When one woman who drives me crazy sets out to defend another one using ethics-crushing illogic, I cannot withhold my hand.
The wimpiest pseudo-conservative op-ed columnsit who ever roamed the Earth, Kathleen Parker, has delivered a column titled “The Sacrifice of Sarah Palin.” Its thesis? “Blame for her general collapse beginning in 2008 can be placed in large part upon her own party, which used her and cast her aside.”
Well, Parker proves with her fatuous essay that blame can be placed on Republicans, but she doesn’t prove that it should be. Sarah’s reputation is on life support after delivering a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit that included passages like these…
- “We don’t sit on our thumbs next time when one of our own is being crucified, and falsely accused of whatever the hit accusation of the day happens to be: racism, sexism, whatever.”
- ‘The man can only ride you when your back is bent So strengthen it! Then the man can’t ride you, America won’t get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.”
- “What will they do to stop causing our pain and start feeling it again? Well, in other words, um — Is Hillary a new Democrat or an old one?”
- “Now the press asks, the press asks, ‘Can anyone stop Hillary?’ Again, this is to forego a conclusion, right? It’s to scare us off, to convince us that — a pantsuit can crush patriots.”
When she was coherent, she was vulgar. “Screw the left in Hollywood!’ she shouted. Nice. How professional.
Apparently her teleprompter froze. They will do that. Any public figure who presumes to have influence on public policy had better be able to articulate coherent thoughts on the subject off-script. Sarah resorted to jibberish and jingoism, which tells us that she hasn’t come very far from her deer-in-the-headlights moment with Katie Couric.
Parker uses this opportunity to tell us that she was prescient in saying, in 2008, that Palin was “out of her league.” That was a cheap shot then, and is now. There was no way to determine at that moment that Palin was any less prepared for a national stage, or less capable of meeting the challenge by hard work, good advice, guts, instincts and learning than a myriad of U.S. political figures past and present, from Andrew Jackson to Calvin Coolidge to Harry Truman and…Barack Obama. We often dosn’t discover what we are capable of until an opportunity arises. Palin could have risen to the occasion; she just didn’t, that’s all. (Neither did John McCain) She was lazy; she fell back on tricks and charm; she gave ammunition to the unforgivably biased journalistic mob that had decided that they were going to make sure the U.S. got a black President no matter what. Obama had no more experience in leadership than Palin. He had less. His character flaws have also prevented him from rising above his preparation and being an effective and competent leader. That is his failing, just as Palin’s sloth, greed, lack of focus, and infatuation with celebrity are entirely attributable to her.
“Let’s be honest,” writes Parker. “Any man of Palin’s comparable deficits, no matter his winning ways, would have been eliminated from consideration within minutes of opening his mouth.”
This is blatant hindsight bias and historical revisionism. Let’s be honest: Anyone with the personality of John Quincy Adams couldn’t have been elected President unless his father had been a Founding Father. So what? Any short guy without a college degree like Harry Truman would never get to the White House unless he was running on a ticket with FDR at a time when his running mate could have been a monkey. If Jack Kennedy had been bald…if LBJ hadn’t been able to deliver Texas…Parker’s argument doesn’t hold water even for the national election she was part of! If someone wants to wager that Sarah Palin has stuck her foot in her mouth more often or more horribly than Joe Biden, I’ll take that bet.
And while I hate to be unkind, any male op-ed writer who consistently produced as much equivocal, whiny drivel as Kathleen Parker would risk being restricted to the op-ed pages of the West Podunk Inquirer. Every time I read her, I hear that Washington Post editorial meeting of years ago, with voices crying out, “We need more diversity on our Op-Ed Page!”
To Parker’s credit, when the stars and biases aligned and her big break arrived, she had the sense, integrity and respect for her readers to work hard enough, despite her limitations, to take advantage of the opportunity and not to coast on her looks and charm. Palin didn’t.
She sacrificed herself, and she is completely accountable for it.