June 12, 2009
Still Open Season on Sarah PalinBy J. Robert Smith
Aging funnyman David Letterman proved it the other night. Moose might be out of season, but among liberals, which Letterman is, it's always open season on Sarah Palin and her family. And, by extension, the millions of Heartland Americans the Palins exemplify.
Letterman's off-color quip about Palin's underage daughter, Willow, (notwithstanding his claim that it was about the Governor's older daughter who was not in New York City with her mother) and his derogatory remark about Palin, are just another in a series of broadsides designed to demean and marginalize the Alaska governor.
Letterman's trashy, ham-handed humor at Palin's expense demonstrates again the unabated contempt and fear that liberals have for a woman who established an immediate, powerful rapport with voters last year. His subsequent disingenuous apology to Palin only adds an exclamation point.
Intriguingly, Letterman's jabs, and the continuous stream of invective and ridicule aimed at Palin, speaks volumes about what the left thinks about America's Joes and Janes.
Evidently, not much. Not much beyond harvesting their votes.
East and left coast elites have a beau ideal, and that's President Barack Obama, the elegant, cosmopolitan, smooth apologist for America's foibles and mortal sins. The Big Spender and soon-to-be Debaser of the Dollar. The Savior of Detroit who's Amtraking automakers. The compassionate fellow who wants to ration healthcare. And the man who claimed he'd deny Miranda rights to terrorists, only to, well...
President Obama cleans up, nicely, as they say. He talks the left's talk, and knows what fork to pick up at a five-star restaurant. He's an African-American JFK, which almost makes him the left's ultimate fantasy. The only thing he's not is gay. But even fantasies have limits.
Note that today's liberals -- or progressives, as they prefer -- never rhapsodize about the late Harry Truman, a gruff, unpolished Democratic pol who didn't give a damn about which fork he used at hoity-toity eateries -- if he ever entered any.
Truman regarded Uncle Joe Stalin as a windbag and mass murderer; he considered communism a sham and a great danger. And he initiated the long, hard Cold War that defeated the communists.
That's not what today's liberal admires in a leader: Resolve in defeating the nation's enemies. For liberals, like Pogo, the enemy is us. These descendants of Adlai Stevenson II see life as complicated -- a vast gray zone -- where truth is relative but most everything about America is absolutely wrong.
Palin is too much like Truman for liberal tastes, less the gruffness. She's a Main Streeter who's very comfortable in her skin. She doesn't put on airs, and doesn't aspire to do so. Her husband is a workingman whom she loves and is proud of; not an inconvenient truth, to steal a phrase. Ditto her son, Trig, born with Down Syndrome rather than aborted. Ditto her daughter, Bristol, who gave birth to an out-of-wedlock son.
Bristol has come out for abstinence among young people. Her honesty and courage is met with rolled eyes and sneers from jaded elites, reporters and liberal commentators. And bad jokes by a ratings-loser talk show host.
Surely, Bristol can't really want to help young people avoid her mistake. Her public stand is all about damage control and pre-emption. She's standing up to inoculate her mother from charges that the Palins talk the good talk about family values but walk a very different walk.
Imperfect creatures that we are, we are all bound to stray. Learning from, and making amends, for our mistakes are large parts of redemption. Bristol is admirably seeking redemption. Had she only chosen to condemn Gitmo and stump for same-sex marriage, then she'd have won plaudits from liberals.
Out-of-wedlock births are a Hollywood norm, and win the seal of approval from convention-hating lefties. Yet another reason to ridicule Bristol.
Governor Palin's conservatism is the sort that connects with the natural conservatism of a majority of Americans. Hers comes with no frills, no eloquent turns of phrase, no Shakespearian grandeur.
Hers is a hotdogs and hamburgers and cold beer conservatism. It's upbeat, reality-tested, everyday commonsense. Americans live it every day. They recognize it in Palin, and are attracted to her accordingly. Hence, liberals' fear.
Bless Palin's moose-shooting, hockey mom's heart. She wasted no time unloading both barrels at the hoary Letterman for his lurid jabs. The time has come for conservatives to start fighting back. Governor Palin is showing the way.
The saying goes that the best revenge is served cold. In this case, Sarah Palin needs to always bypass the elites and the mainstream media. She needs to take her case directly to hardworking Americans, whether in Auburn, New York, Joplin, Missouri or Macon, Georgia.
And in those towns and cities and suburbs across the nation, she needs to deliver this powerful, game-changing message: Americans don't have to be ashamed of, or apologize for, being Americans. Our traditional values, morals and beliefs are the nation's backbone and have made us great.
We have been a force for great good and freedom in a world often lacking in both. We may stumble and fall at times, but we pick ourselves up and move forward with hope and optimism and an unshakeable belief that, as Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, our best days are ahead of us.
Take this message to Americans and it won't be cynical comics or cynical elites who have the last laugh.