Last week, I asked if you were wondering when Sarah Palin’s fifteen minutes of fame were coming to an end. Regretfully, it looks like we have a long wait. During the 2008 election, Palin was a source of great amusement to me: using her mentally handicapped son as a prop to illustrate her extreme anti-abortion views, proudly proclaiming she could see Russia from her house and the general lack of worldliness and intelligence she displayed in debates and interviews. I assumed after the McCain-Palin defeat in November, she would retreat to her position as governor of a sparsely populated state, and resume her normal activities of aerial hunting, salmon canning and banning library books.
Boy, was I in for a shock. Since the Republican defeat of a year and a half ago, Palin resigned her position as governor, “wrote” a “book” and has generally caused mayhem on the political scene. When I listened to an NPR report this week, I learned that, while “…only 37 percent of Americans say they have a favorable impression of Palin. But among Republicans, that number jumps to 66 percent.” What? As many as thirty-seven percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Palin?
You have probably noticed this was a big week for female candidates. At least highly conservative Republican female candidates. To quote NPR once more, “Last month, Palin gave her seal of approval to South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley. At a rally in Columbia, Palin said she came to give a “shout-out to a strong pro-family, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-development, conservative reformer.”
I don’t have the energy to point out the contradictions between being “pro-life” and “pro-gun.” Nor do I think the majority of our readers need me to do so. And I can’t get even get started on people who call Palin, a woman who is against abortion even in cases of rape and who, as mayor of Wasilla, made victims of sexual assault pay for their own rape kits, a “feminist.”
As Undead Molly pointed out in her Logic Fallacy Bingo post, we ignore idiots at our own peril. People laughed at Bush II. People laughed at Reagan. Both were two-term presidents. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Were she alive today, Mead might amend that to say “Never doubt that a small group of ill-informed, bigoted citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”