Thursday, September 04, 2008

Noonan on Palin

(Via Kim du Toit)

In today's Opinion Journal, Peggy Noonan spends some time considering the subject of Sarah Palin. Go read it first, and then come back--I have a few thoughts. (Yes, that usually means trouble. Sorry.)

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

Indeed she is a danger, and one that the Obama campaign could have never foreseen. Was this an inspired decision by John McCain or just one of those accidents of which history is made? Time will tell.

And Peggy is also correct about conservatives defending Palin. Conservatives know their own, and she's one of us. Hit the conservative-leaning blogs and commentary sites. The herd has circled and the horns are all facing OUT. If you're a lefty, attacking Sarah Palin is costing your Messiah votes. Most Americans have a sense of fair play that's at odds with your tactics. Piss them off and you're going to loose them. Every time another attack article hits, every time another far-out rumor surfaces, potential Obama supporters--people who aren't hard core conservative but who simply lean conservative--are deciding to vote for Palin.

And that's an important point--people will be voting for Palin. Sure, John McCain is a genuine war hero and has sacrificed much for his country. However, that doesn't get him an automatic pass on his voting record, even with conservatives. Face it, as a conservative, McCain's cred is weak. Sarah Palin is the one conservatives love. If it means they have to vote for McCain to get Palin, well, they're good with that. They're looking ahead to the next cycle, or the one after that. They want President Palin, and they're willing to suffer President McCain to get her.

The one thing where I'll part company with Ms. Noonan is on the subject of Palin's toughness. She makes a valid point that being "Alaska Tough" is a very different thing than being tough enough to mix it up on a daily basis with media hacks, political operatives, self interested staffers and the like.

Me, I don't think they going to know what hit them.

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