Editorial: The Left’s tolerance knows no bounds. Practiced in the art of understanding and forgiving human foibles, and averse to the “judgment” they find so intolerable in those who think there are actually values such as right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and evil, liberals demonstrate every day how morally evolved they are. No matter how egregious or even illegal the behavior, they say it’s either a “private matter” or “irrelevant.” For instance:
· President Bill Clinton’s serial philandering, years-long Oval-office affair with a White House intern, and conviction and disbarment for perjury.
· Presidential candidate John Edwards’ cheating on his cancer-ridden wife and fathering a child with his girlfriend.
· Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt becoming the parents of six children but not getting around to marrying.
· Jodie Foster, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, and other Hollywood denizens “choosing” to have babies without getting married, including teenagers Jamie Lynn Spears, Keisha Castle Hughes, Solange Knowles, et al. – which Hollywood celebrates in movies like “Juno.”
· Uncountable celebrities and politicians’ “acting out” with driving-under-the-Influence and drug arrests, stints in rehab, relapses.
“It’s none of anyone’s business,” the understanding liberals intone. “It’s not related to the job they do!”
Except, that is, when these moral arbiters decide that it’s everyone’s business and highly relevant to the “public’s right to know.”
Now how exactly does the Left decide on these matters? What criteria do they use?
That’s easy. If the problem involves their biggest fundraisers in Hollywood and elsewhere or people who subscribe to their leftist views – meaning other liberals – then any “judgment” is off limits. In these cases, said problem is often met with praise for this-or-that woman’s “courage” and “independence,” or empathy for this-or-that man’s “pressured” job or “unfortunate” lapse.
Not so if the problem – which liberals instantly convert to “outrage” – is a Republican’s. But there are exceptions. If a Republican like Sen. John McCain crafts legislation with leftist Democrats like Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold or Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, or joins liberals in bucking or bad-mouthing his own Party, then he is treated benevolently and considered beyond judgment. But if he runs for president, not only he but his wife and family are vilified, insulted, and lied about. That’s how being non-judgmental works in the minds and – excuse the presumption – hearts of liberals.
Exceptions notwithstanding, the Left in today’s America is particularly sensitive to – paranoid about is not an exaggeration – anyone they perceive as a threat to their hegemony, or, in plain English, absolute control.
It was clear from the moment Gov. Sarah Palin appeared on the national scene as McCain’s vice-presidential choice that the Left was terrified of her charismatic appeal, effortless (and teleprompter-less) articulateness, formidable track record in political life, beautiful family, can-do American optimism, and also her success in actualizing what the largely-leftist feminist movement has advocated for since the 1960s, the notion that women could “have it all.” Palin’ genuinely self-made-woman status embodied the arch-goal of feminism – its paltry stats notwithstanding – but the tolerant feminists attacked her anyway.
As writer Lisa Richards reminds us, “feminists and liberals, who insist they stand for women’s rights, hate Sarah Palin because she has two things on her record they want abolished: Christianity and childbirth.”
Writer and editor Ruth S. King explains that the reason why liberal women – including sneering TV anchors Campbell Brown and Katie Couric – “have a visceral contempt for `that woman’ is that she has actually achieved all their aspirations. She is successful; she is beautiful; she is a governor; she has taken on the old boys; she has gained national stature; she has clout; she has a son in the military; she has a husband who is a hunk who is also happy to help his wife’s career, and she has four other kids and a great family life, along with its attendant problems. How dare she?
Why she did not go to Sarah Lawrence, not to mention Smith College! And, horror of horrors, she is a Republican. And even more unforgivable is that she is pro-life and chose to have and love and rear a Down syndrome child, unlike the liberal icon, playwright Arthur Miller, who gave his Down baby to a dreadful orphanage only two days after his birth and never saw him again.”
It is columnist Wesley Pruden, however, who sums it up hilariously: “Not only was she bereft of an Ivy League credential…she didn’t have a master’s degree in women’s studies from Harvard, nor had she ever taken a course in art appreciation at Stanford. She didn’t have a doctorate from Yale in the poetry of Nineteenth-Century Romania, nor had she written a learned paper for the Council on Foreign Relations on the politics of the Third Ten-Year Plan for Agricultural Reform in Uzbekistan. She was begging feminists with fancy credentials who had never accomplished anything to hate her, and they did.”
Yes, the Left’s snobbish fealty to the Ivy League was on full display during the 2008 campaign, especially focused on the Ivy League candidate into whose candidacy they had poured multimillions of dollars and their own credibility. But while the Ivy Leaguer ultimately won, the public cast a thunderous “no” vote against the so-called mainstream media’s blatantly biased – indeed, fawning – coverage, which can now be seen in the current demise of major liberal newspapers like the Rocky Mountain News and The San Francisco Chronicle, and the death throes of others, among them The NY Times, The Boston Globe, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And that is not to omit the basement ratings of network TV and cable’s MSNBC, among others.
SHE’S NOT ONE OF US
In her acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Governor Palin asked her cheering audience what the difference was between a hockey mom and a Pit Bull. Then she pointed to her mouth and said “lipstick!” When it was clear that Palin had captured the threatening competition of conservative voters that Barack Obama feared would upend his campaign, he went into major offensive mode – actually major defensive mode – citing the “lipstick” reference in speech after speech after speech.
Obama and his acolytes seemed to be echoing another liberal icon’s famous song: How dare this moose-hunting, breast-feeding, happily-married, enormously-popular governor rain on our parade?
And we all remember the near-hysterical jihad against Governor Palin that the media conducted, sending armadas of reporters to Alaska to ferret out anything – anything – that would discredit her. But failing that, they resorted to tabloid speculation, innuendo, distortions, defamation and, their old standby, lies.
As journalist Michelle Malkin describes: “Hollywood savaged Palin. Journalists mocked her. Liberal blogs slimed her. Opponents cursed her, Photo-shopped her, hacked her e-mail, hanged her in effigy, called her bigot, Bible-thumper and bimbo, and attacked her husband and children.”
In short, they and the leftwing media, author and journalist Thomas Sowell has written, went into panic mode:
Perhaps the best way to try to understand these reactions is to recall what Eleanor Roosevelt said when she first saw Whittaker Chambers, who had accused Alger Hiss of being a spy for the Soviet Union…`He’s not one of us.’ The trim, erect and impeccably dressed Alger Hiss, with his Ivy League and New Deal pedigree, clearly was "one of us." As it turned out, he was also a liar and a spy for the Soviet Union…the Hiss-Chambers confrontation of more than half a century ago produced the same kind of visceral polarization that Governor Sarah Palin provokes today…[she] is both a challenge and an affront to that vision and that way of life – an overdue challenge, much as Chambers’ challenge was overdue.
So threatened (and thin-skinned) was Obama that a week before the election, his campaign ran a TV commercial attacking not McCain but Palin! And even after the election, the fear-Palin crowd couldn’t let go. And they still can’t let go!
Just last week, when teenage Bristol Palin announced that she and her fiancé Levi Johnston – the father of their two-month old son Tripp – had broken their engagement, the tolerant liberals continued their attack, exactly as they did when New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady left his three-months-pregnant girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan, for the supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Oh, sorry I forgot that they “understood” Brady, who proudly went public with his skinny hottie, and chalked the entire sordid affair up to another of their old standbys: “Who are we to judge?”
ONCE A THREAT, ALWAYS A THREAT
The Left takes its threats so seriously that according to Politico.com’s Ben Smith, “a vast new left-wing conspiracy sets its tone every morning at 8:45 a.m., when officials from more than 20 labor, environmental, and other Democratic-leaning groups dial into a private conference call hosted by two left-leaning Washington organization…[which] marks a new level in coordination by the White House’s allies…”
This group – which Smith identifies as the leftist Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP) – is headed by former Clinton crony John Podesta and “attempts to link the Republican Party to radio host Rush Limbaugh, and has served as the launching ground for attacks on critics of Obama’s policy proposals.”
Limbaugh, of course, who daily exposes the new administration and its flailing followers as the Big Government, high taxes, Constitution-loathing Socialists that they are, poses a tremendous threat to the current powers-that-be. But you can bet that Palin is CAP’s Number One threat, which is precisely why the angry Left continues their assault on her and her family.
Meanwhile, the lovely, modest, well-spoken, intelligent, humble, and well-brought-up Bristol Palin, and her mother, blithely ignore the rabid ravings of The Huffington Post, The Daily Kos, and the shrikes on “The View,” but I’m sure it makes them smile– it sure makes the rest of us smile –that they’re tying the entire Obama machine up in knots!
Yet the harder they try, the clearer it is that Gov. Palin’s popularity and clout is impervious to their efforts. And their dread is sure to increase as the truth of Ruth S. King’s words finally sink in: “We have not seen the last of her.”
About the author:Joan Swirsky (http://www.joanswirsky.com/) is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.