On February 2nd, I posted an article at my blog and a diary here, suggesting Palin apparatchik Rebecca Mansour, the writer of most Palin Facebook posts, may be the person behind the Palin attack on Rahm Emanuel. Soon afterward all hell broke loose.
Early February 4th, I started getting emails suggesting I would soon come under more scrutiny at work and at home, from Palinbots. I live in Wasilla, and have dealt with this kind of stuff from the far right here since the mid-1990s. Since I started writing the Saradise Lost series in 2008, the threats increased, but not much.
Between the end of Palin’s book tour and the Tea Party party, I’d shied away from writing about her, but important stuff came out:
Andree McLeod’s motion for reconsideration
The State of Alaska’s release of thousands of pages of Todd Palin-related emails
Questions about the Palin’s tax filings on one of their properties in Alaska
At the end of last week, like many other progressives, I was appalled that so much attention was devoted to Palin’s upcoming appearance at the first annual Tea Party Convention in Nashville. Last August’s Netroots Nation attracted thousands of participants, yet almost no national media coverage was devoted to the well-structured event, featuring dozens of nationally prominent politicians and experts.
I’ve been to Wasilla PTA candidate forums that attracted more audience participation and better speeches than we witnessed at TeabaggerFest 2010. It pissed me off. I wrote about it. More threats came in.
I may have then over-reacted.
I’d never used that term in writing before. Many readers thought it to be both an ad hominem attack (it was) and sexist (my record on women’s issues over the years stands in opposition to that premise).
I then may have compounded the trouble caused by the headline, by posting a poll at my place that is still active:
Which Term More Accurately Describes Palin to You?
Needless to say, Saint is not winning, in spite of efforts by a Palin fan blog to encourage readers to vote.
Soon after I posted the poll, the blog, Conservatives4Palin – widely read in my part of Alaska – posted another critical article about me. One commenter suggested people photograph, me, my house and car, call my employer, etc. Here’s my description of what happened within an hour or so of the comment:
As I was fueling up the snowblower, I heard a diesel truck idling at the bottom of our driveway. People sometimes come up the long, narrow, hilly driveway in error, and get stuck trying to back out, so I went out to check.
There were two guys outside of a big red Dodge 3/4-ton crewcab. One appeared to be taking pictures of the driveway, the back of my shop, boats and vehicle. When they saw me coming, they ran to the vehicle, which was already turned around, and quickly left.
It was about 12:15 p.m.
A while later, I read a comment at PA (and a couple of emails from friends, alerting me to it) that states this:
Uh Oh Phil…The Urine of Sea has got you in their sights. Saw this comment today:
Can we get his address and post it on the web….along with a picture of him, his house, and the car he drives?
Today, 10:26:54 AM
– Flag – Like – Reply – Delete – Edit – Moderate
Phil, you know better than to poke "The Crazies"(hey, isn’t that a movie coming out soon?)
Here is the link:
Soon afterward, three fellow Alaska progressive bloggers wrote critical posts on the ethics of my use of "slut," which I then reposted:
Progressive bloggers on Palin: Civility versus namecalling – by Mel Green. Mel thought the "slut’ headline and poll to both be sexist, inflammatory and demeaning.
Blogger Tourettes – by Steve Aufrecht. Steve reiterated some of Mel’s points, and presented the unique argument that I can’t resist swearing (I write "fuck" fairly often) and scatology in some posts.
Is it possible to reason with Palin’s "Rebiblicans"? – by Linda Kellen Beigel. Linda defended me, as she detailed her experiences of frustrations, threats, intimidation by Alaska and Outside rightwing zealots, how they don’t want to engage in dialogue, and how over-the-top reaction might be not only understandable, but a better way.
The comments to these critical articles are from across the spectrum, as I don’t limit access to Progressive Alaska, past occasional cleanups of really yucky messes.
I’m interested in hearing from members of the Seminal and Firedoglake community on this, before I post a response at PA at the end of the Saint-Slut poll voting period.
Did I over-react by calling Palin a slut, and polling the way I am?