The Right has pinned on Sarah Palin its fantasies of vengeance on the Left. That’s why they love her.
Their sudden adoration has little to do with her stand on issues, other than abortion. They’ve slapped the label “reformer” onto her without knowing, or much caring, that she really hasn’t reformed much.
All you need to know about Palinmania is summed up in this headline: “Why They Hate Her : Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left.”
First, I have examined myself carefully and asked myself, “Do I hate her”? I can’t say that I do. I don’t feel much of anything for her, personally. I hate the mean-spirited and dishonest politics she engages in, however.
The writer of the above-linked article, Jeffrey Bell, writes,
From the instant of Palin’s designation on Friday, August 29, the American left went into a collective mass seizure from which it shows no sign of emerging. The left blogosphere and elite media have, for the moment, joined forces and become indistinguishable from each other, and from the supermarket tabloids, in their desire to find and use anything that will criminalize and/or humiliate Palin and her family. In sharp contrast to the yearlong restraint shown toward truthful reports about John Edwards’s affair, bizarre rumors have been reported as news, and, according to McCain campaign director Steve Schmidt, nationally known members of the elite media have besieged him with preposterous demands.
Sorry, Jeffrey, I don’t feel particularly “seized.” Yes, there has been some under-sourced speculation about Palin on the web, although IMO the speculation never reached full blogswarm intensity. And several of us leftie bloggers were actually attempting to get the speculators to chill before the Palin campaign itself dropped the Bristol bomb.
There was “yearlong restraint” toward “truthful reports” of l’affaire Edwards? The Enquirer didn’t break the story until this summer, did they? I know I had heard nothing about it before then.
As far as the “preposterous demands” go, however, Jeffrey doesn’t tell us what they are. I can only guess they have something to do with Palin clearing up inconsistencies in her record as a politician. How dare they!
After accusing us of “disproportionate, crazy-seeming rage,” Jeffrey continues,
The most important thing to know about the left today is that it is centered on social issues. At root, it always has been, ever since the movement took form and received its name in the revolutionary Paris of the 1790s. In order to drive toward a vision of true human liberation, all the institutions and moral codes we associate with civilization had to be torn down. The institutions targeted in revolutionary France included the monarchy and the nobility, but even higher on the enemies list of the Jacobins and their allies were organized religion and the family, institutions in which the moral values of traditional society could be preserved and passed on outside the control of the leftist vanguard.
Today’s American liberalism is just a continuation of the French Revolution? Let me say I don’t think Jeffrey is crazy-seeming. I say he is certifiable.
Jeffrey rambles on, trotting out all the old bugaboos of the Right — Marx, socialism, communism, and sex — before he finally gets to feminism, another evil, without noticing that were it not for women’s lib Sarah Palin’s political career wouldn’t have gone beyond PTA President.
What you don’t see in Jeffrey’s little screed is the least interest in how Sarah Palin might actually function as POTUS, given her lack of experience. Such things don’t matter to the Right. All they care about is acting out their emotional pathologies and their obsession with a Left that exists only in their own imaginations.
Update: See Joe Klein, “No, Actually, It’s that the Economy Is Falling Apart” :
It has been fascinating to watch the right-wing press lap up the anti-media nonsense put out by the McCain campaign’s Steve Schmidt regarding Sarah Palin. The latest is Jeffrey Bell, in the Weekly Standard, who makes the media’s attempt to find out just exactly who Palin is part of a seamless, anti-clerical cloak that goes all…the…way…back…to…the French Revolution:
It has been fascinating to watch lapdogs like Klein slowly realize that the Right’s public intellectuals are all a few fries short of a Happy Meal.