If Matthew Continetti were a liberal journalist writing about a charismatic (or even a colorless) Democratic governor who had suffered the same treatment from the media that Sarah Palin did, his book The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star would make him the toast of the smart set, with this book warmly reviewed in any number of newspapers while he would be featured on talk shows where he would be lionized.
And a conversation he recounted with Gene Therriault would cause editors in newsrooms along the New York to Washington corridor and in Los Angeles to dispatch to investigate a claim that former Alaska state senator made. For, they would surely want to show just how the Republican National Committee sought to grind business to a halt in that governor’s state in order to destroy the popular Democratic chief executive.
But, Sarah Palin is a Republican not a Democrat. And while the media may find it newsworthy when Republicans engage in the politics of personal destruction, when Democrats do the same thing, well, it’s a necessary good, er, um, evil. While Palin had worked with legislators on both sides of the political aisle in her first two years as chief executive of the Last Frontier, after she had become a political celebrity in the 2008 campaign, things changed in Juneau.
According to Therriault, after last fall’s election,
The call went out from the national Democratic Party to take her down. Some of the Democrats who worked with her previously took their marching orders.
As a result, Continetti writes, “Gridlock ensued. Bipartisan comity was no more. Anybody who had the opportunity to score political points against Palin took a shot.”
Now, maybe what Therriault says is not entirely accurate, but, well, if he were a Democrat talking about the Republican party, don’t you think some in the media would investigate?
Unlike some politicians who merely build their campaigns on claims of post-partisanship, Palin had defined her administration by working across party lines. But, Democrats, hellbent on destroying Palin, decided that with the spotlight shining on this woman, they could no longer her govern as she once had. It might upset the image they had created of her as a divisive partisan. For the sake of their party, Democrats threw a wrench into the workings of the Alaska government. No wonder Mrs. Palin resigned (a resignation Continetti explains better than she herself has).
With the release of Mrs. Palin’s book, perhaps the real record of her achievements will trickle out, but there are some who refuse to pay it any heed, lest it upset their image of this accomplished woman.