Green Room

Obama By Proxy

posted at 5:48 pm on March 12, 2010 by

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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Well…. I dunno.

Sarah Palin certainly presses progg buttons something awful, but I’d say it has more to do with her embodiment of Everything Proggs Hate (as Dubya did) than with her embodiment of Obama’s Dark Side. Even if Obama didn’t exist, they’d hate Sarah with the same white-hot loathing as ever.

She didn’t abort her Down’s child, you see, and she threatened to occupy the White House before a Democrat did (the way God intended), and that alone was enough to set them off.

On the other hand, the ability of the average Progg to engage in projection and transference never ceases to amaze.

Pick your pathology: they’ve prolly got it.

dicentra63 on March 12, 2010 at 6:01 PM

It’s an interesting theory, but I’m not sure about it. Those liberals who think ahead may be promoting these attacks on Palin because they think it neutralizes attacks on Obama. Somebody (Machiavelli? Alinsky?) once said, whatever your biggest flaw is, accuse your opponent of the same thing. If the public is convinced that Palin is inexperienced and doesn’t know anything about foreign affairs, then she’ll seem ridiculous if she (rightly) criticizes Barry’s inexperience and incompetence at foreign affairs during her 2012 campaign. I don’t think most liberals have that kind of foresight, though — mainly they just hate and fear Sarah Palin and it makes them feel good to insult her.

It really will create a problem for her in 2012, though. The way to break through will probably be to focus on positive campaigning, because nobody’s going to be convinced by a Palin ad that accuses Barry of not understanding foreign affairs or something. She’ll have to show her own foreign policy and let people draw their own conclusions from the comparison.

joe_doufu on March 12, 2010 at 6:21 PM

It seems to me like a primitive, visceral reaction (the left’s to Palin). I’m not convinced there’s anything either analytical or calculated about it. The Deep Left was demented about Dubya too, and it came across as much more of an instinctive reaction, a sort of animal level of behavior, than anything they could really control or calibrate.

There are going to be parallels between Obama and Palin because they’re both politicians — and they both elicit strong reactions from people. Any sort of reverse syllogizing going on in the collective brain of the left, between Obama and Palin, is unconscious, I suspect.

J.E. Dyer on March 12, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Yeahwhatever.

Itchee Dryback on March 12, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Just when I think you can’t get any better, you outdo yourself again, Doc – great piece and great analysis. I had a similar thought the other day talking with one of my best friends at work who’s a huge Obama fan and erupts in incredulity anytime I equate Palin’s abilities with Obama’s.

After telling him I believed Obama was evil and the most corrupt and incompetent (a dangerous combination) President ever, I realized my friend would only ever agree with me if Obama is actually successful with his plans and imposes his socialist views on all aspects of American life, negatively affecting not only my life but my friend’s life as well. Conversely, my friend would always disagree with my assessment of Obama’s evil nature if Obama completely fails during his single term in office.

PatMac on March 12, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Well done Doc.

Robert17 on March 12, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Understand that for the Left, a failure by Obama is a failure of legitimacy. Every opponent of Obama must be thoroughly destroyed.

Scott Brown simply hasn’t had his turn yet.

Fortunately for Palin, she is being immeasurably strengthened by these attacks. They are occuring at the wrong time for Democrats, but the right time for her.

This onslaught should have occurred in October of 2012. But today’s Dems have no discipline. They are immunizing her.

victor82 on March 12, 2010 at 9:02 PM

The pitfall of an insular, heavily biased media culture is that it doesn’t process negative feedback well.

It’s all Bush’s fault. That’s the problem. Not that it is Bush’s fault, but in an illogical way it sorta is. Consider: That for eight years the foaming-at-the-mouth radical Left spewed their hatred of Bush in every form possible, from declaring GW’s presidency to be illegitimate due to the perceived razor-closeness of the Florida 2000 counts, to books and movies in which GW gets assassinated, to simply turning every single issue which he addressed as being anti-something and unpatriotic, or an outright lie.

What on earth do vicious, hateful, radical Left people do with all that negative energy and anger when suddenly their preferred target is removed from their line of site? Why, they simply find someone else to transfer all that negative and unresolved emotion onto in the hopes of gaining retribution.

More disturbingly, they seek to find vindication somehow. Nothing they blasted at him nor accused him of successfully removed GW Bush from office, and he served out his full two terms. This was an outrage, dontcha know!

And so the only recourse to such insanity is to transfer the rage and outrage onto a new person who they might, still, utterly destroy, but before that person has a chance to actually successfully “steal” some higher office, being as most perceive it: The Presidency. Which they were powerless to deny GW Bush.

If they could just succeed in preventing Sarah Palin from enjoying White House occupancy, perhaps in their sick and twisted minds it would translate into saving the country from the likes of GW Bush, in retrospect, as delayed retribution.

I’m beginning to somewhat believe what Michael Savage claimed: That Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. But then, I kinda view his often irrational rants as being beyond comprehension at times, too. Still, there’s a grain of sand to be found in many such postulations, no?

KendraWilder on March 12, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Lincoln Day Dinner Open Thread

Sarah Palin–”I was busted for using the poor mans teleprompter…my hand”
Sarah Palin–”Gibbs has nothing better to concentrate on other than my hand?”
Sarah Palin–”Americans want domestic drilling which God has blessed our country with”
Sarah Palin–”it’s about time Obama and his friends listen to the American people”
Gov. Sarah Palin says it’s not ‘cap a trade,’ it is ‘cap & tax!’

Palin says we don’t want the DC planned Utopia and we’ve got 235 days to vote the OUT!!!!

Sarah Palins–”Tea Partiers are all good patriotic Americans”
Palin: “There’s nothing wrong with Washington that a good old fashioned election can’t fix!”

Sarah Palin–”Media let’s Obama get away with pinning problems on Bush”

President Reagan said every day is the 4th of July. Democrats say everyday is Apr 15th

Sarah Palin–”We know history”

Sarah Palin–”Govt is growing and we are drowning in debt”

Sarah Palin–”Spending freeze isn’t enough, “that’s like putting a bandaid on a self inflicted gunshot wound” …

Sarah Palin–”We will take back Congress in 2010 and the Whitehouse in 2012″

Palin: “Washington has broken faith with the people it’s supposed to serve”

Palin: “We shouldn’t be working for gov’t, gov’t should be working for us”

Sarah Palin–”GOP believes that God has shed his grace on thee”
Sarah Palin–”We still believe that America is acceptional”

Palin says the American People make America Exceptional!

Sarah Palin–”Patriots are standing up and speaking out”

Sarah Palin–”Stick by your principles and stick by your guns and we shall win! God Bless you and God Bless Florida!”

That’s my girl…..

idesign on March 12, 2010 at 11:24 PM

The Progressive’s trademark is projectionism.

Spot on Doc.

katy on March 13, 2010 at 9:21 AM

WOW! GREAT analysis. I always wonder about this issue. The woman had an 80% approval rating in Alaska before they tried to destroy her. She states her case most of the time in a non-threatening, “tell it like it is” manner. Despite the fact that they call her a Right WingNUT, her positions aren’t radical. What other reason could there be for these attacks? Doc has it absolutely right. My wonderful senator Menendez recently said “YOU HAVE TO DEFINE YOUR ENEMY BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO DEFINE THEMSELVES”. It wasn’t about Sarah but that really made me think about her. That is what they tried to do and are still trying to do. As the DREAM of driving her from politics and the public discourse slips farther and farther away, the more and more DESPERATE they and their feeble attempts become.

Dan Pet on March 13, 2010 at 9:24 AM

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?

Scratch a reactionary leftist, find the fascist gibbering underneath.

N. O'Brain on March 13, 2010 at 9:27 AM

katy on March 13, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Yes, quite so.

For many on the [hard] Left, their ‘opponent’ is the default mirror image since they lack the moral courage to confront the flaws in their own reflections.

CPT. Charles on March 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Get outta my head, Doc! I am fully in agreement. I would only add the following:

What adds to the frustration with Obama that gets projected onto Palin also lies with the liberal’s view of himself:

An open-minded , culture-jamming, critical-thinking person who takes elections seriously—–who nevertheless reacted on a Pavlovian level to a billion-dollar slick marketing campaign like a banjo-strumming rube at a “patent medicine” show and swooned over a good-looking empty-headed moron like a tweenager with a Tiger Beat.

It’s easier to believe Sarah Palin is the embodiment of all things evil than to realize everything they believed about themselves is wrong.

Sekhmet on March 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

What drives Palin Derangement Syndrome to such intensity?

Fear.

Misogyinsm.

Liberals are shamelessly and utterly full of crap. All that tolerance and diversity garbage we’ve heard for the last two decades is just that.

It is entertaining seeing a conservative woman put so much fear into insecure little weasels.

Crap.

drjohn on March 13, 2010 at 9:45 AM

@joe_doufu: Agreed. This whaling on the crazies won’t do Palin any good especially if racially neurotic voters decide they are only entitled to reject Obama if they also shun Palin. Romney wins the flight to quietude hands down unless Sarah settles their nerves.

Seth Halpern on March 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Interesting theory, Doc. The Left often ‘projects’ wildly and the Left is often angry and disappointed but cannot freely express anger at their own elites, especially their exalted One. So targeting a proxy might explain the Left’s unhinged deranged obsession with Palin. The Left could use some extra therapy, it appears.

chaswv on March 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM

They hate her for her lack of self-apology and her faith-based and formidable joy in life, and her joy in challenging them. The other reasons sound valid too, for the average Leftist is a walking stew of hate, but the biggest reason for their hate is her deep, simple and uncompromising joy. They hate joy.

The same kind of hate they direct at Palin would never be directed at Mitt Romney, who processes his affected egghead sunniness through political calculation before it ever leaves his mouth. The Leftist feels comfortable knowing he can destroy Romney when the time comes.

But Palin’s indomitably self-confident nature and sense of joy are ultimately beyond the reach of their hate, and that terrifies them.

rrpjr on March 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM

What part of TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT don’t you understand?
How much more totalitarian does it have to become to impress you?

Cybergeezer on March 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM

This onslaught should have occurred in October of 2012. But today’s Dems have no discipline. They are immunizing her.
victor82 on March 12, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Exactly!! And what we need to do in the next few cycles is identify and promote only those who have been standing athwart of proggs and beating the drum for constitutional/fiscal principles. Dem-lites need not apply and we reject their promotion by the LSM such as McVain, Graham etc.

AH_C on March 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Sarah has some common sense. That’s lacking in DC in all of it’s components.

jeanie on March 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM

You nailed it on this one Doc.

javamartini on March 13, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Democrats? Hypocrisy? They crossed that bridge a long time ago. My response when I hear attacks on Palin is to ask if it’s true that she’s an “idiot”, a “nothing”. I get nodding heads in response. I then reply, “Well for a ‘nothing’ and an ‘idiot’, you certainly are obsessed with her, aren’t you?”

GarandFan on March 13, 2010 at 11:05 AM

In her widely seen speech at the Republican Convention she attacked Obama. She attacked his competence and his ideas, and she attacked the idea that he was fit. Since his supporters had already concluded that he was fit, and that they liked his ideas, they regarded the vicious attack on Obama as a vicious attack on them. It was all the more anger inspiring because every single bit of it was TRUE, and they knew it.

She treated Obama like a little child, and through him and his ideas, they felt the sting as well. They were spanked, and they didn’t like it, and in the manner spoiled rotten brats take when they’ve been spanked, they mouthed off, and continue to do so.

But Doc Zero has an interesting take on it.

DiogenesLamp on March 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM

***
Good job, Dr. Zero. However, I think the idea that both Comrade Obama (PBUH) and the Sarah’Cuda are equally incompetent and inexperienced is wrong. An Illinois and U.S. Senator and a state governor have far different responsiblities. The legislator is a “lets make a deal” person acting with many similar persons. The governor is an executive person who has to make solo decisions, prepare balanced budgets, decide to pass or veto bills, whether to allow executions to go forward or to pardon or commute to life sentences, etc.
***
A person from the executive branch of state government is a “better fit” for the tasks a president has to perform. And Sarah Palin’s work, honesty, and integrity stands out when compared to President Obama’s limited achievements. His one real achievement was hiding his liberal / socialist / communist mindset from most of the electorate and getting elected in 2008. I don’t think the American Taxpayer will see any problem booting him–and his congressional ilk–out of office in the 2010 and 2012 elections. The emperor has no clothes!
***
SARAH PALIN for POTUS and JOHN BOLTON for VP–the America First ticket. I want someone working for me–not someone trashing our country and enriching his cronies at my expense. The liberals, democrats, and RINO’s know they are finished if the wins–that is why they trash her and slander her.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on March 13, 2010 at 11:20 AM

But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a petty little idiot Sarah Palin was before John McCain snatched her from obscurity.

But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a petty little reprobate John Edwards was until after the National Enquirer did the MSM’s job for them .

But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a petty little fraud Al Gore was until after the blogoshere and talk radio exposed him.

But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a criminal organization ACORN was until after two twenty somethings with a video camera showed everyone what they really were.

But then again, nobody seemed to catch on to what a petty little incompetent ideologue Obama was until after the MSM got him elected

RadClown on March 13, 2010 at 11:36 AM

This post has been promoted to HotAir.com.

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Allahpundit on March 13, 2010 at 12:02 PM

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.

Palin elevated a candidate hated by many conservatives. McCain tried to ram through amnesty against public outrage multiple times, and then got himself nominated by a string of primary dogs who couldn’t run fast enough to hand over their delegates to block Romney.

It is only surprising McCain did as well as he did, with a dejected base. Pro amnesty people had a better lib in Obama, and anti amnesty people knew McCain was totally untrustworthy on the subject

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.

True, but so was Reagan. Reagan was affable, smiley, and full of love for conservatism. He was charismatic, like Palin, and spoke in sound bites, not dissertations.

Reagan got the same hate avalanche as Palin. He was labeled an underqualified B-actor just a Palin is a non ivy league beauty contestant/ tv reporter.

Everytime Reagan chuckled, the enemies went ballistic.

By coincidence, both were governors, but the left could never accept their elections were anything but some kind of slip up in an otherwise orderly system

Notice the lack of fear for Coulter vs Palin.

The old Reagan fear is surfacing. Something related to the little people getting control at the top. They understand Coulter. She went to the same schools.

entagor on March 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The left has had years to spread their progressive message through public education and the media, then in one election cycle one superstar nobody from the right gathers a following of regular americans and manages to speak to them and tell them they are not alone. That conservatism is not on the decline, just the brand, and we can change or fix that brand. These actions and messages threaten all the years of progressive, generational brainwashing that have occured. Their fury is real and justified, when a facebook page holds more policy making water than a presidential teleprompter.

Koa on March 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Yep. Projection. It’s not just for the little booth in the movie theater anymore.

.

Joan of Argghh on March 13, 2010 at 12:38 PM

@joe_doufu: Agreed. This whaling on the crazies won’t do Palin any good especially if racially neurotic voters decide they are only entitled to reject Obama if they also shun Palin. Romney wins the flight to quietude hands down unless Sarah settles their nerves.

Seth Halpern on March 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Yep. That’s why the Left is pushing to get Romney supported as the GOP candidate. They know they can beat him easily.

A Romney presidency would lead to a continuation of a growing federal government. Mitt would not stop the growth of spending and ratchet it down. He does not have the balls. MA is messed up and he has no chance in the primary. The establishment will push some other dark horse to counter Sarah. It won’t work.

Read what Sarah said in her speech because she is the ONLY serious GOP prospect outside of Jim DeMint who actually would CUT federal spending and the size of government, especially if she is given a GOP Congress.

Sarah Palin–”Spending freeze isn’t enough, “that’s like putting a bandaid on a self inflicted gunshot wound” …

Sapwolf on March 13, 2010 at 12:49 PM

And another thing, we are now after these last two years beginning to understand the litmus test Mormon GOP voters have for Mitt Romney despite his not being a conservative or libertarian.

It appears Mormons vote religion like blacks vote Obama.

I’m Catholic, and I’ll vote for Sarah despite her not being Catholic.

It is because of her character, her record, and that she happens to be right on most of the issues.

Sapwolf on March 13, 2010 at 12:52 PM

It appears Mormons vote religion like blacks vote Obama.

I’m a Mormon and I’d die a painful, prolonged death before voting for Harry Reid (also a Mormon).

I also plan to do what I can to unseat Bill Bennett and Orrin Hatch, both LDS and both utter morons.

I’m Catholic, and I’ll vote for Sarah despite her not being Catholic.

“Despite” implies that Not Being Catholic is an inherent negative that you plan to overlook. Is that what you meant to say?

dicentra63 on March 13, 2010 at 1:13 PM

doc, you have nailed it. i have been saying pretty much all of this for quite a while, but of course you have laid it out far better than i could in your trademarked articulate way.

i’m tempted to post this on facebook, but i am too busy right now to deal with all the comments that i would get from all the liberal friends that i have on there… ;-)

homesickamerican on March 13, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Obama-to-Palin transference? I never gave it much thought before, and now that I have, I don’t think so. By and large, conservatives believe good people can disagree about important political and philosophical issues. On a personal level, we measure the man or woman by the content and quality of their character, not on the basis of their beliefs, however screwy or left-field we might think those beliefs to be.

Don’t you get it? Hard-left liberals hate us, and to them, Sarah Palin is us.

troyriser_gopftw on March 13, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Hadn’t thought of it that way, but you might be right. I’ve been at a loss to explain the virulence and persistence of it otherwise.

Count to 10 on March 15, 2010 at 3:16 PM