Conservative radio talk-show host, Chris Plante, a mainstay of 630 WMAL in Washington, D.C., recently interviewed Senator John S. McCain. During the course of their interlocution, Plante, expressing a burgeoning sentiment among right-leaning media watchers, asked McCain if he was surprised by the virulence of the attacks being heaped on his VP pick, Governor Sarah Palin.
Eschewing any pretense of chivalry, McCain claimed not to be paying too close attention to the jeers emanating from members of the Fourth Estate, who in more salutary days he could breezily refer to as his “base”, and moved on to another topic. The issue remains: there has been a marked double standard in the way the press has and is treating the two mould-breaking candidates in this year’s national election”Sarah Palin and Sen. Barak Obama.
This double standard has been separate but unequal.
Whilst the mavens of the MSM have blithely cast a blind eye on Obama’s intimate affiliations with a frightfully invidious lot”a Communist Party member (Frank Marshall Davis), terrorist (William Ayers), and convicted criminal (Tony Rezko)”reporters and left-wing bloggers have spilled much ink and cluttered the Internet with scurrilous attacks on Palin and her family. Within a New York Time‘s second of her introduction to the lower 48, libelous speculation abounded about the true parentage of Palin’s Down syndrome progeny, Trig.
And though nary a word has been uttered about Obama’s sophomoric flirtation with cocaine, Todd Palin”Alaska’s First Dude”has endured public scrutiny about a score-year-old drink-driving incident.
Furthermore, in a reflexive display of cattiness, Beltway doyennes have made light of and castigated this mother-of-five-citizen-legislator as an unfit parent. In a snippy blog that trumpeted her ignorance on the disposition of orthodox, Bible-reading Christians, the Washington Post‘s Sally Quinn gleefully prognosticated that given the revelation Bristol Palin, the Governor’s eldest daughter, was impregnated prior to marriage, social conservatives” excitement for Bristol’s mum might wane.
If anything, this circumstance has allowed Evangelical Christians and traditional Roman Catholics to queue up and applaud Bristol’s “choice” of motherhood and marriage.
The media’s obsequiousness to Obama”a furtively progressive ideologue who votes to the left of his patron and colleague Ted Kennedy, as well as the other 98 members of the upper chamber”is neither novel nor unexpected. Although, it has been so over the top that, as observed by veteran reporter Robert Novak, it exceeds the fawning lavished upon JFK in 1960.
The scorn delivered to Palin by this same body, however, has triggered an enhanced sense of solidarity in a newly-invigorated GOP, and left it scratching its head and asking, “Why such malignant invective?” Party partisans have immediately grasped for worn ripostes, both hypocritical (“Would they treat a man this way?”) and plausible (“They”re out to “Bork” her!”).
That stated, the true answer to this question has managed to elude the commentariat. Palin is reviled not so much for who she is (though that plays a consequential part of the mix), but because of what she has done”namely, that which John McCain couldn”t: solidify the base and bring angst-ridden conservatives home.
As recently as two weeks ago, a dispirited caucus within the Right”certainly not a majority within the Republican Party much less America”sulked over the prospect of nominee McCain, and made alternative plans for election day 2008. Now that has, Ã la Mrs. Palin, largely been a rebellion quelled.
Even Patrick J. Buchanan, an unflinching critic of the theatres staged in Iraq by two Bushes”41 and 43″and an undeclared leader of the remnant of paleo-conservatives, has found a muse in Gov. Palin and typed hundreds of words in her praise. In a recent commentary, Buchanan inveighs against the “feral attacks” lobbed at The Last Frontier’s chief executive.
These flattering sentiments come despite disavowals from the candidate that she was ever a Buchanan Brigade member, a 1999 photograph to the contrary notwithstanding.
More: the white sisterhood has rallied behind Palin. Denied their heroine Hillary by the Windy City community organizer, the McCain ticket, with Palin in tow, shows a 20-point upswing among white female voters, now outdistancing Obama by double digits.
Prior to the Palin announcement and her subsequent stellar performances, McCain seemed doomed to a hapless trouncing. Now, thanks to his enlistment of The Barracuda, he has made the “08 campaign a real horserace.
No wonder McCain’s former friends with press badges view Gov. Palin with such unbridled scorn.
Francisco Uribe is a conservative activist, fund-raiser and writer residing in Falls Church, Virginia.