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Sarah Speaks Out

January 12, 2009

Now that Sarah Palin is finally speaking up about the unfairness of her treatment by the drive-by media, I wonder if she really was muzzled by the McCain campaign as has been suspected. If so, that was one of the worst campaign moves in recent memory.

What seems to be generating Palin's well-justified angst is the comparative kid-gloves treatment Ms. "You Know," aka Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is receiving in her self-anointing bid for her "ya-know sisterhood" sister Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat. Palin rightly claims that class may have something to do with Kennedy-Schlossberg's handling by the press, since the name Kennedy automatically bestows a mantle of political brilliance and entitlement not to be questioned by the unwashed masses. In contrast, Palin was and is portrayed as a backwoods hick who lacks even the minimum sophistication, let alone the belief system, that the elites believe is a prerequisite to success in Washington DC.

However, while the Kennedy-Schlossberg spectacle may have been the impetus for Palin's going on the record, it may also have been simply a convenient spark to unleash months of simmering anger. And, not surprisingly, two of the main targets were people that Palin should have avoided like the plague but did not.

Palin was absolutely right to criticize Katie Couric for her condescending manner during Couric's interview with the Republican vice-presidential candidate. However, it's reasonable to ask, what did she expect? Why is it that Republicans walk into interviews with these drive-by liberal sharks with wide-eyed expectations that they will actually be treated fairly? And, where were these criticisms months ago when they could have had some immediate impact?

It should have been equally obvious that actress and comedian Tina Fey was certainly no fan of Palin and relished her role as Sarah's mocker-in-chief. Yet Palin ultimately agreed to appear on Saturday Night Live with Fey and, at the time, played the good sport in treating the cutting parodies of her as lighthearted jabs-which they were not. That Fey went shamelessly after Palin's family as well as the candidate should have generated an immediate comeback, but none was forthcoming at the time.

In her recent interview, Palin anguished over whether she would be labeled a "whiner" for coming out with remarks about her unfair treatment. Yet when anyone cares to look at the situation objectively, it's clear that she has the facts on her side. Like the old ballplayer Dizzy Dean when he said, "It ain't braggin' if you can do it," Palin can confidently claim that it's not whining if the facts back her up-which they do. And this is what Palin and other Republicans far more timid than her need to take into account when they sit silently and absorb massive criticism for fear of being labeled as crybabies.

The drive-bys have, until now, done such an effective hatchet job on Sarah Palin that her future political viability, at least on the national level, is in some jeopardy. Perhaps belatedly she is beginning to realize this. However, she needs to have learned and apply a lasting lesson from the rough-and-tumble of the 2008 campaign-that she's dealing with an adversary whose intent is to destroy whatever political career she has left, and that the only way to handle such an adversary is to fight back, not accommodate.

Broadly speaking, Republicans would do well to pick up Ann Coulter's latest brilliant expose on liberals and their intentions, "Guilty." As always, Ann takes the mask off liberals to reveal their hypocrisy and malevolent intentions as only she can. I've read little of it so far (more to come later) but the gist is her apt description of how liberal leftists paint themselves and their constituencies as victims when in fact they are the bullies trying to ram their agenda down our collective throats. And as we know, the only way to stop a bully is to call their bluff and fight back.

In this light, all of the current talk about accommodating with Obama and Democrats in Congress is just the opposite of what the Republicans need to do, for the good not only of their future viability but that of the country. Although it's much tougher to swim against the tide of (apparent) public opinion and the party in power, ultimately it's the right thing to do and will pay off in the end. Hopefully Republican leaders will wake up to this message before it's too late.

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