by David Safier
A funny thing has happened in the post-Palin era. A number of conservative pundits are jumping ship. I guess the effete intellectuals (to use the Republican's parlance) of their party seem to think they're too good for common people like Sarah Palin, and they don't want to get their white gloves dirty with some good ol' fashioned mud slinging.
I'm not making up the "effete intellectual" in-house bashing, by the way. In anger and frustration, McCain referred to these folks disparagingly as "Georgetown cocktail party conservatives."
For me, the most astonishing ship jumper is Kathleen Parker, the well known conservative columnist whose work appears in the Star. About two weeks ago she wrote a column, "Palin Problem: She's out of her league." She was rooting for Palin with all her might, she wrote, but reached the breaking point. "My cringe reflex is exhausted."
Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there.
And she ended the column like this:
Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
Amazing! But her next column was, in its own way, even more surprising. Parker, of course, has received angry, even abusive email from the left over the years. Every columnist gets bashed by the other side, it comes with the territory. But she describes the increased level of venom she's seen in some of the "suggestions" she got after her "drop Sarah Palin" column:
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn't, I should "off" myself.
After 20 years of column writing, I'm familiar with angry mail. But the past few days have produced responses of a different order. Not just angry, but vicious and threatening.
This liberal isn't surprised to hear the right is more vicious, hateful and potentially violent than the left. But for Parker, it was a wake-up call. She even gave a shout-out to the Dixie Chicks, acknowledging the similar trashing they took.
Her most recent column expressed something less than admiration for Palin's performance at the VP debate.
The real Sarah Palin is free at last. She's not just a hockey mom after all. She's Palin the Impaler. Pit bulls beware.
And, in typical "pointy headed intellectual" fashion, arch-conservative Parker bemoans the negative turn of the McCain campaign, especially from Palin, ending the column with:
McCain may want to call off his pit bull before this war escalates.
I hope Parker has a strong enough stomach to read her email over the next few weeks.
I wonder, will she vote for McCain/Palin? If she does, you can be sure she'll be gritting her teeth and holding her nose.