Kudos to Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown for penning an anti-Sarah Palin tirade so vitriolic, I thought there had been a mix-up with her byline and Andrew Sullivan’s. Well, technically she’s blasting John McCain for allowing Palin to campaign for him, because…uh…it’s Sarah Palin, Personification of Evil! Get with the program!
Cindy McCain was glacially self-contained in a trim, chic suit, at her husband’s side. When will high-def pick up the grinding of teeth? She introduced Palin as “a breath of fresh air” when in fact, as far as the McCains are concerned, Palin was a tornado wreaking havoc on the senator’s campaign for president with a personal reality show that enthralled the public but appalled the voters. She has since used the celebrity he bestowed on her to become the La Pasionaria of the No Spin Zone crowd, who now want only to unseat him and install his cocky challenger J.D Hayworth.
No doubt for Cindy McCain the thought of having her husband back in town and hanging around the house if he loses his Senate seat is worth the indignity of once again appearing next to him to pretend that the current pin-up of violent populism stands for the same things as a principled war hero.
But for John McCain himself, and the people who have so long admired him, surely this moment in Tucson was a killer moment of moral degradation. McCain’s whole deal has been that he’s his own man, a maverick, a courageous loner. He defied the Bushies by speaking vehemently against torture. He stuck his neck out for the Iraq surge. He denounced the corrupting influence of money in politics. He was the scourge of pork. Whatever he really thought about Palin as his campaign went down in flames and his team threw her under the bus, he gallantly kept his counsel.
Evidently, Palin is not to be welcomed in polite company because she’s abandoned “disinterested public service” in favor of her own celebrity. Sure, Palin’s reaping the benefits of fame, from the lecture circuit to her autobiography to a TV show about Alaska in the works. But how is any of this inconsistent with helping her country? In her speeches, books, and TV appearances she advances the same values she espoused as a vice-presidential contender. Indeed, even her Facebook page is a force to be reckoned with that discusses policies and principles substantively.
For many of Palin’s critics, at the heart of the “Palin as celebrity” meme is the Left’s doctrinaire belief in profit as something low and degraded, something to be distributed by government rather than earned through free competition. So what if Palin makes lots of money and wins lots of fans? It seems to me that a country where you can find success by fighting for your beliefs is something to admire, not scorn.
Of course, in Brown’s case it might simply be good old-fashioned Palin Derangement Syndrome. Brown has previously written that Palin should learn from a real public servant like Hillary Clinton, even though the former First Lady is no stranger to the bookshelves herself. Neither is Barack “The One” Obama, who Brown nonetheless hails as the epitome of statesmanship (not at all the sort of celebrity-driven egotist who’d give a head of state a special Obama-edition iPod—oh, wait…).
Indeed, her rhetoric about “dominatrix jackets” and “violent populism” is so angry and divorced from reality as to leave little doubt as to the real motivation: Sarah Palin’s feisty conservatism is simply not supposed to resonate with the American people, and it’s certainly not supposed to come from women who manage to balance career and family. That potent combination is guaranteed to bring out the worst in the Left every single time.