I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
The last week or so proved to be quite an eventful period amongst the "Attack Governor Palin" crowd. First, as Governor Palin was shooting part of her documentary in Homer, Alaska, she engaged in conversation with a protester, who laughably touted her "Worst Governor Ever" sign all the while bemoaning the fact that Governor Palin resigned. One would think that if someone declared a Governor the worst ever that he or she would be glad when said Governor resigned. However, I suppose we all must remember that such individuals' trains of logic run on non-existent rails. Additionally, the Governor supposedly rolled her eyes when the protester mentioned that she was a teacher, resulting in yet another "gate": eye roll-gate. Later this past week, following the saddening passing of Senator Ted Stevens, a New Hampshire Democrat disrespectfully exploited the Senator's death to attack Governor Palin with a death wish which rightfully cost him his seat in the New Hampshire legislature. Then, as has often become the case when Governor Palin makes an endorsement, the endorsee's opponent throws a hissy fit. This time Maryland gubernatorial candidate, Bob Ehlrich, began launching attacks at Governor Palin when she endorsed one of his opponents, Brian Murphy, rather than trying to articulate why he is the better person for the the job.
This has become fairly common symptomology for those suffering from Palin Derangement Syndrome. Everything in Governor Palin's life becomes a giant scandal in their minds and a "nontroversy" in the minds of supporters and those with a non-delusional sense of reality. Let us not forget some past symptoms of PDS: bus-gate, visor-gate, socialized medicine gate, palm-gate and bendy straw gate-- just to name a few. These are ridiculous, silly "attacks" on the Governor. They are not political, nor ideological criticisms. They are not valid questions regarding political strategy. Why is that? Why can't the "enlightened, well educated intelligensia" question or attack Governor Palin on the issues? After all, she is a polarizing, far right wing nut case who only represents the fringe of the Republican party, right?
They cannot attack Governor Palin on the issues because she has her finger on the pulse of the American people when it comes to the issues, as Sheya recently highlighted. Most recently, Governor Palin has been lock-step with the American people in opposition to the building of a mosque at Ground Zero. When you look at recent polling on the issues among likely voters-- immigration, the free market, health care reform, off shore drilling, the Bush tax cuts, and whole host of other issues, Governor Palin is right in line with the American people. Her opponents, whether they be from the political class on the Left, the political class on the Right, or the media, have nothing with which they can successfully and substantively attack her.
On a personal or non-political level, Governor Palin's critics have shamelessly attacked her family and disparaged her Alaska roots. As we are now quite aware of, one such critic took it upon himself to move next door to the Palins, then proceeded to use rhetoric comparing the family to Nazis when they took action to protect their privacy. They have ridiculously attacked things such as what she writes on her hand and her supposed diva-ish demands for bendable straws. (As I side note, I recently purchased a package of one hundred bendable straws at Walgreens' for a whopping 99 cents.It really breaks the bank). They have wrongfully called her a racist for opposing President Obama on issues. They have also wrongfully called her a racist (Fair warning: Shannyn Moore HuffPo link) for opposing the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero. However, some such opponents may need a little bit of a sociology lesson. Islam is a religion, not a race, and she did not oppose the practice, simply the location. So even if someone attacks Governor Palin on a political point, they cannot do so appropriately, nor can they do so truthfully.
Very few can speak to whether or not Governor Palin "cheers up immensely", as Margaret Thatcher states, when yet another personal attack is launched at her. Governor Palin is human, and no doubt these attacks garner an emotional reaction of some sort, perhaps even sometimes a legitimate eye roll. However, whatever her internal reaction is, Governor Palin has always been one to take attacks in stride and to keep them in perspective. Earlier in her political career, Governor Palin once said about a political adversary, "I couldn't do anything without Nick Carney griping about it. That was the nature of our relationship. I could have walked across Lake Lucile on the water, and he would have griped about me splashing", echoing Thatcher's quote of, "[i]f my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn't swim". She recognizes that some critics are relentless and may never been won over, even by reason and truth. In one of her final speeches as Governor of Alaska, Palin spoke of how she responded when a reporter asks how she handles "difficult" days:
“I said, ‘Oh no,’ it is not a down day – my son called this week from Iraq,” Palin recalled, referring to her son, Track, an Army enlistee. “He is safe, he is sound. It is always a good day when my son calls.”Governor Palin is a leader. From her perspective, the greater pertinence is America's freedom, not what attacks are levied at her personally. In spite of all the media attacks and frivolous ethics complaints levied at Governor Palin, and despite the misrepresentations of her stellar gubernatorial record over the past nearly two years, Governor Palin maintains a 44/47 favorable/unfavorable rating, a favorability index of -3, in the country. Contrast this with President Obama, whose approval index has stayed in the negative double digits for more than six weeks straight and for the vast majority of 2010 in spite of the fact that the President has a largely doting media supporting him. Despite what the media have done to support President Obama and trash Governor Palin, it seems that the country likes Governor Palin more than they approve of President Obama. Personal shots at the Governor may be all that can be launched at this point, as disapproval of where she stands politically, puts one at odds with the American people.
Interrupting the applause, Palin said: “I wish that some in the media would keep things like that in perspective, what is really important in our country. And what is important is our freedoms, America’s security, our liberty.”
However, whether there be personal or political shots against the Governor, there are no more free shots at Governor Palin. She has our back; let us have hers. She is standing with us on the issues; let us stand with her on the truth.