A Different Take On Palin

People are clamoring for change. Here are some fresh perspectives on Sarah Palin for a change.

First, this editorial from the UK:

In short, far from being a small-town mayor concerned with little more than traffic signs, she has been a major player in state politics for a decade, one who formulated an ambitious agenda and deftly implemented it against great odds.

Her sudden elevation to the vice-presidential slot on the Republican ticket shocked no one more than her enemies in Alaska, who have broken out into a cold sweat at the thought of Palin in Washington, guiding the Justice Department’s anti-corruption teams through the labyrinths of Alaska’s old-boy network.

And, remember the Charlie Gibson interview, when Palin didn’t seem to know what the Bush Doctrine was? Well, the man who first coined the phrase, the Bush Doctrine, had his own gotcha moment when he pointed out that it was Charlie Gibson and the New York Times who fumbled and bumbled that one:

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong. There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration — and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

He asked Palin, “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?” She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, “In what respect, Charlie?” Sensing his “gotcha” moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine “is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense.”


I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, “The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism,” I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

That’s not all. A real feminist, Camille Paglia, appreciates the appearance of Sarah Palin on the scene, even if she does not share many of the same ideas, politically:

Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist… Over the Labor Day weekend, with most of the big enchiladas of the major media on vacation, the vacuum was filled with a hallucinatory hurricane in the leftist blogosphere, which unleashed a grotesquely lurid series of allegations, fantasies, half-truths and outright lies about Palin. What a tacky low in American politics — which has already caused a backlash that could damage Obama’s campaign. When liberals come off as childish, raving loonies, the right wing gains. I am still waiting for substantive evidence that Sarah Palin is a dangerous extremist. I am perfectly willing to be convinced, but right now, she seems to be merely an optimistic pragmatist like Ronald Reagan, someone who pays lip service to religious piety without being in the least wedded to it. I don’t see her arrival as portending the end of civil liberties or life as we know it.


  1. As you know, I’ve always admired Camille Paglia. I had mixed feelings on Palin. I don’t think she’s extremely bright, or either that, she freezes and holds herself back. One or the other, but may be a problem with leadership skills.

    The bright side as you have guessed I’d say is she gets an A when it comes to 2nd Amendment issues.

    So when I heard what Paglia said, I had to do a little bit more research on her, and in the end, I agree with Paglia. She’s an optimistic pragmatist, and that’s something I like about her.

    October 13, 2008
  2. pietyhill said:

    Let’s face it… there aren’t any really compelling candidates out there this time around. I think Paglia’s got a point… give Palin another 5-10 years of national politics and she’ll probably develop into a major player.

    October 13, 2008

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