Calvin Freiburger

Sean Hannity Attacked for Calling Sarah Palin “Governor”

Posted on January 28 2010 4:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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It’s sometimes tempting to think that, with all the petty and stupid attacks against conservatives out there, we have to have seen it all.  But if there’s one lesson you should take to heart about the Left, it’s this: Never say never.  It can always get worse.

Today’s example is a recent post by True/Slant’s Austin Considine, who complains that Sean Hannity, while discussing last night’s State of the Union Address, had the idiotic, inexcusable, unmitigated gall to…refer to Governor Sarah Palin as, um, “Governor.”

Let’s get something straight. That’s to say, let’s underscore the obvious: Sarah Palin is not a governor. She’s not even a “governor” in ironi-quotes, which is what one might have called her during and after the 2008 presidential campaign. In fact, she doesn’t hold any form of public office whatsoever. The governorship she used to have was  abandoned before she finished her term. Experts are still deciphering her Twitter tweets to figure out exactly why she left.

You had to feel sorry for the next guest, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, who is actually a really real governor and commanded much less respect from Hannity, who couldn’t refrain from interrupting him every 30 seconds.

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?  Have you no shame, Mr. Hannity?  I can’t bear to watch any more…

I understand full well the standard etiquette with addressing former high office holders. I know that former presidents are still called “Mr. President.” I know it’s common to do the same for former governors.

It doesn’t change the fact that when Palin abandoned her office — an office she was trusted by the people of Alaska to serve to completion — she lost a lot of respect in my book. To have abandoned her post after two and-a-half years in favor of ultimately becoming an author and a paid talking head for Fox News is deplorable.

Really?  The fact that a talk show host is too cordial to a guest by referring to her with a title she once held?  That’s important enough to hit “publish” on?

We can debate the wisdom of Governor Palin’s decision to step down from the Alaska governorship (personally, I’m not convinced it was the wisest move, or that she’d be a great presidential candidate), but there’s no great mystery as to why she did it: she felt a governor constantly plagued by frivolous ethics complaints rather than doing the people’s business was not in the Alaskan taxpayers’ best interests, and she could be of more use to the country in other ways while the next governor pursued the same agenda she would have pursued anyway.  And, given Governor Palin’s role in the ObamaCare battle, she might have been right.

Considine’s insistence that “it has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with her politics” seems to be undermined by his complaints that Hannity and Governor Palin “are almost unbearable,” or his lamentation that she just wouldn’t “seem to go the hell away”—before she stepped down as governor.

Just for fun, I also dug up the aforementioned segment where Hannity supposedly won’t let poor Ed Rendell get a word in edgewise:

I’ll be the first to agree that Hannity regularly fields softballs to fellow conservatives, but I sure don’t see any disrespect towards Rendell here—just a lively exchange between two committed ideologues (Rendell himself credits Hannity for being “a fair guy”).

With the American people increasingly identifying themselves as conservatives and once-safe blue seats becoming increasingly vulnerable (even, we learned today, my home state’s Sen. Russ Feingold), liberals are going to have to do better than this if they want to improve their odds.  This job is almost getting too easy.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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