Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Nagging Suspicion

In a little while, the Palin/Biden debate will begin. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to watch it live; I might try the experiment of listening to it on the radio to see if it's easier to pay attention to what the candidates are actually saying, instead of how they pose for the cameras.

In any case, I've noticed--I'm sure you have, too--how many conservative writers, bloggers and commentators have completely written off Sarah Palin on the damning evidence--from two or three MSM television interviews--that the Liberals Were Right About Her All Along.

Sigh. I did say conservative commentators, didn't I?

It's a maddening phenomenon I've witnessed in my two decades plus a bit of being eligible to vote and of leaning heavily toward conservative candidates (though like it says in my "About Me" section, that's conservative, not Republican; I'm happy to say that I did not vote for Bob Dole)--there's a definite difference between how conservatives and liberals act when it comes to our candidates.

Suppose that Candidate A is liberal, while Candidate B is conservative. Here is how different groups will react to each candidate--first, Candidate A:

The MSM: We'd like to say that A is practically perfect in every way, but that would interfere with our pretense that you still believe we're objective. Instead, we'll tiptoe right up to the line of bowing down in worship of A without actually committing blasphemy (at least in public).

Liberal opinion writers: It is our dispassionate and careful opinion that A is...practically perfect in every way! He's the Second Coming of Mr. Darcy! Why, in all our years of being serious brokers of opinion journalism we've never, ever, ever seen such perfection! Every utterance, every nuance of A is golden beyond belief! He's so impossibly terrific that if he's elected the whole gosh-darned planet will heal, just like A said it would!

Liberal voters: We love A! We want A! A! A! A! A! A! A! (Hillary!) (Thwack) (Thud) A! A! A!

And here's how Candidate B gets treated:

The MSM: We know that you know that we're not objective. Still, let's keep up the pretense, shall we? B might be just barely adequate in some kind of Neanderthal sense, except (cough) extreme on abortion (cough) out of touch on gay marriage (cough) gravitas (cough) incurious (cough) doesn't read the NYT daily (cough) Tina Fey (cough) not one of US (cough) common (cough) provincial (cough) really, this was the best you could do?

Conservative opinion writers: We were gleeful for three point eight seconds. We're sorry. It was unprofessional of us to make up our minds without realizing that the entire editorial staff of the New York Times has uncovered strong proof that although B is extreme on pro-life issues and anti-gay marriage, B also lacks gravitas, is incurious, doesn't read the NYT, is provincial, and--worst of all--has never ever sipped wine in a Paris cafe at midnight in June, nor--wait for it--expressed the slightest desire ever to do so! In the face of this incontrovertible proof that B is little more than a pretty face, we have to say that we can't support B anymore and will now run a ceaceless succession of anti-B columns to regain our composure.

Conservative voters: B! Well, maybe. If nothing better comes along. After all, A's getting all the attention, and people who vote for B are sort of like people who buy brand X despite the taste test's proof that A was better all along. But we can't support A because A is so extremely pro-abortion, but gosh golly gee whiz we wish he weren't. And some of us won't vote for B because B supports ESCR which means that voting for him is mediate remote material cooperation with sin without proportionate reason. And some of us may hold our noses and vote for B. But A's got the coolness factor, and we hate being the nerdy kids playing D&D in the back of the room for yet another election. So, B, or not. To B, or not to B? That is the question; whether 'tis nobler to vote for an uncool ticket, or to take up pen against a write-in slot, and, by name-posing, fill it? etc.

So my nagging suspicion, referenced above, is that the quote "With friends like these..." is pretty descriptive of those who support--or say they support--conservative candidates. There is no harsher critic of a conservative than another conservative.


Irenaeus said...

Dreher in mind?

Red Cardigan said...


Well, actually, there are others, though the "Paris" bit probably telegraphed him.

But I'm seeing a pattern. There's almost a "rush to the door" to be the first to denounce Palin after the initial swooning. I find it discouraging--how will a real conservative ever emerge in this environment of hostility where the enemy sniping is about as deadly as the friendly fire?

Babs said...

Peggy Noonan has been particularly eager to turn up her nose at Palin. Too many cocktail parties at Arianna Huffintons is my diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

You know, I just read this after I saw the debate, and it is most enlightening. I have not been keeping up *at all*; I have never seen Sarah Palin on TV or heard her speak, nor either of the presidential candidates, but I had heard that Palin had not done so well on recent interviews. So I watched the VP debates this evening, and I was really surprised at the commentary that was coming from the guy who was supposed to be conservative; I don't remember his name, but before the debate, he said that Palin was going to have to put together full sentences and paragraphs, and after the debate, the nicest thing he had to say about her was that she "mentioned McCain's name a lot". And he took pains to point out how "colloquial" she was. Not understanding this background that you have pointed out, it was really twilight-zoney to hear those things coming from someone I thought was supposed to be a supporter. Especially since she did do well, I think, and there were plenty of nice things which could have been said. I at any rate thought she had presence, was articulate, was able to hold her own, and I was impressed.


nutmeg said...

Peggy Noonan gave a most glorious account of Palin's performance in the debate. I was so glad to hear it, (I was also a bit shocked, b/c I didn't think Palin did THAT well) but I truly love Peggy Noonan.