Names, Please

| Wed Sep. 3, 2008 9:27 PM EDT

NAMES, PLEASE....Some reactions from the right toward criticism of Sarah Palin:

Peggy Noonan: "Pro-woman Democrats are saying she must be a bad mother to be all ambitious with kids in the house."

Victor Davis Hanson: "Sarah Palin—self-made woman, and governor of Alaska—is being reducing by the left to a hickish, white trash mom of five."

Jay Nordlinger: "America has seemed a monumentally insensitive, cloddish, and vulgar nation in recent days. And who knew the Left could be so Puritanical — I mean, about sex?"

I'll pass lightly over the spectacle of a National Review conservative wondering why America is puritanical about sex. It certainly lends itself to parody, but that's not what I have on my mind at the moment. In fact, I even sympathize a little bit with the right's obvious anger toward the media feeding frenzy surrounding Palin. I happen to think their anger is misguided — the choice of Palin was bizarre enough, and her background questionable enough on perfectly legitimate grounds, that a massive media reaction was both inevitable and justified — but still, these kinds of rampages are almost always both scary and sort of inherently unfair in the way they unfold. Eventually Palin's past, for good or ill, will get sorted out, but in the meantime the process of figuring out who she is is bound to be messy.

That said, though, I want to join my fellow liberals in asking: just who are all these lefties who have supposedly criticized Palin on sex or gender grounds? I don't doubt that there are some, mind you. Trawl through enough comment threads or chatrooms or obscure blogs and you're bound to find something. But has there really been any serious thread of liberal conversation along these lines? (And no, Maureen Dowd doesn't count. She does this to everyone, and she's demented in any case.)

I know, of course, that for the most part this is simply a narrative that conservatives are hoping to inject into the media bloodstream. But still: evidence, please. Let's name some names.