Why do liberal Jews have such a problem with Sarah Palin? One would think that the die-hard feminists in the Jewish community would trumpet the ascension of a woman to the second spot on a presidential ticket, much as they did over two decades ago when Geraldine Ferraro took center stage with Walter Mondale in a quixotic attempt to unseat Ronald Reagan.

At the time, Gloria Steinem and her feminist clones were tripping over each other to see who could best herald the Democratic vice presidential contender as the modern Susan B. Anthony of the feminist movement. Ferraro was a feminist to the core — abrasive, dour, humorless, angry, with about as much feminine charm as Bea Arthur from Maude. In short, she was one of them. Sarah Palin is not.


In the world according to Jewish feminists and their feminist-leaning Jewish men (i.e., metrosexuals), Sarah Palin is an apostate. The anti-feminist. The polar opposite of all that a feminist must be. She’s an anomaly. A mystery. A travesty.

Smiley, perky, energetic and photogenic, she’s every feminist’s nightmare — the girl-next-door goes to Washington.

Even Betty Friedan could not have predicted Sarah Palin.

Instead of sporting a NOW button, Sarah dons an NRA one, as in the National Rifle Association. Not only does she believe in gun ownership, she’s actually (oh, the horror!) a hunter. She’s been known to shoot those sturdy moose that liberals only see in National Geographic. She skins them, carves ’em up, and makes mooseburgers, which means she’s also a meat eater. Not only that, but she proudly poses for pictures with her beastly trophies. Not even Xena, the feminist fantasy role model, ever did that on TV.

Sarah’s husband doesn’t even have an MD, Ph.D., or JD attached to his name. He works with his hands. He’s a fisherman and an oil field worker in that North Slope region where those greedy oil tycoons and their Republican henchmen want to drill for oil and disrupt caribou mating habits. Unlike the feminists’ gentle, progressive, modern (i.e., submissive) husbands, he probably drinks Budweiser, watches NASCAR, shovels his own driveway, and doesn’t know what it’s like when your stockbroker or shrink goes away on vacation to the Hamptons for a week.

Sarah married him after she finished not Wellesley, not Smith, not Vassar, but the University of Idaho (as in potatoes). She obviously hardly played the dating field, and never even took a few years off after college to find her inner self before launching a career as an independent working woman. She dove right into marriage and had five kids — one of whom joined the military (what, he couldn’t get into college?). She’s even proud of the fact that he’s on his way to Iraq.

The liberal mantra dictates that because Sarah didn’t bring her daughter to the Planned Parenthood center at age 13, the girl got pregnant. But instead of marching her down to the abortion clinic the next day, Sarah encouraged her to have the baby. Not only that, but her daughter is actually marrying the young man. Whoever heard of such a thing in Brookline or Cambridge?

Because Sarah doesn’t believe in abortion, she herself opted not to terminate her own pregnancy, despite knowing that her child would be born with Down Syndrome. She actually regards the baby as a blessing. Sort of like what it says in the Bible.

Sarah belongs to one of those very non-progressive Christian evangelical churches that believes in the power of prayer. She even encouraged her constituents to pray for victory in Iraq. Pray for victory in a war? Can you picture any liberal progressive rabbi doing that? Not surprisingly, the very non-liberal Chabad rabbi in Alaska is a big fan of Sarah’s.

Sarah Palin is the anti-liberal; a die-hard conservative Republican somewhere to the right of John McCain. And whatever one claims about her lack of foreign policy experience, it’s a safe bet that if Alaska comes within range of North Korean missiles, she’d do her preemptive duty and whip those Stalinists back to the Stone Age. Same with Iran, because no one would dare harm the Chosen People on Sarah’s watch. After all, it’s against her religion to stand idly by if Israel is attacked.


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Tom Mountain is a weekly columnist for The Jewish Advocate, where this column originally appeared.