Michael Seitzman wrote that in this HuffPo column entitled, wait for it, The Lyin’, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Is it fair to criticize Palin on the merits (or lack thereof) of the substance of what she was saying? Absolutely. This piece at Inside Higher Ed does a great job, substituting facts and analysis for name calling. Here is an excerpt:
While the McCain campaign wouldn’t confirm this, Palin’s remark appears to be a reference to an earmark obtained by Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat, to support olive fruit fly research. The group Citizens Against Government Waste honored Thompson with”The French Kiss Off Award”for the earmark, noting that the work would be done in Paris.
A spokeswoman for Representative Thompson said that the earmark wasn’t some junket or silly project. Olive trees represent a growing agricultural enterprise in California, she said, and the olive fruit fly is the greatest danger posed to them. The problem has been widespread in Europe for years, but is just starting to appear in the United States. The spokeswoman said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a field station in France for just such situations : to study agriculture problems there that are becoming (or may become) problems in the United States. That’s where the money is going.”This money is going to American scientists who are working to help Americans,”she said.
Palin either did not do her research, or unquestioningly relied on someone incompetent who fed her this line or wrote her speech. This does not make her a “special needs kid” nor should the term “special needs kid” be deployed as an insult against politicians with whom one disagrees. As previously noted, Seitzman makes being a fellow Democrat a troubling prospect.
It would be nice to see Palin admit that her criticism of the fruit fly grant was misguided, but that probably won’t happen. But was she actively lying? Does this really make her a “witch”? And will the sexist commentary about her wardrobe ever cease? Too pretty, too much make up, wrong glasses, wrong clothes — constant judgments about her appearance, world without end. Of course, if she was ugly and bare faced and wore inexpensive clothing, that would only change the nature of the Seitzman’s commentary, it wouldn’t diminish the ferocity one iota. Instead of wanting to have sex with her, he’d fantasize about what, putting a bag over her head? Guess we will find out the next time a woman runs for President.