Politics is sleazy, and I’m quite used to dirt-digging, bogus allegations, wild exaggerations, and things blown out of proportion to their actual importance. I’ve seen so much mud-slinging over the years that I often think I’ve seen everything.
One of the first things I thought when I heard about Sarah Palin’s nomination was that she’d be subjected to especially ruthless and cruel scrutiny of the sort male politicians don’t generally have to endure. That’s because conservative women tend to be hated as by the left as “traitors,” while conservative men are seen as living up to the usual male-bashing stereotypes. Conservative women can expect to have their personal appearances, lives, even wardrobes mocked in a way that conservative men don’t. Thus, I am not surprised at all to see Sarah Palin widely ridiculed for having been a beauty pageant contestant, and I expect to see more. Feminist lefties like Maureen Dowd have the best of both worlds, for not only do they get to ridicule women with impunity, but they even get to claim that they (the insult-hurlers) are the ones really being insulted!

Palinistas, as they are called, love Sarah’s spunky, relentlessly quirky “Northern Exposure” story from being a Miss Alaska runner-up, and winning Miss Congeniality, to being mayor and hockey mom in Wasilla, a rural Alaskan town of 6,715, to being governor for two years to being the first woman ever to run on a national Republican ticket. (Why do men only pick women as running mates when they need a Hail Mary pass? It’s a little insulting.)
Sarah is a zealot, but she’s a fun zealot. She has a beehive and sexy shoes, and the day she’s named she goes shopping with McCain in Ohio for a cheerleader outfit for her daughter.

Sounds almost as bad as Condoleezza Rice being accused of shoe-shopping while people died. (Hey, don’t laugh! There’s another storm coming, and the shoes of conservative women are sure to be implicated* somehow….)
Dowd’s column is even titled “Vice in Go-Go Boots.” What is it about women and shoes, anyway? If Dowd were a man, I’d almost be inclined to call it a form of sexism…. Seriously, what national columnist would ever care this much about a male politician’s feet? (Well, there was Larry Craig, but no one accused him of wearing Go-Go boots….)
Accustomed as I am to such nonsense in politics, I was genuinely taken aback this morning by the latest charge (by the Kos camp) — that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy, and only pretended to give birth to a baby with Down’s syndrome.
One of the blogosphere’s better debunkers, John Hawkins, has photos showing an obviously pregnant Sarah Palin.
Not that an allegation like this should even need debunking, but who knows? Maybe the Palin Pregnancy Truthers are the left’s revenge for the Obama Birth Certificate Truthers… (What’s next? Will Palin get a stern scolding for having smoked marijuana?)
On the bright side, one of my problems is that I sometimes hate politics so much that I have to struggle to keep a sense of humor, but I face no such struggle today.
By injecting much-needed humor into the race with their antics, the Palin Pregancy Truthers have restored my faith.
Well, maybe almost.
(It’s time for a fake pregnant pause….)
* Such people still care deeply about Condoleezza Rice’s shoes.
MORE: “Footnote” added above. (I can say that, can’t I?)
AND MORE: Speaking of hurricanes, Glenn Reynolds links recent reporting from Brendan Loy that Hurricane Gustav is weakening:

Based on Gustav’s current location and forward speed, I’d say we’re looking at a six-hour window, or thereabouts. If the pressure doesn’t drop significantly by, say, the 5:00 PM advisory, we’ll probably be able to say we’ve dodged a bullet.

Not to politicize the weather (or make light of serious matters), but noted lefties have been suggesting that God is punishing the Republicans with this storm.
I don’t know what on earth God might be thinking, but considering what’s on some of the leading minds of the left, an inevitable question arises.
When will the coast be clear for conservative or libertarian women to buy shoes?