Thursday, March 18, 2010
But She Shoots Wolves!
Today, I am far more educated, and when I say "educated" I mean more truly knowledgeable, not just more skilled at repeating talking points, which is what "educated" meant to me when I was a radical left-wing pro-choice agnostic. I have spent countless hours in the past few months, to the increasing detriment of what was once a thriving social life, tracking down footnote after footnote, following the references and citations where they lead. I have more or less constant headaches from eye strain, my back hurts all the time, and I am thinking of hiring a research assistant just to field arguments from Facebook friends. Do you know anybody who'll work for cookies and gold star stickers?
When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I read books by Al Franken and Michael Moore (yes, on purpose) condemning Ann Coulter as a lying liar who lies. In the few years in which I was deeply interested in liberal politics, I admit the only thing I ever read by Ann Coulter was the famous quote extracted from her column published in Human Events three days after 9/11. It said, referring to Muslim terrorists and those who sheltered them, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." I remember the "moral" outrage I felt (I put the word "moral" in quotations because I had no morals to speak of then) at reading that quote, and I remember reading or hearing Ann referred to in the "mainstream" press as a hateful, venom-spouting polemicist skeleton. A lot of the vitriol was mixed with a weird amount of reference to her physical attractiveness, but I ignored the obvious sexism because it didn't suit my purpose at the time, which was to reaffirm my current beliefs that Ann was a lot like a cockroach, if you could imagine a cockroach who was also a willowy blonde WASP from Connecticut. (Most of us can.)
I didn't read even a single column of Coulter's, but that didn't stop me from bitching about how hateful and dishonest and horrifying she was whenever anyone mentioned her name (usually to bitch about how hateful, dishonest and horrifying she was). I can't remember which, and can't stomach the thought of tracking it down seeing as how I'm not getting paid, but it was either Franken or Moore who accused Ann Coulter of citing phony or misleading sources, when she cited anything at all. I took the liberty of tracking down a random selection of footnotes from her most recent book, and found to my total lack of surprise that they were neither phony nor misleading.
It's an uncomfortable feeling, finding out that a lot of what you believed was utter rubbish, such as that Bill Clinton is an honorable human being and Sarah Palin is a moron.
All I knew about Sarah Palin when I commenced to hate her was that she was a conservative, her daughter was knocked up, and the religious right LOVED her. I also found out pretty quickly, via an email forward, that she shot wolves from helicopters. As a lover of animals, this disgusted me. I watched a video online of Ashley Judd condemning Palin for destroying Alaskan wildlife, which should have been my first clue that Palin wasn't all bad. Judd, after all, is an outspoken proponent of Planned Parenthood and opponent of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. How I was able to take seriously Ashley Judd weeping for "defenseless" anything is beyond me.
In true liberal form, I started emailing this video to everybody I knew, proclaiming loudly that the media was covering it up, although I had personally found the information via the media. A Google search for "Palin shooting wolves" done today gets 176,000 hits, the first few pages of which almost exclusively contain material which (a) was published before March 2009, and (b) fails to defend Palin's actions in any meaningful way. Instead, headlines scream: "Sarah's Cruel Streak" and "Alaska's Dead Wolf Pups Demand Justice." The left does this all the time and I know because I did it all the time. I would find a million references in the press to something "the right" was "covering up," get really pissed about the conspiracy, and tell everyone I knew about it. This happened all the time, from Halliburton to Guantanamo to Dick Cheney being the ogre under the bridge from The Three Billy Goats Gruff. (Not yet confirmed.)
I ignored the obvious, sexist jab at Palin made by Obama (the "lipstick on a pig" remark) and I laughed at the callous, though very funny, jokes my friends made about her baby. Sample exchange:
Me: She named her new baby something weird, too. Trig.
Friend: Guess what class he'll never be in.
Really funny, but totally mean. I admit it: I laughed. I thought about the hundreds of thousands of babies with Down syndrome who are aborted every year, and I was very glad she kept her baby, and glad she encouraged her daughter to keep her baby, but I still laughed. And I defended David Letterman when he made the terribly inappropriate joke about Bristol Palin, a teenager, on his talk show.
Why? Why did I hate her so much?
I honestly don't know. Maybe because it's what everyone else was doing. All the smart people are liberal! Tina Fey, who is so intelligent and funny and cool, nailed Palin to the wall on SNL. Everybody smart thought Palin was stupid, backwards, and contrived. And I'm smart! Ergo, I should find Palin stupid. Right?
This is the kind of non-thinking I did for years as a liberal. I absorbed the default position on every issue from media and pop culture, gleaned the talking points, and let 'er rip.
Sarah Palin was the target of blatant sexism during the 2008 campaign. For an idea of how she was perceived by liberals, Google her image now and you will find a plethora of images of her head pasted onto the bodies of naughty secretaries with their blouses popping open. Most of them accompany websites that denigrate Sarah's politics and beliefs. Conservative, pro-Palin websites do not indulge in fantastical images of her behaving like a soft-core porn star because they respect her.
Then there was Obama's "lipstick" remark, and the constant noise from the "feminist" camp about everything from her parenting skills to her "anti-woman" pro-life stance. While they should have been praising her for raising five children in a loving marriage to her high-school sweetheart as she ascended to governorship of a state and candidacy for the vice presidency of the United States, they called her, the only woman in the race with executive experience, a vacuous, vapid, ridiculous floozy. Meanwhile, liberal "men" blogged about her stupidity while in another browser window they collected photos of her for an... ahem... personal file. Ann Coulter is absolutely right: from Ann herself to Sarah Palin to Carrie Prejean, people go nuts lust-hating beautiful conservative Christian women.
Sarah Palin was the target of a pro-Obama (prObama?) media. While they lobbed him softballs about how hard it must be to be a black man in his position, and how hard it must be to be attacked by the right wing conspiracy, and how hard it must be to be so brilliant and so handsome at the same time, Palin was being asked tough questions, some of which were pointedly obscure or vague (experts had to point out later that there really was no one policy or group of policies that could be pointed to as the "Bush doctrine").
In a move typical for the prObama media, they went after divorce records -- not Sarah's but her alleged lover's. They found not a shred of evidence that she'd had an affair with Brad Hanson or Scott Richter, so eventually they had to shut up about it. I'm sure they sent her and her family a heartfelt letter of apology, just as I'm sure Judas and Hitler regularly go ice-skating together in Hell.
I defend Sarah now because in these instances she deserves to be defended. I do not defend her for shooting wolves from a helicopter or for encouraging others to do so. From what I have learned, this is not a terribly controversial activity in Alaska, where moose, caribou and other herd animals are depended on for food by many people and high predator populations can lead to food shortages. The majority of the few wildlife and hunting experts whose opinions I read online (3 out of 4) said that bear populations need more culling than wolves. Nevertheless, Palin is far from rare in believing Alaskan wolf populations have to be thinned by humans for various reasons.
I disagree with Sarah on this. I don't think she should shoot wolves, and I don't think anyone else should without a damn good reason, such as being in immediate danger from one.
But the same so-called bleeding hearts who tear their hair out with grief for the poor wolves who threaten human food supplies defend a woman's right to have her child murdered in the womb for any old reason at all, such as that she prefers a boy and is pregnant with a girl, or doesn't want to lose her figure, or can't stand the thought of having Bill Clinton's baby. All I can say is: give me a break. Please. Cut out the crocodile tears. This "defenseless" animal is a predator who had at least a shot at life. It's an animal. If it were hungry and you were nearby, it would rip your throat out without a second thought. The victim of abortion is a truly defenseless, utterly trapped and dependent human child. How dare you weep for the hundreds or thousands of predators culled by hunters in the wilderness while simultaneously dismissing without a thought the millions of human babies killed every year legally in your very own neighborhoods?
The attack on Sarah Palin is rife with double standards, sexism, hypocrisy, irrationality, and the left's typically twisted "moral" posturing. And it is not over. The way it looks now, Sarah is a "definite maybe" for 2012, and it will only get worse. As Obama and his supporters, who include the entire establishment media, try desperately to save his presidency for a second term (which, at the rate he's going now, will be desperate indeed) the attacks on Palin will only worsen and increase.
This time, though, for what it's worth, they won't have me on their side.
A slightly modified version of this blog was posted at Modern Conservative.