Obama by proxy
posted at 3:00 pm on March 13, 2010 by Doctor Zero
What’s your favorite example of mindless, slavering Palin hatred? The following excerpt comes from a review of Big Love, HBO’s lurid soap opera about a polygamist family:
What’s taking the Sissy Spacek and Perry King characters so long to discover Bill’s a polygamist? Hundreds of people in Greater Salt Lake City – polygamist and non-polygamist, Juniper Creek residents, law enforcement officials, drive-in attendants, neighbors – must know by now, no? At the end of season one, Barb admitted to an assistant to the governor’s wife that she was “involved in a polygamist lifestyle.” (But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a petty little idiot Sarah Palin was before John McCain snatched her from obscurity. Maybe a Utah state senate race simply doesn’t invite a ton of scrutiny.)
It may not be as flashy as Kathy Griffin grunting about her primitive urge to push the former governor of Alaska down a flight of stairs, but I like the sheer drive-by stupidity of it. There are plenty of other lefties out there, shivering with an anger so intense they can’t help vomiting it into movie reviews, fashion articles, sports stories, and other inappropriate venues, to the discomfort of readers who weren’t looking for crazy sandwich-board rants about Sarah Palin.
What drives Palin Derangement Syndrome to such intensity? Did anyone except John Edwards feel this passionately about John Edwards after he concluded a losing campaign as a vice-presidential candidate? Certainly Palin has remained more prominent than most such candidates, writing a blockbuster autobiography and launching a daring raid against the Death Panel Star from her Facebook page on Yavin-4… but has she really done anything to inspire this level of personal venom?
Few of the people issuing these lowbrow fatwas against her are residents of Alaska, so they’ve never lived under her authority, and know little about her actions as governor. They’re not having policy arguments with her, or rebelling against something she did in office. She was pretty tough on Obama during the latter days of the campaign, but that’s a role traditionally filled by all veep candidates, and it didn’t work – he still got elected. She’s not a feisty provocateur like Ann Coulter, striking a kung fu stance after every trenchant column and beckoning liberals to take their best shot at her. Palin’s speeches and writing are forceful and confident, but liberals respond as if she were screaming insults at them, or maybe hunting them for sport with her rifle.
Many of these vitriolic attacks are threads in the Shroud of Contempt, which the Left uses to smother opponents through its media and cultural influence, by constructing a common perception of them as too stupid or crazy to take seriously. Some of the animosity is born from fear that Palin might successfully re-enter politics. Listening to the criticism mixed in with the insults, I wonder if there might be another, more subtle reason behind the level of rage directed at John McCain’s affable running mate:
Sarah Palin is Obama by proxy.
Palin’s admirers often marvel at how the charges leveled against her are far more applicable to the current President. People who voted for an undistinguished junior senator from Illinois with few accomplishments are quick to assault Palin’s “lack of experience.” The same folks who instruct us that Barack Obama is a physical paragon, and Michelle Obama is the most beautiful woman in the world – a goddess who causes fashion models to slink from her path in shame – belittle Palin for her good looks. Defenders of the most fabulously corrupt administration in modern history mumble about the murky details of obscure “scandals” manufactured by Alaskan bloggers. They turn away from the sad spectacle of a manifestly incompetent President to sneer that a woman who alters the course of legislative battles with blog posts is some kind of an idiot.
They dismiss Going Rogue as “ghost written” while ignoring the specter of Bill Ayers plodding through Obama’s books, a sputtering bomb clutched in its skeletal fingers. A few lines scribbled on Palin’s palm glow more brightly in their imaginations than terabytes of data flowing across the screen of Obama’s teleprompter. They accuse Palin of being a “divisive” and “polarizing” figure, while Obama launches Taxi Driver rants against evil insurance companies, cops acting stupidly, tonsil-stealing doctors, and everyone else who crosses his path.
I used to dismiss these contradictions as simply hypocrisy, but perhaps these people are angry at Palin because of her perceived similarities to Barack Obama, not in spite of them. They need someplace to ground the lightning of their frustration and disappointment, and they’re not allowed to be angry at Obama. They wear a set of rusty intellectual chains that require them to believe all criticism of Obama is racist, or paid for by his fat-cat arch-enemies. Accepting the notion that government power is morally superior to free enterprise, and a virtuous nation therefore has a very large government, requires belief in the masters of the State as titans of mind and spirit. How could a gigantic State be morally defensible, if its leaders aren’t supermen? If you find yourself suspecting the architect of the largest, most expensive government America has ever known might not be as smart or wise as you were led to believe last November, your entire world-view is threatened.
It’s very important for liberals to deflect those suspicions onto a designated, culturally approved target. Sarah Palin is a convenient hate fetish for increasingly nervous and confused Left, because she embodies the qualities of the red-state America they loathe… and serves as a voodoo doll for uncomfortable criticisms of Obama, which they project onto her. As events continue to demonstrate those criticisms were far more important than any of the superficial or imaginary reasons they voted for him, they’ll jab pins into that voodoo doll with increasing fury, even though the object of their anger now spends her days working for a news network none of them would be caught dead watching.
The pitfall of an insular, heavily biased media culture is that it doesn’t process negative feedback well. Those of us who never joined the Obama cult can only frown at the chunks of bile strewn through discourse that should have nothing to do with politics, and laugh when people who voted Joe Biden into office sputter about what a lousy vice-president Sarah Palin would have made.
Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.
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