13 June 2009

POLITICS: Sarah Palin (Playing the Victim)

If you read my Facebook status on this subject, some of this will be a repeat. I wish I could be more eloquent and be better about getting my thoughts together but this is my blog so ...

Sarah Palin has recently lambasted David Letterman for making a crude, sexually-charged joke about her daughter, Willow (she's 14). Letterman said he was joking about Bristol, Palin's older daughter (the one who was pregnant during last year's campaign). This brings up a few disturbing trends to me (for the record, I am a conservative-leaning guy with many libertarian tendencies politically. I mainly seek to align my politics with my faith in Jesus - which means that most of the time, I am turned off by politicians.) What follows may be random at times.

-- It is completely obvious to me that Letterman was making a joke about the older daughter (the one Palin/McCain trotted out at the convention with her baby-daddy, Levi) and Letterman's joke writers just didn't check out the fact that the younger daughter was actually the one at the Yankees game he was joking about. Letterman said he didn't mean anything about the younger daughter. He apologized for the joke and invited Palin on his show. In my view, Palin is now being unreasonable (after first properly defending her family) and trying to score some "us vs. the elites" points. Palin's basically calling Letterman a dirty old pervert on national TV (see the 'Today' show interview with Matt Lauer). It's all just stupid IMO and she's obviously keeping it up to score political points. A mature person would let it go after someone apologizes to them.

-- (Side Tangent): "The Media:" Let's get rid of the notion that anyone, anywhere is objective. The media strives to be as objective as possible (in theory) but every single human being on the planet has a world view that he/she sees things through. If the media is liberal, it's because a majority (not all) of the people working in the media have that particular world view. Like I said, any world view will color how you report things. I'm sure there are elements of "the media" that actively seek to destroy people like Palin and promote people like Obama. However, there are just as many, if not more, reporters out there who are just trying to do their jobs and put food on the table no matter who's in office. Did many get caught up in the hype of Obama? Most certainly. And they should be called out for it. Let's be honest though for a moment. Fox News isn't any more 'Fair and Balanced' than the New York Times or CNN or MSNBC. People have a large tendency to want to have their views reinforced. That's why Rush Limbaugh is so popular. I remember many days feeling beaten up because I was one of not many conservatives at my workplace and I would listen to Rush just so I could hear someone who agrees with me (though I find myself not listening too much these days). Fox News is popular not because they are 'balanced,' but because they are a conservative news channel and people want their world view reinforced.

-- Sooner or later, conservatives have got to stop playing the victim and get ahead on their ideas, not on being hated by the "liberal elite media."

-- I didn't think or say that the joke was funny. It was, however, simply a joke (and not a call for statutory rape, as Palin says). Letterman apologized for it and invited her on his show. But, she'd rather continue her campaign in "the media" to blast him. It makes her look small and petty, IMO.

-- I applaud her for sticking up for her kids. Now, though, I think she is using her kids in a quest to keep her name out there ... Alaska is a long way from the mainland and press coverage isn't so easy to get up there.

-- I respect people that call it like they see it. Palin is a politician, though, and is using her image as a straight-shooter to get attention. There has to be a reason I wince whenever I see her interviewed on TV. It's not because I am uncomfortable with straight-shooters but it's because I think she's playing to an audience and propagating the "elites vs. regular Joes" mentality and using that to score political points. I listened to the VP debate on the radio coming back from my grandfather's funeral in October '08. Palin was a joke (so was Biden, really). She didn't answer many questions directly and spent much of her time spouting things (cough'maverick'cough) that weren't all that directly related to the question she was asked. Had she been a man, she would've been torn apart the next day, IMO. Palin gets a lot of credit for being "like us" and "the media" takes a lot of heat for stereotyping her as not that bright. My view is still that I know who I am and I know my intellectual capacity and I know I want someone much smarter than me to be running the country, not someone I want to hang out with on the weekend.

-- Playing the victim is something conservatives used to decry. Now, it's our calling-card. Present your ideas, don't apologize for them and be straight up about what you believe. Don't get upset when "the media" doesn't like it. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Seriously.

-- I did not vote for Obama and will not (assuming he still holds the same positions in 2012). However, the conservative movement is turning shrill and petty. If Palin is the future of the GOP, I want out (assuming she continues down this road).

-- The way so-called conservatives are acting during the Obama presidency was better the first time I saw it, when it was called Bill Clinton's presidency. (I'm not giving liberals a pass on anything, I'm just speaking about this topic right now). I like Palin as a personality and I think she would make a good mayor or representative even (probably a good TV personality, in all honesty). I just don't think she'd be a good president.

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