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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zero Tolerance For Cheap Shots At Palin From The Right

(Originally posted 5/11/11, but lost in the Big Blogger Blackout of 2011, brought back to life courtesy of the Restore Honor and Sanity (and missing Legal Insurrection posts) Project)

Zero tolerance is my position on cheap shots at Sarah Palin from the right.

I don't expect people to like her or support her, but piling on is unforgivable to me because it just feeds the mainstream media, entertainment industry, and left-blogosphere beasts who will turn with a fury on whichever candidate Republicans nominate.

Which brings me to John Podhoretz's post at Commentary, Palin and the Curse of a Thin Skin, in which Podhoretz compares Palin's career to the drug addicted self-destruction of former Yankee Darryl Strawberry.

Podhoretz threw that epithet on the pile in reaction to a fairly predictable piece by Joshua Green in The Atlantic. (Green, by the way, was featured in an earlier post by me when he accused Herman Cain of running "mildly racist" commercials when Cain headed Godfather's Pizza.)

The thrust of Green's lengthy post was that Palin had only herself to blame for the reaction to her; if only she had been nicer Democrats, the media, and Hollywood would have liked her more. It is a delusional conclusion because it does not address the phenomenon of Palin Derangement Syndrome.

I expect it from Joshua Green, who seeks to drive traffic to The Atlantic now that Palin basher No.1 (Andrew Sullivan) has left for The Daily Beast. Indeed, Green brags at The Atlantic how there were 150,000 hits on his Palin hit piece. Green also uses Podhoretz's post as confirmation of the Green's own reasonableness, calling Podhoretz's use of the Darryl Strawberry analogy "the best political epitaph for Palin."

In his post Podhoretz links to an earlier piece by Yuval Levin at Commentary (added, to which I linked when it was written) which pretty accurately described the irrational, hateful, deranged reaction to Palin's nomination:
Palin was assigned every view and position the Left considered unenlightened, and the response to her brought into the light all manner of implicit liberal assumptions about cultural conservatives. We were told that Palin was opposed to contraception, advocated teaching creationism in schools, and was inclined to ban books she disagreed with. She was described as a religious zealot, an anti-abortion extremist, a blind champion of abstinence-only sex education. She was said to have sought to make rape victims pay for their own medical exams, to have Alaska secede from the Union, and to get Pat Buchanan elected President. She was reported to believe that the Iraq war was mandated by God, that the end-times prophesied in the Book of Revelation were nearing and only Alaska would survive, and that global warming was purely a myth. None of this was true.

Her personal life came under withering assault as well. Palin’s capacity to function as a senior elected official while raising five children was repeatedly questioned by liberal pundits who would never dare to express such views about a female candidate whose opinions were more congenial to them. Her teenage daughter’s pregnancy was splattered all over the front pages (garnering three New York Times stories in a single day on September 2). Some bloggers even suggested her youngest child had not issued from her, but from her daughter instead, and that she had participated in a bizarre cover-up. I attended a gathering in Washington at which a prominent columnist wondered aloud how Palin could pursue her career when her religious beliefs denied women the right to work outside the home.

Palin became the embodiment of every dark fantasy the Left had ever held about the views of evangelical Christians and women who do not associate themselves with contemporary feminism, and all concern for clarity and truthfulness was left at the door.
Levin was critical of Palin in the end for many of the same reasons he was critical of McCain, but Levin did not sink to cheap shots.

So back to Podhoretz, here is the summary paragraph (emphasis mine):
In some ways, the story of Palin is a story of temptation. Rather than sticking to her guns and deepening her political credentials and her knowledge base, she embraced her celebrity instead. And in doing so, she didn’t defeat her critics and enemies; she capitulated to them. Listen, it’s her life and her fortune and she is free to do what she wishes with it. And there’s no telling what the future holds for anyone in America. But she had and has more raw political talent than anyone I’ve ever seen, and, alas, as phenoms go, it looks like she is headed for a Darryl Strawberry-like playing career.
Podhoretz's explanation, much like that of Green, pays only passing attention to the unprecedented and relentless attacks on Palin since the moment she was nominated. Attacks joined in with glee from a broad swath of the media, and most importantly, the entertainment industry which to this day cannot resist mocking Palin.

Rather than a thin skin, Palin showed a mental toughness which few if any politicians could muster in the face of the cultural, political and journalistic forces aligned against her from the get-go.

By using the analogy of the Darryl Strawberry, who truly self destructed from drug addiction, Podhoretz not only uses a bad analogy, he piles on with a cheap shot.

And I have zero tolerance for that.

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  1. Maybe Jon needed the traffic?

    I've never understood the Palin hatred. If it wasn't for Palin(and a healthly dose of guilt from my then 7 year old daughter), I'd have never voted for McCain.

  2. Agreed. Any thoughts on what happen to Jpod? He was a must read at The Corner/NRO. I cannot say the same at Commentary, and he's a stunning bore on Twitter. Too much exposure to Manhattan Mainstream?

  3. I second that, Professor.

    Those people do know what they're doing. They're making sure that every Evangelical Christian woman in the land with some measure of political aspiration in her being - especially with outstanding leadership skills - is scared cold out of politics altogether. "Nice family and career you have, Evangelical Christian woman. It'd be a real... heh... shame if anything happened to them... Ahem... Heh..."

    The bottom line is this: if they can do all of that damage to Sarah Palin and her family, they can (and will be emboldened to) do the same to ANY FAMILY that dares to confront the Ruling Class.

    As for me, I will never forgive nor forget those people in the MSM, the Left and the Right as well, for the real damage they have heaped upon the Palins.

    As for Andrew Sullivan... May he be rewarded... ahem... according to his works... ahem...

  4. A big part of the answer is that the qualities that brought her original successes—the relentlessness, the impulse to settle scores—weren’t nearly so admirable when deployed against less worthy foes than Murkowski and the oil companies.

    So her qualities are admirable when deployed against persons and organizations hated by the left, and not so admirable when deployed against the MSM or other leftists. Brilliant reasoning, Mr. Green.

    He too has been brainwashed by the MSM's relentless personal vendetta against Governor Palin. Despite his admissions that her actual governing track record was good, he's hearing the slander volcano instead of the objective one because it's louder and longer-lasting.

    Juvenile journalism rules at the Atlantic.

  5. "The bottom line is this: if they can do all of that damage to Sarah Palin and her family, they can (and will be emboldened to) do the same to ANY FAMILY that dares to confront the Ruling Class."

    Yes, exactly.

  6. its just traffic bait ... Jon is just another "pundit/journalist" with no other experience trying to be noticed in todays new media storm ...

    We have way too many "writers" at the top of the rights pundit class ... people who have done nothing but write their entire careers ...

    Look at NRO, only a handfull of their writers have ever done anything but write and most are still wet behind the ears in real world job experience ...

    Big hat and big boots, no cattle ...

  7. JPod is a nasty SOB. Just Google him. He has been personally nasty to me. He enjoys slash and burn tactics against conservatives he doesn't agree with.

    However, he does have some great commentators at Commentary particularly Peter Wehner.

  8. Palin is "thin-skinned"???


    Give any of these Palin-bashers the same media treatment she's had to put up with for the last 2-1/2 years and they would have jumped off a skyscraper long ago...

  9. Oh wait! John Podhoretz sucks. No way! Really?

    wow. Just wow. Film at 11:00.

  10. 1. I became a Palin supporter in September 2007 (sic) and withdrew my electoral support when she resigned as governor.

    2. She deals with predicaments with bold moves that demonstrate a personal style which differentiates her from most other players at the political game. Therefore both her successes and failures are likely to be spectacular. Therefore both her supporters and opponents are likely to be passionate.

    Bill, I agree with you that attacks on Palin have been unacceptably vicious. However, with respect, don't overlook the behavior of some of her supporters. Remember how Kathleen was treated by some commenters when one of her first posts mildly criticized Palin.

    3. Podhoretz: She found herself in Harry Truman’s kitchen, and she couldn’t take the heat.

    She can take the heat; she miscalculated on a high-risk high-payoff maneuver, that's all. (And Harry Truman had a temper that he lost more than once in that kitchen.)

    4. Pdhoretz: But she had and has more raw political talent than anyone I’ve ever seen...

    She has political talents of a very high order, but more than anybody else? Bill Clinton? Marco Rubio? And, "coming out of nowhere," (Podhoretz's phrase) Ronald Reagan got elected governor of California.

    ...and, alas, as phenoms go, it looks like she is headed for a Darryl Strawberry-like playing career.

    This, of course, is a vile cheap shot. It would be a cheap shot coming from a partisan Democrat during the heat of a campaign.

    4. I oppose Palin for the Presidency. However, I will probably approve if she does another gymnastic move and consolidates a nonelectoral form of power for herself.

  11. Well, I have a fitting epitaph for every pundit who piles onto Palin: shibboleth

    It tells me everything I need to know about whomever is bringin' the hate. They become living shibboleths of unfriendly, foreign power-brokering in the media. They can't not pronounce her name with anything less than their elitist, progressive accent. At best, those who bash her are merely frightened rabbits, still scared of not getting that invitation to be with the cool kids.

    Bravo, Professor, for calling them on it.

  12. I just wanted to suggest that we underestimate the degree to which all of this Palin hatred has been orchestrated. David Axelwood has made a career of "perception management". Why would we assume that his efforts have only been directed at packaging and selling us Obama? He has been packaging and unselling Palin at the same time and for the same reason. None of vile behavior is coincidental. Just MHO.

  13. "most people in Washington believe she won’t run. But in Alaska, they’re not so sure. The Palin they knew faced many of the same obstacles, and nothing about her charmed career, from mayor to governor to vice-presidential nominee and finally to global celebrity, suggests to them that she would ever be deterred." J. Green

    Events leading to 2012 including oil prices, the economy and the class issue play directly to Palin’s strengths. Look at the recent polls. Her strongest numbers come from the lowest income groups. These people can be found in swing states. Some of them were also once known as Reagan Democrats. Palin has been carrying on a dialogue with these voters for quite a while. Not in the pages of the Atlantic but on Dancing with the Stars, Facebook, and The Learning Channel.

    Andrew Breitbart: Sarah Palin, unlike the rest of the GOP, understands how today’s pop culture influences everything, including politics, and how to use it. “Palin’s the only GOP candidate to understand how culture influences politics (not vice versa), but he believes that that’s why the mainstream media targeted the former Alaska governor. “They want to destroy her,” he told us, “because they [media] recognize that she has a transcendent pop culture factor.“

    Polls find low-income Republicans prefer Palin
    CBS News

    One week of Palin campaigning will outweigh all the BS ever written in the Atlantic about her. How many people who vote read The Atlantic? How many people who vote ever heard of The Atlantic? How many people who vote ever heard of John Podhoretz. Maybe he's just POd she's moved toward the Hoover Institution and it's politics.

  14. Very disappointed in Podhoretz.

  15. While some will criticize Palin for resigning from the Alaskan governor's office, they fail to take into consideration Alaskan laws that made it difficult for her to even function. Federal laws do not present that possibility to an elected federal official.

    What Palin did after her resignation was make lemonaid out of lemons. Being soley supported by her oil field worker husband, she and Todd faced nearing $2 million in legal debts. She has consequently paid those off, and if some are a little uncomfortable with how she did it, they would only find other reasons to be uncomfortable with Palin.

    The problem that some have with Palin is that she, in no way, fits the mold of what they think a federal politician should fit. She doesn't come from a wealthy family, she doesn't come from a political family, she didn't attend a tony East Coast university, she didn't major in any of the things acceptable to the elite right (political science, law, medicine). And Gawd, that accent. How could the elite East Coast and Beltway conservatives stand listening to that Gawd awful accent?

    So Palin was portrayed, by the same media who assured us that John McCain was the only person who could defeat a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, as a rube, a hick, someone from the last "frontier" in America, a state that most people might only think of once a year, if that. And those who like to think of themselves as "progressive" conservatives, joined in the fray. On top of everything else, Sarah Palin didn't play politics the way the guys did and for that, she must be punished. She should have learned to be a team player, no matter how disheartened the base was with the GOP that continued to give us the McCains and the Lindsay Grahams and the other RINOs whose greatest claim to fame was being able to pole vault across the aisle and betray all things that conservatives value.

    We consistantly elect people who claim to be "just like us" for mayor, governor, and to the state and federal congresses. Yet, when it all boils down to it, the person who really is "just like us", who has five kids she cooks for, a husband who works with his hands, and kids that are not perfect, was crucified in the press and by fellow Republicans.

    Do I want someone that has actually had to make ends meet with a family budget, who has made out a grocery list or actually purchased their own gasoline in the last 5 years? How about someone who you would feel perfectly comfortable inviting to your home for a bar-b-que without feeling they would be uncomfortable in such "common" surroundings? You betcha. I want someone who has, in their lifetime, actually gotten their hands dirty working for a living.

    A nation who once prided itself on electing a man who once chopped wood and studied the law by an oil lantern, coming from a really poor family, seems to now want someone who has lived a life only a few of us could ever dream about.

  16. ALRIGHT Professor!

    The Country Class must UNITE to RESIST The Ruling Class if the Republic is to be saved and America is to retain her Identity.

    There is only one true conservative candidate, with the record of accomplishment required, and with The Steel Spine to do what is necessary in DC .... I fear that this 2012 election will be the last chance Constitutional America will get.

    Who is the candidate who has ZERO ties to DC powerbrokers, and who cannot/will not be controlled by the entities that GOT AMERICA INTO THIS DEBT HOLE in the first place?

    Jon Pod and Bill Kristol are neocons who have turned against Gov "12 B $ surplus" Palin since she clearly dumped on their Foreign Policy approach when she spoke in CO last weekend.

    I agree Professor.

    ZERO TOLERANCE for these cheap shots from the right.

  17. John needs to listen to his father, Norman.


    "Nothing annoys certain of my fellow conservative intellectuals more than when I remind them, as on occasion I mischievously do, that the derogatory things they say about Sarah Palin are uncannily similar to what many of their forebears once said about Ronald Reagan."
    . . .
    "What I am trying to say is not that Sarah Palin would necessarily make a great president but that the criteria by which she is being judged by her conservative critics—-never mind the deranged hatred she inspires on the left—-tell us next to nothing about the kind of president she would make."

  18. Thank you! True, strong, chivalrous. You have faith in Dharma (Zedekah). Dharma abhors misogyny. Dharma supports those who support Dharma (Zedekah).

  19. I am not a religious person, but I can tell that Gov Palin sincerely believes in what she believes in, and she wears her beliefs on her sleeve. This, and her persistence in what she sees to be the right way in the face of gossip, harassment, intimidation, and threats, makes her a person of reliable integrity as far as I'm concerned. Anyone with a brain can see that she is not a typical politician. She is committed to serving God's will as she sees it, and she is intelligent and strong. I can trust her more readily than some proven liar like Newt Gingrich, for example, and next to Barry there's no comparison; it's like comparing gold to tin.

    No true conservative could stoop to ad hominem attacks on such a person as Sarah Palin and expect to be remain in good standing with their peers afterwards. Leftist hounds, yes--they're going to take those cheap shots. But a conservative I don't think would really do that, whether he agreed with her or not.

    I am pretty sure the so-called "conservative" journalists and bloggers do this because they are trying to stir up readership, which is pretty foul of them. I've stopped reading the Daily Caller as much as I did before because of what they say about her.

    Almost every candidate that she supported in 2010 was a winner. If she doesn't run, whoever she backs for 2012 is almost sure to win. That's pretty much the bottom line, and I guess that scares a lot of "conservatives" as much as it does liberals.

  20. The establishment Republicans and the beltway Neo-cons are unhappy that Palin won't play by their rules. Palin is not self-destructing, it's the Republican Party that is. They have only one star, Palin. No one else can create big crowds. No one else can "target" 20 congressional districts and produce 18 victories. Too bad she can't be nice to President Obama, bow in his direction and run a losing race. This seems to be what they want, a duplication of John McCain's campaign. The establishment is not convinced that anyone can beat Obama and they are getting used to the idea that he will serve two terms. They have forgotten the 2010 election and they don't seem to have a clue why it happened. Many will keep their powder dry and wait for 2016.

    The frustration of the beltway Republicans, for lack of a winnable candidate is now being taken out on the one candidate who led them to victory in 2010. Maybe if she hadn't meddled in the 2010 election, they wouldn't have to worry about running against Obama in 2012. They could just lie down and play dead. Kumbaya.

    If Sarah Palin wins the nomination and I believe she already has with conservative voters, she will not be able to count on establishment support in the general election and the future of the party will be in doubt.

    Sarah Palin is not going to follow the Neo-cons and she is not going to follow the moderates. She is a leader and if they want victory it is they who will need to learn to follow her.

  21. retire05 at 6:27
    Very nice.

  22. My support of Palin occurs because of the vitrol deirected at her.

    If those infected with PDS (formerly BDS) would stay away from her family and not blame her for the attacks (Would these same Leftists blame rape victims for their rapes? Probably yes), I would have ignored her for 2012.

    Now I think it would be Karmic justice if Palin wins in November 2012. Plus it would force Andrew Sullivan to leave the US for good.

  23. Thank you Professor. I canceled my subscription to Commentary over J. Podhoretz's and J. Rubin's unhinged attacks on Mrs. Palin which intensified after the November elections.

    In an odd and probably telling incident, I received a nasty email from J. Podhoretz when I submitted a complaint via a letter to the editor regarding the unrelenting and spiteful blog posts relative to Mrs. Palin. Not only was it bizarre and a little chilling to receive a personal response but the fact that it continued to attack Mrs. Palin was disturbing.

  24. I also have zero tolerance for the blatant, snobby, regional prejudice our elite betters in the NYC-DC corridor show to Palin.

    I don't know who will prevail in the GOP primary -- but I will watch how the treat Palin. If I see any of this snobbishness on display toward her during the primary season for the winning candidate, that will weigh heavily on me as to whether I will go with the Republican pick in 2012 or Third Party. Voting for Obama directly is not an option -- but I will not vote directly from someone who does not respect what the Palins have gone through for the love of their country.

    It is as I always say: What people say about Palin tells me more about them than it does about her.

  25. So true. I can just about put up with Bush Derangement as a form of involuntary blindness, but Palin Derangement seems so cowardly to me that it comes across as a conscious moral choice, active evil.

  26. I agree - zero tolerance for conservatives who pile on Palin, as well as liberals who repeat outrageous lies (Tina Fey) or sexual innuendo (Tracy Jordan) or obscenities (Bill Maher).

  27. If the conservative critics of Governor Palin brought forth much substance that would be one thing, but to base their opinions on snobbish assumptions garnered at the feet of "their betters" is simply political and professional suicide, IMO. I concur with Joan of Argghh! It tells me everything I need to know about the slimers.

  28. Jeannebodine, I'm not sure what Jennifer Rubin attacks on Palin you mean. It's entirely possible she launched such attacks on her weblog, but about a year ago she wrote an article for Commentary titled "Why Jews Hate Palin," actually about "Why Liberals Hate Palin."

    It was not at all an attack and the gravamen of her argument was that it is class bias, and that's pretty much what a lot of it is. On the other hand, anyone who thinks liberal care very much about people (as opposed to The People) hasn't been paying attention.

  29. My wife has been a subscriber to Commentary for over 20 years. She refuses to subscribe any more because of crap like this, which is more and more prevalent in the magazine.

  30. What is especially surprising about JPod, and for that matter Jennifer Rubin when she wrote there, is that Contentions lends so much time and effort to it defense of Israel against not only the Palestinians, et al, but also to the secular Jews on the left. Their efforts to unmask the impropriety at J Street was excellent.

    But then you contrast that with how they treat Mrs. Palin and you're left scratching your head. No one on the right is more unabashed in her support of Israel than Sarah Palin.

    No. One.

    I think this is a clear example of how the upcoming election is not going to be cast in the normal Democrat/Republican paradigm.

    On the one side you have the Statists. The Statists proclaim faith in God, but their actions belie their words - their religion is the state at the expense of the compact that exists between the citizen and his government. He, the Statist, believes he is the God.

    On the other side you have the Originalists, the heirs to the Revolution. To them, God is at the center of life. Be he Christian, Jew, Buddist, what have you, he understands that his civil rights were bestowed upon him by the Almighty - not by a jug-eared, disbarred lawyer who has been an utter failure at everything he has done in life except campaigning for the next higher political office - and that the founding documents were fashioned as to enumerate those rights and to limit the ability of government to impact them.

    That's where we are.

    That is why the Statists fear Mrs. Palin - she is a modern day Abigail Adams. Except this time, she can both vote and run for office.

    When Mrs. Palin announces, watch carefully. The outpouring will be a sight to behold. I, along with millions of Conservatives, will rally to her side and campaign for her like there is no tomorrow.

    Because there isn't going to be a tomorrow if Barry Soetoro is elected to a second term.

  31. ....thanks William for re-posting this article as I could not get through the diatribe of Podhoretz... it was just ridiculous, I liken it to nervous laughter at what is coming at them...still yet unannounced...but still they know it is coming... lol!

  32. and I love the video of the day! Thanks for the memories....

  33. May 10th PPP Poll BEFORE the Huckster declined the battle. Note she that shall not be named.


  34. Certain members of the commentariat like to point to her "unfavorable" ratings as evidence that she is "box-office poison." (An interesting analogy, actually, since that is what was said about the late, great Kate Hepburn. But I digress....) No one points out the obvious: the media / entertainment was against her has been so relentless, so shrill, so poisonous, and so false, that it is a miracle she has any favorable numbers at all. As Rush says, the Left will always tell us whom they really, really fear, and they have been petrified about her since Day One.

    I agree, also, that there is no excuse for the likes of John P. to pile on. "If you can't say something nice, then say nothing at all." Too bad he never learned that.

  35. http://barbaricthoughts.com/2011/05/the-tragedy-of-sarah-palin/

    At least Green is takin' to task, and slammed in the process, as his biased insinuations of twisted, distorted, and erroneous false snide references, to, and of, Gov. Palin's record as Governor, is all too apparent..