Palin vs Press Won't End Well – UPDATED

You know what? I don’t like game-players, I just don’t. I especially don’t like them in politics, which is why I like so few politicians, any more.

And it seems to me that Sarah Palin is going out of her way to play a game, here, and I can’t say I’m admiring it. I know some do. I know some feel that the press has treated Palin very badly, and so she’s entitled to treat them badly, too.

Well, the press has treated her badly, even hatefully and I’m the first one to say it. They savaged her mercilessly when she joined McCain’s campaign in 2008; they’ve subjected her to every media double-standard they could; they’ve called her names; they’ve gone after her kids; they’ve gone through her garbage, even when they couldn’t be bothered looking into, say, stories about John Edwards. They tried to blame her for the violent actions of a madman.

There is no doubt that the press — no matter how they try to spin it or deny it — has treated Sarah Palin with the utmost disdain and shabbiness. Right now, there are (supposedly) hundreds of reporters covering her, following her bus; we all know that there really isn’t much to cover right now, but they’re hoping for a flub.

Palin is ducking and dodging them, not telling them where she’s going; she’s playing cat-and-mouse. And some people like it, admire it; they’re diverted by it.

Well…Sorry…I’m not. I think what she’s doing now seems childish and spiteful, and frankly if I want to vote for childishness and spitefulness in 2012, I can vote for Barack Obama.

Palin is a Christian, and part of our Christian adventure — and it is admittedly a hard part of it, sometimes — is to respect the inherent human dignity in other people, even if (and here’s where the rubber meets the road for the Christian) those same people are incapable of respecting the inherent dignity in you. To make buffoons of the press by walking out the front door while they’re waiting out the back is one thing — that can, once in a while, even seem like a merry, Beatlesque trick — to put reporters in a position where they’re not sure where they’re heading, when they have equipment and travel considerations as well, becomes a bit more risky. Lugging equipment into unplanned territory can invite real problems and even be dangerous. Palin — Chris Matthews’ opinion to the contrary — is not stupid. She is savvy enough to know all of this. And she is Christian enough to know that playing fast-and-lose with people, especially when it’s just to get a little of your own, back, is a step too far. And it’s small.

Palin has gone through the trouble of getting her big bus going; she’s touring and meeting people (including “the Donald” gag me) — all of that is meant to attract attention, get people talking, generate a buzz, and a bit of mystery; “is she or isn’t she”? If you are doing all of that work to direct the cameras your way, only to slap at the press for trying to focus, then you’re behaving like a tease. There’s a line, and for me Sarah Palin is coming close to crossing it.

Nobody likes a tease. Including, I think, voters.

So, no, I don’t find this latest Palin escapade all that endearing. In fact, were I an editor in the mainstream press, I’d pull my reporters off the story of her latest bus tour, and say “adios.” The woman doesn’t want press coverage, don’t give her press coverage. Period.

This battle between Palin and the press is not going to end well. The media are not going to stop being who and what they are — expedient, exploitative, energetic and constantly hungry, and often biased, sometimes savagely so. So Palin — whether she likes it or not, whether her fans like it or not — is going to have to take the high road, before someone gets hurt.

She’s a natural with many strengths, but she is either getting some very bad advice, right now, or Sarah Palin simply hasn’t yet learned how to rise above, with grace.

We need grace in our leadership. It sucks not having it now. I want it back.

Sorry, but do you want a sensation and a celebrity or do you want a president? This is not presidential behavior.

My dear Blogfather
Ed Morrissey disagrees with me, as does Allahpundit, and I have gotten a couple of emails and tweets from folks sayinig this is just Palin’s way of “retraining the media to treat her right.”

Well, Okay. If that’s what she’s doing, I’ve never had a problem admitting I’m wrong, but are you sure? We’ll have to watch.

If she succeeds at it, I’ll take back every word I wrote. In fact, if she does manage to “retrain the press” — REALLY does it, not some temporary measure — I’ll even vote for her. How’s that?

I believe Michelle Malkin makes some excellent points in this piece, but note that Palin has essentially admitted she’s that she’s playing a game. The press is stupid enough to be played. But I still don’t know if I like it — from the point of view of a Christian, I don’t know if I like it. Manipulation is still manipulation. As I said in the update above, we’ll see. I don’t mind being wrong. This might be the most brilliant move a pol every played on the press. But I am not ready to say that. And to all of you folks who simply can’t stand that I don’t immediately support every move Palin makes, and who are calling me a “hater” please read the links. I defend her — quite vociferously — and praise her more than you seem to realize.

THIS, of course is just stupid

UPDATE IV: The Rickster disagrees with me. Not the first time! :-)

UPDATE V: Andrew Malcolm is persuasive!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • newton

    “As I’ve said before, she certainly IS in their heads”

    I’ve said some time ago that, if heads and minds were actual real estate, Sarah Palin would be the richest “mind-owner” in the country!

    Does Mitt Romney inspire a caravan of press to follow him relentlessly like hungry hound dogs? Newt? Pawlenty? Etc.? We all know the answer.

    The press used catnip to get Socks out of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and within camera range of photographers. And we all know good ole’ Bill Clinton would hog the cameras at every single opportunity. He gave them what they wanted, because HE KNEW they would do his bidding every single time. So does Obama.

    Sarah Palin is more like the white tigers at the Houston Aquarium (!): they don’t take no silly catnip! (One of them likes Chanel No. 5. instead.) They’re absolutely stunning felines, yet unreachable by a transparent, soundproof wall. They will do their own bidding, and no one else’. You can call them a “nice kitty”, yet know that they would scratch you into your innards and bleed you to death if you give them a false impression or a sudden movement.

    She would rather have them follow her because they know she’s such a rare breed. And follow her they will, until she, like the white tiger, finds the right moment… “Come closer, my dinner, come closer…”

    She owes the press nothing but contempt – which they have earned in spades after spades. If they want to run after her like the paparazzi followed Princess Diana until the night of her death, fine with her. But they can’t complain if they get in trouble because of it.

  • Jen

    Elizabeth, I wholeheartedly agree with you and bless you for saying it. I made that very remark to my husband last night, that this isn’t Presidential behavior, but celebrity behavior. NO thanks! I want a real statesman. Dignity, grace, restraint, poise, and quiet authority. That is not how Palin is acting these days. She’s getting rather annoying if you ask me.

  • Kt

    Wow, i had to stop reading after your absurd claim that you can “tune out” Sarah Palin “very easily”! You write snooty posts about her with what is becoming predictable regularity. YOU cant stop writing about her. Until you come to grips with this you will continue to embarrass yourself with absurd claims.

    [Really? I go weeks, sometimes months, without writing about Palin, so I can demonstrably stop writing about her. I also write unsnooty posts praising her with as much regularity as I do questioning her. I'm not embarrassed. My archives back me up. -admin]

  • Kt

    Since we are discussing what a good Christian attitude in the realm of politics might be, how about taking umbrage at the fact that the currency is being trashed, that our borders are zones permitting every sort of lawlessness, that people are losing jobs and livelihoods…oh, but the bad news gets so boring and the gossipy stuff is so much more fun….

  • Brother Jeff

    I love what she’s doing. Go Sarah. Screw the biased Obama-media. We are very close to having an unofficial state media now and it’s scary. They deserve to be left in the dark.

  • Lauderdale Vet

    I haven’t formed a solid opinion yet. It makes me want to pay attention though; it challenges me to consider and reconsider.

    I agree with “reg”, who said that this is likely a test run. It could also be a feint, building reflexes to exploit later, or both, really. Worst case scenario: more brand recognition and influence to …well, influence things. She seems genuine to me, so I’m fine with that.

    I also agree with “Mike”, who spoke of not giving enemies unlimited free shots, and that the media has been unabashedly out to destroy her.

    I’m waiting to see how it pans out before I judge her, if I judge her. I might learn a thing or two.

  • Trudy

    Right – a wealthy American may only travel in small inconspicuous vehicles or promote American history and accomplishments if they have given the political press their itinerary.

    Now where in the Bible is that “Thou Shalt” contained?

    [Really, Trudy, is that what I said? And does it have to be biblical to be valid? _admin]

  • justamouse

    My problem with Sarah P is that’s she’s never reacted with grace and dignity, always spite and childishness. This is just further proof.

    Some of the stuff she says is right, but that doesn’t mean I want her in office.

  • craig

    Jen, I’ll agree Palin has not been quiet nor restrained of late, but I would award her points for dignity, grace, and poise.

    It’s very easy for decorum to be confused with statesmanship, and cowardice to be confused with high-mindedness. It’s the very thing Jeremiah scorned about those people who cry “peace, peace” when there is no peace. Washington Beltway Republicans have continually ceded ground in all spheres — fiscal, social, and constitutional alike — precisely because their love of respectability has trumped commitment to principle. When the left touts “by any means necessary” and redefines “bipartisanship” as capitulation to leftist premises, it’s time to stop giving them a heckler’s veto.

  • Momma Kyle

    Ronald Regan also went directly to the American people, bypassing the press–this is what I see here.

    At the moment, Palin is a private citizen and has no obligation to the the press to report her movements. As for the “equiptment and travel concerns” if the press CHOOSES to follow her, the onus is on them, not her.

    Geez Louise—how hard is it to follow a brightly painted bus? What kind of crackerjack reporters do we have anyway that this is just too hard for them?

    Really am struggling with the notion that there is a Christian obligation for Palin to report her itinery to the press. By that logic, Princess Diana, who was also a Christian, would have had to report her daily adgenda to the press—-just because someone wants to do a story on you does not create a Christian obligation on your part to enable them.

  • Brother Jeff

    I agree Momma. The whining and kvetching from the liberal press is hilarious. Do you think their perma-idols Woodward and Bernstein acted this way in the 70s? Waaaaa why won’t Nixon just answer our questions!!! No fair!!!


    On American Idol …
    where viewers disregarded the exhortations of entertainment and media elites and chose instead down-home over Hollywood, and country over anything and everything our cultural elites pushed at them.

    WE (SARAH) choose not to follow their (LSM) rules!

    WHO gave them the rights to make the RULES anyway?

  • Kathteach

    Consider this Elizabeth. Karl Rove has said many times that “Sarah Palin does not think the rules apply to her”. You – in effect – have very well stated that you agree with him. You somehow think there are these kind of “politician rules” that THEY (whoever the brave among us are to be) must follow.

    It is so interesting to me that you as a woman and mother and Christian and Catholic cannot appreciate the beauty of Sarah’s current road trip. Somehow – your logic and conformity to those “rules” that Karl Rove speaks of fail you here.

    Sarah is breaking the rules. Yes. And this is what we need most desperately in all walks of our current culture – social, economic, political, religious.

    How do Catholics break the “rules” (the socially constructed post modern relativistic rules) – we support our church, long for clarity (maybe the Latin Mass clarity of the pre-1960 modernization), we fight against sophism and false prophets in our church who espouse philosophies that allow abortion and chaos in our social strata that redistributes wealth but destroys free enterprise and ownership in society.

    You are not clear – Elizabeth – in your ruminating about Sarah. You have issues with her – you always have. But between you and me – I know God loves someone who is willing to go into the temple and tear down the rules of false prophets.

    Rethink Sarah. She is the real deal. Thank God we have her in this wasteland of American dimunition.

    [Gosh, I thought in my updates and all these follow up comments I was pretty clear: I am skeptical but willing to be persuaded. I admire much about her, and dare to question her at times. My daring to question really bothers some. I can't help that. I have not "always" had issues with Palin -- as I said earlier, I predicted McCain would choose her and supported it before most ppl even knew who she was. I simply don't see everything she does, at every moment, to be perfect, wonderful and beyond questioning. And by the way, I NEVER listen to Karl Rove. Ever. Never have. Never would. You'll have to find a different way to cast aspersions on my motives - admin]

  • Scomo

    Excuse me,
    Did I miss the part in The Bible where it says that you need to inform the press where your next pee-stop is? Palin is actually showing a good example of grace to what for 3 years has been her enemy.

  • Kathteach

    Elizabeth – It is not that you dare to question. It is that you clearly – very clearly – showed an unusual concern for the press and their inability to follow her and you clearly placed the blame on her by calling it “her gaming”.

    You want to know what I think her marvelous bus tour is about – a test run. What she is doing now with her mom and dad and kids and loyal staff on the bus is to see the lower 48 – which in Alaska is a BIG concept because Alaska is so not like the rest of the USA. She is testing the waters. She is showing the most important people in her life what a presidential campaign would be like and feel like (and these most important people are her kids and family members).

    This is all that her road trip is. She could care less about the press on this trip. And nor should she. She is looking at her darling and loved family and asking them “Are you ready for this for about a year”?

    Can’t you see this as a mom? This is why she connects so powerfully with moms and dads across America. We get this.

    And we are not the rabid supporters you cringe at in your post. I have never sent her a dollar and I never go on her websites. I am not a cultish follower. Yet you accused anyone who supports her as being such a cultish “blinded” follower. Re-read your post. And re-read many others concerning Sarah. As a writer, you ought to be able to examine your built in bias against her.

    You have never supported the idea of Sarah Palin let alone the actual candidate.

    It’s actually been an issue I have had with you since Sarah hit the American scene.

    ["You have never supported the idea of Sarah Palin let alone the actual candidate."

    So, you are not a "rabid" supporter, but you have had an "issue" with me about Sarah "since she hit the American scene". Really? Please check my archives and you'll see that I predicted McCain selecting her the day before he did, and I said it was a great choice, b/c she had many strengths she would bring to the ticket. I ballyhoo'ed Sarah, and even linked to Sarah Merchandise (buttons with lipstick, etc). I called her "a natural" and said she was "alive" and "real" -- I wrote a glowing review of her convention speech and have repeatedly -- and in very sharp terms -- hammered the media about the way they have treated her, and her children. I cheered her energy knowledge and the energy deal she cut while governor. I defended her when she left the office, not because I liked that she did it, but because I found it understandable. So, I don't know how you've had an "issue" with me "since Sarah hit the American scene." Unless you've only ever read the times I've dared to question her.

    But I'm going to reserve my right to question her. I'm sorry it's not enough for people that I can be persuaded (and am actually coming around to some of these arguments but not, sorry, the one you're making) but I have never been a "fall in line" sort of girl, and I'm not going to start now.

    And no, I don't relate to her "as a mother." I don't relate to her "as a woman." As far as I am concerned, over-identifying with any candidate is dangerous. It's like suggesting to an African American, that he/she MUST relate to Obama as an African American, or saying to me that I should relate to Nancy Pelosi as "a Catholic" or "a woman." Screw that, says I! :-) I look at the person, I look at the behavior, and I take the whole thing into consideration.

    Your claim to have an "issue" with me "since Sarah came on the American scene" seems demonstrably odd to me. Why am I not allowed to question? -admin]

  • Kathteach

    OK Elizabeth – answer this one question in you normally beautifully constructed way (I am a major fan of your writing so step up) – why do you care at all about the press in its current relationship with Sarah and her gaming? What is your big concern with her alleged manipulation?

    [Okay, but this is going to be my last-hurrah, because I'm starting to repeat myself, which I don't really have TIME to do, and also it's beginning to bore me:

    She's essentially said it's a game, in fact, I saw her a little bit ago discussing it on (CNN, I think?) and she had a gleam in her eye about how the press will have to step up, so of course this is intentional, and yes, it's a manipulation. It's (as I said in my piece) right there with a woman dressing in a way calculated to attract as much attention as possible and then telling the men that she doesn't understand why they're looking, but she's not responsible for it. The press are who they are; they're going to look. That's a game. My "big concern" with her "alleged manipulation" (and even Malkin and Andrew Malcolm (both of whom I respect) are agreeing that she IS manipulating them; they like it) my "issue" is that (as I have said ad nauseam, now -- why don't you just read the post and thread?) is that I'm sick of gaming and I'm sick of manipulation, and I DO think that when you've enticed the press (and she has, again, she's not riding an indescript bus, she's playing a game) then whether it's "in the bible" (as some are demanding to know) or not, she has a responsibility: she has created a situation where she EXPECTS to be followed. She certainly does not have to tell the press "where she is going to stop to pee" (really you guys!) but it's plain courtesy to tell these people you've enticing whether or not they should expect areas to be camera-able and more. From what I saw on the news, just now, though, some of the reporters seem to be enjoying this, so who own concerns may be for naught. As I have said -- again ad nauseam -- I was always willing to be persuaded that this is clever and not dangerous. I never mind admitting I am wrong. I ALWAYS mind being told I mustn't question.]

    Please articulate that “gaming” and “manipulation” stuff. And also – regarding you NEVER ever hearing Karl Rove – are you Amish? Do yo never watch Fox News? Is this like an announcement on your behalf that you never listen to the guru on Fox? It is silly to say you never hear of Karl Rove unless you are…..Amish or something non-digital.

    [Go re-read me, please. I NEVER said I have never heard of Karl Rove. I said I never. listened. to him. Not a fan. No, I don't watch Fox News, and that not some "announcement" on my behalf that I never listen to "the guru on FOX" (who is that?). I don't watch FOX or ANY news with any regularity. Occasionally (like just now when I flicked on the tv to hear about the weather in NYC) I turn the tv on, but more often, unless it's a BIG breaking story, like a tsunami, I don't bother watching ANY tv news because I find it all as penetrating as a prop knife. Now I am beginning to wonder if there is a reading comprehension issue, here, b/c if you are the "regular reader" you say you are, then you'd KNOW all of this. It's not exactly news.]

    So you ever re-read what you write? I can give you fifteen examples of your “inside the Beltway” type of hedging on Palin if you want to go there. You are a conformist – Elizabeth – in many ways. I am too so I understand. But you do seem to have some kind of template to fit people in – politicians, church leaders, bloggers, philosophers, popes…..and I understand that. WE have been trained – those of us in our fifties or beyond – to fit things into templates. Our cognitive training.

    [I can give you a lot more than 15 examples where I have vociferously defended or praised her. I'm as far away from "inside the beltway" as one can get -- you credit me with too much of something, I think. I may be a "conformist" in many ways -- all of us are in some -- but I hold with no political party and I won't stand for being told what to think. But you are completely entitled to believe as you wish and to your opinions. And I hope you'll agree I'm entitled to mine.]

    But what do we do in a world where the templates have been shattered in spite of our best efforts to maintain them? This is my biggest challenge in life -and I suspect it is yours as well. I am not fighting you here – I adore you and read you daily for years.

    [You cannot possibly adore me -- I am not adorable -- or have read me daily for years, if you don't believe that I don't watch FOX news. Sorry. I am not implying you're a liar at all. I just think you don't read me as much as you think you do. Which is something I understand. I often find my days speed buy like that.]

    I think what Sarah offers is a breakout from the tyranny of a template of any kind. And this is as refreshing as spring after a Wisconsin winter.

    It is this Sarah thing that I have to speak out to you about.
    You do not see her or analyze her in any kind of consistently Catholic point of view – try as hard as you might. You need to print out every thing you have ever written about Sarah and instead of seeing the ways you have hedged with “lukewarm or cautious support” and see the ways you have outlined her failings.

    [I am not going to print out everything I've ever written about Palin and analyze it or try to conflate it or filter it through my Catholicism, thanks. A) I don't have time, B) I'm not that interested or fixated on her C) I know who I am, I know what I have criticized in Plain, what I've questioned and what I've praised and admired. I HAVE become "lukewarm" over time (or, as I prefer, agnostic) but that is not the same as "hating." I am still curious though (and no one will answer this for me) why I am not allowed to stand on the sidelines and watch, and praise what I admire and question what I don't understand and criticize what I don't like, and remain agnostic -- why I must either confess a love for Palin at her altar or confess a hate. I feel neither at this point. I won't confess to something I don't feel. For that matter why do YOU fixate on my "outlining her failings" (that's YOUR word, not mine) and not on all the times I've praised and defended her. You say you're not a "rabid" fan, but that seems obsessive to me]

    Stop saying things and then pretending you said other things.

    [I don't say things and then pretend I've said other things. I speak as I find. You just seem unable to accept that somethings I like, and some things I don't like. Can't help that.]

    And again – I am actually not even willing to vote for a Palin Presidency – so there. But I have way better reasons that yours – calling her a “gamer” and “player” and “non-Christian manipulator”. That was just bad logic and I called you out on it.

    [I don't believe for a second that you're not willing to vote for a Palin Is that how we talk to people we "adore?"). But I think it's remarkable that you've put up this tireless defense of someone you're "not even willing to vote for" while I have stated categorically and with utter seriousness that if she tames the hyenas of the press, I WILL vote for her. And I'm not going to defend the "bad logic" of my words. I've explained them enough. Interpret as you like.]

    Sorry but not really ;-) Still love you and your entire blog beyond Sarah. Will remain faithful to your blog as I have been for almost five years. You are awesome and wonderful on so many levels……..thanks for all you do with your ministry.

    ["Sorry but not really" is the most honest thing you've said. You DON'T love me or my blog, but that's okay; my blog -- like my guts, which someone else just emailed to me they hate -- are not here for you to love. They're here for you to read if you want, and you can take or leave what I say. I am not awesome or wonderful. I am cantankerous and argumentative. But I've almost enjoyed this, and I DONE. My last response. Have a good one -admin]

  • JC

    I’m fairly neutral on Sarah myself, but I have to admit to being thoroughly entertained by the bus tour and the “Keystone Cops” following her around, crying foul because she doesn’t do what other “political candidates” do…namely suck up.
    As I was reading this article and comments, I had to wonder what would have happened if Sarah had tried to take a “normal” family vacation and visit these sights in an umarked van? Surely the speculation as to her “true motives” would not be much different than it is now, eh?
    I don’t think her actions are either childish or spiteful. I think it’s more along the lines of “if given lemons, make lemonade,” type of thinking: knowing that the press is bound to follow her and report on her trip, why not make it really big and spectacular?

    [Absolutely not. A private vacation in an unmarked, unremarkable bus? Then she'd have every right to say the press is being ridiculous. -admin]

  • momor

    It matters not to me one whit whether Palin is playing a dishonest game or acting incredibly saavy. I will never vote for her and it has nothing to do with her politics.

    It has to do with her personally. She is a quitter and a celebrity and from all accounts she lives a very chaotic (and shallow?) life running from one ‘project’ to the next, trying to remain constantly in the public eye. Her oldest daughter certainly seems to be following in her footsteps.

    I will not vote for someone for president who I think will embarrass America – most definitely not for our first woman president! At least I know that upfront about Palin which is something to be grateful for, I suppose.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    JC, the problem with Sarah is, she’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

    If she had taken a private vacation in an unmarked, unremarkable bus, the press would be complaining that she was refusing to meet with them, and trying to hide—and they’d still demand to know her itinerary. If she stopped and talked to them, as much as they demand, they’d start churning out the usual stories about how: 1. Trig is the Anti-christ. 2. Sarah is stupid. 3. Sarah herself is the Anti-christ. 4. She shoots poor defenseless polar bears, turkeys, deer, etc., etc., etc. (Fill in the blank.)

    And, of course, as someone else said, it’s certain the SEIU, Code Pink and various assorted nut jobs would be there, Johnny on the spot, wailing, pounding drums, threatening her children, etc., etc., etc.

    Considering that the press hounded her out of office, and allowed Andrew Sullivan to blat on and on about all sorts of disgusting theories about her private life and various pundits stated their desire to kill and/or sexually assault her. . . I’m honestly not sure what, at this point, she really owes the press. If she opens up to them, they savage her. Maybe it is manipulation—to some extent—to keep them at arm’s length, but it also seems to be the most practical way to deal with them, at this point. They’re not honest, and they’ve never treated her fairly.

    It also doesn’t seem to me to be something so horrible that she’s un-christian, and horribly manipulative, for doing so; all politicians manipulate the press, either for publicity, or to keep them at arm’s length, for whatever reason.

    [I am done responding to these, but I just have to say this: Please don't put words in my mouth. I NEVER called her "unChristian." I said she IS Christian, and as a Christians we (note the plural) have a duty to think about possible repercussions of our actions. In fact, my exact words were:

    Palin is a Christian, and part of our Christian adventure — and it is admittedly a hard part of it, sometimes — is to respect the inherent human dignity in other people, even if (and here’s where the rubber meets the road for the Christian) those same people are incapable of respecting the inherent dignity in you. To make buffoons of the press by walking out the front door while they’re waiting out the back is one thing — that can, once in a while, even seem like a merry, Beatlesque trick — to put reporters in a position where they’re not sure where they’re heading, when they have equipment and travel considerations as well, becomes a bit more risky. Lugging equipment into unplanned territory can invite real problems and even be dangerous. Palin — Chris Matthews’ opinion to the contrary — is not stupid. She is savvy enough to know all of this. And she is Christian enough to know that playing fast-and-lose with people, especially when it’s just to get a little of your own, back, is a step too far. And it’s small.

    Now, you can argue that point, you can talk about how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but PLEASE do not misquote me to the degree that people think I called her "unChristian." I did not. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, you are saying that she’s playing fast and loose with the press, and that, as a Christian, she should know better than to get some of her own back, and that her doing so is just “small,” and a “Step too far.” So, this does sound as if you’re criticizing her behavior as a Christian, and implying she falls short of mark vis-a-vis Christian ethics—in short, not behaving as a Christian should.


    I’ve already given my reasons as to why such behavior could be justified, and may not really be all that heinous, given the past behavior of the press, and the fact that the safety of the press is the responsibility of their employers, not the subjects they’re pursuing. (Othewise, celebrities would be obligated to pose constantly for paparazi, and never try to get away from them.)

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.

    [I don't mind disagreeing, but you should know by now that I am very careful with my words. If I meant to call her "unChristian" I'd have said it. -admin]

  • brother jeff

    Apart from her politics which i share, i think the catholic press is and has been weirdly laconic in praising her moral courage in bringing Trig into the world. You have the rabid pro abortion katie couric’s of the world hating on her for years, but i don’t hear the catholic or christian press lauding her for this gutsy call.

    I hope she runs and hands this crypto socialist in the white house his economy-destroying rear end.

  • kenneth


    By your standard, our current pResident is not a credible candidate. The toughest question he’s fielded is “How can you possibly be so awesome?, and he bristled at the fact that the reporter forgot the ‘totally’ before ‘awesome’.

    I doubt she’d curtsy to tinpot dictators and the Israelis liked her very much on her last visit.

    Admit it. She scares you.”

    I’m not a huge fan of Obama either, but he’s far more credible in my eyes. His toenail clippings have more intellect than Palin. It is true that the media and the American public to a great degree, held him in an unrealistic, uncritical, almost messianic regard for a time.

    Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, he’s able to articulate himself every time. He doesn’t need a bevy of handlers desperate to shield him from his own words and any unfriendly crowds. Our enemies and our allies, including Israel, know that he’s not a man to be trifled with. He’s the only president in memory to publicly demand anything of Israel. If Palin were on deck, Netanyahu would have her on the ropes in a matter of seconds. She would be the junior partner in virtually an pairing of world leaders you care to imagine. Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a lightweight who can’t hold her own against even mediocre news people with agendas and questions which any real candidate could anticipate.

    I will admit that she scares me. For the same reason that people like Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe scare me. They have nothing to offer their people except megalomania and appeals to our worst fears and delusional wishes.

  • brother jeff

    You get Obama off TOTUS and he is literally unintelligible at times. He rambles. His gaffes are severe and frequent. He does not understand the free market. His solution to everything domestic is class warfare. He also has intensely annoying affectations like saying ‘folks’ in every other sentence when he probably never said the word ever before 2008 he is literally promoting the financial ruin of our country.

  • Sheryl

    Since 2008, the Anchoress has ragged on Sarah Palin and I, for one, just DO NOT GET IT. It is unseemly, unbecoming and unworthy for Elizabeth to consistently find fault with a woman who is up against The Horde, a Horde which despises her for simp,y being alive. And none of The Anchoress’ “reasons” for aiming hyperbole and scorn Palin’s way have any logic to them. It comes across as cat fighting vendetta. I find it very very hard to understand how Elizabeth can lump herself in with Larry Flynt, Keith Olberman and Martin Bashir. Elizabeth’s indefensible snark aimed at Palin is not in line with the rest of her beautiful musings and causes me to pause and wonder just what kind of inner turmoil The Anchoress is wrestling with.

    [Wow. Sheryl, I was praising Palin before you even knew who she was, and you can read this thread to realize how MUCH I have championed her, because I'm not going to go through it again -- if you read the thread (or avail yourself of my archives) you'll see I have not "ragged on Sarah Palin since 2008." I'm not wrestling with any "inner turmoil" at all, are you? You should actually read the post, and links and the updates, where -- if you'd read them -- you'd have seen that I called Martin Bashir "just stupid." I keep forgetting; I'm not allowed to question. Any questioning about Palin is automatically "hate" (or "snark" or "hyperbole" neither of which exist in this post). And all of the posts I've written praising or defending Palin -- and they are numerous -- those don't matter. It only matters that I'm questioning Palin, which must mean I'm like Larry Flynt. (And you accuse ME of hyperbole? You're you're wondering about MY reasoning abilities?) Wow. I wonder if you fervent Palin fans, who will brook no questions, understand that you do her no favors with others, when you indicate that she is above questions or criticism. Some of us have had enough of that with Obama. -admin]

  • Ann

    Hmmmm I wonder what games that wily old Pole , Blessed John Paul II got up to outsmarting the Soviets. I remember a press conference with JPII and Jaruzelski, the Communist head of Poland. John Paul scared him silly. Jaruzelski’s knees were visibly shaking in his pants. Hmmm was it Christian to be so scary to the poor Communist leader? To make him look so… well…undignified? Should we rewind the beatification ceremony?

  • Cromagnum

    Palin – She needs to get back to her Christian roots, that I agree with. She was baptized a Catholic, and with prayers and God’s Grace, it is very possible. A path to Rome is where the bus should be headed.

    Her current actions, if successful, might be a very unique form of ‘Fraternal correction.’ If so, then its one of the hardest and best Christian things to do. I agree with your update in that regard.

    I recall an article about how the TEA party needs to learn how to pary a swordfight, that the publics enjoy a great duel, but hate a slashing broadsword. I wonder which this qualifies as ?

    My own analysis:
    I looked at the current scenario and realized the time-frame of the summer. IMHO Palin won’t announce (or is that decide) until after July 26 2011. But she wants to keep her name in the ring, while not tossing her hat in the ring. So she needed a plan to fill the time. The two trips (another one later in the summer) and a movie seems to be the agenda.

    I say July 26, because that’s the 2 year anniversary of handing over the AK keys to Sean Parnell. (July 3 was merely the announcement of such) And, more importantly, the 2 year statute of limitations runs out on frivolous lawsuits.
    (my theory) I think she would decide NLT than Labor Day, and more likely a week or two after July 26. There is a straw poll in Iowa Sat Aug 13. Would you announce before or after that straw poll?
    If after, then the following Monday Aug 15 would be the first day to settle the rumors either way.
    (she promised to announce on an Alaska Radio show that’s M-F 930am-2pm EST)
    If before, I’m not sure what day.

    Now back to my beginning paragraph … there is a more important event celebrated that day, and prayers are important. Not projection, just hope for a reawakening in the soul.

  • Greta

    Palin in 1000% correct in the way she is treating the media. There is not a single media person from those who are called the main street there to listen to what she has to say or to give her fair coverage. They keep asking the same question about 2012 and it is obvious that if and when she gives an answer, it is not going to be to one of those losers.

    I love Sarah and have sent a very nice donation to her bus tour PAC and will be supporting her should she run. I also think it is great she is exposing the fact that few of those in the media have been to the sites she is forcing them to visit. Go Sarah and don’t be concerned abou those who want to post negative crap about the tour, you kids, or you. Run Sarah Run…

  • Doc

    Wow, Anchoress is about as thin-skinned as Obama when it comes to Palin fans and their comments. I am puzzled by Anchoress’ repeated statement that she would respect Palin if she retrained the press. How would that happen? The corporate media would rather commit collective suicide than help any Republican beat a Democrat. Palin is simply refusing to kiss the corporate media’s rear, which is refreshing after seeing so many other Republicans (Newt, Michael Steele, etc) bend like a willow when they are in the interview chair. Anchoress seems unwilling to realize that the corporate media are the Democrats’ attack dogs. They have become as respectable and as impartial as Brezhnev-era Pravda. May they all be reduced to the value of Newsweek.

    Kenneth, c’mon, be honest. You are a huge Obama fan. It’s obvious.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, it sounds to me as if you like Obama chiefly because, in your opinion, he’s demanding something of Israel—namely, that it commit suicide, be retreating to its pre-war bordersl.

    You also fear that Benjamin Netanyahu would manipulate Palin; you aren’t worried about how the Saudis, the Palestinians and Chavez have manipulated Obama?

    We’re facing a world of Islamofacist terrorism at the moment; Israel is not the enemy. What next? Is he going to defend us by standing up to our deadly enemies— the British? (oops, I forgot! He already did that!)

    Obama is alienating allies, and kissing the hands of our enemies.

    What about all that foreign aid being sent to Hamas, Egypt and our “ally” (heh, heh, heh) Pakistan?

    Obama might be verbally adroit, but he’s made a mess of the economy and our foreign policiy. The fact that he talks real pretty sometimes doesn’t really make up for that; “He’s able to articulate himself every time.” Woot. That, and $10.00, will buy you something at Starbucks—though not for long, with the way the economy’s going.

    (C’mon, Kenneth, like Doc says, admit it! You’re an Obama fan!)

  • Kathteach

    Such an interesting comment from Elizabeth regarding Palin

    It’s (as I said in my piece) right there with a woman dressing in a way calculated to attract as much attention as possible and then telling the men that she doesn’t understand why they’re looking, but she’s not responsible for it. The press are who they are; they’re going to look. That’s a game.

    So let’s see….the Twitter comment would read “Elizabeth Scalia accuses Sarah Palin of being rape bait”.

    We can always work on something along those lines.

    [You could. But you'd end up saying much more about yourself than about me. And now you are coming very close to crossing a line. Do you have any idea how evil and spiteful that makes you sound? Why, Kathteach, I thought you "adored" me! As I said before, you fervent Palin fans, when you act like this, do not endear her to others -- you hurt her more than help her. Oh, and if I recall, you aren't "even going to vote for her" right? I think you're about done here. -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Because, of course, individual members of the press have no minds of their own, and no free will.

    Their brains are merely putty in the hands of the omnipotent zombie queen, Sarah Palin! They must follow her, helpless slaves to her will, growling “Saarrrahhhh, Sarrrrahhhhh,” or, maybe, “Braiiiiiiins!” for variety’s sake.

    (Sarc. off. I really don’t think Sarah Palin has that kind of power.)

  • Kathteach

    Anchoress – I used to adore you. I have been an ardent fan for years. You seem to have dis-respected this in your acute analysis of my comments on this post.

    I sent a private email to you via feedback at Patheos. You really hurt my feelings by calling me a liar. I am the kind of person that posts like two time a year on my favorite blogs.

    You probably don’t have to worry about any more future posts from me. You need to rethink your early thesis about the personality cult of Palin and realize that there are many in your audience who would not vote for her and are not “rabid cult followers” as you assert yet we respect and admire the hell out of her.

    You need to examine who your audience is. Quit calling us liars or cult followers. Shame on you for doing that.

    And I am now officially signing out as a former fan (which you deny that I ever was). I am now very suspicious of you as any kind of Catholic based blogger. See you …..uhm…..never again.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kathteach, were you serious about that twitter statement?

    Because, if you were, that was crossing a line.

  • kenneth

    “Kenneth, it sounds to me as if you like Obama chiefly because, in your opinion, he’s demanding something of Israel—namely, that it commit suicide, be retreating to its pre-war bordersl.

    You also fear that Benjamin Netanyahu would manipulate Palin; you aren’t worried about how the Saudis, the Palestinians and Chavez have manipulated Obama?

    We’re facing a world of Islamofacist terrorism at the moment; Israel is not the enemy. What next? Is he going to defend us by standing up to our deadly enemies— the British? (oops, I forgot! He already did that!)

    Obama is alienating allies, and kissing the hands of our enemies.

    What about all that foreign aid being sent to Hamas, Egypt and our “ally” (heh, heh, heh) Pakistan?

    Obama might be verbally adroit, but he’s made a mess of the economy and our foreign policiy. The fact that he talks real pretty sometimes doesn’t really make up for that; “He’s able to articulate himself every time.” Woot. That, and $10.00, will buy you something at Starbucks—though not for long, with the way the economy’s going.

    (C’mon, Kenneth, like Doc says, admit it! You’re an Obama fan!)”………………………..

    It’s not so much a matter of liking Obama. I did vote for him, but I feel that he has largely abandoned much of what he campaigned on and has in many ways simply perpetuated the mistakes of his predecessors. That said, I respect him because he is intelligent, articulate and deliberate. That is not an inherently partisan thing.

    It is only a recent phenomenon that conservatism has become anti-intellectual to the point of actually celebrating ignorance as a virtue. You might be surprised to learn that I cast my first vote for George Bush Sr. I came to later despise most of his policies and motivations, but to this day, I respect the man. He showed himself to be intelligent and educated in the broadest sense of the word. Not simply because he had an Ivy League pedigree, but because he troubled himself to learn the complexities of the world.

    I had (and have) zero respect for his kid. Not because he’s as dumb as a post, but because he combined that with the hubris of believing he’s the smartest guy in any room, and was foolish enough to surround himself with people who fed that delusion. You don’t need to be in Mensa to be a good president, but you need to be aware of your limitations and surround yourself with smart people who will not only help you but challenge your paradigms and temptations to resort to easy half baked solutions.

    Palin has revealed herself to be a person of the same mold, and probably even worse. She’s contemptuous of the very idea that you need to know anything to govern, and anyone who challenges that or confronts her with tough questions or critical thinking of any kind is “persecuting” her and is an enemy of America. That tactic is used not only against liberal enemies and putative lefties such as myself, but against her closest ideological allies who simply happen to be smart and thoughtful conservatives.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that she would follow that pattern in office. She would surround herself only with sycophants who tell her what she wants to hear and anyone of any political persuasion who questioned that would become an “enemy of the people.” That is a proven recipe for disaster regardless of political affiliation.

    As to the Israel decision, I applaud Obama for that. At no time did he ever say Israel must retreat to the 1967 borders. He said those borders are a starting point and that Israel must bargain in good faith. If you take 100 acres of Palestinian land for settlements and you want to keep them, give them something back someplace else. You don’t have to commit demographic suicide or create indefensible borders. He’s just saying that the days of playing games by establishing facts on the ground and putting off real negotiation forever are over. Israel is our ally. We owe them a big presumption of good faith. We do not owe them absolute deference to do anything they want to on our dime.

    Being a friend is not the same as being a toady. We can’t ask Israel to endanger its existence or to appease an enemy that cannot be appeased. We can demand that they do things that will give reasonable Palestinians the chance to live a decent life and to focus on things other than hate. Every day we allow this situation to fester, we provide a wonderful recruiting tool for those Islamofacists you worry about.

    Obama has also been the first one to have enough stones to stand up to Pakistan. He’s the first to publicly say that if Pakistan won’t go after terrorists in its own borders that we will, and he’s made good on that threat many times over.

  • Andy

    I have hesitated about commenting – I don’t want to be seen as a Palin hater, nor as an Obamabot or any other label. To put it bluntly though Plain scares the hell out of me. It is not her lack of experience, nor is it her politics. I don’t agree with her, but I don’t have to. What scares me is her penchant for self-promotion as well as her inability not to respond. If she wants to be a serious leader she has to develop think skin, the media feed on those with thin skin. She has to put away grudges and not seek to find revenge. She needs to not seek to be the center of attention and then complain about it. In short she has to grow up.
    In many ways she reminds me of the teenagers I used to teach – always somebody else makes me do things. I didn’t want to but Johnny called me a (fill in your favorite epithet) and so I had to hit him. She also seems to eschew knowing about things – today I heard talk about the ride of Paul R. – not only did she botch up the story, she turned it into a comment about gun rights? If you are in Mass. and talking to Americans without the media asking questions – how do you botch this question. It is hardly a “gotcha” question. Ms. Palin seems to be in the current mold of many conservatives – non-thinking, anti-itellectual and relying on the repetition of catch phrases.
    I do not think that Mr. Obama has done a good job, though what he walked into I am not sure anyone could have, however, the current crop of alternatives or maybe alternatives or thinking about it alternatives scare far more.

  • Doc

    Kenneth, Golda Meir said that there would be peace in Israel when the Arabs loved their children more than they hate the Jews.

    Has that happened yet?

    Regarding Obama, I, too applaud him for hitting terrorists in Pakistan more than Bush did. However, I suspect he regarded Pakistan as a Bush ally, and Obama seems to hold any country in disdain who was dumb enough to be an American ally before 2009. He appears to respect and appease (to a disturbing degree) any country who held us in contempt prior to 2009 (Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba…). What he refuses to admit is that those countries he appeases now hold us in even greater contempt, due to his weakness.