Sunday, July 12, 2009


I spent the weekend with people who think Sarah Palin is toast, even within her own party, so it was gratifying to read Frank Rich's column -- he understands why she's not going away:

Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind.

But I don't completely agree with him on this:

The real wave she's riding is a loud, resonant surge of resentment and victimization that's larger than issues like abortion and gay civil rights.

That resentment is in part about race, of course.... She stood for the "real America," she insisted, and the identity of the unreal America didn't have to be stated explicitly for audiences to catch her drift.

Sorry, I think that's too narrow. Is racism in the mix? Sure. But the Palin crowd has a wide range of enemies. In addition to blacks and immigrants and Muslims, the eenemy, as I keep saying, is also anyone who values sophisticated thinking, or has any of the cultural markers of a sophisticated life. If you think it might be better to drive a Prius than a pickup truck, you're the enemy. If you don't think governing effectively just requires devotion to simple home truths, primarily god and guns and hatred of government itself, you're the enemy. If you express any doubt about the notion that all that's necessary in foreign policy is to identify the evildoers and kill or otherwise crush them, you're the enemy.

Look at the graphic Tom posted earlier today, which he found at the wingnut blog American Power:

That's it. To the Palinites, the fact that she sometimes uses a gun to kill animals is enough to prove that she would be a great foreign policy president. She does this simple, elemental thing; foreign policy is simple and elemental -- and if you mock that notion, or even express skepticism, you're a hater. You're the enemy. Maybe the problem is that you're black or Hispanic or Muslim, but maybe it's just that you got a fancy-schmancy education and don't wear Carhartt. Maybe you're just an arugula-eating rootless cosmopolitan. In any case, you don't live in the "real America."

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