Seated Incongruous

Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent article about the ironic incongruities of the past year.

He’s got ten. I had to start with this one – on the media’s grotesque double-standard re Sarah Palin and, in this case, Caroline Kennedy:

[Palin] surely didn’t give snap answers on foreign policy matters. In no short order, a woman who had five kids, a 16-year political career, and a successful governorship was reduced to a white-trash hack, the mother of a promiscuous teen, as awful rumors, trafficked in by liberal professionals, swirled about her own most recent pregnancy.

The mainstream media’s narrative was thus that glibness matters, 16 years of Alaskan politics don’t quite cut it for national office, and a candidate’s personal life is fair game, as the moose-hunting ex-mayor of Wasilla and her life-story attest.

OK, it’s easy to make fun of things you don’t understand – and if Chris Matthews or Jon Stewart don’t get hunting, they certainly don’t have the mental kilowattage to know that the Northern accent (made most famous in America by Palin and Frances McDormand in Fargo and not many more) is a dialect, not a sign of stupidity.

These same egalitarians in the media, however, do not seem to have a problem with Caroline Kennedy, soon perhaps to be anointed Senator from New York.

But on the basis of what? Political experience—zero.

Past elections? Zilch.

Eloquence? Nope. Ms. Kennedy drones on with “you know” and “I mean” dozens of times per minute. In comparison, Sarah Palin sounds like Demosthenes or Cicero.

I almost choked on that when I saw the infamous “y’know y’know y’know y’know y’know” video last week. I’ve noted in the past – I give speaker points. Dad was a speech teacher; I was in radio.

Palin, dialect notwithstanding, is an electrifying speaker. Not “fancy” electrifying, but she connects with an audience like very few people anywhere in politics. And Kennedy’s father, John F., was one of the great orators and communicators in American political history, up there with Reagan (and praise gets no higher).

Full disclosure? Hardly. We know nothing about Caroline’s vast fortune—where it exactly came from and how it is used. We learned far more about poor Mr. Palin’s decrepit old prop airplane than Ms. Kennedy’s stock portfolio and past contributions.

Perhaps the difference is good citizenship? I doubt it. Palin ran for offices; Kennedy often passed on voting entirely.

Is it doctrinaire politics? Again, I doubt it. Palin has taken on Republicans in Alaska, entrenched males, and indeed, on matters of energy, her own running mate John McCain.

Kennedy? I don’t think there a liberal dogma or progressive politician she has ever questioned.

Don’t bother them with impedimenta like “consistency with their own alleged beliefs”.

We laugh about Palin’s Idaho work-your-way-through-college sports journalism degree, especially perhaps in comparison to Kennedy’s Ivy League pedigree. But the latter is too often affirmative action for silk-stocking East Coast grandees. Take away money and nomenclature, and I doubt Kennedy would have gotten into such schools on her own merits. I offer such an unsupported generalization on the basis of her elocution: I turned out about 100 classics majors and MA students during 21 years at CSU Fresno, and without exception every single one (mostly poor or minority students without parents who went to college) in interviews sounded far more knowledgeable and grammatical than does Ms. Kennedy.

The irony in all this? Too obvious to state…

There’s much more. Read the whole thing.

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