Time Spreads Sneers for Palin, Cheers for Kathleen Parker

Time is accepting Person of the Year nominations, and it’s started to publish some recommendations in the latest issue. Bill O’Reilly nominated our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, while author and AEI scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali picked Obama (which will obviously be the magazine’s choice, since they held their nose and picked President Bush after he won re-election in 2004). The more offbeat choices came from Oliver Stone (sneering over Sarah Palin) and female novelist Curtis Sittenfeld (cheering for Palin-trashing columnist Kathleen Parker):

Oliver Stone Academy Award-winning director whose most recent work is the biopic W.

Sarah Palin became a reflective postscript to the Bush presidency. W.'s compassionate conservatism segued into Palin's hockey-momism -- both deceptive shrouds for a disinterested, narrow-minded belief system and jingoistic worldview. She emerged as the standard bearer of empty-vessel politics, which, following our next era of national complacency, may triumphantly return.

Is there anything funnier than a Hollywood director mocking someone else as a champion of empty-vessel plasticity? Is there anything more cliched than a Hollywood "artist" decrying small-town jingoism and narrow-minded conservatism? And then there's the Parker striking of poses:

Curtis Sittenfeld Author of three novels, including the recent American Wife, loosely based on the life of Laura Bush

In September, conservative columnist Kathleen Parker wrote of her gradual realization that Sarah Palin wasn't qualified to be John McCain's running mate and should step aside. A former Palin supporter, Parker incurred the wrath of right-wing readers, but her remarks were brave, and her willingness to repudiate spin, even at personal cost, won her admirers of all political persuasions.

Willingness to repudiate spin? How is not spin to portray yourself as an abused maiden of electronic mail, a Dixie Chick purged by Stalinists? It’s repudiating spin to suggest John McCain picked Sarah Palin because he had the hots for her bod? I’m still trying to figure out why the Christian right is bringing "armband religion" to the GOP, if that’s not a reference to the Nazis. Liberals can admire Parker if they wish, perhaps even admire her "courage," but it’s not credible to deny she’s offering spin.

Tim Graham's picture


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