Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Palin Problems

I confess that I have only watched the Palin/Letterman flap from a distance. But the longer it goes on, the more comfortable I am about that distance. Dennis Miller made a fantastic point yesterday on his radio show when he suggested: 1. Palin should be addressing world leaders and world events, not the likes of David Letterman if she means to be taken as a serious person. 2. This is not to say that Letterman’s joke was not in extremely poor taste or that it did not merit a response from the Palin family . . . but defending the honor of daughters against brutes like Letterman is something that is really more suited to purview of a father. Where is Todd? If HE had taken this on as the patriarch of the Palin family, I think Miller is right in thinking that the public reaction to it would have been a lot different than it has been to the reactions an angry (even if justly angry) mother. 3. Conservatives carrying on about this and calling for the resignation or firing of David Letterman are wasting their time and not doing themselves any favors. 4. Children are a mother’s most pliable soft-spot . . . mothers who want to be on the national stage in politics should not allow themselves to get played like this . . . especially by so minor and insignificant a figure.

Discussions - 16 Comments

This is exactly why I don't get excited over Gov Palin. While I think she is a great, "normal" gal and a perfectly competent politician (the media hammered her during the campaign while ignoring VP Biden!?), and I understand why other conservatives love her so much, the points Dennis Miller brought up as are clear examples of how pedestrian she is as a national candidate.

Yup.

That Letterman is still working signifies a great deal about what passes for entertainment. I recall maybe 30 years ago a weatherman was canned for joking about bad weather and rape. This goes much further. Yes, she should have shut up and let the father speak.

How should this "minor and insignificant" "brute" have been handled?

Clearly, the best response would have been for Todd to have strapped on a suit of armor and crashed the Late Show set astride a manly stallion. Then he should have screamed "You DARE to besmirch the reputation of my virginal offspring??!! You DARE to sully my family name??!! Vengeance is mine!!" and, thwack, lop off the head of the show's host so that it would bounce off the desk and into the guest chair (best to do this before teh first guest). Paul Schaeffer would have to improvise a quick organ outro bit.

Before gallantly riding out the studio doors, Todd the Great could scrawl "Palin" in blood on Letterman's desk, and perhaps whip his sword back around into its sheath quickly, so that blood would be spattered across the first few rows of the audience. A warning of sorts to keep the water cooler jokes in check the next day.

It'd be something, wouldn't it?

Something short of a beheading and a nightmare after a long night at "Medieval Times" would probably do the trick, Craig . . . but man, that's some "imagination." Who's your supplier?

Getting into a scrap with Letterman was beneath Palin - or ought to be. I know it is unfair that a similar joke about Obama's daughters (or even Biden's adult daughter)would have drawn much broader rebuke and that isn't fair. But hitting back in this way doesn't really make things even. The way to get back is to win and this doesn't help Palin do that. Palin should be talking economic policy or ethics reform or something on that order.

You're right that she should have taken it and ignored the guy except for saying something like, "Are you still on the air? I remember watching you in college. You were pretty funny back in the 80s."

Tony, that might not be the best approach for Palin, seeing as the GOP is leaning hard on their talent from the '80s and early '90s - Newt and Rush.

I don't know whether the "Fire Letterman!!" rally held yesterday was funny, scary, or both.

Palin should take a page from Chuck Heston's play-book. When slammed with an off-color joke about his Alzheimer's disease by George Clooney, Heston (who had been a good friend of Rosemary Clooney) noted that, indeed, "class can skip a generation." 'Nuff said...I sure miss Chuck.

Boy, Craig, you've used your ability to point out contradictions so well again! Actually, the ideas of self-government, liberty, and free markets that Newt and Rush promote haven't changed. But, really, does anyone watch Letterman anymore? It was supposed to be a joke to laugh off some irrelevant comic rather than get in the mud and give him ratings. Let him make all the jokes he wants, I say. He's just a comedian after all. Those with a sense of humor might get them.

I disagree. I think its time for the right to stop acceding to the left's double standards, and start calling them on their own rules sometimes.

And I think its odd how many on the right, including this poster, feed into a damned if you do, damned if you don't set-up. If Palin hadn't objected, she'd have implied that Letterman's joke wasn't offensive. If she'd stayed silent but Todd had objected, she'd have been accused of being a weak public figure. You can try to parse how and when she should have objected, and when she should have let it go, but really you're getting into personal, almost aesthetic style differences rather than differences of principle.

Its time to start assuming good faith on the part of people on our own side (unless proven differently), instead of policing ourselves so strictly we do the left's work for them.

The Left is terrified of Palin. Palin has what no liberals and very few conservatives have right now and what America needs more now that ever - a leader with chatzpah.

Yeah, chatzpah! (Whatever that is.)

I think she showed her class by not coming out with this anger so much over the stupid things the man had said repeatedly about her this year, but standing up for her children is another thing. I think Todd should have spoken up, too. But in politics, would this have weakened her as she stepped back to let her husband be a public attack dog? I think so and he does not have a public platform like his wife has.

As a Democrat I didn't really like Letterman's jokes. I don't watch his show, but I read them. The one about Palin dressing slutty and the one about the daughter. He intended the joke to be about Bristol but Palin thought it was about Willow. If Sarah thought it was about Willow - then she is rightly disgusted. If she thought it was about Bristol... well.. I still think she has a right to be disgusted.

I agree with Julie tho - Sarah shouldn't have made this such a spectacle. Release a joint statement with her husband saying that they object to and denounce such frat-boy cheap attempts at a joke or something like that.. but as a woman who just ran for the V.P. of the U.S., I don't think she should get down in the mud with a comedian.

Hey, your posts have inspired me! - I love the way you directly get to the point, and then work out- wards. I’ve been trying to do figure out what I want to say about ,that would allow me to do exactly the same thing.

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