theater mode about war crimes et al.—even as Joe Biden announced that when elected, he and Obama may well seek out Bush administration officials to try them for crimes!
The Geraldine Ferraro Democratic Vice Presidential nominee appointment was an inspired stroke of genius that advanced the cause of feminism; Palin's was tawdry tokenism.
Edwards was a social reformer brought down by the tabloids; Palin's 17-year-old daughter is white trash and fair game.
Insulting “small town mayors” and “good looking” women is funny; suggesting that “community organizing” is often a farce is a felony.
Obama's violation of drug laws with a "little blow" was youthful exuberance; Palin's husband's DUI was more proof of a working-class messy family.
Joe Biden bravely continued as Senator after the tragic death of his wife and daughter left his injured young sons with a single parent; Sarah Palin selfishly shorted her children by running for VP and endangered her infants by flying while pregnant.
Criticizing Clinton’s engaging in sex in the oval office and lying about it to the American people were once "the politics of personal destruction"; lying that Sarah Palin might not have been the mother of her 5th child is the mere overreach of the blogs caused by the improper vetting of the McCain campaign.
This all reminds me of the 2000 campaign when the media beat the dead-horse of Bush (Yale BA, Harvard MBA) as the lousy, lazy C-student, when, in fact, Al Gore’s undergraduate record at Harvard was full of C's, F’s at Vanderbilt Divinity School (dropped out), and C's at Vanderbilt Law School (dropped out). The point is not that quitting professional schools is necessarily a sign of anything, but rather once again that the media is shown to be bending and inventing facts for their higher purposes of liberal utopianism— a continuation of some half a century when we remember the “dumb” Ike floundering before the “brilliant” and “witty” Adlai Stevenson (who flunked out of Harvard Law School, a fact hidden from the public for decades.)
The Poverty of the Legal Culture
Every Democratic Presidential and VP nominee of the last thirty years, with the exception of Al Gore (law school drop out), has been a lawyer—Obama (s) and Biden, Kerry and Edwards, Gore and Lieberman, Clinton (s) and Gore, Dukakis and Bentsen, and Mondale and Ferraro. And while Carter was a failure, he at least brought a different perspective from someone whose professional training was argumentation.
The Republicans, at least, understood that legal training is not a prerequisite for the Presidency (one in law doesn’t build things, grow, defend, or create anything). The Democrats need to branch out, and find a Reagan, Palin, or McCain. Had the Bushes and Cheney been lawyers, I doubt they would have been elected. I am not suggesting that the products of modern law schools are not articulate, clever, used to arguing both sides of an issue, often rhetorically adept, and attentive to detail; but all that is part of the problem: they simply rarely wade out and solve problems rather than postfacto examining and litigating those who do.
All About Race, All the Time
Two truths have emerged: after promising to be the postracial candidate, Obama evokes race constantly; after suggesting McCain will, he hasn’t yet.
Remember this from Obama: "So what they are going to do is make you scared of me. You know he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like those other presidents (sic) on the dollar bills.”
Or this Obamism: “They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?”
Or this in Berlin: “I know that I don’t look like the other Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city.”
Or his slur of his grandmother as a “typical white person” or the Pennsylvania “clingers” nonsense. No need to go into the rest of the Obama racial stable: Rev. Wright’s racist outbursts; Father Pfleger’s creepy rants; Michelle’s more subtle “they” “raised the bar” complaints, or Barack Obama’s own promises to fund more “oppression studies” as a result of the “tragic history” of the United States that requires “reparations” in deed, not just word.
And then, of course, there are the self-appointed spokesmen from the nut-fringe, racists like Ludacris or Diddy who have weighed in with creepy attacks on McCain and Palin. Here I include the ever crazy Howard Dean. Remember this from the Chairman of the Democratic Party: "If you look at folks of color, even women, they're more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the (chuckles) Republican Party, because we just give more opportunity to folks who are hard-working people who are immigrants and come from members of minority groups."
Then there are the op-ed writers weighing in on cue, like Philadelphia Daily News columnist Fatima Ali: “If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness — and hopelessness!”
Or this from Harold Meyerson (who earlier accused Hillary and Bill Clinton of playing the race card) in the Washington Post: “In a year when the Democrats have an African American presidential nominee, the Republicans now more than ever are the white folks' party, the party that delays the advent of our multicultural future, the party of the American past. Republican conventions have long been bastions of de facto Caucasian exclusivity, but coming right after the diversity of Denver, this year's GOP convention is almost shockingly -- un-Americanly -- white. Long term, this whiteness is a huge problem.”
Or Bob Herbert’s fantastic claim that a McCain ad showing Obama speaking in front of the Berlin Victory Column was really a racist attack juxtaposing the Washington Monument and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as phallic symbols to scare the public about black male/white women coupling. About all Herbert revealed was that the New York Times columnist can’t distinguish America’s best known obelisk from a European monument to Prussian militarism.
Bottom line: expect more of the race card, especially if Palin gives the Republicans a bounce after the convention—and anyone who objects to it will be preemptively charged—of course—with racism.
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