Required reading for Joe Fitzgerald

In today's Boston Herald, the inimitable Joe Fitzgerald wonders: why all the fuss over Sarah Palin? Then he offers some theories. Palin's detractors--"self-styled suffragettes," as Fitzgerald puts it--resent her 1) comeliness, 2) happy marriage, 3) belief that marriage is for heterosexuals, 4) opposition to abortion, 5) deeply lived faith, 6) embrace of Heideggerian "thrownness" (not Fitzgerald's term) and unconditional love, 7) practical rather than theoretical interest in military matters, and, finally, 8) appeal to normal Americans who regard her as "a welcome breath of fresh air."

When you have a chance, J-Fitz, take a look at today's Slate piecedigg_url = ' on Palin by Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens--who proposes that the press stop covering Palin until she holds a press conference--has some more possibilities for you to consider, with Palin's ominous vacuousness and Teflon hatchet-jobbery topping the list:

The problem with Gov. Palin is not that she lacks experience. It's that she quite plainly lacks intellectual curiosity. It is not snobbish to harbor grave doubts about somebody who seems uninterested in reading for pleasure or recreation and whose only interest in her local public library is sniffing round its shelves for books that ought to be removed for expressing impure ideas.

Nor is it snobbish, let alone sexist, to express doubts about someone who, as late as March 2007, could tell Alaska Business Monthly, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place." This statement deserves to be called mindless, because, first, it is made up of stale and received and overheard bits and bobs from everyday media babble and, second, because you cannot really coherently say that you support both the administration and an "exit plan."...

At numerous rallies where the atmosphere has been, shall we say, a little uncivil, Gov. Palin has accused Sen. Obama of accusing our forces in Afghanistan of simply bombing villages. Only a moment's work is required to discover that the words complained of were never uttered in that form and that they occurred in a speech that stressed the need for more ground troops as opposed to more airstrikes (a recommendation, by the way, that begins to look more sapient each week, at least in respect of the airstrikes). Again, I have a question: Did Palin know that she was telling a lie? Or did her handlers simply assume that she would read anything that was put in front of her, however mendacious? And which would be worse? And when will she issue the needful retraction? There seems no way of putting her in a forum where these points could be raised. So, continued media coverage of her appearances is no better than lending a megaphone to a demagogue, the better to amplify her propaganda.

 Check it out!

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