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“Conservative” Kathleen Parker Outdoes Leftie Joan Walsh in Palin Derangement Syndrome

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Posted on August 8 2009 8:04 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.

Here’s an etiquette tip for Kathleen Parker, self-appointed arbiter of what’s acceptable for conservatives to do–and be–while mixing with polite society: When a radical moonbat like Salon.com;s Joan Walsh effuses that your column is “awesome,” you should pause to reconsider your arguments, not flutter your eyelids and say “Thank you.”

Palin Derangement Syndrome (“PDS”) reached a new high (or low) on Chris Matthews’s MSNBC show Hardball Wednesday night,, when Parker essentially called Palin an illiterate tool for racists, to the delight of Matthews and Walsh.

Parker, a Washington Post columnist who instantly became one of the mainstream media’s favorite “conservatives” when she was one of the first to blast the Palin pick by John McCain, outdid herself in a recent column. While “A Tip for The GOP: Look Away” was ostensibly about Ohio Senator George Voinovich’s recent comments that the Republican Party is being ruined by “Southerners,” Parker couldn’t resist mixing in a little northern exposure.

Even lines like “Southern Republicans, it seems, have seceded from sanity,” are not enough, you see, to guarantee an invite to the cocktail circuit and garner media appearances. No, for that you need to throw into a tired rehash of the GOP’s supposed racist “southern strategy,” slurs like this:

That same rage was on display again in the fall of 2008, but this time the frenzy was stimulated by a pretty gal with a mocking little wink. Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee [author of To Kill a Mockingbird] heard the dog whistle.

Fellow PDS sufferer Chris Matthews could hardly contain his glee. “I’ve never seen a stronger column in the newspapers,” he gushed. And opened his segment with the question: “Kathleen, ‘heard the dog whistle.’ Is Sarah Palin a poster girl for racism? Yes or no?”

Parker’s weak response? “Not consciously.” But lest you think she was conceding a moral point to Palin, read on. Parker was merely suggesting that illiterate Sarah Palin had never heard of one of America’s best loved and most celebrated novels, Harper Lee’s classic book.

Read the self-satirical exchange for yourself.

MATTHEWS: Not consciously?

PARKER: Not consciously. I don`t think — I certainly don’t think she, Sarah Palin, knows anything about Harper Lee or this deep history in the South, where you don’t position a white woman and a black male and pretend like there’s nothing happening there. There’s a deep, deep history. That’s why I mentioned, dropped the Harper Lee in there. You want to talk about the Southern Strategy…

MATTHEWS: Well, it’s like To Kill a Mockingbird. I just saw it again, one of the great movies ever, where the white woman claimed that she’d been, you know, molested, whatever, by this totally innocent black guy.

PARKER: Right.

MATTHEWS: And she was believed for no reason, except she said so.

PARKER: Right. Look — and please let me be really, really clear. I’m not saying Sarah Palin did that. I’m just saying that there’s this subliminal level, subliminal level of communication that goes on. The Southern Strategy has always been — well, since they stopped using the N-word and being explicit about what they’re trying to do with race and, you know, creating this “us versus them” dynamic, it became increasingly vague through the years. You started talking about states rights at a certain point. Then you started talking about, you know, these wedge issues like gay marriage and on and on. But ultimately, it’s always about an “us and them” dynamic.

JOAN WALSH: Right.

PARKER: And Sarah Palin’s really very good at that. And she is, you know, when she plays her populist role, there’s no one better at it.

MATTHEWS: Is she connecting the dots, Joan, among Henry Louis Gates [the black Harvard professor who irresponsibly accused a white Cambridge sergeant of racism] , the birther movement, the [Supreme Court Justice nomineeSotomayor testimony and confirmation questioning, so tribalistic? There’s no doubt about it. All that stuff has become very tribalistic, something we thought we’d begun to crack in this country. Uh, is Sarah the dog whistle that says, “yeah, that’s what it’s about”?

WALSH: I think Sarah Palin’s overall message is one of “us versus them.”  I think that she took the lead on the campaign trail — and you and I talked about it back in September and October, Chris — in really making Obama “the other.” She would literally say things like, you know, we don’t know enough about him. We’re not sure where he’s from. She would talk about the regular America, you know, and palling around with terrorists. We’ve taken that apart. So she was the person, not John McCain — maybe behind the scenes the McCain people were encouraging her, but she had a real zest for it, you know. She did it with a real zing and panache. She really, you know, she had that visceral appearance of enjoying it when she was really saying some pretty hateful and not founded things. Barack Obama is one of us. He’s very much so. The only thing different about him is–he’s black. He’s our first black President. And, you know, I think we’ve made enormous racial progress. I don’t want to, and I know Kathleen doesn’t want to overstate what’s going on right now. But we’re in a moment right now with the birthers, with the reaction to the Gates affair, with the trashing of Sonia Sotomayor, and, you know, even John McCain saying he’s not going to vote for her, where the Republican party seems, seems to believe that its best route is tribalism and scaring people. Whether they’re scaring people about Obama is going to take away your health care or they’re scaring you about we don’t know what he’s about; he’s a Muslim, he’s a socialist, it’s fear. The tactic is fear and fear alone. And I loved Kathleen’s column. It was awesome.

PARKER: Thank you.

To sum up Parker’s Political Etiquette:

  • 1. If a black man is on one ticket, a white woman cannot be on the other.
  • 2. If the above ever happens, the woman cannot campaign in the South.
  • 3. Said woman can never, ever, seem to enjoy connecting with the crowd.
  • 4. Democrats can say that people who come to town halls are Nazis, health insurers are profiting off your misery, Homeland Security under Republicans are reading your emails, and Big Oil is stealing your kids’ lunch money; but if a Republican says government is taking too much of your paycheck, socialized medicine is a bad idea, marriage is for a man and a woman, law-abiding citizens have a right to defend themselves, environmentalists should not keep us from cheap, efficient energy supplies, and unborn babies have a right to live, that’s divisive “us vs. them” politics and probably racist to boot.

But wait, there’s more!

After Matthews invoked a suspect poll commissioned by the leftwing hatefest website, The Daily Kos, asserting that a majority of Southerners will not affirm President Obama’s birth status, the conversation became, if anything, even more surreal.

Matthews begged the question, “So why is the South alone in this regard? Not Northeast, not Midwest, not West. But the South stands out there uniquely and regionally and racially opposed to this guy?”

While Walsh didn’t bite, saying “I’m not sure,” Parker had the answer:

PARKER: One word, Chris, one word: Confederacy. I mean, you know, the South is very, I live there, okay? I want to make that clear, too, because I`m not bashing southerners. I love the South and I am a southerner. But-

MATTHEWS: But 40 percent of those states like yours are black.

PARKER: It’s part of the history.

MATTHEWS: So it’s the 60 percent that are white!

PARKER: It’s part of the culture to be secessionist.

MATTHEWS: Like Rick Perry effectively is?

PARKER: To always view the federal government as the enemy. And it`s very, yeah, yes, I can’t, I can’t-

MATTHEWS: How about Palin? Let’s talk about Palin. Palin has attacked New York, Washington and Los Angeles. She goes after the government, after the media, after Hollywood.  Anything that’s on the coast is evil to her. She’s an Alaskan who, I bet you any money, is going to spend most of her time down in the middle parts of the country, the rural white parts. She’s going to find those cul de sacs of whitedom, and exploit the hell out of them, right?

Saturday Night Live’s Darryl Hammond couldn’t outdo this in a satical Hardball sketch. At least if the Washington Post goes bankrupt like so many other liberal newspapers, Kathleen Parker can find a home for her PDS at Salon.com. Hopefully their health insurance covers psychological pre-existing conditions.

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