Friday, November 20, 2009

The Knee-Jerks and Palin

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

The ruse should have been allowed to fester longer, but the point was made nonetheless: Some people hate Palin first and ask questions later.

Read the
rest of Jonah Goldberg on the Palinophobes. I think he has it right. She is a politician. She should stand or fall on issues. (Issues? Remember those things? They were pretty important in the days before personality-driven politics.)

Andrew Sullivan has come unhinged on Palin. Reading his blog is like watching a train wreck.


James said...

It's also important to realize that your own bias determines what is unhinged and what is simply reasonable criticism.

For instance, if you posted a particularly dumb quote from the Palin book on Free Republic and said it was from Dreams of my Father, I imagine the experiment would run the same way.

The reaction to Palin is outre on both the positive and negative sides. However, they aren't claiming she's not from here, they aren't saying she would deliberately tear down the walls of the Republic. You should spend more time reading the words of the unhinged on your own side of the fence.

You should always distrust the data which confirms exactly what you want to be true. And the notion that either side of American politics is in any way worse than the other.

Michael Wade said...


I think Goldberg made a point of noting that the fans who think she's the Second Coming are also off-base. I'm hardly carrying a banner for Sarah Palin, but I have never seen a political figure elicit such a reaction. I do read the bizarre statements from both sides of the fence and well remember the nutty right-wing comments about the Vince Foster case, black helicopters, etc. Many of Sullivan's comments about Palin are in that league.

Cromagnum said...

I think that Palin has become a bullhorn, when conservatives want to turn up the volume. People project thier words through her.

And that drives liberals crazy, that a conservative woman can do that.

I read her boom, shes not much of an original thinker, and she doesn't claim to be. I think her father is more of an original thinker.

On Obama, people project thier image on him. And he enables it. This will be a problem if the economy turns sour.