The Right’s Lingering Palin Problem

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I guess this was inevitable, if hilarious. After the Palin family got itself into a drunken brawl at someone else’s house, in which Bristol Palin is alleged to have punched the owner in the face multiple times – partly confirmed, by the way, by her own sister Willow (“She missed every fucking time!“) – a post simply pointing out the sheer vulgarity of the event is roundly criticized because it somehow diminishes the plight of Bristol who presents herself as purely a victim of the event.

Look: I abhor violence of all kind, especially against women, and have written that that was the furthest from my mind when selecting that colorful quote. But seriously: anyone reviewing the entire event who thinks that‘s what this was about is smoking something really good. To infer from the police report that the Palins were entirely the victims here is, well, bonkers, not least because it requires believing a single word any Palin family-member says. Track even gave a false name to the cops at first, the usual Palin reflex.

As for Charles Cooke’s point: “Why are we spilling so much ink on this topic at all?” allow me to point out that I’ve barely expended any. Two short posts and a paragraph in The Best of the Dish Today over nearly two months. But isn’t it obvious why there has been so much press? This is an amazingly lurid, tabloid story and it gains traction because it contrasts this trashy, violent Jerry Springer behavior with someone who actually ran for vice-president of the United States six years ago. Of course the press will cover this. It’s irresistible and further proof that what John McCain did in 2008 disqualified him from any serious, subsequent role in our public life. And that was my only point. If McCain were retired or had the good sense to leave public life after that fiasco, it would be another thing entirely. But he carries on, never publicly acknowledging the greatest fuck-up (of so many) in his public life.

Have I let Hunter Biden off the hook?

I haven’t commented on his testing positive for cocaine – but then, compared with the rest of the media, I’ve barely commented on the Palin brawl. I also tend to view public violence, with clear victims of said violence, in a different light than private, non-violent drug-use (whose excessive criminalization I oppose). And, sure, if the vice-president were right there in public with his son while Hunter was doing blow, complete with police record and audio (and possible video), there would be some kind of analogy to the Palins being in the middle of a fist-fight on someone else’s property. And if Hunter Biden had been on Dancing With The Stars and on reality TV and countless other money-grubbing celebrity stunts, instead of serving in the Navy Reserve, more attention might have been paid.

But still otherwise sane conservatives continue to attack those noting this absurd public figure not because they don’t know what a joke she is and what a joke she still makes of their party; of course they do. They do it to stoke culture war resentment (an easy partisan dodge around their own fantastic misjudgment), and to falsely play the feminist card. Sorry, but they lost that card when they nominated a woman candidate who couldn’t even finish one term of office as governor of Alaska, who knew next to nothing about the world, who told transparently tall tales about her own biography, and who had to be quarantined for much of her own campaign, for fear of her actual nutso persona being rumbled by a lazy media.

That’s my point. And they know it’s irrefutable. Maybe one day they’ll have the balls to apologize. And then we can all move on.

(Photo: a police photo of the scene of the brawl)