As she returns to the national spotlight with the release of her new book, let us analyze this point: "Why does America's left establishment hate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin so much?"
You got me. I've thrown my main point out there really quick instead of building my way toward it as I usually do. But, this point needs to be driven home in an in-your-face manner.
The answer to the burning question above isn't too surprising when you take an honest look at the situation. The institutional left hates Palin with every fiber of their being because she is living proof a woman can achieve a high level of success in a predominantly male arena without having to compromise her values or guiding principles. And, she has done so as a member of the political party feminists have alleged for decades is responsible for continuing the oppression of women in our society.
Members of the Democratic Party despise the governor because her rise to national prominence has taken away something very precious to them. Since the Sexual Revolution took rise over 40 years ago, Democrats have laid claim to the notion (without saying in so many words) that gender equality is their baby and theirs alone. If you consider yourself to be a feminist to even the slightest extent, Democrats would have you believe they are the only political institution outside of the National Organization for Women that has your back.
By playing up mistrust and resent between the genders, they have worked hard to popularize the idea women who would aspire to reach greatness can only hope to do so if they vote Democrat.
And then along came Sarah Palin, governor of the State of Alaska and candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. There it was in the face of everyone, whether they knew it or not: the game of politics -- especially the role women play in it -- had changed dramatically.
Good luck convincing me that liberals, feminists, and all other Democrats did not rejoice at watching Palin's disastrous first national interviews. And when the news broke that her daughter Bristol had become pregnant at age 17, the moment must have been a nearly orgasmic one in the NBC Universal board room.
Now, during the resultant bashing of Palin's image leading up to the election, N.O.W. was conspicuously absent from the picture. Afterall, wouldn't an organization that claims to promote constitutional equality for women want to have one of their own to be a "heartbeat away from the presidency?"
The situation was quite reminiscent of their silent complicity with Former President Bill Clinton's infidelity during his administration. Undeniably, N.O.W. took a serious hit to their credibility since being unfaithful to one's wife is supposed to be one of the worst slaps to a woman's dignity a man could commit. The next domino fell on N.O.W. when Hillary Clinton announced they were reconciling and then in 2000 she ran for U.S. Senator in New York. Funny how opting not to leave a cheating husband can expedite one's own political aspirations.
Getting back on track (I do love my sidebars, being the right-wing Libertarian elitist I am)... There is a new nut in politics conservatives everywhere are trying to crack: in the months that followed the election and the Obama-Biden ticket won there remained so much focus on Gov. Palin. More than a year after the polls closed, liberal and alleged nonpartisan commentators continue to be relentless.
Virtually every time the dust has settled after a presidential election the losing running mate has faded quickly into obscurity in terms of the national scene. In 2008 and 2009, however, this particular former running mate continues to be thrust into the national public eye on a regular basis. Only once has she found herself there by her own choosing -- after speaking at a Republican event in Indiana.
Perhaps the Left's ire lies in this: in a turn of events that was unexpected for most people who watch political news coverage, Palin has retained a great deal of popularity among Republicans. Significant interest in her political career continues to remain high among conservatives, much to the chagrin of the liberal establishment. Once you finish perusing my blog, take a look at the Bumperstickers section of my MySpace profile. At the bottom of it you will see a Palin 2012 "button."
That is why the Olbermanns, Colberts, Lettermans, Fays, and O'Briens of our nation insist upon their continued chiseling at her public image.
The most newsworthy assault this past summer, however, backfired with interesting and entertaining results. David Letterman's recent flap -- joking about Palin's daughter getting "knocked-up" by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez -- put her in a position where she was unequivocally compelled to speak out on her own behalf. Although it's not hard to figure out Letterman meant his joke to be about Bristol Palin, his lack of attention to details and fact-checking resulted in him appearing to be assailing the governor's 14-year-old daughter, Willow. That daughter was the one attending the Yankees game with her mother.
And given another opportunity in an NBC exclusive interview, Palin's eyes and the manner in which she spoke were as clear as many of us conservatives believed they ought to have been in 2008. Even as Matt Lauer tried press his point that she could be overreacting, the governor never relented and made her point succinctly.
The problem for the left in that particular situation is this: when someone makes an inappropriate remark about your loved ones, to not speak up and defend their honor would be equally as inappropriate. As a result of Letterman boneheadedly including (unintentionally or not) her underage child in his own campaign of character assassination, the door opened for her to step up and improve her image on her own.
Yet, in coverage of the story by broadcast and print media, Palin is again receiving zero support from women's organizations. If not for extensive digging through N.O.W.'s Web site, www.now.org, and finally finding comments about Letterman in their "Media Hall of Shame" section, it would appear they were completely silent on this matter. Their comments on the story, though, are very brief.
People on the left -- especially those who claim to be gender equality advocates -- should have been just as vocal in their outrage over Letterman's bad joke as their counterparts on the right. It boils down to the risk to their credibility.
A common course of action people take when weighing an idea or issue is taking the sources into consideration before looking at the meat of their arguments. The left knows this perfectly well -- for example, that's why claims of prejudice, radicalism, and corporate-induced bias are frequently directed at Tea Partiers. Instead of challenging the points their opponents raise on a subject, simply question the presenters' credibility. Liberals are fully aware how often this works.
By not either arguing in defense of Gov. Palin in light of such a tasteless joke or more aggressively expressing distaste for the derogatory implications about female teens the joke used, so-called women's rights champions are lending even more legitimacy to the right-wing assertion that such groups are not interested in equal rights but are using that platform to further a specific ideological agenda.
And countering this point with action -- as opposed to outraged denial -- ought to be a priority to groups such as N.O.W. Should the general public accept and embrace the right's argument above about organized feminism, the damage to the credibility of women's groups could be too much for them to overcome. Public scorn for using a cause such as equality (particularly being of such importance to women of all political leanings) as a front for another political agenda would be swift and decisive.
As it stands, plenty of people in America (mainly folks who only follow politics casually -- at best) still perceive those who champion equal rights for women as being focused narrowly on this goal. When that perception changes for enough people, the aforementioned scorn will be enough to motivate more and more legislators and other key political figures to distance themselves from these special interest groups.
Their silence on the Letterman/Palin story, coming on the heels of the conspicuous absence of support for the governor during last year's campaign while critics, commentators, and comedians were unashamedly portraying her as an airhead (a label traditionally directed at women), has established a tangible and specific pattern to which those of us on the right can point and use as a foundation for our arguments.
If women's rights advocates persist in being selectively heroic in their defense of female public figures, the American masses will pick up on it. If this trend with feminists continues, they will only make it easier for political analysts and bloggers to discredit them.
It's one thing when I blog about it or someone infinitely more notable such as Greg Gutfeld, Neal Bortz, Glenn Beck, or Sean Hannity discusses the subject; but when folks in the grocery stores, health clubs, and coffee shops begin to have this conversation, it'll be a whole new game for the left.