A Funeral Oration

Today is a day of national mourning. Not for everyone, mind you, but for a select group. The mainstream media are putting on their black arm bands as they grieve over the death of one of their dearest, most intimate beliefs: that Sarah Palin is nothing more than an empty-headed, incompetent, tundra-loving Barbie doll whose very presence on the planet is an insult to the intellectual and political elite who have a sort of divine right to rule over the rubes in flyover country.

You see, the media pushed and pushed for the release of all Palin e-mails pertaining to her governorship of Alaska, relishing the opportunity to expose her once and for all as the embodiment of all that is backward about America. Once they got their wish last Friday, they even sent out an appeal to all right-thinking citizens to help them wade through the 24,000 pages in their attempt to put her influence to rest forever.

But something went wrong.

All reports, no matter which news organization one chooses for getting the latest information, are indicating that Palin does not fit their stereotype. Those eagerly sought e-mails are revealing a governor who was intelligent, focused, hardworking, and concerned about integrity in government. How awful! How can any self-respecting mainstream media outlet cover its tracks now? How are they going to maintain any credibility at all after this unforeseen calamity?

Well, they could begin questioning why there are no records for Barack Obama’s years in the Illinois state senate. Or they could start wondering why he has never allowed anyone to see his college records or any of the papers he wrote as a university student. I’m sure there’s a treasure trove awaiting them out there, if they have the desire to be investigative journalists once more. In fact, I’m expecting an announcement any day now that they are going to pursue all those unanswered questions about our commander-in-chief because, you know, their primary aim is to get at the truth in all matters of public interest. Surely they will now redirect their attention to the One who was going to heal the planet and stop the rise of the oceans.

Right.

There was a very interesting caller to the Rush Limbaugh program the other day. The man identified himself as a liberal political science professor in Missouri; I believe he was legitimate. This professor said he couldn’t believe how fortunate liberals were in that Republicans were trashing the one potential candidate on their side who could pull it all together for them and beat Obama. He was referring to Palin. He said liberals fear her more than anyone else the Republicans might put forward as their candidate. That’s why they are so anxious to portray her as brainless and frivolous. It was an enlightening interchange.

Pundits like to point to the polls and to Palin’s high unfavorability numbers. They try to make the case that she is unelectable. I had been thinking that myself—there’s just too much negative publicity to overcome. But the more I ponder it, the more I believe that liberal professor might be correct. For one thing, why should any decisions be based on opinion polls this far out from an election? Public opinion is the most changeable feature in modern politics, primarily since so few of the electorate have any principles upon which they base their opinions. If Palin can come across as knowledgeable on the issues while maintaining the “everywoman” quality that drew people to her in the first place, there’s no reason why she can’t beat a failed president who presides over the worst economy since the Great Depression, and whose policies have been the primary reason for this prolonged recession.

She may not run, of course. The important pundits [self-proclaimed] have declared she won’t. That, by itself, is probably a reason she will run, if only to tweak them. If she does run, I’m not saying I’m committed to her candidacy; there are others with valid claims on the nomination as well. Yet I refuse to accept the phony argument that she cannot win. The future is open; anything can happen.