- My response to Ken "Wonkette" Layne;
- The related reply to Andrew Sullivan; and
- My examination of the obsessions of Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OB-GYN, chief obstetric resident at the Atlantic Monthly Memorial Hospital.
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: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"!