Sarah Has Frank in a Frenzy

Frank Rich expends his 1,500-words today ripping into Sarah Palin.  Into John McCain for picking Sarah Palin. Into any members of the press who might not rip into Sarah Palin.  What's got Rich so riled up?  Cut to Frank's final line: "they just might pull it off." With props to the late Robert Palmer, Frank's got a bad case of not-loving Sarah Palin—but he's badly worried America will find her simply irresistible.

We've had fun with this kind of thing before, so let's ring up the curtain on Rich, Fisked: Act II.

Rich's headline is "Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage." He later describes McCain's process of picking Palin as "speed-dating" and writes of his "embrace" of her. My, my.  Sexualizing a woman politician in order to diminish her?  Isn't that just the kind of thing that would normally be condemned by, say, a liberal columnist of the NY Times?

[T]he speech’s central argument, that the 72-year-old McCain will magically morph into a powerful change agent as president, is a non sequitur. In his 26 years in Washington, most of it with a Republican in the White House and roughly half of it with Republicans in charge of Congress, he was better at lecturing his party about reform than leading a reform movement. G.O.P.

So Rich admits that McCain was a voice for reform who bucked his party, but complains that he didn't always succeed in bringing about change.  Sounds to me like a perfect reason to run for president, where he would have the power to do more. Compare and contrast with Obama, whose idea of taking tough stands is voting "present," and who never uttered a peep as he sat for 20 years in Rev. Wright's pews.

In the G.O.P., Bush love is now the second most popular love that dare not speak its name.

Unlike your brave boys Kerry and Edwards, who didn't hesitate to speak its name in 2004 when they were running against . . . Mary Cheney.

The "last-minute embrace" of Palin proves McCain's claim to being a maverick is "fraudulent." 

So instead of making a bold choice—a wild-'n-crazy guy like Romney or Pawlenty—McCain-the-non-maverick went with the safe and predictable pick of Palin. Right.

America loves nothing more than a new celebrity face, and the talking heads marched in lock step last week to proclaim her a star.

The talking heads who wondered whether she would neglect her Down syndrome child and speculated endlessly about the impact of the pregnancy of her 17-year old daughter?  Those talking heads?

[Palin] defends her own pregnant daughter’s right to privacy even as she would have the government intrude to police the reproductive choices of all other women.

Got that? Unless, like Barack Obama, you support a woman's right to end the life of her unborn child at any stage and using even the most heartless of practices, you sacrifice any claim to privacy about your own family.

Americans vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom.

He hopes.

She had never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard.

The article Rich links to reveals that, like a good leader, Palin delegated authority.  This is presumably in contrast with the saber-between-the-teeth Barack Obama during his Supreme Allied Commander years.

He wanted to choose the pro-abortion-rights Joe Lieberman as his vice president. If he were still a true maverick, he would have done so.

New definition of maverick: picking a VP who disagrees with you on a fundamental matter of life and death, tearing your own party to shreds in the process.  Then again, McCain would have gotten Lieberman's electrifying oratory skills in the bargain, instead of the bland and uninspiring Sarah Palin.

By hurling charges of sexism and elitism at any easily cowed journalist who raises a question about Palin, McCain operatives are hoping to ensure that whatever happened in Alaska with Sarah Palin stays in Alaska.

Got that?  Frank Rich's colors don't run . . . no matter how much trouble seeking to destroy Sarah Palin causes him with his editors at the New York Times!

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.