Sarah Palin’s gaffe in which she refereed to North Korea as our allies was reported by the press. The press should have known better. Everyone’s gaffes – at least any made by Democrats – are grist for the daily spin machine. Most of the Democratic bloggers who bothered to post about the gaffe formed an echo: let’s give her a pass. Hey, we call misspeak once in a while. A perfectly appropriate response. Yet for the half term governor from Alaska and failed VP candidate of 2008, the 11th commandment – thou shall not say or report anything negative, nor engage in debate with Sarah Palin – had been violated. She quickly rolls out a post on Obama’s gaffes. Should anyone care to navigate to her original FaceBook post the self-righteous indignation virtually jumps from the screen. Mess with Sarah Palin. Report what she said per verbatim. How dare the lamestream media do such a thing. There is a little problem with Palin’s latest siren call to living martyrdom. She culled all those gaffes from the self-same media reports on Obama. No gaffe goes unnoticed. Democratic bloggers and pundits; generally gracious. Palin high on petty rage: not so gracious and set on vindication far out of proportion to the perceived wrong. Whether from personal memory or a reading of modern history who does Palin remind you of? There are several good candidates. Nixon will do. Nixon with Lipstick
What’s the difference between Richard Nixon and Sarah Palin? Lipstick. (Well, that and military service, graduate education, a keen intellect, years of national political experience and a proven grasp of policy foreign and domestic.) But as a fellow “serial collector of resentments”, the half-term Alaska governor is Nixon’s heir. When it comes to the paranoid style, the politics of payback, the perpetual war on the press and the championing of “real Americans” versus supposed elites, the Mama Grizzly is the second coming of Tricky Dick.
On Thanksgiving of all days, Sarah Palin was her Nixon best in attacking the president and the press. Furious about the understandable media reaction to her gaffe about “our North Korean allies,” the pitbull in lipstick took to Facebook to again complain that the media did not show “some consistency on this issue” and “completely makes things up without doing even rudimentary fact-checking.”
Someone once said that frequently the worse thing a journalist can do to someone is report what they actually said. In this case that seems to be Palin’s problem. She made a gaffe which most people would have forgotten as soon as they heard it. Palin gives the story legs. She gives the public yet more insight into how her sense of self, her priorities and paranoia fuel her politics. if she had not made the gaffe all she would have said – in her own corrected version when the gaffe was caught on-air – was the U.S. should stand by its allies, the South Koreans. Pretty boiler -plate yawn inducing response. One which few would disagree with save the old John Bircher right and right-wing libertarians. Palin seems to be relating to the public, navigating public policy and striking out in the same way her daughters conduct their flame wars on FaceBook. We have a grown woman who really thinks life is high school. Not similar to high school in some ways, but with all the petty vindictiveness. Americans, as the tea nuts town hall rage-athons of 2009 are testimony, are used to speaking their mind. Palin seems, like Nixon, to believe she has the right to speak hers, but not anyone who doesn’t belong to her special clique. She recently called the Bush’s blue bloods. Blue bloods another word for elite. The elites, the blue bloods, are a clique. One clique at war with another. Will the Palin presidency include toilet papering the houses of her political opponents.
Obsessed much? In her new book Palin mentions President Obama 44 times. 5 Lessons of Palin’s New Book, ‘America By Heart’
* Wants to Repeal the 16th Amendment? Salon’s Justin Elliott muses over “her apparent opposition to the federal income tax, along with the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which allowed for the present-day income tax and was passed in 1913. Given that some 45 percent of government revenue comes from the individual income tax, this is a fairly radical position for Palin to take. She includes the 16th Amendment in her description of unjustified federal power grabs.”
* Doesn’t Get Black American History The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen sighs, “She reportedly takes Michelle Obama to task for her supposedly infamous remark from the 2008 campaign: ‘For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.’”
It’s appalling that Palin and too many others fail to understand that fact – indeed so many facts of American history. They don’t offer the slightest hint that they can appreciate the history of the Obama family and that in Michelle’s case, her ancestors were slaves – Jim Robinson of South Carolina, her paternal great-great grandfather, being one. Even after they were freed they were consigned to peonage, second-class citizens, forbidden to vote in much of the South, dissuaded from doing so in some of the North, relegated to separate schools, restaurants, churches, hotels, waiting rooms of train stations, the back of the bus, the other side of the tracks, the mortuary, the cemetery and, if whites could manage it, heaven itself.
The tendency to criticize without offering any substantial alternatives is also high school. The world after high school is not that much more demanding in some ways, but simply bashing something without a plan to replace a complex system you’d ditch is where the adults come out to play. Palin needs to bring a better game to be taken seriously by anyone but her genuflecting base.
Palin is not much different from your basic Nixon-Bush model conservative when it comes to history and placing current events in context. To be taken seriously, first she’ll have to stop drinking Glenn Beck’s toxic punch of historical revisionism. Than prove is she capable of being genuinely able to empathize with people who do not live in the same bubble of denial.