Where are the NON Pro-American Areas of This Great Nation, Sarah?

BlogHer Original Post

I came home from working in my son's Kindergarten today to find Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin had made what appears to be a gaffe.

I hope.

Speaking in North Carolina, Palin declared that she loved to visit the 'pro-America' areas of the country.

Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post's blog The Trail writes, " No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.

An obvious candidate might be California -- a state Palin has campaigned in -- because, as she told the audience, she and McCain have encountered problems enlisting famous performers in their cause."

The McCain campaign immediately sought to clarify the remarks. Eilperin updates,

"The upshot? Washington, D.C., is neither 'real America' nor 'pro-America.' Other parts of the nation? It's unclear, but if you live in a small town, you're probably patriotic from Palin's point of view.

'We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe' -- here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers -- 'We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.'

She continued: 'This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.'"

Of course this immediately made me think of Michelle Obama's now infamous 'proud of her country' remarks and I wondered what, if any, fall-out would occur with Palin.

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan has called it quits on Palin,

"But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite—a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality."

But even with a few conservatives jumping ship, I think the fall-out of Palin's remarks will be minimal. Why? Because no one would ever question the white, Christian woman's patriotism and love for her country. Go ahead and ponder and discuss that angle, and feel free to challenge that notion.

Now I realize here at BlogHer we've been making a very real effort to stick to the issues, and while this may seem like a 'distraction' and not a 'real issue' I feel compelled to point it out. Not because this should change votes, not because I think this affects policy or platform, but because I think Palin is talking from a place I can't even comprehend.

If I can take the liberty of reading a bit into her remarks, spoken from North Carolina, Palin was talking to her base. The base of a party rallying against Senator Obama's and Biden with hate speech and touting their belief in prayer.

I have a very hard time reconciling the dynamics of that. Then I remember there are the extremist in my party. Those so far off the beaten path they firebomb car dealerships or preach their own version of hate.

So what are we to learn from this? That Michelle's comment came from a place many on the right couldn't understand, and Palin's comment came from a place many on the left can't understand.

However, I can't imagine either side going as far as to call either woman unpatriotic...but they do, and they will.

Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog

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