Paul Greenberg

"I know who I am." - Mrs. Rose Castorini in "Moonstruck," explaining to the young jerk of a professor why she wasn't about to take him up on his offer of a warm bed.

Before she delivered her maiden speech at a national nominating convention, preparatory to that same convention's nominating her for vice president of the United States, there was the strangest fluttering among the coveys of the always Angry Left. The wildest rumors were being spread about the lady governor from Alaska, and about her family. Just look at her hairdo. She's got to be some kind of religious extremist, or even a Pentecostal. Was she going to address the nation in English or tongues? The nutcases were in full flight on the Internet.

Of course they always are. But this time they were being matched and raised by the usual merchants of condescension inside the all-knowing Beltway. The most curious turnaround in cultural politics was taking place. Suddenly it was our Advanced Social Thinkers, our unisex avant-garde, who were expressing doubts about whether a woman with children should really be taking on so heavy a responsibility. Shouldn't she be staying home with the kids?

Why, picture the distractions the little ones would present. Imagine that cute-beyond-words little girl running around at press conferences. (It'd be quite an improvement over most of 'em, if you ask me.) But, no, can't have that. Forget JFK's photo-ops with Caroline and John-John in the Oval Office back in the day. The rules are different for Sarah Palin. Indeed, they've been turned upside down. At dizzying - and revealing - speed. For when her critics took aim at Sarah Palin, they revealed most about themselves, and about a society that has gone from baby-friendly to, well, pretty screwed-up. The secular humanists, if that's the right name for their denomination, haven't been this snide, this superior, this all shook up since John Ashcroft.

It was as if Sarah Palin's critics were deliberately leaving themselves open for a knockout punch. A punch that would be delivered with a lady's deft touch, but one that'd knock 'em out of the ring and halfway across the county. They still don't seem to know what hit 'em. Their only recourse is to jabber some more. (Just listen to 'em on NPR. They refuse to stop losing this fight.)

Can these people have any idea whom they're dealing with? Even the faintest? Couldn't they tell just from her poise, her sense of command, when she was being introduced as John McCain's running mate? She's nobody to underestimate. You'd think anybody could tell that. At first sight. Well, anybody but a member in good standing of the American intelligentsia, or what passes for one.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.