Friday, September 5, 2008

The Borking of Sarah Palin Continues

The left wing blogs and the main stream media have been Borking Governor Palin since her selection as Senator McCain’s running mate. Both left wing and right wing blogers and commentators are capable of vicious commentary. Bloggers, especially anonymous bloggers, often engage in misogynist, sexist, racist, homophobic, and obscene postings. Political bloggers often display a similar lack of restraint. The DailyKos started the flood by reporting that the Palin’s fifth child, the young infant with Downs Syndrome, was not really theirs, but a coverup of their daughter’s pregnancy.

We expect better of the media.

And yet on February 21, 2008 The New York Times displayed its bias in an article, based on an anonymous report, that 8 years earlier McCain was advised to change his ties with a female lobbyist. The article faintly intimated of an illicit relationship. Somehow, it ignored the stronger rumors of Senator Edwards adultery, not to mention Governor Clinton 16 years ago.

Governor Palin's acceptance speech Wednesday night is one of the great political speeches in American political history, right up there with Lincoln’s Cooper Union and Gettysburg addresses, William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold speech, Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech at Westminister College, Nixon’s Checkers speech, Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing,” and Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream.”

She is a natural. Sarah Palin can deliver a barb with a smile, a la Anne Richards. A star was born on September 3, 2009. It has revived a dispirited Republican Party.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Media will stop acting like piranha at a feeding frenzy. Or perhaps they will be shamed into objectivity.

And yet, what if it comes out that Sarah drank to excess, toked weed, and snortled coke at 19? The outrage level will go through the roof. But that was Barack Obama by his own admission. The media praises his explanation of the maturing process.

Nor should we concentrate on illegitimacy because that would reflect poorly on Barack’s mom. The son grew up OK.

Why is it commendable and praiseworthy that Joe Biden entered the Senate as a single, working father, but Governor Palin, the married Governor Palin, should spend more time with her children?

This last proposition is an insult to a century of women’s rights. Women have the same right to determine their role in society, the workplace, and home as a man. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guaranteed equality in employment for women. Motherhood, marriage, job, volunteer activities, profession, Palin has achieved it, and now this working mom is being slammed for it.

We are witnessing a double standard bordering on sexism.

The media respected the privacy of Chelsea Clinton in the White House and barely mentioned the problems of Vice President Gore’s son, but had a field day with the alcohol consumption of the Bush twins and is now focusing on the Governor’s daughter.

We are all humans, thus lacking perfection. Few, if any, of us could survive the scrutiny of an electron microscope in our personal and professional lives.

So why Borking? Because it works – at least sometimes.

The word comes from the rejection of Judge Robert Bork, a Reagan nominee, to the Supreme Court in 1987. Scurrilous and outrageous charges were made against the Judge, who, to be honest, was not a good advocate for himself.

The Judge had been a distinguished legal scholar at Yale Law School, a federal appellate judge, and Solicitor General of the United States. He believed in originalism and not judicial legislation. He held contrarian views on Antitrust – views which have since been adopted by the Supreme Court.

Senator Kennedy gave a passionate speech saying Bork would take us back to the days of back-alley abortions, segregated lunch counters, rogue police, and closing of the court house doors to millions of victims.

The distinguished actor, Gregory Peck, narrated anti-Bork ads.

The practice had been pioneered earlier in the Nixon Administration to deny confirmation of two Southern appellate judges, Clement Heynsworth and G. Harold Carswell, both of whom were tarred with charges of racism.

Attempts were made, almost successfully, to deny confirmation to Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

In spite of Sarah Palin’s great speech, the search to Bork her continues. We hear rumors that appointees to state positions were asked their views on abortion, and that she said God wanted us to go to war in Iraq and to build a pipeline.

The Chronicle of Higher Education in its on-line edition today published a report that the Governor attended 4 colleges in 5 years to earn her diploma.

What’s the point?

If we are going to flyspeck academic records, then let’s drop the double standard.

Let’s talk about Senator Biden’s checked law school experience in which he finally graduated roughly in the bottom 10% of his class (76/85). Senator McCain also fared poorly at the Naval Academy. They’ve both matured since then and have led exemplary lives. Let’s leave it at that.

However, since we are constantly told that President George W. Bush is dumb, let’s look at Gore’s transcripts at Vanderbilt, where he is rumored to have entered both the law and divinity schools, and then dropped out. Why? It doesn’t really matter unless an issue is being made of Bush’s academic performance.

We know that Bush’s SAT score was 1206 versus Gore’s substantially higher 1355. We also know that Bush’s freshman GPA (77) was higher than that of Senator Kerry (76 with 4 D’s), who, to date, has yet to release his SAT scores. Assume what you want.

The three most recent Presidents have Yale degrees, but Ronald Reagan attended Eureka College in the heartland of America., and LBJ Southwest Texas State Teachers College. America is great for upper mobility.

If the Borking continues, then either it will succeed (highly unlikely) or create a backlash in favor of the McCain Palin ticket.

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