The Extremist, Sarah Palin

I and others have mentioned ad nauseum how the media (and Democrats) seem unable to find a way to approach (attack?) the the Palin phenomenon (I think that’s a fair description to this point) in a steady, measured way. They’ve been all over the place trying to marginalize the Alaska governor and have seen all of their attempts blow up in their faces.

They and the Democrats just can’t seem to find the proper angle of attack without making themselves look foolish, petty and hypocritical.

That brings us to the latest attack balloon they’ve launched. Sarah Palin is an extremist. Joe Biden tried it out yesterday.

Slate’s Gary Kamiya trots it out as well:

Post-convention polls are highly unreliable. But the same Democrats who were crowing with glee a week ago about McCain’s off-the-wall choice are suddenly panicking. And you can’t blame them. Four years after Americans looked at the first term of the worst president in modern history and decided they liked what they saw well enough to sign up for four more years, it’s all too plausible that just when victory is in sight, the most crucial election of our time could be tipped by the 11th-hour appearance of a slick, unqualified, right-wing extremist and religious zealot in designer glasses.

After reading that you think, OK, for the most part the attack isn’t sexist, demeaning or condescending. But as I’ve noted previously, the left just can’t help itself in that regard. Once on a roll, the condescension and derision aren’t far for the surface. In the next paragraph Kamiya says:

Republican strategists have made it clear that the GOP’s only chance to win is by reframing the election as a battle of ../images. And right now, Palin is the pinup queen in that war. She’s feisty, she’s a mom, she’s from a frontier state, she guns down wolves from the air, she’s a devout Evangelical, she poses as a reformer, and she insults the Washington elites.

And large numbers of Americans think she’s hot.

This latter point cannot be underestimated. Iraq may be a quagmire, a new cold war may be looming, the economy may be tanking and the world may be heading toward environmental doom, but the presidential race may be decided by the perceived doability of the governor of Alaska.

And he wanders off from there essentially telling us that American men, in this case, are so focused on their groin that they’ll vote for McCain/Palin just because she’s “hot” and “doable”.

Seriously, that’s Kamiya’s thesis:

Because Palin’s a woman, and even more, a babe, suddenly she and her party have been magically transformed into fresh-faced reformers.

Yup – no record of reform, it’s just assumed, because, you know, she’s a ‘babe’.

Oh, an extremist babe.

But back to the new angle of attack – extremism. Juan Cole, picks up the talking point:

But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

Of course when you embark on an attack like that, you must have your facts straight. Otherwise you look like either a misinformed fool or someone who eschews truth for political convenience.

As it turns out, there are plenty of references out there which debunk most of Cole’s claims. One of the most recent comes from FactCheck.org in which they destroy the creationism and censorship myths.

Joe Biden mentioned climate change in his extremist charge. One can only hope he brings it up in the debate, because like Cole’s nonsense, it simply won’t at all appear extremist to most normal Americans.

Of course if they go the extremist route, they open themselves up to what?

That’s right, answering attacks which include Jeremiah Wright, Trinity UCC, Bill Ayers and Khalid Al-Mansour.

You have to ask – do they really want to take the weak case of “extremism” public in attacks on the Republican under-ticket and suffer the consequences of the same sorts of attacks being legitimized on the top of their ticket?

Apparently so.

Gun. Foot. Aim and pull trigger.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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