Taking Ockham’s Razor to Sarah Palin Haters
Since his departure from the Washington Times, Stacy McCain has become perhaps the most skilled attention whore in all the blogosphere.
Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.
In seeking to explain why Ken Layne and Andrew Sullivan seem to loathe Sarah Palin and, in particular, make sport of her Down Syndrome suffering infant son, Trig, Stacy puts forth a pop psychology theory in four part harmony involving gay psychology, the fear of spinsterdom, and tips for hunting hillbillies.
Taking Ockham’s Razor (or, in the case of certain residents of West Virginia, Ockham’s Toothbrush) to the problem, however, a simpler explanation arises: They do it for the same reason Stacy writes posts like this one.
First, regardless of intelligence and education, people have prejudices based on their own experience and tend to judge people who don’t conform to their expectations rather harshly. Sarah Palin does not dress, talk, or act like a governor — much less a vice presidential candidate — is supposed to.
Second, saying outrageous things that cultured people aren’t supposed to say out loud is an excellent way of attracting and sustaining attention. Holding forth the view that Sarah Palin chose to carry Trig to term after learning that he had Down Syndrome, just like everyone assumed all along, is not going to get you many clickthroughs.
Illustration: Chris Madden Cartoons
Correction: An earlier version of the post had Sullivan, Layne, and Ana Marie Cox pushing the Trig Palin birth origin conspiracy story. In fact, Layne merely reprinted a cartoon involving Trig Palin. I don’t think Cox had anything to do with this at all, aside from being the original Wonkette.