Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today's Must-Read: "Palinphobes and the Audacity of Type"

(Hat tip: HotAir)

Yeah, what she said. Noemie Emery writes at The DC Examiner:
... What a good thing that Palin, whom Christopher Buckley called “an embarrassment, and a dangerous one,” wasn’t in office to cause such debacles, and that we have Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton instead.

“This is not a leader, this is a follower,” wrote ex-Reagan muse Peggy Noonan. “She follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine...she doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.”

Huh? While indulging in prose such as this, the Palinphobes didn’t seem to understand the implications of Palin’s record as governor, which they appear to never have looked at, while obsessing over her life in Alaska (too rural), her children (too many), and her exploits as a huntress (too much).

This is the flip side of their refusal to be disturbed by the fact that Obama had no record to speak of, as long as he looked like a Gap or Vogue model, and could write and could talk up a storm. A Gap or Vogue model would never disgrace you, and besides, he was there.

“You’re camping, and you wake up one morning and there is a mountain,” as David Brooks put it. “The next morning, there is a mountain...Obama is just the mountain. He is just there.” Braced by rationales such as this, the literati flocked to Obama, while denouncing Palin as appealing to the party’s least logical members and wing.

Call the Palinphobes lacking in logic and they will have tantrums, but this time the sandal might fit. This is the Audacity of Type, a faith-based illusion if ever there was one, the belief that qualities shared by and appealing to pundits and writers - glibness, a worldly patina, and a superficial verbal facility - are those needed to run a great nation in a troubled and dangerous era.

But which is more rational, to place limited trust in a proven reformer, who can learn certain facts she does not know already, or to breathe fictional traits into an unknown quantity, who has never run anything, or ever done much besides talk?

“Having a first class temperament and first class intellect, President Obama will...surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit.” Buckley wrote last October. Surely he will...

[Read the whole thing]
(emphasis added)

See also this piece by Byron York:
... Obama is pursuing a traditional liberal agenda. If he continues to walk that path, the question will become why anyone ever believed he would do otherwise.

Well, for one, he was a great candidate, and McCain was not. Beyond that, though, Obama was what political strategists call an “aspirational candidate.” He represented something that voters aspired to be: Part of an America that was good enough, and far enough removed from its racial past, to elect a strong candidate who was also an African-American.

The feeling touched liberals and conservatives alike. On the right, conservatives who opposed Obama still expressed happiness that he was a serious contender. A few went beyond that, giving rise to the much-discussed “Obamacon” phenomenon.

“Having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will surely understand that traditional-left politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves,” wrote Christopher Buckley, son of conservative icon William F. Buckley, when he endorsed Obama in October.

Just a few weeks of the Obama administration caused Buckley to wonder if he had judged Obama correctly. Another admirer, the New York Times columnist David Brooks, wrote this month of having been forced “to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was.”


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At 3/19/2009 1:10 PM, Blogger craig said...

The entire Emery article is a hoot, but the last line is the best:

"But at least, we now have sophisticates running the country, not a moose-hunting ditz from Alaska. God knows what might happen then."

I was unaware Palin was running for President in 2008.
Did McCain know?

At 3/19/2009 1:24 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I think McCain knew all too well who was generating all the energy on the ticket. To the extent anyone voted for the Republican side, they were likely voting for HER, not for him.

At 3/19/2009 1:35 PM, Anonymous paul zummo said...

I was unaware Palin was running for President in 2008.

What's funny about this comment is that many of Obama's supporters DID try to make the case that, in light of McCain's advanced age, Palin was likely to be elevated to the presidency at some point. I even had a friend who voted for Obama, not because she thought him preferable to McCain, but because she preferred Biden to Palin. Her theory was that neither presidential nominee was likely to survive their first term.

Anyway, even if Palin would never have made it to the presidency, that only highlights Emery's point a little more. We had all this swooning over her supposed inexperience even though she was not running for the presidency, and yet Obama's more glaring inexperience - though he was actually running for the presidency - was glossed over. Oh, and look what happened. Obama is indeed an incompetent hack in over his head. Who woulda thunk it?

At 3/19/2009 2:38 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

The point of that last line -- that Palin was viewed with unabashed culture-based contempt by the coastal elites and Obama swooned over on mirror-image grounds -- is simply indisputable.

You might say "and damn right, we don't want moose-hunting ditzes" or "it didn't matter because McCain was a lousy candidate" or "it didn't matter because of the economy or Bush's unpopularity" or other things. But to deny that last line's facticity is either willful blindness and/or outright stupidity.

At 3/19/2009 9:02 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

Of course Palin had much more executive experience than President Teleprompter, as the country is now learning to its great cost.

At 3/20/2009 8:48 AM, Blogger craig said...

Palin is a joke.
The article's implication that Palin would have somehow handled herself better than Obama has to this point is laughable on its face!
She couldn't even face the hard-hitting questions of Katie Couric without daddy McCain holding her hand and helping her out with the "gotcha" questions.

At 3/20/2009 9:02 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"The article's implication that Palin would have somehow handled herself better than Obama has to this point is laughable on its face!"

I doubt she could've possibly done worse.

At 3/20/2009 11:22 AM, Blogger craig said...

Yeah, your "moose-hunting ditz" rejecting $172,000,000 of the stimulus money for Alaska schools is far less embarrassing than dissing the British Prime Minister.

Not surprising, since none of her kids are going to college or, in Bristol's case, finishing high school.


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