John Fund has an interesting OP-ED in today’s Wall Street Journal on “Why Palin Quit.” In a nutshell, he says that the Beltway media have likely gotten it wrong. Fund suggests that there may not have been any political strategery involved in this decision to resign the governorship. The reasons for her departure were uncomplicated. Not only were Palin’s legal bills piling up due to frivolous ethics complaints, but her family was also taking a beating in the press. Fund writes:
“Ms. Palin gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome in 2008, and also has a six-year old. Everyone in the family was weary of endless personal attacks, including mean-spirited suggestions on liberal blogs that all of her children should have been aborted and that she would run on a presidential platform promoting retardation.”
One can only imagine what kind of a toll such venom took on Palin’s family. Fund concludes,
“Ms. Palin mostly likely will not run for president — in 2012, at least. She made many mistakes after suddenly being thrust into the national spotlight last year, but hasn’t merited the sneering contempt visited upon her by national reporters. She simply was not their kind of feminist — and they disdained the politically incorrect life choices she had made.
“In helping to convince Sarah Palin that her road forward in national politics would demand even more sacrifices and pain than exacted from most politicians, the media did nothing to encourage women or people of modest means to participate in politics.”
I am not a Palin-apologist. In the 2008 campaign, I liked her views but not her candidacy. She delivered a barn-burner of a speech at the Republican National Convention but was not up to the task in subsequent interviews where there was no script. To me it seemed she was not quite ready for prime time.
That being said, I think that some of the attacks on her and her family have been unconscionable and completely out-of-bounds. Fund does well to point out this fact. Who can blame her for wanting to spare her family another year and a half of such abuse?