PEGGY NOONAN EXPLAINS WHICH SMEARS ARE ACCEPTABLE
I'm sure I don't need to tell you what Peggy Noonan finds utterly unacceptable:
...Then Mrs. Palin, and the catastrophe of the Democratic and media response to her.... Here was the central liberal mistake: They used the atom bomb just a few days in. They used it so brutally, and yet so ineptly, in a way so oblivious to the true contours of the field, that the radiation blew back over their own lines....
The atom bomb was personal and sexual perfidy, backwoods knuckle-draggin' ma and pa saying, Tell the neighbors the baby's ours. Then the ritual abuse of the 17-year-old girl. Then the rest of it -- bad mother, religious weirdo....
All of this was unacceptable to normal Americans. They experienced it as the town gossip spreading rumor and slander before the new neighbor even got to put down her bags. It offended the American sense of fairness. And -- it still lives! -- gallantry.
Most crucially, the snobbery of it, the meanness of it, reminded the entire country, for the first time in a decade, what it is they don't like about the left. Really, America had forgotten. Mr. Obama's friends reminded them. Unforgettably.
Yes -- appalling!
This, on the other hand -- we're told a mere two paragraphs later -- is just fine, and is actually a real hoot:
A certain normal-versus-sissy template was captured in a deadly email that is making the rounds. It offers two pictures. One is of a young Mrs. Palin in a short skirt, smiling at the camera as she leans against a big ol' motorcycle. The other is of a thin and careful Obama on a bicycle, in a plastic safety helmet, looking like a tony suburban professional trying to lower his carbon footprint. The headline on the email: "This settles it."
So: Questioning whether a parent who thrust her own pregnant, unmarried teenage daughter into the national spotlight (and, who told us last night that she "didn't hesitate") might deserve to have that judgment questioned -- that's unspeakably horrible, and "normal" people are repulsed. After all, the parent in question is a member of the Christian right and a Republican, and is thus incapable of moral error.
But essentially calling the Democratic candidate for president a big fag -- that's just fine. Aren't "normal" people wonderful for cleverly spreading such slurs? (When, presumably, they're not spreading the "whitey" slur and the "secret Muslim terrorist" slur and the "doesn't wear a flag pin or pledge allegiance" slur or a dozen other slurs?)
Thanks for clearing that up, Peggy.