Thursday, January 13, 2011 :::
A Mind That Suits has little liking and absolutely no sympathy for Sarah Palin.
He hastens to offer that great big caveat before he jumps into the deep end.
Mrs. Palin and her daughter appeared in competing reality programs, which is bad enough, but when Charles Krauthammer offered the mildly stated but deadly serious criticism that this did not look presidential, she nearly lost it on Bill O’Reilly show. A president faces harsher criticism than that. Personality is the most important thing about a politician. Period.
Now, only ambitious people go into politics, and most successful politicians have tended to start early. Both Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich plotted their careers while staring at the ceiling at night as teenagers. Both were able to jump nimbly to new perches when things didn’t work out and still end up where they wanted to be, or close.
With Mrs. Palin, one finds a different phenomenon: the most freighted moment in recent American politics may have been when she looked Frank Murkowski in the eyes and thought, “I’m smarter than you are.” She made short work of then Gov. Murkowski and began the career that has Left us all scratching our heads.
That’s the problem. Her ambition has not been tempered by years of set-backs and necessary recalculation. When A Mind That Suits hears her speak, unfortunately all he sees is unbridled ambition, the vaulting kind which Shakespeare said tries to jump over but instead only collapses on itself. (Macbeth, Act One, Scene Seven.) Such ambition is dangerous. The vaultingly ambitious, among many other things, drop “deeply held convictions” as if they were warm up pants.
That said, the Left makes staying with that harsh judgment very hard.
Ho! For the Deep End.
The Left began to blame the Tucson horrors on the Right in general and Sarah Palin in particular immediately.
Get this: people have compared police accounts with the onslaught of screaming. It seems that Markos Moulitsas may have sent out his first typically irresponsible rant before Rep. Giffords even made it to ER.
Mrs. Palin at first took it with some grace—by not responding. When no evidence appeared that the shooter even watched the news—a least, any evidence that any disinterested person would find convincing--the Left became unhinged, and Sarah Palin loomed ever larger in their rantings. Because she did not respond at first, the Commentariat of Our Betters began attacking her for her “silence.”
It reminded one of the definition of a fanatic: someone who redoubles his efforts when he has forgotten what he is fighting for. Or perhaps they were insulted that she did not accord them the “respect” they felt they deserved.
Finally, she had had enough.
Attacks on her have been so foul that virtually anything she did in response would have been justified. Instead, she crafted a brilliant counter attack that stunned the Left. Full body slam does not do it justice. And it was pitch perfect, including the “blood libel” part. A Mind That Suits found himself saying, “Growl on, momma grizzly.”
So the Left had to do something, and fast.
A Mind That Suits rarely sees chat shows It is guaranteed that he willingly watches MSNBC when it is the only thing on at his local Ruby Tuesday besides a game he doesn’t care about. He suspects closed captioning is the only thing that makes it tolerable.
A Mind That Suits was grateful last night when he found himself seeing and reading (but blessedly not hearing) a bunch of lefties who expostulated that Sarah Palin had turned the day of the memorial service into a day about her.
As always, where to start.
While this was a horrifying event, it is not the only time that a large group of people has been attacked in this country in recent years. It was the work of a completely isolated schizophrenic. It is a tragedy for all concerned, but it is not Oklahoma City, or even Ft. Hood.
It became more than a random tragedy because the Commentariat of Our Betters made the Right in general, and Sarah Palin in particular, the central issue.
They did not let up on their attacks because it was the day of the memorial service. In fact, Jonah Goldberg of National Review found himself on a radio show that morning with a woman who said that, despite the fact that he was acting in response to voices in his head, the gunman was still inspired by the hate filled rhetoric of the Right. Mr. Goldberg found the disjoint between putative cause and effect intolerable, so she told the host in exasperation that it was he who was denying cause and effect. You see, there was no relation, so there WAS a relation. (See Mr. Goldberg's version here.)
One suspects that this person read a lot of French literary theory in college.
The point is, if they did not let up on the day of the memorial service, why should she?
Moreover, the Left has a horrible track record on memorial services. Consider the funeral of leftwing Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), who died in a tragic accident shortly before an election. The “service” was so foul—with the crowd turning on the Republicans in the audience—that then Governor Jesse Ventura walked out. Mr. Ventura, lest we forget, came to fame as a professional “wrestler.” His tolerance for vulgarity was legend. The funeral indeed went well beyond foul. In all honesty, Mrs. Palin did the President a favor. Charles Krauthammer had commented the day before that the ranting was probably coming to a close, which offered the President an opportunity to rise above it all. Mrs. Palin effectively defanged the Left, and the President was free to deliver a fine eulogy.
And even more. Consider this line:
And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy…it did not…
That “it did not” was not in the prepared text. It should bring the ranting to a close. This morning, indeed, everyone is talking about the service, and not Mrs. Palin.
He can thank Mrs. Palin for preparing the public for that.
::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:31 PM