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Laura Ingraham v. Heather McDonald on Sarah Palin

You can listen here.

My take: McDonald--with "a self-ordained professor's tongue too serious to fool" (to borrow from B. Dylan)--reveals a deep loathing for those who do not share her cultural proclivity for academic pedigree, pontifical articulation, and self-congratulatory verbosity. She is, sadly, not alone among the hob nob right snobs. She is joined by the linguistically adept David Brooks, David Frum, Chris Buckley, and Kathleen Parker. They, of course, like George Barnard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, and Margaret Sanger, write well, think big thoughts, and attend all the right parties.

To clip and paste from a famous line offered by Chris Buckley's late father, Bill: I would rather be governed by the first 500 names in the Wasilla, Alaska phone book than the guest list for a party at Sally Quinn's house.

Apparently, sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree.

(cross-posted)

Comments (16)

I've greatly respected McDonald's reporting at City Journal and was disappointed when she came out at NRO as an atheist (with the typically sophomoric reasons and arguments).

I heard her with Ingraham and she was pathetic in trying to justify her dislike for Palin. But then Palin is militantly pro-life (by example) and Christian. That automatically makes her a moron in the eyes of a McDonald or Buckley.

Interesting side note on Buckley pere et fils. Chris has an illegitimate son (now 8). Dad wrote the boy out of his will with the meanest sneer possible.

"I intentionally make no provision herein for said Jonathan, who for all purposes... shall be deemed to have predeceased me."

The son, Buckley, refuses to see his son and has nothing to do with the boy.

I guess that part about dad being well known as a devout Catholic was not a lie but something where the head doesn't tell the heart how to behave in tenderness and mercy. The son, Buckley, isn't Catholic at all apart from his baptism.

I also used to to admire Chris Buckley's career as a satirist. I have nothing but contempt for a man who would hurt any child let alone his own as he is doing. BTW, dad's estate estimated to be worth $30 mm. Now it's all the son's apart from a little he gave to his two legitimate grandsons.

I guess that part about dad being well known as a devout Catholic

The guy who sneered ever so dismissively at the encyclical Mater et Magistra saying, "Mater sì, magistra no" devout?

I don't think so.

After listening to the interview, I was dismayed to hear Ingraham suggest that Palin believes government is too big. Her record as mayor indicates the opposite. The Wasilla budget increased by 35 percent over six years, taxes increased by 25 percent, and the long term debt went from $1.1 million to $23.7 million. In fairness, the debt and tax increases were put on the ballot, but Palin did actively lobby for them.

Further, Chris Buckley is the only one on the list who has admitted supporting Obama, although Parker has strongly hinted the same. Krauthammer and George Will should be on the non-supporter list as well.

What also bothers me about the coterie of pundits despising Palin (whom I love) is the condescending attitude that she's simply not clever enough for their likes.

Before my conversion, I used to think Reagan was an "amiable dunce", too just like these sort of folks did. But with truth and simplicity, I learned that Reagan was a genius at expressing complex ideas in common terms and clear understanding. When you read his letters and self-written radio addresses, you find an evangelist of the highest order for liberty and America.

Reagan was a brilliant and persuasive writer on behalf of his beliefs. But he wasn't clever about it, urbane, witty, wry, ironical, smug, condescending, cliquish, or smarter than thou about it. He was direct, manly, straight forward, positive, cheerful, reasoned, and clear about what he believed.

I don't suppose Palin will quote Burke or Hayek (but it wouldn't surprise me if she did), but she is a bright woman of action with a solid foundation and good moral standards, Christian charity , common sense, and a powerful intelligence. A kind of intelligence Reagan had which the so called intelligensia never get because they never do anything but talk and then talk about their talking.

Somebody should give her a book of Reagan in His Own Words to read.

George Will has never captured in a single column what Reagan was often able to do in a single paragraph. (But then, I have a prejudice that says real believers in the great and good - God and his will for all people - can often write better because truth doesn't need a lot of dressing up, and that clearness of belief translates to clarity in communication. Which is why the Church has had so many great writers.)

Buckley denied he said what you quoted about Mater, and says he was misquoted. I don't know which is true so, I take that with a grain of salt. In any event, he certainly apologized for it (clarified) when asked.

Palin lowered property taxes but the sports center they built did raise taxes and debt, I believe. Reagan made a lot of the same mistakes as Governor (and President). We never get a true conservative to represent us. We always half a loaf, which is why the country always angles to the left over time. Course corrections are never very far the other way to change direction of a nation.

I love Sarah but I have no illusions that she can ever be more than a politician who is simply a cut above all the sorry clowns who run for office.

Ahh, crap! Misspelled my own name.

Ahh, crap! Misspelled my own name.

Is that even your real name or a play on Mrs. Butterworth?

At any rate, I can't see how you can equate the ditsy quality of Palin (have you heard/watched all her interviews starting with the ABC one as well as the VP debate?) with the ever more sophisticated, charismatic & media-savvy Reagan.

Palin's own character may possess a certain quality of wholesome goodness that, in all likelihood, might be genuine; however, there is much to be desired in the manner in which she articulates the issues & how she expresses she would handle them.

Though, she is definitely Pro-Life (which is admirable & definitely a plus), I wonder the manner of skill in her wrestling something as immensely dire as the current economic crisis that continues to loom before us if she were president. Not that Biden would perform any better, mind you. There is that fact that Palin has had experience as governor. However, whether that translates well into the position of President or even Vice-President, I have yet to see.

Having seen Palin in action for a few weeks now, I can't seriously disagree with those on the right who complain that she simply wasn't ready for prime time.

But it's one thing to reject McCain/Palin, and quite another thing to endorse Obama/Biden. Christopher Buckley should be ashamed of himself. Are there no third parties?

Is Palin ready to be President? None of 'em are. Washington was, Lincoln was, TR was (perhaps), and FDR thought he was. LBJ was prepared to ramrod his Great Society plan through congress, but that's all he was qualified for.

Maybe Reagan was prepared, but he was 68, I believe.

For being suddenly thrown into the deep end of the pool with a thousand sharks trying to kill her, Sarah has done just fine and will get much better in time. She's a natural.

Before there was Mrs. Butterworth's syrup, there was my mother, Mrs. Butterworth. I was in 2nd grade when the syrup appeared one day, and my name became famous.

I was prepared to be receptive to MacDonald, expecting her to present the conservative "elite" side of the debate to Ingraham's so-called radio-talk-show-populism. But Ingraham cleaned her clock. MacDonald was embarrassing.

MacDonald's atheism is, I'm afraid, is the subtext.


Mark Butterworth:

For being suddenly thrown into the deep end of the pool with a thousand sharks trying to kill her, Sarah has done just fine and will get much better in time. She's a natural.

Well, let's hope she'll have a chance to demonstrate such skill in the little time remaining.

I hope you knew I was kidding about the Butterworth remark (forgot the obligatory happy face on that one to let ya know that I was!). Yeah, I agree with you -- talk about name recognition!

At any rate, after last night's debate, it's all up to the populace now.

We'll have to wait for the popular[ity] vote.

Yet, the electoral votes seem mostly for Obama and so I'm holding my breath.

I can't stand hob-nob "conservative" snobbery. I've got as much contempt for them as they have for everybody else. The whole reason for being an intellectual, and coming up with "big ideas", is so that you can learn the truth, and then put that truth into practical use by behaving accordingly and communicating it to others, so that they can behave accordingly as well. If your whole purpose in thinking about "big ideas" is so that you can verbally flatulate back and forth with other self-styled "intellectuals", and feel superior to everyone else, then what's the freaking point? It's just mental masturbation in that case, and your supposedly "big" ideas are trite and useless.

But more than that, the "conservative" elitism displayed by these people is actually just a form of identity politics. You know, the same kind of politics they claim to disdain among the "moronic masses"

David Brooks' man-crush on Obama over the latter's quoting of Niebuhr is a case in point. Obama and Brooks' mutual affinity for Niebuhr doesn't actually translate into any practical overlap in their opinions of how to run the country. No, Brooks' Obama-love is based entirely on the fact that Obama is into vain pontification and philosophical name dropping - just like himself! Identity politics at its worst.

Heather McDonald's contempt for Palin is also a form of identity politics. It's not based on a disagreement with Palin's actual policies. No, it's because Palin is so... so... unlike Heather MacDonald!

Watching these execrable individuals complain about how dumb the masses are, while engaging in shallow and incoherent identity politics themselves, is just too much. I suspect they're doing us a favor, though. For conservativism to resurge, it's going to have to regain and rearticulate its fundamental philosophical core. And that's going to require clearing these rank opportunists and phony hangers-on out of the tent.

verbally flatulate

That is by far the most fitting description I have ever encountered.

McDonald's only coherent complaints about Palin were that (1) she let her daughter get pregnant, and (2) you can't achieve the "excellence" required to be a true Republican if you also have to care for a special needs child. That is the identify politics she claims to reject. In other words, it doesn't matter what Palin's views are, McDonald just doesn't like Palin based upon the makeup of her family.

Heather Mac Donald's condescending and spiteful attitude towards Sarah Palin comes partly from intellectual and social snobbery. But it is mainly because Mac Donald (note spelling) doesn't like other women. She is the original misogynist, as shown by her views on rape - which is of course all the fault of drunken sluts because the poor men can't help themselves.

Sarah Palin wouldn't win any prizes for eloquence, but she is bright, sincere, warm and willing to learn. Mac Donald is a cold fish.

Palin is a doer rather than a talker. Slick talkers are everywhere. Tony Blair was one, and so is Obama.

Mark Butterworth - are you the MB who used to write for NER?

I did write for NER until they threw me overboard (which they did to Derbyshire, too, recently). They didn't like my "tone".

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