Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 21, 2011 / 15 Adar II, 5771

Palin's terminal velocity

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "She reminds me of my wife."

That was the most frequent comment I received via e-mail on the September night Sarah Palin spoke to a riveted Republican National Convention in 2008, as the vice-presidential nominee spoke of hockey moms, pit bulls, lipstick, the dignity of human life, and the future of our nation.

I suspect every man who e-mailed wasn't revealing his secret fantasy -- his wife wearing stilettos as she tries to save the world from a Barack Obama presidency. He finally saw, on prime-time television and impossible for the media to ignore, a woman in politics who closely resembled his family's values. After decades of ladies on the stump reading from a Ms. magazine script, here was a woman on a presidential ticket who didn't seem to feel the need to suppress her femininity or perversely use it to advance a most un-motherly agenda.

It was liberating.

In this way, she made that night historic, for both the right and left. And she's still driving emotion and headlines.

And, in case you missed it (and I don't blame you if you did): Apparently Democratic voters would vote for Charlie Sheen for president over Palin -- 44 to 22 percent.

Independents opted for the former wild child, too, 41 to 36 percent. That the Wall Street Journal even thought to poll such a thing tells you something about the bizarre political and cultural climate surrounding this lightning rod of a woman.

Some of the more inventive attacks on her -- most recently she was compared to Al Sharpton -- have been known to bring high-profile commentators to her defense, even while others express their concern.

The political sideshow makes for a chattering class TV producer's dream.

But putting her name alongside Charlie Sheen and Al Sharpton? It's all a little bizarre -- even for a media in constant need fresh chum. There are justified criticisms, but the widespread reactions to the mere name and image of Sarah Palin continues to know no bounds.

"The people who say such things don't know her, have never spent time with her, and are responding to a caricature of what they think she is," Rebecca Mansour, who works at Palin's political action committee, says. "Do you remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen's famous quote about anti-Catholicism?" she asks me and answers: "He said there are only a few of people who hate what Catholicism really is, but there are millions who hate what they think it is. If these critics would spend a few hours reading her words, listening to her speeches, and studying her actual record of accomplishments, there is no way they could say such things about her and still claim to be intellectually honest."

There is something to that Sheen quote. Not from Charlie but the late bishop, a revered preacher who hosted one of the first prime-time television shows; someone who understood human communications. It's why all those men e-mailed me on then-governor Palin's first big night out on the national stage. It's why she drives the left wild, and has provided a source of fundraising and programming for nothing less than the Democratic National Committee. She's at the convergence of politics and culture. Her mere presence -- of her and her family -- brings some of our most contentious issues to the fore. They are our most contentious because they're the most personal. They are at the heart of who we are as individuals and a culture.

I thought of the unceasing reactions to Palin as I sat with two generations of anti-feminists at a recent book-launch event for "The Flipside of Feminism," written by Phyllis Schlafly, that brave lone warrior against the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, and her niece, Suzanne Venker. Schlafly is an unapologetic fan of Palin -- much more so than Venker -- because she knows what a brave, outspoken political woman faces. She's been there.

You don't have to want Palin to be president to acknowledge that the frenzy around her may have more to do with us than her.

On multiple fronts, the former governor of Alaska is actually much more complicated than most of the debates about her even begin to capture. She's that pro-life mom, a poster gal for whom the Susan B. Anthony List, dedicated to electing pro-life women, was waiting. But she's also been known to get her inner Gloria Steinem on -- which is ironic given Steinem stands among those who would excommunicate her from her gender if she could. Born and raised in a culture where girls were educated as if they were an oppressed class in need of empowerment, often at the expense of boys, she's representative of a value system that is increasingly coming to grips with the fact that the sexual revolution messed with some very fundamental things.

I do think that when all is said and done in 2012, the candidate who finds his or her name on the top of the Republican ticket is going to be someone who doesn't evoke the passions of a wounded culture in quite the same way. But I also think denying that Sarah Palin, flaws and all, already holds a positive place in our history is akin to believing that Charlie Sheen is actually "winning."

Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles