Whatever we may think about it, Palin is here

I saw Sarah Palin being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly last evening on Fox, and, in the part of the interview I saw, she spoke forcefully, confidently, and without verbal meanderings on foreign policy matters. I reject her view that we can and must “win” in Afghanistan. But she represented that position with unambivalent verve.

On the basis of the confident, prepared Palin I saw last night, and also in light of the passionate base of popular support she enjoys, there is now no question in my mind that she sees herself as a potential president, that she wants to be president, and that she is going to run for president.

To traditional conservatives who see Palin as liberal, feminist, and unqualified, and who are troubled, even appalled, by the notion of a Palin presidential candidacy, I would offer this perspective:

The U.S. for the first time in history has a president who is openly anti-American, who wants to bring down and humiliate America, who seeks (in his own words) to change America fundamentally, who is striving to crush our system of government and our economy, who is trying to transfer wealth from whites to nonwhites, and who embodies the liberal-elite disdain for ordinary Americans and their values and concerns, not to mention their property and their freedom. This is an unprecedented situation, and it has created unprecedented fear and agitation in the minds of millions of people.

Yet, through an extraordinary conjunction, at the very moment that we are saddled with such an alien and threatening president, his diametrical opposite has appeared on the national scene: unapologetically pro-American, pro-free enterprise, committed to standing up against our enemies, and a hick.

Therefore, whatever we may think of Palin for her many failings,—for putting her political career in front of her responsibilities as a mother; for her disastrous handling of everything pertaining to her daughter’s relationship and pregnancy; for walking away from the only significant political office she has held; for the nonsensical statements she made to justify that decision; for her lack of an informed and principled conservatism; for her lack of background in national issues and her lack of general knowledge; for the frequent silliness of her persona; and, also, last but not least, for the fact that she is the candidate of the neocons—notwithstanding all these reasons that traditionalist conservatives have to oppose her, the reality is that she is a live force on the national scene standing against the entire Obama-Democratic agenda. Over the next couple of years, she will be—perhaps she already is—the principal focus of opposition to the Obama revolution. All these things may well propel her to the Republican nomination in 2012 and, despite her current huge negatives, to the presidency.

This is not an endorsement of Palin. I have the same criticisms of her that I’ve always had. But I am describing the situation as I see it.

A final thought: no matter how much we may think that Pain is not suited to the presidency, how do her flaws and inadequacies compare to Obama’s?

- end of initial entry -

Ray G. writes:

I don’t love Palin but I don’t hate her either, and at this point, I’m pretty much in an “anyone but Obama” mood. I think Palin is energetic and optimistic, has a love of our country deeply rooted in her and if she keeps on doing what she’s doing now (on this book tour and speaking engagements, etc.), it will sharpen her thoughts and her speaking skills. In two years she could be a formidable opponent to the Dear Leader.

Ray continues:

This is what I notice about Palin. It’s not her so much as the people who are coming out by the thousands on just about every stop in her tour. If three out of four registered voters are white and if Obamacare becomes law, which will reduce health care for elderly whites and women (think mammograms), these white women in particular could be the key to sending Barry O. to the unemployment line. They are crazy about her.

James N. writes:

Nice piece on Our Lady of Wasilla. You are thinking along some of the lines I’ve suggested in the past.

I’ve begun to speculate about why ALL the candidates (the ones who can win) are so bad. There’s no question—none at all—that if Mrs. Palin is to be elected President, she will win following the Obama playbook—that is, become the objectified version of the hopes and dreams of her supporters.

The issue will be:

1) How else can ANYONE be elected in this degraded age, and

2) Aren’t those hopes and dreams (those of her supporters) superior to the Weather Underground in power?

Tom H. writes:

It may come to the point that Americans will become so fed up with Obama and his cohorts, that they will be ready to vote for anyone on the Republican ticket. Palin may not make it through the primaries because people like Romney can out-debate her on specific issues. However in order to capture her energy and charisma for the Republican ticket, she may be asked to run as Vice-President again. This time the presidential candidate may turn her loose (unlike the McCain group).

It appears to me that this radical liberal experiment, to turn the U.S. into a European type state, through the personality of Obama (and his chosen government officials) is starting to grate on Americans. They are beginning to feel the utter alienness of his approach to American government and history. By 2012 this effort could totally unravel and he will be extremely vulnerable against ANY Republican candidate.

It is also quite conceivable, that having voted for a “minority” candidate ONCE, white Americans will no longer feel obliged to do so again. Black Americans will feel that they have already done so once for history’s sake (and they are not known for consistent voting patterns), will simply not turn out in the numbers they did to elect Obama (as happened in the Virginia governor’s race). My prediction: we have a one term presidency, a falling meteor that will crash and burn.

LA replies:

The reason David Dinkins lost his re-election bid as mayor of New York in 1993 was not a big increase in white votes for Giuliani, but a slight decline of black votes for Dinkins. Blacks just weren’t excited enough by him to go out a second time. He wasn’t quite enough of a race man for them, though he had repeatedly gone to the mat for black extremists and rioters. See New York Times story quoted here.

Larry G. writes:

The characterizations you list as Palin’s “many failings” read as if your only knowledge of her comes from the MSM, and mainly prior to the ‘08 election. Let me try to address them.

1 “A hick.” I don’t even know what you mean by this. She uses computers, cell phones, a Blackberry, email, texting, Twitter and Facebook. She knows which fork to use at dinner. She speaks colloquial American English. She gives speeches and has written a book. She’s established a PAC and will soon have an issues/”think tank” organization. She successfully governed a state. What does it take to convince you she isn’t a member of the Beverly Hillbillies? [LA replies: If a woman with sons and a grandson named Track, Trig, and Trip is not a hick, then no one is. In any case, I was not using “hick” as a criticism in that passage; I was using it as an example of my statement that she is the diametrical opposite of the liberal elitist Obama.

[Also, if it’s wonderful for Palin to describe herself approvingly as a “pitbull with lipstick,” why is it so terrible for me to describe her as a hick?]

2 “Putting her political career in front of her responsibilities as a mother.” Palin is family centered, and she has never put career ahead of family. She has something most of us do not have: a large, extended family. There is always someone around to help with the kids, and there is no evidence that they have been neglected in any way. She notes that she changed Trig’s diaper just before her big GOP convention speech.

3 “Her disastrous handling of everything pertaining to her daughter’s relationship and pregnancy.” If you are referring to the announcement of Bristol’s pregnancy before the convention, that statement was put out by the McCain campaign. When it was given to her for approval, she rejected it because it was not the message she wanted to give. It suggested that a teenage pregnancy is OK. She rewrote the message and returned it. The campaign ignored her and ran the original message. If you’re referring to some other aspect of the Sarah/Bristol relationship, that is something we cannot know, and as neither you nor I have ever had to raise a teenage daughter, I don’t think we’re qualified to criticize. Every family has little problems now and then. The end result is that Bristol is raising her child (within that extended family I mentioned), working at a coffee house and hoping to start a business with a partner, and attending college. All this is in Palin’s book. [LA replies: I have many times and from many angles discussed her handling of the Bristol situation and its disastrous effect of destroying what remains of social conservatism in this country. You tell me to read her book which just came out. But based on what you say in this paragraph you seem not to have read any of my numerous posts on the Bristol situation and its significance going back to September 2008.]

4 “Walking away from the only significant political office she has held; for the nonsensical statements she made to justify that decision.” Palin was under political attack all during the campaign, and the attacks continued when she returned to Alaska. There, the bipartisan relations she had previously established were gone; the Republicans had always been annoyed that she broke up their corrupt racket, and the Democrats now saw her as a partisan. The Democrats also were working under instructions from the Obama camp to frustrate Palin’s initiatives. Meanwhile, also with the assistance of the Obama camp, a series of FOIA requests and ethics complaints were filed. These consumed thousands of staff hours and two million dollars, greatly reducing her ability to conduct state business. They also resulted in $500,000 in personal legal bills to defend against the complaints—all of which were dismissed. Had she continued to the end of her term, she would have seen her administration paralyzed and would have faced personal bankruptcy. She needed to get out of the line of fire, and so she turned over the administration to the Lt Governor, who could continue their agenda without the attacks and distractions. This has proven successful. Did she discuss all this detail in her resignation speech? No, but she gave reason enough.

5 “Her lack of an informed and principled conservatism.” This is untrue. The last section of her book shows her conservatism to be both principled and informed. [LA replies: Her passionate support for Title IX? Her knee jerk support for neocon global democratism? Her going-beyond-the-call-of-duty rationalization for amnesty? Her call to increase federal education spending?]

6 “Her lack of background in national issues and her lack of general knowledge.” The accusation that she lacks general knowledge is completely untrue. Her lack of background in some national issues was true during the ‘08 campaign, but she has been studying and addressing these issues since leaving office. See her Facebook notes. They are well written, extensively researched, and footnoted where necessary.

7 “The frequent silliness of her persona.” True, she was not raised in the William F. Buckley household. But it is her persona that has thousands of ordinary people lining up to shake her hand and look into her eyes. She connects, like no one I have ever seen before. Silly? No, real. [LA replies: but I myself pointed out the depth of her popular support, and I said that, combined with other things, it makes her a possible presidential nominee and president.]

Read her book.

LA replies:

To sum up, I think you’re seeing only the glass half-full. In reacting to my criticisms of her, all of which I’ve made before, you’re not seeing what’s new in my statement and the victory it represents for your side. You’re not seeing that I’m now saying that she is a plausible presidential prospect.

Mark Jaws writes:

Some of your stuff is absolutely brilliant and exclusive in its insight. I am a great and ardent fan of VFR, but why oh why did you call Sarah Palin a “hick?” She may be not be Lady Thatcher, but poor Sarah Palin was thrust into the media spotlight (perhaps intentionally) unprepared and unarmed. She did not live up to my expectations either, but she nevertheless remains a spirited and courageous woman, who is fairly intelligent and exceedingly charismatic. She is not a hick. Poorly done, Don Lorenzo.

Matthew H. writes:

You wrote:

“A final thought: no matter how much we may think that Palin is not suited to the presidency, how do her flaws and inadequacies compare to Obama’s?”

H.L. Mencken’s description of the Republican position vis a vis the Democrats written at the time of FDR’s death in 1945 is still true:

“The best [the Republicans] could produce were such timorous compromisers as Wilkie and Dewey, who were as impotent before Roosevelt as sheep before Behemoth. When the call was for a headlong attack, they backed and filled. It thus became impossible, at the close of their campaigns, to distinguish them from mild New Dealers—in other words, inferior Roosevelts. He was always a mile ahead of them, finding new victims to loot and new followers to reward, flouting common sense and boldly denying its existence, demonstrating by his anti-logic that two and two made five, promising larger and larger slices of the moon.” (Italics mine)

“He was the first American to penetrate to the real depths of vulgar stupidity. He never made the mistake of overestimating the intelligence of the American mob. He was its unparalleled professor.”

- H.L. Mencken, diary entry, April 1945

Today, in place of FDR the man we face his spiritual legacy: The satanic politics of envy and resentment.

The intelligence of the American mob, which Mencken so cynically condemned in 1945, has only declined since then. Coincidental with this decline has been the collapse of the religion which alone confers wisdom on the foolish. (A collapse that Mencken himself did so much to further.)

Sarah Palin and her family are manifestations of this catastrophe. For all her appeal she is the smiling face of the decline of white America. She would be right at home on Oprah.

Obama, by contrast represents the rise of the perennially dysfunctional class. For this reason all his flaws pale beside his achievement. On top of this, he rides a demographically potent wave of underclass hatred for whites.

What is needed is a serious man with a proven track record of principled opposition to the sullen and covetous mob. Someone like Reagan but even smarter, tougher and more principled, which Palin clearly isn’t.

But even more fundamentally we need an electorate that deserves and demands such a leader.

Mark Jaws writes:

In reply to your comments to Larry G. on your use of “hick,” I still believe hick was a poor choice of words. One other thing you need to realize about Sarah Palin and the Huckster—which is very important—is that when conservatives howled, about Shamnesty and Grahamnesty, they listened, and they shifted right on illegal immigration. On the other hand, throughout his disastrous campaign McCain returned our pleas for border and immigration control with “Let them eat tortillas.” No, Mr. Auster. Sarah connects with the masses precisely because I believe she will listen to us and I think a Huckster-Palin ticket (or visa versa) would be formidable. I would much prefer a fairly intelligent conservative woman to an alien Marxist empty suit any day.

Karl D. writes:

There are two things that always stuck in my craw about Palin. One, not too significant, and the other quite significant. The first is her manner of speaking and some of the words she chooses. I don’t know if you ever saw the film “Fargo,” but her accent is very much like some of the characters in that film which just grates on me. Also, during the O’Reilly interview she used the term “My bad” which is black slang for “My fault” and she also said “Holy crap.” Just a turn off for me.

The second and more important problem I have with her is indeed her intelligence. I don’t think she is stupid, and she is probably above average intelligence. What gets me is her seeming lack of curiosity about the world around her. I just don’t get from her an inquisitive nature. Why does this work the way it does? Where did it originate? How has it changed over time? This is just the vibe I get from her. Someone who is intellectually provincial. Granted, as you say she may be indeed the next Republican nominee for President. And if so I would most likely cast my vote for her. But things seem to change so quickly and on such a large scale these days that three years from now could be the equivalent of 20 years. So I hope by 2012 we will see someone (maybe yet unknown) of real conservative principles give her a run for her money.

Gintas writes:

Palin isn’t a “hick,” but there’s a clownish, low-class streak in her, like black women in the inner city, the way she names her children.

I once knew a couple who had a daughter whose middle name was Sugar. That is not really a ridiculous middle name for the South (and her first name was nice and old-fashioned), but the husband told me (with not a hint of embarrassment) it was because she was conceived at halftime of the Sugar Bowl. Now that is hick.

LA replies:

Good point. But if that is hick, then so is a family naming its children Track, Trig, and Trip. That’s not just hick, that’s going out of their way to announce to the world, “Look, we’re hicks!” So how can it be objectionable for other parties to point out something that Palin herself has proudly chosen to underscore?

Gintas replies:

Hickness would be if Palin named her children Trig, Track, and Trow, and she told us they were conceived after having a Tic-Tac-Toe drinking game with her husband.

Laura Wood writes:

Larry G.’s statements on Palin show a remarkable ignorance of Palin’s personal history and of what it takes for most people to raise a family. Even the most die-hard Palin fans don’t have the audacity to claim she has given up nothing for her family to pursue her career. Even she admitted that. (Lest he think I am merely harping over one woman’s work/career problem, I should point out there’s such a thing as role models. And with role models such as Palin we have seen massive social change.) Also, the little problem posed by Bristol’s pregnancy is not so little in light of the 40 percent rate of unwed motherhood in this country.

Obviously, I am very disappointed in Mr. Auster’s pragmatic support for Palin. I understand where he’s coming from as so many others are already there but, as I see it, Obama can destroy all around and yet something good remains. Obama can’t destroy our souls or take away our principles. [LA replies: I wrote: “This is not an endorsement of Palin. I have the same criticisms of her that I’ve always had. But I am describing the situation as I see it.”]

At this point, I don’t care if Palin shows the foreign policy expertise and eloquence of George Kennan in her ongoing road show or lights the eyes and bestirs the hearts of 299.9 million people. She is a person deeply lacking in character. She puts a pretty face on militant feminism and represents the ultimate emasculation of America. The next generation places strict demands on the current one. That is one of America’s founding principles. With Palin, that is swept from the mainstream culture for a long time to come.

It is worth noting that Evangelical America was taken surprise by Palin’s candidacy last year. Evangelicals have had time to reflect and I believe, especially now that Palin has declared sympathy for abortion and stated that she was disappointed her 17-year-old daughter didn’t use birth control, more of them are coming to understand that Palin is a danger to their core beliefs. Her claim to be Christian is either ignorant or cynical.

LA writes:

Laura has posted on this at her site.

Paul Nachman writes:

I always come back to: The underlying flaws are the sloth and irresponsibility of the American people. That’s in the Roger Clegg quote about “taking freedom for granted.” It’s in David Gergen quoting Nixon on “Once you’ve written something so many times that you’re ready to throw up, that’s when the American people will finally hear it.” [approximate quotes]

So Matthew H.’s comment is a memorably good statement.

It’s not obvious to me, though, that Reagan showed “principled opposition to the sullen and covetous mob.” Wasn’t he smarmy about the wonderfulness of the American people? Seems to me that they all are, maybe going back to Jackson.

The Mencken quote about FDR, “He was the first American to penetrate to the real depths of vulgar stupidity. He never made the mistake of overestimating the intelligence of the American mob. He was its unparalleled professor,” new to me, is quite striking.

Regarding comparing Wonderboy and Palin. Seems to me that even her mayoralty was more significant useful experience than anything in Wonderboy’s background. (He had experience in community organizing and general grievance-hustling, but that’s pernicious experience.)

Lydia McGrew writes:

I’m curious as to what Laura Wood meant when she said something to the effect that Sarah Palin has “expressed sympathy for abortion.” This claim is entirely new to me. Google isn’t turning up anything on it that I can find, and I’d like to get some more information.

LA replies:

Laura mentioned this in reference to Palin’s interview on Oprah. She talked about when she found out that her baby would be born with Down’s syndrome, and she said she understood how a woman might feel. Here’s what Laura wrote at her site:

Palin made a number of interesting revelations in this interview. She said she did not tell her husband that the child she was carrying had Down’s Syndrome until three weeks after she learned of it from doctors. It was three weeks before the couple was alone and she could share this important information.

This amount of estrangement due to busy schedules did not, judging from this interview, seem to bother Palin in the least. She also said that when she learned she was pregnant with Trig, even before she knew he had Down’s, she felt understanding for women who choose abortion.

As I replied to Laura at the time either in a thread or e-mail, when Palin made that comment in the Oprah interview, she immediately added that while she could understand the choices other women make, she had never considered an abortion herself.

All in all, I don’t think that one can say that Palin is anti-abortion in the sense of wanting it to be outlawed. Her comments on the subject that I remember seeing seem to cast it as a personal choice. She chooses not to do it, but she would not impose her idea of what is right and wrong on others. I may be mistaken about that. But if I’m correct, then she cannot really be called anti-abortion. Someone who thinks that abortion should be a matter of choice is pro-choice.

LA continues:

This web page collects Palin’s statements on the abortion issue from various interviews. She’s against Roe v. Wade, thinks the issue should be returned to the states, she opposes any public funding for abortion, has supported laws that encourage adoption so as to avoid abortion .

The only thing missing here is, if Roe were toppled, would she support a law in her state outlawing abortion? From everything she says, it looks as though she would, but it’s not certain.

Terry Morris writes:

On the issue of Sarah’s being some sort of a “hick,” I don’t think the names of her children and grandchildren indicate that she is one. Maybe if they were named Billy Bob or Joe Bob or some such, but Trig, Track, Tripp; Bristol and Piper (I forget the other daughter’s name)—these sound more like hippie names than hick names to me. Now, I realize that hippies are out of vogue, but not in Alaska, as I’ve said before. Nonetheless, I’ve always thought this indicates that she’s an “eccentric” in the manner of other Alaskan eccentrics, not a hick and not a hippie per se.

LA replies:

Interesting distinction! In any case, I did not mean hick in the invidious sense that some people thought I did. Yes, of course, it’s not a complimentary term, but neither is, say, elitist. As I remember the female protagonist of South Pacific sings a whole song about how she’s a hick. It’s something of a put-down of herself; but it doesn’t mean she’s worthless or contemptible. But that’s the way people take it today. Next thing you know the word hick will be forbidden and people will have to refer to it as the H word.

Terry Morris replies:

Well, I know quite a few people I would call “hicks,” many of whom I think are pretty damn good people overall, though they’re generally a little eccentric in their own rights. By contrast I know or am acquainted with quite a few people who I would call by any other name than hick—sophisticates, intellectuals or whatever—some of whom I think are pretty sorry people overall. In other words, the term hick is not necessarily a derogatory term as far as I’m concerned. And I personally didn’t take your use of it in describing Palin in the invidious sense. But a few of your readers probably were automatically assaulted by visions of Deliverance when they read it in this context.:-)

LA writes:

In reply to Laura Wood’s concern that I am less disapproving of Palin than I have been, let me say that I still regard Palin’s acceptance of McCain’s choice of her—which meant putting Bristol’s pregnancy on a global stage, which meant requiring Republicans and conservatives to approve of it, and which, by the way, also created the Frankenstein’s monster of Levi Johnston and put that low-class situation in a national spotlight—as wrong in itself, as damaging to society, and damaging to conservatism. I have probably made that argument more than anyone in the country. But the world hasn’t stopped turning on its axis, and Sarah Palin and her supporters haven’t disappeared, because I happen to have that view. When I wrote the initial entry, I mentioned all those previously stated criticisms of her, but they weren’t my focus; my focus was the new thing I had seen about her: that whatever we may think of her, she is a presence on the national scene and is opposing Obama with verve and flair.

For all the reasons stated, I am still opposed to her as a possible presidential nominee and party leader. But those issues are not in the forefront now. What’s in the forefront now is the battle over the Obama revolution. And—again, notwithstanding our concerns about her impact on social conservatism—she is in the forefront of that battle.

Terry Morris writes:

I actually missed this comment by you earlier when I scanned the thread:

The only thing missing here is, if Roe were toppled, would she support a law in her state outlawing abortion? From everything she says, it looks as though she would, but it’s not certain.

That’s actually a pretty fair point. And you know, I’ve often wondered about these “states’ rights” pro-life politicians (not that I’m lumping Palin in with your typical politician, though if she stays in the game very long, no doubt she will be), whether they’d ultimately choke on their own vomit in the event that Roe was overturned and control over abortion was returned to the states. I definitely think that certain states (like mine for instance) would, in the event of the above, outlaw the practice of abortion almost immediately. I personally see returning control of abortion to the states as a positive gain on the side of the pro-life movement. People like Alan Keyes, on the other hand, do not. Indeed, he is very critical of Palin on this point, and it’s almost solely on the foundation of this point that he opposes her as a future candidate for the presidency. So it’s kind of interesting. It’s one of the few things that I can actually agree with Palin on, while from Keyes’s perspective it is her greatest weakness.

November 28

LA replies:

Are you saying that Keyes opposes the simple overturn of Roe and the return of the issue to the states, because he wants a federal constitutional amendment banning abortion?

Terry replies:

Yep. At all costs.

Josh F. writes:

I agree with Laura Wood that a Palin’s presidency, with her coalition of white Roissy-type beta males and vast 18-75 year old cross-section of left of center, center and center-right females, would represent white male American’s unadulterated abdication of the leadership role to the country’s largest and most educated demographic. The scariest aspect of an increasingly liberalized society is that the Trojan Horse may look like Sarah Palin. Having said that, I genuinely believe that she loves America, but should we really propel her to the presidency because she embraces her marriage and her children? Is embracing the normal now a celebrated qualification for the highest office?

Laura Wood replies to LA:

“The world hasn’t stopped turning on its axis” during any of the momentous changes that have occurred in our country in the past 50 years. If it had, we wouldn’t be discussing these things.

You say Palin outranks any other party leaders at this moment. Actually, in Iowa, a good bellwether state, Mike Huckabee is viewed more favorably by Republicans than Palin by a small margin of 70 to 68 percent. The idealistic claim that Palin is leading the party, which is largely based on the media blitz of attention she has received, may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the culture of celebrity at its finest.

LA replies:

First, when I said the world hadn’t stopped turning on its axis, I did not mean that therefore the harm I thought Palin had done to conservatism did not really matter, i.e., “See, the world still exists, therefore it’s not so bad.” What I meant was that the world keeps moving forward, and new things come into focus and press themselves on our attention and we notice them.

When I spoke of Palin’s passionate base of support, I wasn’t thinking of a poll number in a given state; I was thinking of the evident passion that her supporters have for her. When I spoke of her being or becoming the principal focus of opposition to Obama’s agenda, that was based on an overall recent impression, including the way she came across in the O’Reilly interview. Maybe I’m wrong, and other politicians with passionate followings are playing an anti-Obama role more prominently than she. But speaking of politicians I can’t take seriously: Mike Huckabee.

Laura Wood writes:

Regarding Lydia McGrew’s question, Palin said in the Oprah interview that she felt sympathy with women who considered abortion because of her own unexpected fifth pregnancy, which came during her term as governor.

Here is the exchange with Oprah, which is introduced by Oprah saying that in Going Rogue Palin states she momentarily considered an abortion when she was in New Orleans and found out she was pregnant with Trig. At this point, there is no reference to the fact that Trig had Down’s Syndrome:

Oprah: You do in the very beginning of the book, you talk about, you say in Going Rogue that for a split second …

Palin: It was easy to understand why a woman would feel that it’s easier to just do away with some less than ideal circumstances, to do away with the problem, I could certainly understand why a woman would feel that way.

Oprah: You say, ‘I’m here [in New Orleans], nobody knows it would be so easy…. ’

Palin: Absolutely.

Oprah: In that moment, you’re thinking it would be so easy if I had an abortion.

Palin: Not so much a consideration but an understanding of why a woman would go down that road of thinking this is the easy way to handle the situation, understanding that that thought would enter a woman’s mind. It also really solidified my position that, yep, there are less than ideal circumstances in so many of our lives, it’s how we will react to those circumstances, how we will plow through them and make the most of what we’ve been given.

These are not the words of the anti-abortion leader Palin is believed to be. I wonder how her children felt to hear her say before the whole country that she considered a new child a burden. The idea that Palin is strongly against abortion is a myth. Palin did nothing substantial to fight abortion while she was governor. She told the Anchorage News in 2006 that she would support government funding of abortions that are not “elective.” By the way, what are the “less than ideal circumstances” Palin herself faced when she found out she was pregnant with Trig? Poverty? Single motherhood? No, her less than ideal circumstances were her political position. This is the sort of woman who may some day hold our highest office, a person who is sympathetic to the idea of infanticide in the event of career success. Shocking. As I said, if there is not a strong and growing movement against Palin by Orthodox Christians in this country, than Christianity has been entirely overcome by liberalism and is dead as a significant cultural force.

LA replies:

I think Laura is being too hard on Palin and unfair. Apparently in Laura’s mind Palin is not even allowed to have the thought, “I’m governor of Alaska, being pregnant and having a child at this point is really awkward.” She’s not allowed to have doubts and qualms about her situation, even for a single instant.

I found the relevant passage from Going Rogue quoted by an Alaskan blogger (who by the way believes that everything Palin has said about her pregnancy with Trig is a lie; and here is my response last year to the “Palin is not Trig’s mother” charge):

There was no way I could buy a home pregnancy test in Alaska. The cashiers would know, the people in line would know, and the next thing I’d see would be a headline.

Since nobody knew me in New Orleans, I asked my security guy to drop me off as a Walgreens. Back at the hotel, before my speech, I followed the instructions on the pregnancy test box. Slowly a pink image materialized on the stick.

Holy Geez! (P 171)

I sighed and stared at the ceiling. These are really less-than-ideal circumstances.

And for a split second it hit me: I’m out of town. No one knows I’m pregnant. No one would ever have to know.

It was a fleeting thought, a sudden understanding of why many women feel pressured to make the “problem” go away. Sad, I thought, that our society has elevated things like education and career above the gift of bringing a new life into the world. Yes, the timing of this pregnancy wasn’t ideal. But it wasn’t the baby’s fault.

At that moment, I was thankful for right-to-life groups that affirm the value of the child. That say, yes, every child has value and a purpose and a destiny. (P 172)

Laura replies:

I’m not talking about any woman having doubts and reservations. I’m talking about a woman who is running for president publicly expressing sympathy in the context of her own pregnancy with those who choose to abort a child. I’m talking about a woman who already has four other children expressing on the record and to the world the feeling that another child would be a burden.

When a politician supports, say, legislation against incest or murder, does he help his cause by saying, “Oh, by the way, I can understand why someone would want to sleep with his sister” or “I am very sympathetic to the desire to murder your wife?”

By the way, Palin immediately goes on to tell Oprah that pregnancy is good because it “empowers women.” No, pregnancy is not good because it empowers women. This is feminist nonsense. It is good because it fulfills God’s purposes and brings new life into this world. It was interesting how, after this exchange, Oprah cut off Palin’s attempts to rave about Trig and display her magnanimity in bringing him into this world. Palin has shamelessly used this fragile baby as a political credential, hauling him across the country and holding him up at rallies, blathering endlessly about what a “gift” he is to her even though she is not caring for him herself. But, it fits with her entire “the-children-are-what-keeps me-grounded” earth mother philosophy.

LA replies:

For people who believe that Palin is a big liar, the Alaskan blogger I linked above (here it is again) thinks that everything she says about herself and her family is a lie.

Lydia McGrew (here is her blog) writes:

Thanks for that info. I myself don’t read that interview with Oprah at all as Laura appears to read it. I take it that the “less than ideal circumstances in all of our lives” followed by “it’s what you do with it” is more of a “stiff upper lip” statement: Yes, life isn’t perfect, but we have to do what’s right with the hand that is dealt to us.

The “personal opinion” type of rhetoric on abortion you mention in your other comment note is something she did use with regard to embryonic stem-cell research. Not having a TV, I haven’t listened to a lot of her interviews, etc., and I may have missed it on abortion. I’ve never seen a place where she used it on that topic. I considered what she said on ESCR to be a sign that the association with McCain was corrupting her, because she was going on about how she was merely the VP candidate, the President would set policy on these issues, his policy might be contrary to her own views, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, her association with and promotion of John McCain is what I blame her for the most.

Mike writes:

The way I see it, the danger of Palin is similar to the problem of Bush. She is a Republican, and is labeled as “conservative,” but her beliefs are far from the conservative ideal. The danger is that if she were to be President, she would likely push the “conservative” image further to the left. I’d rather let the left be blamed for the consequences of its nonsensical policies than to have a pseudo-conservative Republican like George W. Bush enact leftist policies whose consequences get blamed on “The right.” The only thing worse than having leftists in charge is having leftists in charge who claim to be on the right.

Terry Morris writes:

In reply to Mike, I don’t think it’s fair or accurate to call Palin et al leftists. Leftism and its synonyms has a fairly definite, unambiguous meaning. It means someone who is on the far left fringes of liberalism. Palin (et al) is a right-liberal.

I actually had a pretty heated discussion with someone about this recently because he thought my implying that he wasn’t as “conservative” as he was cracking himself up to be meant that I was calling him a leftist, which he took strong offense to. I simply pointed out that I would never call him a leftist because (1) he isn’t one by my estimation, therefore (2) it would be a smear against him, (3) it would discredit me, and (4) it wouldn’t be fair to actual leftists.

November 29

Larry G. writes:

I have nothing to add to my previous comments, but I must warn you about “theimmoralminority.com,” the site from which you copied the passage from Palin’s book. That blog is written by a very disturbed individual named Gryphen, though his real name is Jesse Griffin. He invented the rumor that the Palins were divorcing, and he was threatened with a defamation lawsuit by the Palins’ attorney. He was investigated by a couple of bloggers this past summer and his identity and background were revealed. It isn’t pretty. See this and this.

There is much more about Griffin on these two sites if you look around.

If you want the facts about all things Palin, here the place to go. Admittedly it is a fan site, but the articles are factual and current. The site even received a “shout out” from Palin in her book, and one of the blog’s founders may be working with Palin on a project right now.

December 2

LA to Mark Jaws:

When I used “hick” in that entry, as I said, I was not using it as a put down, or least not as a serious put down. However, I used it in a way that stuck out like a sore thumb, so it did come across as offensive. That sentence does not work.

Mark Jaws replies:

No harm done, time heals all wounds. I have spent my time studying her past positions, particularly her 1984 swimsuit video. But heaven help us if she is the nominee. If only Mr. Spock could hook you up with her for a Auster-Palin Mind Meld, we would stand a chance. I have to admit, even with her twangy voice, she does have that pizzazz which even this seasoned caballero admires.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 27, 2009 10:13 AM | Send

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