two thoughts on sarah palin


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

61 Responses

  1. Avatar Will says:

    Well said.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    She always struck me as the closest thing to a human being of all the four folks up there.

    The fierce response to her always struck me as disproportionate. I was reminded of 1984 (the year, not the book). Different groups were making the same kinds of jokes I (over)heard back then.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to Jaybird says:

      The most human – well, yes, now that you mention it, she really did. That doesn’t make me any more comfortable with the thought of her as Commander in Chief, but it is very, very true nonetheless. There is the “empty-vessel” quality about our well-spoken President; and the “empty-headed” quality about our Vice. Palin was human but I thought the “you betcha” shtick diminished that to some degree.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        what the heck does “most human” mean????Report

        • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to greginak says:

          The most fallible, I’d say. The least polished. The most vulnerable and least plastic.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to E.D. Kain says:

            So having problems makes you “more human” and not showing cracks makes you less human. Keeping your stuff together ends up leading to an insult or being less human.

            FWIW i think if your accent changes depending on the audience and trying out a flirty wink, is just about as plastic and false as anything.Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to greginak says:

              Now, I’m of the mind that all four candidates (with the possible exception of Joe Biden) were pretty human. McCain was a frustrated, curmudgeonly maverick gone mainstream (and seemed very unnatural in his own skin) and Obama was the smooth, comported, sensible guy with that impenetrable (dare I say inhuman?) calm. And Sarah, as I elude to above, was probably acting half the time (though very poorly, I would say). They’re all politicians and thus not quite human no matter what, but I think that any politician seems more human if they have less skill at being a politician. Thus Sarah’s humanity was laid more bare than the others. That’s all. Though she did her best, vis-a-vis said acting, to cloak it…Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

          Well, from my perspective, Our Betters are not like you or me. If I were to ask you “what do you think about issue X?”, you would probably say “Dude, I think that X is Y” (maybe you’d say “not Y”).

          If you ask one of Our Betters, however, you’ll get an answer like “well, it’s a very difficult topic, you see… we have to think about things like The Children, The American Family, Jobs, and The Environment. Why, when I was a boy in Lake Forest, Tennessee…”

          And you’d get this wonderfully charming bullshit that wouldn’t answer the question and was designed to prevent you from asking a follow-up question and otherwise obfuscate you from knowing anything at all.

          If asked to give a short summary of “what does so-and-so think about X?”, you’d be struck scratching your head.

          Again, If I were to ask you about X and someone said “what is his position?”, I’d be able to say Y. (Or, I suppose, not Y.) This is because you are pretty much a human being.

          Additionally, you have a list of “stuff you think about” in your head. Your house, your pets, your life partner, your job, your vacation, etc. I get the feeling that you would understand my thoughts on such things and I would understand yours. Looking at most of the politicians out there, I get the feeling that their thoughts about such things would be alien (pun intended) to me.

          So that’s what I meant, pretty much.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

            So does that boil down to: simply answer= human
            Long complex answer=less “human”

            I realize it pretty basic to hate on politicians, but I don’t see how they are “alien.” They certainly skew towards being high achieving types who are comfortable in front of a camera, but we elect them. Out politicians are often embarrassing but they are us.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak says:

              umm part 2

              That seems like an odd point to raise from the author of a complex post on a post theist moral framework.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I trust that, after reading my essay, if someone asked “would Jaybird think X is immoral?”, you’d be able to put together not only an answer but a why I would (or wouldn’t) think such a thing.

                Complexity is not, in itself, inhuman.(That essay I wrote was, originally, an attempt to say *EXACTLY* what I thought.)

                It’s the deliberate bullshit hiding behind appeals to complexity masquerading as an answer that I’m talking about. The whole “that’s not even a lie” answer.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Bull shitting seems to be pretty damn human to me.

                I’m not completely disagreeing, but one persons obfuscation is another persons complex answer.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Eh. It’s not impossible to tell the difference between someone trying to answer a question honestly and trying very hard to not.Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to greginak says:

              Well, McCain didn’t answer in a particularly complex fashion. He seemed to do his best to obfuscate, as did Obama, as did all of them in all honesty. Palin was just the least experienced at this, so she came across as a little more human in that sense.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to E.D. Kain says:

                I don’t know. It just seems like being barely coherent makes her somehow more human. I try to be coherent and when i am not i am embarrassed or displeased. She didn’t seem so.

                I think we would be better off with more politicians giving long, precise explanations a la jay. I think Obama does that very often. Others, not so much.Report

    • Avatar AC in reply to Jaybird says:

      It’s hard to hear the gleeful mean-spirited tone of the convention speech, and not wonder why, if she can dish it out, does she complain so loudly when it comes back her way.

      There was no need for her to initiate a tone such as that. That she gets some of it back seems to me to be quite fair.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to AC says:

        Well, there are two kinds of “dishing it out”.

        The whole “these guys are on the other side and they suck!” category doesn’t bug me. I mean, the attacks on Palin for having once supported “The Bridge To Nowhere” while, at the same time, claiming to be for fiscal conservativism was an attack that totally makes sense to me and I see it as 100% “in bounds”. The whole Couric interview and mocking her for her “all of them!” answer is also. I don’t have a problem with any of those kinds of attacks.

        It’s the “is she *REALLY* the mother of Trig?” attacks that make my jaw drop. “She’s just a vapid beauty queen!” kinda things.

        I’m not saying that she should be off limits. Heaven forbid! I’m saying that the inclusion of the latter attacks and the degree to which they were included (attacks on what kind of person would raise someone who would fall in love with Levi? Really?) surprised me.Report

  3. I was one of the ones who was excited about Palin initially. I had seen a few interviews with her where she talked about energy policy and she seemed intelligent. She was easy on the eyes. And I thought she was a great way to soak up disgruntled Clinton supporters.

    Obviously I have had to re-evaluate my initial opinion.

    I won’t comment on her intelligence because I think it’s too loaded a subject. I won’t comment on her conservative Christianity because I think it has been exaggerated. What I will say is that her populist rhetoric, from which I think the main liberal criticisms flow, can be traced back to two sentences in her acceptance speech at the GOP convention last year:

    “I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. “

    If readers will recall, that line brought down the house. I was watching the speech with several friends and even a few Democrats in the room (lifelong hunters and gunowners) clapped. THAT was the moment that defined the rest of her campaign. She became the populist voice within the McCain camp. Now, I’m not saying it was a smart move in hindsight and it could certainly have been played better. But 5 minutes after that speech the course ahead seemed to be pretty clear.

    In all honestly, I don’t think Palin herself really knows what she believes in. Time will tell if she can figure that out and get herself in the right place at the right time.Report

    • Avatar matoko_chan in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      Dude, she had a jesus-take-the-wheel moment in her resignation speech. She said she “prayed on it”. Notably excised from the official transcript….guess why?
      Cuz Jesus is a superbad driver. He just drove us into the ditch on Eye-Rack.
      She is a fundamentalist evangelical christian, although her handlers tried hard to downplay that. Her church in Alaska held exorcisms, advertized for gay “conversion” seminars, and had congregants that spoke in tongues.
      I think….she wrote that speech her bigself, in a snit over the Trig photoshops and the Team McCain tell-all hints in the news. Perhaps that was the blackmail.
      Schmidt told her to gtfo or he would spill the beans on what really when on.
      He’s a better American than Douthat if that is true.Report

  4. Avatar mike farmer says:

    Very good, objective analysis. Kudos.Report

  5. Avatar oldfatherwilliam says:

    You and yr commenters are easily the most generous I’ve found, on at least this subject. To me she seems both vapid and erratic, hardly the sort we might want to lead us anywhere at all. I’m thinking about how Ross Perot energized her natural constituency, thereby gifting us with Clinton. It could happen!Report

  6. Avatar Moff says:

    “I think a lot of people just felt like their President ought to be able to convincingly express their thoughts and policies and that Palin simply wasn’t up to snuff.”

    That’s a big part of it. I’m a pretty firm believer in the correspondence between clarity of language and clarity of thought.

    But there’s also the nasty vibe I get from her. To me, she brings to mind M. Scott Peck’s definition of evil as “militant ignorance” and the criteria he ascribes to evil people.Report

    • Avatar Kyle in reply to Moff says:

      You know, I’ve been around enough brilliant people who can’t be cogent or pithy and are sometimes terribly incoherent as well as some smooth talking idiots for me to see clear thoughts and clear speech as anything more than a correlative fallacy.

      After all it’s quite easy for people to have no thoughts and clear speech.

      However, I do agree with E.D. that the ability to communicate well is particularly important when one is a head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief.Report

      • Avatar Moff in reply to Kyle says:

        Yeah, I should have said that a little differently. I think there’s often a correlation, but that there are also many exceptions; and that there’s not as much room for those exceptions in the realm of public office. But I also think there’s a difference between a smooth-talking idiot who’s clear about what he wants to say, even if what he wants to say is unintelligent, and a perfectly intelligent person who can’t express herself cogently and thus, in many cases, doesn’t really understand what she wants to say.

        I mean, I don’t get the sense that Sarah Palin is actually unintelligent. I just think she says stupid things, and I conjecture that it’s because she’s not very mentally well organized and doesn’t exercise her brain much. I could be wrong.Report

        • Avatar AC in reply to Moff says:

          She doesn’t use language to persuade, she uses code, symbols, and her identity. At some point, the medium is the message.

          Increasingly among her supporters, Palin IS the message, rather than any underlying policy acumen or, at the very least, perspective.Report

  7. Avatar Kyle says:

    Fantastic post, although I very much agree with you here, so take that with a grain of biased salt.

    Personally, I think that Sarah Palin, at this point in time, is more icon than person. No small number of people who see here as one of us, regardless of the veracity of that idea. An even larger number of people who see her as angry “Christianist” populism personified, again regardless of the veracity of that idea.

    She’s the new Hillary, everyone has an idea of who and what she is and for the most part is rather obsessed with hating or loving her. That’s her biggest problem, uncontrolled ubiquity.

    Finally it’s worth pointing out that she may be an aerial wolf hunter/moose hunter/avid outdoorsman, but she’s no Michaëlle JeanReport

  8. Avatar Neil says:

    Good analysis, E.D. But, I think that Kyle, you make a good point. It seems that people identify with Palin the idea rather than the blatantly flawed politician.Report

  9. Avatar Nance Confer says:

    She doesn’t strike me as being very bright. She may be a great, or even moderate, intellect. If so, she has a great capacity to hide her light under a bushel.


  10. Avatar greginak says:

    Said by Sarah regarding the differences between dealing with ethics complaints as a govenor vs president.

    “I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out,” she said.

    She is not the sharpest knife in the drawer/dumb.Report

  11. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Wake up.
    She rubbed your nose in it here, E.D.
    From the Kate Snow interview.
    “But as for whether another pursuit of national office, as she did less than a year ago when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House, would result in the same political blood sport, Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House, she said, the “department of law” would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.“I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out,” she said.
    There is no “Department of Law” at the White House.”
    This a deeply ignorant, impetuous and shallow person who is also apparently a pathological liar.
    Palin crack-dealers like Douthat tried to use misdirection to focus on the media attacks, but the truth is this person has no business anywhere near the WH ever. Honest republicans like Colin Powell took one look at her and ran like scalded cats. The crack-dealers stayed on.
    And stfu about sloganeering democracy vs meritocracy, Jaybird.
    Douthat got pwned on that already in comments on this thread.
    Douthat continued to try to promote Palin even after she was certainly revealed as profoundly unfit. That is putting some personal agenda over the good of our country.
    Why does Ross Douthat hate his country?Report

  12. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Department of Law is pretty good. I like that. Maybe, since the Department of Justice is often-as-not a contradiction in terms, we should change the name to Dept. of Law (though that sounds an awful lot like a college department…)Report

    • Avatar Rob in CT in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      I think it’s pretty clear that she thinks that being President means that the Justice Dept. (or White House counsel) will clean up your messes for you – they’re your servants, dontcha know?

      I wonder where she got that idea?

      Look, Palin is Dubya in a skirt. The end.Report

  13. Avatar Barry says:

    “I liked George W. Bush as a person quite a lot. I think he was a nice guy, and genuinely well-meaning, …”

    Where is there evidence (aside from PR crap) that Bush was well-meaning? He always struck me as a self-centered spoiled brat, who only alternated between not caring about others, not believing that others were real, and enjoying his power to screw over the little people.Report

    • Avatar Jon H in reply to Barry says:

      Yep. The blithe way he handled executions in Texas doesn’t say much for his character. You’d think someone with his claimed pro-life religious beliefs would at least take an interest.Report

  14. Avatar conradg says:

    I think this definition of being “human” as being unprofessional, incompetent, and incapable of handling the public stage is very strange indeed. Even if we accept it, is that what we want in our leaders? Unprofessional incompetence that we can relate to and not feel intimidated by? I think we want leaders who impress us and inspire us, by being highly intelligent, competent, brave, and trustworthy themselves. If we consider such virtues to be “inhuman”, then what kind of slander are we making on the human race? Is virtue itself inhuman? If so, then please, give me inhuman leaders, and help me to become inhuman myself.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to conradg says:

      You know who was professional, competent, and capable of handling the public stage?


      If that’s what you’re looking for in a leader, I’m not going to tell you how to live. I wouldn’t brag about wanting that, though. I certainly wouldn’t say that wanting Hitler was morally preferable to the alternative.

      Or am I reading your post exceptionally uncharitably?Report

  15. Avatar conradg says:

    Jaybird, you’re completely right. I want more Hitlers. In fact, I want leaders who are even more competent than Hitler. I want real life Bond-Villains to rule the world.

    You haven’t distorted my thinking at all. You’ve hit it right on the head. Sara Palin is the anti-Hitler. In every respect. If only she’d been around back in the day, instead of those inhuman competent and professional guys like Churchill, Rooseveldt, Eisenhower, Marshall, Patton, McCarthur, etc. We might have actually won that war against Hitler. Humanly, of course.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to conradg says:

      And now, here’s the kicker!!!

      “I think this definition of being “human” as being unprofessional, incompetent, and incapable of handling the public stage is very strange indeed.”

      See what I did there?Report

  16. Avatar conradg says:

    I dosee. Sheer Genius! Wow, you really had me going there!

    It just never occurred to me that if one could find examples of competent people being inhuman monsters, it meant all competent people were inhuman monsters. Silly me. But you’ve sure shown me the light. Next time we fight evil, let’s find someone who can do it incompetently, unprofessionally, but with a kind of “aw shucks”, down home likability who’s incapable of doing the job either intelligently or well. Oh, right, we just had that for the last eight years! I’m so impressed with how well that turned out, but honestly, I think Sarah could do even better!Report

  17. Avatar conradg says:

    I do understand better why so many on the right compare Obama to Hitler now. Both were competent, professional people with a sure voice who could handle the public stage. Clearly, this means Obama will soon be putting people in death camps. The only question is, will Sarah be able to stop him in time?Report

  18. Avatar conradg says:

    Oh, noes! Have I misrepresented your views? That would be unbearably ironic, if not tragically unjust.Report

  19. Avatar conradg says:

    Here’s E.D’s response to the question., “what the heck does “most human” mean????”:

    “The most fallible, I’d say. The least polished. The most vulnerable and least plastic.”

    What I said does not misrepresent E.D. It merely points out what a stupid thing it was that E.D. said.

    “I think this definition of being “human” as being unprofessional, incompetent, and incapable of handling the public stage is very strange indeed.”

    So Churchill, Roosevelt, and Reagan were not human, because they were talented and skilled public speakers who took care not to be wrong about basic matters?

    Again, defining “human” by the notion of fallibility is a pernicious delusion used to excuse incompetence, lack of skill and effort, and outright dishonest, especially in the case of Palin. That even her lies are incompetent does not make her more human, it simply makes her a failure even at covering up her failures.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to conradg says:

      So, like, you can’t think of a single interpretation that is more charitable? You put all of your energies into it and, no matter how hard you try, “E.D. said something incontrovertibly stupid” is the only interpretation that makes sense to you?Report

  20. Avatar conradg says:

    Truth isn’t charitable. E.D. said something both obviously wrong and obviously dim-witted, and then both of you try to pretend the critics are the ones who are screwed up. I would say that this almost perfectly reflects the Palin problem. It’s not only that she’s wrong so often, but she feels she has to defend the stupid things she says, which only makes it worse.

    Now, it’s certainly defensible to say that “being human” means having a self-awareness of how wrong we can be. But that’s exactly what missing in both Palin and this defense of E.D. Why not just admit E.D. said something stupid, and leave it at that? If Palin were to just admit, after being called on for saying something both false and stupid, “You know, on reflection, I was just wrong there”, then she’d definitely be showing her humanity. But the very vulnerability E.D. equates with fallibility is missing in her case. And yours.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to conradg says:

      I don’t know about that, dude. Having read his post *COMPLETELY* differently, I think that it’s possible for a reasonable person to come to the conclusion that your mastery of interpretation is right up there with your mastery of the “reply” link.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to conradg says:

      Okay, that was uncharitable on my part. Let me try again.

      It seems obvious to me that E.D. was saying that Sarah Palin, in all of her fallibility, lack of polish, and lack of plastic struck her as someone most like an authentic person.

      I say this as someone who is also quite fallible and unpolished (whether I’m plastic is probably not something I have the competence to determine).

      The Mountain West states (I include Alaska in that, for some reason) are sparsely populated and out of the way enough that people who are not “professional” politicians get elected from time to time. Not always, of course, but from time to time.

      At the time of Palin’s nomination, she came across as someone who, for all her faults, seemed more like a real person who got elected to office rather than a “professional” politician.

      This is how I interpreted his post.

      The fact that you immediately interpreted it as him saying that “human” means “unprofessional, incompetent, and incapable of handling the public stage” is uncharitable on your part.

      I am hopeful that you *MIGHT* see that there is another interpretation of his post that is *POSSIBLE*.

      You can, of course, rest assured in your knowledge that E.D. was saying that he really wanted someone with Trig’s genes (including the number of them!) in charge.

      I’m just hoping that you’ll open your heart enough to, maybe, see that there might be a possible world out there where an alternate E.D., one with a goatee perhaps, might have meant something closer to my interpretation than one where he meant exactly what you’ve interpreted him to be meaning.Report

  21. Avatar conradg says:

    First, what E.D. “seemed” to say in your interpretation isn’t the issue. It’s what he actually said, when asked to define what he meant by “most human”, that’s the issue. He said, ““The most fallible, I’d say. The least polished. The most vulnerable and least plastic.”

    The first words out of his mouth were “most fallible”. I take issue with that notion of what makes us “human”. Rather than actually discuss that, you seem obsessed with my interpreting this “charitably”.

    As for the rest of his statement, I think I understand what he’s getting at, but I disagree strongly with applying these concepts to Palin. The notion that being unpolished is “human”, is once again, equating our humanity with some rough state of unconscious nature, rather than with the specifically human state of being conscious, self-aware, and able to be responsible for ourselves. And that’s the problem with the Palin phenomena. It’s a glamourization of personal irresponsiblity, as if the human state is to be equated with being irresponsible, fallible, and thus “unpolished”. What’s even worse is that this is a woman who literally worships celebrity, fashion, style, polish, and all the things we differentiate us from the rough, country types who actually scorn these things. I live in a rural area myself, and I don’t dress up, ever, unless that means putting on black blue jeans to go out to dinner, so I have no sympathy for yuppie country types like Sarah.

    I’ve got nothing against being unpretentious or not pretending to have it all together. I’ve got nothing against Palin for not having it all together. If she were some honest, down-to-earth country character, I’d find her endearing. And at first, I was hoping that’s just what she’d be. But it turns out that’s just part of her pretentiousness. She pretends to be down to earth and trustworthy, but in fact is a lying little weasel who tries to twist everything her way, and just makes excuse after excuse to cover for her inadequacies. I’ve known these types before, and they get no respect from me for hiding behind rural pieties.. In fact, that’s even worse. There really are so many good “unpolished” rural people out there who simply tell the truth and mean what they say. Palin just isn’t one of them, and pretending she is while covering over her lies and half-truths is pretty fricking offensive.

    Now, that E.D. seems to have been fooled by her is bad enough. But coming up with these lame philosophical excuses for Palin’s moral and intellectual inadequacies is not something to be respected or be charitable about. Palin simply is not vulnerable at all, and lacks any self-awareness of her own inadequacies. She wants to be thought of as the equal of other politicians who have actually worked at their jobs, without actually doing the hard work of learning what she needs to know. She’s plastic, in other words, inauthentic, but posing as if she is authentic, and using rural window dressing to acquire those virtues by association, when she hasn’t actually done the hard work of acquiring character, knowledge, ability, and honesty. There’s a reason why she faces so many ethical investigations – she’s lacking ethics. Real, honest to goodness rural people may lack some polish, but they make up for it with honesty and good sense. Palin lacks these, so she substitutes the narcissistic associations to gloss over her lack. That’s as plastic as it gets. If it fools some hapless city-folk with a romantic notion of rural virtue, that’s funny in its own way, but not a very good reflection upon their ability to judge character.

    Now, of course there are other possible interpretations, but why should I argue them, when they are not what I see? E.D. is simply trying to be a Palin apoligist, and in the process completely misunderstands so many basic issues of human nature it’s rather hilarious.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to conradg says:

      I’m not a Palin apologist. I think a bit of time spent reading anything I’ve ever written about her would reveal that I in fact shudder at the thought of that woman leading our nation. But that doesn’t mean I look on everything she does or is with unadulterated scorn either. Jaybird’s interpretation of my statement above is fairly spot-on. I think that whether or not she was more human is not the point – but that her lack of political wherewithal made her a more vulnerable, flawed candidate, in that I saw more of her humanity. She tries very hard to cover that up, but you still see it more plainly than in the other candidates. This does not make her a better candidate by any means.Report

  22. Avatar conradg says:

    Thanks for clarifying, but you seem to confirm that what I’ve said about your statements – both on what constitutes “humanness” and whether Palin is more “human” than other candidates – was spot on. Once again you are defining our humanness by our flaws, and seeing Palin as more human because she was more flawed. To use Jaybird’s strained analogy, doesn’t that make Hitler even more “human”, in that he was far more flawed than almost anyone in history? I only say that to point out the silliness of seeing our flaws as signs of our humanness, rather than an increased awareness of our flaws, which leads to self-correction. I found Obama far more human than Palin, for example, in that he’s very much aware of his own flaws, and has actually worked hard to correct them and develop himself as a human being consequently. Palin, on the other hand, hasn’t seen her own flaws, but instead unwittingly develops her own flaws, rather than correcting them. This has led her down a sad path of narcissistic self-indulgence, rather than of self-knowing. It’s made her less human, in other words, since I define “humanness” by just that – self-knowledge. In fact, all the other candidates seemed to me to be more self-knowing than she was, McCain and Biden as well. Their character flaws were evident also, but they at least had some conscience about them. Both Palin and McCain were guilty of whipping crowds into a frenzy of fear and Obama-bashing (how charitable was it of Palin to constantly interpret Obama’s relationship to Bill Ayers as “palling around with terrorists”?), but at least McCain showed some self-awareness that this had gone too far. Palin never did. To this day she does not. That her personal life is a mess does not make her more “human”. If she were aware that it was a mess, and that she was responsible for making it a mess, that would make her more human, but the opposite is the case. She blames everyone else from the media to the teenage father of her daughter’s child. That’s not being human, that’s just being a bitch.

    When I called you a Palin apologist, I didn’t mean to suggest you were a political supporter of hers. I’m aware that you are not. I’m more iinterested in the human issues involved in this debate than the political ones in any case. And originally I too had hoped that Palin would indeed represent a decent human character that was less packaged than the usual political campaign allows for. But over time I saw that she simply hasn’t got a decent human character, and is even less human than even the average political candidate. The fact that she has flaws is not what makes her human. Conscience is what makes us human. You confuse your own consciousness of Palin’s flaws with her own consciousness of those flaws, of which she has none. It’s a common mistake often made by people who have a lot of conscience, such as yourself. If I’m to make the most charitable interpretation of your post, that would be it. You are guilty of projecting your own good conscience upon someone who lacks one.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain in reply to conradg says:

      Perhaps it is my literary inclinations, but I do indeed find the flaws in people what make them the most human. Palin may be a bitch. And she may be a lot less “human” than I at first believed, (to which I direct you to my bit on her being an actor perhaps) but that was indeed my first impression of her. Now? See my post full of uncertainties….Report

  23. Avatar conradg says:

    Yes, I too saw her at first in a more favorable light. I tried to see the best in her, give her the benefit of the doubt, assume she was a good person, etc. But after a while I could no longer support that view.

    And I suggest you re-examine your literary theories. Again, I think you are confusing consciousness of one’s flaws with merely having flaws. Every living thing has flaws, but what makes us distinctly human is our awareness of them.Report