Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Just finished the Vanity Fair article by Todd Purdum (earlier comments: Part I, Part II, Part III) and discovered that Professor Glenn Reynolds had dubbed my recent blogging a "Palinpalooza." This would also include:To demonstrate the basic problem with Purdum's article -- and much other press treatment of the Alaska governor -- let's turn to Page 9:
More than once in my travels in Alaska, people brought up, without prompting, the question of Palin’s extravagant self-regard. Several told me, independently of one another, that they had consulted the definition of “narcissistic personality disorder” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—“a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy”—and thought it fit her perfectly.
Right. Did Purdum ever write about the narcissism of Bill "Better Put Some Ice On That" Clinton? Of course not. Nor has Todd Purdum ever written about the extravagant self-regard of Crazy Cousin John, whose "pervasive pattern of grandiosity" involved the "fantasy or behavior" of his quixotic presidential campaign -- a campaign that, Purdum observes, involved the belated and impulsive choice of a running mate for whom "no serious vetting had been done."

Digression: Why can't anyone from Team Maverick ever take responsibility for their own failures? It could be argued, given the disastrous result of his campaign, that everyone who supported him in the Republican primaries was guilty of flawed judgment. (Purdum notes that, after McCain clinched the GOP nomination, Palin didn't publicly endorse him -- evidence of superior judgment on her part, I'd say.)

Yet Purdum wants to talk "grandiosity" about Palin, while Barack Obama believes he can suspend the laws of economics? (It Won't Work. The Fundamentals Suck. Economics Is Not a Popularity Contest. Weimar America.)

The problem with the MSM is not that it has no standards, but that it has two standards. Or perhaps -- considering how the MSM savaged Hillary Clinton in the primaries last year -- we can now say there are three standards: One for Republicans, one for Obama, and one for Democrats who get thrown under Obama's bus.

But back to the Vanity Fair article: If none of McCain's aides had the foresight to anticipate his selection of Palin -- which would explain the lack of "serious vetting" -- whose fault is that? And if choosing an unvetted running mate was a blunder, whose blunder was it?

This is what the Blame Sarah First crusade by McCain campaign staffers is about: Exculpating them for their own bad judgment, including their decisions to join the McCain campaign in the first place. Make her the scapegoat, so they can walk away pretending that they're perfect.

Of all the decisions for which Sarah Palin has been criticized, saying "yes" when asked to be Maverick's running mate was most clearly a misjudgment. I'm sure she sits home in Wasilla late some nights and thinks of the answer she should have given:
"Are you kidding me? That guy's nuts. Besides, he's going to get stomped in November. Why would I want to associate with a RINO loser like that?"
Well, hindsight is 20/20, eh? If Sarah Palin is reading this: Governor, please pay close attention to Part I of the Vanity Fair critique, which includes a very specific recommendation. (No, not the part about the hand grenade.) My 2008 American Spectator articles about Sarah Palin:UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Sully's Jauvert-like determination -- "We must know the Truth!" -- gets linkage from Howie at Jawa Report, William Teach at Right Wing News, Pat in Shreveport, Professor William Jacobson and, most importantly (because she's a mother of seven) Pundette:
I've tried to avoid the disturbing weirdness from Andrew Sullivan about the birth of Trig Palin. You'd think ignoring it might make it go away, especially eight months after the election. But no. He's still beating on this ghost of a dead horse. There's something very unhealthy going on here.
Read the whole thing. Allow me once again to suggest that the "very unhealthy" part of what's going on involves a matter of identity. Sully self-consciously identifies as gay, and he identifies Gov. Palin as Mom.

Could anything be more simple? (Perhaps Dr. Helen will dare to weigh in. She's a mom, too.) The unnoted imbalance in the Sully-Palin grudge match is that Sully's gay identity is politically protected in contemporary America, while Palin's maternal identity is not.

The War Against Mom is one of the most hideous aspects of postmodern misogyny.

UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: Red State's Moe Lane advises to back away from the Sully-bomb. And I have tried to avoid it. Honestly, Ace of Spades has been doing an excellent job on the Bomb Squad, behind his Kevlar pseudonym.

It took a helluva lot of provocation -- Sully's accusation that I am an advocate of "genocide"(!) -- to make me finally take the risk of saying in my own name what Ace has been saying for months: Sully's got a problem that is not strictly political in nature.

One of the horrible realities of the Culture War is that in the past 30 years, the opportunistic political exploitation of the AIDS pandemic has converted the vibe of the gay community from Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street into the spirit of the 1934 Nuremberg Rally. The remorseless momentum of sexual politics has changed "gay" from a hedonistic personal proclivity -- Laissez les bon temps rouler -- into the totalitarian identity of the ubermenschen.

What is tragic about Andrew Sullivan's recent totalitarian turn is that he was one of the most famous victims of the brownshirt "outing" squad. Sully was forced out of the closet in the most vicious way possible and has evidently taken the wrong lesson from that experience. Rather than join forces with freedom-lovers like Tammy Bruce, who oppose the Ernst Rohms of the Official Gay Movement, Sullivan appears to have succumbed to a species of Stockholm Syndrome, adopting the mentality of his tormenters.

Sullivan seems to prosecute his crusade against Sarah Palin's privacy on the theory that, "If my sexuality cannot be private, no one's sexuality can be private." Thereby he advances the Orwellian specter in which all of us might as well post a YouTube video of our every sexual act, because there can be no privacy in the Big Brother state, where the personal is political -- and vice-versa.

It is not too late for Sullivan to renounce this evil, but he will not renounce it until he recognizes it as evil. Sorry that it took a "skilled attention whore" to point this out.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: "Shocking Crime Against Humanity"!


  1. I'm sure all the McCain staffers will be able to find a job with the Romney Campaign when he starts to run for President again in the middle of 2011..

  2. But Todd Purdum did write about the narcissism of Bill Clinton. Only when Hillary posed a threat to Barack Obama, but regardless...

  3. Just like Sarah Palin, you're afraid of black & gay people.

    Admit your hate.

  4. Looks like white-boy Frank Lombard, asst director of health at Duke University who was busted for pimping out his 5-year old adopted black chaild to same-sex perverts showed up in anonymous clothing to project his own inner-personal problems he has with females.

    Go away creep


  5. What's interesting is that none of these marvelous reporters bothered an iota with the Pretty Boy Johnny Edwards banging and impregnating osme nutso floozy while his dear, dear, dreadfully sick wife bore such a burden.

    Not one story. None, and the douche was running for PRESIDENT, not VICE PRESIDENT.

  6. The other problem with this quote is that it's quite frankly obvious BS. How many people do you suppose even know what the DSM is? Of that subset, how many have access to one? Of that subset, how many would even even think that Sarah Palin would have a diagnosable disorder? Of that that subset, how many would decide that it was narcissism?

    You see how small a possible universe we're talking about? Now add in the fact that we're talking about a very small population in the entire state of Alaska. Add in the fact that we're talking about an extraordinarily non-urbanized culture.

    Now think about the incredibly small number of people that the author spoke to out of that population.

    The statistical odds against finding even one person who said such a thing are pretty high. The odds of finding two such people who independently did such a thing are astronomically low.

    Purdum's a liar.

  7. I couldn't even read the first sentence to its end. I read "Despite her disastrous performance in the 2008 election" and stopped. Anyone who begins with a lie is not worth my time.


  8. Obama had his own faux-Presidential Seal made up -- which was so ridiculous that even Jon Stewart mocked it -- and invented "the Office of the President-Elect." His speeches have more "I's" than a potato. He can't go two days in a row without giving a speech on TV. But Palin is the one who's grandiose and narcissistic.

  9. "banging and impregnating osme nutso floozy"

    You forgot "coke whore."

  10. When contemplating the bizarre mindscape of Sullivan one must always bear in mind that, as a consequence of his life choices, he is doomed to consume a cocktail of powerful drugs just to avoid physical degeneration. These can have an effect on the mind that we cannot know.

  11. Yeah, I've been on Palin all week as well.


    Check it out though.

  12. Obama was previously accused of having Narcissistic Personality Disorder (based on the the DSM-IV definition) in the blogs. Doing the same to Palin just seems like an attempt at political deflection. The Soviets were masters of this strategy, especially during negotiations, where they would accuse the other guy of doing what they actually *were* doing.

  13. Let's face it, you have to have some degree of narcissism to get into office. But the relevant question is, does Palin's degree extend into the pathological? Not proven, I'd say.

    “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior)... and lack of empathy”

    I have a feeling that this is just a high-falutin' way of calling her a bitch.

  14. I don't think the DSM story is actually that implausible. Say you don't like someone, think that they're "narcissistic" and have some kind mental disorder. You become so taken with this idea that you want some kind of confirmation of it. You consult wikipedia and arrive at the "naricissistic personality disorder" page, which is about the actual diagnosable psychiatric disorder. The first sentence you read is this: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDP) is a personality disorder defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnostic classification system used in the United States, as 'a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy." I think it is highly likely that two or more of the people Purdum interviewed, who had clearly spent a lot of time thinking about why they don't like Palin, could have made that visit to wikipedia. And then told him that they'd consulted the DSM definition. Of course, if they'd dug a little deeper, maybe looked at some case studies of NPD, they would have discovered that people with this disorder find it nearly impossible to form lasting relationships with others and are usually reclusive hermits rather than successful politicians. The actual disorder they are looking for is probably histrionic personality disorder (excessive need for approval and inappropriate seductiveness) which describes about half the politicians in the United States.

  15. In Todd's travels, he claims that "several" people independently told him they had consulted DSM about the governor. Then Todd never left Juneau since, according to the online catalog of the Alaska State Library, there are exactly three copies of that book in the entire state and only one of them is in a public library. Not buying it, Todd.

  16. Oh, I know! So now you've moved on to calling the decorated Vietnam War vet who was tortured in captivity a "loser." ...Yeah, he's in no way comparable to Sarah Palin, who sometimes looks cute if shot from the right angle.

    Remind me again, RSM. ...Did you ever serve in the military? Or did you just never feel "the call"?

    Carry on, man. No critique of your writing could be more devastating that what you supply for us -- on your own, all unbidden -- each and every day.

    your pal,

  17. @Oliver,
    As a graduate of the same school as the good Senator from AZ, let me reply. Modulo military service, it's hard to call JSM much of a winner.
    Had John felt like winning (said Smitty with 20/20 hindsight) JSM should have exited the Senate subsequent to the 2000 campaign and studied to show himself approved.
    Got outside of the beltway. Connected with the non-Veteran proletariat. Not wasted his time on First Amendment-bending legislation that would only be used upon himself as a suppository. Load-shed the Progressive crap and gone for Federalism. Learned from the lesson of 1992 and had his Economics homework in the effin' can.
    John did none of these things. His campaign seemed to be about walking up to a podium, setting down his service record, stepping back, bowing, and walking away. Clock subsequently cleaned by used Marxist car salesman.
    So, politically speaking, John is a loser, indeed. And I say that with all respect due his military service.

  18. I agree. He ran a bad campaign. I'm a Democrat, and I thought that Gore ran a similarly bad campaign against Bush. Both deserved to lose.

    ...But that's an entirely different thing from calling him a "loser" in the inimitable style of RSM. Especially while compairing him to Sarah Palin. ...Sarah Palin? ...SARAH PALIN? Bobby S. McCain here isn't talking about anything real. ...He's advancing his singularly crazy claim that Palin would have done a better job wihtout McCain holding her back. Please. He saying that McCain ain't nothin' in comparision to Palin. ...And that's some gooooood crazy talk.

    ...OH JESUS CHRIST, I wrote all of the above without realizing that you're the same Smitty who posts for this blog. (Seriously.) Yeah. Okay, write whatever, Smitty. My god, for a second there.... Yes. The American people didn't go for McCain, but yes, they'd go for Palin, if only you could explain things the right way to them...

    I just threw up in my mouth.

    Carry on. I'll be right here to make fun of you. Not that you need it.

  19. Sarah Palin, who sometimes looks cute if shot from the right angle.

    How's that Braille keyboard working out for you?

    He's advancing his singularly crazy claim that Palin would have done a better job wihtout McCain holding her back.

    Yeah, you could really feel the excitement about the McCain campaign before Palin came along and ruined everything.

    I just threw up in my mouth.

    Next time try "Talk to the hand," that's another good one.