He really doesn’t know how to handle Palin’s popularity, and it’s affecting him. Yesterday on the Corner, Byron noted one example of how Marshall has lost his composure. I myself noticed that Marshall called Palin “laughably ignorant” the other day, all because she pointed out that Fannie and Freddie aren’t wearing any clothes, and never have been. Now Marshall is stopping just short of calling Palin a child-abuser:
Now it comes out that before she even became governor — and was in a position to abuse her power of office — Palin had to be warned by the judge in the divorce case that her harassment of Wooten amounted to “a form of child abuse.”
The quote, in context, from the Newsweek story:
Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten’s behavior and character. “Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse,” the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: “Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs [sic] the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives.”
Another quote from the same judge, in the same Newsweek story:
“It is the mother’s [Hackett's] responsibility to set boundaries for her relatives and insure [sic] they respect them, and the disparagement by either parent, or their surrogates is emotional child abuse,” Judge Suddock wrote. He added that: “If the court finds it is necessary due to disparagement in the Mat-Su Valley [the area north of Anchorage where Palin and her extended family live], for the children’s best interests, it [the court] will not hesitate to order custody to the father and a move into Anchorage.”
Does Marshall accept Suddock’s argument here? Does he agree that Palin’s disparagement of Michael Wooten is a form of child abuse? If Wooten really did threaten Palin’s family, did she commit child abuse when she registered a complaint against him with the state police?
What about those terrible situations where the worst allegations against one parent are true? If you badmouth this parent such that his kids might find out, is it child abuse? Is it contingent on your relationship to the parent? To the child? On the gravity of the parent’s offense? Has Marshall given any thought to these questions, or is he just linking to any attack on Palin he can find?
Of course, it should be noted that Josh Marshall has never disparaged anyone. He has especially not called anyone with small, impressionable children “laughably ignorant” or said of them, “not a single word that comes out of her mouth… is anything but a lie.”