September 10, 2008, - 2:51 pm

End the Hyperbole: Palin is Not Pontius Pilate (Nor Reagan, Thatcher)

By Debbie Schlussel
There is way too much hyperbole about Sarah Palin . . . on both sides of the aisle.
The worst is Congressman Steve Cohen. He’s the last person who should be calling Gov. Sarah Palin “Pontius Pilate.” As a Jew, he well knows this is an anti-Semitic slur. As a kid and in college (and sometimes still), I was called a “Judas” or “Pontius Pilate” or “Christ Killer” by anti-Semites (on the right AND the left). Joe Gelman of NeoCon Express, a fellow Jew, also acknowledges this bigoted remark as unacceptable. (And Obama is no Jesus, either, contrary to Cohen’s claim.)

Cohen was recently the victim, himself, of anti-Semitic advertising by a Democratic primary opponent, Black candidate Nikki Tinker who–in one ad–criticized those who “don’t attend our churches” and then tried to link him to the Klan–in another ad. He was justifiably upset about the vicious, bigoted, anti-Semitic and racist attacks. And it backfired. So, now, he feels called to engage in hypocrisy and use these anti-Semitic slurs on her? It’s a double standard of the vilest kind.
The second worst was a comment a reader sent me comparing the anti-Palin US Magazine article to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Please. While totally biased against Palin, did the US Magazine cover story really rise to the level of propaganda that sent Six Million Jews to the ovens and other brutal deaths? Not even close. Not even in the same universe. Sorry, but Goebbels and his buddies sent people to the next world as lampshades. Don’t even go there and compare a magazine article about a woman who is alive and well and about to become Vice President to the PR machine for the mass murder of 11 million people.
And then there are the comparisons of Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Sorry, but she’s neither of these (and in Thatcher’s case, that’s partially good, since Thatcher was solidly in the back pockets of Islamofascists who basically own England).
What would be good–once and for all–is to stop comparing Sarah Palin to various personalities, bad and good, and look at her own record. That’s what I’ve tried to do on this site.
Outrageous, vicious attacks (on the left) and blind gushing (from the right) are completely useless. The woman deserves neither, though the former is far more outrageous than the latter.
Bottom Line: Rep. Cohen’s attack on Palin is absurd and uncalled for. As a Jew, I’m embarrassed.

15 Responses

Blind Hate and Blind Worship are the two extremes of human nature. Of course blind hate does tend to make good people prone to overlook and forgive the flaws in the one being attacked because the attacks are so outrageous. We have to remember that even good people are just people. Let’s look at them fairly and judge them on the merits. But when you have partisans dominating the airwaves, that can be hard to do. Debbie, it would be easier for you to just be completely partial except that popularity in human beings tends to be evanescent. Its not the best judge of their greatness. Just keep on with the job you’ve been doing!

NormanF on September 10, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Of course part of this on both sides is the dumbing down of politics that you mentioned in your previous post. People for the most part cannot think logically anymore, and cannot look at current events in a reasoned logical way.
Because of this, they react like they do in most other areas based on immediate impulses, influenced more by emotion than by thought.
Looking at Cohen, his remarks,as you indicate are deplorable and demagogic. Even though he won the primary comfortably he is still in a majority black district, and can expect to be challenged again in 2010 (assuming he wins this time), and may be trying to build a record that could withstand challenge by a more creditable opponent than he had this time.
In a society that is governed more and more by how we feel than how we think, I am afraid this type of adulation and hero worship will become more and more common.

c f on September 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Where are the feminists who cried sexism when Hillary was being attacked via campaign ads followed by her resignation of her presidential candidacy? Have they suddenly gone deaf on attack ads against Palin?
I’m not too thrilled about the McCain Palin ticket but it just astonishes me how the feminists are not that vocal in expressing their outrage against these fabricated scandals made against Palin from the Obama campaign. The radical feminists have been screaming about the women being underneath glass ceiling. Here comes along a woman who finally shatteres the glass ceiling by breaking the record for being first woman to be choosen for the VP ticket in American history. The leftits are still not satisfied.Instead we see vicious attack ads and derogatory statements being made about Palin which I find to be disgraceful and blatant sexist.

American Sabrah on September 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

I just heard about Carol (South Carolina Democratic chairman) Fowler’s abortion comment and I thought it was the most insufferably stupid and tasteless remark I ever heard from a party chairman! The Democrats have taken complete leave of their senses if they think the only thing that defines women is abortion! And its one-dimensional too!

NormanF on September 10, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I agree that Palin is overhyped, but the true test of her desirability is comparing her to the other likely VP picks. I take Palin over Lieberman, Ridge, Pawlenty, et al. any day of the week.
I am surprised that you are so obviously not enjoying the introduction of the anti-PC antivirus that Palin represents to Obamaism.
The Obama campaign is embarrassing itself by focusing on taking out the GOP #2. We are about to saved from Carter 2.0. This is grounds for rejoicing. At this point, I would take Sarah Palin over Bush or McCain for that matter.
Not saying she is another Reagan. But she is not a Dole, Ford, or Bush either. While Reagan had great Pro-American instincts, his political ideology took decades to fully develop. Palin still has time. She could still get better. At the very least, I don’t think DC is going to change her one bit.

JSobieski on September 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I think there is something more going on with Palin. Granted, part of it is similar to the mindless adulation for Obama, but I think that tens of millions of people feel a diffuse hostility to the elites, whom they correctly perceive, consciously or not, as being soft on defense, against mainstream values in a general sense, and see the elites as people who are ridiculing them.
They sense that Palin doesn’t feel that way, and regardless of the defects in her positions, I think they are right to a significant degree. Bush went farther than he had planned, by rejecting Miers and selecting Alito because of a groundswell of opposition. If McCain/Palin get elected, I think the groundswell that will inevitably have been created is likely to continue and may move McCain (and Palin) more to the right than they might otherwise want to go.
If something like this doesn’t happen sooner or later, we are likely to go the way of Europe.

c f on September 10, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I’m a little weak on the Bible, but I don’t think Jesus Christ was a “community organizer” in the sense being used by these people. Didn’t he say something about “my kingdom is not of this world?” on September 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Uh? Pontius “Pilate was a Governor”? Man the Dems are grasping at straws. Not to mention desperate. What is the deal with his hair?

dannygirl on September 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Debbie’s liberal movie critic counterpart, Roger Ebert, made his foray into politics:
And how can you be her age and never have gone to Europe? … Sarah Palin’s travel record is that of a hopeless provincial. … Palin is a shallow, chirpy person with those vaguely alarming eyeglasses. Now her fans all want a pair. Remember back when women wore glasses that departed their ears in plastic swoops and swirls? My theory is, anyone who wears glasses that look weird is telling me something I don’t want to know. I trust the American people will see through Palin’s facade, and save the Republic in November. The most damning indictment against her is that she considered herself a good choice to be a heartbeat away. That shows bad judgment.
Its all about facade with the Left. They should know something about with Obama who does have a life story but can’t tell it because it would bring up his radical past. Besides that, Sarah looks positively ordinary, including her never having a passport most of her life and I think most Americans would see shunning Europe as a plus!

NormanF on September 10, 2008 at 9:10 pm

you can put dipstick on a liberal, but at the end of the day….
oh never mind.. it’s redundant anyway…

Mistress_Dee on September 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm

i think comparing Palin to Reagan is DEAD ON!!!
BOTH are charismatic leaders like a certain *Herr* Hitler that have the ability to mobilize a xenophobic cuntry of morons—and since you probably don’t know much about ‘Christian’ theology—anti-Semitism started with a Jew…Saul of Tarsus.

EminemsRevenge on September 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I’d say you need to go back about 1500 years before that to find the start of anti-semitism, Eminem.. seems to me that it at least started when the Egyptians began to fear the Hebrews’ expanding population within their borders after Joseph’s brothers took up residence. I think your “Hitler” correlary expresses the same lack of depth in knowledge and overt eagerness to slam Christianity and conservatism in the process….
Dislike Palin all you want, but those reasons, like pigs, don’t fly lol

Mistress_Dee on September 10, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Ebert:”And how can you be her age and never have gone to Europe?”…Why specifically *Europe*, as opposed to China, India, Russia, or Africa?
Methinks Ebert is demonstrating his own provincialism, of exactly the kind one would expect from a stereotypical snob.

The worst is Congressman Steve Cohen. He’s the last person who should be calling Gov. Sarah Palin “Pontius Pilate.” As a Jew, he well knows this is an anti-Semitic slur.

Jack Bauer on September 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm

I’ve never been to Europe either, and have no desire to go there. Previously, I wanted to go there to look at the art museums, but everything is now online. The people who go to Europe for the most part just absorb the affectations and phony intellectualism.
Also read an article on Politico today that the Republican Foreign Policy Establishment is down on Palin. I take that as positive; they think she’s a wild card. Hard to imagine she’d be worse than Bush I or II. Also noticed Huckabee says the ‘pig’ debate should close. I think he wants Palin to lose. If she wins, she pockets the evangelical vote & he loses any potential base if he wants to run in 2012.

c f on September 11, 2008 at 6:42 pm

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