Thursday, September 18, 2008

SF Chronicle: Palin Derangement Syndrome

If there was one newspaper that would have come up last on my list of American newspapers that will actually show a glimmer of truth about the McCain/Palin ticket, the San Francisco Chronicle is it.

The article below is an accurate foretelling of the future Barack Obama can expect from what will become increasingly shrill pronouncements during the campaign.

And it also tells the truth about the anti-democracy mindset of many of his supporters.

First a couple of background paragraphs to set the stage for the Chronicle article.

For an example of what I mean by shrill, in a speech yesterday (9/17/2008), Obama told his modern day version of Germany's National Socialist Brown Shirts:

"'I want you to argue with them and get in their face,' he said."

As one poster commented, does this mean wholesale hacking of email accounts? (I guess we know the answer to that from the news that Obama's supporters hacked Sarah Palin's personal email account. Blatant criminal activity does not require them to think outside their own box.)

Physical destruction of McCain supporters' property? (They key autos in Hollywood that have McCain stickers on them) Rushing the podium at McCain rallies?

Now that Obama has given them permission to interpret "argue with them and get in their face" as they see fit, exactly what can we expect from the Obama supporters' Brown Shirt mentality?

This site suffered the Obama Brown Shirts going through blogs and having Google shut them down. It's all documented by Anna Phillips of the NY Sun.

What's next from this modern day version of Germany's National Socialist Brown Shirts?

Now let's take a look at what the Chronicle printed through its SF Gate news site about the public's reaction to Obama's Brown Shirt tactics against Sarah Palin:

Palin Derangement Syndrome: Obama's Worst Enemy?

Cinnamon Stillwell
Wednesday, September 18, 2008

There's a new affliction sweeping the nation, and it's known as Palin Derangement Syndrome. The phenomenon is similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a term coined by political columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe the personal animosity and irrational hatred directed at President Bush by his leftist opponents.

But this time, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is the object of wrath.

The feeding frenzy began with the news of Palin's selection, but it was her electrifying speech at the Republic National Convention last month that really set it off. In one fell swoop, Palin managed to energize the Republican base, breathe life into the McCain campaign, launch some very effective jabs at Barack Obama, and quite possibly, attract the support of the 18 million Hillary Clinton voters.

The attacks on Palin have ranged from patronizing to vicious to fantastical.

She has been caricatured as an inexperienced rube, a baby-making automaton, an uneducated underachiever, a bad mother, trailer-park trash, a rightwing religious fanatic, a sexual fantasy, and of course, a fascist. No subject has been deemed taboo in the effort to take Palin down.

What her detractors don't seem to realize is that in the process of insulting Palin, they are insulting the majority of the country. If being a self-made success story, a working mother, a church-going member of a small-town community, and a believer in moderate to conservative political viewpoints disqualifies Palin, what does that say about mainstream America? The inherent condescension at the heart of the anti-Palin campaign is coming across loud and clear and it may actually be boosting her popularity.

The sexist tenor of the attacks on Palin is only furthering this process.

Some of the worst comments have emanated from self-professed feminists who seem to resent the path Palin has taken in life, even as it parallels their own. The always independent-minded Camille Paglia is a notable exception, but by and large, the liberal, female establishment has turned on Palin .

Never mind that Palin -- with an amazing record of professional accomplishment, a happy marriage, and five beautiful children -- is the personification of the feminist "women can have it all" ideal.

What all the attackers have in common is an almost pathological hatred and attendant desire to project upon Palin all of their worst fears, prejudices, and in some cases, fantasies. In the pages of Salon Magazine, for instance, writer Gary Kamiya likened her to a "dominatrix," while University of Michigan Middle East studies professor Juan Cole compared her to a "Muslim fundamentalist" and a member of the Taliban.

In what constitutes the lowest of the low, a number of Palin's opponents have focused on her children or rather, their apparent resentment that she has chosen to have children. The National Review's Byron York catalogued several of these in a recent column for The Hill.

As he noted: Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, wrote that Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman" and denounced "the Republican Party's cynical calculation that because [Palin] has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies … she speaks for the women of America.

"Carol Fowler, the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said that Palin's "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion."

Other adversaries have questioned Palin's ability as a mother and in particular, a mother with a special needs baby, while still others have used her teenage daughter's pregnancy to undermine her credibility. But Palin's domestic challenges are shared by millions of Americans and tend to elicit more sympathy than condemnation. And everyone knows a male politician would never be asked such questions.

Always eager to proffer their political opinions, a host of Hollywood celebrities have issued their own high-minded objections to Palin. Lindsay Lohan weighed in with her condescending belief that Palin is only "qualified to be" a "television anchor."Matt Damon likened Palin's candidacy to a "really bad Disney movie," and Gina Gershon went so far as to impersonate Palin in a vicious and unfunny clip that culminates in her stripping down to a bikini. The list goes on, but every time another one of these desperately out-of-touch with America celebrities tries to belittle Palin, it has the opposite effect.

Despite her impressive resume, Palin has been dogged by accusations that she lacks experience and foreign policy know-how. Democrats have pointed to the first part of her recent interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson as a "gotcha" moment simply because Palin asked Gibson to clarify what he meant by the Bush Doctrine.

As columnist Charles Krauthammer points out, the Bush Doctrine has held four different definitions over the course of the last eight years and has never been finally determined by the Bush administration. The term was, in fact, originated by Krauthammer. But Palin's detractors have ignored this inconvenient fact, as well as failing to notice that Gibson's pompous manner and ridiculously suspicious questions have become the real story.

Generally speaking, a public backlash over perceived media bias against Palin may be brewing. US Weekly'sdecision to run a trashy cover story on Palin titled, "Baby, Lies & Scandal" (two months after a glowing cover story on the Obamas) has reportedly resulted in thousands of cancellations. In a larger sense, a September 4 Rasmussen poll notes that "51% of American voters think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November."

The media has been fixated on Palin for weeks and one is hard pressed to go a day without hearing some or another allegation being trotted out. The worst example was when mainstream media outlets ran with a lurid rumor originating with an anonymous diarist at the leftist blog Daily Kos that insinuated that Palin's son Trig was actually her grandson.

The falsehoods surrounding Palin on the Internet have been so widely reproduced that, a nonpartisanw Web site, posted a listing of corrections aptly titled, "Sliming Palin.

"The all-out assault on the genuine and likable Palin is certainly a blessing in disguise for the Republican Party. Not only is it galvanizing Republicans, but the nasty tone and hysterical nature are turning off potential Democratic voters. In particular, those Democrats who, in the words of Obama speaking after a fundraiser at the Getty mansion in San Francisco earlier this year, "cling to their guns and religion."

When Palin referenced Obama's gaffe in her RNC speech, calling him out for speaking about Americans "one way in Scranton and another in San Francisco," it was evident that she had her finger on the pulse of the Democratic Party's discord.

So too Palin's praise for Hillary Clinton and her reference to the "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling." In building on McCain's already existing strategy of reaching out to Hillary voters and others disaffected with the DNC leadership, Palin demonstrated a political savvy that the Obama camp never saw coming.

In choosing Palin as his running mate, McCain displayed the boldness and forward-thinking that his Democratic rival Obama has yet to embody. By picking the conventional Joe Biden over Hillary Clinton as his running mate, Obama failed to live up to his own mantra of "change." He also failed to recognize a politically smart move when it was staring him in the face, as Clinton would have presumably brought millions of votes with her.

In fact, rumors that the Obama ticket would seek to unburden itself of Biden and replace him with Hillary in the coming weeks have been circulating, and at least one Huffington Post columnist has suggested as much. Some have speculated that Democrats may be experiencing a bout of buyer's remorse over their choice of Obama to head the ticket.

Obama's empty rhetoric about "hope" and "change" certainly pales in light of the actual reform implemented by Palin in Alaska and by McCain throughout his career. Meanwhile his brief resume and lack of political savvy and even at times, personal likability (his odd sense of humor comes to mind) have become liabilities.

But Obama's worst enemy is not himself, or even Sarah Palin, but rather, the ranks of his own rabid supporters. If they keep it up, McCain could be laughing all the way to the White House.

Cinnamon Stillwell is a San Francisco writer. She can be reached at She also writes for the blog at

1 comment: said...

Biden is a perfect politician - experienced, intelligent, wise. But that's it. When Palin came to stage, and "PalinMania" started, Biden became invisible. So rumors claim, that Biden will officially "resign because of health problems", and Obama will invite Hillary to join his fight against Palin. Because she, and no longer McCain, is Obama's biggest problem now.On the other hand, Obama's supporters don't like Hillary, and Obama himself does not like to be "the second", which is OK for McCain, as Palin now seems like presidential candidate, not McCain himself.
Another question is, if the rumors are correct, why should Mrs Clinton accept VP ticket anyway...