Friday, November 27, 2009

Judging Sarah Palin's Book By Its Cover

Today, my roomie and I spent the day in Hartford, Connecticut at his the home of his parents where we had a post-Thanksgiving lunch.

In addition to my roomie's parents also present was one of his cousins (who once worked for Howard Dean when he was still Governor of Vermont) and some friends of the family.

I was the only conservative seated at the table. Hey, when I'm at the Cantab it's usually 50 against one.

Now I am perfectly happy not to discuss politics. Anyone familiar with my writing will know I have interests outside of politics. However, if someone should make a statement I think is daft I'm not going to let it go unchallenged. I knew that sooner or later someone was going to bring up Sarah Palin into the conversation.

Sure enough the Palin bashing could be put off no longer. I momentarily retreated from the room only to return with a copy of Going Rogue which I had just completed on the bus en route to Hartford. I didn't need to say a word. The book itself was provocation enough. My roomie's father (who works for a TV station in Hartford) asked me if I actually bought the book while his mother insisted that Palin didn't write a word of it. Those gathered at the table began shooting out questions they didn't want answered. They asked why Palin should be considered for higher office but didn't want to hear her accomplishments in Alaska.

I challenged them to read the book but none of them would. What are they so afraid of? Hey, I read Obama's The Audacity of Hope. But so much for the liberal capacity for openmindedness. They accused Palin of racism and homophobia and I challenged them to cite me examples. Naturally, they couldn't come up with any examples of her own behavior other than to say that she appealed to white people and that her rhetoric was "divisive." Whatever that means?

The best anyone could come up with was the alleged behavior of some people at Palin's rallies. I countered that the Secret Service had debunked that anyone had threatened to kill Obama at the Palin rally in Pennsylvania last October. The fellow who formerly worked for Dean contended that people at the townhalls had compared Obama to Hitler. I reminded him that Bush had been compared to Hitler for eight years. He wisely ceded my point.

My roomie's father said I enjoyed stirring the pot. Well, yes. But it doesn't take much to do that where it concerns Palin. Again, I would have been perfectly content had nothing been said about Sarah Palin pro or con. But if one insists on making daft assertions then one ought to be prepared to be challenged. Having the book with me really threw them off. It's a shame though. But it's what happens when you judge a book by its cover and aren't open minded enough to take a look inside.

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