Audience participation time!
One of the things that I’ve noticed about the Bush administration is the sheer vitriolic volume of personal hatred directed toward the man. Now to be fair, let’s just say I was never terribly charitable toward William Jefferson Clinton. Like a lot of other conservatives, I didn’t have much use for a serial philanderer, perjurer, and alleged rapist in the White House (and that’s aside from all the policy differences). But in eight years, I honestly never said “I hate Bill Clinton,” or “I hate Hillary Clinton.” I didn’t like his behavior, but I didn’t hate the man for it.
Well, after 2000, it’s not hard to see examples of visceral, personal hatred toward George W. Bush. Look at protests around the country–heck, around the world–and you see pictures of Bush-as-Hitler, Bush as a chimp, Bush as vampire. There’ve been movies made about his assassination, and art exhibits with pictures of guns being held to his head. Successful multi-millionaire rock frontmen (Zack de la Rocha, from Rage Against the Machine But Please Keep Buying Our Albums) have stood in front of thousands and screamed that Bush and Dick Cheney should be “tried as war criminals and hanged.”
Well, isn’t that speeeecial. And yet, at the same time, it’s almost understandable. After all, Bush, being the President, is the focal point of the rage felt by the Left over a lot of policies it’s very angry with (the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, the economy, any number of other things both real and imagined). He’s going to be the lightning rod. He’s The Man, so he has to wear the big boy clothes and take the heat, and personally, whatever his other failings–and they’re legion, believe me–I think he’s done a generally classy job in handling it.
So, that having been said, here is my question to the multitudes assembled…
…why did Sarah Palin immediately start catching the exact same hate?
From the second she showed up in St. Paul and gave that great acceptance speech, it started. The slanders that Trig Palin was actually her daughter’s baby (conceived with Todd Palin, in some of the more lurid accounts). Proven lies about rape kits and book bannings in Wasilla, spread all over the media. Feminist authors sneering that “she’s not really a woman.” Then it got really ugly. Somebody hung a Palin effigy, by the neck, from his house in West Hollywood. Obama supporters photographed themselves on Facebook proudly wearing unbleeped “SARAH IS A CUNT” T-shirts. A “revolutionary knitter” stitched a Palin sweater proclaiming “CUNTY FIRST.” And everywhere, you could hear people saying the same thing: “I hate Sarah Palin.”
Why? What has a 44-year-old mother of five, Governor of Alaska done to provoke that level of personal hatred among so many? Is it the fact she’s conservative? So? Why would leftists start slinging around that most vile of female insults, the “c-word,” at her just because she’s a conservative woman? Was it simply a knee-jerk reaction because some liberals saw that she was wildly popular among the conservative base and the polls started to move back McCain’s way after he picked her?
I have never seen a politician–regardless of party or position–get treated like this. Obama didn’t get treated like this–other than the usual Stormfront-style white-power morons, nobody on the right brought up his race because we knew it was irrelevant. Biden didn’t get treated like this, and why should he? Heck, McCain didn’t get treated like this; with very few exceptions, the Left treated him with a great deal of respect, certainly Obama himself did. But Sarah Palin? The Vice-Presidential nominee of a campaign that was a longshot from the word “go,” got a great big cooler of Haterade dumped on her head the second she walked into the Xcel Center, and it hasn’t stopped dripping since.
Help me out here, gang. I am legitimately confuzzled about this.