It’s OK to be sexist if you’re a Democrat
When Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro’s 1984 bid for the Presidency ended in failure, the two faded into political obscurity. Their moment in the limelight came to an end even as the votes were being tallied. (It was 9 years before Clinton gave her political career new life.) No one stalked Ferraro and tried to ruin her for her audacity – thinking a woman could hold an office one heart-beat from the presidency. The same cannot be said for Sarah Palin. Democrats and so-called Progressives have stalked Palin since John McCain announced her as his running mate. The attacks on Sarah Palin are not all political but often they have been personal. During the Presidential Campaign Palin was attacked for her expensive wardrobe yet Michelle Obama was praised for hers. Since the election the personal attacks continue, even including attacks against her children. The press has reported rumors and falsehoods about Palin and her family as true. Six months into Obama’s presidency, liberals continued to lash out against her. They have swamped Alaska with numerous Freedom of Information Act requests in fruitless efforts to dig up anything that might be used to destroy her. Ethics charges against her have wasted nearly $2 million in public funds. All eighteen ethics complaints against her have been dismissed.
With her resignation the complaints and inquiries have not ended. Why? Because liberals are out to destroy her. They are not content to simply end her current political ambitions rather they are intent to make sure she will never challenge them again. Currently, Palin has accrued approximately $600k in legal debts from these baseless attacks.
The looming question is, what did Palin really do to warrant such visceral hatred? The answer seems simple, yet in reality it is somewhat more complex than simply saying she challenged Obama. Like Ferraro, Palin was a “hail-Mary” attempt to boost a weak candidacy against an apparently unstoppable charismatic candidacy. Both Ferraro and Palin had humble origins, both made bold moves to achieve success. Palin had been the mayor of a small wilderness town and was the sitting Governor of Alaska. Ferraro had represented New York in the House and held a leadership position in the Democratic Caucus. However, the biggest difference between these women is their political affiliation.
The press thinly disguised its bias in 1984 but in 2008 the masks came off as reporters admitted publicly that the Obama campaign sent “shivers” up and down their legs. Palin was a serious threat to Obama as she electrified the otherwise apathetic support McCain had been generating. She was a glimmer of hope for a hopeless campaign. The unofficial Obama press corp campaign workers felt it their duty to eliminate the threat. Obviously, a state governor will lack international political experience and a sparsely populated state such as Alaska was unlikely to have a press-savvy Governor. So off to work they went. Can anyone imagine the reaction had ABC’s Charlie Gibson peered down his nose at Barack Obama?
In 1984 Mondale/Ferraro lost the popular vote 41% to 59%, however in 2008 McCain/Palin lost the popular vote 46% to 53%. In spite of the loss, Palin retained the love of Republicans. This constitutes a continuing threat. Democrats and Progressives know that allowing Palin to “live” means she will likely return to haunt them at some point in the future. Since liberals control the major media and have hypnotized Americans into believing they represent women and would never act in a sexist manner, they have no fear of being labeled as such in their relentless assault against Palin. In 1984, Ferraro had no darling status and even if she had, any effort to crush her would have backfired.
Simply put, if Republicans had pursued Ferraro in 1985 the way Democrats have pursued Palin in 2009 they would have been labeled sexist. Sarah Palin is being attacked boldly and blatantly without evidence or just cause. She is being attacked because she is popular and possesses the charisma to energize rank-and-file Republicans. The question that has puzzled me is why is Palin popular with Republicans?
That one is simple. She is an attractive woman with a charismatic personality, who can deliver a very energetic passionate speech. Personally, I think she lacked the political experience and depth to be on the McCain ticket. It really did not matter, McCain was doomed no matter who his running mate was. The economy, the war, and the historic candidacy of Barack Obama made that inescapable. However, thrusting Sarah Palin into the spotlight created a Republican star. If Obama was the Democratic Messiah then Palin was his Republican counterpart. She was historic, she was bombastic, and she could be the Republican future. What makes her attractive to the Right is what makes her loathsome to the Left.
The thing I find most interesting in all of this is the potential unintended consequences of the Left’s continued assault on Sarah Palin. First, she is gaining the political experience she lacked through the experience. Second, her attackers are keeping her in the limelight. The more they dig for dirt, the more airtime Palin racks up. The final consequence of the continuing visceral hatred is that the more they hate her the more the right will love her. Anyone recall President Clinton? Republicans dug for dirt on him until they finally hit something, but rather than turn on him, Democrats circled the wagons around him and protected him. He left office with positive approval numbers.
Democrats think they have finally killed Sarah Palin and have announced her political demise. I think this may be premature. Sort of like when everyone thought Richard Nixon’s career was over in 1964 or when the press wrote Jimmy Carter off in 1975 during the Democratic primaries. Love her or hate her, barring a tragedy, we haven’t seen the last of Sarah Palin. AND we can thank the Democrats for that.