Culture War Dispatches

from a Progressive People's Republic

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Palin Bashing is a fun elitist sport

Joan Vennochi (Globe, 5/7/09) admits that the image of the "adorable" Obama family is "managed expertly by the White House with help from the media." She also admits that Sarah Palin's family life "brings baggage that is especially difficult for a female candidate to overcome." But this female member of the press is happy to help out with the media manipulation of the Obama image, and happy to make life more difficult for a female politician. She has compiled a snarky repetition of old baggage about Sarah Palin. An absurd internet rumor from last summer about Palin's Down's Syndrome daughter. Sarah Palin's daughter's ex-boyfriend's father's legal difficulties. Bristol Palin's ex-boyfriend's sister calling the Palin family "white trash" (so Vennochi doesn't have to say what she's obviously thinking.) At the same time, we hear about the "adorable First Puppy" and "adorable First Daughters" but none of Obama's baggage that is far more damaging than anything brought up about Palin--Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.--things actually connected to the President and not to people two degrees removed from him.

Although Sarah Palin's conservative politics offends more liberals than conservatives, the primary response to her is class-based; both liberal and conservative elites see her as white trash, while ordinary working people connect with her as a reflection of themselves. When elitists look down their noses at Palin, it only consolidates her support among many voters.