“Sarah Palin gets the spiteful Margaret Thatcher treatment”

The Daily Telegraph has a perspective on Sarah Palin different from the one that shows up here. Interestingly enough, its author graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965 with a BA degree in philosophy. She was also a member of the Free Speech Movement, which was one of the initial student protests of the sixties. And she taught philosophy in England (for example, as a tutor for the Open University) for 20 years.

Given that background, readers may find the following comments from the article a bit surprising, though she has been an arch conservative journalist for some time:

There are few sights more bloodcurdling than the liberal pack in full cry. The viciousness of the attacks on Sarah Palin is a testimony to the degree of panic her appointment has generated in Leftist circles.

It would seem that it is only sexist to trash a woman candidate if she is a Woman Candidate, which is to say a liberal.

Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs Palin is coming in for both barrels of Left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery. Where Lady Thatcher was dismissed as a “grocer’s daughter” by people who called themselves egalitarian, Mrs Palin is regarded as a small-town nobody by those who claim to represent “ordinary people”.



The life of small-town USA is based on the principles of those Protestant colonial settlers who founded the nation: hard work, self-improvement, personal faith and family devotion. Mrs Palin speaks to and for them in a way that patronising “liberal” elitists find infuriating.

On the other hand, New Yorker columnist Jane Mayer was on Democracy Now discussing her NYer article on SP and how SP was chosen.  It turns out that Washington insiders sometimes take cruises in Alaska.  Outsider anti-DC-elitist Sarah Palin entertained a number in the governor’s house and they loved her.  As Mayer says,

[To pick the running mate,] they’re sort of going down a checklist. They’re looking far-right politics, female, and then attractive. And one of the things that all of the Republican political pundits who came through the governor’s mansion were—it was funny to interview them. They were just smitten by her. They described her wearing high heels and saying, “Hi, I’m Sarah,” and introducing herself charmingly. And they talked, almost to a man, how gorgeous she was. They called her a “honey.” Bill Kristol called her “my heartthrob.” I mean, they sounded like guys with schoolboy crushes, practically.

O dear.  Mayer also says, “They could still be elected, so don’t count her out yet.”  Panic indeed!

Undecided Voters

From the always superb David Sedaris:

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”
Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.
I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Thanks, Mr Jender!