The Catholic Thing
Governor Sarah Palin: The Right Stuff Print E-mail
By George Marlin   
Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Governor Sarah Palin is driving liberal and conservative members of the eastern establishment bonkers.

Because Palin is a working mother of five, didn’t abort her Down syndrome child, is the main bread winner in her family, gave a terrific acceptance speech, held Biden’s feet to the fire in the vice presidential debate, attracts large crowds at campaign rallies, and is good-looking – liberal feminists are frothing at the mouth.

In their quest to destroy Palin, these self-appointed guardians of the women’s rights movement have discarded all the rules of civility and fair play.

They have turned to what liberal historian Richard Hofstadter referred to as the “paranoid style in American politics” which consists of “the qualities of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy.”

These feminists have called her a hick, a bimbo, a toned-down version of a porn actress, and have mocked her faith and small-town roots.

Here’s a sampling of the malicious statements:

“[Palin’s nomination] is a political gimmick…I find it insulting to women, to the Republican party, and the country.” – Sally Quinn, Newsweek
“[Republicans] have a tradition of nominating fun bantam-weight cheerleaders from the West.” – Maureen Dowd, The New York Times
“What her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove, however, is that her most beloved child is the anti-abortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right.” – Cintra Wilson, Salon
“I found Palin’s selection insulting.” – Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post
“Governor Palin’s nomination “is a slap in the face to all women.” – Michelle Cottle, The New Republic

According to the leftist Daily Kos website, Palin’s children are not “off-limits” because, “They are the direct result of the lunatic abstinence-only garbage and should be highlighted as such.” And The New Republic didn’t spare Trig, her four-month-old Down syndrome baby: “Palin has pursued environmental policies that seem perfectly crafted to swell the ranks of special needs kids.”

When these leftists run out of vicious comments, they make things up. They falsely accused Palin of speaking in tongues, slashing funds for pregnancy centers and the mentally disabled, and claimed her daughter was the real mother of her Down syndrome child.

And as you may have noticed, the mainstream media, far from being neutral, have mostly offered themselves as an echo chamber for this storm of partisan distortions.

And then there are the smug members of the conservative eastern establishment who dump on Palin to stay on the “A” cocktail party invitation lists: George Will, Christopher Buckley, David Frum, and Peggy Noonan.

Peggy Noonan who, between soirees in Manhattan’s upper East Side and East Hampton, purports to be a fifties kind of Catholic who grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, is the worst offender.

After the vice presidential debate, the condescending Noonan scorned Palin’s populist appeals to “Joe six-pack,” “soccer moms” and “Main Streeters” as cheerful manipulation. She complained that Palin “is not a person of thought but of action” and “Her syntax did not hold but her magnetism did” – in other words a lightweight.

In The Wall Street Journal, Noonan dropped this vicious bomb:

"We have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I’ve listened to her, trying to understand if she is a Bushian or Reaganite…a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy…. But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite, She doesn’t think aloud. She just…says things….

"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It’s no good, not for conservatism and not for the country."

What pretentious nonsense. Sarah Palin, like most Republican elected officials, is a conservative by instinct and practice. As a governor overseeing a $12 billion budget, she proved to be a fiscal conservative. She cut expenditures, vetoed wasteful pork, returned surplus dollars to the people. She’s pro-life, pro-gun, pro-death penalty, favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman; and she took on and beat Alaska’s corrupt Republican Party and the big oil interests.

Like John McCain, George H.W. Bush (Noonan’s former boss), George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and Gerald Ford, Sarah Palin is not steeped in Edmund Burke. But that has not prevented Palin from promoting and enacting conservative policies.

As for vulgarization, Andrew Jackson, an opponent of political and economic elitism, who led a movement built on the cultural values of the common man – honor, self-reliance, equality, and individualism – was labeled vulgar. But for immigrants, pioneers, laborers, and the new entrepreneurs – for all common men – Jackson was a hero and a symbol of hope.

Sarah Palin got involved in neighborhood civic affairs and was elected councilman, mayor, and governor because she possesses Jacksonian traits.

She has devoted her energies to taming the last frontier in America – and all those common folks she represents in Alaska believe she’s doing one hell of a job.

If Palin is not elected vice president next week, there will be much celebrating in east coast salons. But these snobs should not count her out. Down the road expect Palin to return to Washington as a U.S. senator, not, as she said in her acceptance speech, “to seek the good opinion [of reporters and commentators],” but “to serve the people of this great country.”

George Marlin is the author of The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact. (St. Augustine Press)

(c) 2008 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights write to: info at thecatholicthing dot org

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Comments (17)Add Comment
written by Raymond Barry, October 29, 2008
Sarah is the type of gal who was always popular with the boys. That's why all the Peggy Noonans and Maureen Dowds hate her. Wasn't Peggy a secretary or something?
And by the way, this 500 character limit is rather condescending to your readers don't you think?
Catholic Radio 2.0
written by Commander Craig, October 29, 2008
Thank you, George. The attacks against Palin from left and right are a throwback to the vicious political discourse of the 19th century. Noonan's performance is particularly disheartening given her regular appearances on EWTN extolling pro-life heroes like John Paul II and Ronald Reagan. While one can argue whether Palin is qualified to be VP, but last I checked, the Constitiution does not require that its elected officials be East Coast intellectuals, political operatives, or speechwriters.
She\'s Got Humility
written by Jennifer Olson, October 29, 2008
She has an incredible amount of humility, which is the most powerful weapon, so says Fr. Corapi. She uses it well and it makes those snobs nervous and hate her for it. Thank you for showing her and those of us who support her some kindness by writing this article.
written by Canuckistan, October 29, 2008
Why are Palin fans lionizing her because she "didn't abort" her child just because he had Down's syndrome? Is this to suggest that you actually believe that it would be reasonable to consider aborting because of Down's? That's not very pro-life of you. And actually quite elitist. But then neither are guns or the death penalty pro life. Maybe you are just pro SOME life.
written by Debby, October 29, 2008
Vernacularly: "You GO George!"
Wonder if Jesus would drop a dracma for any of their papers. Who is still reading them anyway? Too many I'm sure, but somehow I can see Christ having a beer with Sarah or Andrew Jackson easily; a martini with Peg? Not thinking so. She'd have to haul her NYC bod over to the Bronx or Harlem "Shores of Galilee" first. Then His common Aramiac syntax might turn her off. Surely TRUTH would. Only a friend betrays with a Kiss. See ya, Peg-or was that Judas?
written by Common Sense Catholic, October 29, 2008
I'm sure for the most part your readers are your "choir", but for the rest of us who end up here: you can't be serious, can you? It hardly matters what her supposed beliefs are (and those aren't entirely clear), the woman is obviously not very intelligent or thoughtful (though possibly sly as a fox). And what's worse is that she has a litany of ethical problems and a history of revenge-seeking. These behaviors are not the display of good values or the characteristics one wants in a leader.
written by X, October 29, 2008
I thought this was a Catholic blog, not a conservative one. But really, the default opinion here is that orthodox Catholic = conservative. There is nothing "unprecedented" about this opinion. It's kind of... old. And lame.
written by Mark, October 29, 2008
Noonan's comments are sad but not particularly surprising. People on the East Coast tend to forget that there's a whole chunk of this country between New York and LA.
The Republican Thing?
written by SC Phelan, October 29, 2008
What is the name of this site again? I am a fan of Palin and agree that she has been unfairly tarred by the left, and that some elite conservatives have clearly sought to separate themselves from this unpopular phenomenon. But that does not mean that criticism of Palin by conservatives is entirely disingenuous. We OUGHT to demand solid and demonstrable reasoning for our candidates. Populism only gets you so far. And why is being "pro-death penalty" something that we're supposed to cheer about?
Just a mom. . .
written by S.M M., October 29, 2008
Initially, I had to agree with Peggy Noonan's observations of Sarah Palin's preformance, but then, after a few days reflection, I became irritated by her condescension.

What was Peggy's goal? Why now? I came to the same conclusion: The elite, intellectual East Coast Catholic wanted to distance herself from the "country bumpkin" Protestant Palin.

A 1950's sort of Catholic doesn't know the Bible very well so how could she know that God seems to prefer country bumpkins?
written by Joe, October 29, 2008
After watching the coverage of the Pope in NY and heraing Peggy Noonan on EWTN, I took notice of how long her arms are. She tends to pat herself on her own back for her ability to comment on just about anything in a way that she "looks current". Dont respect her by any means.
written by Mary Jo Anderson, October 29, 2008
According to arch feminist and liberal literati, Tina Brown, Palin is quite intelligent. Ms. Brown knows this how? She followed Palin on the campaign plane long enough to grudgingly admit that the Alaska governor is no beenie hat bon-bon.
Retired exec. homemaker
written by Bette J. Petrik, October 29, 2008
Peggy Noonan should be excomunicated I have to say that all this Obama crazy is all about hatred for G.W. Bush and Republicans. I hope that someday SOON we will return to a moral happy country.
written by patrick, October 30, 2008
If education, worldliness, eloquence, etc. are signs of being a "snob," then I would prefer to have a "snob" for VP.

Why is it that in the United States one must disparage refinement and dumb-down one's vocabulary in order to be considered part of the "real America?" Cultural insecurity?

Furthermore, this whole GOP "real America" type of rhetoric is just another form of snobbery albeit one that curiously makes cultural disadvantage into a point of pride.
written by Ron, October 30, 2008
Competency is the first qualification voters are seeking in a vp candidate. Ms Noonan and Ms Dowd are calling it like it is. Her inability to even provide an accurate vp job description says it all. While Sarah Palin deserves nothing but our respect for her decision to keep her Down's syndrome baby, the death penalty and pro gun legislation are not issues I expect to see touted on a "Catholic" website.
written by Jennifer H, October 30, 2008
With all due respect to Bush & Reagan, Palin does not have to be a "Bushian" or "Reaganite" to be a well-chosen Republican candidate. Some Americans, Palin included, are their own people who don't have to tote someone else's platform to be successful. I am tired of the deals and cowtowing in Washington DC. Gov. Palin will speak the truth as she see it whether the American people agree or not. We need and deserve this kind of honesty. Take a closer look - her intelligence just might surprise too
written by Susan, November 12, 2008
The crazed vicious reaction of the cultural left to Sarah Palin is quite telling. GREAT choice for VP! If God wills it for Mrs. Palin and her family, I expect to see much more from her in the next 4 years. Apparently, Peggy Noonan has been entrenched in Washington D.C. for too long. When I saw Peggy Noonan on Oprah the day after the election oozing about Obama's victory, I couldn't help but think: "has the poor woman lost her mind and become Obamatized?"

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