I saw some of the video of Sarah Palin online tonight - we don't have a TV - and I see and hear what folks mean. I don't like her accent, but it's more than than just pronunciation. Her word choice, her cadence, her facial expressions...she is not from my tribe. I would probably overlook her were she running in the primaries. It causes me to question if this is a great lack in the primaries. Most of our presidents up through Truman would have been weeded out in our current system.
I have a Sarah Palin joke I told at work today, an improvement on the primitive version I posted the day she was tapped by McCain, about being a better shot than Dick Cheney: "If she shoots a lawyer, he's stayin' down." Not politically offensive, see? Once they relaxed a moment even liberals laughed at it. The interesting part was the momentary shocked hesitation among all the progressives that I had even brought her up. Their faces froze; they covered quickly with a worried smile as I told my joke; they relaxed. I found this amusing and made it a point to bring her name up to as many liberals as I could.
The number of women, "feminist" women, who commented almost immediately on their dislike of her hair, her earrings, her shoes, was delicious. I remember a similar thing happening with comments about Katherine Harris in 2000. All these women with advanced degrees couldn't wait to point out her hair, her makeup. Your mileage may vary - I'm dealing with social workers, psychologists, and the like.
If you want some real amusement, tell some of these women that you think they look like her. Watch the claws come out as they tell you what they would have to change to really look like her. (The momentary look of horror is fun, too.) They don't want to say white trash, so they paint it in every color but black-and-white. Feminists, my Aunt Fanny. This is high school all over again. This baton twirler is getting too popular, so they're spreading rumors about how she sleeps with everyone, how dumb she is in class, how ridiculous her clothes are. She is an invader from another hive, and they can't help stinging.
I like the hive analogy. That's my new Arts & Humanities title: The A&H Hive.
Eric Scheie has some wonderful examples of this playing out in a more national setting over at Classical Values. I cut short this post because his is so good.