Bristol and Levi: Poster children for the dumbing down of America

There they are on the cover of Us magazine, a teenage mom who managed to get her high school diploma … Continued

There they are on the cover of Us magazine, a teenage mom who managed to get her high school diploma after her baby’s birth, and the father of her child, a high school dropout. They apparently intend to get married and live happily or unhappily ever after. Bristol Palin and her fiance, Levi Johnston, are what you get when you combine the religious right’s dedication to abstinence as the only way to avoid teenage pregnancy, a celebrity culture that exalts and pays for these teenagers’ dumb choices, and the contempt for education and “elitism” spouted throughout the country by Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin, who looks to be a much less happy mother of the bride-to-be than Hillary Clinton.

Actually, the nuptials may not be soon, although the happy couple was paid by Us for the photoshoot. Bristol recently confided that she and Levi are not living together and plan to abstain from sex until their wedding night. Who knows? It may have occurred to Bristol that if Sarah strongly disapproves of the match and won’t cough up some of her lecture royalties to finance the whole enterprise, a high school graduate and a high school dropout might have a slight problem supporting the child they already have. And what if abstinence fails them a second time? It had better not, because Bristol reportedly receives $15,000 to $20,000 a pop for delivering her anti-teen pregnancy speechs.

Although the children of politicians are generally off-limits, Bristol is an exception for two reasons. First, she has made herself into a public figure not only by sharing her personal life with the world but by her loopy performance as a spokesperson against teen pregnancy. (I wonder how it promotes the message that teen pregnancy is a bad idea when a young woman is financially rewarded and glamorized by the media precisely because she was a pregnant teen lucky enough to be the daughter of a famous mom.) Second, Bristol was used by her mother as an asset to placate the religious right-wing base of the Republican Party during the 2008 campaign. She was a living demonstration of Sarah Palin’s opposition to abortion: Look at my teenage daughter, she made a mistake and did the right thing by having the baby. The only more shameless aspect of Sarah’s campaign was her constant exhibition of her Down Syndrome son. Look at me, I didn’t have an abortion like those terrible elitist women who make fun of me for not reading books.

What all of this has to do with religion is that fundamentalism is one of the three major components–an Unholy Trinity–of the right-wing rage that Palin clearly thinks could make her the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. The two other elements are anti-intellectualism and class resentment that serve as an accompaniment to and a mask for racism. (Think, for a moment, about the filth that would have been spewed if the first black presidential candidate had a pregnant, unmarried teenage daughter.)

There has always been a strong correlation between religious fundamentalism and lack of education, although saying so leaves you open to charges of “elitism,” now the dirtiest of words. The better educated Americans are, the more likely they are to be affiliated with religions that have made room for secular knowledge (even if the latter contradicts some “sacred” book) or adherents to no religion at all. About 45 percent of Americans who have no education beyond high school believe in the literal truth of the Bible, while only 19 percent of college graduates do. Two-thirds of college graduates, but only one-third of high school graduates, believe that living beings have evolved over time. This is the main reason why fundamentalists are supporters of kindergarten-through-college right-wing schools: in those institutions, fundamentalists can control the message. The sneer in Sarah Palin’s voice when she calls Barack Obama a “professor” is most evident when she speaks to people who share her enthusiasm for old-time religion and her contempt for education and learning.

No, one can’t judge political candidates–or people in general–by their children’s behavior. But it is instructive when someone like Palin spouts off constantly about “family values” and the horrors of “the elites”–including a first-rate education. In this view, a daughter who becomes an anti-teen pregnancy spokeswoman is better than a daughter who applies herself to an education that will prepare her for the rest of her life.

Sarah, who attended four different colleges and universities before she finally got her degree in journalism, resents public figures who earned scholarships to Harvard, Princeton, Columbia or Yale–like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. It’s apparently The American Way to get a college degree only if you do it by bouncing around from one community college or state university to another. In the Alice-in-Wonderland universe inhabited by the queen of the Tea Party and her subjects, people who can’t make the grade at top universities are not only better Americans but are morally superior to those who can.

Here is what a less ignorant anti-abortion candidate might say about teenage pregnancy:
“I’m proud of my daughter for having her baby instead of an abortion, and I think all girls should have the courage to make that choice. But we can’t pretend that teen pregnancy isn’t a major problem in this country. One thing that young pregnant women should know is it is more, not less, important to continue their education if they become mothers. Neither a high school graduate nor a high school dropout is in a good position to support and raise a child, and all teens–of both sexes–should know that bringing a child into the world means that they are going to have to educate themselves even as they try to educate their child. Teen pregnancy cannot be allowed to put an end to, or used as an excuse for, failing to become an educated adult.”

Instead, Sarah Palin pushed her pregnant 17-year-old daughter on stage, displayed her next to her boyfriend, and fed the fantasies of every deluded teenage girl in America by suggesting that the two were “engaged.” Now, since Levi left the Alaskan oil flelds to make an easier living by posing for Playgirl, Sarah has apparently had second thoughts about the high school dropout as her daughter’s knight-in-shining armor. You can be sure of one thing: if Sarah should become the Republican nominee: She’ll have cleaned up the Bristol-Levi-baby trio into something more suitable for middle-class consumption. Because the truth is that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are most middle-class American parents’ worst nightmare, but they are a nightmare that arises directly from the daily dream world propagated by politicians like Sarah Palin and her supporters.

Whenever I hear liberal-to-centrist pundits saying that even if Sarah gets the Republican nomination, she will only ensure Obama’s re-election, I shudder. That this representative of pure ignorance, retrograde religion, and class envy is being taken seriously at all speaks volumes about the dumbing down of America. The Bristol-Levi story, promoted by dumbed-down media, is what you get when you put Sarah Palin’s values into action. Will Americans refudiate this stupidity, or will they, in 2012, show that no ignorance is too ignorant if it is cloaked in reflexive anti-elitism and dubious family values? That is a question the pundits should be taking seriously.

Note:This is the finished version of the piece I started to write last week, which someone accidentally published while I was still working on it.

About

Susan Jacoby Susan Jacoby is the author of "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism"­ and is completing a secular history of religious conversion.
  • kkoch14

    “About 45 percent pf Americans who have no education beyond high school believe in the literal truth of the Bible, while only 19 percent of college graduates do.”You would think that before labeling religious Americans as idiots and stupid, Susan Jacoby could figure out how to spell, “of” correctly. Poorly done Ms. Jacoby.

  • rramsey1021

    Um….how else do you spell “of”….you did a good job of proving the authors point. Have a good day

  • regkng92869

    Great article!

  • Tourist

    It’s unfortunate that Sarah Palin’s disdain for Ivy League education, and her “refudiation” of elitists, has tainted her daughter Bristol. It would appear that Bristol is tring to become her own woman by leaving the nest, securing a job, and getting engaged to father of her child while encourging him to finish his education and get a good job. We all have young & stupid stories, some that end with babies, some that don’t. Here’s hoping that Bristol can stay out of her mother’s mediacentric universe long enough to grow a smart and healthy family.

  • SandraSobierajWestfall

    As someone who attended Bristol’s high school graduation and covered her final days as a high schooler up-close, I would like to correct that she is not “a teenage mom who managed to get her GED.” Bristol kept up with her classes throughout the winter and spring terms right after Tripp was born–even breastfeeding before leaving for school in the mornings in his first weeks–and finished high school with her classmates the conventional way. She didn’t do it by passing a single GED exam.

  • Brbr2424

    Great article. The hypocrisy and fraud of this family only gets challenged in blogs, comments and op-eds. I agree in general that the abstinence only movement created a problem with teen pregnancy but I think the problem is more insidious than that. It is widely known that Bristol and her boyfriend were trying to get pregnant. I think that is not uncommon in high schools around the US. Because of the pro-life movement these girls who plan their pregnancies get celebrated and treated like heroes. Many planned pregnancies get chaulked up to “accidents” because it is more socially acceptable – ex. Rielle Hunter.Sarah Palin can be faulted as a mother for not instilling in her daughter and her other children a work ethic and a sense of civic responsibility. Teens who start families in high school are not being good citizens because they can’t possibly generate the kind of income needed to support a family and must rely on taxpayers and people in the community.

  • WmarkW

    I don’t think this article is finished yet.Susan seems to have software problems sometimes with “Save Draft” vs. “Send”

  • WmarkW

    BTW, Susan, has your Center for Inquiry colleague Ibn Warraq weighed in on whether Cordoba House would promote peace and multicultural understanding?

  • ann22

    What a waste of time and paper! Instead of spending time bashing the Palins, try investigating why we should even care what you write about this family. There are too many other important things happening in this world right now that deserve more attention. Write a real commentary about something that matters.

  • timmy2

    Again, no one has been called “stupid” here. The words “uneducated” and “stupid” have two very different meanings. This goes to the heart of religious conservatism in America, this anti-intellectualism. This turning of the word “elite” into something negative. And the non religious conservatism (WMarkW) takes full advantage of this mentality and makes a tool out of this pride in ignorance. This is a vile bedfellowship and non religious conservatives deserve what they get from who they sleep with. People of any intellect can be intellectuals. Being an intellectual is not about how smart your brain is but about how you use the brain you have.Elites can be elite due to natural born gifts, or they can be elite by working harder and getting themselves more educated than the next guy. Elite is accessible to everyone. All of the information available to lead a successful productive life as now available on line for free. It is now possible for anyone with an internet connection to self educate themselves into being an elite. It’s nothing to sneer at. It’s something to strive for. It comes with great rewards. Now we just have to work towards getting every man woman and child a free or affordable internet connection.

  • jimanator

    Ms. Jacoby,I enjoyed reading your article. I too am disgusted with the current trend among, it seems, all young people yet old enough to impregnate someone with whom they may only have a passing acquaintance to flaunt their premarital pregnancies before the public as some kind of great accomplishment.

  • Handsome19781

    I agree with the author and the first poster. People like Sarah Palin equate being educated or intellectually curious with being some type of elite snob. Her ardent supporters list as one of the core reasons they like her is that she is not a so-called Ivy League elite like Obama, which is interesting, given George W. Bush has degrees from both Yale and Harvard. However, his Ivy League education did not translate into intellectual engagement.Being educated or curious has nothing to do with the Ivy League or alma mater but rather being curious. One can go to a public library and acquaint themselves with any number of facts and any facet of history or politics. One can go to a community college or state school and take classes in history and political science. Nobody needs to pay $200,000 for an education one can get at any school or any library and some affordable tutoring. It simply comes down to being inquisitive, learning how to think and understand opposing views and defending one’s own views based on merits, not ideology.Sarah Palin fits the classic mold of “don’t bother me with the facts. I’ve already made up my mind.” Her worldview is closed by belief rather than opened by curiosity or wonder. She sneers at educated people to compensate for her own lack of grounding in issues. Every claim she has made has been discredited or dented; just do a cursory glance at FactCheck, PolitiFact, AP and her own state papers. Rather than admit she has made a mistake and spoke too hastily, she spins the issue by playing victim and name calling (them evil, lamestream media elites are out to get me ‘cuz I’m a real American commonsense conservative with real experience). She never takes ownership of anything she does or says. She’s always the victim. If she is the victim, there must be a perpetrator. In her case, it’s them evil eggheaded elites.In the case of daughter Bristol Palin, sheHowever, Bristol Palin is in a position other young single mothers are not. Because of her surname, she is able to by osmosis get some carryover spotlight and dollars. The shoot for Us simply glorifies such brazen irresponsibility; being celebrated for simply being the child of a famous (ex) politician that just by happenstance and cynicism became VP candidate at same timeUntil we celebrate books instead of looks; tangible accomplishments rather than passing popularity, this nation will continue to dumb down and pass into mythology.

  • Skinsational

    Your bitterness is evident down to your core. Keep searching for your new age of reason. LMAO. I don’t condone people not finishing their educations but there are plenty of people who’ve become successful without degrees. I guess you made it “Bigtime” getting to write in the Washington Post. People like you cause people like me to cancel their subscriptions. I’ve been reading this paper since 1990 and I’ll certainly reconsider now. You have the audacity to blame it on the “right”. Keep reaching…and continue to let your bitterness consume you inside. (From someone with a degree in business,a degree in electronics technology, and a veteran of the US Air Force).

  • rramsey1021

    Handsome- great postSkinsational- you would cancel your subscription (that you have had since 1990) because you dont agree with what one of the writers wrote? Wow, do you think you might be overreacting?

  • WmarkW

    Thanks for putting this up. We would have been real unhappy if you teased us with the Palin draft and then made us discuss Russian art censorship for four days.To words to any liberals who don’t get why conservatives object to the dogma of Diversity:”Sarah Palin”You understand now?

  • WmarkW

    The fact that Sarah Palin and Barack Obama have become the two parties’ standardbearers shows how vacuous the parties have become. After two-thirds of a term in a major office, they were selected because their biographies personally embody the values their party hopes to stand for. Supposedly a homemaker from small town Alaska and a community organizer from Chicago would make great Presidents if they just got a little seasoning.Barack Obama can be derisively called “Perfessor” because his greatest political skill is making speeches that sound erudite without actually saying much, like that vastly overpraised set of platitudes about race he gave in Philadelphia. (I don’t consider getting an allied Congress to pass big spending bills without a thought to how they’ll be paid back a great political accomplishment.) Palin, of course, sounds like a Valley Girl trying to give a speech from a few keywords she jotted on a note card. An “elitist” in the pejorative sense, is someone who wants to make rules for others from which they are exempt. Take the mortgage fiasco. The Democratic elite insisted that minorities were kept from home ownership by outmoded lending rules, and that a little creativity would qualify them. The Republican elite believe that business doesn’t need any regulation except that results from a free market and allowed banks to craft highly profitable loans. To non-elite Americans, former green space was plowed under to build new housing, assessed property values drove up taxes to make up for the non-performing vacant properties, and some day we’ll be taxed to pay for the bailouts. And each group of elites claims it was all the others’ fault.That’s how elites act.

  • WmarkW

    BTW, I don’t think Sarah Palin will be the nominee because whatever you think of Republicans, they don’t nominate their loopier members for President. John McCain, George W Bush as of 2000, Robert Dole and George Bush the Elder are not Mike Huckabee, John Ashcroft, Newt Gingrich or Jesse Helms.

  • PSolus

    ann22,”What a waste of time and paper!”Ummm… you know you’re on the Internet… don’t you?

  • PSolus

    Skinsational,”People like you cause people like me to cancel their subscriptions.”Ummm… you know you’re on the Internet… don’t you?

  • wmnathe

    Right on. The only thing I would add is that Sen John McCain deserves a lot of the blame for this continuing American embarrassment. He is the one that made the incredibly stupid decision to put Sarah Palin into national prominence. She does, however, deserve the blame for what she has done with it — including what she has done to use her family in dispicable ways.

  • timmy2

    This whole “conservatives against intellectualism” thing was a problem long before Sarah Palin arrived on the scene. But she certainly is the new poster child for this ignorant mindset.

  • WmarkW

    This whole “conservatives against intellectualism” thing was a problem long before Sarah Palin arrived on the scene. Is it possible that the gender gap in science achievement is due to a difference in aptitude and interest, as Lawrence Summers suggested?Is it possible that 70% illegitimacy among blacks is due to the empowering effect of welfare?Is it possible that the Boy Scouts have had almost no pedophilia problems because they prohibit gay scoutmasters?Or are the “barriers” of white heterosexual male privilege the only answer any question needs?

  • PSolus

    “Are liberals intellectually curious enough to question the premises of their own positions?”Some probably are, some probably aren’t.”Is it possible that the gender gap in science achievement is due to a difference in aptitude and interest, as Lawrence Summers suggested?”Is it possible that he suggest that the question might be legitimately asked, in order to find an answer?”Is it possible that 70% illegitimacy among blacks is due to the empowering effect of welfare?”Is it possible that the conclusions on which that question is based might be incorrect?”Is it possible that the Boy Scouts have had almost no pedophilia problems because they prohibit gay scoutmasters?”Is it possible that some people may not think that heterosexual pedophilia is as much of a problem as homosexual pedophilia?”Or are the “barriers” of white heterosexual male privilege the only answer any question needs?”Huh?

  • timmy2

    WMARKW”Are liberals intellectually curious enough to question the premises of their own positions?”See psolus’s answer. It goes for conservatives as well.”Is it possible that 70% illegitimacy among blacks is due to the empowering effect of welfare?”Welfare is a black only thing? It’s not available to whites?”Is it possible that the Boy Scouts have had almost no pedophilia problems because they prohibit gay scoutmasters?”Um, doesn’t the church prohibit gay priests also? So if it works for scoutmasters, why not for priests? What a horribly flawed theory. Clearly the banning of gays has no bearing. But are you intellectually curious enough to question the premise of of your own position on this one? In the case of the scoutmasters, the difference is most likely in the amount of power the priest has over the child’s soul as compared to the lowly scoutmaster. And the church obviously protects it’s priests better than the scouts protects their scoutmasters. “Or are the “barriers” of white heterosexual male privilege the only answer any question needs?”Huh?

  • WmarkW

    Re: “Huh?”Are Timmy2 and Psolus unfamiliar with the concept of white (and by extension male and heterosexual) privilege, or do you not see what it has to do what else I wrote.

  • WmarkW

    BTW, Susan (correctly) writes a lot about dumbing down and our falling behind in education. Some more research would be justified into the extent that politically liberal cirricula need to be questioned:The popular textbook Nation of Nations works in six pages of mentions of Juan Channax, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who eventually sponsored over 1000 other immigrants from his home area. The book’s 1277 pages don’t have any room at all to mention the Wright brothers.History Alive! America’s Past, a text for elementary schoolers, quotes the opening of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal…”At one public high school in Brooklyn, a class in Hip-Hop 101 teaches students how to write graffiti, deejay at parties, break-dance, emcee and rap.And in some good news, after Los Angeles reduced bilingual education and mainstreamed most English-learners into English immersion classes, the students in those classes moved from the 13th to 24th percentile in (English) reading in one year.

  • timmy2

    Mark,”The popular textbook Nation of Nations works in six pages of mentions of Juan Channax, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who eventually sponsored over 1000 other immigrants from his home area. The book’s 1277 pages don’t have any room at all to mention the Wright brothers”Oh my. This will make kids so dumb. Not.”History Alive! America’s Past, a text for elementary schoolers, quotes the opening of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal…”Oh my. This will make kids so dumb. Not.”At one public high school in Brooklyn, a class in Hip-Hop 101 teaches students how to write graffiti, deejay at parties, break-dance, emcee and rap”Oh my. This will make kids so dumb. Not.:And in some good news, after Los Angeles reduced bilingual education and mainstreamed most English-learners into English immersion classes, the students in those classes moved from the 13th to 24th percentile in (English) reading in one year”Oh my. How is this one a partisan issue?”Are Timmy2 and Psolus unfamiliar with the concept of white (and by extension male and heterosexual) privilege, or do you not see what it has to do what else I wrote”Don’t see the point you brought it up to make. You sound very much like someone who doesn’t like blacks and hispanics. I think you try desperately to find political justification for this attitude but in the end, I think you just don’t like blacks and hispanics. But what else would one expect form a partisan conservative.

  • WmarkW

    “Oh my. This will make kids so dumb. Not.”These are EXAMPLES. I’m not a research professional in the education biz, so I can’t go comprehensively through massive textbooks. The point is, that because of the political activism of some groups, today’s American history textbooks have cut back content on white males, like Columbus, the founding fathers and the Wright brothers, to put more emphasis on women, American Indians and blacks, out of proportion to their actual influence.The LA immersion program was controversial when implemented, requiring a ballot initiative. I don’t dislike any person for their birth characteristics. But I don’t like the way many good American values have been sublimated to their political demands. Do you like illegal immigrants taking jobs from Americans? Do you like unwed teen parenthood? And do you like the possibility of economic sanctions for expressing an opinion contrary to their interests? I don’t; and don’t consider it American.

  • timmy2

    MARK”"I’m not a research professional in the education biz, so I can’t go comprehensively through massive textbooks”Then perhaps you should withhold comment until you are more versed on that which you speak. “The point is, that because of the political activism of some groups, today’s American history textbooks have cut back content on white males”So has the country in case you haven’t noticed. White males are now a minority. But don’t worry, we are all going to be one race eventually anyway. Sorry to break the bad news to you, white boy. “like Columbus, the founding fathers and the Wright brothers, to put more emphasis on women, American Indians and blacks, out of proportion to their actual influence”This is 100% opinion and 0% fact. None of your examples showed any evidence of Columbus or the founding fathers being removed from any textbooks. As for the Wright Brothers, who cares? Like kids aren’t going to know about the Wright Brothers unless we teach them in text books. But the important note is that America has changed over the years and so should the text books. Are you of the opinion that text books should reflect America of 60 years ago? “I don’t dislike any person for their birth characteristics. But I don’t like the way many good American values have been sublimated to their political demands”"Their demands?” Who is they? And what “good American values” have been sublimated? Please be specific. “Do you like illegal immigrants taking jobs from Americans?”Name one illegal immigrant who took a job from an American. I think you are a man who has lost the ability to speak any other way than talking points. “Do you like unwed teen parenthood?”I don’t like beach volleyball but what others do is none of my business until it affects my life in a negative way. “And do you like the possibility of economic sanctions for expressing an opinion contrary to their interests?”I don’t know what you are talking about here. “I don’t and don’t consider it American”Neither is asking questions like “do you like unwed teen mothers?” The American way is to answer “what business is that of mine?”

  • timmy2

    “Do you like unwed teen mothers?”Here we can see why you conservatives make such cozy bedfellows with the church.

  • timmy2

    Mark,Hint: Try phrasing your question like this.Do you like taxes being taken off of your paycheck to pay for the raising of the babies of unwed mothers?As opposed to”do you like unwed teen mothers?”I have known several unwed teen mothers in my lifetime and I liked some of them but not all of them. And my like or dislike of them had to do with their personalities not their marital status.Another way to phrase it might be “do you like the fact that there are so many unwed teen mothers?”I don’t think it’s awesome, that’s for sure. But I blame religion and the church and conservatives for unwed teen mothers. Not social assistance which is necessary to deal with this problem created by religion, the church and conservatives.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, pam,

  • jjjenkin

    Susan -Seriously, she’s exploiting her child? Perhaps if you had a child with special needs of any kind, you’d use any pulpit you could find to further their cause. When your child has certain limitations or issues, the best way to help the cause toward research and acceptance is to talk about it constantly. You may feel this is exploitation – but it is love. Politics does not rule everything, no matter what you blowhard DC pundits think.I am a conservative GOPer, however Sarah Palin does make me cringe and incites occasional gag reflex. Regardless, it does no one justice to slam every facet of someone’s life just to dirty their image. I tried to mark your post as offensive but turns out you can only do that for comments. Damn.

  • Vox__Populi

    Seriously, she’s exploiting her child? PerhYou betcha!

  • LadyChurchillUSA

    I find it amusing that the author finds such distaste for unwed motherhood and having a downs syndrome child. I thought you leftys were all for the single mother and certainly you do all those marathon runs for special needs children don’t you? What a shame that your true self comes out in an article that shows that your real feelings are “I’m so smart and you are soooo dumb, my child would never make such a ‘mistake’. Well for your info we all make mistakes and some times God decides not to hand you a perfect baby but the strong person goes on and accepts things for what they are. It is called life, too bad you are too arrogant to see it.

  • Darlene_Jr

    Ms. Jacoby, you’ve got it backwards. It’s the look-down-your-nose liberals who think that anybody who wasn’t handed an Ivy League on a silver platter is a second-class citizen. Remember when the GOP used to be the party of snobs? That dubious distinction has shifted to liberals. Yes, Ms. Jacoby, you and your friends are elitist.

  • withersb

    My parents and thier generation for the most part had no college educations but they respected education and aspired for it for thier children. They were not anti education because they did not have it. I went to a Protestant church in a small town but as I discuss with my also educated friends it is no longer the church of the youth. They teach different things. Where genesis was explained by the fact that we did not know how long a day meant in that time now the earth has become barely 6000 years old. Thier obsession with a limited number of controversial issues did not exist. I don’t recognize that church or the people I knew in that small town in the loud, angry abrasive crowd that follows Palin and others of her ilk. Those are not the values that made America what it is.

  • thebump

    Ah, when it comes to Gov. Palin and her children, the nasty, rabid, hateful, psychotic old atheist simply cannot resist indulging her deepest, darkest bigotry and profoundly invincible ignorance.There is something truly miraculous about Gov. Palin that lays bare the hideous evil at the heart of Ms. Jacoby’s sick inhumane ideology.The nasty old atheist fancies herself among the elite. Quite the opposite, I fear.

  • OhMy

    Not only is Sarah Palin’s exploitation of Bristol unfortunate, the problems which her oldest son has had bring into doubt the so called family values which this candidate so fondly supports.

  • tjmlrc

    Seems Palin and obama have one thing in common.The difference is that obama is supposed to be leading a troubled country as opposed to “dumbing down” American leadership on daytime TV (The View) playing celebrity.What sad, shallow people the obama’s are, and an embarassment to this country.

  • EdSantaFe

    Oh please! Palin herself is a perfect symbol for the dumbing down of America. Her GED-level child and BF are totally in her big fat shadow. Palin is a moron.

  • tjmlrc

    But she is not and will not be a world leader.Unlike, shallow barry and big butt michelle.

  • Chops2

    I love Palins charge of “elitism”. Isn’t a former VP, Governor, top selling author and unchallenged talking head on Fox the virtual definition of “elite”?She is well and truly part of the Christian fundie/Republican “elite”.And a part of the moron elite.

  • Hellpig

    I want to see the school transcripts of our dear leader…we will see exactly who is dumbing down America…Susan you are a treasonous commie progressive insurgent and should be dealt with accordingly

  • lab-lady

    I have PhD from an elite west-coast university and teach at a regional comprehensive university in the east. I am also a proud liberal. But one of the things I have learned over my 30 years as a university teacher is that the path that Sarah Palin took to getting a university degree is not one that ought to be automatically disdained (as Jacoby does here). I have seen hundreds of smart, intellectually curious wonderful students whose lives just aren’t as tracked as privelege upper-middle-class kids from the DC suburbs (as I was) who move straight from high achieving high school to the Ivy League. These students drop in and out because of money woes and debt and the drama of their families’ lives. They want an education and work for it but on paper they often look a lot like Sarah Palin. Some are military spouses who take courses and try to finish school as their husbands get posted here and then are assigned somewhere else.So, I do think Jacoby should stop the condescenion about those many non-traditional college students who don’t make it to the Ivy League. Sarah Palin is not a phony because she bounced around to a lot of colleges before getting her degree. Had she gone to any of a number of elite universities she would have turned out much the same. Having gone to an Ivy is absolutely no guarantee of intellectual curiousity, large-mindedness, or competence (after all most of the CEOs who drove the country into the ditch went to these same schools). These folks are no better able to run the country than someone who went to Rutgers or (like our vice-president) the University of Delaware!! Maybe if folks like Jacoby would stop looking down her nose at those who aren’t in this self-selected elite who we pretend is a meritocracy but is really a 21st century aristocracy (seen all the reporting on Chelsea Clinton’s wedding as a “royal wedding”!!??).Having said all that, I do think the piece’s criticism of Palin’s shameless use of her daugther’s pregnancy is largely sound. I am, however, pretty sure that unless Democrats figure out a way to use the real and justified class resentment of the middle and working classes in this country whose dreams are being crushed by the Summers and Geithners and Bob Rubins of this world, they are going to suffer big time come November.

  • TedfromRichmond

    A perfect example of how “the rich get richer”.

  • OlafGunderson

    Anyone’s charge of liberal elitism is ratified by Jacoby’s arrogance.

  • WmarkW

    Lab-Lady makes a fair point about Palin’s college bouncing possibly being due to her financial circumstances than her academic prowess. The child of a schoolteacher, she had to finance her own education by entering beauty contests (regardless of what else I might think of her, she’s definitely a milf).But the circumstances of Trig’s birth are even murkier than Barack Obama’s. How can a sitting governor go through a pregnancy without anyone knowing until it becomes national news after the birth?

  • FairlingtonBlade

    Bristol and Levi getting married is a pretty thin reed to hang a column that may as will be titled I don’t like the Palins. There was plenty of filth spread towards the Palins. The Obamas as well. What exactly does Sarah bouncing around a few colleges have to do with her values? Does anyone who didn’t finish their degree at the initial institution possess moral failings by that standard? That would include some very successful people I know. It would be a very cold day in a hot place before I’d vote for Palin, but this screed strikes me as ill tempered.BB

  • avalon0387

    I think this article is proof of the dumbing down of America.

  • EdSantaFe

    How much did Palin pay Levi to come back into the fold?Palin has been desperate to put a positive spin on her loser daughter, who mysteriously graduated from high school without ever going back after getting knocked up. For the Republicans, it’s all about the the lie of a shiny veneer, not substance or truth.Palin is a moron and a fraud.

  • edgefield1

    Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were founded by “religious fundamentalists.”

  • youngj1

    Thank you Ms. Jacoby. Well stated!

  • tjmlrc

    EdSantaFe,And your dear leader is?………..I don’t care if people talk Palin down but at least be honest about both of the phonies. And your dear leader is as much as phony as Palin.

  • elkofan

    Ms. Jacoby: Thank you, for succinctly saying what has rattled about my brain since the Palin carnival first made the scene at the Repo convention. A column worthy of a Pulitzer!

  • WmarkW

    “And your dear leader is as much as phony as Palin.”I wrote a long comment to this effect before this article got its front page link; search:

  • blasmaic

    I didn’t really see anything new in there.The inclusion of Alaskan culture into American politics is refreshing. It’s a wild, rugged place, and you can see that in the way Palin and her supporters are not intimidated by media elites.Palin adds a depth of character to the political landscape that Romney and McCain do not.

  • iamweaver

    Ms. Jacoby swings – and partly misses…When looking at Ms. Palin’s history, the problem isn’t in the schools that she attended (frankly, such thoughts are the other side of the coin that Ms. Palin is using). The problem is one of intellectual interest – the desire to learn more about one’s world, to improve oneself every day, to go to bed every night with at least one new nugget of knowledge learned (or, perhaps, an old nugget laid aside).This is what seems to sit at the very center of the “elitism” that Ms. Palin rejects. At least one poster on this thread has advanced another definition – that that might well be their personal definition, but, like Humpty Dumpty in “Through the Looking Glass”, unless one’s personal definitions match those of the world, it’s not very helpful. And it’s pretty evident that Ms. Palin is rejecting the world that learns, develops and grows out of the comfortable now to the unknown future.Her “elitists” seem to include scientists, those with higher education, those who claim to know more than her. And in the middle of that hate, she misses the reason why those folks are where they are, and what she clearly lacks. I find it rather sad – as she’s clearly no dummy, and when there are tasks to learn to further her ambition, she steps forward boldly. But she seems to find general intellectual curiosity as a weakness.

  • WmarkW

    “We know Trig was born in America! He may be an anchor “continent” baby, but without a doubt he is an American Citizen.”Even if Obama was not born in Hawaii, his mother was a citizen, so that makes him one. John McCain wasn’t born in the USA, either.

  • permagrin

    Wow, the 35476 article on how dumb the Palin’s are. You must be proud of how far you’ve come in the world of commentary. This is just deep and far reaching stuff, you intellectuals sure do nail this narrative every time you try it, which is like every 4.7 seconds these days. Bravo!!

  • Connie3

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Susan Jacoby for not pussyfooting around and for forthrightly stating the truth as you see it. We need more of this kind of bracing, brave commentary from progressives. We believe just as strongly in our values as do those with whom we disagree, and we have just as much right to be heard.

  • tjmlrc

    “Even if Obama was not born in Hawaii, his mother was a citizen, so that makes him one. John McCain wasn’t born in the USA, either.”&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&However, if he was adopted by a stepfather in say…….oh…… Indonesia, for instance, that makes him an Indonesian citizen. That nasty little detail about being in a foreign land adopted by a foreigner with the mother’s consent, blah,blah, blah.Just another inconvenient (but well played down) truth in the never ending “Who the he!! is this man? saga.

  • MrRevolution

    Most of the article is very well written. It is not just about Sarah Palin. Let’s face the truth. People who talk about morality, faith and values are the same very people who act differently in their real lives. Sara Palin is just one example. In fact, hatred for a black President is driving Sarah Palin’s followers and not Sara Palin herself. Sarah Palin is an opportunist like so many others who will move to an island to retire after she makes tons on money.

  • smith6

    I don’t know the name of the person who posted the fact that the issue is not “ivy league educated” but intellectual curiosity. Palin disdains intellectual curisoity because it might cause her to realize that some of her “beliefs” (and I’m not talking religious beliefs) might be wrong. Right-wingers LOVE to throw the elitism card out whenever these discussions come up. During the Health Care Debate I heard a commentator say “why are we listening to these “health care economists” as though listening to these people who spend their lives studying the effects of health care on the economy would be worst thing to do! My God! It is a strange world when it seems that the only media figure who actually asks the tough questions and is truly intellctually curious is John Stewart of teh Daily Show.

  • WmarkW

    My wife is an immigrant, so I have a nephew who was born a citizen of three countries — USA, Australia and Korea. Upon turning 18, he’ll have to choose one. This whole business about Obama’s constitutional eligibility is just so much nonsense, even though “who is he” is a very, very, very good question that the press abrogated the responsibility to ask two years ago.

  • medogsbstfrnd

    What sophomoric bromides it apparently takes to comfort the atheists. It’s way too easy to illustrate the weakness of a philosophy or religion you hate by choosing the worst examples in it as emblems of that religion or philosophy. After all, Jacoby would object to being lumped in with the mass murderer and atheist Lenin (one assumes). If that is the way you want to argue though Ms. Jacoby, let’s spend some time reflecting on the success stories of nihilist teens who do not hypocritically violate their sexual mores simply because they have none in the first place and produce unwanted children and either bring them into the world without love or simply abort their fetuses like they were throwing out yesterday’s cold pizza. Why anyone provides you a forum is one question. How you pretend intellectual superiority is another. I’m sure the religious would be more than willing to explain Sarah Palin if you are willing to explain genocidal atheist goons.

  • deerhead750

    Liberal rules regarding the press & children of politicians:Rule 1. Children of politicians are strictly off limits to the Press.Rule 2. Rule 1 does not apply to children of Conservatives.

  • cashmere1

    Sarah Palin was deluding herself if she believed that because Bristol and Levi were “engaged”, that made her pregnancy acceptable! It reminds me of the REVEREND Pat Robertson, who, years ago, was on Larry King Live, advocating abstenance before marriage when someone called in and reminded Robertson that HIS wife was four months pregnant when they got married!!The REVEREND’s reply….Well, we WERE engaged! He did NOT deny the accusation, and sat there with his face red as a beet!Robertson, who at the time was in the Republican “Moral Majority” politically, along with Jerry Falwell, proved once again the hypocrisy of the Right Wing Wackos, just like Palin. SHE was ALSO knocked up when she and Todd got married!Sarah Palin exploited her entire five kids during the campaign and afterwards, and now complains about their “bad press”! In exploiting her kids, she exposed her own hypocrisy, and now has to live with it!

  • smith6

    The other issue that drives me crazy with Sara Palin is that she is supporting the entire “tabloid” culture. Is it not ironic that Bristol and Levi announced that they are getting married via US Weekly? If Bristol supports abstenince (redo!) then she might consider shunning US Weekly. US Weekly and their ilk help to create a culture that tells young people that if they are not “sexy” something is wrong with them. It tells young people if they are not “having sex” then their is something wrong with them. Look through the pages of US Weekly and their is more “skin” and references to the sex lives of celebs. But I just must be one of those “elitist” who thinks too much….

  • hughsie48

    Elite/definition……. “The best or most skilled members of a group.” You see Palinites, being elite is a good thing. The Republican’s worship of stupidity knows no bounds!

  • iamweaver

    I know this is OT, but the questions were asked, so…”Is it possible that the gender gap in science achievement is due to a difference in aptitude and interest, as Lawrence Summers suggested?”————————————————-It is – but then you have to look into why this is such a problem solely in the *black* community. There are clearly factors other than just the economic. While welfare might play a part, it seems to me much more likely to have to do with the anti-intellectual, youth-driven urban culture. As an acquaintance of mine says (he’s in the middle of a 30+ year sentence in Greensville Correctional Center for a crime committed as a teen), “It’s all about these boys thinking they are men, and men trying to be boys”.Lesson #1. Pedophiles and adult sexual partner choices aren’t usually connected. However (to be snarky), the boy scouts has no real problems with pedophilia because boy scouts are almost adolescents into or past puberty.

  • bozhogg

    I find it interesting that in the most religious areas of the country, the divorce rate is higher, guns are more prevalent, and proper English grammar is non-existent. Guns, babies and Bibles.. an odd combination that makes no sense to me. Keep the fetus alive so that he/she can fight in wars for oil? Good bullet stoppers I guess.

  • jpfann

    Well, Jacoby, Palin may not be Ivy League educated, but at least she is not as hate-filled and mean-spirited as you. You and your colleagues at the Post may be sophisticated, cultured, well-educated and super-connected, but on what matters most you come up short. I would never vote for Palin, but can we stop the viciousness and outrageous personal attacks? You lose all credibility when you act like a spoiled teenage girl. Your column reflects badly on your character.

  • WmarkW

    “It is – but then one must satisfactorily answer why girls perform better than boys in both math and science up until the teen years.”The same reason they’re often taller — they mature earlier.

  • tina5

    Palin has never, never shown “contempt for education.” The reason Ms. Jacoby states this is because Palin didn’t attend the “right” school (like Harvard), yet she is self-confident and has a successful political career. Ms. Jacoby is the one showing contempt.

  • bethg1841

    “Not only is Sarah Palin’s exploitation of Bristol unfortunate,…”

  • rohit57

    I don’t know the name of the person who posted the fact that the issue is not “ivy league educated” but intellectual curiosity. Palin disdains intellectual curisoity because it might cause her to realize that some of her “beliefs” (and I’m not talking religious beliefs) might be wrong. A stubburn insistence on keeping one’s own discredited views has little to do with political affiliation, or even with level of education.Tolerance is something which even a child of five can practice. But many liberals do not. I live in New York, and most conservatives I know are actually centrists. So my personal experience has been that conservatives, in my neck of woods, are far more open minded than liberals.

  • hilow

    After reading this article and some of these comments. It seems that some of these people are lying about their high school education.

  • buckminsterj

    medogsbstfrnd: “After all, Jacoby would object to being lumped in with the mass murderer and atheist Lenin.”Sure, if Lenin committed his atrocities in the name of atheism, or used atheism as justification (he did not). The “genocidal atheist goons” you mention actually share with Palin and other religious fundamentalists a predilection for ill-informed absolutism of one type or another. As Jacoby points out here. And for those of you defending Palin by calling Jacoby “mean spirited” et. al., you have actually listened to Palin’s speeches, haven’t you?

  • WmarkW

    Tolerance is something which even a child of five can practice. But many liberals do not. True. I’m reading Tammy Bruce’s The New Thought Police and she makes that point that while the like of Limbaugh and Colter are blowhards, they don’t advocate silencing opponents, the way many academic liberals do.To Susan J’s credit — she is a First Amendment advocate for opposing views.

  • DaveWork

    In many ways this has to be one of the most ignorant comments in this piece: “There has always been a strong correlation between religious fundamentalism and lack of education…”Always? Really? It’s a shame that someone like Jacoby clearly doesn’t understand the religious influence involved in the founding of most of our Ivy league schools. Not to mention the religious beliefs of many of past famous scientists.What’s also painfully clear is that Jacoby’s knowledge of any actual Christian is only one of a stereotype or parody. Perhaps if she was able to lower herself from her castle-top she might meet some that I know – who actually are scientists, engineers, lawyers, etc. Thinking people who don’t quite fit the mold she would like to imagine.

  • rohit57

    Susan, read Stanley Fish’s column on a related issues today in the NY Times. You may imagine yourself to be a member of the elite, but he is far more intelligent and far better educated than you are, and instad of bashing Palin’s family, he gives us a thoughtful analysis.Want to be a member of the elite? Do your homework!

  • EarlC

    Mrs. Jacoby is essentially correct in my humble opinion. The fact that so many rude and utterly uncivil comments have been directed toward Mrs. Jacoby indicates how poisoned are the waters of reasonable debate and dialogue in this country. At no point in her opinion piece did Mrs. Jacoby resort to such crass name calling and the like. Our Christian or religious right fundamentalism is not very different from the tone and scope of fundamental Islam or fundamental Judaism. For fundamentalists, they have immediate forgiveness of their own sins but have no charity for those not like themselves. One might call this hypocrisy to the highest order. By the way for the Sarah Palin apologists on this blog, Sarah Palin has a great disdain for educated people, whether she considers herself to be educated or not. I really am amused when I hear by own PhD pastor take broad whacks at educated people. Of course, he never includes himself.

  • GiveMeThat

    Disgusting. There needs to be a link to “REPORT OFFENSIVE COMMENT” on Ms Jacoby’s essay. How many offensive slurs can she make?: She implies that Trig and Levi weren’t engaged. Evidence? Religious conservatives are ignorant….

  • areyousaying

    In today’s episode, Soap Opera Sarah becomes infuriated at a Washington Post Comment that compares her to Dan Quayle in drag.”First of all, I’m not even a man,” she tweets.In tomorrow’s episode, Sarah leads a teabagger rally with a Bible opened to Leviticus in one hand and a Glock in the other.

  • curtb

    To wmarkw: The pundits of the hard right don’t advocate silencing anyone because if they were successful they’d be out of a job. Strictly reactionaries, they’re only discernible purpose in life is to attack the left, they’re living attack ads. As for the Palins, Ms. Jacoby is one hundred percent correct. Palin whined her way out of office in Alaska because the media was too hard on her and now she’s making the big bucks off of the media, that’s leadership to some. The Bristol/Levi situation is a perfect reflection of our culture of obsession with less than ideal celebrity behavior, and they are celebrities now, like it or not. I hope Mama Grizzly is fuming over this because she deserves to have her whole little scenario blow up in her face. If she’s all that’s good and right and wholesome in America, as her amazingly gullible worshippers seem to believe, then America will never be good and right and wholesome.

  • fastaire

    This is one of the most arrogantly ignorant pieces I have ever read in my life. If my job were to write opinion pieces for the Washington Post, hardly a pursuit for our most brilliant minds, I would hold my tongue about demeaning someone elses intellect. She throws around the word racist as a weapon when in all likelihood her love for African Americans and other minorities, as with most white liberals of her type, is only from afar. I shudder to think what this woman must think of a car mechanic, welder, lathe operator, truck driver or press break operator. I bet she could not set up a computer or change a spark plug if her life depended on it but she can read a book and expound on a subject such as “Queer Musicology”, a useless subject that the typical liberal like Jacoby would consider intellectual. The only reason you have the opportunity to pursue such an unproductive vocation as yours is because hard working “dopes” like Todd Palin made it possible for you. No Jacoby you are neither brilliant nor intellectual. You just think you are.

  • buckminsterj

    Davework: “It’s a shame that someone like Jacoby clearly doesn’t understand the religious influence involved in the founding of most of our Ivy league schools.”And how prestigious would the Ivy League have remained had their science and humanities departments resisted advancements in knowledge that sub- or controverted religious dogma? By definition, fundamentalists – and Jacoby uses precisely that term – don’t tolerate new takes on truth, so no, there is little fundamentalist influence on the Ivies. As for a more liberal religious influence, how many students are filling out applications to Harvard and Yale so they can get into the chapel and pray?

  • GiveMeThat

    What kind of sick and twisted justification is this? “Think, for a moment, about the filth that would have been spewed if the first black presidential candidate had a pregnant, unmarried teenage daughter.”Translation: Since ugly remarks would be made about a black candidate’s family, I am free to make them about a white candidate’s family. It is probably true that the Obamas would force their daughters to have an abortion rather than compromise them. Ms. Jacoby would much prefer that.

  • onesideplease

    I don’t know where exactly the line is between making the best of a bad situation and unabashed opportunism, but they’ve crossed it.

  • tjmlrc

    earlc,You talk about how jacoby doesn’t resort to name calling of Palin.”Here is what a less ignorant anti-abortion candidate might say about teenage pregnancy:”Go back and read the article, if you’re able, and if you are intelligent enough, you may be able to read between the lines and glean what jacoby is really saying. I won’t vote for Palin unless no one else runs against obama. I mean come on……With everthing going on in the world and in our own country, obama is going on “The View”, of all things to make small talk with pea hens.

  • iamweaver

    WmarkW writes:”It is – but then one must satisfactorily answer why girls perform better than boys in both math and science up until the teen years.”The same reason they’re often taller — they mature earlier.You are confusing prepubescence with puberty. Even before the ‘tween’ years, girls outscore boys. I work regularly with kids during the Jr. High period, when social pressures become paramount, and it is during this period when this abrupt change occurs.No one is saying that girls and boys are the same – that’s clearly not true (boys, even in the most pacifistic of homes, often make guns out of twigs if given the chance :) ). But this is true almost “from the womb”. On the other hand, the differences in science/math achievements is retarded during the teen years, but doesn’t start that way, so the jury is still out as to whether it’s primarily nature or nurture. There are some interesting indicators though – in some emerging countries, the ratio of female to male Comp Sci graduates (the field that I follow) is close to parity.

  • rohit57

    Mrs. Jacoby is essentially correct in my humble opinion. I find the game that liberal media play quite amusing . Any conservative woman gets labelled “Ms” and if she does not like it, tough luck, this is the 21st century.But liberal women like “Mrs” Clinton and “Mrs” Obama or “Mrs” Jacoby get the old appellation to remind us all that they too have their heart in the right place – i.e., in the family. They have a husband whom they love, etc. etc…. :)

  • jaxas70

    Rohit57, your comment on Fish’s column and your labeling of Susan Jacoby’s column here as “slander” is 100% crap! The real slander that is taking place is Sarah Palin’s persistent denigration of millions of liberal Americans who through their own hard work and values were able to earn scholarships to places like Harvard and Yale.Quite honestly I have had a bellyful of you dumbed dwon morons out there who want to force everybody’s nose into a Bible that quite honestly reads to me like the wild fantasies of a bunch of lusty old perverts trying to control the hearts and minds of the people.As for Sarah Palin, how in God;s name the media can be so tolerant of someone who clearly is flat out unqualified for any office other than selling kisses at a carnival is beyond my capacity.That guy Buck stumbled over the truth about you people. But I reckon old Winston Churchill was righ when he said that occasionally man stumbles over the truth. But then, he picks himself up and goes on as though nothing had happened.

  • TheChampishere

    Well done Ms. Jacoby! It’s time the progressives were heard rather than just those idiots at FauxNews!For all of you “conserviatives” who are counting down to November . . . be careful of what you ask for!

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    All those hurtful facts, shame on you Ms Jacoby. You left off the question about if Ms Palin is as smart as your average Ivy League Student who isn’t a rich legacy, then why did she have to hop around 5 different colleges to graduate. The possible answers are.I sorry, but only number 2 is not a moral defect, and running down those who were smarter or worked harder is beyond doubt a moral defect.

  • inplants

    Sarah “Shakespeare” Palin has now been awared Teflon status by the Tea Party zealots.Whatever she says, whatever she does, she is no longer held responsible. No matter how outrageous, how out of context, how hypocritical, it matters not to the Rabid Right. All that matters is that she bashes the Left, the Government, anybody or anything that the sanctimonious Right has deemed objectionable.Notice, BTW, how adroitly the author’s argument is turned around. No longer is this discussion about the “Quiter,” but about how Liberals, of course not the focus of this article, are in the wrong. It can never, ever be about Sarah. She is inviolate.After all, all she did was let her teenage daughter get pregnant out of wedlock, and then leverage that pathetic reality into political hay.She has, however, at least taught her how to capitalize on new-found, if inappropriate, notoriety for personal gain.Good Job!

  • jrw1

    Is there anything about Sarah Palin that is not “dubious”? The really sad thing is that there are enough fools in this country supporting her that she has managed to get this far. It’s all about the $$$ folks. For that whole dang family of hillbillys. And, yes, the “45 percent of Americans who have no education beyond high school (and who)believe in the literal truth of the Bible” are “stupid idiots”.

  • glenknowles

    like so many have said before, this was a very well written article, succinct and to the point. unfortunately, the ones who need to read it probably won’t and the ones that needed to read it and did so, will curse you to eternal damnation for maligning their “palin” god. one the one hand, it baffles me that even though we live in the most industrialized nations in the world, people yet wallow in ignorance. i mean a determined ignorance, not something bestowed upon them at birth. for example, its been proven that obama was born in the united states but people are still believing that he was born in some hut in africa. sarah palin has proven time and time again that the depth of her thinking is about as shallow as the fetus end of the pool but people still hold her views as sacred.and on the other hand, we still live in an america where people are free to believe what they want to believe and hate whomever or whatever they choose. nonetheless, it’s really a shame that the media and the politicians are prostituting these ignorant people (not stupid, just uneducated)at the expense of their self-interests. though some may themselves be on some type of government assistance or receiving a pension that some union fought and won for them, they are quick to espouse some type of anti-government rhetoric that beneath the veneer, exposes them as modern day dixiecrats.we “elistists” need to stand up and challenge the palinistas of the world and expose them for what they are. use the scriptures and their own flawed thinking against them and let them crawl back to their communities and never be heard or seen from again. as a nation, we have let ourselves down by giving them a listening ear and out of a sense of guilt or fair-play, have been fooled to feel that they deserve equal time and that this regurgitation can be dismissed as mere rhetoric. some of us can tell the difference–even with our eyes closed.

  • rohit57

    Rohit57, your comment on Fish’s column and your labeling of Susan Jacoby’s column here as “slander” is 100% crap! The real slander that is taking place is Sarah Palin’s persistent denigration of millions of liberal Americans who through their own hard work and values were able to earn scholarships to places like Harvard and Yale.Actually Jaxas70, I myself was one of the scholarship students at Harvard – I got by entirely on scholarhips and summer jobs.But one thing I was NOT taught at Harvard was looking down on people who went to “lesser” colleges.Fish is a scholar, that is obvious. Jacoby is a muckraker who might have gone to an expensive school, I do not know. But if she was taught snobbery at that school then I myself would not send my children there.

  • jaxas70

    The rise of Sarah Palin speaks volumes about America’s decline in world stature. In every single metric, Europe, Asia, China and even Latin America are pulling ahead of us. And the reason for that is becoming more and more obvious every day as our national dialogue is dominated by the likes of Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Breitbart and Hannity–a nauseatingly ignorant assortment of commentators and talk show hosts and former government officials whom taken all together do not possess a sufficient collection of brain cells to assemble one complete brain!How in the hell did we get to this point where transparently ignorant morons like this are now regarded as substantive, serious commentators and analysts? Have American IQs dropped that dramatically in recent years to the point that what these imbeciles say make sense? What sort of message does it send to our young people when this sort of brain dead rabble dominate our national discussion. My God! Scotty beam us off this pathetically unintelligent planet! There is precious little intelligent life here!

  • rohit57

    And, yes, the “45 percent of Americans who have no education beyond high school (and who)believe in the literal truth of the Bible” are “stupid idiots”.

  • password11

    When we find out if both Ms. Palin and the lady with all the kids will be wearing MC HAMMER glasses on the TV show? I can’t wait!

  • dummy4peace

    Why don’t we give our kids classes on anatomy and physiology so they can learn something useful for life? If they understand how our bodies work and how lives are created, they can make better decisions for themselves.

  • rohit57

    There are things which Palin has said which I disagree with – sharply.I thought that “Drill baby drill” was a dumb idea even before the BP disaster.Also, Palin’s talk about “Death panels” is counterproductive. If you see Atul Gawande’s article in the most recent New Yorker, you will find that 25% of our medical budget is spent on the last year of people’s lives. And it is largely spent on keeping them miserable through invasive medical treatments.See So both of Palin’s ideas “Drill baby drill” and “Death panels” are foolish.But Jacoby says NOTHING about these two issues (I did a search). Instead the whole column is devoted to attacks on Palin’s family.And this, in my view, is disgusting.It also shows how unintellectual Jacoby is. We do not get a scholarly analysis of Palin’s political views – which is what really matters. Instead, we get dirt.

  • WmarkW

    Palin, Limbaugh and Coulter are easy to attack (I’m not saying they shouldn’t be) because they at least talk about ideas people understand and can debate.Liberal elites talk in meaningless phrases like white privilege, glass ceilings, and “diversity is our greatest strength” and then pretend their opponents are stupid for not understanding what these non-concepts are talking about.

  • B2O2

    So many good (and original) points made in this essay. Thank you, Ms. Jacoby.This one particularly stands out to me:”About 45 percent of Americans who have no education beyond high school believe in the literal truth of the Bible, while only 19 percent of college graduates do.”Here, it seems, is the crux of the choice America has here at the dawn of the 21st century. We can choose to live in an ignorant bygone medieval era like Sarah’s flock and the other fundamentalist jihadists of the Muslim subtype, or we can choose modernity.Which is it going to be, America? Your choice. Obsolescence, or survival? You can’t just hide from the 21st century and hope it goes away.

  • theduck6

    The nature of the barbs hurled here by the author and the juvenile insults tell me Ms Palin and the like scare the heck out of liberals and their ilk. Is she qualified to be President? I really am not sure and I want to be sure before I pull the lever. I AM sure the current President was not ready and has not learned much OJT since his inauguration. Oh, don’t tell me, that makes me a racist doesn’t it? If only I cared what you thought.

  • jaxas70

    Rohit57, My argument has little to do with Fish’s column. I read that column as well and came away feeling that Fish was doing in the column the very thing he critiques so many others for doing-counting the # of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. It was a long, tedious article that essentially seemed to be a justification for Christians persistently making the false claim that they are are somehow discriminated against simply because the government and academic community does not want to involve itself in choosing up sides between those who who believe and those who do not.But, you confuse me. You say you went to Harvard and was taught to not look down on those who went to “lesser” schools which seems to be at odds with your larger point that such “elitist” institutions routinely encourage such a snobbish elitist attitude. Isn’t the problem rteally with this long standing inferiority complex that conservatives have against northeast liberals whom they perceive as snobs? I see this expressed in many forms among rural inhabitants–the label “city slickers”, “elitist”, “pseudo-intellectuals”, “latte sipping liberals”, “limousine liberals”, even the resort to the old “damn yankees” label coming out of the civil war, is evocative of this gnawing inferiority complex that has always plagued the conservative movement. It is a prejudice, a bigotry against the millions of American liberals who are not all that different from their conservative counterparts. And it is also a deliberate political tactic designed to divide Americans against one another on the basis of what section of the country they grew up in. And both parties engage in it. But at the moment, it is a tactic most used by the right wing to disparage the word “liberal” when in fact America has always enjoyed a long, honorable liberal tradition which, had it not existed, you probably would not have been able to attend Harvard.

  • jfv123

    If unemployment is 8% or more in 2012, get used to President Palin.I’m talking about the real unemployment rate, not the fake one that doesn’t count discouragerd people who stop looking for work.Not all the anti-Palin media in the world can change the fact that the 2012 election will be about Obama’s economic performance, not the antics of two Alaska teenagers.So, the question is, can Obama get the real unemployment rate down below 8% without bankrupting the country doing it?

  • MstrSmith

    Susan Jacoby is as ignorant as they come. Her so called “dumbing down” of America is because of the almost total Gov/Liberal control of the school system. Also, we know for sure, what we long suspected that progressive media types are partners in “framing” the argument as they have elitist, we know better than you, group think. This woman is the best reason for “post abortion” I can think of. She trashes religious beliefs but espouses evolution, that brings us back to the creation of something from nothing. Try and get any scientist to back you on that one..will ya? So, in her world, “they are right’ and all others are wrong. lol What a classless “b!tch”! It’s not enough that her ilk are trying to “fundamentally” change America, when 60% do not want it, but as she and her kind say, “they are too stupid to know what’s good for them.” Well Susan, “we” may not know what’s good for us, but we have that right and you do not have the right to take that away from “us” As for Sarah Palin, she is self made, critical thinker, something you would know nothing about. I feel sorry for any kids you have, but to be fair, post their addresses, their pictures and “we’ll” send some reporters up to follow then around for a few months and see how you & your children live. By the way, is the place next to your house for rent?.

  • DaveWork

    “As for a more liberal religious influence, how many students are filling out applications to Harvard and Yale so they can get into the chapel and pray?”That wasn’t my point at all. Sorry you missed it. So far most of what I’ve seen from the left here is lots of name calling “moron” “idiot” “fundamentalist” etc…And my personal favorite: “Quite honestly I have had a bellyful of you dumbed dwon morons out there who want to force everybody’s nose into a Bible…” I must have missed the movement to “force” everyone to read a Bible. More nonsense.

  • jaxas70

    JFV, Sarah Palin will never be President of the United States. Look. I am a subscriber to the old H. L. Mencken maxim that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Yes they can be dumb, uninformed and quite silly in many of their beliefs. But they are not crazy. They know the difference between someone who is serious and substantive and someone who is clearly not.I believe they are uninformed enough to be persuaded to elect another business friendly republican like Mitt Romney, which would probably guarantee a return to the Bush years. But, they are not ready to turn this country over to some dumbed down fundamentalist nitwit like Sarah Palin or Tom Tancredo or any of the other right wing harpies who are intoxicated by the fumes emanating from the hineys of equally stupid imbeciles like Glenn Bleccck and Rush Lamebrain.

  • buckminsterj

    ROHIT: “But one thing I was NOT taught at Harvard was looking down on people who went to “lesser” colleges.”Nor were you taught to refrain from straw man arguments, apparently. Where in her column does Jacoby look down on “lesser” colleges?The object of her condescension (and deservedly so) are those who themselves look down on elite scholars, as if academic achievement is somehow un-American and worthy of scorn. Her point – and I’d hope this would be clear to a Harvard grad – is that the political emergence of someone as intellectually unaccomplished as Palin represents a “dumbing down of America” (headline!), and that anti-intellectualism is a symptom of that trend. In other words, Jacoby’s goal is not provide a scholarly analysis of Palin’s policies, but to analyze the meaning of her influence in America.

  • Delongl

    This is a liberal fantasy. Sarah Palin didn’t push any of those themes — the press did. Every Pres and VP candidate puts there whole family on stage during the nomination. But somehow when Obama does it, his kids are off-limits, but if Sarah Palin does it, then she is “using her kids”. Even Joe Biden’s drug addicted daughter is off limits, but Sarah Palin’s down syndrome baby is not.I guess they decided all this on JournoList.

  • fare777

    The people in Alaska have every right to be outraged. The south has exported its trailer trash values to the great northwest. We should have let the south out of the Union. They have kept the country grounded in racism and backwardness forever. The south is the best evidence against evolution, but God hasn’t done a great job there. Check out South Carolina, for example.

  • buckminsterj

    Davework: “That wasn’t my point at all.”Of course it wasn’t – it was my point, i.e. Ivy League schools are primarily academic institutions whose function and appeal are generally non-religious and in most cases anti-religious.

  • jaxas70

    Davework, since you have this moral aversion to name calling, I assume you also shudder with rage at the various name calling activities of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart and the Tea Party groups with their nasty little racist signs.Look. The people I refer to as dumbed down morons are the very people who have called President Obama a Nazi, a Communist, a racist, a liar, a coward, a traitor, a terrorist and a black panther. How he could be all of these things at once would be an interesting debate but you get the point.So, I find your feigned queasiness at my name calling a bit amusing to say the least when in fact, the world class champions at this sort of thing are the right wing trogs who specialize in the demonizing of anyone who has liberal views.

  • DaveWork

    Sigh. “The south has exported its trailer trash values to the great northwest… They have kept the country grounded in racism and backwardness forever.”Do you happen to know how blacks were treated by those in the “great northwest” when many migrated there after the civil war? Do you think it was all “tolerance” and “acceptance”?

  • atroncale1

    Well put but this article did not tell me anything I did not already know. Dumb is as dumb does. That goes for Palin’s followers, her children, and of course the queen herself.

  • DaveWork

    “Davework, since you have this moral aversion to name calling…”It’s really not an aversion as much as amusement with the left wing hypocrisy. The left is always getting the vapors about “tone” and doing what you just did – criticizing Beck (who I never watch) etc…about the things they say. Then they turn right around and say they same kind of stuff with an amazing amount of venom.

  • Catken1

    “, today’s American history textbooks have cut back content on white males, like Columbus, the founding fathers and the Wright brothers, to put more emphasis on women, American Indians and blacks, “Because women, American Indians, and blacks just aren’t Real Americans with Good American Values. Only white men are to be honored under Good American Value Systems. Truth is, they’re not being honored “out of proportion to their actual influence”. It’s just that you, being raised under the old system in which only white male actions mattered, were taught nothing of the actual influence they had, so you assumed simply that they had none.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I confess Sarah Palin, foreign policy mavin by virtue of her ability to see Russia from Alaska, is a joke. But no less of one than the brain dead liberals I see blogging every day on WaPo. Doctrinaire liberals were always a problem and now we have doctrinaire conservatives as well. Simply put, there are are no politics of worth in this country anymore, enthusing, refusing, and confusing. There are corruption, knee jerk reactions, “journalists” and panelists who don’t bother to check facts (time-consuming and, what for, anyway).The more I read this WaPo, the more I see that brain death is the condition of the public domain, such as it isn’t.And then there is elitism:And if one hops around from one private college to another? Or hops off to Yale as that geenyoss Bush did?Do we really need to read about Bristol and her hillbilly family, yet again? Is it radically impossible to have a serious, substantive discussion, anywhere?Sorry, bad mood.

  • DaveWork

    “Ivy League schools are primarily academic institutions whose function and appeal are generally non-religious and in most cases anti-religious.”Ok. Non-religious is one thing. But why would the “appeal” of a good school necessarily have to be “anti-religious”? Just asking.

  • tjmlrc

    “Do you happen to know how blacks were treated by those in the “great northwest” when many migrated there after the civil war? Do you think it was all “tolerance” and “acceptance”?*******************************************It has no more been all acceptance and tolerance of blacks by whites as whites by blacks.

  • nyskinsdiehard

    Great article, love the comments…great discussion!!! But, can we please, once and for all time, be honest about why anyone gives a hoot about Sarah Palin: she is hot, and looks like she has a smokin’ body under her not-so-dowdy clothes! If men didn’t lust after her, & women didn’t want to look like her, nobody would be paying much attention to her banal politics. Face it, if she looked like Babs Mikulski we wouldn’t be having this discussion!

  • WmarkW

    Face it, if she looked like Babs Mikulski we wouldn’t be having this discussion!True, and McCain wouldn’t have nominated her to be Veep to counter Ombamania. You know what’s wrong with the doctrine of Diversity?Sarah PalinGet the idea?

  • jaxas70

    It is rather amusing to read some of the right wing diatribes here. With their persistent references to “pseudo-intellectuals”, “commie loving” socialists one would think that these people went to sleep in 1957 ala Rip Van McCarthy and just woke up!Look. There is no Soviet Union. Stalin, Lenin, Mao–they are all dead. So is Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Ayn Rand and John Maynard Keynes, Ronald Reagan and Bill Buckley. None of them have left us with any lasting legacies. Both lazzez faire capitalism and Marxist socialism have failed in their economic applications.When are you neanderthals going to learn that? Why do you persist in these old obsolete, irrelevant labels and slogans? When are you going to realize that a completely new paradigm suitable to the century we live in is needed?I find the arguments on both sides dated and tedious and most of all I find the far right’s shenanigans flat out childish in the extreme. None of the major challenges we face in the 21st century are going to lend themselves to these old irrelevant ideologies.

  • tjmlrc

    nyskinsdiehard,Funny you should say that. I believe that most of what you said about Palin can also apply to obama.He’s tall. Has a great smile and can orate very nicely. (Plus I think Oprah had a major crush on him.) Other than that he is an empty vessel who likens himself to America’s idol, like Palin.What a waste of 4 years for this country….

  • rohit57

    Rohit57, My argument has little to do with Fish’s column. I read that column as well and came away feeling that Fish was doing in the column the very thing he critiques so many others for doing-counting the # of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. It was a long, tedious article that essentially seemed to be a justification for Christians persistently making the false claim that they are are somehow discriminated against simply because the government and academic community does not want to involve itself in choosing up sides between those who who believe and those who do not.a deliberate political tactic designed to divide Americans against one another on the basis of what section of the country they grew up in. And both parties engage in it. But at the moment, it is a tactic most used by the right wing to disparage the word “liberal” when in fact America has always enjoyed a long, honorable liberal tradition which, had it not existed, you probably would not have been able to attend Harvard. But perhaps you found his article too boring to read with care?As for Harvard, it certainly is and was a liberal insitution. But, liberalism meant something different at one time. Liberals at Harvard (and I was one of them) were thoughtful people and willing to look at points of view different from their own.Liberalism has now degenerated into group think and name calling. A pity, really.For example Tea party members are characterized as uneducated, and dominated by racist white men. In fact the Tea party is only 77% white, their level of education is somewhat higher than that of the average American, and three of the leaders are women including one Indian American.

  • salanatoli

    I think it’s horrible that Sarah Palin is being criticized for doing the right thing. I would never blame Sarah’s religous values for Bristol’s pregnancy. Instead, blame a media culture and a public education system infested with liberals that encourages young boys and girls to have sex. Imagine if the messages had been the opposite. Imagine how few teenage girls would become pregnant. To criticize someone whos faith is so deep is not only wrong, it’s not possible. Those of us who believe in Sarah don’t believe a word of the criticism. She is a strong woman of faith and we and the media should never criticize or question that. There’s a reason she doesn’t give interviews to the liberal media – they attack her faith and don’t understand that most things, to a person of faith, are beyond question, especially from a biased liberal media elite bent on destroying this country.

  • buckminsterj

    Davework: “But why would the “appeal” of a good school necessarily have to be “anti-religious”? Just asking.”Yes, not the best term, so thanks for letting me clarify. I mean “anti-religious” not as, say, “breeding animosity toward religion or religious people,” but as “contrary to faith-based approaches to knowledge.”

  • chadborman

    kkoch14 writes “About 45 percent pf Americans who have no education beyond high school believe in the literal truth of the Bible, while only 19 percent of college graduates do.”kkoch14, you are absolutely correct. A typo is a perfect indicator of someone’s intelligence, unlike a literal belief in the bible which contradicts so much that we know as fact about science. Long live the fundamentalists who shall bring us back to the dark ages.

  • MHawke

    Sarah Palin is the best thing to happen to the Democrats. The higher her profile, the more likely she will hand a second term to Obama, like she did last time.Tina Fey is warming up for 2012!

  • DaveWork

    jaxas70 – So a new paradigm would look nothing like: Communism, socialism, capitalism, or anything else we’ve seen in world history to date.So what would this “new paradigm suitable to the century we live in” look like? Very curious as to how our economic system would be structured. Also very curious as to the power balance between “the people” and the government. Would a new ideology have a name or a “label”? Or would it be so very different that we couldn’t classify it at all?

  • jaxas70

    Come on Davework! Hypocrisy? What? You think that the “family values” conservatives are not just as hypocritical? If Al Franken had been involve in precisely the same activity Rush Limbaugh had with his doctor shopping for Oxycontin, don’t you think Limbaugh would have been calling for him to be “sent up the river” as he said about drug addicts before his own flirtation with addiction?Look. Bill Bennett, G. Gordon Liddy, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and a bevy of conservative Christian religious personalities have recently been exposed as hypocrites by dint of their own moral dysfunctions. Believe me, hypocrisy is no stranger on the right.

  • DaveWork

    “Believe me, hypocrisy is no stranger on the right.” I never said it wasn’t.

  • cadabra11

    What scares me about this is that Americans are losing their abilit to think. People “believe” rather than think. They “believe” that having an opinion is thinking. It is not. Thinking is identifying and questioning one’s assumptions and values. It is analyzing evidence and drawing rational conclusions. As we devolve into the bifurcation of American society between the upper 20 percent of income earners and the lower 80 percent, and the upper 20 percent divests and disconnects from the lower 80 percent, then all the lower 80 percent will have is their fighting with each other for their “family values.” That is how Hitler was elected in a three-way race, and I fear that totalitarianism will come to America for the same reasons as brought Hitler to Germany.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    The extent to which Christian right-wing politicians and talking heads are Christian is open to debate. We have a lot of bloviating Elmer Gantrys clogging up the airwaves, frankly. But the left has been moved by the Holy Ghost, as we see in our faith prez. The time has come when we all must have religion, the better to bomb Afghanistan, etc., stall legislation, “accuse” the president of being a “Muslim,” etc. Ah, the sweetness of religion. HOw it has blessed us with loving kindness.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    There is at least a small measure of honesty on the right. I don’t believe the left knows the meaning of the word.Posted by: tjmlrc

  • jckdoors

    The only thing Palin values is money. Her family is a bunch of con artists.

  • spencer1

    Sarah, Sarah Barraquitter

  • StewartIII

    NewsBusters| WaPo: Bristol Palin Is Fair Game for Insults, Since Her Mother Lives In a ‘Dream World’ of Ignorance

  • jaxas70

    Rohit57, when I read your comments I have the distinct impression that I am listening to any one of a variety of conservative talk shows who specialize in the very sort of overly general criticisms of liberals that you do. Sure. There is groupthink on the left. You think that the right does not engage in groupthink?Look. Most people make these idle critiques of the opposition based more or less on what they have heard on radio or television or what they have read on op-ed pages of newspapers or blogs. When I critique the right, I am not talking about true conservatives like David Frum or Francis Fukuyama or Christopher Buckley. I may not agree with them but I respect them as having sound, reasonable intellectual arguments. When I hear people like Beck or Limbaugh or Palin, all I hear is trash talk grounded in emotion-mainly anger or hatred.I believe the same is true of many conservatives on the right. They must know professional liberals who maintain sound, legitimate arguments. I sometimes wonder if you on the right are mistaking liberals for the 1960s radicals who so disrupted our society. They were the equivalent of the tea parties of today. I didn’t respect them any more than I respect the Becks and Limbaughs and Breitbarts of today. We are never going to get to the level of an intelligent dialogue in our national discussion unless we get beyond this culture war nonsense and until we start calling the dividers in our society for what they are–troublemakers and political arsonists who are in it not for the betterment of society but for their own selfish power trips.

  • DaveWork

    Yes, not the best term, so thanks for letting me clarify. I mean “anti-religious” not as, say, “breeding animosity toward religion or religious people,” but as “contrary to faith-based approaches to knowledge.”Thanks buckminsterjI guess I would just disagree with the idea that because a person has “faith” that their approach to an acquisition of knowledge would be incompatible with the school – for example 2 people desiring to be pharmacists.

  • MarkDavidovich

    I concur with Ms Jacoby’s version of the speech Sarah Palin should have given. But I think articles like this facilitate, rather than expose, the anti-intellectualism, anti-elitism of Palin. It is wrong to disparage Palin for having attended four different colleges before getting her degree. In pursuing her higher education Ms Palin showed grit and determination–values shared by most of us. Ms Jacoby comes off as snobbish (and elitist) here, playing right into the hands of the Palin machine.I also take issue with Ms characterization of a putative election of President Palin as due to a dumbing down of America. Palin, unlike Ronald Reagan, fails to embody the aspirations of most Americans. Rather, she embodies their fears. One could, of course, vote for Reagan because one disliked Carter or Mondale or the policies of the Democratic party. But Reagan also articulated an attractive vision of America and himself. One could vote for him because one liked him and his vision. Palin, on the other hand, runs against perceived failures of liberal elites. If she wins it will be because most votors share her belief in their failure. Calling Palin or her supporters dumbed down won’t help. What is needed is to reestablish confidence in liberal ideas.

  • rohit57

    Rohit57, when I read your comments I have the distinct impression that I am listening to any one of a variety of conservative talk shows who specialize in the very sort of overly general criticisms of liberals that you do. Sure. There is groupthink on the left. You think that the right does not engage in groupthink?I have never said that the right does not engage in groupthink. I suppose they do, but living where I do, I do not meet very many right wingers. And I do not read Fox news.But what worries me is that intelligent, well educated liberals seem to engage in groupthink.The conservatives I meet are mostly center right people, or even Democrats, but they tend to be able to listen to a point of view different from their own.If they do not agree, they will give you an argument or a fact rather than snort with impatience (as too many well educated liberals do).

  • Cville2Cville

    “Bristol was used by her mother as . . . . a living demonstration of Sarah Palin’s opposition to abortion: Look at my teenage daughter, she made a mistake and did the right thing by having the baby. The only more shameless aspect of Sarah’s campaign was her constant exhibition of her Down Syndrome son. Look at me, I didn’t have an abortion like those terrible elitist women who make fun of me for not reading books.”Absolute rubbish. When did Sarah Palin ever celebrate her children’s challenging circumstances or her own virtue in the midst of those circumstances? Millions of Americans — myself included — grew in our respect for Palin because she did not abort her Downs child and because Bristol knew not to abort her own. But this respect did not come because Palin threw her virtue in our faces; it was plain to see. In fact, it was the media that sought to expose every corner of Palin’s life and obsessed over every hint of dirt in the Palin family, most of which turned out to be myth or fabrication.Even though I attended a McCain/Palin rally and closely followed the campaign news, I do not recall Palin’s “constant exhibition” of her son. Ms. Jacoby is obviously much more sensitive to such matters than I, but why does Palin’s opposition to abortion so trouble her? Perhaps it is because Ms. Jacoby’s libertine attitude has been challenged by the mere existence of faithful, yet imperfect, God-followers like Sarah Palin.

  • jaxas70

    Davework, the new paradigm is already at work. Look at China. China is moving to the right out of necessity. And so is Europe. Asia on the other hand is moving more to the left away from more free market paradigms.Look. What is happening in the world is essentially what Marx’ original model of the Dialectic predicted. That the contention between two major theses–capitalism and communism–would ultimately synthesize into a new paradigm that incorporates the best of both and relegates the rest into the trash bin of history.That is happening across the globe as more socialist models move right and more capitalist models move left. You on the American right can squall about it all you want but just like the Native Americans on this continent resisted the dynamic changes in their culture when the white European settlers invaded their culture, it will be futile. Why? Because we are all caught up in the sweep of a historical phenomenon which occurs relentlessly.Part of this sweep is the darkening of the west. Or haven’t you noticed that darker skinned cultures are expanding at a far greater rate than the white cultures? This is all part of the same movement of history ito a new construct. You can adapt to it or become extinct.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    What is needed is to reestablish confidence in liberal ideas.Posted by: MarkDavidovich People rise or sink to the occasion. Elevating the discourse level could go a long way toward clarifying the issues.

  • katie6

    For God’s sake leave the Palins alone. Sarah Palin has served a purpose in rallying the common man and giving them courage to have a voice in the direction of their country. Having several Harvard graduates in my family, I can state that this kind of education leads to the elitism now permeating Washington and why most Americans feel that they are out of touch and they are. Sadly there are a lot of families breaking down today with children adrift seeking Hollywood morals for their own.Palin will not run for President. She is good at what she goes and that is rallying people. A survey of Tea Party showed them to be higher educated and having higher incomes than the average citizen. These people read the bills and know the issues and know exactly what is happening to their country. That is why they are a threat to the Democrats.

  • tjmlrc

    Sarah Palin is the best thing to happen to the Democrats. The higher her profile, the more likely she will hand a second term to Obama, like she did last time.

  • rohit57

    Sarah, Sarah BarraquitterIf Democrats believe that the same woman can have a child in April and again in December, they should surely be willing to believe that Christ rose from the dead! :)

  • scottcpan

    Wow, what a truly hateful human being.And you’d think the Washington Post, which has had to apologize in the past for false claims about the intelligence of people on the religious right, would be wary of publishing such drivel now.

  • katie6

    The survey of the Tea Party was conducted by the New York Times/CBS. Despite what liberals like to say they are not yahoos but educated and have higher incomes than the average voter and are for most part productive citizens who see their country being overtaken by big government and massive regulation leading to more job loss and debt.

  • jaxas70

    The educational level of the Tea Party movement is irrelevant. As a general rule, the educational level of the left wing anti-war movement in the 60s was higher as well but that was not sufficient to prevent them from acting and talking stupidly.I have no quarrel with the notion that the education level of the Tea Party movement is above average. But, one would think that a level of education would prompt them to offer substantive solutions to our challenges rather than the standardized Limbaugh-Beck overgeneralized pap that we hear so much of–blarney about “liberty”, “freedom” and the return to a “constitutional” form of government as though somehow we had lost all of those.I do not care what their level of education is. When they talk like that they sound silly and stupid.

  • jaxas70

    Well scotcpan, what about the drivel right wing propagandists put out about Obama? Look. Hate like hypocrisy is no respecter of party labels. I don’t care how you slice it, Sarah Palin is just as guilty of peddling hate as you say the author of this column is. She all but calls the President a terrorist and accuse him of setting up death panels.

  • tjmlrc

    What is needed is to reestablish confidence in liberal ideas.

  • Jihadist

    Sorry, bad mood.Posted by: farnaz*******************************************Hi Farnaz :)Sarah Palin is a shining light of liberated and liberal American womanhood to be emulated by all women in the world. Palin is not a bigot. She welcomes and accept those who have no high school diplomas. Many of us in developing countries beyond Alaska and Russia across Alaska either don’t go to school or barely got through high school. Palin is not an elitist. She endeavour never to be like those mono-minded and sheltered sorts. She attended several colleges to widen and broaden her horizon. Palin is a liberal. She accepted her daughter’s pregnancy. She is not ashamed of and transparent about it, parading that to the world. Palin is not a conservative. She allowed her daughter’s partner to expose to all in “Playgirl” the body no God-fearing reared female can resist.Palin is for free enterprise. She does not prevent her daughter from getting USD 15,000 a pop for speaking engagements on unwed pregnancies. Palin is for no government hand-outs, for self-reliance and of the “can-do” spirit. She knows monies recived by Levi from photo-shots such as in “Playgirl” and speaking engagements on unwed pregnancy by Bristol will take care of the Pampers and baby food of the baby. Palin is a liberated and fearless female. She is not afraid of guns, she knows how to use them as well as any chap who invoked their rights to bear arms, and went one better as a civilian in shooting from a chopper. Palin is not a fundamentalist. She only got just a few fundamentals on geography, politics, religion, ethics, morals and values wrong. Palin is not anti-intellectual. She is non-intellectual. Palin is not a conservative. Nor is she a neocon, bimbocon or wackocon. She is fauxcon. Support Sarah Palin’s rights to be (fill in the blank)

  • DANSHANTEAL1

    GET THEE TO A NUNNERY.

  • DaveWork

    jaxas70 Thanks for taking the time to answer – but I guess in regards to a dialectic where certain parts stay and certain parts go – specifically in regards to communism and China – what are the best parts of this that stay? And what are the parts that you think we will see go?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi Jihadist,Yes, Palin is a light unto the world, the gift that keeps on giving. I doubt serious conservatives would welcome her candidacy in 2012, unless we “libs” push them into her fashionista arms.

  • slim2

    I think some cat needs their claws clipped. Reading this drivel reminded me of H L Mencken’s quote, “Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.”

  • tjmlrc

    And that small measure is where, precisely?&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&No sense explaining it. The left doesn’t have any so the notion is foreign to them.

  • thebump

    Jacoby: Jacoby’s playing the race card is despicable, yet curiously begs a question. Would Jacoby ever dare attack a black politician who had Gov. Palin’s academic record? Or would she come up with a thousand and one excuses why it wasn’t that person’s fault?If the latter, shouldn’t she give anyone else the same benefit of the doubt? Is there any conceivable explanation for a double standard other than political allegiance or irrational, embittered personal animus?You may be forgiven for thinking the answers are obvious.

  • thebump

    Elitism is not the right word for Jacoby’s assertion that only the super-privileged should be considered intellectually able.It’s not elitism so much as ignorant prejudice.

  • AJBF

    So religious fundamentalists are hypocrites. is this news?

  • WmarkW

    THEBUMP, very good points.If Barack Obama was white (by more than half) he’d still be in the Illinois legislature.

  • rohit57

    he educational level of the Tea Party movement is irrelevant. After all many posters here have attacked the Tea party as uneducated yokels who follow this foolish woman who went to four colleges.Now that we know that they are better educated than the average American, the education suddently becomes irrelevant?And this by the way is a crucial difference between contemporary liberals and genuinely educated people.When a current liberal sees a fact whose implication goes against his prejudices, he just dismisses the fact as irrelevant.A genuinely educated person TAKES IN THE FACT AND MODIFIES HIS/HER VIEWS accordingly.You have just given us all an excellent example of what I find so troubling about Palin haters.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Palin’s academic record is not what troubles me. I suspect the GOP can do better than Palin. It has in the past.

  • fishcrow

    It seems Jacoby hates Palin for the reason most left-leaning women do. It just never quite worked out for them.

  • timmy2

    MARK”Palin, Limbaugh and Coulter are easy to attack (I’m not saying they shouldn’t be) because they at least talk about ideas people understand and can debate”lol. Yeah that’s why.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    MARK”Palin, Limbaugh and Coulter are easy to attack (I’m not saying they shouldn’t be) because they at least talk about ideas people understand and can debate”

  • thebump

    A few notable and accomplished people who are less educated than Gov. Palin:Sir Richard BransonThe list of unaccomplished and forgettable people upon whom incredibly expensive educations were wasted is too lengthy to include here, but most can be found listed in the Washington, D.C. phone book.

  • WmarkW

    Palin’s academic record is not what troubles me. I suspect the GOP can do better than Palin. It has in the past.

  • NickinVA

    Oh you petty, petty harpy. Why just target Bristol? There’s far more fertile ground to attack Trig. You self-important dolt.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    The list of unaccomplished and forgettable people upon whom incredibly expensive educations were wasted is too lengthy to include here, but most can be found listed in the Washington, D.C. phone book.Posted by: thebumpNot to mention that George Bush went to Yale.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    On the other hand, I prefer Supreme Court Justices with law degrees. It was interesting to read the “liberals” calling Kagan an “elitist,” misusing the word, btw., because she had a first-rate education. Honestly, can we take the discussion beyond this? Are there issues here?

  • GenuineRisk

    This article should be required reading for everyone. I’m sick of Palin downplaying the importance of higher education, and I’m sick in general of tea party folks embracing ignorance and blind faith. God gave us a brain to THINK and LEARN and the fundamentalists just waste that gift. The Bible was created by imperfect men who handpicked what they wanted in the Bible, destroying other books and letters that didn’t agree with their own viewpoints and delusions. Sorry, my God given brain allows me to think for myself. . not be a puppet of the far right which only uses religion for power and control.

  • WmarkW

    Farnaz, either I wrote something badly or you read it wrong.I consider Sarah Palin an insult to intelligent conservatism and Exhibit A of what’s wrong with the Dogma of Diversity.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Farnaz, either I wrote something badly or you read it wrong.I consider Sarah Palin an insult to intelligent conservatism and Exhibit A of what’s wrong with the Dogma of Diversity.Posted by: WmarkW

  • WmarkW

    There’ve been quite a few posts on the theme of ignorance of Tea Partiers. Given the size of the economic bailouts, passage of universal health care, and no serious effort to limit Medicare and Social Security given impending baby boom aging; is it stupid to say that government spending needs to be reigned in?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Mark,How about a few less billion for Afghanistan?And your candidate for 2012?

  • WmarkW

    Ah, thank Non, Mark. Honestly, I couldn’t have stood the thought of you supporting Palin. Who would you like to see heading the Republican ticket in 2012?I’m for Romney. I think conservatism in general needs a dose of northeasternism to appeal to suburbanites.Yes, I know he’s a Mormon and this is The Spirited Atheist. But so is Harry Reid and no one cares.

  • townhousekids

    Agree or disagree with Ms. Jacoby — she’s right on the mark about the dumbing down of America. I’m not too far into my years as an adult and I can see a major difference in how the news and morning “news” shows have changed and how people are celebrated for nothing more than doing…nothing (hello, reality tv).

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    WmarkW,Why Romney? Btw., don’t forget you are a (dis)spirited atheist, yourself.

  • WmarkW

    Why Romney?It’s not so much specific positions, but while Governor he worked out centrist compromises on health care and civil unions that I think would be a good model for a divided government.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    It’s funny about Giuliani. I thought for sure he’d get the Republican nomination last time, but all he could focus on was terrorism and his handling of 9/11. As a New Yorker, I can attest to the fact that he was spectacular. No one could have done better, and I’m not sure anyone else could have done as well. But it was not enough to build confidence in his candidacy. And where is he now?

  • KMfromVT

    To FISHCROW,

  • tjmlrc

    I consider Sarah Palin an insult to intelligent conservatism and Exhibit A of what’s wrong with the Dogma of Diversity.

  • WmarkW

    I consider Sarah Palin an insult to intelligent conservatism NO I DON’T!Here’s the opening paragraph of my comment below posted July 23 at 5:23:’The fact that Sarah Palin and Barack Obama have become the two parties’ standardbearers shows how vacuous the parties have become. After two-thirds of a term in a major office, they were selected because their biographies personally embody the values their party hopes to stand for. Supposedly a homemaker from small town Alaska and a community organizer from Chicago would make great Presidents if they just got a little seasoning.’

  • janouzpoha

    Excellent Column, Susan! This is the best analysis of the Sarah phenomenon that I have read. You really catch almost every deceptive, malicious and opportunistic ploy that she has engaged in to market herself to an angry and portion of the electorate. Did you forget “Death Panels?”

  • erickaba

    lab-lady: Are you really what you described at the beginning of your comment? I doubt it very seriously. For one thing, you seem so “enraged” by the column about Sarah (I Cannot Finish A Term As Governor) Palin that you totally missed that this column about how Mrs. Palin judges others by her own so-called moral standards so much that she forgets to note that her own background is not as squeaky clean as someone totally unfamiliar with her is led to believe or think.

  • hinterlight

    RE: Silly post belowNone of those people had an IQ hovering around 65! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Sir Richard BransonThe list of unaccomplished and forgettable people upon whom incredibly expensive educations were wasted is too lengthy to include here, but most can be found listed in the Washington, D.C. phone book.Posted by: thebump | July 27, 2010 12:24 PM

  • chopin224

    I don’t think I can be called an elitist. I only got 2 years of college before I had to enter the military during the Viet Nam war. I have had office type, manual labor and technical jobs. I believe that every man and woman should be respected if they hold any kind of job and contribute to the country. I don’t think any more of the president of the company I work for than I do of the folks on the night cleaning crew. I address everyone the same; I assume someone is a good person until they prove other wise. But when it comes to Sarah Palin, I don’t hate or even dislike her, but I don’t understand her appeal either. She is not leadership material despite the fact she was elected governor of a state. She is proud of not having a real grasp on some very serious issues and she speaks to those who are similar in this respect. Someone who expects a serious candidate to be educated and well rounded does not deserve the title elitist.

  • dudh

    The sarcasm in this article is exactly the right tone: sarcasm especially applies to hypocrisy and ignorance. These Palins thrust their world upon us as a better one. No, it’s not. They live with the successes and mistakes that we all do, but their lives are by no means a moral tale for American politics. Good Job!

  • silencedogoodreturns

    Wow. What an elite snob Susan Jacoby is. This piece is contemptable. It shows only how afraid the left is of Sarah Palin’s popularity with regular people.Oh, and a “high school graduate” is not in a good position to support a child? I guess you leftists will be banning parenthood for 75% of America then. Few people hold college degrees.

  • seaduck2001

    Dumb and dumber — but not too dumb to cash in on all this!

  • MickNamVet

    Excellent column, Ms. Jacoby. I, too, shudder at the thought of a Palin presidency. It is difficult to believe the office could reach any further intellectual lows after Reagan and Bush Jr., but a prospective Palin White House would indeed be “rock bottom,” in the paleontological as well as proverbial sense of that well-worked phrase.

  • Ynot1

    This is so over-the-top, it reads like a parody of something written by a typical liberal elitist atheist queen bee.

  • rohit57

    Isn’t it a bit much – two columns, both attacking Palin, in the same newspaper, on the same day?BTW, I sometimes go to youtube to find a video made by Palin so I can judge her views for myself. But so many videos attacking her come up, that it is practically impossible to find out what she has said.I find this hatred incomprehensible and pathological.

  • JackWilson

    Having escaped liberalism some years back, I enjoy occasionally reading one of these hit pieces, if only to remind myself of how thankful I am to no longer be encumbered with the ignorance and intolerance associated with that belief system.

  • erickaba

    kkoch14 – Have you ever made a typographical error? Never mind that question! Here is an easier one. The word “of” has how many letters in it? Think…….you can do it! You got it! Say it loud! Two letters! Good! I have a candy for you for that. Okay. Now, here is my question. Do you really believe the writer of this column does not know how to spell the two-letter word “of”? If no is (the rational) answer then a reasonable person, meaning a non-right wing windbag, will know it was a typographical error to spell it pf instead. Guess what? I have a cookie for you too. Now wiggle your tail and come over and get this cookie (dog biscuit?).

  • ReportFromTheFront

    Personally, I find the present state of American politics as evinced by the Republican Right to be disturbing. As a centrist and not one to succumb to the extremisms of either side, my observation is that the Repubs – especially the Tea Partyers – have nothing going for them and rely on misinformation, non-factually based dogma and emotional run-off which has – since the rise of Newt Gingrich and his holier-than-thou-crowd allowed them to evolve into the partisan miasma they are today.

  • PSolus

    rohit57,”I find this hatred incomprehensible and pathological.”You mean, like this:”This is so over-the-top, it reads like a parody of something written by a typical liberal elitist atheist queen bee.Posted by: Ynot1″

  • tboyer33

    Susan, I think you are slow to realize that the unspoken Republican family values supersede the spoken ones. The spoken one is “don’t have sex before marriage.” The unspoken one is “barefoot and pregnant by 20.” The spoken one is “government shouldn’t interfere in my private life.” The unspoken one is “except when religious zealots say it should.” The spoken one is “we want women in leadership roles.” Unspoken: “when they’re pretty and not so well educated.” Spoken: “We don’t want public schools dominated by liberal securalists.” Unspoken: “We don’t want public schools at all.”

  • apspa1

    “Will Americans refudiate this stupidity, or will they, in 2012, show that no ignorance is too ignorant if it is cloaked in reflexive anti-elitism and dubious family values?”I worry also, Ms. Jacoby.In 2004 Bush was re-elected to a second term. In England, the Daily Mirror newspaper ran a front page story with the headlines:”DOH! 4 more years of Dubya”Four years later even those 59,054,087 were asking themselves that question.Have they learned to ask that question first and vote after?We shall see.

  • kimi2

    You want to talk about families? Obamas family before you cast stones, or your for that matter.

  • schnauzer2

    Posted by: silencedogoodreturns “Oh, and a “high school graduate” is not in a good position to support a child? I guess you leftists will be banning parenthood for 75% of America then. Few people hold college degrees.”

  • tjmlrc

    Actually I don’t want to align myself with ANY party. I will vote for whoever has the closest values that I embrace. I knew right away that there was something terribly wrong with obama. I believe there still is. Some children of mixed relationships dating back to that era still haven’t come to terms with who they are and they are still looking.

  • BlaiseP

    What is it about the unreconstructed West and the rest? If Ms. Jacoby has forgotten (who’s uneducated now?) then the rest of us should not: the elite (Harvard educated or no) has no time for their poorer, less blessed countrymen (and women like Palin, of course). Free Society! We sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small-fisted farmers…The prevailing class one meets [in the North] is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel and farmers who do their own drudgery and yet are hardly fit for association with a Southern gentleman’s body servant Substitue “Alaska” for “the North” and not much has changed.Palin and her family do stupid things: bear their children rather than abort, live hand to mouth to finance her college degree (in a crazy major as well), and marry (or not) a childhood sweetheart who of all things is a Southern snobbery lives in Susan Jacoby. Only the tasks that engender their ‘betters’ scorn differ for Westerners after a century and a half.

  • qqbDEyZW

    Americans love Sarah’s sinful Christian Family Values and the way she smiles when she talks about her affair with her husbands business partner. Now we know rape is no problem if you live in Utah as Warren Jeffs rape case was over turned. Senator Ensign let’s us know having a mistress is ok. Former Rep. Foley molest kids and Craig looks for sex from men. Sarah is the leader that shows the minority values of Americans but the Media/Press love her.

  • globalone

    APSPA,And the throng of Obama supporters who voted for him, not because of enlightening new philosophies or a Senate record steeped in thought and action, but because he promised hope? Really? Hope?You still have hope that we’ll be leaving Iraq or Afghanistan anytime soon? You still have hope that Iran won’t become a nuclear power under a President who seems more comfortable drinking beers and making NCAA picks than tackling difficult issues? You still have hope that unemployment won’t reach 9%, as President Obama promised?(Actually, scratch that last one. I’m assuming all hope was lost when the President’s promises were found to be null and void)We’re less than two years into the Audacity of Hope and Democrats are preparing to be swatted out of office in record numbers.Hope is for the weak. Give me people who believe.

  • rohit57

    rohit57,I am well aware of the unfair attacks on Obama from the right and deplore them as well. But I was pleased when a year ago, Palin went to Taiwan for a visit with the businessmen there and referred to Obama with the words “Our president”.As for Jacoby, I think she does deserve some criticism for her snide tone and for talking about Palin’s children at all. She says, “Although the children of politicians are generally off-limits, Bristol is an exception for two reasons.” We all know the real reason, Palin is conservative and anti-abortion. So her children are fair game.But still “liberal elitist atheist queen bee” is a little excessive.

  • Ynot1

    rohit57,Boo hoo hoo.Pathological, maybe

  • PSolus

    “Give me people who believe.”No problem; you can have them.

  • rohit57

    Now we know rape is no problem if you live in Utah as Warren Jeffs rape case was over turned. Posted by: qqbDEyZW | Jeffs case was overturned because he was not the perpetrator. He is at worst a party to the (forced or unforced) sex.

  • agolembe

    Ah, when it comes to Gov. Palin and her children, the nasty, rabid, hateful, psychotic old atheist simply cannot resist indulging her deepest, darkest bigotry and profoundly invincible ignorance.______________________Bumpy, after reading your post, the only thing Mrs. Palin has laid bare is the hidious evilness of your heart! Lol!

  • fatflush3

    White Trash!

  • vklip

    I am no fan of Sarah Palin, for many reasons. But I do not fault her for her daughter’s behavior – as any parent knows all to well, there but for the grace of God go I.And, I am very much a lefty-liberal Democrat.That said, I find this column incredibly mean-spirited, as are most of the responses – whether they support Sarah Palin or support what Jacoby wrote.

  • spencer1

    Every field begins with the qualitative and then becomes more and more quantitative. And so it is with stupidity. The international unit of stupidity is the Inhofe, the midpoint of the scale being a brussels sprout at 100 Inhofes. Palin checks in at 79 Inhofes, marginally less stupid than a typical sprout. Hannity, Limbaugh and Coulter have so far defied measurement, although I have heard the word kiloinhofe used.

  • lddoyle2002

    Just one word to Sarah Palin — we reap what we sow.

  • amm72

    I’m a bit uncomfortable with judging this family’s decisions so harshly. Yeah, some of it smells fishy to me and I totally agree that abstinence-only sex ed is a one-way ticket to Failville. But Bristol, Levi, and their child are (or are going to be) a family. While we have plenty of reason to speculate about their bad decisions, I don’t see why we should pile disrespecting their privacy on top of all the other difficulties they’re facing right now.Surely we can make the point that abstinence-only sex ed is not useful, and that pledges not to have sex are, most of the time, ridiculous and unrealistic, without mocking individual people.

  • georges2

    Who are YOU to decide something like this?

  • walkeraza

    I am a liberal, and I have no love for the politics of Sarah Palin, but I too find this column to be mean-spirited, and pointless. How sad that we turn the important business of governing a nation into a soap opera drama about personalities and out of wedlock babies. I also get an unpleasant feeling from the way Jacoby describes the younger Palin’s choices, calling them a middle class person’s worst nightmare. I am middle class, and a parent, and Bristol is far from my worst nightmare. She at least is an adult taking responsibility for her actions. She’s not “ruined” (isn’t that conservative’s line, not ours?). There are still chances for her to reach her full potential even as a mother. I don’t know, this just seemed mean and a bit icky.

  • DaveHarris

    It’s hardly news that the least educated people admire ignorance, racism, and religiosity. The thing about Palin is that she’s not pretending. She really is an ignorant fool. Just like them. No wonder they love her.

  • devilsadvocate3

    What I find amazing is the self-centerd arrogance of the Spirited Atheist (and other like minded individuals). Passing a holier than thou judgement against people of faith isn’t a way to win an argument. I am of the firm opinion that most atheists are in many ways no better than religious fundamentalists. Both groups largely seem to believe their way of thought is the only way of thought. Now that I have that aired, I can honestly say it doesn’t matter what is taught in school. You can cram sex-education down a teenager’s throat all you want…that won’t stop them from being absolute idiots when it comes to having sex. Let’s face it…they think they are invincible/that it can’t happen to them. Hollywood/ celebrity culture practically celebrate teenage parenthood often without realistically demonstrating parenthood at such a young age is extremely difficult and creates far greater odds to overcome. And their parents? Oblivious is the word. It appears many parents are too eager to hand over the raising of their children to a defunct/ stagnant education system more concerned with political correctness than true education. It is amazing how actually talking to your children, asking the hard questions, setting (and enforcing) boundaries have been thrown out the door for the sake of simplicity and “being a friend” rather than the parent.

  • Straightline

    Just the fact that WAPO allows this holier than thou atheist to censor posts that doesn’t suit her political yes… political agenda proves that there is no honor among the left.No matter what you think of Palin this mean spirited “opinion” is typical of the liberal and atheist mentality There is no justification for this type of hate speech.Bet you don’t allow this comment to be published either

  • jromaniello

    As for Jacoby, I think she does deserve some criticism for her snide tone and for talking about Palin’s children at all. She says, “Although the children of politicians are generally off-limits, Bristol is an exception for two reasons.” We all know the real reason, Palin is conservative and anti-abortion. So her children are fair game.Posted by: rohit57 | July 27, 2010 3:15 PM***************Notice that Jacoby only mentioned Bristol, and no other Palin child. Palin’s conservatism has nothing to do with it. Bristol has placed herself in the public eye. Furthermore, she is an adult. She is 19. She is a big girl and if she can’t take the heat, she need to get out of the kitchen and fade back into the obscurity from whence she came. Jacoby is correct. The biggest exploiter of the Palin children was by Sarah, herself. She paraded them around like prize cattle. She should be ashamed of her self.

  • fgoepfert1

    We now have Susan Jacoby as the “expert” on sexual morals. Perhaps she would have been happier if they had chosen abortion. Ms. Jacoby indeed does have a dark mind. Perhaps she also has a concealed dark history.

  • blazertaco

    Uh oh, this article is going to send Palin’s sycophantic supporters into a frenzy. I expect tons of posts containing misspellings and ALL CAPS RANTINGS.

  • oregonbirddog

    Palin remindes me of no one so much as Lewis Carol’s Red Queen. I recall that the Red Queen in Carol’s storey whenever she met someone she either did not understand or disagreed with would, instead of trying to engage with them or seek an understanding, dismiss them by simply shouting out “Off with their Head” to her followers and sycophants. The Red Queen was a perfect leader for the type of people who Carrol seemed to descibe in his ‘Wonderland’ who do not want to think for themselves but instead wish to relie on simple platitudes, dubious moral authority and authoritarian dictates to guide them. Demoracy and intellectual freedom after all is truley a very messy and demanding pursuit and requires much self discipline from it’s proponents-Better for the fearful or intellectual and morally lazy to have someone provide them with the answer, even if the answer usually boils down to, “Off With Their Heads”. So, is it any wonder that in these confusing and frightening times readily self-rightious spokespeople who have a moralistic and simplistic view of governance, such as a Sara Palin, seems to have a ever widening following. “Momma Grizzily” or “Off With Their Heads”,GRRRRR!

  • blazertaco

    Sarah Palin allowed her teenage daughter to sleep with her loser boyfriend under her own roof, in fact they lived together unfer the Palin roof for a time (go look it up) which set the stage for an out-of-wedlock child to be born into an unstable family situation….and people want to give her a pass? Bristol is a dumb kid, but Palin should know better. That’s her job as a parent!!Pathetic. Stop making excuses for this woman just because she winks and says “You betcha!”

  • frankbd

    Everything Susan says is correct, but what it isn’t is important. Sarah Palin’s chance of becoming President is about the same as Dan Quayle’s.Susan just talks about the Palins because she doesn’t read enough stuff about the Kardashians, Williams and Hiltons to know how far down some things can be dumbed.

  • SilverSpringer1

    “Mean spirited” and “snobbish” are right. I’m an Ivy League graduate, but I wouldn’t insult good state colleges the way Jacoby does. It’s what you do with the education that’s offered you that counts.And although I’m a religious believer, perhaps considered a “fundamentalist” because I’m an Orthodox Jew, I’m a good deal more OPEN MINDED and humble than Jacoby. I’m willing to entertain different points of view.Jacoby and Palin deserve each other.

  • dgb100

    Gee, I could never imagine why lower-class, uneducated, untermenschen could EVER be offended by our Ivy League overlords. (/sarcasm) First, being uneducated, say “only” a HS degree or a BA from some filthy public university, doesn’t mean you are stupid. Second, getting into Harvard, Yale, etc is more about money and connections than intelligence, as you were oh so fond to remind us in regards to George W. Third, while you may revile Palin’s politics and folkiness, you have to admit that becoming a gov. of a state, even such a low and mean state as Alaska, is something most Ivy Leaguers are surely envious of. Finally, you really feel you are in such a position of moral superiority to issue forth on who is capable and worthy enough to become a mother? Yea, I really can’t see why people would have a problem with your ilk.

  • dgb100

    No, she mentioned Trig, you know, the ‘feeble minded’ one she would likely march off to the “showers” as he would be a drain on society.

  • KathyWi

    ‘(I wonder how it promotes the message that teen pregnancy is a bad idea when a young woman is financially rewarded and glamorized by the media precisely because she was a pregnant teen lucky enough to be the daughter of a famous mom.)’ Duh, Ms. Jacoby. What business are YOU in? It’s the business where people who have done any of the following (take your pick): cheated on their wives, got caught with a prostitute or an underling – gay or straight, employed by the person, not employed by the person, done something illegal involving drugs, fudged on the sources of their information, plagiarized, leaked information, cheated on their taxes, hired an illegal, oh, hell, I could go on and on… become fodder for the media and SELL NEWSPAPERS! Because there are people who write about them – duh, people who are you. Yes, you. You earn a living at it. Is that dirty money? Um, well, by your standards, yes. I don’t think you object to the glamorizing. I think you object to the profit made by it. So there, step up and join the gang. You all make something that adds to your bank accounts by saying things that people want to hear.

  • staterighter

    I find Ms. Jacoby’s article interesting in that it appears she, as a highly educated and sophiticated individual, could find nothing better to write about and use her superior intellect. She could have written about why high school graduates aren’t getting better educations, other than the ones that attend private schools. Or she could have discussed why “state universitites” are a major contributor to dumbing down America. She obviously believes that only those who attend Ivy League schools are truly educated so surely she could have provided we mere mortals with multiple degrees from State Universities could be better enlightened. It is too bad she is so fearful of religion. I wonder if she will be on the day her life ends?

  • Zino

    Bravo, Spirited Atheist!Sarah Palin is Hypocrite of the Year. I don’t like talking bad about anybody, but she asks for it and deserves being called out on her cynical, self-serving manipulation of people of faith (one hopes) who are so ready to ‘believe’ in somebody that aw-shucks her way into their minds.Walter Brennan, she ain’t.There’s a certain large part of the American population that embraces ignorance like a safety blanket. Ignorance really must be bliss, and Sarah Palin is counting on all that bliss to carry her up ever higher.Well… she used her kids as props, fought a bitter campaign of half-truths and self-promoting stunts, then quit her real job because it cut into her earning potential. She’s NO PUBLIC SERVANT! She uses the public to fund her celebrity lifestyle just like any other entertainer.

  • jibe

    what a vicious and snarky column, especially since it appears in a “spirituality” section!

  • chema

    I really have a hard time understanding unmarried childless individuals assessing the decisions taken in complex family living. Been a son or daughter does not make you an expert on family. I’ve been a father for 11 years know and I’m still wonder how my parents and their parents did it. I respect the fact they may have choose not to have a family. However, don’t go critiquing the advise/experience that people in families go around giving to other families…. Is like a blind giving driving directions.

  • jjedif

    Bristol Palin WAS the perfect conservative Christian daughter: an unemployed, illiterate high school drop-out and unwed mother. Now she’s ruining everything…by getting married! What’s America coming to?

  • dennispro

    Wow, what a hack job. No wonder WP’s numbers keep tanking, they let questionable jokers like this write articles… and they just turn a blind eye. Ms. Jacoby, people who live in glass houses…..

  • noGOP4me

    So why exactly are we surprised at Palin and her supporters. Why would people who so enthusiastically vote for a party and policies that work against their own interests, suddenly be logical enough to be anything but rapturously enthused about a teen and a family that ostentatatiously spouts one set of values while obviously living another. I think evangelicals are so confused that they would support anything just as long as it makes absolutely no sense.and KKOCH14 — look up the definition of typo — duh

  • right_as_rain

    Excellently written. Susan Jacobi nails Palin’s unholy trinity; pride in ignorance, bitter resentment of those who have worked to gain education and the accompanying income and status, and the worst of all, the distorted xenophobic cult of spite and hate some erroneously call fundamentalist Christianity. Where the words and works of Jesus are selectively edited like a Breitbart hit job. Selecting bits from here and bits from there and creating nothing more than a straw horse to cover up for greed and prejudice. The hypocrisy inherent in opposing choice while supporting capitol punishment, and holy war against non Christians. The unmistakably elitist hypocrisy of prosperity gospel that ignores Christ’s invocation to love your neighbour as yourself. To care for those less fortunate. It is nothing more than human avarice pimped up in a false church.I’m not a Christian, but I’ve studied the bible, as I have other religious teachings. I’ve even met some folks who faithfully strive to walk that Jesus talk, but Sarah Sneer-acuda and her stunted minions are not among them. Sarah Palin is lipstick on a pariah. Run Sarah Run

  • GWBequalsWPE

    Posted by: FredChatardWhen President Clinton told the press to leave Chelsea alone–there was total compliance.

  • apissedant

    All those commenting here should do a little research on Jacoby before they decide who she is or what she is stating. She went to Michigan State University, so she is not insulting state colleges. She’s insulting Palin for bouncing around them like a ping pong ball. She is also clearly pointing out that state colleges aren’t better than Ivy League colleges. She isn’t even stating that Ivy League colleges are better than state colleges, although they clearly are.As far as this being posted in a religious portion of the Post; why shouldn’t it be? Should the religious section of the Post only be written by good Christians? Why can’t Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, and Jews have their say on religion as well?And as far as her not being a parent so she can’t comment on parenting… that’s ridiculous! All of you WHITE people stating that right now, you can never make a comment about blacks, racism, or affirmative action again, because none of you were ever nor will ever be a person of color.Your logic is flawed and you would not agree to that same logic if applied to another area, as I have clearly shown above. Therefore, please come back when you have a sane argument that meets the idiot test.And to the first commenter complaining of a typo: You are most definitely an idiot. P and O are immediately next to one another on an the keyboard. Your problem is not with Ms. Jacoby, it is with the editor that did not catch her mistake. P.S. Again, she in no way called “all religious people” “idiots” or “stupid”. She called fundamentalists stupid. Get your facts straight.In short: GREAT ARTICLE!

  • sfphysicsdude

    I do find Ms. Jacoby’s article a very interesting read, and she does raise some highly important, albeit, possibly objectionable points. I am no fan of Sarah Palin. If she is a flash in the pan, so be it, but if she is the true voice of the party, that prospect if far more frightening.What we have here is a classic example of “deadlock” at both ends. The basic problem of the Republican party is that they have set themselves up with their moral absolutism and now Sarah seems poised to bring them into the promised land.To state that all conservatives are linked to the religious right, are anti-intellectual and see all who oppose them as them as effete liberal elitists is in the same extreme vein as saying that all liberals are spend thrift godless socialists who desire nothing less than complete government control of our daily lives. Sarah Palin and Ralph Reed are as objectionable in my mind as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.The Neo-Cons of today are not cut from the same cloth as the conservatives, such as William Buckley and to some extent George Will; while you may not agree with them, there is an intellectual foundation to their thought process.Moreover, the Tea Party, to a great extent is not the wholesale, racist, homophobic outfit that Ms. Jacoby would have you believe. As with any other dissenting group, you will have the extreme, flaky element.Sarah Palin has brought this on herself by parading her kids and dysfunctional family before all forms of the media. I agree with Ms. Jacoby, but fault the 30 second celebrity driven attention span, which, yes, is indicative of the continued dumbing down free fall of our culture today.

  • chatard

    Jacoby apparently knows some basic truths, though she hasn’t a clue. She writes that Bristol and Levi are the products of ‘failed abstinence”. Well, yeah, Susan. Their parents “did it”. You moron.

  • montrealcaldwell

    the question begs itself. if bristol is saving herself for marriage, who is levi having sex with now..

  • WmarkW

    Jacoby apparently knows some basic truths, though she hasn’t a clue. She writes that Bristol and Levi are the products of ‘failed abstinence”. Well, yeah, Susan. Their parents “did it”. You moron.Normally I wouldn’t respond to a comment like this but, the things worth pointing out are:Nothing supports strong families less than reliance on abstinence.

  • jdin1

    I don’t particularly like Sarah Palin, but I do sense some inappropriate negativity toward working class people in this column. Sarah Palin appeals to those who do just fine, thank you, at places like the University of Idaho, and who resent others who might think no one could. Proud people learn to adjust to life’s contingencies, even when they feel others are watching and judging. By the way, Sarah Palin received her degree in eight terms, the last four all at the University of Idaho.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Sarah Palin is a not-very-bright-person who has stumbled into national fame and prominence and doesn’t know what to do with it. I am sure she loves her children as all mothers do, but she has not been a particularly good mother. Her religious heritage is Christian conservative fundamentalism, but she does not seem to be into it to any degree; she surely has not impressed its values on her children, bur merely says the right things to the right audiences. She went the University of Hawaii, but dropped out because there was an “ethnic problem.” When she made that comment, people thought that she did not like the ethnic groups she encountered in Hawaii. But that wasn’t her problem; her problem was that she did not like BEING the minority ethnic group. She gives the impression of a conservative sexual ethos, but she does not really understand what that means. She has kept her children very close to her, yet she did not imagine that Bristol might get pregnant with her sleep-over boyfriend, Levi. What else can you call this, but clueless.When she refused to answer Katherine Couric’s quesstion about what she reads, I think that she had been given a list of “liberal” magazines and newspapers to trash, and she forgot which ones they were, and she was afraid to admit to reading, perhaps the “New York Times,” so she would rather be seen as totally ignorant, than to just say something, anything.And she is ignorant. I do not believe that she knows or cares much about the world. It is not spewing hate to observe this; to be President of the United States, you have to know a little something about the world; she doesn’t.Because of her great fame, she has the opportunity to form a niche in the world, where she could be a qualified spokesman, generally respected, and looked-up to; she could for example, be a spokesman for the simple joys of mother-hood as the mother of 5 children, including a “special needs” child. She could appear on the cover of lady’s magazines, and home-making magazines, and she could appear on talk shows to promote herself in this way.But she is not even smart enough to figure this out.

  • akwa01

    Another hit piece on the Palin’s? What a shocker.

  • sugarstreet

    You shine the light Ms Jacoby. And unfortunately people will try to tear you down because of it. Thanks for sticking to your strongly held opinions. As difficult as they are to hear, it’s good to hear them.

  • C17_Bear

    Susan Jacoby, You are a bitter old harpy!Have a nice day!

  • playfair109

    Did the Journolisters have another meeting???

  • bloommarko4

    As an observant Jew and an academic physician with a bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees from some of America’s top-ranked universities, I find Ms. Jacoby’s comments about religion and the religious quite offensive. Susan, who died and appointed you God?I am not sure that your snarky remarks about state colleges and universities aren’t even worse. Susan, your misguided arrogance belies he fact that my home institution, the University of California at Berkeley, ranks as the most highly regarded public university in the nation.Where did you train, and what, if anything, do you know?In all fairness, however, I agree with you that Bristol and Levi accurately portray the dumbing down and hypocrisy of America. By your arrogance, you join them!

  • bandmom22

    Meow Ms Jacoby, retract those claws. Why not next time you write about the lack of intact families in the black community leading to their inexorable problems. You’d have to put your snark button on hold however.Again, meow.

  • jontomus

    Oh, leave them alone Ms. Jacoby.I know the point you want to make, about how truly phony these so-called christian conservatives are about family values — they only seem to apply when they’re forcing them on someone else.But really, these kids are 40-watt at best. By shining your own light on them you’ve stretched their 15 minutes way beyond what any of us are willing to endure.Leave them be.

  • ymchoo

    Beside calling all its critics “Racist”, the ONE and ONLY response the Obama – JournoLists – Hollywood Axis is capable of is to attack the innocent children of dissident politicians including their innocent babies with disability so as to suppress all form of opposing views. The Obama – JournoList – Hollywood Axis is coordinating to use Bristol Palin to attack and destroy Sarah Palin so as to suppress her from spreading the words of truths and freedom. It will serve no other purpose but gain her more public sympathy and attract more people to join her cause

  • ymchoo

    The ONE and ONLY reason that Hollywood rapper is using Levi in the music video is to hurt the personal feeling of Sarah Palin and her family. The Hollywood wants to inflict personal pain on Sarah Palin, to use her immense love for her daughter and held that love as hostage to hurl personal attacks on Sarah Palin. The Hollywood is unable to suppress her view so they resort to this despicable mean to hurt Sarah Palin so as to distract her, hurt her and destroy her. It is like your opponent who is unable to challenge you head-on, so he sneaks to the school of your small girl, drag her out of the class and punches her down to the floor repeatedly. The purpose is to inflict severe physical pain on your small girl but hoping to inflict even greater emotional pain on you.

  • SusanMarie2

    What do you mean “pushed them” on stage? All candidates and politicians bring their families on stage at the same appropriate times that Sarah Palin brought out her family. What was she supposed to do – hide them? They are a beautiful family and normal people, not royalty. This is what a lot of families go through. Why does the Democratic party talk so much about hardworking middle class Americans but then judge them so when they decide to run for office? She was just being genuine and still is. I doubt she went through all of that (having the downs syndrome baby) just to prove a point about abortion. Why assume that what she does is not genuine? She has given me no reason to be suspicious. What I am suspicious of is the liberals who are so mean and judgmental of those who do not follow their agenda. Would you like her if she had aborted the baby?

  • judithclaire1939

    Pretty white girls who “know somebody,” still have an “in” in our society..Good that she makes money talking about abstaining…but, she really should not get married…and if she does…keep her maiden name – Live together and have another baby would keep her in the action, in the news and why not a reality show…to help unwed teens learn about mothering,fathering, getting gigs, etc.

  • ymchoo

    It’s amazing that liberal journalists would abuse the name of God and Religion to attack the innocent children of dissident politicians so as to suppress them from speaking out.The authorities in Burma and North Korea should read this article so that they can learn some new tricks.

  • jontomus

    YMCHOO, don’t you know the name of this forum, the “spirited atheist”how is someone going to abuse the name of something that doesn’t exist?You know, … really. There’s a lot to be left unsaid.

  • dinabushwar

    “Constant exhibition of her down syndrome son” What do you mean by that statement? Have you ever said that Michelle Obama is doing the same with her children. As a special needs mother I think you are vile. Your hate of a stranger (Palin) allows you to guess why she had a baby (Who happens to be a special needs child). You really think she had her son so she could say to others, look at me I didn’t have an abortion. You imply that she is using her special needs son as a banner or prop! Should she hid her son because he has special needs? You have no clue what it takes to me a special needs mother. Please put down your vile judgment stick and leave special needs children out of your hate speech!

  • 12thgenamerican

    jacoby, you must have alot of time on your hands. nit-wit.

  • carla2

    Americans hate liberals. We hate your lying revisionist history, your insane anti-Semitic bigotry, your blatant, pandering entitlement slavery racism. We hate your neo-commie ideology, your wannabe but ain’t elitist attitude and your lying pseudo intellectual bu!! Our current President does not even believe in the greatness of our Constitution.Oil spills, France declares war on Al Qeda, unsustainable debt, unemployment rising, the cramming down our throats by cheating and lying an unworkable health care monstrosity..

  • cprferry

    “It’s apparently The American Way to get a college degree only if you do it by bouncing around from one community college or state university to another.”Like or not, but it is. So are our teenage mistakes that don’t allow many of them to experience college. The American way for so many means sacrificing self for family and simply scraping by to provide for ourselves, our families and neighbors. The American way is the Bristol and Levi story: it’s about acknowledging, and learning and adjusting to our failures without losing ourselves or our values in the process. It’s the way of all humanity, or at least the humanity that still values humanity.But certainly it isn’t the only way. And Palin certainly doesn’t promote it to be the only way or best way. The liberal/left wing certainly views the state of so many of America to be unwise and in need of change. The liberal womens movement certainly looks down upon young mothers and absolutely hates Palin for offering a public counter example of the successful American woman.It is the liberal/left that is intolerant of these supposed alternative lifestyles. They hate them because they aren’t simply “alternative” – they are the human being’s natural inclination – and challenge the power structures that support the liberal/left. These structures – the rich, the state, the powerful – can enslave not just men but also now women. They can separate, divide and attack the very idea of family, whose full self-giving love offers the strongest challenge to these false idols.

  • dataflunky

    Susan Jacoby could have summed it up by just saying “trailer park”. PS: Virginity is not a lightbulb.

  • arancia12

    “Constant exhibition of her down syndrome son” What do you mean by that statement? Have you ever said that Michelle Obama is doing the same with her children. Noooo, actually, Mrs. Obama hasn’t. Nor has she brought her pregnant teenage unwed daughter and her baby daddy to a convention.

  • jbh3

    This is a completely and utterly awesome column. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • carla2

    Meanwhile you libs forget to mention Chelsea marrying into a family where the new father in law is a convicted felon..who served time in prison..for banking crimes on Wall St. Great friend of the Clinton family.

  • arancia12

    Why does the Democratic party talk so much about hardworking middle class Americans but then judge them so when they decide to run for office? I simply can’t believe you are asking this question. I want to believe you aren’t clueless but you insist on proving it.Democrats (more correctly liberals) tend to get bent out shape when someone who preaches abstinence and who vilifies poor women who have children out of wedlock, turns around and uses her unwed, obviously unabstinent daughter as a campaign prop and then whines about being vilified. It’s apparently OK for the conservative icons to have “accidents” but not women of lesser means. It’s apparently OK for conservative icons to judge women of lesser means while complaining about being judged. Do as I say, not as I do, seems to be the right wing motto.

  • carla2

    Americans hate liberals. We hate your lying revisionist history, your insane anti-Semitic bigotry, your blatant, pandering entitlement slavery racism. We hate your neo-commie ideology, your wannabe but ain’t elitist attitude and your lying pseudo intellectual bu!! Our current President does not even believe in the greatness of our Constitution.Oil spills, France declares war on Al Qeda, unsustainable debt, unemployment rising, the cramming down our throats by cheating and lying an unworkable health care monstrosity..

  • arancia12

    I hear tell the Clinton’s are keeping it mum where the wedding is..Carla2! You’re just a trash-talkin’ guttersnipe, aren’t you, you little scamp! By God, you ‘d make a real good pinko scumbag! Be careful…from your posts someone might mistake you for one ;-)

  • MNUSA

    Amen.You have to admit though that some churches prefer their members ignorant and even push teaching Christianity instead of science in our schools. Some people can’t or won’t grasp the concept of allegory. Religion shouldn’t conflict with science and if it does, you’d better question your religion. And don’t anyone call me an atheist because I’m a very active member of a very conservative church.As for Palin’s future? The Housewives of Alaska? Certainly nothing too taxing or serious.

  • losamigos1

    “Why not next time you write about the lack of intact families in the black community leading to their inexorable problems. You’d have to put your snark button on hold however.”The author did imply this event. If you read the article, she asked the old question, going back to the McCain campaign, what would be the reaction if one of Obama’s daughters had become pregnant out of wedlock as a teenager? It is obvious to most people that the right wing machine would be apoplectic. But this is not a black thing (thank you for your racism). I do not enjoy paying taxes to support the Octamom’s children, or any other children whose parents are of limited income. The fact that the right wing machine did a total 180 on teenage pregnancy once Sarah Palin showed off her unmarried, no income, teenage pregnant child as a great thing… it is still incomprehensible.

  • arancia12

    Americans hate liberals. Blah, blah, blah.POSTED BY: CARLA2 | ______________Carla sweetie, I’m a liberal, an American, and I served 24 years on the military and another 6 working for the military teaching nuclear accident response. What have you done to serve your country or you a chicken hawk like the lovely Mrs. Palin? Gets you all hot saying nasty things on the Internets, doesn’t it?

  • vjpurplequeen

    Great article, Ms. Jaboby. You bring out some great points about the hypocrisy of many Americans, and I can see in some of the comments, the deep fear that rules so many in our country. We need both intellectual prowness and deep compassion to be healthy a balanced people, to create a balanced and wise society. That so many people are guided (maybe misguided) by their emotions is one reason America is in such sad shape. We really need to grow up, stop acting like 2 year olds and learn to embrace the good in us. God gave us brains and hearts. We have needed both to achieve what we have accomplished. We will need both to progress.I think we are divine beings and the wisdom we do carry inside needs both an intellectual and passionate outlets. America is so skewered because thinking is not valued, neither are God’s own command to all religions – love thy neighbor.America has become a nation of haters and a people who are easily manipulated and swayed. Our culture of celebraty sends the wrong message to our children. We are fearful of our own shadows, unwilling to grasp the beauty and power within each of us. We will be our own downfall if we don’t realize the truth of what we say we believe in, that God created us all to be brothers and sisters and that God gives each of us different gifts to share. We should encourage intellectual activity, believe in our schools, empower our children and ourselves with education. We should also encourage deep feeling about the world, allow these emotions to spread good well and love throughout our nation. If we could just grow up, imagine what a great nation we could create, maintain and have to pass on to our children.

  • rohit57

    I’m a bit uncomfortable with judging this family’s decisions so harshly. Yeah, some of it smells fishy to me and I totally agree that abstinence-only sex ed is a one-way ticket to Failville. But Bristol, Levi, and their child are (or are going to be) a family. While we have plenty of reason to speculate about their bad decisions, I don’t see why we should pile disrespecting their privacy on top of all the other difficulties they’re facing right now.And even being ON something does not save you from STDs.But it is perfectly possible to avoid pregnancy without contraception if the temptations are removed. I remember a time in a Harvard dorm when I had to sign my own mother in before she could go into my room! But times have changed. Some 40% of American kids are born out of wedlock and Bristol surely did not CREATE that statistic. It is a fact of life in contemporary America.In Japan, by contrast, only 2% of births are out of wedlock.We Americans are like people who smoke near a gasoline pump and rely on luck to be safe.What Palin seems to have done wrong is to allow Bristol and Levi to be alone together in her house. Clearly a mistake. But I am sure she regrets it, and it is in extremely poor taste for Jacoby to go on and on about it.It is just so disgusting – what HAVE we come to as a country? Does Jacoby really want to engage in so much slime?

  • cassandra9

    Incisive. Great article.

  • table6

    It seems this blog would be better titled the “Mean-Spirited Atheist.”

  • crabstu

    Actually, the couple of is an example of what happens when youngster aren’t abstinent. Interesting notion is to judge the effectiveness of a particular piece of advice by those who actually follow it vice those who don’t comply. I’m sure you don’t judge the competency of a doctor by health of his patients that fail to take their prescribed medicine.

  • MTgrassland

    In my opinion, those objecting to Jacoby’s view of Palin and her family are by their objections substantiating the point she is making.The group identifying with Sarah Palin and her values are exceedingly satisfied with their shallowness and have come to view it as a virtuous end point for their lives and everyone else who desire to be REAL American.In the past, being American meant continuous

  • jblast2000

    I see there’s nothing to talk about today. Was this a last minute filler?

  • arancia12

    Actually, the couple of is an example of what happens when youngster aren’t abstinent. Interesting notion is to judge the effectiveness of a particular piece of advice by those who actually follow it vice those who don’t comply. I’m sure you don’t judge the competency of a doctor by health of his patients that fail to take their prescribed medicine.POSTED BY: CRABSTU |_______________Miss. Palin has proven that teens will not take the medicine and if they don’t the results are fatal. Any doctor worth his or her salt would try another method of administering the cure. Especially when there are other more useful options.

  • dinabushwar

    yes, Michelle Obama has brought her children out on stage many times. She even did a special on abc or cbs with her children at a playground, during the campaign. There’s nothing wrong with that, she was letting America get to know her family. Why is there a double standard for Sarah Palin? Why is she accused of Parading her son. I do love how the moonbats go crazy when it comes to Sarah Palin. Progressives show their true colors. Imagine the uproar if this article attacked Obama’s kids. It would be considered a hate crime. But, Sarah Palin is always fair game.

  • qqbDEyZW

    Sarah came out the gate with her folksy Christian Family values we should all follow. Sarah didn’t know her teenage daughter was having a baby. Sarah brushed over her affair with her husband’s business partner. Now if you believe Bristol isn’t having sex with Levi then I can sell you the brooklyn bridge. Sarah could only wish she was as proud of her daughter as Hillary is. Hillary didn’t have to hear of Chelsea’s engagement on the news and Bill/Hillary aren’t grandparents yet. Young teenage girls will use Bristol as their role model and know they can have a baby and make money by just saying don’t do what I did wink wink.

  • jjedif

    It’s amazing that conservative and Republican nitwits would abuse humanity in the name of God and Religion to attack innocent people including children. The authorities in Burma and North Korea should read the comments of conservatives and Republicans so that they can learn some new tricks.

  • Phil5

    I’ll definitely be voting for Sarah now.

  • David77

    Thank you Susan-

  • 65apr

    More fecal diatribe from Jacoby. I am not very religiousat all, but this obviously distracts her into her liberal intolerance paranoia. Jacoby is called the “spirited atheist” Vindictive is a better term. What a POS. Yeah, go ahead and edit this out. FU

  • Barbin

    Susan Jacoby,

  • oldno7

    Suzie Jacoby “The Angry Elitist” is destined to become the next Paulene Kael — “I can’t believe Sarah Palin is President. No one I know voted for her”.It is sickening to think of Suzie directing her driver down the highway while she sneers at her fellow Americans driving trucks and building the roads that connect America. Get over it, Suzie. Sarah Palin is intelligent. Obama is overeducated. Sarah was born with a sharp mind and Obama is the result of affirmative action and liberal white guilt.

  • jmounday

    The liberal dem liberal progressive republican also liberal rich white arizona vacation sedona liberal party insiders.I know I party with them. Religious americans are idiots to them. they don’t seem to know we are laughing at every democratic party meeting.that includes the black brothers and sisters…Suckers..If you believe in a god your an idiot to them all.Most white people know that but most black people don’t except your leaders. Thats why we don’t trust our white trash but there is a difference most voters in the black arena are women as most of the real men are in a democratic jail…Cops fire lawyers teachers all democratic unions wake up morons……we laugh at you for that……

  • mykaladrian

    I keep telling myself not to waste time commenting on the various blogs that I read since the overwhelming majority of commenters can’t seem to put together a coherent thought, much less show any real desire to engage in substantive discussion about issues (yes, there are a few exceptions…a few)…at any rate, I did want to show my support to the author for putting truth to power and calling out Sarah Palin et al. for their hypocrital public pronouncements (notice, I didn’t say “beliefs” b/c I am not sure these folks believe anything)…

  • kiler616

    since coverage of this is idiotic…i shall join…i would love to do Sarah and Bristol at the same time..golden showers and all….i dare anyone to call me a freak….

  • arancia12

    ….i dare anyone to call me a freak….POSTED BY: KILER616 | Freak. At least stick tape over their mouths to shut them up.

  • gkam

    “California … has dropped from the seventh-most-educated state in the nation in 1970 to the least-educated state today…The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems has predicted that California’s per-capita income will drop by 11 percent from 2000 to 2020 because of the poor academic performance of Latino students”Not so. It was Ronald Reagan who came in from Illinois to rape and ruin my state. With the proposition 13, which crippled our ability to =raise taxes, our state was slowly strangled. It was all from a slick stunt by Howard Jarvis, the greedy apartment owner who was too selfish to actually pay taxes on his income property, so he sold it as saving Grandma’s house. When I graduated High School the University of California had something like 36 Nobel Laureates on the faculty. The rest of the nation was counting college football wins, as if it were anything of which to be proud. Now, it’s a football school.And I see those with no argument, make great fuss over the typographic error (above).It’s their only argument.

  • arancia12

    yes, Michelle Obama has brought her children out on stage many times. She even did a special on abc or cbs with her children at a playground, Yap, yap, yap…._____________________It’s far different being seen with your children and using them for political effect. If you don’t know the difference, I feel sorry for your children. The Obama children were never on the campaign trail, unlike the Palin clan. Americans want to see the first family, not some politico’s brood.

  • Nymous

    This is more of what I call the `Cult of the Holy Fetus’, where people worship the unborn and the innocence of babies along with a fantastical unreal vision of the nuclear family existing in a perfect state of nature. As if somehow willful ignorance and intentional stupidity is a more divine place to be than one which deals with the real world & the imperfections and struggles of normal people. It does a huge disservice to the efforts that people make in hard circumstances to work on real world problems, but that doesn’t matter because being stupid makes it all just dandy. In this `rapture ready’ vision, the people seeking stupid find refuge in a reduction of complexity, and a reduction of the problems of life through just ignoring them in favor of this vague fantasy ideal of `how it should be’.Sadly however, this doesn’t work in real life. Children do not exist as an ideal, and association with them through family & the basking in the glow of infantile ignorance does not solve any of the real problems of life. In fact, this approach to dealing with the problems of living is quite corrosive, and does not solve any of the problems of normal living. If anything, it makes things worse.

  • VirginiaConservative

    Dubious values? Good grief. How does that compare to no values – which illustrates the left.Palin’s shortcomings are that she has some warts – and huge amounts of virtue.As opposed to the Michelle Obama paradigmn which is nothing but ugly and disgusting.Its easy to understand why the left is bitter and clinging to their degeneracy.Its all they have.

  • arancia12

    As opposed to the Michelle Obama paradigmn which is nothing but ugly and disgusting.Its easy to understand why the left is bitter and clinging to their degeneracy.Its all they have.Really? Stupid and dangerous is better than ugly? I wonder what you think of Winston Churchill? Talk about ugly.But you take the cake for hatred, VAC. Ugly is as ugly does and you really define ugly. I may criticize Mrs. Palin for what she DOES, which is legitimate, you criticize a woman for how she looks. You sir, define pig.

  • TexfromNewMex

    I agree with every single word of this column. It is excellent. It offends conservatives because it is so true. The fact is America is dumbing down into a fantasy world of self obsessed sexual nonsense where reality is ignored in favor of sex and emotional politics. This is exactly right. It deserves to be read by every American.

  • janouzpoha

    The cult of the Palin defenders. It is so sickening to see Virginia Conservative and his ilk practically deify this wacko sheister. Sick Sick Sick. I wonder how they became so bereft of the qualities that make us human. Dittoheadism? Partisan warfare? How could anyone with even a shred of intelligence or common sense want to impose Sarah “the Grisley” on the rest of us. Why don’t you all move to Alaska? PLEASE!!!

  • JamesCurrin

    That this class obsessed, po=faced, brute ignorant hag has a column in the Washington Post speaks volumes about the dumbing down of the proprietors of this section whimsically called “On Faith”.

  • arancia12

    That this class obsessed, po=faced, brute ignorant hag has a column in the Washington Post speaks volumes about the dumbing down of the proprietors of this section whimsically called “On Faith”.POSTED BY: JAMESCURRIN |I just LOVE these wingnut posts! So full of venom and bile and yet they complain about venom and bile! Read it and weep, wingnut! Main Entry: hy·poc·ri·sy 1 : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

  • jsmith4

    Jacoby tells the truth, and Palin supporters think its hell.1. She promotes a know-nothing approach to problems.

  • dinabushwar

    COMMON SENSE REALLY DOES SCARE THE PROGRESSIVES. NOV. WILL BE QUITE A STORY.

  • arancia12

    COMMON SENSE REALLY DOES SCARE THE PROGRESSIVES. NOV. WILL BE QUITE A STORY.POSTED BY: DINABUSHWARCommon sense is NOT to fly home after your water broke. Sorry. Try again.

  • ibwilliamsi

    virginiaconservative says “Dubious values? Good grief. How does that compare to no values – which illustrates the left.” Just because our values aren’t your values doesn’t mean they’re valueless. I think your values are worth nothing but danger the danger of the downfall of our great nation, so I guess that makes us even.

  • jonswitzer

    What’s funny is that our Spirited Atheist’s reaction to Sarah Palin is a foregone conclusion, fitting and feeding the atheist stereotype perfectly. Her caricature of Palin magnifies the caricature she herself has become. Caricatures caricaturing caricatures is so…American…

  • arancia12

    What’s funny is that our Spirited Atheist’s reaction to Sarah Palin is a foregone conclusion, fitting and feeding the atheist stereotype perfectly. Her caricature of Palin magnifies the caricature she herself has become. Caricatures caricaturing caricatures is so…American…POSTED BY: JONSWITZERWhat’s funny is your caricature of the perfect pseudo-intellectual take on caricuature.A caricature caricaturing a caricature who is caricaturing carictures….so weird…

  • jonswitzer

    In the past, being American meant continuousIn the past, being American also meant having a moral basis grounded in the Judeo-Christian worldview. That includes Jefferson, Madison, Washington and Ben Franklin and Lincoln. All of those well-educated men were profoundly convinced of the value of the Ten Commandments. College as “the” standard of education is a step down from the model of our founding fathers. Though they advocated starting colleges and schools, their educations were less than standard.

  • dinabushwar

    OBAMA DIDN’T WIN A SCHOLARSHIP. YOU DON’T WIN SCHOLARSHIPS. THEY ARE GRANTED. HE PROBABLY GOT THE SCHOLARSHIPS TO FILL A QUOTA FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OR MINORITY STATUS AT THE COLLEGE. HE WAS DEFINITELY QUALIFIED TO GET IN ON HIS OWN ABILITIES, HE DIDN’T NEED SOCIAL JUSTICE. I AM GUESSING THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY STUDENTS LOANS TO PAY BACK. I ON THE OTHER HAND, CAME FROM A FAMILY OF SEVEN, PUT MYSELF THROUGH COLLEGE, EARNING A BACHELORS DEGREE. IT TOOK ME OVER TEN YEARS TO PAY BACK THE STUDENT LOANS. I AM A WHITE WOMAN SO I DON’T QUALIFY FOR THE FREE RIDE.

  • jonswitzer

    One of the ideas that has proved to be almost impervious to evidence is the idea that wise and far-sighted people need to take control and plan economic and social policies so that there will be a rational and just order, rather than chaos resulting from things being allowed to take their own course. It sounds so logical and plausible that demanding hard evidence would seem almost like nit-picking.In one form or another, this idea goes back at least as far as the French Revolution in the 18th century. As J.A. Schumpeter later wrote of that era, “general well-being ought to have been the consequence,” but “instead we find misery, shame and, at the end of it all, a stream of blood.”The same could be said of the Bolshevik Revolution and other revolutions of the 20th century.The idea that the wise and knowledgeable few need to take control of the less wise and less knowledgeable many has taken milder forms– and repeatedly with bad results as well. – Thomas Sowell -

  • arancia12

    I AM A WHITE WOMAN SO I DON’T QUALIFY FOR THE FREE RIDE.POSTED BY: DINABUSHWAR________________Whoa! Someone is having a pity party! I’m a white woman too and I worked for everything I have.I thank God every day that I am healthy, haven’t been ignored because of my color, and was able to work to get an education. Glass half full, girly! Stop feelin’ so sorry for yourself! Self pity is un-’Murican.

  • lufrank1

    Wow! Talk about hitting the nail on the head!TERRIFIC! MANY THANKS!

  • jonswitzer

    Science tells us that the human brain reaches its maximum potential in early adulthood. Why then are young adults so seldom capable of doing what people with more years of experience can do?Because experience trumps brilliance.Elites may have more brilliance, but those who make decisions for society as a whole cannot possibly have as much experience as the millions of people whose decisions they preempt. The education and intellects of the elites may lead them to have more sweeping presumptions, but that just makes them more dangerous to the freedom, as well as the well-being, of the people as a whole.- Thomas Sowell – Black intellectual…

  • dinabushwar

    LET ME CLARIFY. I DIDN’T WANT A FREE RIDE AND I AM BLESSED TO HAVE MADE IT ON MY OWN. I AM SICK TO DEATH OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IN WASHINGTON HAS BEEN DOING FOR MANY DECADES. THE AMERICAN DREAM STILL HAS A HEARTBEAT. IT IS NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS JOB TO LEGISLATE THAT EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IS EQUAL. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. READ HISTORY, THIS NEVER WORKS OUT WELL.

  • NatinFallsChurch

    A little snarky, perhaps, but all in all, an interesting commentary with a number of points I agree with. The elitist commentary strikes close to home, as it seems like one has to strive to be ignorant or unsuccessful these days in order to not be labeled as one. Unlike so many “news” stories, this is correctly filed as an opinion piece by a columnist. You don’t have to agree with what she’s saying and throwing around labels and accusations just demonstrates close-mindedness. Ms. Jacoby puts forth a well articulated and reasoned opinion that I would guess its intended to be a bit provoking. I can say this much- your column is never boring!

  • NatinFallsChurch

    dinabushwar: Your assertion that scholarships aren’t earned is an insult to everyone who has ever worked hard to get one. I’m sure that if your child was awarded one, you would argue like crazy that it wasn’t just handed to them for some arbitrary reason. Working yourself through school is a noble pursuit and if you or me or our president earned some assistance through a scholarship to assist in the process, its something that should be respected and applauded, not derided. How is it not racist to assume that anyone who’s not white only acheived what they did through a racially-motivated handout? As another white woman, I find this sentiment apalling and would like to hope that people can be respected for their achievements, regardless of what you think of their politics.

  • bendan2000

    KKOCH14, oh no, a typo, big friggin deal. Doesn’t change the fact that religious people are generally dumber than a brick. Religion is an invention of weak minded fools.

  • jelink

    Typical Ruling Class snot-flinging. On Election Day 2010, “we will bury you”.

  • jemaddux

    I’m no fan of Sarah Palin or organized religion or celebrity culture in politics (and that includes both Schwarznegger and Frankin), but Jacoby obviously feels nothing less than contempt for not only Palin and her family but for the maybe 50% of the people in this country who share at least some of Palin’s views. Jacoby clearly sees herself as one of the enlightened few in a nation of rubes who cling to their guns and religion.

  • dinabushwar

    I DID NOT SAY THE SCHOLARSHIP WAS EARNED. I WAS RESPONDING TO SOMEONE THAT WROTE THAT OBAMA WON HIS SCHOLARSHIP. I SAID THAT YOU DON’T WIN A SCHOLARSHIP, IT IS GRANTED. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE, GENDER, OR ANYTHING ELSE. MY POINT IS THAT WHETHER YOUR FEMALE, MALE, BLACK, WHITE, IMMIGRANT, LATINO–IT IS NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS JOB TO LEGISLATE THAT WE ARE EQUALLY DISPERSED AT EVERY SEGMENT OF SOCIETY. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE AND CREATES CHAOS.

  • dinabushwar

    I DID NOT SAY THE SCHOLARSHIP WASN’T EARNED. I WAS RESPONDING TO SOMEONE THAT WROTE THAT OBAMA WON HIS SCHOLARSHIP. I SAID THAT YOU DON’T WIN A SCHOLARSHIP, IT IS GRANTED. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE, GENDER, OR ANYTHING ELSE. MY POINT IS THAT WHETHER YOUR FEMALE, MALE, BLACK, WHITE, IMMIGRANT, LATINO–IT IS NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS JOB TO LEGISLATE THAT WE ARE EQUALLY DISPERSED AT EVERY SEGMENT OF SOCIETY. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE AND CREATES CHAOS.

  • damascuspride04

    We find ourselves in this predicament mainly because of a particular persuasive tactic – the fear appeal. Right wing religious fundamentalists are much better at using the fear appeal than their counterparts on the left. The fear appeal is also extremely effective, as fear forces us to focus on the scary thing instead of the facts that prove that very thing isn’t scary at all – or doesn’t exist. For example, telling a child a closet monster will eat them if they get out of bed at night will likely keep that child in bed. That said, a simple peek in the closet will disprove the existence of such a monster. But what child would test that theory?The abstinence-only philosophy ignores the biological and chemical systems we innately possess (If you believe in God, this means that He gave us those systems). We’re wired to feel sexual urges (and act on them) – without them, our species wouldn’t procreate and survive another generation. This survival mechanism will always trump ideology. Just ask Bristol.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Almost everyone in America who has a college degree got it at some college that is not Harvard or Yale. I do not know anyone, persoanlly who has graduated from Harvard or Yale. But I do know a lot of educated people whom I would consider intellectual, who have graduated from somewhere.Just because I respect and appreciate higher education, and just because I think that curiosity about life and the human condition are good traits, that should not make me elitest. I do not think that Susan said anything to denigrate non-Harvard or non-Yale degrees. Reading this into her intentions is a little parnoid, which seems to be a consistent characteristic of conservative.People like Sarah Palin and her supporters seem proud of their ignorance, hypocrisy, racism, intolerance, and narrow-mindedness. Gee what a great example for the lefty liberals to immitate.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Since we are on this subject, I do not even believe that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig. They have never produced the birth certificate. There are not pictures of her pregnant with Trig, even though she was Governor of Alaska and a public figure. He closest friends and associate were shocked when she announced that she was seven months pregnant. The pictures that they produced to prove the pregnancy were actually of one of her previous pregnancies. That is a deliberate deception. After her water broke in Texas, she got on a plane and flew back to Alaska, and then drove to Wasila. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not allowed. A woman in childbirth would not be allowed on a plane. Something is fishy here. Where did the baby come from? Could be her son’s baby? or her husband’s baby by another woman? I don’t want to speculate on this as I do, but her obvious deception in this whole matter leaves me no choice.

  • dianeb181

    For those who negate the importance of analyzing moral inconsistencies promulgated by Sarah Palin and her acolytes, much as I would wish not to dwell or be concerned about what this bodes for our country and its direction, obviously from the large amount of commentary this piece has generated – and from the amount of attention this person has stirred up since she was thrust from relative obscurity into the national spotlight – this IS an issue of major discussion.Much as many of us would like to see her and her family fade back into obscurity as a bizarre political footnote, that presently does not seem likely.And the idea of her positioning herself as a possible presidential contender in 2012 (or at least the fact that a fair number of people from all corners of the political and media spectrum actively speculate on this – some with baffled horror and some with fawning delight…)First of all, I wouldn’t judge her on where, or how many schools she attended – that’s beside the point.Lincoln was mostly self-taught and became one of the greatest statesmen, orators, and presidents the world has known. Those who commented on her having a lack of “intellectual curiosity”- as well as as exhibiting a rather snide contempt at those who might actually know more…that IS a major concern.That “dumbing down” theme is extremely pertinent. My mother kept saying that the fact that W. became president was a major indictment of our education system.To me, the thought that this country could ever even consider nominating a rampant fundamentalist ideologue as Sarah Palin for the highest office in our land reflects a breach of sanity of truly immense proportions!!!At least I’m glad to know that I’m definitely not alone in this view, and that there are still bastions of intelligence, sense and reason that still prevail.One of the commenters suggested her for a role in “Housewives of Alaska” and that’s where she best belongs (though I doubt she’d want to share screen-time with any others…and I sure couldn’t stomach her hunting and cooking moose & elk specialties…YUK!!!)I really liked Bill Maher’s characterization of Palin as a MILF: i.e. a “Moron I’d Like to Forget”…

  • daniel12

    People seem to have gone crazy about this Jacoby piece. One truly pathological person actually called Jacoby ugly. Calling a woman ugly has to be as low as a man can go. Jacoby is actually an attractive person with that endearing quality so many women have of being vulnerable/gushing in speech. And her piece here was quite well written and fair to the topic. The internet is perhaps becoming as dangerous as handguns as so many people just seem intent on abusing anything which extends them into other people’s lives. But of course I would not suggest limiting the internet…Just try not to get so freaked out people about a person applying some thought to things in life.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Hurray Daniel. For once, I won’t mind if people get us mixed up.Sarah Palin won’t be President, because she doens’t want to be President. She wants fame and personal adulation, but she has not lifted a finger to pursue a serious political career. She doesn’t even read newspapers or magazines. That’s her choice, and that’s fine, but to be President, you have to have enough interest in the world to at least pick up a magazine and thumb through it every now and then.Now, she is dripping in money. Has she gone on any trips abroad to see what is out there? Has she gonve to Europe? Russia? the Middle East? the Far East? Nope! nope! nope! nope! Why not? Why should she? Alaska redneck culture is just fine. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it won’t lead to the White House).She had to drop out of the University of Hawaii because she didn’t like being an ethnic minority. I think if it had been me, somehow, I would have forced myself to like Hawaii.Let’s face it; conservative men like her because she is that sexy-teacher-type who might hit them with a ruler, if they misbehave. But is that going to get her through all the legwork and primaries to be President?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I think of the Palin family as the “Beverly Hilbillies” from Alaska, only not quite as endearing.And I am not elitist. I am nobody of any importance; I am not rich; I have made no big splash in the world; I did not go to Harard or Yale, yet, that is how I feel.If that irritates Palin supporters, pardon me for being a twenty-first century man, with a curiosity about this big wide world. Pardon me for not being particurly impressed by this loony-toons family. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. Would the Sarah Palin supporters please tell me how?

  • pyalie

    Brilliant!

  • JilliB

    BRAVO Ms. Jacoby. Well done.

  • toc59

    “That this representative of pure ignorance, retrograde religion, and class envy is being taken seriously at all speaks volumes about the dumbing down of America. The Bristol-Levi story, promoted by dumbed-down media, is what you get when you put Sarah Palin’s values into action.”Perfect. This opinion piece is the best description of the vapid, substanceless, self-promoting Sarah Palin and her imbecile followers that has been written because it doesn’t sugarcoat them.And yes, can you just imagine the bile and venom being spewed from angry, spittle spraying, fundamentalist christian mouths if it was Obama who had an pregnant, unmarried teen daughter instead of the family values bimbo Palin? Thank you Ms. Jacoby for plainly and truthfully calling out the media that has disgraced itself by minimizing and cleaning up the mess that is the Palin freak show and for clearly stating the true implications and consequences that this awful woman, her followers and their agenda represent.

  • frankbd

    I’ll take just a couple of issues with this overall accurate piece:1. Palin’s academic record vs. Obama’s; Palin did graduate in just 8 semesters while paying for her own education. Obama’s year at the law review has generated fewer citations in other law journals than any other in the surrounding 20 years, by an average 262 to 170. Obama also didn’t contribute an original article of his own, as is usual.2. Palin’s base is rather small, like Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft and Mike Huckabee. You don’t find too many thoughtful conservatives like George Will or Charles Krauthamer praising her. The Republican voter base, other than in the south, is more centrist than many people think. The party’s Congressional delegation currently looks extremist because the Democrats have done so well the last two elections that Republicans represent few purple districts at the moment. After this year’s elections, you should get a better idea of what the party is really like. There should be more Scott Browns, for example.

  • timmy2

    “Palin’s academic record vs. Obama’s”All one needs to do is listen to them speak to understand which one is more educated. Speaking beside Obama, Palin sounds like a 4th grader who lives in a cult.Sarah Palin”I think it’s obvious to anyone when you really look at the constitution and our founding fathers and all of that, that they clearly meant for us to base the laws of our country on the ten commandments and what’s in the Bible.”Sarah Palin is not dumb. She is ignorant and uneducated, and proudly so. And she is exactly the kind of ignorant uneducated and proudly so God believer that the non religious fiscal conservatives knowingly manipulate and take full advantage of. For non religious fiscal conservatives, winning is the prime goal. And the devoutly religious are easy pawns to be had. The secular fiscal conservatives deserve the bedfellows they have chosen and all of the bad press and image that comes with it. If the secular fiscal conservatives did not manipulate and use the numbers of the devoutly religious through issues like abortion and gay rights, they would have been voted out of existence long ago.Even with this ugly marriage of convenience between the secular fiscal conservatives and the Christians, they can still only scrape out a 50/50 draw in the polls and voting on the national stage. Without manipulating the ignorant and uneducated Christians to vote for capitalism (because Jesus and capitalism go so well together) the current fiscal Republicans would be an extreme minority in America. America would be more like Canada. Still capitalist at the core, but with a more responsible social safety net. Fiscal conservatives only have a voice on the national stage because of their marriage to and manipulation of people who are so ignorant and uneducated that they believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth with Adam and Eve. That being said, the left has it’s own strange bedfellows of convenience to deal with. Trial lawyers and teachers unions come to mind. You know, loggers unions and tree hugging environmentalists voting for the same party. Imagine the confusion of the good old boys working the line at the GM plant. “Hey Billy Bob, I know our union rep says we’re supposed to vote for the Democrats, but I’m reading here that the Democrats are going to let them damn gays get married. I thought we were supposed to be sticking it to the man, not in the man, what the hell?”I wish everybody would just vote their conscience on each individual issue. I think America should find a way to do away with political parties. Here’s the slogan for that campaign. You gotta fight, for your right, to not party.

  • frankbd

    All one needs to do is listen to them speak to understand which one is more educated. Speaking beside Obama, Palin sounds like a 4th grader who lives in a cult.

  • WmarkW

    AGAPN9:”If the secular fiscal conservatives did not manipulate and use the numbers of the devoutly religious through issues like abortion and gay rights, they would have been voted out of existence long ago.”I agree that the allies of secular fiscal conservatism would not be my first choice. But the left is an alliance of blacks, Hispanics and women (other than married white ones) who have nothing politically in common but a desire to discriminate against white men in the name of diversity. Blacks have an historical claim to affirmative action. No immigrant group should; and since women have just as many fathers as men have, family legacies pass down to both genders equally.

  • timmy2

    MARKThat was me you quoted not APAGAN.”When he gets off his script (either written or memorized as talking points) he flubs easily”Ha. But then along comes Palin to make even his flubs look like eloquent genius. That was my point. Obama is only slightly less smooth when he is off script. Palin is scary ignorant off scrip with any real journalist.You do yourself no favors to continue to try and put Palin up against Obama in intellect and education. But oh my there I go getting all elitist again.

  • timmy2

    MARK”I agree that the allies of secular fiscal conservatism would not be my first choice”Would they be your second choice? Your third? Because make no mistake about it, they are your choice. They did not choose you. Your party plays them like a fiddle by taking advantage of their devout faith (delusion). You use them like pawns to bolster your numbers. I mean bravo, it’s impressive. You’ve got worshippers of the biggest pinko ever conceived believing that Jesus wants them to have their two car garage filled, with the boat sitting on the trailer in the driveway ready for that trip up to the cottage, while people with mental problems are living in the streets and families without medical insurance are going broke because they got sick.”But the left is an alliance of blacks, Hispanics and women (other than married white ones) who have nothing politically in common but a desire to discriminate against white men in the name of diversity”Hilarious. The left are people who want to assure a system of fairness and equality for all as opposed to the dog eat dog world of unchecked capitaslism. Of course they are going to get all of the votes of the people who your system leaves disadvantaged. This is not even close being comparable to purposeful manipulation of the religious by the right. “Blacks have an historical claim to affirmative action. No immigrant group should”1. Blacks ore not an immigrant group.This is not a left right issue, but it has been made into one. Left vs Right is about socialism vs capitalism and all of the nuances that lie between. Issues like race problems, immigration, abortion, gay rights, global warming, science vs religion etc. None of these issues are true left/right issues. only fiscal policy is. All of those other issues have been turned into right/left issues by partisanship. You gotta fight for your right to not party!

  • WmarkW

    Apologies to Timmy and Agapn9 for the mis-identification.The New Deal to Cold War period created a political environment in which perpetual deficits seemed justified by current circumstances. After two generations of politicians had gotten used to it, there’s no expectation today that the government will even TRY not to tax people too young to vote (i.e. run deficits). Given the population bulge of baby boomers about to move into their government-consumption years, we’re going to complete a century of almost perpetual deficits.How will this ever be paid back? Dreamers might think that if the diversity groups started earning as much as white men, the deficit could close though universally high income. But examination of the choices made by those groups, none of them (considered in their entirety) has the priority on long-term education with aim to income that white and Asian males do. Everyone wants high income, of course, but educational priority among blacks and Hispanics is not as great as whites; women value education, but choose higher-satisfaction fields at the sacrifice of pay.

  • losamigos1

    “You don’t find too many thoughtful conservatives like George Will or Charles Krauthamer praising her. ” [Sarah Palin]Do you really consider G Will and C Krauthammer to be the thoughtful conservatives in the like of say, William Buckley? I rarely read Will, as I spend too much time in refuting his stated “facts”, which are easily disputed with an internet search, as several expose’s will attest. Krauthammer? Isn’t he Glen Beck’s famous cousin?Oh, for the conservative discourse of Buckley, where reasonable men and women could more or less civilly disagree.

  • frankbd

    Do you really consider G Will and C Krauthammer to be the thoughtful conservatives in the like of say, William Buckley?

  • timmy2

    MARK”How will this ever be paid back?”Raise taxes on the richest 10%. Done. We need a system where Warren Buffet’s secretary does not pay taxes at a higher rate than Warren Buffet. And that’s Warren Buffet talking. BTW I am in the richest 10% and yes I am calling for my own taxes to be raised. It makes sense.

  • egw7777

    Susan Jacoby – you need to work on correcting the history books & put back in the true history of America, not write comments on two young kids with a baby that still have a lot to learn. You kind of remind me of those bullies in school that like to insult & hurt people that are not as “elite” as you because you consider yourself so well educated & so well rounded. I am sure when you were these two kids age that you made a lot of mistakes, also, maybe not the same kind but you made them. We all did. I really find it hard that you cannot find something of more substance to write a column about with all the problems we are having here in America today & this is what you want to do? Insult & criticize them & Bristol’s mother just to rub salt into wounds that have been reopened. This is really none of your business or my business & if they were actors & actresses in Hollywood you would not even give it a second thought. But because the Mother is Sarah Palin & I assume you do not like her you go on attack through her oldest daughters mistakes & hurt all that are involved. This column is nothing more then sheer gossip & if I were you I would be ashamed of myself for being such a “small minded elite” person.

  • jv26

    I wonder, Ms. Jacoby, what you think of George Lakoff’s assessment of the rather different views of values entertained by conservatives compared to progressives. I am just beginning to read his books; maybe you already have. But if you haven’t, then maybe you are stepping into one or more of the many traps which catch, unaware, progressives who think they can persuade conservatives by logic. Another of his concepts is that many people are conservative for some purposes and progressive for others. Lakoff is at home in the fields of psychology and politics, while you focus primarily on religion. This column straddles religion and politics. Maybe this comment will introduce some of you readers to Lakoff, to their benefit.

  • mlcowen

    Ugh! I read this article not knowing it was by the resident Atheist. As the founder of the Fellowship of Reason, a non-theistic moral community in Atlanta, I am ashamed to be associated with this type of venom directed at my Christian brothers and sisters. While each of us thinks he or she knows everything (I know I do), I, for one, respect the right of every person to that opinion of himself and I refrain from taking the opportunity to tell everyone else that he is an idiot. Elitism is bad when it takes this public form. Aristotle and Plato knew they were the smartest boys in the room, but the virtue of magnanimity restrained them from say so.

  • prasadbinoy

    Couldn’t read the full article and comments, honestly, for reasons beyond my control. But, the author has raised an issue on which depends the future of the United States. A child could be born from any source, but if he or she doesn’t grow as a healthy, moral-ethical, educated and dutiful citizen, it would be a real liability not only on the American society, but on his/her family and on himself/herself as well.

  • edbyronadams

    “Although the children of politicians are generally off-limits, Bristol is an exception for two reasons.”First is that she is the daughter of a Republican. Second, she is the daughter of Sarah Palin.

  • timmy2

    ML Cowen,”As the founder of the Fellowship of Reason, a non-theistic moral community in Atlanta, I am ashamed to be associated with this type of venom directed at my Christian brothers and sisters”How are you associated with it? Because you read it?Your Christian brothers and sisters tell each other all the time about how you are going to burn in eternal hellfire for your disbelief in their God. Now there’s some venom for you. But reporting that people who believe such things are statistically less educated that those who do not believe such things is spewing venom to you? I think it is being responsible with valuable information. “While each of us thinks he or she knows everything (I know I do)”I don’t. But I know a lot of things. More than some, less than others. “I, for one, respect the right of every person to that opinion of himself and I refrain from taking the opportunity to tell everyone else that he is an idiot”Who called anyone an idiot?”Elitism is bad when it takes this public form”But it Is good in a more private form? “Aristotle and Plato knew they were the smartest boys in the room, but the virtue of magnanimity restrained them from say so”You were there were you? What do you know about what was said in the room?I’ve told my actual brother that he was an idiot when he was being an idiot. He needed to be told. I love my brother and I showed him love by telling him that he was acting like an idiot. As for your Christian brothers and sisters, they believe something that says horrible things about those who do not believe what they believe. These are the people you are protecting from criticism of their delusional beliefs. These are people who vote against equal rights for women and gays because of what it says in their ancient texts. They hurt others with their votes. They are not a group to be protected from criticism for these beliefs. I think your anger is misplaced.

  • csb528

    It seems to me like putting the baby up for adoption would have been the best solution. White male babies, especially cute ones, are always a hot commodity. At least the kid would have had a normal life. I wonder how he’ll feel 20 years from now knowing that his mother used him for her own personal gain by giving lectures on how she screwed up her life by having him.

  • globalone

    “Your Christian brothers and sisters tell each other all the time about how you are going to burn in eternal hellfire for your disbelief in their God. Now there’s some venom for you.”Tim,If you don’t believe in Hell, than where is the venom? How can someone harm you when speaking about a place that, in your world, doesn’t exist?

  • globalone

    “These are people who vote against equal rights for women…”Tim,Could you point me to the data that supports this argument? And can you explain what “equal rights” vote(s) you are talking about?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    ProChoiceGrandma This is regarding your post:”I am still waiting for an investigative journalist to win a Pulitzer when he/she finally exposes Sarah Palin’s fake pregnancy to the American public, a fact that has been hushed up by the press, thus allowing Palin to use her political prop to full advantage to win the hearts and foolish minds of her fundie cult worshipers. It is time to put an end to Palin’s charade so little Piper will not have to carry the burden of keeping the family lie a secret.”I do not believe that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig. But then I wonder, who did, and why did Sarah pretend to give birth to him and why is she raising it?My first thought was that maybe it is her husbands baby by another woman. Pretending such a baby is hers seems somewhat implausible.Then, I thought, maybe it is her eldest son’s out-of-wedlock baby, and the Palins have taken it to raise, and pretending that it is Sarah’s baby to avoid the scandal. If that is true, it is pretty weird. But I think it is plausible and most probably true.But wouldn’t it make more sense simply to acknowledge that her son had an out-of-wedlock baby too, and just suck up all the criticism?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Sarah Palin DOES use her children to advance he public views. And Levi and Bristol DID announce their engagement on the cover of a pop tabloid magazine. So people comment on her children. So what?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    And what about Sarah Palin’s ambiguosly gay brother? I wonder how she plans to keep THAT cat in the bag?(And no, this observation of fact is not meant to be slanderous, since I don’t see anything wrong with being gay; it can only be seen as slanderous if you don’t like gay people).

  • PSolus

    DanielintheLionsDen,”I don’t see anything wrong with being gay…”Ah, but do you see anything wrong with being ambiguously gay?

  • Climacus

    Daniel, in many states a false allegation that someone is homosexual is presumed to be defamatory – meaning, among other things, that it is presumed to cause someone’s reputation to suffer some harm. It doesn’t matter that you (like many people) see nothing wrong with being gay, or that don’t intend a statement to be defamatory. You shouldn’t suggest that an identifiable person is homosexual without knowing whether it is actually true.

  • timmy2

    GLOBALONE”How can someone harm you when speaking about a place that, in your world, doesn’t exist?”Who said anyone harmed me? Not me. And “venom” was not my word for what’s going on here I was mocking someone else’s use of that word while referring to his Christian brothers and sisters in the next sentence. But answer me this, what is the difference between Susan Jacoby using her pulpit to give her opinion on the religious and the Christian ministers using their pulpit to preach that atheists and muslims and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists are sinners and blasphemers who go to Hell. Neither is really venomous or harmful right? I think the only difference is that Susan Jacoby is right and the Christian ministers are delusional. “And can you explain what “equal rights” vote(s) you are talking about?”Sure. In the case of Gays the Christian right denies them equal rights to marriage, and they would deny them much more than that if they could get away with it. In the case of women The Christian right would deny them equal reproductive rights. And I was addressing a comment that the left is a coalition of blacks hispanics and white women who are not religious and blah blah blah. I was explaining that it is not a coalition so much as these people just don’t vote for the republicans because they don’t trust them with their basic human rights. In the case of blacks and hispanics, it’s because the republican party is still full of racists in spite of it’s effort to pretend otherwise. In the case of secular women and gays it’s because the republican party is full of religious nut jobs whose holy book is disgustingly misogynist and horrifically defamatory against gays. Or you tell me why these people don’t vote republican.

  • jtayloe

    to danielinthelionsden.. the utter stupidity and banality of your comments ala Sarah Palin and progeny, are venal conjectures. You should be ashamed; though I know that feral types in love with their own hatred of others don’t comprehend the moral plain that allows for such humility.Such a waste of effort;educating the likes of you.

  • Delongl

    This has to be one of the most snobby, uppity, bigoted WP articles in years. People who go to more than one college are idiots, but people who only go to one college are geniuses? Actually, that opinion just shows you are more bigoted than a hound in heat.

  • PSolus

    jtayloe,”to danielinthelionsden.. the utter stupidity and banality of your comments ala Sarah Palin and progeny, are venal conjectures. You should be ashamed; though I know that feral types in love with their own hatred of others don’t comprehend the moral plain that allows for such humility.Jebus? Is that you? Are you going to send danielinthelionsden to hell? Are you going to send me to hell too?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    JtayloeSarah Palin did not give birth to Trig. There are no pictures of he pregnant with Trig, even though she was governor and a public figure. Her closest friends and associates were shoked when she announced that she was 7 months pregnant. She flew from Texas to Alaska, after she says her water broke, a physical and legal impossibility, and then drove about 2 more hours to Wasila. Even though they have been repeatedly asked, they never produced Trig’s birth certificate. Where is the birth certificate? Why can’t they produce the birth certificate? As proof that she really was pregnant, she produced pictures of herself, pregnant with a previous child. Did she think people are so dumb that they would not check? Where did Trig come from? Not from Sarah’s womb. If she will not say. So, she is forcing us to speculate.

  • areyousaying

    In today’s show, Soap Opera Sarah finds a condom-still-in-its-wrapper inside the pocket of Levi’s Levi’s as she prepares to do the laundry. In a quandary, Sarah consults her evangelical witch doctor who tells her, in spite of what the Pope says, condoms are actually usually helpful in preventing another unplanned pregnancy.Meanwhile the Huffington Post reports Bristol shopping for birth control pills.

  • areyousaying

    yeah jtayloe,…show us Trig’s birth certificate. As close as Sarah lives to Russian, he could be a Russian plant later groomed to spy for his Homeland. There’s Communists everywhere these days, ya know, just like in the 50′s…

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    ClimacusYou mean a gay person can sue you for saying he is gay?And BTW,I was not implying that Sarah Palin’s brother would be insulted if you said he was gay; I assume he would not. I was implying that Sarah Palin would be insulted.It must be very stressful for a gay man to have a sister like Sarah Palin. (Notice that even though she is on the anti-gay side, she never plays the gay card when trashing the leftie liberals; I wonder why?)

  • Climacus

    Daniel wrote: “ClimacusIf the person were gay then it wouldn’t be a *false* allegation, would it? Truth is a defense to a claim of defamation – but the burden would be on the person who said another person was gay to establish that it was, in fact, the truth.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Giving birth is a traumatic, frightening, and dangerous experience. Women in labor go right to the hospital to have their baby, or to the nearest safe and calm place. Women in labor do not hop on an airliner. They just do not; they don’t. Anyone who says otherwise is full of bull. That, with all the other dubious facts of Sarah’s pregnancy, makes it highly unlikely that she gave birth to Trig. I think it was her son’s baby, Track. What about him? Strange that they shipped him right of to Iraq, with almost no fanfare. That is a little odd for a Republican family. And why haven’t we ever heard from him again? Wouldn’t you think she would be reading his letters home on her interview with Oprah? Something is fishy here. Why am I such a terrible person for pointing all this out? I am not suggesting that she committed murder, just that she is a little weird; and we already knew that, didn’t we?

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