My latest on (oh no!) Sarah Palin

She’s not the savior of conservatives.

And she’s not nearly as much a victim of the “liberal media” as her defenders make her out to be (at least if we’re talking about the mainstream media; there has been some incredible nastiness on left-wing blogs, though at least no one that I know of tried to claim that she left a trail of bodies in her wake).  About the mockery of her religion: yes, it was suggested with no real evidence that she believes the dinosaurs lived 5,000 years ago (it’s actually unknown whether she’s a creationist or not; she does support the teaching of both “intelligent design” and evolution in public schools).  However, I do think she got off rather easy on her connection to a witch-hunting African pastor (I suspect for two reasons: one, bringing up a wacko pastor connection would have inevitably called up the ghost of Jeremiah Wright; two, it might have seemed somewhat un-PC to make too much fun of a crazy pastor from Africa and his looney medieval beliefs).

Is it possible that in a few years Palin will reinvent herself as a brilliant candidate?  Perhaps; F. Scott Fitzgerald notwithstanding, there are second acts in American life.  But it would have to be one hell of a second act.  And if it is, I’ll gladly eat my words.  As I said in the article, and in other venues, I think there is definitely a place and a need for a conservative/libertarian/individualist feminsm that embraces female strength, femininity, family, and small government — and for the kind of female leadership Palin could have provided if she had lived up to her billing.


Filed under feminism, Sarah Palin, U.S. politics, women

54 responses to “My latest on (oh no!) Sarah Palin

  1. Pingback: Crossing the line « The Y Files

  2. dmlauffer

    They called her baby a “retard”, called her a slutty flight attendant and that her daughter got “knocked up” by A-Rod (and it doesn’t matter which daughter, it’s equally tasteless). The mainstream media laughed about the fact that she was offended by that. Then they turned David Letterman into the victim. They never once attacked her on anything legitamate. Never policy, never accomplishments (yea she has little experience, but let’s be honest, more than Obama, unless of course you consider being half black an accomplishment). How can you say she hasn’t been a victim of the mainstream media?

  3. No one in the mainstream media called Palin’s baby a “retard.” That’s ridiculous. And actually, a lot of people in the mainstream media did criticize Letterman for his joke, though I think Palin lost a lot of sympathy when she responded by implying that he was a child molester.

    Honestly? I thought that if it hasn’t been for the issue of the Palin daughter on the trip being 14, the joke about her daughter getting knocked up by A-Rod was pretty funny. Sorry, but when you drag your unwed pregnant teenager into the spotlight (and her marriage to the daddy gets called off), it’s fair game to some extent. Personally, I thought Rush Limbaugh referring to Chelsea Clinton as “the White House dog” was worse since it was completely gratuitous.

  4. dmlauffer

    But a lot of people, especially right after her statement, turned David into the victim. On Morning Joe (MSNBC) Ariana Huffington and Donnie Deutsch, if I remember correctly, said she should be ashamed of herself for trying to manipulate his statement, referring to the fact that she assumed David was referring to her 14 year old and not her 18 year old (not that it really makes a difference, but the 14 year old was at the game with her). And the retard comment was in the Huffington Post (Ariana again big surprise), i guess its not mainstream, but as commercial as it gets when it comes to internet news.

  5. dmlauffer

    This is me sounding like you: Personally, I thought Chelsea Clinton was the white house dog.

    Class act you are.

    I don’t defend Rush Limbaugh insulting Chelsea Clinton, why would you bring that up? is that your cop out? Does that justify talking about her kids? By the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but every major politician’s kids are brought into the public light. That gives no one the right to slander them.

  6. I don’t consider HuffPo mainstream. There’s a lot of downright hateful stuff on that site. And I have no interest in anything Arianna has to say.

    However, I do agree that after Letterman apologized for the misunderstanding and explained that he was thinking of Bristol, it was not appropriate for Palin to basically suggest he was a child molester. A lot of people were actually sympathetic to her after Letterman made those jokes, and by doing that she squandered some of the sympathy.

    As for my reference to Chelsea Clinton, my point is that (1) a lot of people who are outraged by the jokes about Palin’s family condone equivalent or worse stuff coming from Rush or Ann Coulter, and (2) I don’t think Palin got it any worse than a lot of other people.

    A class act you are.

    This is my blog and I don’t tolerate insults and slams on it, toward myself or other commenters. If you want to post here, kindly keep that in mind.

  7. dmlauffer

    I think you need to come to terms with your own feelings about Sarah Palin. You don’t like her because she is a powerful woman who is a conservative. You can’t stand it. You feel it is a betrayal to women. You think she needs to be a pro-choice feminist.

  8. That’s rather amusing, considering that the first article I wrote about Sarah Palin was a defense of her against attacks from left-wing feminists.

  9. yamantaka

    I’ve always thought it odd that, on the one hand, we are to accept that “feminists” (the left-wing kind, that is) represent “women”, and they say this full in the knowledge that tons of women (mainly conservative women) beg to differ with them. But this cognitive dissonance is eased by the idea that conservative women are inauthentic women, their biology notwithstanding, only incidentally female in form but not in substance.

    So if the claim that feminists represent “women” is dishonest, why do you suppose, then, are feminists so often treated by the mainstream media as the go-to voices for what “women” think?

  10. dmlauffer

    So you turned on her? where’s the integrity in that?

  11. How do you define “integrity”? Sticking to a favorable first impression of someone even if it’s contradicted by facts?

  12. roxywp

    Hi Cathy! Its your old friend here, and I couldn’t disagree with you more regarding Sarah Palin. The ‘Palinistas’, as I am one of them, don’t slam the elites like Peggy Noonan, David Frum, etc. because they are anti-Palin, but because they have sold out the very principles of conservatism you say they supported with Reagan. The established, beltway elite republicans long ago gave up being a part of ‘the party of Reagan’. Very few will acknowledge that the party of Reagan simply does not exist anymore. It has been destroyed by the haphazard and woefully wrong strategy of drifting to the left.

    As I’ve always said, you do not advance conservatism by becoming more liberal. But that’s exactly what the likes of Noonan, Parker, Frum, McCain, Romney, etc. want and have a clear record of doing.

    And that’s why Palin has such mass, grassroots *conservative* appeal. With more and more Americans identifying themselves as conservatives, this is where the threat lies- that someone can rally a growing number of Americans outside the beltway, without the ‘help’ of the good ol’ boys.

    I find it incredibly intellectually dishonest that the same critics you cite as being of Reagan were also the ones who touted the virtues of Barack Obama. Reagan and Obama couldn’t be more polar opposites in their views. I also find it laughable that these same elitist GOP insiders scoff at Sarah not being able to answer Couric’s question about what she reads (which we all now know what a hatchet editing job), when Obama couldn’t even answer the question of when life begins, saying it was ‘above his pay grade’. What is more important? What someone reads everyday, or their actual position on one of the most important issues to many Americans? Please tell me, when was the last time any of us heard Obama speak passionately about what he believes… without a teleprompter or cue cards?

    This is precisely why I, along with thousands of others, no longer identify with the Republican party. It simply does not exist anymore as the party of Reagan. Even more troubling is hearing other republicans saying ‘we must forget Reagan and move forward’. Yeah, thanks Jeb Bush. I’d rather forget everyone with the last name of Bush than Reagan.

    And this is where Sarah’s appeal is. She is a conservative above all else. Principle before party. For too long, republicans have been asked to drink the kool aid and go along with everything and anything the GOP does. You know its bad when even Rush Limbaugh states on air he will no longer be the watercarrier for Republicans.

    Principle before party. Anything other than that is a sellout, which is where Noonan, Frum, Parker, etc. have gone. It isn’t about Sarah Palin destroying the GOP. One can not destroy that which has already been damaged beyond recognition.

    And the people to thank for that? The likes of Noonan, Frum, Parker, etc.

  13. dmlauffer

    How do you define integrity? resorting to the same tactics you once criticized? conforming?

  14. dmlauffer: I think you should try to get it through your skull that people who have opinions different from yours are not necessarily “conforming.” As for “resorting to the same tactics I once criticized,” please show me where I did that. Have I said that Palin is “not a real woman” because she is against abortion? or that she is a bad example because she has balanced work and family without resorting to government programs? Actually, if you go back and look at my blogs, I’ve pretty much said what I said from the start of Palin’s candidacy. I didn’t and don’t like the hatred directed at her by a lot of feminists on the left. I also think a lot of her supporters on the right have promoted just as much hatred for people with different political views. People who refer to those who support abortion rights as representative of the “culture of death” have no business criticizing anyone else for being hateful.

    I define integrity as writing what I think. By the way, are you capable of having an argument by addressing actual facts instead of insulting your opponent?

  15. Hi Roxy,

    It’s good to see you, though I think it’s unlikely we’ll come to any agreement since I don’t think ideological purity is any better than blind party allegiance. Furthermore, a lot of conservatives who do support Palin have been every bit as complicit in the betrayal of conservative principles (i.e. the embrace of big government) as those who oppose her.

    Certainly not all of the conservatives who have criticized Palin are in any way pro-Obama. David Frum, for one, has been extremely critical of his presidency. And there a lot more conservatives than those I’ve named who have been appalled by Palin’s elevation to conservative standard-bearer. Check out John Podhoretz, or Liz Trotta of The Washington Times.

    By the way, where is the evidence that Palin has any real conservative principles on anything other than abortion? She’s been the governor of a state that lives off a federal boondoggle (oil revenues).

  16. dmlauffer

    In your reply to me you mockingly said you thought the joke was funny. You say you don’t have any sympothy for the woman also, maybe I was wrong to say you resorted to the tactics you once opposed, but you did not stand firm in your previous position. As far as conforming goes, I mean, look you worked for various media outlets, all of which deliver the same messege unapologetically (with the exception maybe of the Wall Street Journal). And you continue to do so in your blog. I would love to say you are not a conformist for having a different opinion than mine, but you have the same opinon as 95% of the people you have ever worked with. Why do you think the news media has such a problem with Fox News? The answer is because it is news for conservatives by conservative. But they can’t even comprehend the fact that someone might see the world differently, and you live in THAT world. So you think people like Sarah Palin are stupid and not to be taken seriously. You join in with the jesters of the East Coast Elite and laugh.

    To answer your question to Roxy at the end of your response, Sarah Palin believes in the free market. That is the ultimate conservative value. Abortion on the other hand, to a true conservative, is an issue the federal government should not be involved in. She believes in the principles that have made America great. She believes in liberty, freedom, democracy, and traditional Christian values. She believes in individual rights trickle down economics. She is as conservative as anyone who has even been close to president in this country since Ronald Regan. The simple fact that you don’t understand that and have to ask your friend Roxy what her positions are reinforces everything I said.

  17. Actually, I never backed down from anything I said in my first column (and I appeared on Fox News to discuss it). I thought the attacks on Palin from feminists — including ones that were extremely personal and ugly — were out of line and I still think so.

    And yes, I think Letterman’s joke (if directed at the older daughter) was funny. It’s a joke based on the stigma that society quite properly has against unwed teenage motherhood (a stigma that, incidentally, is rooted in conservative values).

    As for free markets and individualism, exactly how does Sarah Palin stand for that? By supporting the “Bridge to Nowhere”?

    Ironically (in view of the fact that I’ve written about Palin and feminists), I quite liked what she said about feminism in her interview with Katie Couric. But there should be a lot more to a politician on the national scene than a good message about feminism. And as far as I can see the only real message Palin stands for is hostility to those who don’t conform to the Sean Hannity/Rush Limbaugh notion of what “real Americans” are.

    As for “conforming,” I don’t bow to anyone on the right or the left. One of the primary publications I write for at the moment is The Weekly Standard, which is very pro-Palin. If I hurt my chances of being published by them by being honest about what I think about her, so be it. I used to write regularly for, from a center-right perspective, and have probably damaged my chances of being published by them again by criticizing Glenn Greenwald. I speak my mind. You, on the other hand, still haven’t learned to debate those who disagree with you without either insulting them or implying that they have dishonest motives. Of course, that’s pretty typical of a lot of people today on both the right and the left.

  18. dmlauffer

    I have to apologize. I had no idea who you were when I started. I did read some of your work and tonight and am happy to say I was wrong. Thing is the Sarah Palin thing really bothers me. I don’t believe 99% of the people in this country can say where she stands on any issue, and I lumped you into that category. For that I am sorry. I assumed and as they say, made an ass of myself.

    I would like to ask you a question. How do you define what a “Real American” is? What does he stand for?

  19. dmlauffer

    sorry, he or she, gotta be politically correct.

  20. Thanks, I appreciate it. 🙂

    I think there are many ways to be a “real American” and the diversity of those ways is what makes this country so great. A professor of literature in Massachusetts is as much of a real American as a fisherman in Alaska or a steakhouse owner in Texas.

    Are there some people who really hate America and everything it stands for? Sure, and I’d venture a guess that those people are found both on the far left and on the extremist far right (communists and other left-wing radicals, as well as the white supremacists or people like Fred Phelps, the pastor who thinks the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq are God’s punishment to America for being too tolerant toward gays). In the mainstream, however, I think most people on both the right and the left are “pro-American.” They just have different ideas of what being pro-American means.

  21. Lola

    I am constantly amazed by the consistent support for Sarah Palin by some Republicans, especially working females. As a working female and a Christian she does not represent or inspire me at all. I was appalled by her behavior during the debate with Joe Biden. How many times did she wink at the camera? That didn’t help further the cause of competent females. That was playing on her femininity. As an attorney, I would be laughed at and belittled behind my back and maybe in public if I were to conduct myself in that way at work.

    I want my president to be smart. They don’t have to be a genius, but they should be smart and highly competent. Sarah Palin cannot string cohesive grammatically correct sentences together. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. That cannot be the new standard for the highest office in the land. It shouldn’t be the standard for a governor either. You should be able to speak. When someone reads your speech, it should make sense. I’m not talking using four syllable words all the time, but there should be noun verb agreement. This is basic.

    People also tend to forget that Palin didn’t have to run against the other republican presidential contenders. If she had to run against a Romney, Giuliani, Pawlenty, even a Hutchinson, they would pick her apart in more ways than one.

  22. Amy, excellent point. I’m amused to see Palin’s supporters on other sites claim she “wiped the floor” with Biden in the debate. First of all, she was allowed to debate under easier rules (what happened to the conservative opposition to lowering standards for the cause of affirmative action?). Second, I distinctly remember that people in the Fox News focus group immediately after the debate felt for the most part that Palin had done worse than Biden.

    Also, one very grating moment in that debate was when Biden mentioned the deaths of his wife and daughter in an accident in 1969 (after which he went on to be a single father), and Palin did not show the slightest bit of empathy — in word, expression, or body language. Quite a few people I know who were inclined to like her at the start distinctly soured on her after that.

  23. Pingback: The White Peril 白禍 » Blog Archive » Over and over

  24. roxywp

    Cathy, it is true you and I will never come to an agreement about Sarah. The problem I have with your article and subsequent posts, Cathy, is that you question her conservative credentials other than being pro-life. As a writer, isn’t that your job- to find out these things? Or are you simply relying on what others say about her to form your own opinion? As for Frum et. all, they were all lining up all the alter in 2007. I didn’t like McCain as a candidate either, but certainly would never expect a republican- let alone conservative- to vote for an unabashed anti-capitalism globalist. And Frum, just like Noonan and the rest of the blame Palin crew, attributed McCain’s loss to Palin being on the ticket. The clear fact is, McCain would have suffered a Mondale-like defeat had it not been for Sarah Palin. Any journalist worth their damn would have done the proper research that proved Sarah Palin was the only reason McCain got the base.

    Did you say this: “Its true that she has been attacked viciously by the Left and by members of her own party in terms I couldn’t repeat in front of my mother. But somehow I can’t resist the urge to pile on. Given the chance to defend her against these irrational and vicious attacks by her and my common enemy I can’t do it. If I speak up for her, they might come after me next.”

    How is anyone supposed to take you seriously when you’re afraid of being given the same treatment you wouldn’t dare speak out against in Palin? As a gutsy, hard nosed feminist recently said, ‘only dead fish go with the flow.’

    Lola, so you want a smart President. So because Sarah winked and stammered through sentences she isn’t smart? Well by your definition, Barack Obama must be the dumbest man on earth since he can’t string together coherent thought without a teleprompter or cue card. Nevermind that she left a republican consulting gig when she saw the corruption and unethical behavior. Dumb people usually don’t understand that stuff. Amazing, too, how a dumb woman manages to become an elected official, not just as mayor in her home town, but also of the largest state in union. This dumb woman managed to dislodge the ‘old boy’ network from one of the most corrupt, entrenched rackets in American politics. She must have winked her way through the entire election process, huh?

    So, if she’s so dumb, doesn’t that make the Alaskan voters even dumber? Is that what you’re saying?

    Pretty ironic that one of the left’s most endearing figures says, ‘it’s a mistake to underestimate her. She’s got good intuitive skills. They’re significant’, and yet, no one listens. Who said that? Bill Clinton.

  25. Roxy: First of all, who is this “they” who might come after me? Conservatives who have criticized Palin, like Kathleen Parker and Peggy Noonan, have been deluged with the most vicious hate mail. I don’t see anything bad happening to her defenders.

    Secondly, if you can’t argue without accusing me of having dishonest and immoral motives, then don’t argue. Crawl back into your paranoid little world.

  26. Oh, and for your information, Roxy, I have continued to criticize those who have attacked Palin in ways that cross the bounds of decency (see this post, for instance.

    I am equally disgusted by the personal attacks on Peggy Noonan in this comments thread because of her criticism of Palin. Some of those comments are every bit as vile as calling Palin’s baby a retard.

    Not exactly a flattering picture of Palin’s fan base.

  27. roxywp

    Cathy, did you or did you not say the quote I posted above?

    Where did I say immoral motives, Cathy? Have you or have you not done your own research on Sarah Palin and what makes her conservative? My point is if you had, you wouldn’t have to ask what makes her conservative. I swear I never understand writers who can dish it out but can’t take it. Come on, Cathy, you’re better than that.

    And paranoid little world? Oh my. That sounds like projection to me. I asked very simple, straight-forward questions of you, Cathy, yet instead of answering them, you accuse me of living in a ‘paranoid little world’? What has happened to you?

    As for Noonan, she has done nothing more than attack Sarah Palin from the get go. It would be one thing if it were substance or issue based. But it isn’t. Its attacking ‘style’ not substance.

    As a self proclaimed feminist, Cathy, I am saddened that you can’t see the basis for why Noonan, Parker, etc. go after Sarah. It has nothing to do with her politics, but everything to do with her sex- and sex appeal. Its nothing more than Desperate Housewives-style harpy pile on. And let’s be honest, here. If Sarah had (D) behind her name, she would be hailed as a feminist heroine, and billed as the next Hillary Clinton.

    No one is saying sisterhood trumps all. But the disgusting lengths to which Noonan and other women writers- both liberal and otherwise, have gone after Sarah is like sitting in the backroom of a hush-hush PTA meeting. It was bad enough when Hillary Clinton became the target of an increasingly revealing misogynist undercurrent in the democrat party. But to see the same women who acknowledge misogyny turn around and do the very same thing to another woman is sickening.

    Perhaps if Noonan hadn’t been so transparent in her attacks, she, herself, wouldn’t get the karma in return. Having a national gig isn’t carte blanche to lower your writing (Noonan) to the kind that’s found on left-wing blogs.

  28. roxywp

    And for the record, Cathy, I have defended you positions on many topics on numerous conservative sites- including positions I don’t agree with.

  29. Where did you say immoral motives?


    Did you say this: “Its true that she has been attacked viciously by the Left and by members of her own party in terms I couldn’t repeat in front of my mother. But somehow I can’t resist the urge to pile on. Given the chance to defend her against these irrational and vicious attacks by her and my common enemy I can’t do it. If I speak up for her, they might come after me next.”

    I would have thought you would know me better than to ascribe such motives to me. Or to suggest that I would write about something I don’t know.

    As for your suggestion that Peggy Noonan and Kathy Parker are attacking Palin because she’s sexy, that’s just beneath contempt.

    They’re attacking her on style and not substance? Um, maybe that’s because she has no substance. The only thing I have seen her defenders invoke is style. She’s a woman of the people, she’s a mom, she’s religious, etc. etc.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “have I done my own research.” I have read and watched Palin’s interviews and speeches. I’ve seen her in debates. I’ve read articles written by both her critics and her supporters, and I have yet to see the latter (including you) point to a single substantive thought she has expressed anywhere.

    Oh, and the idea that Obama can’t string two words together without a teleprompter is pretty laughable. Did he have a teleprompter for the debates?

  30. An addendum.

    When I first read your post, I assumed that your “did you say this” question was a rhetorical one — that you were paraphrasing in your own words what you thought my motives were.

    Then I saw your “did you or did you not say the quote I posted above” question and realized that your question was literal.

    After doing a quick Google search, I found a post on the Free Republic where someone had that passage in quotation marks attributed to “Cathy Young.”

    Roxy, I am usually very scrupulous to be polite to posters on my blog, but just how big a moron do you have to be to not realize that this person was mockingly paraphrasing what they thought my true motives were?

    Did you actually think that I could be so lacking in integrity as to think this way, and so dumb as to openly say it if I did?


  31. roxywp

    Cathy, did you or did you not say that quote?

    You clearly did not read what I write regarding sex and sex appeal, nor the correlation between how women demean all women by disguising catty comments and condescension as serious political commentary. As a feminist, I would think that would clearly stand out to you. Hell, even Tammy Bruce can see it for what it is.

    And again, what do you base your ‘no substance’ argument on? What research have you done? Did you research her campaign for governor in Alaska? Did you talk to people in the state to find out where her appeal lies? Have you examined her record as an elected official? It doesn’t matter what her supports say, If you (or any other) , as a journalist, are going to make broad-based swipes then why not back it up with facts rather than lofty platitudes? More proof of popular culture run amuck when it comes to politics. You do realize that people actually believe Sarah Palin said, ‘I can see Russia from my house’, when in fact, it was Tina Fey who said it, referring to Palin’s true statement that Russia can be seen from Alaska.

    A single substantive thought… have you not heard her position on being pro-life, or is that just style? Have you not heard her thoughts on alternative energy, or was that just style? Her ardent and articulate passion for the second amendment? There are countless radio interviews- ironically ignored by the MSM- of the Governor on youtube. It might be worth your while to listen to some of them.

    As for Obama and the debates, Hillary Clinton won every one of the debates. Obama spoke in those lovely lofty platitudes without, you guessed it, substance.

    You see, I take Palin supporters to task when they say she ‘needs to be more like Obama’ or ‘she needs blah blah blah’. There is far too much focus on style in politics today. Whereas you say Palin makes the case for that argument, I say Obama completely redefined it, following a very tight script. When he deviated from it, it was a complete disaster. Can you say Joe the Plumber and Saddleback? The American people were sold a brand, not a solution. Of course, I’m sure Palin detractors would make the same argument. If that’s the case, then she’s doing everything right. It worked for Obama, after all.

  32. Lola

    Cathy – I wasn’t prepared for the vitriol when I posted; however I’m okay now and this might be fun.


    Where do I start. First of all. Read through my post again. I never called Palin dumb. There are people who are incredibly smart, smart, average, below average and so on. It runs the gamut. Palin is not a very smart person. See the examples I gave re listening to her speak or reading her speeches. Again, basic noun verb agreement.

    Second, you and others keep saying Obama can only talk intelligently when reading from a teleprompter. This statement is so ridiculous it makes me think having an objective conversation with you is impossible. For instance, I think Sarah Palin and her husband appear happy together. They look like they genuinely enjoy each other. To say otherwise would just be ridiculous. Obama is a gifted speaker. Yes, he reads speeches well. That is a talent that everyone doesn’t have. But beyond that, he speaks off the cuff quite eloquently about an abundance of subjects. Did you watch the debates? No teleprompter. Have you ever watched a press conference? No teleprompter. The man is smart. He taught constitutional law. Do you have any idea how difficult that subject is? To say he can’t speak ignores the obvious.

    The fact that Sarah Palin is a governor does not automatically mean that she’s smart and highly qualified. In my work, I have met many attorneys that begged the question, how in the world did you graduate law school? How in the world have you been working this long cause its clear you don’t know what you’re doing. I could be wrong, but I venture to guess you’ve met people that make you wonder how they have job. People get by on looks, family connections, lucky breaks, calculating personalities, and raw grit.

    I don’t think Alaska voters are dumb. I do know there’s a hefty amount of them quite upset at her resignation. I know her satisfaction ratings have been sliding. I know that she faced a lot of criticism from her own party about the job she was doing as governor.

    I stand by my previous comments. As a female in a workplace dominated by men she does not represent me well or advance the standard of competent female leadership.

  33. roxywp

    Cathy, I received that quote in an RSS email, which is why I keep asking you if you said it. It didn’t sound like you which is why I asked.

  34. roxywp

    I will leave you with this personal thought on why Sarah Palin appeals to me.

    In around 2005, I decided I had enough of the GOP. Why? Because it had no longer had focus. It no longer had vision. And it certainly no longer had principles willing to fight for. Sure, there were a few. But the party as a whole had become a bunch of haphazard wanna be leaders chasing their tales. I firmly blame George W. Bush for this. Not because Iraq (which I still support), but because he disappeared his last four years. He spent money like a drunken sailor, and with a Democrat controlled congress, it was too much.

    The return to conservative principles likely won’t happen in the GOP because its a basis of policy, not principle.

    I was quite moved by Jonathan Krohn and his four pillars of conservatism at CPAC: respect for the Constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility. I firmly agree with those and with him. Its amazing to me that a 14 year old boy can so succinctly argue the meaning of conservatism more so than an elected GOP figure, except one.

    And that’s what I see in Sarah Palin. I see her adhering to those principles in her job as governor, and in her personal life. She is the potential that all of us have in us- to care passionately about something to rise up and make a difference. Having been raised with a very feminist mindset, Sarah represents everything I was taught about feminism: ‘there is nothing in this world you can’t do.’ What an empowering truth.

    Everything else surrounding her is just frivolous ramblings wrapped around what’s inside. Our culture has become too wrapped up in the style and no longer focuses on substance.

    And that’s where Sarah Palin is different. She is actually living those principles, in my opinion. That’s why I support her.

    Do I think she’ll run for President? Maybe. If she did, I’d support her. But her impact may be even more broad than that- by reminding conservatives of the true nature of conservatism. Conservatives had needed a rallying point for a while now.

    And that rallying point is Sarah Palin.

  35. Roxy, is there a single one of those issues on which Palin has been a leader as opposed to spouting prepackaged talking points?

    It is not my job as a columnist to talk to any people in Alaska. I’m not writing about Palin as a reporter. And excuse me, but I am allowed to form an opinion based on the reporting I read, as long as I make an effort (which I have) to read balanced reporting.

    As for your final post — you’re talking about Palin’s emotional appeal to you. Fine. I would have agreed with you when Palin was first propelled onto the national scene.

    However, the very plain truth is that Palin agreed to take a position for which she lacked the knowledge, qualifications, and preparedness. Even some people who have defended her (like Ross Douhthat) agree that she needs to “bone up on the issues.” I have, incidentally, talked to a (quite conservative) law student who worked for the McCain campaign. One thing he told me was that right after she was picked as veep, Palin got a briefing book on the issues that would likely come up in interviews. She never opened it.

    I don’t think that accepting a job for which you’re unqualified and for which you were picked in large part because of your gender makes one a good feminist role model.

    By the way, this is now the second post you have made after I pointed out that you mistook a sneering paraphrase of my position and motives by someone at the Free Republic for an actual statement I made. You have yet to acknowledge this fact.

  36. I didn’t see your post where you explained how you came by that Free Republic quote.

    In fact, in your original comment on this thread, you clearly assumed that I did say it.

    Here’s what you said:

    Did you say this: “Its true that she has been attacked viciously by the Left and by members of her own party in terms I couldn’t repeat in front of my mother. But somehow I can’t resist the urge to pile on. Given the chance to defend her against these irrational and vicious attacks by her and my common enemy I can’t do it. If I speak up for her, they might come after me next.”

    How is anyone supposed to take you seriously when you’re afraid of being given the same treatment you wouldn’t dare speak out against in Palin? As a gutsy, hard nosed feminist recently said, ‘only dead fish go with the flow.’

    I don’t see a “that doesn’t sound like you” anywhere here, so please, drop the B.S.

  37. roxywp


    So you don’t need to talk to the people who elected her to find out why they picked her. Ok, I see.

    Was there a single issue Obama was a leader on other than lofty platitudes? Why is it ok for Obama to come along and inspire people with ‘hope and change’, and yet, when a woman comes from the great north who doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of what DC insiders want in a politician, she’s vetted and attacked more than the man who became president. Seems fair. Sarcasm intended. I wonder if Obama would have been elected had his background and experience been subjected to the same fierce vitriol as Palin.

    Don’t you find it even remotely interesting that for all the ‘she’s done, she’s stupid, she’s over’ chatter, people are STILL talking about her? If she’s so over, then why beat a dead horse? Seems to me if she wasn’t a threat to the establishment, people wouldn’t be talking about her.

    Emotional appeal? Once again you’ve clearly missed the point of principled conservatism. You can call it what you want. But there are people who live according to principle. I’d hardly call that emotional.

    As for your law student, why not write a piece about that inside information you have? Seems to me that would be an interesting piece. Of course, for every ‘McCain insider’ who trashes Sarah, another one comes forward to contradict the charges. No one denies that she needs to ‘bone up’ on national issues. I contend all of congress needs the same lesson, particularly those who sign legislation without reading it.

    And since you’re writing opinion pieces, just like Noonan, Frum, and everyone else, then you are open to be challenged on that opinion.

    The only BS, Cathy, was your unwillingness to quickly refute the posted quote. Instead of googling, why not just say you didn’t say it?

  38. roxywp

    PS: Your post on Andrew Sullivan is 100%. I was an avid follower of his some years ago. Now, he like reading a post from a gossip site.

  39. Roxy, I have no problem with my opinion being challenged. I don’t see any challenges here. All I see is personal attacks and snark because I didn’t personally interview anyone in Alaska. Has every conservative columnist who dismisses Obama as all style and no substance personally interviewed any Obama voters? (And by the way, I’m not arguing in favor of Obama here, so please don’t change the subject.) Instead of getting snarky, you could have pointed me to one article proving that Palin has substance.

    My “unwillingness to refute the quote”? Roxy, come off it. I could not possibly have imagined that you believed it was an actual quote. I assumed you were asking me if this is what I was thinking, in your own words. If you had said, “Cathy, I saw this quote that purports to be from you but I find it hard to believe because it doesn’t sound like you,” I would have cleared it up for you immediately. Though I still would have been baffled that you could even think it might be true.

    Roxy, nobody with half a brain cell who knows anything about me would have thought this was an actual quote from me. I know you’re not stupid. I think you’re just so caught up in the idea that anyone who criticizes Palin must have some impure ulterior motive for it that you were willing to believe even that. You’ve made a fool of yourself and I think you know it.

  40. Lola


    I’m an attorney, not a law student. The information I’ve gleaned from Alaska voters is not from inside information. I merely read various papers published in Alaska. They are available online.

    While it’s true, Palin didn’t say, “I can see Alaska from my house,” she did say the following when asked

    Couric: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
    Sarah Palin:

    That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don’t know, you know … reporters.

    Couric: Mocked?

    Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

    Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

    Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of.

    I can’t imagine what else can be said about that.

    I think there are many reasons why Palin continues to be talked about. I completely disagree its because she’s seen as a threat. I guess it’s possible some people find her threatening,but I don’t think she’s threatening at all. We haven’t seen someone like her on the national stage before. And she was destined to be talked about for quite some time considering she was the vice presidential pick in such a momentous and contentious election. And let’s face it, she doesn’t shy away from press. She’s entertaining to me.

  41. Lola, that’s hilarious. Especially since it turned out that Palin never met with any delegations or visitors from Russia.

    By the way, I think one reason Palin is talked about is that she’s a walking soap opera.

  42. roxywp

    Cathy, if you go back and read from my first post, you slipped quickly into defensive projection and snark. When you do that, you can expect to get it back. And in this tango of fools, you’ve made a wonderful partner.

    Anyone who knows you? I don’t know you Cathy which is why I asked if you said it. From what little I do know, it didn’t sound like you which is why I asked in the first place. Why is that so hard for you to understand, let alone give a yes or no answer? Yes, it could have been set up better with a ‘this doesn’t sound like you’ etc., but again, all you had to do is give a yes or no answer. Something like, ‘no, I’ve never said anything remotely like that.’ which would have been replied with, ‘I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.’

    As for Obama voters, they were all over the media, print and broadcast, as to why they liked him. There were TV reports from his constituents in Chicago who both liked and disliked him. Yet, conservative columnists went to his record, albeit limited, to point out discrepancies and inconsistencies. There has rarely been the same due diligence when it comes to Palin. In fact, I seem to recall mostly conservative columnists doing any true record vetting of Palin’s. Its all been style based vitriol. And some media outlets are still running with rumors that have been proven false.

    I do give you credit for calling out those who become so vile and over the top with their Palin obsession, like Andrew Sullivan. Then again, there are conservative columnists who go to the extreme as well, which is why I can’t stand Ann Coulter.

    Yet, my original point stands, Cathy. If you truly don’t know any conservative positions of Palin’s, why not go do a little research about her? Even the simplest research on the Alaska Gov’t website will show her conservative record as governor.

  43. roxywp

    Lola, my comment to Cathy was about her McCain camp source. Are you that source?

    Why is that interview snip it from Couric funny? Its completely valid. Did anyone ask the same of George W Bush? Would his answer have been any less valid if he said he borders Mexico and deals with them on a daily basis due to drugs and illegals? In fact, I don’t recall a network interview where GWB was asked about his lack of foreign policy experience, and he was running for President.

    Palin’s proximity to Russia is critical to the US national security. Many people laugh about it, but when you’re in charge of a patriot missile battery, those daily DHS briefings are critical. Of course, now with North Korea threatening to launch missiles at the US, her comments aren’t even remotely funny.

    Cathy, every politician is a walking soap opera.

    Lola and Cathy, do you believe if Obama had been grilled in the MSM the way Palin was, would he have made past the primaries?

  44. Roxy: I’m pretty tired of discussing this. Like I said, I assumed that the quote was YOU summing up in your own words what you believed my motivation was. I could not for the life of me have imagined that you thought I had actually said something so vile and stupid.

    Not only that, but you followed it up with a comment in which you clearly assumed that I did say it: “How is anyone supposed to take you seriously when you’re afraid of being given the same treatment you wouldn’t dare speak out against in Palin?” You didn’t say, “If you said it, how is anyone supposed to take you seriously.”

    Excuse me if I don’t take very well to being insulted.

    As for foreign policy — please, show me some evidence that Palin dealt with any foreign policy-related issues as Governor of Alaska.

  45. roxywp

    And once again, Cathy, you are missing where I asked you over and over again if you said it. Had you answered the question, as I acknowledged above, you would have received an apology. Yet still, you won’t even answer why you just didn’t simply say yes or no.

    Any evidence of foreign policy related issues? She has a patriot missile battery. Is that just for fireworks? Isn’t the fact that she has Russia and Canada as neighbors enough? Ok, Canada doesn’t really count. But still. Wouldn’t you agree that as governor of a state with two foreign countries on its borders qualifies her as having more foreign policy experience than, oh I don’t know, the governor of Kansas?

    You would think that as governor of a state bordering Russia, she must know US policy / protocol on airspace and sea violations? And be notified when any incursions happen?

    I’m failing to see your point, here. Her situation is unique to her state. It may sound slim, but its certainly more than Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

    Now if you’re looking for foreign policy related issues such as, oh I don’t know, negotiating a peace treaty or hostage negotiations, then your guess is as good as mine.

  46. Lola


    Palin’s response was funny because of its delivery and because of what she was actually saying. Her proximity to Russia was meaningless because she did not participate in any national security issues. In your example regarding George Bush, you say Bush might have said he deals with Mexico on a daily basis in terms of drugs and illegals. That would have been something he actually did. Palin just mentioned the close proximity. She then said Alaska has trade missions back and forth with Alaska. We now know that’s not true. The question Couric asked was about foreign policy experience. Palin responded she was close to Alaska. That’s not foreign policy experience. That’s just being close.

    And Palin is not in charge of a patriot missile battery. That is the jurisdiction of the military and president.

    All politicians are not walking soap operas. Some are boring. This woman entered the race with a teenage pregnant daughter who was still in high school. That was scandalous. If it were a (D) candidate it would have been scandalous. Then there’s the father of the baby and all that drama. And the drama with the father’s mother. I know you can’t pick your family. Some people you’re just stuck with. I’m thinking of my own family now. But when all that’s playing out nationally for everyone to see, people like to look and talk. Just think Jon and Kate plus 8.

    Obama campaigned for 2 years. His vetting happened over a period of time. I don’t think he had a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. However even if I agreed that he wasn’t asked the same kind of questions as Palin, I think if he had been asked, his answers would have been generally better than the answers Palin gave. Largely because be seems to have greater knowledge on a variety of subjects as opposed to Palin. Now that doesn’t mean you or I would have agreed with what he said, but he would have been able to handle it better.

  47. Roxy, I will admit that the first time you asked “Did you or did you not say the quote I posted above” I did not see your question, because the first thing that caught my eye was “Where did I say immoral motives, Cathy?”

    By the way, when I replied to you by pasting in that same quote and then adding, “I would have thought you would know me better than to ascribe such motives to me,” shouldn’t that have told you right away that I didn’t say it?

    The second time you asked, it started to dawn on me that you thought this was an actual quote. I still couldn’t believe it which is why I decided to Google it and realized what happened.

    And by the way — if you could think for a moment that I could have said such a thing, you DO live in a paranoid little world.

  48. roxywp

    Well, since I don’t know you well enough to know whether or not you’d say something like that, its a valid question to ask. Didn’t seem to be something that someone who was able to take on the silliness over at the USA boards would say. Ah, the good old days!

    The only paranoia in my world is wondering when jack booted thugs will kick in my door. :-p

    Lola, I get what you’re saying. My take from the interview was that Sarah’s reaction was more of a ‘duh, do you know where Alaska is on the map’ question. Yes, I understand Alaska troop response is a federal one. Yet, as the governor, she still must be kept up to date with all critical issues regarding Russian relations. It isn’t unreasonable to expect any governor of Alaska to be briefed if an when tensions with Russia become high.

    I actually don’t think there was a vetting process for Obama. Back in 2007, I did some serious study on the democrat candidates and couldn’t find one hard hitting interview of Obama, in print or video. The only recent piece was his appearance on O’Reilly, and that was more fluff than anything.

    As for the Palin family, I think much of what you say is why there is this appeal to her. Lots of families deal with issues like theirs- especially teenage pregnancy. I don’t think it would have been a scandal if it were a democrat. Anyone with a teenager knows they’re going to do what they want at some point. I was more miffed with conservatives for taking the ‘if she were my daughter this would never have happened’ view. I bet Sarah thought that at one point too.

    As for Levi, I think every time he opens his mouth, he actually helps Sarah.

  49. Roxy, do you really not understand that even if someone thought this way, no one would ever say it out loud?

    Incidentally, do you want to bet that if Sarah Palin was a Democrat, a lot of conservative pundits and talk show hosts would be ripping her to shreds for being so selfish as to run for national office as the mother of a special-needs infant and a pregnant teenage daughter?

  50. roxywp

    Cathy, I see several instances by writers, bloggers, etc. of thoughts that should have stayed mute but managed to be published anyway. And I hear it constantly on networks as well.

    Oh there’s no doubt Palin would be attacked. Wouldn’t be any different, however, than what’s happening now. You’re a social liberal, don’t you find it the least bit hypocritical that liberal writers, such as Sally Quinn, are saying Palin should be a stay at home mom, and slam her ‘can do it all’ attitude?

    I’ve never made any qualms about criticizing those on both sides of the fence who fell the need to place women, especially Sarah, into some contrived stereotype of what a woman and mother should be.

  51. Chrisanne Ford

    Hello Cathy!

    First I would like to say that you were the catalyst for my conversion to libertarianism. I had seen you on C-span doing an interview and almost immediately “googled” reason magazine, the rest is history. Thank you.

    I have to say I am surprised by the comments on your article. At first, I too was excited about Palin and defended her when I could, but as time went by I realized I was more excited about the “idea” of Palin then the reality.

    I love your articles and your blogs-keep up the great work.

  52. Thank you so much for the kind words, Chrisanne. Good to see you on this blog!

  53. Jerald


    David Letterman’s hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin’s continuing “crucifixion”!
    While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
    (For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.”)

  54. johnshade

    I’m generally in sympathy with the views you express here. But I do take objection to this locution: “[I]t’s actually unknown whether she’s a creationist or not.” No it isn’t. She knows and probably her husband and pastor do too. What “unknown” means in this context is “I don’t know and nobody I know does either.” Here’s something that’s really unknown: whether Goldbach’s conjecture is true or false.

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