The continuing war against Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley

From Washington Post coverage of Sarah Palin’s email cache: “Palin, who since coined the phrase ‘Mama Grizzlies’ to warmly describe female conservatives, wrote an impassioned e-mail to an aide in March 2008 about criticism of female politicians: “ ‘they’ said the same thing throughout my career — ‘too young’, ‘pregnant’, ‘kids’ . . . ‘She won’t be able to do it’ . . . This coming from good ol’ boys who don’t like change . . . And so far along in my career we’ve proved them wrong at each turn.”

The good ol’ boys who don’t like change brought their women with them when they went after Palin in 2008. They also went after South Carolina’s new governor, Nikki Haley, with even more venom, reviving Old South strategies used effectively during Jim Crow.

Haley, a Tea Party favorite, could well be targeted for the absurd complaint against Boeing over the company’s decision to open a non-union airline production plant in South Carolina, federally guided action Tim Pawlenty compared to the Soviet Union.

But South Carolina’s Supreme Court is also going after Haley. As Greta Van Susteren of Fox reported, Haley was just shot down by the court because she tried to get legislators back during recess because they hadn’t finished their work. But the court said Haley only had the authority to ask them back in session in extraordinary circumstances.

“Here's what I find absolutely, completely bizarre, crazy, nuts, lunatic,” said Van Susteren. “It's bizarre. They are saying we never finish our business. And they are bragging, using that against you.”

But there is a Spider Woman quality that lurks behind these women: Like those who tapped the ancient Egyptian crypts, detractors seem dogged by bad luck: Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, David Letterman and most recently, NYTs editor Bill Keller, who was at the helm when the Times insinuated on its front page that Palin was somehow responsible for the mad shootings in Arizona. No magic to it, but an awareness, eventually, of management that Haley and Palin mark the awakening age and their reporters are guarding receding trends and old, outmoded agendas.

The Washington Post’s initial coverage of the Palin 24,000 emails, which hordes of reporters are filing through, is unprecedented, obviously intended to publicly embarrass her. It is a Watergate-sized intimidation, although no crime has been committed. Are they looking through Romney’s emails? Pawlenty’s?

But press leads today are remarkably even-handed, suggesting the political culture is finally catching up to Palin and Haley and getting on the bus: “A cache of emails released Friday add vivid new color and fresh details to the complicated public portrait of Sarah Palin, who displayed many of the same strengths, and shortcomings, as Alaska governor that she would later bring to the national political stage.”

From McClatchy Newspapers: “Emails released yesterday from Sarah Palin’s time as Alaska’s governor show a double-fisted BlackBerry user fully comfortable with handling nearly every aspect of state government from her private and state email accounts.”

The Telegraph (UK): “The trove of more than 13,000 emails detailing almost every aspect of Sarah Palin’s governorship of Alaska, released late on Friday, paints a picture of her as an idealistic, conscientious, humorous and humane woman slightly bemused by the world of politics.”

Prediction: This will bring an Ollie North moment. In July 1987, Oliver North, a Marine colonel, was called to testify before televised hearings of a joint congressional committee that was investigating Iran-Contra. Cards of support that came in were left in piles on the desk. The show trial attempts flipped and Col. North became an overnight national folk hero. Likewise Haley and Palin will rise.

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