Palin Hits a Nerve

The pictures say it all. No, not the Tigh/Roslin ’08 pictures (though they do make you wonder). I mean these pictures here. 

The believers in the Lightworker (i.e., most MSM types) have all of a sudden morphed into upstanding Republican Puritans of a kind not seen since Ozzie and Harriet ruled the earth. So we get pictures of the Holy Family on the one hand and, on the other, a truly bizarre ritual sacrifice of a 17-year-old girl on the altar of the Party of Compassion. The message is pretty clear about where the MSM is trying to go with Palin: She’s a scary religious trailer-trash nut, a breeder and the mother of breeders who should just stay in her Alaska log cabin, barefoot and pregnant with her swarming brood of future gun nuts and out-of-wedlock grandkids (like mother, like daughter, doncha know). She prays, not to Obama nor to Gaia nor to the all-knowing Quantum Field of Intelligence, but to God through Jesus Christ. She actually thinks that God hears prayers, even for America. She is, in the words of Peggy Noonan, a feminist of the “How do you reload this thang?” variety rather than of the “I was a victim all my life till my consciousness was raised in Women’s Studies at Yale and I learned to be a Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professional” variety.

The visceral, palpable fear and hatred of her was — mark this — instantaneous and took place before the Left that is desperately trying to trash her and her family actually knew anything about her. It’s a pre-rational thing. Indeed, what drives the search for dirt is the pre-rational decision that she must be destroyed, no matter what the cost.

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And so we get, in addition to the ritual media slaughter of Bristol Palin, the astounding spectacle of feminists demanding she forget shattering the glass ceiling, and of the Reputed Party of the Little Guy laughing at Jefferson Smith and his hicks up in the woods. Most of all, we see the deep, deep hatred of children that fills up the empty void where the heart of the Democrat Party used to be. When the chips are down, Herod behaves as he always has when his shot at power is threatened. And so we get the appalling suggestion that “truly responsible” people would have just had Trig Palin killed for failing to measure up to Master Race specs and Bristol Palin delivered to the tender mercies of an abortuary. 

To his great credit, Obama himself has told his rabid self-appointed neo-Puritan Inquisitors, “My mother had me when she was eighteen.” He’s a smart enough pol to know that ritually sacrificing a girl to him is not right and will not win votes for him. But these latter-day Jephthahs are about as smart as the original Jephthah. In their worship of Obama, they are prepared to offer him human sacrifices that he himself never commanded. (Obama knows the cardinal rule of Democratic politics: that most pro-choice Americans like their ritual sacrifice of children to be kept private, not dragged into the streets where it will frighten the horses.) In their reckless zeal to sacrifice to their god, they show forth the ugliest and most inhuman face of the Left (a face rather like that of Dick Cheney in its willingness, nay, eagerness to “go to the dark side” in order to achieve their goal by whatever means necessary). Consequentialism knows no party boundaries.



Now, I think there may be real difficulties with the Palin nomination. It appears to be a rather snap decision on the part of McCain, done with little vetting. In a nuclear age, snap deciders make me nervous. Then again, it may turn out to be a great decision. Like Ross Douthat, I’m pulling for Palin because I do think she’s the Real Deal, and all my Catholic-Frank-Capra-Jefferson-Smith-loving political sympathies resonate with a person like her. But I also agree with the public (not private) assessment by Noonan:

Gut: The Sarah Palin choice is really going to work, or really not going to work. It’s not going to be a little successful or a little not; it’s not going to be a wash. She is either going to be magic or one of history’s accidents. She is either going to be brilliant and groundbreaking, or will soon be the target of unattributed quotes by bitter staffers shifting blame in all the Making of the President 2008 books.

I’m tentatively leaning toward “really going to work,” since the MSM, in its visceral hatred of her, is already reaching its sell-by date in its attempt to paint her as the Beast of the Apocalypse. I suspect the gap between what the audience sees with their own two eyes and what the MSM tells them to see will be so stark that the MSM will lose. But, of course, they will have two months to trash her, and people can be worn down by incessant agit-prop. We’ll see. 

As far as the “scary religious nut” thing, one of the entertaining stories to watch will be the meme (embodied here in the marvelously insular prejudices of Alan Wolfe) that “conservative Christians are hideous hypocrites because they didn’t gather wood for the auto-da-fé when we pointed out she and her daughter had kids out of wedlock.” Some members of the MSM have already been genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised to find that conservative Christians are not the sexually censorious goons everybody at the office said they were. Such peeks outside the bubble are salutary and can even lead to real conversion, once the unbelieving MSM journo figures out that conservative Christians are remarkably like human beings and that they even believe all that stuff about, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

But, alas, just as often MSM types will simply duck back into the Bubble, look around at the reassuringly cynical faces of their companions, and explain to themselves that Palin and her brood of trailer-trash breeders are “getting a pass” because, well, Evangelicals are mainly white, trailer-trash breeders, and conservative Catholics are mind-numbed robots who like to hum “Every Sperm is Sacred.” In short, an essential clause of the liberal creed is that conservative Christians are, above all, “poor, uneducated and easily led.”


It is this willed blind spot that is, for me, an important wild card in this crazy election. C. S. Lewis remarks that the trouble with making yourself stupider than you really are is that you can often succeed. For months, I’ve believed that this election belonged to the Democrats to lose. Now, as I watch the sheer, unhinged hatred of Palin and all she represents disgorged reflexively from the heart and soul of Democrat activists, shills, netroots, and journos, I begin to suspect that they may indeed snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by scaring those normal people away with their bile. I think Obama sees the danger too and will marshal all his political skills to tell his worshippers, “Don’t stand so close to me.” 

But the heart has reasons Reason knows nothing of. Obama’s worshipers may not be able to help themselves. In their pagan adoration of any god but God, they may not be able to restrain themselves from appalling average people into wondering what they really love — and what they really hate.



  • Mark P. Shea

    Mark P. Shea is the author of Mary, Mother of the Son and other works. He was a senior editor at Catholic Exchange and is a former columnist for Crisis Magazine.

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