Something About Sarah

  Jay Nordlinger

Earlier this morning, I wrote that the attacks on Governor Palin — particularly the breaking into her e-mail — were making me sick. (Here.) One reader wrote, “I, too, have been feeling a physical revulsion over the Left’s determination to destroy Sarah Palin, by any means necessary.” That reader spoke for many.

One of them said, “What would be the general media reaction if Obama’s e-mail were hacked and disseminated? It would be a lot stronger.” That, too, is a common sentiment.

In my earlier post, I wondered whether Palin would be permanently stigmatized and caricatured — à la Bork, Quayle, and Thomas. Or would she escape the noose, like Reagan? Many readers thought she would — given her communication skills, and given the multiplicity of media now: We have websites, talk radio, etc.

Yes, but there were plenty of outlets in the 1980s and ’90s. And no one’s communication skills are better than Bork’s or Thomas’s. Quayle isn’t bad, either — you don’t rise that high in politics without knowing how to communicate.

Other readers said that Palin was finished, done: “I see that the polls have dramatically switched in Obama’s favor within just one week. I guess that the Borking — the destruction — of this governor is complete.” Another reader said, “I thought Sarah Palin would be a superstar. Now, she’ll be nothing more than a national joke. The Republicans haven’t fought back. The MSM has won.”

Then there is continuing amazement over the sheer hatred that Palin has aroused: “I am almost 60 and come from Massachusetts. In all my years, I have never seen anything like this, and don’t want to see it ever again. I have a friend who is both feminist and left-leaning. I asked her why they hate Palin so much. She said, ‘Because she’s had it all: family, career. And she did it without a man like Bill Clinton helping her. She did it on her own.’”

I have said it before: Hillary Clinton’s husband was president of the United States. Sarah Palin’s works the night shift in an oil field. Who is the feminist hero? Bien sûr.

 I myself have a tale to relate. An episode left me kind of shaken, honestly. Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine — a very warm and humane woman. We’ve been friends for years. I had been away, and we hadn’t talked politics — but then, we never do. We never had. She’s a liberal, of course — virtually everyone here in NYC is. And I never, ever bring up politics (with pretty much anyone — not worth the trouble) (and, of course, I do it professionally).

But she said to me, out of the blue, “What do you think of Sarah Palin?” And while I was drawing breath to answer, she said, “I hate her.”

That kind of took my breath away — because this friend of mine is no hater. But she said it with firm, horrible conviction. She said it with true emotion in her eyes. Frankly, I was too taken aback to reply, other than to say, “Well, my feeling is the exact opposite.”

I can see how you might disagree with Governor Palin — she’s a conservative, after all. I can see how you might find her unprepared even for the vice-presidency. But hate? Hate a woman who rose from a modest background to be governor of her state? Who is obviously a warm, civic-minded, talented mother of five?

Hate?

It must be abortion, religion, and culture. If she were pro-choice, went to a mainline church (only on Christmas and Easter), and didn’t hunt, she’d be okay. At least less attacked. But then, she wouldn’t be herself, would she?

I consider myself a very patriotic person, and I have been teased or damned all my life for my pro-American views — particularly in academic settings. But, I’m sorry, this is, in many ways, a sick country.

 

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