Saturday, February 20, 2010

Joseph O. Patton: Don’t cry for me, Sarah Palin

  Typically I can deal with any situation by mucking it up with some humor. It simply makes everything more palatable. But I can no longer suffer the incessant, hypocritical whining of Sarah Palin.

  I supposed it started with the fabricated “sexism” issue. Running as the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 2008, every time any well-meaning citizen, media pundit or damn near anyone brave enough to open their mouth, questioned any of her positions on various issues or dared to share even the most innocuous observation of her, she and her cohorts all joined hands, flashed their fangs and started screaming that everyone under the sun was being “sexist” towards her.

  Asked a question about her view of the role of the vice president - sexist! Asked where she attended school - sexist! Asked about her tenure as governor of Alaska (all two and a half years of it) - sexist! Asked what she had for breakfast - sexist!

  It was absurd… and sadly no one had the backbone to admit that playing the “sexist” card was a not-so-subtle way to cover for the fact that she’s dumb as a rock. (Dumb knows no gender, so, no, I’m not being sexist.) Every time Palin uttered a word on the campaign trail - at least anything beyond simplistic, cliché slogans - she revealed that she lacked even a rudimentary understanding of the federal government.

  Such shameless, hollow cries of sexism also showcased a painfully obvious double standard among conservatives. After all, these were the same people who were so vicious, cut-throat, insulting and sexist toward Hillary Clinton, from the moment her husband announced he was running for president to well… still. They all but dragged her into the town square and scalped her, complete with school boy laughter mocking and scornful of the fact that she is an intelligent, hard-working, self-made woman. Funny how their tune has changed when it comes to women in high places, don‘t ya think?

  Palin even hand-delivered the most notorious example of her own hypocrisy at the recent tea-bagging convention. Even as she taunted the leader of the free world for using a teleprompter, she was reading from a cheat sheet she had scribbled on her hand. It’s the equivalent of a raging alcoholic, staggering drunk and cross-eyed, scolding you for having a beer while you watch the Super Bowl.

  And in Palin’s latest episode of whining, she is lashing out at a fictional character with Down Syndrome on the cartoon TV program “Family Guy.” It’s unfortunate that the Alaskan school system failed to educate Palin about a thing called “satire.” And I’m not sure how arguing with a fictional character will get you anywhere, but she has a right I guess….

  On a related note, why do conservatives become inflamed, scream to the heavens and start brandishing toxic levels of moral outrage over things like cartoon characters or gay people having the nerve to desire being treated equally under the law, but when it comes to things like their own neighbors, co-workers and family members going bankrupt or even dying for a lack of medical care in the most advanced nation under the sun, they don’t even bat an eye?

  I can certainly understand and sympathize with those who have well-meaning and deep-felt sensitivities when it comes to issues such as disabilities. But the actress who provided the voice for the character - Andrea Fay Friedman - actually has Down Syndrome and essentially instructed Palin to get a sense of humor in a recent interview, referring to the former governor‘s overblown, misguided and overly dramatic reaction to the episode. Also, Friedman was assisted in landing the role by the Down Syndrome Association of L.A. It should also be noted that the character was in no way treated in some kind of ridiculing or stereotypical way. For those of you unfamiliar with Friedman, she has acting credits going back to 1992 when she played the role of Amanda on the series “Life Goes On” and most recently appeared on “Saving Grace.”

  But the issue to me is that Sarah Palin is never concerned with any issue unless it pertains to her. After all, her own conservative cohorts were the very ones who so ruthlessly and callously ridiculed a young Chelsea Clinton, despite the fact that Bill and Hillary went through every possible motion to keep her out of the spotlight… unlike Sarah Palin who parades her family around like show dogs whenever a camera is rolling. Do you really think Palin stood up to defend the likes of Chelsea Clinton? Do you think she chastised her conservative buddies for such behavior? In Sarah Palin’s self-absorbed mind, nothing is offensive unless it happens to touch her directly, even when her ire is misguided and unjustified.

  Palin - by her own hand - so forcefully and without apology thrust her family members into the media spotlight. She seemed not at all phased by shallowly using her loved ones as political chips in a poker game… as furniture to pretty-up her image. As Friedman alluded to, Palin carried her son Trig around “like a loaf of French bread” in an attempt to get “sympathy and votes.“ And yet, even as she continued to do so, Palin threw her claws all over anyone and everyone who dared to even mention their names, much less make a negative statement about any of them or even pose a valid question.

  Aside: And to those of you who are already into the third page of your hate mail draft to me, please consider that this isn’t about Palin’s gender, party affiliation or even her world view. It’s simply an issue of her thinking she’s above everyone, that her thoughts, positions and even family members are above the rest of us; that she can attack and belittle others with impunity and no apology yet expect the rest of us to treat her with the tender touch of a maternity ward nurse. Having said that…

  Some might characterize Palin’s behavior as passive-aggressive. I prefer to call it annoying and hypocritical as hell. So to Mrs. Palin, I offer the following:

-Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. When you constantly attack others, questioning their patriotism - insulting, belittling and antagonizing them - then you should expect similar treatment to come back your way.

-You’re not some victim so quit with the sniveling and crying martyr routine. You chose a public life and there is a set of pros and cons inherent to that. When you speak out saying stupid things and trying to undermine and smear everyone around you, chances are they’re going to respond in a less than positive way.

-You’re no more special than anyone else on this earth, nor is your family. You are not above criticism or questioning. The world does not revolve around you… otherwise, we’d all be able to see Russia from our front porch. Get the hell over yourself please.

  And if any of you are still reading at this point, I’d like to state sincerely that I don’t want Sarah Palin to fail. I simply want her to remember that she isn’t some omnipotent, flawless God’s gift to American politics and that she’s no better than the rest of us. In fact, I don’t even want to see her fall off her high horse… but I guarantee if she does, Palin will find a way to blame Barack Obama or the “liberal media” for it.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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