10 April 2010

Why Does Sarah Palin Drive Stupid People Crazy?

Evidently, there is something about Palin that drives her critics crazy. But if they can pause for breath, they might take a lesson from history as to the wisdom of mocking a political figure for a supposed lack of intelligence. The caricature of Eisenhower as Donald Duck did not stop him from twice defeating, in Electoral College landslides, the cerebral Adlai Stevenson, the darling of the intellectual crowd. The Georgetown set's view of Reagan as "an amiable dunce" did not keep voters from giving the Gipper landslide wins over Jimmy Carter, a nuclear engineer known for his propensity to micromanage, in 1980, and Walter Mondale in 1984. And Bush won re-election over John Kerry in 2004 despite being pilloried as Cheney's puppet. NationalJournal _

Although I virtually never think about Sarah Palin without being prompted, I cannot help but notice the high level of criticism that Palin continues to receive -- from all directions. Whenever I trouble myself to look deeply into the criticisms, there is one thing that stands out regardless of the ideological standpoint of the critic: lack of substance, sometimes referred to as stupidity. Palin's critics are virtually always missing the crux of their own arguments -- and getting it wrong. Some of these critics were born stupid and will always be stupid. But a lot of the brighter critics who go bonkers on Palin are clearly letting their emotions get in the way of their thinking. And others -- on both left and right -- who go insane at the mention of Sarah-cuda simply lack enough insight into their own reflexive bigotry to ever penetrate to the essence. Still others -- such as the matronly right-wing intellectuals who sputter and spit at the thought of the former Alaska governor, are simply jealous of the cold-weather huntress' ability to seemingly live a life full of challenges and pain -- and still focus on the simple pleasures of children, family, and a huge, beautiful outdoors.

Yep. Sarah drives them to the brink of stark, raving madness.
Sarah Palin irritates, agitates, angers and annoys some of the self-appointed finest minds of America to a point long past reason. She has been the target, since the night she walked on stage to speak at a Republican convention, of some of the most savage commentary that the great republic has seen since Richard Nixon.

The great difference, of course, is that Nixon earned some of his venom. He practised political hardball. He was a remorseless partisan with an appetite for political vengeance

And he received some he did not earn, by virtue of a personality -- secretive, bitter even in success, humourless, cold and anxious -- that made him, fairly or otherwise, a target for the cruellest and most unrelenting attacks. But in any event, he was the President. He had been in politics for a full generation. For those determined to hate him, there was a large field to till.

But Palin is not the president, nor has she been. She's been a presence in American national politics for only about two years. She is a cheerful human being, with a large family, an apparently easy-going and normal husband. She has a personality that would sell corn flakes -- if not grow them. What career she had in Alaska, she earned. She's at home indoors and out, radiates human warmth, seems to have some balance about herself, and has displayed over the last year or so a considerable fortitude under an avalanche of mockery and hatred. For the final stroke of this cameo I should note she is smart -- smarter than 90% of the people who make a point of how rock-stupid they know she is.

She, by rights, should be queen of the feminists. All that self-reliance, her takeover of Alaska politics, the rocket ride to a Vice-Presidential ticket, a public career she blends with her family life-- these seem gold-standard credentials for a real feminist. But official feminism derides herewith an unspeakable intensity. Her early critics were not beyond the inane claim that she was somehow not really a woman. _NationalPost

I am very unlikely to ever vote for Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate -- unless she is running against an incompetent clown such as Barack Obama. I am certain to never contribute funds to a Palin campaign. As I said, I do not think about Palin unless someone else brings her up in a particularly cloddish manner. Then, it is the critic that appears the moron, not Palin.

Understanding The Sarah Palin Effect in National Post

Palin is no Puppet in National Journal


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Blogger Unknown said...

I still prefer Tina Fey. Tina has actually worked hard in her career. Palin apparently bailed out of the political kitchen because she couldn't stand the heat of being responsible for her duties which she no doubt had to swear to perform. She didn't. Now she just charges big bucks for her tiny sound bite opinions, but almost everyone already has more developed ones.

Saturday, 10 April, 2010  
Blogger bruce said...

I think I will take this opportunity to tell Al Fin how much I appreciate his blog(s). Its a pleasure to find this distillation. The balance and intellect I find spot on.

Saturday, 10 April, 2010  
Blogger neil craig said...

She made her big foreign policy speech in Hong Kong, nominally part of communist China. It is a long speech http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=139069028434
which is not antagonistic to the rise of China, if China becomes freer, comparing it with the British Empire not being seriously antagonistic to the rise of the USA. Perhaps her optimism about beating the Taliban is misplaced but then perhaps not. All in all I do not think I have seen any politician make a more thoughtful speech on foreign policy - & this is supposed to be her weak subject.

Sunday, 11 April, 2010  
Blogger mopc said...

Reading this blogs is always a bizarre experience to me. But mostly a negative one. It's a somewhat exaperating to go through the seemingly chaoting mixture of ideologies, from vulgar anti-Obama-ism to this pro-Palin article, from healthy global warming skepticism to wingnut denial of fossil fuel scarcity, it's like this blog is a random aggregate of impopular ideas, some right, some wrong, some very wrong.

I find especially disturbing the emphasis placed by the author on the "tragedy of developed countries's low fertility rates", this is a common thread by many intelligent bloggers who should know better - the number of people won't matter as much as the quality of their memes and their capacity to generate knowledge, expand to the universe and achieve reduced mortality by gene therapy/ organ replacement and the like. If having babies was that big a deal, rats would be ruling the world. The crummy "third world" baby-havers simply won't matter, either they will achieve a greater level of existence or they will be left behind/ exterminated.

Sarah Palin represents a crappy side of human nature, although not at all an evil one, but an anti-science and indifferent to knowledge, so opposed to the ideals of Thomas Jefferson et al.

Why a pro-science blogger bothers to write this article, it really must be strong hatred for the "lefists" and "politically correcties" (which I share) but come on!

Sunday, 11 April, 2010  
Blogger neil craig said...

Mauricio your position depends on assuming that the best & brightest in America & the world are producing, per person, a higher number of children than the rest. What evidence convined you of that?

Monday, 12 April, 2010  
Blogger bruce said...


Can you give some examples of Sara's dislike of science. (Lets for the sake of civility not consider AGW to be fact)

Monday, 12 April, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks for the comments.

MJ: I will forward your note to the Tina Fey fan club.

Bruce: Thanks very much.

Neil: I have not read that speech, but remember that giving a good speech is not proof of the ability to govern wisely. Palin displayed that ability during her short tenure as governor and mayor. Obama has never displayed it.

Mauricio: Where can I send my check for your consultancy and psychoanalysis?

This blog (and the other blogs of the Al Fin Syndicate) stand on their own. I see no need to defend my oddball approach to bloggery. In fact, the more comments such as Mauricio's that are received, the more assured I am that the blog is doing its job.

For those immersed so long in the mainstream, or impressed too strongly by the psycho-lobotomy of higher education, this blog will seem exactly as Mauricio describes it. That is as it should be.

If such readers never "get it", then the blog was never for them in the first place.

Monday, 12 April, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rand Paul in 2012, watch for it!! Palin is for right wing feminists, and could be Rand Paul's mascot wearing a moose suit.

Sunday, 18 April, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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