- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

With George Bush off the front pages for much of the last few months, the political pathology known as Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) took an unexpected summer hiatus.

BDS sufferers - liberal Democrats seething over successive presidential election losses and hamstrung by a Republican president confidently wielding wartime authority - failed to transfer their enmity to Sen. John McCain, largely because they couldn’t bust his “maverick” brand, but to a larger extent because they assumed Sen. Barack Obama was going to win in a laugher.

That presumption ended when Mr. McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Before Charlie Gibson could even grill the Alaska governor over her “hubris” in accepting Mr. McCain’s historic invitation, the raw rage that focused for eight years on the 43rd president of the United States transferred in a flash to a former “Miss Congeniality” and Anchorage suburban mother of five who immediately swung the momentum to Mr. McCain’s side.

Palin Derangement Syndrome, a more irrational variant of the Bush contagion, doesn’t require sufferers to know anything about the subject of their hatred. Anonymous, unsourced rumors fuel the fire (book banning, speaking in tongues, creationism, etc.). Lovely family photos hacked from a personal e-mail account displayed on commercial Web sites push more buttons. Asterisks from Mrs. Palin’s biographical sketch - “moose hunter,” “small-town mayor,” “wife of champion snow machine racer” - cause excessive sweating and irregular heartbeats. She even fired a guy who Tased a 10-year-old. (Oh wait, she didn’t.)

What will happen when they find out she shops at Wal-Mart?

Predictably, the celebrity left - ridiculous enough to form a strong opinion based on unreliable data points and narcissistic enough to broadcast it - has taken to stage, television, newsprint and blogs to express its extreme ire at the Thrilla from Wasilla.

Sandra Bernhard celebrated the 20th anniversary of her career-ending one-woman show, “Without You I’m Nothing,” warning that if Mrs. Palin were to go to Manhattan she’d be “gang-raped by [her] big black brothers.” The lipstick-on-a-pig lesbian also called Mrs. Palin a “bitch” and an “Uncle Woman.”

Joyless niche comedian Margaret Cho blogged, “She is evil,” fantasized about having hateful sex with Mrs. Palin and attacked a multitude of her supporters: “If you were truly Christians, you would let gays get married, and send them #$%ng presents from Bed Bath and Beyond!”

Everything-aholic Lindsay Lohan (“Mean Girls”) joined the Sapphic pile-on by issuing a joint diatribe with her putative partner, disc jockey Samantha Ronson: “Is our country so divided that the Republicans’ best hope is a narrow-minded, media-obsessed homophobe?”

“Media obsessed?” Those cameras follow Mrs. Palin because she’s running for vice president. Not because she’s going to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - like some people we know.

Not since Rosie O’Donnell & Co. manhandled Elizabeth Hasselbeck weekdays on “The View” have liberals been so gleeful to watch a bitter lesbian tear down a confident and beautiful conservative Republican woman. Unresolved high school lust and angst at well-adjusted cheerleaders and popular prom queens should be left for medical professionals, not for midmorning television gabfests.

For many, gay marriage is a key issue.

Yet none of these gilded-ghetto living haters point out that their savior, Mr. Obama, stands against gay marriage, too. Is that change Melissa Etheridge can believe in?

Like President Clinton, who supported regressive anti-gay-rights legislation such as “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act, Mr. Obama gets a massive pass from the activist gay left and their stenographers in the mainstream media.

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