Sarah Palin and the Advancement of Political Correctness and Gotcha Politics

Say it isn't so, Sarah. Please tell me you are not turning the Political Correctness cannon on the party that created it. I know that Rahm Emanuel's use of the term "f—ing retarded" was insensitive, calloused, and hurtful to many, but was it really worth calling for his job? Must we continue to play this never-ending game of "Gotcha"? Before any of my readers— especially any with disabled children— get up in arms, let me clarify and qualify my stance here. I am not saying the word "retarded" is not a hurtful word to many. I am not saying that its careless use shouldn't be culled from our every day language. I am simply saying that the man did not mean anything by it when he said it. He didn't mean to offend the disabled or the people who love them.

He meant, in fact, to point out that some of the very people who helped elect Obama— namely, the extreme left— were thinking of running attack ads against the moderate members of their own party, and that was "not a very good idea." He simply chose to use a little stronger, more unfortunate, wording.

I, too, am the parent of a disabled person. (I cannot say "disabled child," because she sometimes reads this and she will call for me to be fired if I do.) Through the years, I have watched the evolution of the proper treatment of the disabled. It has been slow and painful, but significant strides have been made.

My daughter might be surprised to know that when she was very young and needed a surgery that cost in excess of $150,000, the bulk of the tab was picked up by a state service called California Crippled Children's Services. I doubt they still call the agency that, if it still exists. The term "crippled" has such negative connotations and is no longer apropos.

There are not many benefits of being disabled (I use this word "disabled" cautiously, because it is probably nearing its end too), but one of them is prime parking space. For that, we used to have a "Handicap Sticker" and park in "handicap" spots. But we cannot do that anymore, because the word "handicap" is now only acceptable in places like Las Vegas, where they handicap horse races, boxing matches, and such.

Back to the subject at hand. For the record, I am no fan of Rahm Emanuel. Most who know me know how I feel about the Obama administration in general. I just don't think an insensitive remark made in the context of calling out his party's own constituents is worth an opponent calling for his head on a platter. Go ahead and say how you feel about what he said, why you were offended by it, why it hurts people you care about. Just don't use it to your political advantage or as a reason to send him to the unemployment line.

Perhaps I feel the way I do because I am who I am. When I was a kid, a good many of the whuppings I got were in response to what my Mom termed my "smart mouth." I tended to think of things to say and say them without thinking them all the way through first. Consequently, I often offended the sensibilities of adults who thought it best if punk kids like me were seen and not heard.

Not much has changed over the years. You know, every family has that uncle who comes to the Christmas dinner and the whole family holds its collective breath every time he opens his chops to speak. What will he say now? Who will he offend? Well...I am that uncle. A former friend once told me that I had no filter between my brain and tongue.

I think maybe that no-filter thing is part of the reason he is a former friend.

At any rate, I think Sarah Palin, if she has presidential aspirations, missed a golden opportunity to appear presidential. She could have admonished Rahm Emanuel, but admitted that we are all prone to being insensitive and unthinking at times and this should be a lesson and reminder to us all. She could have taken the high road. She could have resisted the easy target.

But she didn't.She took careful aim and fired a shot right at the man's head...just like a Democrat will do to her the next time she says something that can in any way be taken as an offense to someone.

Okay, I am getting those looks from the family again. Time for me to be seen and not heard. I apologize to all I have offended by not being sufficiently offended by stupid remarks from a political hack.

(Sorry to all the parents of stupid kids for using the word "stupid" in that last sentence.)