Rightbloggers On Palin's Turkey Slaughter ("The Lady's Got Spunk") and Other Big Wins
On November 22 hundreds of rightblogger sites celebrated "V-I Day" -- the end of the Iraq war. This accompanied no government declarations; in fact this weekend Iraq's foreign minister warned that early withdrawal of American troops would lead to "piracy," and a Baghdad mob defiled an effigy of George Bush.
But zombietime, which organized the celebration, compared the continuing U.S. presence to peacekeeping after World War II ("the United States still has several military bases and many troops 'occupying' Japan and Germany"), and added that "if violence flares up in the future, that will be part of a new conflict, a different war."
What's the point? Even zombietime acknowledges that no ticker-tape parade or other official commemorations will come of it. And most reasons the celebrants offered -- in stark contrast to past American victory declarations -- were soaked in bitterness. Sharp Right Turn said it "needs to be on the record" so "we can be clear that it came with a victory that was clearly evident before Obama took office." It's "so our Troops can rub the noses of the cowards that tried 40+ times in all of 2007 to lose this war," said Take Our Country Back. RightwingSparkle wanted it known that "our boys are coming home in honor and not in defeat as many on the left predicted." (Favorite comment: "Petraeus deserves the Peace Prize [not that I value it].")
Call it a last hurrah. Many rightbloggers started as warbloggers, early and eager defenders of the Iraq intervention, and happily recall a time when both history and the electorate were on their side. With the return of the Democrats to power, and attention shifted to the domestic wreckage conservative governance has wrought, rightbloggers see few victory parties on the horizon, and so decided to throw a big one now -- not for the troops, so much, as for themselves.
Who can blame them? The current transition period offers but slim pickings: mere predictions of enemy failure ain't nothing like the real thing. In fact, some of the brethren took to mocking leftists whom they had heard were mortified that Obama's early appointees did not include Bill Ayers and Dennis Kucinich, but "Clintonite retreads," "the old requisite Ivy-League law degrees" and "well-known centrists," in the words of National Review's Victor Davis Hanson. "And at least on national and homeland security," Hanson added, "it is perhaps not the shadow of Bill Clinton, but of George W. Bush, that now begins to loom large."
Of course Hanson predicted nothing like this from Obama when he was running, and as recently as November 7 accused the President-Elect of having a "European-socialist agenda." But why admit to being wrong yourself when you can point to the miscalculations of others, especially in a hypothetical situation?
Jules Crittenden also enjoyed the frustration of "Lefty Peaceniks" who dreamed of "a shining city on a hill, where AmeriKKKa would be Goddamned and humiliated in the world. Surrenderpalooza. But the standard bearer of change... has changed." He gave Obama no credit for it, though, calling him "a gutless wonder, who got scared when he suddenly realized he actually was stuck with a war and had two choices, keep winning or start losing." Hadn't Crittenden heard the war is over? Why, yes he had, but that's the good thing about unofficial declarations: they can be revoked when you've got a point to make.
Flopping Aces was bolder still: "Pres Obama's gonna take office, and one of the first things he does (just like Bill Clinton did) was order airstrikes. Odds are it'll be against Iran... He knows talks are not likely to do anything." Just before the election, the same author said, "Iran is making nuclear bombs... Sober up people. America's at war. Do we need a warrior or a lawyer?" Bet large, o brave correspondent; it's all play money anyway.
Still, some rightbloggers couldn't let go of the past. A radio talk show host got Zogby to help him create "How Obama Got Elected," using the pollster's data to show that Obama voters were singularly ignorant of important campaign issues, such as Sarah Palin's wardrobe expenses. As poll wizard Nate Silver showed, it wasn't exactly an airtight case (Silver's interview with the talk show host is also illuminating), but many rightbloggers enjoyed the suggestion of their own intellectual superiority to the majority of their fellow voters.
"Why People Voted for Obama? They're Stupid," thumbnailed Macsmind. "If you went for Obama, you're simply part of the herd," sniffed Protein Wisdom. "You take a spoiled, whiny, uninformed electorate," analyzed Stop the ACLU, "give them a biased media in the tank for Obama, and this is what you get." "See this isn't the voters fault," sympathized Dr. Melissa Clouthier. "They're just parroting what the press told them."
Rightbloggers also continued their celebration of Sarah Palin, whose glamour for them is never greater than when she is ridiculed. When footage emerged of Palin giving an interview while Thanksgiving turkeys were bled out in the background, most normal people got a quick laugh out of incongruous spectacle. But rightbloggers leapt into battle mode, seeking to turn the holiday tables on the "vegan weenies" (Byron York) and "nancy boys" (musical-theatre enthusiast Mark Steyn), and make of the turkey slaughter a winning political issue.
Some opted for counter-laughter: "The liberals' dismay is quite funny actually," insisted Wizbang, "but not as funny as their oblivousness as many of them will share in a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner themselves." "Even funnier is how media protects us from the horror by blocking out the gory part and forewarning us to get the kids out of the room quickly," said Voices Carry. "Something's wrong when we have empathy for turkeys but are indifferent to the plight of the unborn." (Okay, now that's funny.)
Others took it as proof that city slickers are out of touch with the Real America. "This is no big deal," said Michelle Malkin, "except if you reside in the Ivory Tower or the David Brooks/Kathleen Parker/Arianna Huffington/Daily Kos intellectual complex." (Disappointingly, no link was provided to any David Brooks Palin-turkey commentary.) "Maybe the New York Times considers that news in Manhattan," said Ed Morrissey, "but that only gives readers an idea of how out-of-touch the Paper of Shrieking Hysteria has become."
In fact, some felt the unfortunate interview elevated Palin's Presidential profile. "She's not some snob who gets queasy about the reality of where food comes from," said Say Anything. "She is becoming quite dear to me," sighed Infidel Bloggers Alliance, "as more of these deranged delusional foaming spit speckled attacks go on." Amos Wright praised "Ms. Palin, who can shoot and dress her own supper." "Sarah Palin is NOT prissy," said Right Pundits. "When the worker grinned up at the cameras after slicing off the non-pardoned turkey's head, Sarah kept on task... The lady's got spunk. You just have to like that about her." "Sarah Palin is as genuine as you can get," agreed American Power.
They spun that one nobly. Who cares that 2012 is far away? It's good practice, and no doubt Governor Palin will give them plenty more chances to try it again.