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January 19, 2011

She’s No Spiro

Norman M. Covert

Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin sets off a fire storm wherever she goes, whatever she says and whatever happens external to her. She is a politician both men and women take pleasure in seeing, whether it is her beauty or the way she identifies with us.


She has become a media “darling,” in a black humor sort of way – but she isn’t any Spiro Agnew!


Governor Palin has been in the eye of every national storm, whether she likes it or not. The latest when more than one media boob blamed her for the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., AZ) nearly two weeks ago. One would have thought she wielded the 9 mm Glock semi-automatic pistol herself.


You probably would have reached a different conclusion had you seen her miss four clear shots at a Caribou from more than 100 yards in her reality documentary “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” She changed rifles and scored with one shot.


Her aim was true a few weeks ago when she took the dangerous leap of criticizing mainstream media and left-wing bloggers whose discourse amounts to shoot first and ask questions later.


Still Governor Palin is no “psycho-semanticist” as described by author James Thurber. She has not reached the heights of the oratorical dance moves performed by the late former favorite son of Maryland. Vice President Agnew was eventually brought down by greed while in office, but that in no way diminished his word power, most of which came from the typewriters of Patrick Buchanan and William Safire.


Calling “foul” has been long in coming for Governor Palin. The media has unashamedly carried out an overt, coordinated, dirty tricks attack on her since she stepped to the dais at the 2008 Republican National Convention, accepting its nomination as candidate for vice president. But Governor Palin’s words amounted to a soft blow to the want-ads.


Consider the words of Mr. Agnew, the son of Greek immigrants, who carried on the tradition of corruption as former Baltimore County executive and governor of Maryland. Here’s how he described the media:


-- “We have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism.”


-- “…tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one.”


-- “…pusillanimous pussyfooters,” “…vicars of vacillation” and “…hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history…”


Governor Palin would certainly set off a firestorm of media backlash if she tried to adopt and interject Mr. Agnew’s brilliant bon mots in her Twitter™ or Facebook™ posts


Who among the 1970 "The Silent Majority” couldn’t appreciate Mr. Agnew and the vicarious experience we experienced. His description of anti-war protestors still hits the mark:


-- “A spirit of national masochism prevails,” Mr. Agnew exhorted, “encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”


Ironically many of these “effete snobs” are still under foot, some finding themselves elected to the House and Senate, or appointed as a “Czar” in the Obama Administration.


Both President Richard M. Nixon and Mr. Agnew resigned in disgrace, but neither can hold a candle to the antics of Mr. Obama and his entourage. I suppose one could ascribe Mr. Agnew’s words to the current crop, calling them “Limousine Liberals.”


It would seem evident that, just as the media and the U. S. Attorney brought down Mr. Agnew, who was in effect “hoisted on his own petard,” Governor Palin may have to linger another four years before she attempts a run at the presidency. She has thwarted every hint of scandal, though, unlike Mr. Agnew.


Mr. Agnew once described the “older generation’s leadership” as a “sniveling hand-wringing power structure.” Who would argue that this fits today’s Republican majority, which took over the House January 6th?


Thus far, we are unimpressed with its disparate attacks on the Obama agenda. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R., OH) cannot rein in the old legislative nags, who continue to ignore the mandate ordered by the Tea Party Movement and voters spurred on by Governor Palin’s district-hopping campaign efforts.


Mr. Agnew would, perhaps, have loved to use the words of Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, who at a critical time in the Hurricane Kristina recovery effort in 2005, warned reporters not to get “stuck on stupid!” The first question at the press conference brought the response, “See, you’re stuck on stupid.”


Sarah Palin isn’t “stuck on stupid,” like her party, which it would seem is more infected with the “Green Eyed Monster” syndrome. Keep your powder dry and your eye on the target, Governor!


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