The Corner

First Sarah Palin, Now Michele Bachmann

One of the most disgusting political spectacles of my lifetime has been the single-minded effort of the Left to destroy Sarah Palin. Without burdening the readers with a litany of links, we all remember the “not a real woman” comments, the stalking author/neighbor, the hacking scandal, the recent (enthusiastic) fishing expedition through thousands of e-mails, and the vile insults from academics, politicians, and celebrities alike. The goal: to banish her to the fringe of American life, to turn her into a figure of mockery and contempt.

Now, apparently, the Left has decided it’s Michele Bachmann’s turn. Already a hate figure on fringe media outlets like MSNBC, the MSM is piling on. Slate asked if she can be president and still believe in biblical gender roles, ABC News is recycling stories from The Nation about her husband’s counseling centers (where, try as they might, they cannot show a single unethical practice), The Daily Beast gave space to Michelle Goldberg to talk about Bachmann’s alleged “unrivaled extremism,” and the Washington Post’s lifestyle section dedicated several thousand words to a scornful profile of Bachmann’s husband, Marcus.

Why the hate? The secular feminist world view was built around multiple destructive cultural lies: motherhood is a barrier to self-actualization, orthodox religion traps women unhappily in the home, and the only real path to power and happiness is exploding, not upholding, traditional religious values. Yet a mother of five (with 23 foster children), happily married in a Christian family, and who proudly espouses the very traditional values most repugnant to the academic feminist Left is a leading candidate for the most powerful office in the world. She is a living refutation of their foundational beliefs, and — like Sarah Palin — she must be destroyed.

As we enter a primary season where Republican infighting threatens to reach a crescendo, I hope we can learn a lesson from Sarah Palin’s ordeal. You may or may not support Michele Bachmann for president, but we can (and should) defend her against the coming ideological onslaught, an onslaught that is aimed at her but whose real targets are the core values that govern many of our lives.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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