This would be especially true if we were living in the 19th century, which is where Chris Cillizza seems to be spending his time if this article is any indication, The Sarcasm Of Sarah Palin. Oh, yes - let's talk about Palin's sarcasm directed at Obama.
You may recall that before, much ado was made about Hillary Clinton mocking - MOCKING - The One. How DARE she?? Harrumph. Never mind her vast experience and qualifications over this wet-behind-the-ears first term senator for whom being in the Senate was only his SECOND full time job (organizing a community that had already organized itself before he started there, and finished its task after he left). Women, proper women, do not conduct themselves like that, certainly not in public, and most DEFINITELY not at the expense of a man.
And then there is Sarah Palin:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered a well-received speech on Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, an address defined -- as almost all of her public pronouncements have been in the 18 months since she emerged on the national political scene -- by a stinging sense of sarcasm.
In her speech, Palin took her now-familiar stance as a wry critic of the Obama Administration.
"Yes we can spread the wealth around," she said.
Palin questioned President Obama's stance on nuclear weapons, mocking "all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer and as a part time Senator."
"How's that hopey, changey thing working for you now," she asked.
Line after line was received with thunderous applause by the 3,500 (or so) party activists and leaders assembled in New Orleans for what was widely billed as the first cattle call of the 2012 presidential race.
What Palin's speech -- and the reception it enjoyed in the room -- was that in a certain segment of the Republican base she is absolutely revered. Her sarcasm played deftly to the outrage/anger that many people at SRLC clearly felt and the reviews in the room were over-the-top supportive of Palin.
But, the sarcasm-laden speech also seemed to typify the fact that Palin is more comfortable playing to those who already love her rather than to reaching out to those who take a more skeptical stance.
Sarcasm rarely plays well in politics -- particularly among the independent voters who typically decide elections. It's why naturally sarcastic pols -- President Obama among them -- largely avoid any wise-cracking in public.
Um, Chris, were you living in a hole in 2008?? Did you miss Obama's sarcasm toward John McCain during the Election? Evidently. Even if Chris WAS living in a hole, a simple Google check could have disproved his thesis from the get-go, but hey, when he can use Palin as a punching bag, why bother? He continues:
Palin seems to be pursuing a different path -- growing more rather than less sarcastic the longer she spends on the national stage. (Remember that Palin's first ever major speech -- at the 2008 Republican National Convention -- showed glimpses of a sarcastic Palin but by and large was a study in earnestness.)
Palin's sarcasm strategy will almost certainly affirm to some within the party's base that she is their most able combatant against Obama. But, for others -- Republicans and independents alike -- it's likely to sow some doubts about whether she is up to the task of governing if she is elected to the nation's top office.
(Worth noting: While Palin received some of the loudest applause from the SRLC crowd, it was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who didn't even attend the event, who walked away with a win in the straw poll.)
For Palin to move beyond her comfort zone of Republican base politics and into ground as a serious candidate for president in 2012, she will almost certainly have to significantly scale down the sarcasm in her speeches.
Of course, if Palin has decided (or does decide) not to run for president then her current rhetorical style virtually ensures further commercial success for her books, speech and the rest of the growing Palin Inc. empire.
And, as always, predicting Palin's next move in politics is an impossible task. Stay tuned.
How dare she. How DARE Palin use criticism with Obama! Women are not supposed to do this.
Obama sure can, though. Magically, when he does it, it is just A-Okay. Remember his response to Palin over her criticism? He said:
"I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.
Neither are you, Obama. But hey, that hasn't stopped YOU from spouting off on any number of issues about which you know zip, zero, nothing.
Yes, Obama can be as snarky and sarcastic as he wants, being a man and all. Like when he said this about Hillary Clinton:
Then, laughing along with the union audience, Obama noted that Clinton seemed much more interested in guns since he made his comments than she had in the past.
''She is running around talking about how this is an insult to sportsmen, how she values the Second Amendment. She's talking like she's Annie Oakley,'' Obama said, invoking the famed female sharpshooter.
He continued: ''Hillary Clinton is out there like she's on the duck blind every Sunday. She's packing a six-shooter. Come on, she knows better.''
Wow. Talk about winning hearts and minds during the Primary. Oh, that's right - all of those young folks with no sense of decorum thought this kind of ad hominem attack was just peachy keen-o.
Winning over the other side seems to be another concern Cillizza has. I guess he means making sarcastic comments like this about the other party:
You know, I am so sick and tired of this double standard. It is fine and dandy for Obama to make deprecating, belittling, sarcastic comments to Hillary throughout the Primaries (I am sure you can name some others), fine for him to do the same to McCain, and Palin, during the Election, fine for him to do it to Palin, and the Republicans, heck - ANYONE who doesn't think he walks on water - and that he's "funny," "witty," and "quick on his feet." Please.
Maybe Chris can't stand that a woman like Palin can be a leader while being engaging, beautiful, AND funny. I readily admit, she is not as smart as Hillary is. Few people are, including The One. But you'll notice, Hillary doesn't get a whole lot of "face time" since becoming Secretary of State anymore, thus she is not as much of a threat to Obama. Palin, and the people she represents, are more of a threat. And if she uses sarcasm to get her point across, she is doing nothing that The One isn't doing regularly.
We get to be sarcastic, too, Chris. Join the 21st century already and stop pushing this ridiculous double standard.