One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

The incoherence of Kathleen Parker

Last week, prominent anti-feminist Kathleen Parker gave conservative credence to the rapidly emerging consensus that Sarah Palin is, with Parker’s capitalized emphasis, “Clearly Out Of Her League.”  She quite explicitly called Palin “a problem” who was full of “BS,” proclaimed the death knell of Palin-mania, and called on the VP candidate to “bow out for personal reasons.”

A scant six days later, basking in the glow (perhaps caused by the “starbursts” coming out of the television screen) that conservatives perceived in her question-dodging, winking, “gosh-darning” debate performance, Parker has reversed course, asking “What did they do with the other Sarah Palin?”

How about…what did they do with the other Kathleen Parker?

The worst part about Parker’s change of heart is that she herself recognizes that the same concerns with Palin remain.  She acknowledges that Palin directly sidestepped the moderator, but nods approvingly at the “nicest, gosh-darn way” that she “rel[ied] on the American people to like her so much they didn’t care” if she didn’t answer the questions.  The way in which Parker formulates the tenor of the debate is revealing:

[S]he managed to control the debate in many respects by bridging from the question asked to the talking point she wanted to hammer.

This is not “bridging.”  If it is, then the “bridges” truly were to nowhere, as they simply extended from the precipice of Palin’s ignorance onto a rickety platform supported only by “folksiness” and a sloppy layering of the word “maverick.”  Yes, politicians are going to use talking points.  And yes, as Parker suggests toward the end of her column, the debate format is more conducive to repeating these talking points than is that of a one-on-one interview.  But even if you are going to hammer away talking points, you need some nails to hammer.

In a shorter blog post at PostPartisan, Parker admits that she’ll have to look more carefully for the trace of these nails of substance.

I’ll have to go to the transcript to figure out what Palin actually said and try to figure out whose facts were right.

Let’s be clear — Parker does not know “what Palin actually said.”  She heard what she wanted to hear, in other words.  And, with no qualms over inconsistency, Parker is saying whatever she wants to say.


October 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] of, who else?, Sarah Palin, that martyr of down-at-home populist conservatism (except for, um, Kathleen Parker, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, George Will…). The piece ends with a mention, naturally, of […]

    Pingback by Elitist liberals, blah blah blah « Boondoggle | February 18, 2009 | Reply

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