When John McCain selected Governor Sarah Palin, as his running mate, the Democrats and their far-left constituency let out a primal scream that could be heard from sea to shining sea. How dare he choose someone that they and their pals in the media had not had a chance to vet (i.e. libel, slander, and otherwise and otherwise eviscerate). Ah, but it was not too late. These seekers of “a new kind of politics” poured torrents of malicious abuse upon her and her family.
Plane loads of scandal mongers, lawyers and other truth seekers became more numerous in Alaska than the polar bear, as they rallied local Democrats and disgruntled Republicans to their cause.
Here was a woman who chose to have children and a career. Aging Washington socialites weighed in with newly discovered sensitivity for mothers with careers outside the home. Here was a woman who became upset because her ex-brother-in-law had tasered her nephew and threatened her father. The Democrats and their friends had to save the country from a woman like this.
Governor Palin’s every comment was scrutinized by the media and judged against what Jefferson or Lincoln might have said. Never mind that her counterpart, the 30-year-Washington-veteran Joe Biden, apparently is unaware that America relies upon coal for a lot of it’s electricity or that he recently referred to a top level U.S. official’s visit to Iran that never happened. That’s just Joe being Joe – protected by the sheer number of his gaffes and the fact that he is Barack Obama’s running mate.
For a while there it seems the fact that so many uninformed yahoos (average people) love her was going to drive the main stream media nuts. They had a hard time grasping the fact that people like her because she is precisely the kind of politician that everyone has been saying they’ve wanted: Independent, not a captive of the Beltway including a Congress with a 9% approval rating, who will take on hacks of either party; who has the tenacity to win and the courage to fight for the long-term benefit of those she represents.
Apparently what no one counted on was that a politician like this would actually show up on the national scene. The media was caught by surprise. The media doesn’t like surprises.
Naturally, there was a backlash to the treatment of Governor Palin and cooler-headed critics have largely concentrated on what they claim is her lack of qualifications. Of course much of the criticism of her qualifications reveals the application of the same old double standard. Less accomplished governors in times past have been considered to be perfectly “well-qualified” as VP picks.
Fred Thompson has been a lawyer, actor and United States Senator. He writes exclusive analysis and commentary for Townhall Magazine.