The conservative world continues to struggle to understand why much of the rest of American simply does not like Sarah Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (D-Minn.). Today O’Reilly resurrected an old theory to explain the dislike of Bachmann and Palin. According to O’Reilly, liberals and others do not like both women because they are both so “good-looking.” (Video to the left). O’Reilly’s political assessment gains approval from the crew at Fox & Friends, and hence the dislike of both women is explained.
Liberals would, of course, beg to differ.
First, it is worth noting that liberals are not the only group expressing a dislike for Palin. A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that 57% of voters had an unfavorable view of Palin. Unless O’Reilly believes 57% of America calls themselves “liberal,” he must concede the dislike of Palin extends beyond the liberal world. Polling for Bachmann is not available.
Secondly, liberals have frequently given other justifications for their rejection of Palin. Jon Stewart may have put it best when he explained that Palin seems to be nothing more than an “conservative boilerplate Mad Lib” who spews empty rhetoric without providing any real solution to the most serious problems the country faces. As Stewart put it, when one pulls back the “pretty layers of the Palin onion, there’s no onion.” Stephen Colbert also expressed some of this liberal frustration with Palin as “a self-promoting ignoramus, and at worst a shameless media troll who will abuse any platform to deliver dog whistle encouragement to a far-right base, that may include possible insurrectionists.”
Bachmann has some of the same issues. Her appeals for more “less taxes” and more “spending cuts” plays well with her Tea Party base, but she has never presented a plan that reduces taxes and cuts spending while still balancing the budget. Liberals were also bothered when Bachmann called for an investigation into the patritotism of congressional members during the Bush administration.
For liberals, the real question is not why they dislike her, which by now has been thoroughly explained, but instead why many conservatives still love her. Despite making numerous serious public errors, and potentially costing the Republicans the Senate with her endorsements of people like Christine O’Donnell in 2010, many people like O’Reilly still stand beside Palin. Liberals might accuse the “Palinites” of being more fascinated with Palin’s looks than her brains.