All weekend, when I surf the web I’ve been reading various interpretations on why Sarah Palin has resigned.

Since I live in the Philippines, and am a registered Democrat in the US, it’s not my fight.

Yet what I see is that those who ridicule her seem to be in two camps.

One is the left wing Democrats, the same ones who turned viciously against Hillary Clinton during the last election. The Huffpost is the worst. And most of the essays are very catty, written by women.

Why should they despise Hillary?

Because she is hard working and successful. She is feisty and she can fight. She is smart, and she is not quite ladylike when she takes on her opponents. And Hillary is popular among the working class of America, which is looked down on and despised by the left. The left prefer the “poor” (as if they were pets) who they want to “help”, not those who work for a living and who only want a helping hand in time of trouble.

The same could be said for Sarah Palin. She too is popular with those who work for a living, and it is possible that many “Reagan Democrats” would cross party lines to support her in a bid for the Presidency.

Which is probably why Palin is hated by the Republican establishment. Like other Republican governors, she has to work with Democrats, and despite the caricatures in the press, she is more pragmatic than ideological.

Again, as the NYTimes noted: this is class hatred: how dare someone from outside the Beltway try to take over the party.

Here are lessons of the Sarah Palin experience, for any aspiring politician who shares her background and her sex. Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith. (And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)

Yes, the same could be said of Bill Clinton, but he did go to Georgetown and was part of the establishment.

But the Clintons were hated by the elites of the party because they represented the mainstream Democrats (which includes most Democratic governors), not the extreme left.

There is another similarity: frivolous lawsuits.

One suspects that one reason for 9-11 was because the Clinton administration was so enmeshed fighting the impeachment that they didn’t have the energy to keep up on things that seemed to be a minor problem at the time. Similarly, even though Palin has managed to push through the big Alaska Pipeline deal, she is spending much of her time fighting ethics complaints, most of them coming from political operatives in Alaska.

The lawsuits left the Clintons in debt, but the constant “ethics complaints” against Palin (all of which have been thrown out) have left her personally in debt, and trying to raise money from her supporters has only left her with more ethics complaints. The accusations are so bad that her lawyer has threatened libel lawsuits. Such lawsuits require both the knowledge that the story was false, and proof of malice, but as both the National Enquirer and Matt Drudge found out, such lawsuits are difficult in US law, but can be won.

But the final similarity is that both have been a source of jokes.

There the comparison ends, because even at their worst, Chelsey Clinton has not been made a mockery of on late night TV. But the worst is that mockery of Sarah Palin daring to have a disabled son (instead of quietly aborting him) has now made mocking the mentally challenged okay.

I’m a mother. I have changed jobs or turned down jobs because of my family needs. It is part of the job of being a mother.

So when I heard that Palin asked her kids if she should resign, they all said “yes”.

Again, this will be twisted by the beltway: ha ha. She asked her kids.

But women docs know about trying to balance family and a career. There are times that one has to limit one’s career to have family time.

So after reading a hundred blogs and articles that explained variations on Palin and how the decision was really about running for president in 2012, I finally found one that brought up another point.

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal writes:

Palin became a hate object for many on the left and some on the right. For whatever reason, Palin-haters have been unusually uninhibited in their cruel mockery of the governor’s children, particularly Bristol and Trig.’s “Allahpundit” notes that Palin’s resignation moved one Erik Nelson to write a Puffington Host post titled “Palin Will Run in ’12 on More Retardation Platform.” (Trig Palin has Down’s syndrome.)…

When Palin protested such treatment, as in the Letterman case, it didn’t go away. Yes, Letterman eventually apologized, but Palin detractors continued to trash her for “playing the victim” by having the temerity to complain. Why should anyone be mystified that a mother, in the face of such indecent treatment of her children, would finally say enough is enough?

Those who see ambition and high honors will never agree with such an analysis, but they forget that sometimes one’s family comes first.

For Hillary Clinton, this meant years working in the Rose Law Firm to help support her husband, and putting her own political ambitions on hold. It meant standing back and smiling at all those jokes when her husband’s sexual shenanigans would make most women run for a divorce lawyer.

For Sarah Palin, it may mean the same decision.

Those who laugh at this analysis might want to remember that there are other ways for someone to succeed in life.  So for Hillary Clinton, this might mean not going into politics until her husband is retired, and for Sarah Palin, it may similarly mean doing another job beside “running for president in 2012”. She too will probably chose a job that allows her to balance family demands and work, and probably one that will allow her to protect her children from the vile ridicule of the political media on the left and the right.

The fact that no one except for Taranto thinks such a decision is possible says more about the “chattering class” of the United States than it does about Palin.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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