I like Sarah Palin, and I’ve heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is — and quite frankly, I think the people who don’t see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn’t speak the King’s English — big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns — that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.
As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee — what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry’s nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama’s pick and who was on everyone’s short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin’s. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.
The U.S. Senate as a career option? What a claustrophobic, nitpicking comedown for an energetic Alaskan — nothing but droning committees and incestuous back-scratching. No, Sarah Palin should stick to her governorship and just hit the rubber-chicken circuit, as Richard Nixon did in his long haul back from political limbo following his California gubernatorial defeat in 1962. Step by step, the mainstream media will come around, wipe its own mud out of its eyes, and see Palin for the populist phenomenon that she is.
Years ago, I read Paglia’s books — blogged about her version of feminism here. Paglia almost always takes the devil’s advocate position on issues — which always stimulates heated (but worthwhile) discussions.
While I don’t really agree with Paglia’s assessment of Palin’s political potential, I understand that there’s always a possibility. Who really knows what fuels Palin at her core; she was played and used by her party and the press.
And, it turns out, it wasn’t just Palin who was played. According to the New York Times, both the press and the public were played into believing the lies about Palin put forth by a fake expert and phony think tank.
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.
Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.
Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.
And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.
There you have both the power and the terror of the Internet.
Given Paglia’s comments and the hoaxers’ success, I’m much less inclined, now, to look at Palin as a bubble headed hockey-mom. Granted, she was not ready to be vice-president. But, if she really has any smarts, she has learned from the fiasco of her campaign, and she has learned something about whom to trust and not to trust. Certainly, she had all kinds of cards stacked against her this time.
Meanwhile, here are some links to articles about the phony baloney web site and the tricksters who pulled it off.
The New York Observer
And don’t forget the Times article link above.
The hoaxers’ website is here. When you go there, you will see that “Einstadt” claims that he really exists and is not a hoax.
And so we’re confronted with the dilemma of whom to trust out there on the Internet.
Whom do you trust/believe of those you read on the Internet, and how do you know their trustworthy?
Maybe it’s all just phony baloney. Like the stock market.