Palin on Winfrey

Laura Wood writes at The Thinking Housewife:

I like Sarah Palin. There is something refreshingly genuine and un-smarmy about her. But, after watching Oprah’s interview this afternoon with the former candidate, I have not altered my fundamental opposition to her as a future president.

I oppose her possible candidacy for two reasons. One, she is not smart and steely enough. Two, she is a feminist.

Granted, she is not an extreme feminist and she differs with the mainstream movement in her opposition to abortion. But Palin wholeheartedly embraces feminist egalitarianism and the radical transformation of society that it entails….

Palin said her daughter Bristol was “devastated” and embarrassed when she learned the national press had picked up the news that she was pregnant. Palin was unapologetic that she chose to put her daughter in the limelight at a difficult time and instead blamed the media for its excessive interest in her children.

When asked by Oprah how a woman could possibly handle five children and the vice presidency, Palin offered feminist boilerplate. “Things have changed,” she said. “There is so much equality.”

Yes, but children haven’t changed, have they? Of them, Palin said, “The children are my strength. They keep me grounded.” But does she keep them grounded?

LA replies:

I missed the first 15 minutes of the interview. If Palin said that Bristol was devastated by the national press reporting her pregnancy, and if Palin blames this on the national press, then that’s just appalling. As I’ve emphasized before, Palin accepted the vice presidential nod from McCain knowing that her candidacy plus Bristol’s soon-to-be-announced out-of-wedlock pregnancy would make the pregnancy national and global news. Palin by saying yes to the VP slot chose to bring her daughter’s pregnancy before the eyes of the world. And now she blames the media for simply doing its job and reporting a story that Palin herself announced to the country three days after the vice presidential announcement. If Bristol was devastated by the news coverage, then the person who knowingly caused her to be devastated was her mother.

It’s one thing to turn one’s daughter into a sacrificial object for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at the vice presidency; it’s another to deny that one has done that and blame it on the press. In my view, which I have stated from the start, she should have declined McCain’s offer of the vice presidential nomination. But to accept the offer and then blame the inevitable devastating consequences of that choice on others is in some way worse.

- end of initial entry -

Laura Wood writes:

Thank you for the mention. By the way, I have filled out the post with a few more details about the interview.

Doug E. writes:

My view of you and Palin: you guys are going after the “wrascally wrabbit.”

LA replies:

What’s your idea, that we Palin critics are like the Mounty who’s hunting Bugs Bunny in the cartoon, and Palin is Bugs Bunny? I.e., we’re criticizing her for various serious, “straight” reasons, but like Bugs Bunny she can’t be pinned down, she’s outside our limited concepts?

LA writes (November 17):

Doug E. turned out to be a malicious commenter. But I’m leaving his comment up as I think there’s a grain of truth to it, at least as interpreted by me. The idea is that Palin is in some sense an anarchic figure, like Bugs Bunny, and the usual criticisms and standards fall short when used against her.

Charles T. writes:

Compliments to Laura Wood. First, she explains her view on a sensitive subject very well. Second, she defends herself from her correspondent’s temper tantrum with grace and firmness. She keeps control while under verbal attack.

LA to Laura Wood:

I posted this, but left out the part where you criticized her for being away from her husband for three weeks. I wasn’t sure of your point.

Laura replies:

Believe me, even if she is away from her husband, an ordinary wife will find the opportunity to tell him that the child she is carrying has a major abnormality. Not that that abnormality is necessarily a cause for great unhappiness, but it is vital information. I cannot overstate how revealing that was about their relationship.

LA replies:

Do you mean it shows that she did not respect her husband, did not take him seriously? That here was absolutely vital information he deserved to know right away and she kept it from him for three weeks?

Laura replies:

Whenever a wife learns something very important about the baby she is carrying—and certainly the news that the baby has a genetic defect is very important—she automatically and unthinkingly rushes to tell her husband if they are at all close. I’m not saying Palin should have rushed to tell her husband because it was awful news. I’m saying it would be normal for her to tell him right away because it was important news. A normal wife in a normal marriage literally could not contain this information and would instantly want to share it with him. This is their child. This is news that may that will dramatically affect their life together, whether for good or ill.

To me, the idea that a woman would not tell her husband this news for three whole weeks is shocking and suggests a family that is at the very least not functioning normally and not the epitome of the all-American family.

LA replies:

Ok, but that’s a different issue from the feminism which you said was why you don’t support her for president and you gave this item as your first example of it.

Laura replies:

This is totally consistent with my point about feminism. A feminist isn’t thinking about her marriage; she’s thinking about her job. The way Palin spoke about this, with no recognition that this lack of communication was abnormal, suggested to me that she is out of touch with what it means to be a wife and to sustain a marriage.

Kilroy M. writes from Australia:

While being doctrinal is not a feature of a conservative thinker, the more I read about the disastrous effects of female electors and politicians on the societies they serve and are members of, the more I incline to the belief that women should simply have no part in politics at all. Sounds harsh, but I think it would reduce a great deal of the problems we face. Removing the female from the political realm would have massive flow-on effects onto the substance of policy as well as the spirit of government, both domestic and in its foreign relations.

November 17

Terry Morris writes:

It’s the same age-old story told all over again; different individuals, slightly different events, same old line:

Serpent tempts weak, ungrounded, yet powerfully persuasive, influential vessel, questioning the wisdom and justice of God’s pre-ordained order. Weak ungrounded vessel takes serpent’s bait of her own free will and volition, not necessarily because she hasn’t been better instructed, but because she desires for her eyes to be opened to the knowledge of good and evil. She drags her family into participating with her in her crime. Then when confronted with the immediate consequences (naked exposure), attempts to lay all the blame at the serpent’s feet, which tempted her. God is not mocked. She and her cohorts are forever banned from the simple but luscious garden their maker had created for them and placed them in, each receiving his just reward for his particular role in the commission of the crime. And the rest is, as they say, history.

(Same story plays itself out on a societal level, but always begins with individual choices and consequences.)

I’m just not quite sure who the serpent is in this particular version of the story. Is it McCain? Possibly. But he isn’t the one who initially brought her attention, he just tried to exploit the noise she was making as governor of the “last frontier” to his own advantage. In any event, the Palins will never again enjoy the benefits of their former innocence; life, from here on out, will be exceedingly difficult. As for McCain et al, they’ll slither around on their bellies the rest of their days as is only just.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 16, 2009 07:22 PM | Send

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