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Sick

Jay Nordlinger

I am no violet, and I know that politics is an ugly business. But I must say: The attempted destruction of Gov. Sarah Palin — by some of the worst forces in this country — is making me sick. You? For most of our lives, we have heard squawks from the left about civil liberties. Also about the “politics of personal destruction.” I know they hate her, politically and personally. But won’t some of them stand up against what is happening now? Just for the sake of a semblance of integrity?

And, by the way: The argument that Sarah Palin is less prepared than Barack Obama is laughable. It basically comes down to: “I think Barack’s smarter than Sarah. And cooler — less country.” A few days after the Republican convention — before talking points really gelled — I went on Irish radio (from the comfort of my home in New York). A man on the other end was not able to say that Obama had more experience. So he said, “He has a more rounded intelligence.”

This was after he had heard one speech by Sarah Palin. And the obvious core of his objection was: She’s a conservative.

As usual, what is rotten is all the pretending: all the pretending about experience and censored books and whether she has traveled widely enough. If they’d only say, “She’s a conservative, and that is intolerable,” that would be fine. It would even be welcome. But they have to go into all this other, and destroy the woman personally.

And once they stigmatize and caricature a person, that person usually stays stigmatized and caricatured — as with Quayle, as with Bork. Reagan, somehow, managed to escape the noose. How about “our Sarah”? In reality, she is a reformist governor and a heartwarming American success story. Will they — you know: “they” — succeed in making her an extremist dunce?

Stay tuned . . .

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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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A feminist’s argument for McCain’s VP

It should be no surprise that the Democratic response to the McCain-Palin ticket was to immediately attack by playing the liberal trump card that keeps Democrats in line – the abortion card – where the party daily tells restless feminists the other side is going to police their wombs.

The power of that accusation is interesting, coming from the Democrats – a group that just told the world that if you have ovaries, then you don’t count.

In the shadow of the blatant and truly stunning sexism launched against the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, and as a pro-choice feminist, I wasn’t the only one thrilled to hear Republican John McCain announce Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. For the GOP, she bridges for conservatives and independents what I term “the enthusiasm gap” for the ticket. For Democrats, she offers something even more compelling – a chance to vote for a someone who is her own woman, and who represents a party that, while we don’t agree on all the issues, at least respects women enough to take them seriously.

Whether we have a D, R or an “i for independent” after our names, women share a different life experience from men, and we bring that difference to the choices we make and the decisions we come to. Having a woman in the White House, and not as The Spouse, is a change whose time has come, despite the fact that some Democratic Party leaders have decided otherwise. But with the Palin nomination, maybe they’ll realize it’s not up to them any longer.

Clinton voters, in particular, have received a political wake-up call they never expected. Having watched their candidate and their principles betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be the flame-holders for equal rights and fairness, they now look across the aisle and see a woman who represents everything the feminist movement claimed it stood for. Women can have a family and a career. We can be whatever we choose, on our own terms. For some, that might mean shooting a moose. For others, perhaps it’s about shooting a movie or shooting for a career as a teacher. However diverse our passions, we will vote for a system that allows us to make the choices that best suit us. It’s that simple.

The rank bullying of the Clinton candidacy during the primary season has the distinction of simply being the first revelation of how misogynistic the party has become. The media led the assault, then the Obama campaign continued it. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democratic vice presidential candidate, was so taken aback by the attacks that she publicly decried nominee Barack Obama as “terribly sexist” and openly criticized party chairman Howard Dean for his remarkable silence on the obvious sexism.

Concerned feminists noted, among other thinly veiled sexist remarks during the campaign, Obama quipping, “I understand that Sen. Clinton, periodically when she’s feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal,” and Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen in a television interview comparing Clinton to a spurned lover-turned-stalker in the film, “Fatal Attraction,” noting, “Glenn Close should have stayed in that tub, and Sen. Clinton has had a remarkable career…”. These attitudes, and more, define the tenor of the party leadership, and sent a message to the grassroots and media that it was “Bros Before Hoes,” to quote a popular Obama-supporter T-shirt.

The campaign’s chauvinistic attitude was reflected in the even more condescending Democratic National Convention. There, the Obama camp made it clear it thought a Super Special Women’s Night would be enough to quell the fervent support of the woman who had virtually tied him with votes and was on his heels with pledged delegates.

There was a lot of pandering and lip service to women’s rights, and evenings filled with anecdotes of how so many have been kept from achieving their dreams, or failed to be promoted, simply because they were women. Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” were mentioned a heck of a lot. More people began to wonder, though, how many cracks does it take to break the thing?

Ironically, all this at an event that was negotiated and twisted at every turn in an astounding effort not to promote a woman.

Virtually moments after the GOP announcement of Palin for vice president, pundits on both sides of the aisle began to wonder if Clinton supporters – pro-choice women and gays to be specific – would be attracted to the McCain-Palin ticket. The answer is, of course. There is a point where all of our issues, including abortion rights, are made safer not only if the people we vote for agree with us – but when those people and our society embrace a respect for women and promote policies that increase our personal wealth, power and political influence.

Make no mistake – the Democratic Party and its nominee have created the powerhouse that is Sarah Palin, and the party’s increased attacks on her (and even on her daughter) reflect that panic.

The party has moved from taking the female vote for granted to outright contempt for women. That’s why Palin represents the most serious conservative threat ever to the modern liberal claim on issues of cultural and social superiority. Why? Because men and women who never before would have considered voting for a Republican have either decided, or are seriously considering, doing so.

They are deciding women’s rights must be more than a slogan and actually belong to every woman, not just the sort approved of by left-wing special interest groups.

Palin’s candidacy brings both figurative and literal feminist change. The simple act of thinking outside the liberal box, which has insisted for generations that only liberals and Democrats can be trusted on issues of import to women, is the political equivalent of a nuclear explosion.

The idea of feminists willing to look to the right changes not only electoral politics, but will put more women in power at lightning speed as we move from being taken for granted to being pursued, nominated and appointed and ultimately, sworn in.

It should be no surprise that the Democratic response to the McCain-Palin ticket was to immediately attack by playing the liberal trump card that keeps Democrats in line – the abortion card – where the party daily tells restless feminists the other side is going to police their wombs.

The power of that accusation is interesting, coming from the Democrats – a group that just told the world that if you have ovaries, then you don’t count.

Yes, both McCain and Palin identify as anti-abortion, but neither has led a political life with that belief, or their other religious principles, as their signature issue. Politicians act on their passions – the passion of McCain and Palin is reform. In her time in office, Palin’s focus has not been to kick the gays and make abortion illegal; it has been to kick the corrupt and make wasteful spending illegal. The Republicans are now making direct appeals to Clinton supporters, knowingly crafting a political base that would include pro-choice voters.

On the day McCain announced her selection as his running mate, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for blazing her trail. A day later, Ferraro noted her shock at Palin’s comment. You see, none of her peers, no one, had ever publicly thanked her in the 24 years since her historic run for the White House. Ferraro has since refused to divulge for whom she’s voting. Many more now are realizing that it does indeed take a woman – who happens to be a Republican named Sarah Palin.

Tammy Bruce is the author of “The New American Revolution” (HarperCollins, 2005) and a Fox News political contributor. She is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women. A registered Democrat her entire adult life until February, she now is registered as a decline-to-state voter.

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