Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack Cashill: Sarah Palin and the Legacy of Republican 'Idiocy'

The talking heads keep telling Republicans how to think and what to do
Jack Cashill, author of the forthcoming book book, Deconstructing Obama, remembers that through its hold on the information and entertainment industries, the left has been painting Republicans as idiots and Democrats as the stuff of pure genius since at least the days of Eisenhower. No one should be surprised, then, that they have been trying to define Sarah Palin as a dunce since the moment her choice as John McCain's running mate was announced in late August of 2008:
And while the Associated Press alone would dispatch a swarm of reporters to fact-check Sarah Palin's memoir, Going Rogue -- eleven, to be precise -- the media were no more likely to fact-check Obama's Dreams from My Father or The Audacity of Hope than they were the Koran. As to Obama's grades and SAT scores, Jimmy Hoffa's body will be unearthed before they are.

In Going Rogue, Palin would not shy from crediting Lynn Vincent for "her indispensable help in getting the words on paper." And yet the story is told honestly and sincerely in Palin's voice. There is no artifice, no postmodern mumbo-jumbo, not a sentence in the book Palin could not have written herself. My personal favorite: "I love meat." I suspect that, unaided, journalism major and former reporter Palin is a better writer than Obama.

The media chose not to see this.


Left to their own devices, as I got to see up close, Palin is also a better speaker than Obama. Before Palin emerged for her big Wednesday night convention speech, I watched a whole parade of female speakers do their thing -- Meg Whitman of eBay, Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard, Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii. All were a bit dull and stiff but competent. They read their teleprompters without incident. I remember hoping that Palin could just do as well as they did.

As history will record, she did hugely better. She was sharp, sexy, funny, and utterly charming. Under enormous pressure, she served up the most dazzling convention speech in modern political history -- including Obama's 2004 keynote -- and she did so with just a few days' preparation before a malfunctioning teleprompter. "I knew the speech well enough that I didn't need it," she would say.

Had Obama's teleprompter malfunctioned at the 2004 convention, he would not be president. He has always depended on the eloquence of others. So thoroughly hooked on the teleprompter is Obama that the irrepressible Joe Biden jokes about it. "What am I going to tell the president?" Biden asked the crowd at the Air Force Academy after a teleprompter blew over. "Tell him his teleprompter is broken? What will he do then?"

- JP

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