Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

So many articles about Sarah Palin seem to suggest that she is acting on her own. I, for one, would love to know more about the people and organizations helping to plot her course.

Deborah Warner

Cheverly, Md

Nov 25 2009 - 10:29am

Web Letter

Sarah Palin is indeed the poster child for the latest incarnation of the right wing: loud but under-informed, nonsensically paranoid, irrationally hyper-sensitive, and oh so angry. However, Kim and Reed hit the nail on the head when they write that "it's no laughing matter when serious debate is distorted by the wild misinformation she feeds to her increasingly paranoid base." She and others of this ilk have succeeded in focusing their misguided bile into a populist rhethoric that is successfully firing up the true believers on the extreme right as well as bringing her to the attention of the disaffected but still uninitiated middle. It is true she demonstrates herself to be not much more than a mental midget, but her brand of fiery down-home corn pone is being swallowed whole by an America that is itself sadly under-informed and propagandized into adopting a viewpoint in direct conflict with its own better self-interest.

It is hard to dismiss her as a force, and I believe that it to be extremely unwise to do so. While it may be easy to contemplate writing her off--as it is easy to think about dismissing fellow political mediocrities like Michele Bachman, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham--it is difficult to actually do so when her particular brand of poison has proved to be so easy for her followers to swallow. Unfortunately, she is influential and will continue to be so for at least the foreseeable future. It may seem sexist to mention that she possesses natural good looks and an almost "girl-next-door" sexuality that adds to her overall appeal with the general populace. This ensures that she will capture media attention that will superficially focus on her attractiveness and her seemingly innocent down-home demeanor while allowing her to continue to occupy her soapbox. Maybe it is not a stretch to say that this is an intelligent calculation on her part.

The only hope is to continue to focus attention on what she says and hope that she continues to hang herself with her own rope when she is forced into a serious debate (she has thus far succeeded in avoiding any full-blown press conferences or serious journalistic inquiries--the softballs from Gibson and Couric don't really count). She must continually be called to the carpet to support her more outlandish remarks with facts (much as her equally attractive but much more vapid counterpart Betsy McCaughey has been forced to do). Furthermore, it will be a future necessity to challenge her to participate in a serious Q&A forum where she can be pressed into responding to tough questions with genuine answers devoid of the winks and evasive folk-isms that she has (rather skillfully) used in the past.

Please keep hitting her with the journalistic firehose; sometimes it takes a lot of water to flush out a rat.

Bill Wallberg

Southington, CT

Nov 13 2009 - 5:02pm

Web Letter

I love how the current administration is taking this great nation into the toilet with its inexperience and the liberal media can still obsess over and demean Sarah Palin, who holds no government position.

Jon Skar

Chicago, Il

Nov 13 2009 - 12:12pm

Web Letter

So let's take stock. Obama said that if his stimulus package passed, unemployment would not go above 8 percent. Well, the stimulus passed...and unemployment is substantially above 8 percent. Whoops!

Obama stated that Afghanistan is a war of necessity and he put General McChrystal in place to fight it. But guess what? He doesn't listen to General McChrystal. Whoops!

And then we have H.R. 3200, a healthcare bill that's as elephantine as it is intrusive, and neither Obama nor many in the House of Representatives have read the 1,990-page monstrosity. Whoops!

And what of Obama's outreach to Muslims? No results. And what about his engagement with Iran? No results. Whoops!

But, yeah, keep foaming with Palin Derangement Syndrome. Heaven forbid you should write about something meaningful.

Jack Davis

Phoenix, AZ

Nov 13 2009 - 10:16am

Web Letter

I keep hoping that Ms. Palin's appeal is minimal and only amplified by recent press coverage. However, too many conversations with people and her durability indicate that her non-substantive narrative has appeal. Our democracy requires educated, well informed and active citizens. That Ms. Palin attracts such a following scares me, and I start wondering if we should reconsider universal adult suffrage.

Peter A. Quilici

Skokie, IL

Nov 13 2009 - 9:19am

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