SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 9:30AM

Sarah Palin's Right To A Private Past

Rate: 4 Flag

I freely admit that the recent revelations about Sarah Palin’s past gave me a certain degree of schadenfreude.  To see someone who so blatantly exploited latent racism among fearful middle class whites exposed as someone with a history of interracial intimacy is certainly satisfying to some degree.  However much we may chuckle at her embarrassment, we also know that it is not right to exploit it.  She may be a public figure, but she has a right to a private past.

The point is worth repeating:  Sarah Palin has a right to a private past.  We don’t have a political office with the title “President of Fidelity”.  Whether someone has had one sexual partner or a thousand is completely irrelevant to his or her fitness for public office.  The only person who has any legitimate business in any of this is Todd Palin, he and Sarah don’t deserve to have their private business out there for us to ridicule.  One wonders if it would have gotten as much attention if her fling had been with a white player.  If not, it says worse about us than it does about Palin.

It wasn’t that long ago that news of an extramarital or premarital affair was a death sentence for a politician.  It wasn’t that long ago that Diana Spencer’s father publicly certified her virginity.  We’ve come a long way since then.  For us to prattle about Palin’s sexual history would be hypocritical and backward-thinking.

It’s also time we grew up about drug use.  A lot of us try it without becoming addicts or career criminals.  Bill Clinton admitted to smoking weed, with the widely disbelieved disclaimer that he didn’t inhale.  Now, we wouldn’t care if he did.  Barack Obama admits to having tried cocaine.  Now it turns out, Sarah Palin may have been no stranger to coke.  So what?  There is no evidence that she was an addict, there is no evidence that she was a dealer.  Since she is not a current user and seems none the worse for it, her alleged drug use in her past is no more of our business than her sexual history.

Sarah Palin is in no way qualified to be president.  She lacks both the intellect and the work ethic required to have a firm enough grasp on the issues.  She’s a simple demagogue who has mastered the art of electrifying a certain part of the Republican base.  The direction she would take the nation is, in my opinion, 180 degrees from what would be productive.  She is expert in one thing only, and that is claiming perpetual victimhood.  However much it pains me to admit it, in the matter of the exposé of her private past, she is entirely right to feel wronged.  Her private past is her private business, and it demeans us to pay the least bit of attention to it.

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politics, palin

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I couldn't have said it better, myself - this is exactly what I've been promoting all along, not just with politicians, but also with celebrities. It's called a "private life" and that's how it should stay.
I couldn't care less about Sarah's past, present and future. It would demean me to do so.
As for everyone else, digging up her dirt isn't a matter of unwarranted intrusion. She extended the invitation when she presumed to represent morality and condemn others for lacking it. That somebody would take her up on the invite isn't surprising or necessarily bad, as the tawdriness is reciprocal.

The difference is in how the information is received by its intended audience. Generally, those who value the supposed revelations do so because it exposes Palin's hypocrisy, not because it shows her moral flaws. These people know everyone has them, and they're not preaching against their grain by demanding others meet a standard that they don't.

Sarah has chucked so many stones her once glass house is nothing but framework. She deserves what she gets because she asked for what she's getting. There is some valid schadenfreude in seeing her, in her 15th minute and in effect, kicking herself to the curb.

Her supporters are used to living in cognitive dissonance, so they will either ignore the gossipy revelations or embrace Sarah's struggle on her way to Godly salvation. The sleeping with a black guy thing, though, will work its way through her supporters like Drano through a clog, and at some point the built-up but suppressed disgust will burst in significant Sarah rejection.
At this point it doesn't matter much, as Palin is well on her way "out" anyway.

America already has an oversupply of ignorant and vile right-wing demagogues, so we won't be regretting losing one.
While I agree personally with the ideal that people's personal lives should be their own -- even candidates for public office, the rules of the game have changed. Anyone who doubts that should talk to Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Anthony Wiener, Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, ad infinitum. In these cases, I'm referring only to behavior itself, and leaving aside the legal issues in any of their cases, which is another matter altogether,

Blame for this is too often laid at the door of the media and the 24-7 news cycle. But that ignores the fact that it was the ever-hypocritical, holier-than-thou Religious Wrong that dragged "family values" and "character" front and center in the political process. Since Simple Sarah is as responsible for that as anyone on the current scene, I call it poetic justice. Call me a cynic, but I'll be very surprised if poetic justice doesn't bite sanctimonious Rick Perry on the ass, too.

In short, ye shall reap what ye sow.
Finally, someone making sense.

If I admitted to having a one-night stand when I was 23, having cheated early in my marriage and having occasionally snorted cocaine in my past, would anyone blink an eye? Not likely. So why should it be different for her, just because I detest her politics? All of this stuff happened 15-25 years ago, and except for possibly exposing some personal hypocrisies, it is irrelevant to her fitness, or I mean lack thereof, for higher office. If McGinniss has anything to add about her abuses of power as Governor of Alaska, or her lack of intellectual curiosity, then let's hear it. The rest is just salacious trivia.

We did better before we started demanding that Presidents be eunuchs .
By the way, I visited a few websites today that defended Palin and trashed the McGinniss book. The most striking thing about them was the appalling level of discourse by her defenders. I suppose that helps to explain why she has so many followers in spite of her lack of substance.