Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Public Intoxication

I was ruminating on Paul Zummo's post from yesterday detailing the irony of Eugene Robinson's hand-wringing remark about Sarah Palin: "What the GOP should worry about is the intoxication that adoring crowds often induce in politicians." Obviously we wonder where he was during the fevered campaigns of 2008, of which this instant classic blog site might serve as a reminder.

I'm afraid that if we had the opportunity to bring this up to Mr. Robinson, the irony would be lost on him. He would probably respond that Barack Obama was not going to be intoxicated by an adoring crowd because, in the language of the street, he really is "all that", whereas Sarah Palin is merely some lady up in the wilderness. Maybe he would challenge us to produce a picture of Obama donning a lampshade or staggering down the stairs of a DC lounge shortly after one of his rallies. But who needs to do that? One visit to the aforementioned Obamamessiah site provides quotes from the man himself such as "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Also: "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Also: "...a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama." These are delusional remarks to make even for a man who aspires to be the chief of the executive branch.

I think Obama supporters would dismiss this all, however, and say that these were "just words" spoken the heat of a campaign, it was all figurative speech, etc, etc. Then that brings us back to the question, "What's wrong with Sarah Palin having enthusiastic followers now?" Hmmm. Why don't they just admit that they disagree with a woman who has a large following of a certain type of American citizen? That's what we do routinely with Obama, a President with higher approval numbers than it seems like his success-failure ratio should warrant. I think it's just that ridiculing the right has become the staple of the left, and it's so much easier than bringing up substance and forming arguments.


  1. Those are indeed the rationalizations I would expect Eugene and Company would make. What they fail to grasp is that with Barack there was even more fluff than with Sarah. Barack's the guy who has to add reverb on his mic just to give those speeches of his that extra kick. This is the guy who had to have his convention speech outdoors in a stadium, again, just to make it all seem like a bigger deal than it really was. Everything about Obama is orchestrated - hell, even the way he speaks is carefully calculated to project a certain image. But this is all lost on guys like Robinson, mainly because he's precisely the kind of rube he sneeringly dismisses Palin's followers as.

    Again, irony can be so ironic.

  2. Robinson's larger point is that Palin steals the thunder from all of the "lesser" candidates by her intoxicating tour. But that, too, is wrong IMO: he neglects that her appeal is largely transferable. If she doesn't get into the race herself, she can lend that energy to whomever she actively supports.

    If you don't think so, ask Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. She challenged Gov. Perry in the primary last go round, and Sarah came down to support Perry. Not that he wouldn't have won anyway over a DC RINO, but Perry did win in a blowout.

  3. Pik, that's what I hope happens. I'm not sure that she's the best candidate to get the independents, but she'll excite a lot of people to get out and vote. And her instincts are so good.... I think heretofore we've only seen a small sampling of her power.