December 15th, 2009

oogedy-boogedy

Something about Sarah

At a recent dinner, someone asked me if I had read Sarah Palin's biography, Going Rogue. I replied I had, and that I was impressed with it. In return, I was told that she was "scary."

Now comes Michael Petrilli, in the WSJ, who says Palin stands for "the Party of Stupid." He sums up the leadership of the Republican Party and dismisses her in these magisterial words:
And of course there's Sarah Palin, whose entire brand is anti-intellectual.

Petrilli goes on to say,
What's needed is a full-fledged effort to cultivate "Whole Foods Republicans"—independent-minded voters who embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics. These highly-educated individuals appreciate diversity and would never tell racist or homophobic jokes; they like living in walkable urban environments; they believe in environmental stewardship, community service and a spirit of inclusion.

Let me get this straight. Sarah Palin has managed to make her own choices in life, juggling work and political leadership and motherhood and a multi-career family (progressive lifestyle). She is college-educated, conversant with the arcana of petroleum geology, and wrote her own book (highly-educated). She appreciates diversity (her husband is half-Eskimo, and his extended family lives a traditional lifestyle, which she shares at times), never tells racist or homophobic jokes (she's a serious Christian). She likes to live in walkable urban environments (including ditching the perks of office to live a normal life as governor), believes in environmental stewardship (read her record in Alaska), believes in community service (she's lived it, far more than Barack Obama or Joe Biden has), and believes in a spirit of inclusion (which extends to those, like her son, who have Downs syndrome).

So, why doesn't she qualify to lead the GOP into the future? Because the helpful people -- in and out of the Republican Party -- who keep telling the GOP how to appeal to voters don't like her. Why not? I would suggest three reasons.

First, there are those who are simply willing to throw her to the liberal wolves in hopes that they will worry over her carcass and let other candidates win through to public office. This is merely despicable.

Second, there are those -- even in the GOP -- who resent her for not paying the dues they've paid. Here she is, beautiful, successful, and acquiring followers by the tens of thousands, while they're still trying to get people to notice them. The green-eyed monster, Envy, roams the halls (and sewers) of power and inspires the Hasbeens, the Wannabees, and the Neverwuzzes to denigrate those they can and suck up to those they can't. This is merely pathetic -- or would be, if it were some high school somewhere, but this is for real and for keeps, people. This kind of behavior shapes the choices we are allowed to make. I, for one, don't want the losers out there to keep a possible winner from emerging just because they didn't "discover" her.

Third, there are the champions of goodness (as they think of themselves), who believe that in order to build the good society it is okay to destroy others. In order to build up women, we must mock Palin for her beauty, sneer at her daughter's pregnancy, and tell jokes about raping her children. In order to build an inclusive society, we should criticize Palin for choosing to bear a Downs child, instead of having an abortion. (And, of course, while we're oohing and ahing over electing a black Presdent, we feel free to make racist caricatures and references to Condoleeza Rice, Michael Steele, etc.) And so on. All the Left has to offer are hate and fear-mongering. And State control of every decision you make.

So, yes, I read her book. I quite liked it. And I can tell you, as the son of a petroleum geologist, that this is a smart person who has mastered a very hard subject, then turned around and made Big Oil deliver on its promises for the citizens of her State, while at the same time protecting the environment. I can also tell you, as a bona fide intellectual (A.B., M.Div., Ph.D., who actually reads books) that this is a person who has real thoughts to think, who hasn't reduced her public persona or internal life to slogans and soundbites.

You are free to disagree with her, if you like. But if you merely dismiss her or sneer at her, you are saying more about yourself than about her.