Seventh grade boys are funny. They are so out of touch with their emotions, or as Joanne Deak would say, “they haven’t stretched their emotionally expressive rubberbands yet,” that whenever they like a girl, they hit her. Usually it’s a pretty decent strike, around the shoulder or shoulder blades, as they sprint by laughing. I’ve had to explain this to many seventh grade girls, because they are bewildered why the boy they’ve been making eyes at and practicing his last name in their notebook (Mrs. Jennifer Smith, with a flourish and heart-dotted i’s) keeps attacking them.
So it is with Governor Palin. She’s infatuated with higher education, really wants a quality one since she only got bits and pieces in the four year-five school tour de force that was her secondary experience. And so she attacks the Columbia University/Harvard Law School Graduate (University of Chicago Law School Professor) by saying that he has dangerous associations. First she tried to say “Obama is palling around with [University of Chicago Education Professor] Bill Ayers.” Now she says, “he has ties to [Columbia Univeristy Middle Eastern Studies Professor] Rashid Khalidi.” This coming from the woman who didn’t manage to stay at one college for more than one year?
Like those seventh grade boys who are afraid to name what emotions they are having, or are unable to face those feelings because “they’re icky,” Sarah Palin is dwarfed by her own jealousy and insecurity around people who did better than she did in school. Granted, that population is extremely large, but . . . why else ridiculously attack someone for being associated with teachers?
And as I routinely have to pull the boys aside, and instruct them on why hitting a girl isn’t the best way to get her attention, and how it might even backfire (you should see the crumpled look on their faces), I feel it’s best to help Governor Palin face her fear, too. College isn’t for everyone, just like grammar. Just because she didn’t do well doesn’t mean she won’t be good at something else someday. Maybe she’ll become the standard bearer for the GOP?
But she should stop attacking teachers, and people who know more or did better in school. All it demonstrates is her own insecurities, and how far she really does have to go.
Cross posted at Spreading the Word on October 29, 2008.