If it’s not a liberal perpetuating and spewing slanderous anti-Palin diatribes, it’s an old-tier Republican altogether dismissing her as “inept” and/or “unqualified”. While both sides have their reasons for opposing Sarah Palin’s existence – let alone her stature in the American political schema – their attacks have extended beyond the realm of reason. Most recently, Joe Scarborough delved into the Palin debate, with his half-witted Politico column proving to be little more than a mirror reflection of the left’s consistently unfair and imbalanced anti-Palin commentary.
Scarborough begins his Politico piece by calling Palin a major problem for the GOP, denigrating her as a mere “reality show star” and insinuating that she simply “cannot be elected”. It’s tough to pick a starting point, but allow be to commence with Scarborough’s assertion that Palin is a “problem” for the GOP. First and foremost, why is it such a horrific prospect for Palin to be the “most talked about” figure in the conservative movement? If anything, her star-power has served as a positive force for a number of conservative candidates. When Palin shows up, thousands of people rally and the monies flow in.
So, what’s the issue? Is Palin really that much of a problem for the GOP? Clearly, Scarborough is petrified at the prospect of a Palin White House run in 2012, but dismissing her as a mere “problem” fails to recognize the absolute benefit she serves as a promoter, mouthpiece and fundraising machine for right-leaning candidates.
In terms of Scarborough’s assertion that Palin is not a viable candidate, let’s remember that there have been plenty of people throughout history who’ve been deemed “unelectable” and they’ve shown critics up. In the end, who’s to say whether Palin is or is not “electable”? That’s a decision the American people will have to make if and when the time comes.
Later in the piece, Scarborough (clearly overtaken with sarcasm), writes, “Maybe the publishing world’s favorite reality star can keep drawing attention and selling billions of books by spitting on John Wayne’s grave or “manning up” by shooting an American bald eagle.” He goes on to continue referring to Palin as a “reality star”, as though her time in government was a figment in the minds of Alaskans – and Americans, for that matter. But, that’s beside the point.
Scarborough is so interested in insulting Palin that he omits basic truths and acts as though Palin has been a do-nothing buffoon. He dismisses her resume as “thin” and rants on with the same vitriol one would expect to hear from a career politician railing against an opposing candidate. To his credit, Scarborough writes, “Sarah Palin is not a stupid woman.” But, again, moments of factual clarity are rare in the piece.
Love Palin or hate her, she is only the second woman in American history to campaign for the vice-presidency. She certainly made history and her most notable achievement had nothing to do with reality television. Stringing together a slew of insults that serve as little more than obnoxiously child-like pokes at a figure who has – like it or not – proven herself larger than life does nothing of real value to our democracy (nor does it make a viable case against Palin’s political force).
In a fit of irony Scarborough questions, “What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run?” Do the words “Barack Obama” ring a bell? Surely they do, though Scarborough sees Obama as vastly more qualified going into the presidency than Palin would be, should she run (another absurd insinuation). I’m by no means stating that I believe Palin should be president in 2012 (or beyond), but I am reaffirming her right to – at the least – run for the presidency. This is America, isn’t it? And even if she doesn’t run, dismissing her as a “problem” and acting as though her impact and viability are non-factors is intellectually dishonest and just plain silly. “Sarah Palin is stupid and/or unqualified” has become liberal code for “I disagree with her belief system” and conservative code for “I’m jealous of her charisma.” Get over it, people.
Scarborough’s concentrated insidiousness seems so over-the-top and uncalled for it’s a wonder anyone advising him would have recommended he publish it. Then again, judging from works produced by the other personalities over at MSNBC, this may be the most conservative piece of “journalism” to spew from the network in years. Perhaps we should be counting our blessings?
Billy Hallowell is a journalist and commentator who focus on media, politics and society. His writings can be found at www.billyhallowell.com and on Twitter.
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