Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pretty hate machine

The Other McCain (as seen on Instapundit and Outside the Beltway!) is a-hatin' on the Palin-haters. Seeing as how I resemble that remark, might as well swoop in for a piece of the action and hopefully a grand FMJRA slam. Speaking of which, I guess I should work in the applicable Memeorandum references ASAP: Here and here (serious side note: McCain pointed me to Memeorandum once when I complained of writer's block. It is Teh Cure).

Yeah, I guess I'm a Palin-hater. I wasn't pre-disposed to be one (I encouraged McCain to pick her months in advance, and if I damned that pick when he made it, at least I did so with faint praise).

My first step toward Palin hate was the realization that she is not (the assurances of people in that crowd, assurances I had made a little blogosphere bank on notwithstanding), repeat not a "libertarian Republican" in any meaningful sense of the word. I have to take the hit for that one. I fell for the hype of a known hypester there.

Beyond that early error on my part, though, it's all on her. Vice-presidential nomination in hand, she proceeded toward every iceberg in sight at flank speed, almost immediately making Tina Fey's impressions of her superfluous. Her public rallies looked like some kind of mutant offspring of the 700 Club and heyday-era Jerry Springer. Her personal interviews? It was obvious who prepped her for those:

Contra the fun stereotyping of (The Other) McCain, I don't hate Palin because I'm a gay man with mother issues (I'm fairly heterosexual, and Mom's a great lady). Nor do I object to attractive female politicians with children (an attractive female politician is the mother of two of my children).

If I hate Palin -- I think that term is a bit strong, but hey, let's just keep rolling with it -- here are a couple of clues as to why from the new Vanity Fair article referenced in that second Memeorandum link:

What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded? ... she was casual about the truth and totally unfit for the vice-presidency ... The clouds of tabloid conflict and controversy that swirl around her and her extended clan -- the surprise pregnancies, the two-bit blood feuds, the tawdry in-laws and common-law kin caught selling drugs or poaching game -- give her family a singular status in the rogues' gallery of political relatives. By comparison, Billy Carter, Donald Nixon, and Roger Clinton seem like avatars of circumspection.

And that's just the adult relatives (excluding near-adult, but still young and vulnerable, Bristol's pregnancy)! Poor Bristol, Piper and Trig just got used as cheap campaign props to hype the "loving mom" and "we don't smoke abortion in Wasilla" memes. It was disgusting, and all it gave us to look forward to are the future tell-all memoirs of middle-aged, post-detox Palin offspring. (The Other) McCain may be right about "mother issues," but I think he's looking in the wrong place for them.

In all fairness, I shouldn't hate Palin. If the game is "how do we destroy the Republican Party?" she's going to be any sane manager's top draft pick for the 2012 season. As unsympathetic to the GOP as I may be, however, I'm also, well, embarrassed for them. If Sarah Palin is the best they can come up with (and to all appearances that's the case), they should either pick a random name out of the phone book or call it quits.

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