Had these thoughts in my head for awhile, and as long as we’re on the subject of Palin I thought I should jot ‘em down.
These people are in a “most lunatic” photo-finish neck-and-neck with the hardcore Obama-zealots. I seriously think we’ve discovered a new mental sickness epidemic. Palin isn’t it, but she’s a useful black light for detecting it. For how many years, before the nation learned to pronounce her married name, has this been going on, churning away in our midst, unseen?
1. They’ve achieved a great deal less in life than she has, even though some are quite a bit older than she is.
2. They don’t want to be called “haters,” although their reaction to her is purely negative and purely emotional; I’m left groping for another word and “bashers,” far from being a perfect fit, ends up being the least-unsuitable.
3. They persist in the mistaken belief that Charles Gibson tripped her up.
4. Whatever they have to say about Palin’s lack of competence or intellectual acumen, is felt, not thought. It invariably relies, not on observations, but on perceptions of what others are going to do. Nobody truly owns this.
5. A lot of them are ready to vouch for other women in power who are relatively homely and frumpy, like Hillary Clinton. This, also, fails the thought-over-feeling test; it isn’t based on much of anything. It’s just a reverberation of feelings felt by others, nothing more.
6. They breathe hard and their pulse quickens. I haven’t run into too many people who are ready to calmly explain Sarah Palin’s lack of qualifications.
7. Their laughter, in response to Palin jokes, is forced.
8. Their lofty opinions of the minimal requirements for the offices Palin has sought, or might seek, is selective. When the topic of conversation shifts to Joe Biden, suddenly it seems the Vice Presidency doesn’t demand a whole lot out of anyone.
9. They don’t seem to think it takes a whole lot to govern Alaska, or to even live there. They don’t appear to think very highly of Alaskans. One wonders if they’d back a Constitutional amendment establishing a “geographical litmus test” for future candidates, and if so, how many other states would go in the “No Can Do” column.
10. A lot of people claim to like her personally, just don’t “feel” (see Item #4 above) that she’s “right”; when the topic of conversation shifts to Barack Obama, this principle turns out to be selective (see Item #8) and they have a whole new and different way of seeing people.
11. They seem to have an awful lot of ego invested in these discussions, like if they cannot convince ALL reading or listening that Palin is a dimbulb, right here & right now, that this failing will somehow diminish them as a person.
12. They aren’t at all willing to say women should be staying home raising their kids; but they’re perfectly willing to say Palin should be staying home raising her kids.
13. They are loud, eager to get their opinion on the record, to the point of being obnoxious. Nobody seems to be sitting in a corner anywhere quietly thinking to himself “Wow I wish Palin would go away she’s so unqualified.”
14. Some of them think it’s way too early to talk about 2012. They seem to realize if the nomination process was conducted today, the results would be pretty clear. They seem to understand, but not to be willing to confess, that Palin is less likely to embarrass herself compared to her rivals, between now and 2012.
15. The standard they apply to Sarah Palin is not just higher than the standard they apply to others; it is surreal. Speculation on false pregnancies, burning books, forcing rape victims to pay for their own examinations, months and years after being thoroughly debunked, is somehow considered residually damning against her.
16. The people who get angriest about her, make me really happy she’s around to make them so angry because these are people who’ve had it comin’. As OldT6Flyer said at Neptunus Lex’s place (hat tip to blogger friend Buck), “If she didn’t exist somebody would need to invent her for the cause.”
17. Other than the secular types supposedly living in fear of some tighty-righty coming along to transform American into a “theocracy,” there doesn’t seem to be a single soul among them willing to say what a President Palin would do that they wouldn’t like. As a community, if you can call it that, they seem to be nearly brain-dead on matters of policy.
18. They’re ready to say what they think about things, in general, a whole lot more quickly than they’re ready to comment on their qualifications or lack thereof for thinking these things. This figures: They’re dissing the intellect of someone they’ve never met and never will meet.
19. If they’re Republicans, they long for a return to the halcyon days when the Republican party was known for its intellectual depth, and won elections that way. I, too, think that would be kinda cool. They aren’t ready to clue me in on when in the last hundred years that ever happened, or how likely such a thing ever is to happen again. Haven’t they noticed in columnist-world, the conservatives have a monopoly on intellectual wherewithal? Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Sowell, George Will…their counterparts are Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington? And that there’s a filtration process in place to keep that from ever translating into our elections, so that when it’s time to vote suddenly it’s the liberals who are the eggheads. What do they think is going to happen to upset that? What should be done to overturn that canoe? They aren’t ready to discuss this, not in the slightest. One would reasonably expect they’d be chomping at the bit.
20. A lot of them fall into Item #22 on my list of Fifty F*cking Sick Things (naughty language behind the link). They want me to think something just because they think it — they’re so undeniably smart that if I don’t agree straight-away, that’s evidence of my own thick-headedness and cluelessness. But they can’t tell “their” from “they’re” or “your” apart from “you’re.” Innocent, excusable mistakes until you stop to realize: The whole point of their garbled writing is to raise doubts about someone else being qualified to graduate from high school!
21. They use “beauty queen” as an insult. One cannot help but wonder if they’re prepared to explain why this is.
22. They’re ready, willing and able to quickly concede that the attacks on Palin have been “unfair”; but their opinions about Palin appear to have been decided entirely by these unfair attacks. How’s this work exactly?
23. If they’re women — and a lot of them are — they all have that same look. Like they go to New Year’s Eve parties looking exactly the same as when they’re spending a day housecleaning. No one’s ever gotten ticked for leaving late because they took too long in front of a mirror.
24. They show an astonishing, whiplash-inducing ability to go from one extreme — “yes that’s true, her family should be off-limits” — to the other — “that little skank Bristol didn’t listen to abstinence education so why should anyone else.”
25. They hiss at her for being a “quitter” but give you a blank look when you name some of the Obama nominees who had to withdraw because of tax “problems.”
In person as well as on the innerwebs, I get the feeling I really shouldn’t be arguing with these people. Not in a “ah shucks, you’ll never see things my way and I’ll never agree with you, so what’s the point? Let’s talk baseball!” But more of an I-gotta-get-outta-here kinda way. With that unsettling kind of feeling you’d get if you ever found yourself arguing with some homeless guy covered with pigeon droppings about whether he really is hearing voices in his head.
They aren’t expressing hostility inspired by Palin; they’ve been carrying the hostility around, some of them perhaps for generations, and Palin has provided the outlet. In lots of ways.
Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.