There's something about outspoken conservative women that drives the left mad. It's a peculiar pathology I've reported on for more than 15 years, both as a witness and a target. Thus, the onset of Palin Derangement Syndrome in the media, Democratic circles and the cesspools of the blogosphere came as no surprise. They just can't help themselves.
Liberals hold a special animus for constituencies they deem traitors. Minorities who identify as social and economic conservatives have left the plantation and sold out their people. Women who put an "R" by their name have abandoned their ovaries and betrayed their gender. As female Republican officeholders and female conservative public figures have grown in number and visibility, so has the progression of Conservative Female Abuse. The astonishing vitriol and virulent hatred directed at GOP Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the most severe manifestation to date.
The first stage of Conservative Female Abuse by the left is infantilization. Right-wing women can't possibly believe what they say they believe about the sanctity of life, self-defense, free markets or foreign policy. They must be submissive little dolls of the White Male Hierarchy. Or, as a far-left (Is there any other kind of left in San Francisco?) San Francisco Chronicle columnist wrote of first lady Laura Bush, they must be put in their place as "docile doormats" with no brains of their own. True to form, no sooner had John McCain announced Gov. Palin as his veep pick than jeers of "Palin = neocon puppet" sprouted across the Internet.
The second stage of CFA is sexualization. A conservative woman is not merely a sellout. She is an intellectual prostitute. Unable or unwilling to argue with them on the merits, detractors resort to mocking the physical appearance of their ideological opponents in skirts and denigrating them with vulgar epithets. MSNBC hosts insulted former GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's accomplished wife and mother of two, Jeri Thompson, as working the stripper pole. Newspaper cartoonists Ted Rall, Pat Oliphant and Jeff Danziger have caricatured Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, including as a mammy, thick-lipped parrot and a Bush "House nigga" armed with "hair straightener." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd derided former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Republican, for applying "her makeup with a trowel."