August 30, 2008

It is really a shame that Sarah Palin, who reminds me of Donna Reed in “€œIt’s a Wonderful Life”€, has already flubbed her first test in standing up to the left. When a walking human embodiment of sheer vileness Representative Robert Wexler (of Florida or Potomac, Maryland, depending on whom Wexler is speaking to) identified Sarah with the “€œNazi sympathizer”€ Pat Buchanan, “€œsomeone with a “€œuniquely atrocious record on Israel,”€ Sarah denied the obvious, that she had been more than “€œsomeone welcoming all candidates to Wasilla [Alaska]”€ when she had received Pat while mayor of that Anchorage suburb in 2000.ben smith .
From other reports, including those of neoconservative supporters of the GOP ticket, Sarah had been a fan of Buchanan’s and may have once sported a Buchanan button. Her attempt to deny that she had ever expressed sympathy for Pat and her desire to identify herself with the campaign of (WSJ favorite) Steve Forbes in “€œthat cycle”€ sends exceedingly bad vibes to our side. The GOP vice-presidential candidate should have pointed out that there is not a shred of evidence that Pat is any kind of Nazi sympathizer. Moreover, his reference to Hitler as someone “€œwith great courage”€ came in the context of an attack on both Hitler and Mao as two of the worst tyrants in human history.

Equally relevant, the source from which these attacks issued is so flawed and hypocritical that Wexler deserves no answer at all. An inveterate AIPAC toady when he is not toadying to the most famous parishioner of black racist Jeremiah Wright, Wexler alternates between being somewhere to the left of Obama and Biden on American issues and well to the right of the Likud coalition in Israeli politics. In recent weeks he has been at the center of a heated controversy because he represents Palm Beach, Florida in the Congress but only has a residence in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he prefers living “€œbecause I can send my three children to a Jewish school there.”€ There are of course multiple Jewish schools in Southern Florida, and if the Congressperson felt so inclined, he could move into his congressional district and find suitable educational institutions there for his offspring.

On the other hand, Wexler and his geriatric, selectively leftist constituents are probably perfectly suited to each other. And they”€™re not likely to vote for anyone as traditionally Middle American in her appearance, behavior and values as Governor Palin. In all probability the ideal candidate in Wexler’s district would be a an advocate of interspecies unions and hate-speech laws directed against anyone to the right of the Democratic Party, but also someone who would favor spending American taxes to create more West Bank settlements for the Israelis. To this would have to be added advocacy of large-scale income redistribution from young working families to aged fat cats, living off the state.

But pols like Wexler are not likely to determine Sarah Palin’s future (unless she continues to panic), any more than black nationalists or Latino irredentists. When Wexler starts screaming that John McCain’s decision to select Sarah Palin as a running mate is “€œan affront to all Jewish Americans,”€ the Alaskan governor should reach for her barf bag but pretend not to notice the noise.  She would do well to ignore mouthy leftwing bigots—and to do without retreating—or hiding her Old Right republic After all, this lady has been brought forth as a candidate of the Right, and not as a second representative for Wexler’s screwball, home-away-from-home district. The Potomac, Maryland resident and representative of the Israeli far right and the American far left is already performing that function much better than Sarah Palin (or I) could ever dream of doing.  


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