J. KARL MILLER: Sarah Palin doesn't deserve to be belittled

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 6:55 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An earlier version of this article misspelled Gloria Steinem's name.

I fail to understand the near manic obsession of the left wing of the Democratic Party and its well left-of-center columnists, syndicated or otherwise, in demonizing Sarah Palin. She is constantly targeted as naive, shallow, unsophisticated, inarticulate, undereducated and without real world experience in either foreign or domestic affairs.

How can this insignificant, unprepared, vacuous, unworldly, small-town hillbilly generate so much venom and invective from so many self important and sophisticated elitists? Surely, such a loathsome and inept bumpkin cannot be viewed as a political threat to the party in power. Perhaps it is journalistic laziness--when a columnist is bereft of ideas, there is always Sarah Palin to kick.

I suppose having the unmitigated gall to endorse candidates for primary elections and appearing with the mean spirited, right wing bully, Glenn Beck, has placed her once more in the target's V-Ring; nevertheless, it does not seem overly wise to provide her with that much free publicity. Or, is it just possible that, beneath all that dismissive prose, they do actually fear her?

I am not now nor was I ever overly enamored of Palin as a presidential candidate; although, it is indisputable that she enjoyed significantly more executive and leadership experience than had the then U. S. Senators Obama, Biden and McCain who shared the 2008 ticket. Neither (now) President Obama nor (now) Vice President Biden nor Senator McCain had ever governed anything, while she had been both a mayor and the governor of a state. That we were not overwhelmed with experienced candidates in 2008 under-states the issue.

The belittling of Sarah Palin has been an equal opportunity, gender neutral exercise, by far, the most venomous forays have been launched by the distaff side. The kick off, so to speak, was an extremely vulgar and sophomoric rant by Salon Magazine contributor, Cintra Wilson. Ms. Wilson, who has also embarrassed the New York Times into dropping her "Critical Shopper" column concluded her wordy diatribe with "Sarah Palin may be a lady, but she ain't no woman."

Others who have composed multiple essays ridiculing, demeaning, insulting or merely damning her with faint praise include the New York Times Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins, the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan and retired Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman. Goodman came out of retirement in August to publish her "Equal Rites Award" for women's suffrage to savage Palin and her "menagerie of groupies," naming her as the most (in)famous female pol in the land.

Among the most recent spiteful putdowns are Collins calling to question Sarah's tipping generosity and her "hunting creds" while accusing her of "putting on airs" by requiring she be flown first class and by Parker, who referred to her as "Mother Superior" having been sainted by Glenn Beck. The most feline commentary; however, comes from Maureen Dowd whose most complimentary phraseology referred to Palin as "one nutty puppy." All in all, the malice emanating from the feminists tends to support Ambrose Bierce's "The female is the deadlier of the species."

To the feminist left, the "pit bull with lipstick" from Alaska is an anathema to everything the Women's Rights movement has sought in the long battle for equal rights. She is a pro-life, conservative, self sufficient woman who has proven she can balance both a career and family. One would think the "sisterhood" as conceived by Gloria Steinem* would embrace that balancing act; however, it appears that pro-life conservative women need not apply.

This in no way solicits a pass for the former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate. She is a big girl and must be expected to take care of herself. Politics is a contact sport — one not for the faint of heart nor the lacking in spirit — a political operative or candidate who does not anticipate that some 50 percent of an audience will be hostile or that questions must be assumed to be traps and that answers will be taken out of context is doomed before the hunting horn is sounded.

Consequently, it is somewhat bizarre that the Democratic Party and its support mechanism feel the need to provide so much free ink to someone who is not only not currently a candidate but also to one they consider meritless and undeserving. Realistically, Sarah Palin is not a serious candidate for president for a number of reasons; however, beating that dead horse gives it stature and free publicity.

As we opined, facetiously, in the Marines, "a letter of reprimand is better than no mail at all" — her opponents have created a popular fund raising monster.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at

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oh crap September 29, 2010 | 3:10 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Padric O'Rouark September 29, 2010 | 4:31 a.m.

I am a bit of a skeptic because a person’s character may be understood best by their choice of friends

(Report Comment)
Louis Mazzullo September 29, 2010 | 6:31 a.m.

Please remember that Ms Palin was originally a target of the media because then, as now, she refuses to take serious questions from reporters. 'Why not?' is my question? One might think she would relish an opportunity to address the 'lamestream media'. All we have to go by are her Katie Couric interviews. The vice-presidential debates did not demonstrate her ability to answer questions; she simply repeated practiced general responses. She certainly is not well-considered among Republicans, including the McCain camp, who were glad to be rid of her, and also among politicians in her home state. Her refusal to engage in serious political dialogue, and instead to speak in vague generalities, does not suggest a politician of substance, who is able to show leadership, react quickly to crises or address a multitude of national and international issues.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith September 29, 2010 | 8:48 a.m.

We need to realize there's both a messenger AND a message. The message would still be there without Palin. Although it's more complex, the message can be stated that a growing number of Americans, regardless of any prior party affiliation, are fed up with the performance of our federal government. A significant number of those folks are not actual Tea Party members, but they're no less fed up.

I consider Palin to be a political lightweight, but considering the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of some of today's heavyweight politicians perhaps being a lightweight isn't so bad.

Just keep on badmouthing the Tea Party and see what happens. Watch their ranks continue to grow.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush September 29, 2010 | 9:48 a.m.

Here's her executive experience -
Rupert Murdoch and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal's Wall Street Journal is not lefty journalism.

(Report Comment)

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