Dreher: "The Angry Left Should Beware of Palin"
Rod Dreher sums up what this election, now that Sarah Palin is on the GOP ticket, has come to be about for people like me and my family:
Does the Angry Left really want to launch a culture war over Sarah Palin? Fine. Lock and load.My Comments:
That's the feeling of many conservatives who until last week were lukewarm at best about the prospect of a John McCain presidency. The unhinged malice of the cultural left's assault on the Alaska governor's personal life has focused their minds and stirred their hearts. Palin's astonishingly poised and confident performance in her convention speech proves that this Iron Lady is not about to quail before the judgment of her would-be betters.
Neither will conservatives. If they were indifferent or hostile to the Republican ticket, the cultural elite's savage treatment of Palin reminded them of what's really in play this year. It's the same snarling spite for small-town folks, religious believers and anybody else who was on the wrong side of the 1960s.
Why does the Angry Left hate Palin? Because of the potentially transformative power of her example.
She stands for the belief that there is no contradiction between being a feminist and being pro-life. She chose to welcome her Down syndrome son into the world, unlike 90 percent of American women [who discover they're carrying a Downs baby] today, whose Down babies' lives end in abortion. When teen daughter Bristol became pregnant out of wedlock, Sarah Palin didn't hustle the girl off to the abortionist or hide her from public view.
In fact, whatever the private heartbreak of this Christian mom, Palin shockingly failed to fulfill the left's stereotype of how religious conservatives are supposed to respond to such crises. She defiantly and proudly showcased Bristol and her boyfriend, as if to say: We are family. Don't you dare mess with us.
Palin's the real deal
The cultural left knows that unlike many Republican politicians who pay lip service to the pro-life cause, Sarah Palin's the real deal. And the cultural right knows it, too.
While liberals have shown themselves eager to compromise with the right on matters of war and economics, they also have demonstrated that they will defend the sexual revolution by any means necessary. The indecency of the way some in the elite media and among liberal activists treated Palin and her family last week was breathtaking – but also illuminating. And for conservatives, galvanizing.
... now we know that [the GOP is] also the party of Sarah Palin, the kind of conservative that Barack Obama pitied earlier this year as “clinging” to her God, her guns and her traditions because she doesn't know any better. In her convention speech, Palin threw his condescension back in his face.
She's a fighter, this one. And worth fighting for. Come what may in November, we now know what the future of the GOP and the conservative movement looks like.
She's the conservative future
It looks like a straight-shooting, churchgoing populist married to a union man. It looks like a mom standing on stage before a national audience, with her handicapped infant resting on her shoulder, unbowed and triumphant. It looks like a family faithful to its members in their weakness and failure – one that does the right thing by its own, even if it's hard.
Let's be clear about this last point. For Barack Obama, Bristol Palin's baby is a punishment, something he's said he wouldn't wish on his own daughter. Sarah Palin doesn't see it that way. That's the difference between life and death. The cultural and class politics of that choice matter beyond abortion, as enraged liberals reminded us last week.
Message received. Game on.
Amen. We pitiable unwashed out here in flyover country are not stupid. We see how the Obama campaign and the "angry left" that supports him feel about Gov. Palin. We hear what they have to say about her "extremism", about her "crazy religious beliefs", about her "provincialism", about her lack of an education from one of the "finer" institutions of learning, about her fecundity, and, yes, about her decision to deliver a "retard". And we know that what they despise in her is exactly what they despise about us. Because we know that Gov. Palin is of us.
We read the caricatures that they and their "enlightened gurus of what's happening now" draw about Gov. Palin's and, by extension, our values:
Look at what she stands for:And we realize that, over the last 2 weeks, they've given us a sneak preview of what the next 4-8 years of them in charge would mean for people like us.
--Small town values -- a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
--Ignorance of world affairs -- a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.
--Family values -- a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.
--Rigid stands on guns and abortion -- a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
--Patriotism -- the usual fallback in a failed war.
--"Reform" -- an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.
I beg your pardon. Does that sentiment evince a "culture war paradigm"? Oh, I'm sorry, I don't recall that we started this thing. But we sure as hell aim to finish it on November 4.
Now, let's "Git 'er done!"
When even a Rothschild says you're too "elitist", you got problems, folks.
You know, the left REALLY IS doing McCain-Palin a HUGE favor here. By making the cultural/social conservative argument "for" them, they've rallied social conservatives like myself - who have been distrustful of John McCain - to the McCain-Palin cause, thereby freeing up the nominees themselves to campaign on a more moderate "reform" agenda.
Because of the efforts of the "Freakish Enemies of the Normal", Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have been able to do what Sen. Obama has been unable to do: maintain a motivated base while reaching out to the middle.
(Sen. Obama has no problem with the motivated base part; it's the reaching out to the middle that's giving him trouble, especially since as soon as he tries to do that, he ticks off the nutroots who are so important to his continuing fundraising efforts.)
The Cranky Conservative: "You want a war? You got one."
Joe Klein at TIME says the America that most of us live in doesn't really exist.
Hey, Joe, next time you need to travel from New York or Washington to Los Angeles or San Francisco, why don't you drive instead of fly. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out here in the hinterlands who will be more than happy to show you the America of Sarah Palin is no "myth".