Enemy of the Week

Coming and Going

A president away, and a society in disarray.

By 7.9.09

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At last, some intelligent commentary on Sarah Palin in the New York Times. "I fear that we are only deepening the divide by mocking her...all the while failing to address the issues faced by the people who actually find meaning in Sarah Palin.…Sarah Palin was in large part a phenomenon that arose because of the split nature of this country -- we whom they call 'elites'…and the people who feel shunned by said elites.…" "You know, many think of Sarah Palin as a dumb broad. But think Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. Not so dumb really, huh?" "…it is Palin's political views, not her personality, which now need to be discussed.…easy satire…contributes nothing to our understanding of Palin as a political force, and it doesn't help us understand why she still might emerge in the future as even more of a threat to liberal policy in America."

Okay, so the above wasn't taken from Maureen Dowd's latest snark, just from a single strand of comments from lowly readers of her column, including an 80-year-old Texas gal who knows better than to say "Palin will never be president." Instead she says, "So while we are busy rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, let's not rule out Ms. Caribou Barbie's popularity with the masses. It may take more than an iceberg to sink the Unsinkable Sarah."

And all this is from people who don't like Palin, but trying hard to remain "intellectually curious," as Sarah Jessica Kathleen Parker would put it, citing one of her main objections to Palin's mental makeup. Why our funny name for Ms. Parker? We were just intellectually curious to see how it might look, that's why. Frankly, intellectual curiosity can be overrated, if it means having to knock heads with Dr. Parker. To be sure, it took courage for her to weigh in, given that she was only the 359th pundit to join the anti-Palin gauntlet. And to think each and every one of its members had once been a staunch opponent of clubbing baby seals to death -- oddly, the one crime Palin has yet to be charged with. Not to worry, we're still in the early stages. But before we forget, a Spirit of St. Louis prize should go to the ageless Richard Cohen, who compared a Palin presidency to a fictitious -- and anti-Semitic --presidency of Charles Lindbergh, as depicted by the novelist Philip Roth. Does Cohen know something no one else does?

Much as we miss him -- the Obama recovery can't resume until he gets back -- don't you nonetheless wish our President could stay away longer? So much of the world has yet to give him his due, starting with Russia itself. The alarm was sounded in a New York Times headline yesterday, "In Russia, Obama’s Star Power Does Not Translate." Perhaps Obama should not have limited himself to Moscow, or spent so much quality time with Dmitri Medvedev, whom Premier Putin treats almost as dismissively as Obama does Joe Biden. We'd have recommended a long whistlestop ride along the Trans-Siberian Railway, original home of fur cap and trade.

Sad to say, we forgot to attend the spectacular send-off given to Michael Jackson the other day. We were struck, however, by what former Laker Star Magic Johnson had to say, speaking for himself and for current Laker Star Kobe Bryant. "He allowed Kobe and I [sic] to have our jerseys in people's homes across the world -- because he was already there and he opened all those doors for us." The lesson? Maybe Barack Obama should have hung around less with Jeremiah Wright and more with Michael Jackson. You never know when celebrity power will come in handy, in Russia or anywhere else appeasement is on the menu.

Apparently also not in attendance at the Jackson event, besides President Obama and representatives of Enemy Central, was Mr. Tiger Woods. NFL legend Mr. Jim Brown was no doubt disappointed, having recently chastised Woods on HBO for being "terrible, terrible" as an "individual for social change." The Washington Post's Michael Wilbon rose to Woods' defense, though not too high, prefacing his remarks with what might politely be called kowtowing toward Brown and his alleged social work with gangs -- all the while neglecting to inform readers that Brown has been arrested several times and even done jail time for brutalizing women. The more social change we have, the more things stay the same. Mr. Obama, you really want to come back to this?

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