Cintra Wilson is guilty of all these things. She wrote a column on Sarah Palin which included the following:
Like many people I thought, "Damn, a hyperconservative ... Christian Stepford wife" ... Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms ... The throat she's so hot to cut is that of all American women ... the thought of such an opportunistic anti-female in the White House ... is akin to ideological brain rape ... I feel it is really time for women to be angry ... Not just with old white Christian patriarchs and their hopelessly calcified, religiously condoned misogyny, but also with the self-abnegating, submissive female Uncle Tommies ...
We must regard Sarah Palin as ... an enabling wife of organized crime, who sees, hears and speaks no evil of the boys in her old-boys network ... The Republicans are in effect saying ... You don't like thinking. Here's an It Girl vice president who is easy on the eyes, you stodgy old white baby boomer ... Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She's such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty ...
And on and on it goes. Cintra Wilson manages to fit in negative references to whites; attacks on Palin as a woman-hating stooge; elitist sneers at Palin's "backwater" lifestyle; and undisguised hostility toward Christianity.
Alan Howe writes an opinion page for the Melbourne Herald Sun. He was less vitriolic than Cintra Wilson in his comments on Palin, but he followed the same themes:
we should all be very afraid ... Palin would bring to the White House not just the usual baggage of the deeply conservative American rural constituency, but a fearsome religious commitment ... Palin favours the language of ... inarticulate gum-chewing teenagers ...
A picture beneath Howe's column of Sarah Palin sitting on a bearskin rug was captioned:
Unlike the sometimes deadly evangelical white Homo Sapiens, the endangered grizzly is native to Alaska.
Finally, there's our own Catherine Deveny, regular columnist for the Melbourne Age. This is her considered view of Sarah Palin:
She's the closest thing Republican stragegists could find to a man with a vagina ... New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd likened the Sarah Palin story to the chick flick Miss Congeniality. I think of it more as an in-flight movie. Like Dumb and Dumber ...
The running mates look like an old rich bloke with erectile dysfunction and his white trash trophy wife ... the comedy writer in me really, really hopes Palin gets in ... God-fearing, anti-abortion, book-banning, homophobic, white trash moron. I'd love to see the White House lawn covered in cars up on blocks.
... like it or not, she'll be used as an example of a female politician. Regardless of the fact she should be filed under dangerous white trash fuelled by fear, propelled by power and supported by halfwits ...
Amazingly, having attacked Palin for her race and her class, Deveny goes on to write:
We're at the mercy of the morons. People who vote for race, gender, class ...
She then goes for an extra dose of hypocrisy by writing:
Sarah Palin personifies the cockiness of ignorance. Bertrand Russell said: "Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts".
Are Catherine Deveny's columns unedited? She writes a ranting, vitriolic attack on Sarah Palin and finishes by claiming that she, unlike Palin, is wisely full of doubts.
The message we get from these kind of columns on Palin is that there are leftists who hate whites and Christians, who are elitist, and who view Sarah Palin as an anti-feminist conservative.
Now, if you are white or Christian or anti-feminist or conservative or if you live an ordinary suburban or rural lifestyle, you might therefore conclude that Sarah Palin is your dream candidate.
I don't think anyone should rush to this conclusion. It's not exactly clear yet where Palin stands on important issues. However, there are reasons to believe that she is not, in her politics, what the left believes her to be.
For instance, it's unlikely that Palin is anti-feminist. She belongs to a group called Feminists for Life; she has written positivley about Title IX legislation, a feminist affirmative action law; and she has spoken of her candidacy as "shattering the glass ceiling" for women.
Camille Paglia, a leading academic feminist in the US, is excited by Sarah Palin's brand of feminism. Having watched a speech by Palin, Paglia tells us that:
I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist.
In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.
Palin might not follow all the usual patterns of an established left-wing feminism, but this doesn't necessarily make her a traditionalist.
It would be a mistake to support Sarah Palin on the basis of left-wing denunciations of her as a conservative. We'll have to see how she performs as a politician, what political positions she takes and what larger political effect her candidacy has - and on this basis decide how well she represents a genuine conservatism.