Thursday, November 19, 2009

Andrew Sullivan's Palin-Induced Psychosis

Michelle Malkin hammered Andrew Sullivan today with her piece, "It's Official: Atlantic Magazine Blogger Suffers Palin-Induced Psychosis."

And frankly, I'm not sure if "psychosis" is a strong enough term, even though it means to be completely out of touch with any semblance of reality. That's my impression of the guy after reading
Sullivan's long screed attacking Sarah Palin with the most exceedingly fantastical demonizations I've ever read. And the kick of it is that Sullivan's even more clinically deranged than is to be expected, for the simply fact of not having found anything of real value with which to substantiate the allegations he's been making for over a year now. Just this passage gives you a hint of Sullivan's supremely unmatched hatred for Sarah Palin and of his fanatical repudiation of the essence of the all-American good that she epitomizes:

Well, as promised the Dish is back to normal. I'm not. "Going Rogue" is such a postmodern book that treating it as some kind of factual narrative to check (as I began to), or comparing its version of events with her previous versions of the same events (as I have), and comparing all those versions with what we know is empirical reality (so many lies, so little time) is just a dizzying task. The lies and truths and half-truths and the facts and non-facts are all blurred together in a pious puree of such ghastly prose that, in the end, the book can only really be read as a some kind of chapter in a cheap nineteenth century edition of "Lives of the Saints." But as autobiography.

It is a religious book, full of myths and parables. And yet it is also crafted politically, with every single "detail" of the narrative honed carefully for specific constituencies. It is also some kind of manifesto - but not in the usual sense of a collection of policy proposals. It is a manifesto for the imagined life of an imagined Sarah Palin as a leader for all those who identify with the image and background she relentlessly claims to represent.

In this, the book is emblematic of late degenerate Republicanism, which is based not on actual policies, but on slogans now so exhausted by over-use they retain no real meaning: free enterprise is great, God loves us all, America is fabulous, foreigners are suspect, we need to be tough, we can't dither, we must always cut taxes, government is bad, liberals are socialists, the media hates you, etc etc.

I tried to write a fair account of Palin's various stories of her incredible fifth pregnancy, labor and delivery and to reconcile all the various facts we know and the various versions of the story she has told. Just for the record and because we have aired the public record on this before. I honestly however cannot make total sense of them in a way that I'm completely convinced by and so simply do not feel comfortable making any judgment on them in any way at this point. That's fair to her, my readers, my colleagues, and the innocent private people caught up in this circus.

I thought there might be some new facts in here that would illuminate my confusion and dispel the whole thing.
Read the whole thing for more of this phantasmagorical rupture with normal experience.

I should add that
I'm reading the book now, and I'm finding it as an extremely satisfying account of the everywoman's tale of American exceptionalism. That is, Sarah Palin is our 21st century Frederick Jackson Turner, who was the author of the seminal account of the American political culture, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." With Palin we have our modern-day political scribe of the frontier existence, the rugged pioneer of traditionalism who rejoices in the Alaskan harvest of the great remaining bounty of the nation's magnificent destiny.

This is what is so blindingly difficult for radical leftists to accept. For in Sarah Palin, we have the personification of the culture of expansion and power at the core of America's mission. We see it in Going Rogue's regaling of family hunting trips, and Sarah Palin's ethos of sustenance in faith in God. This strength is further congealed in the primacy of family at the center of all life's meaning. Palin's book is just simply an essential testament to the realism of contemporary conservatism, and to the enduring appeal of the classic American ideal.

And I can write all of this with the benefit of reading just portions of the very first chapter, which includes Palin's recitation of her squeamishness at holding warm moose eyes while out for a morning hunt with her father. This testament is also found in her retelling of the love of the outdoor life, and especially the cherishing of the long summers of the Alaskan experience, where her life has been lived in doubly exhuberance in the knowledge of the long -- and often hard -- winters that came to the land.

I'll have more on this, but I rest in my own supreme satisfaction that Palin's story is my story as well. It reminds me of my own experiences surfing the beaches of South Orange County, four-wheeling and shooting in the Southern California outback, and spending summers hiking the raw Sierra Nevadas with my frontiersman uncle, Doug Walton, a man who at 76 years-old remains
a rugged entrepreneurial explorer and tour guide, and one of my all-time great role-models:


This is a central foundation of what means to be an American, something that Andrew Sullivan will never, ever grasp.

Added: Linked by SWAC Girl, "Sarah, Alaska, and Growing Up Free":

I, too, enjoyed growing up in the outdoors ... camping in Shenandoah National Park, swimming at Virginia Beach and North Carolina's Outer Banks, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, exploring the Northern Neck at my aunt's place on the rivah, and learning to shoot a rifle on the sprawling peanut farm of friends in eastern Virginia.

Shooting a gun? Camping with bears? Hiking the wilderness? Those are so foreign to many folks ... but for me it was a freedom-loving childhood just as Donald describes growing up in California, and Sarah Palin describes growing up as part of the Alaskan experience.

13 comments:

JBW said...

Bwahaha! I'll say it again, Don: Palin is an incurious, populist dullard. And before your myriad acolytes burst a vein vilifying me for saying so I'll also repeat: Run her! Run the shit out of her!

Make her your roguish, winking party leader and put all of your Republican resources into supporting her in 2012, and then in 2016, and then even in 2020 if her looks and body are still holding up by then.

And then explain to me as a sexagenarian why you still believe that she's qualified to run the most powerful country on the face of the planet. And then I'll laugh my libertarian-socialist ass off once again. I only hope that Sullivan lasts long enough to hear my guffaws...

Donald Douglas said...

JBW: Congratulations on not actually addressing a single point made at the post, but instead spouting both the hackeneyed and hairbrained talking points from the sexist left.

Palin's the left's worst nightmare, and you've already made yourself look like an ass attacking her. Might as well step back from the keyboard on this one. Everyone's calling out Andrew Sullivan on this.

Rich Casebolt said...

JBW, given the track record of the "curious" Best and Brightest who recently combined in the public and private sectors to give us the one-two punches of the energy price spikes and the mortgage meltdown that put our economy in the dumpster ... and who historically have implemented failure as public policy, time and again ... I'll take the "incurious" over the navel-gazing, over-thinking, self-worshiping "curious" any day.

At least Ms. Palin knows when to settle for mere reality ... even when it is "simple" ... as opposed to engaging repeatedly in intellectual exercises of inventing an alternate reality where the effects of human nature are somehow subordinated to the idealism of the Best and Brightest, because to settle for simplicity does not allow them to demonstrate their so-called intellect.

We smell your fear, JBW ... your fear that somehow, a respect for traditional values will return and harsh your mellow when it comes to enjoying your pet vices, whatever they are.

It matters not that no one is looking to codify these traditional values as law ... for those like you and Sully, the mere threat that someone might criticize your indulgence is enough to provoke your strident ridicule and rancor.

Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy ...

Dennis said...

I have generally backed off JBW because he is easy to play. It would be interesting if he, just once, actually took the time to write a reasoned rebuttal, but alas he seems incapable of anything other than name calling.
If one has to call themselves the "Best and the Brightest" then one is not. Those who are do and those who do not talk, demonstrate false pride and dwell in negativity.
Palin, if you believe the most negative polls, only has to demonstrate her bonafides to 37 percent of the the American public and she has plenty of time in which to accomplish it. Those who really like her will and those who do not, a much smaller minority, will not. The others are open to finding out who she really is as a person.
If Palin was not a serious threat JBW and his ilk would let her fade away through her own incompetence, but I suspect they know better. One does not waste time. effort and resources on that which is not capable.

Rick said...

She would be doing a better job than the current administration. Obama makes Jimmy Carter look good. rotfl

Rusty Walker said...

Donald, the post is something to which I realte - the American ideal. I grew up more or less in the 50s and fondly remember that life around the Red River in Texas. But, the radical leftists seem to have a hate bordering on pathology against any notion of the “classical American ideal.” Throw in Norman Rockwell, the flag, In God We Trust historical traditions, and now, Sarah Palin. I just had a brief, and unnecessarily hostile moment or two with a book dealer who saw I was reading Jefferson and Hemings, Gordon-Reed, and soon was railing on Jefferson and Washington for the expansion into the American West, casting forefathers as villains of 19th Century Native American and slave abuses-clearly, indulging in presentism, which imposes our current perspectives on 18th and 19th Century history. I wonder if the very nature of the radical left and Obama and Democrats in congress isn’t simply a repudiation of anything American, and Palin is definitely that. The left, I suspect hear your words differently. When they hear American “culture of expansion,” this translates as American imperialism, and leftist isolationism arguments erupt against any attempts to solve, global issues such as terrorism. There seems to be a leftist global empathy and sympathy that trumps any notion of American domestic or foreign goals. I seem to be witnessing more and more leftists, not all, that spew hatred and revel in ridicule.

Rusty Walker said...

Sorry...Correction second sentence: "relate,"
My ADHD is showing.

JBW said...

Oh no, everyone is attacking me and trying to destroy me! I feel like such a victim. Is this what it's like to be Sarah Palin?

Seriously Don, it's not my job to defend Sullivan by addressing the points in your post. My comments are merely my own opinions, and I've never claimed not to be sexist.

But talk about hackneyed and hairbrained talking points: "Palin's the left's worst nightmare..." Only if she gets elected, ladies. Until then she's an empty winking sideshow. My shaking isn't from fear, it's from laughter. Good luck.

Donald Douglas said...

Seriously, JBW, you haven't even defended your own rants. And frankly, you're the most frequent commenter I have, so no doubt AmPow's gotten under your skin, you freak!

JBW said...

Defended my rants, Don? I implored you to make her the leader of your party for a generation and your response is that I'm scared of her and that she's my "worst nightmare". Why not just start screaming "Palin Derangement Syndrome!" whilst sticking your fingers in your ears, for Christ's sake? If you want a longer explanation of why I think she's unqualified to hold office, you know where my site is.

Two more things: 1) I'm not a freak, I'm a super freak. I'm super freaky, yeow. 2) While I comment frequently, I rarely take what you and your minions write seriously. Saying that your little blog gets under my skin is like saying that I'm obsessed with my dog because I take five whole minutes out of my day to play with him.

I mean it when I call you guys caricatures of the right. I come here strictly for the entertainment value, you all make me laugh. It's really that simple.

Dave said...

Dr. Douglas,

You are quite fortunate to have an uncle like Doug, as too many among us today have never shared in the experiences that I am sure you have with him.

Growing up and living in the southeast, I was lucky enough to have three uncles who shared most, if not all, of those same qualities, with the possible exception of longevity. All were products of small town Amurrica, as well as the military, and all had experienced combat in situations that would make JBW positively soil himself.

As such, they all shared a lust for life not easily explained, and a love for true freedom that JBW is not even conscious of.

Sadly, only one of them is still with us, and is currently battling cancer. Of course, that seems rather trivial given that he was a Naval aviator in the Korean War, and risked his life every time his plane was fired off the carrier deck, combat or not.

As for my two now deceased uncles, I experienced with them my first true camping experiences as a child, and I learned how to shoot rather accurately with all types and calibers of firearms (a skill I still hon to this day), as well as many other experiences I will never forget, including times when we either caught fish or went hungry.

To me, these people, along with their peers, were real Amurricans, not the homogenized and pussified variety that rampant urbanization has saddled us with over the last 100 years, and which seem to get exponentially softer with each generation.

As a purely academic exercise, it would be most interesting to load up JBW and Andrew Sullivan in a time machine and shoot their pampered asses back in time to about 1820's America.

LOL-I bet they would last about four days.

Maybe.

-Dave

JBW said...

I can't speak for Sullivan Dave but I think that I would be right at home in your little fictional scenario.

You see I didn't grow up in the soft, padded bosom of Southern California that Don did, but rather in a suburb of Houston, Texas, enjoying my share of uneducated rednecks and poor minorities. Is it un-PC of me to say that? Who cares?

I'm sorry about the loss of your uncles but

JBW said...

I don't know how I drunkenly sent that but "...I'm sorry about the loss of your uncles but that hardly gives you any insight into who I am (Andrew Sullivan aside).

I don't think that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. Over seventy percent of the country agrees with me. Based on that, you assume that I hate your uncles. I hope they were more open-minded than yourself.