Eugene Robinson is clearly a highly skilled journalist and a well educated, reasonable man yet when his subject matter is Sarah Palin this reasonableness, allowing for working in the ultra-liberal atmosphere of the Washington Post, disappears.
For example, here are some of his comments about Palin, a subject he has dedicated three pieces to in June so far;
'Sarah Palin is a fraud with charisma — and enough political support to effectively hold the Republican Party hostage. She is ridiculous and dangerous in equal measure."
"Utter, complete nonsense. "
"It was comical and weird, like a lot of Palin’s antics,"
"Palin’s arrogant disregard for objective fact. It’s never about the truth. It’s always about Sarah."
"The woman, like Lord Byron, is “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” I’d shout it throughout the land, if I could find my horse and my bells."
This sort of invective and sarcasm would be expected in Daily Kos or the like but not from a respected professional like Robinson. Thus, unless has become affected by Palin Derangement Syndrome, other forces may be at work.
Jon Stewart put it to his "Senior Black Correspondent" Larry Wilmore that "Blacks are suffering disproportionately " in Obama's economy even though 96% voted for him. Wilmore replied that the figure will fall to 94% explaining "I voted for him because he is black and he is still Black and a Democrat."
Thus if race and party loyalty triumphs over personal economic self interest, then the frustration at personal disadvantage, and the failure of the Black Democratic president to fulfil the economic progress that was promised, must find, like Freudian repression, an outlet somewhere else. In the political sphere the figure of Sarah Palin would seem a lightning rod for the expression of this black frustration.
Palin was the "spear carrier' as McCain put it , for his campaign and was highly visible in leading the, on the stump charge, against candidate Obama "palling around with terrorists" etc, the references to the Reverend Wright affair and the threat she posed to Obama's election as she lifted the McCain campaign above Obama in the polls until the economy collapsed.
Robinson is not the only Black commentator to seemingly take leave of his usually balanced outlook where Palin, who is not even a candidate, is concerned. Charles Blow at the other east coast bastion of liberalism The New York Times, declared last December that " I am not going to write the name Sarah Palin until she does something truly newsworthy."
Blow has set himself up as a determiner of what is "truly newsworthy" with a minimum standard that she declare herself as a presidential candidate. That her views on e.g. energy, which even some on the far left consider she has a modicum of knowledge about, are not considered "newsworthy' shows a condescending attitude to someone who can count followers in the millions, can sit down with prime ministers, and address forums overseas.
In his farewell to Palin column, sarcastically titled "She who must not be named" blow descends to the same level of snarkiness as does Robinson " She’s the Zsa Zsa Gabor of American politics. She once did something noteworthy, but she’s now just famous for being famous." " She’s like the ominous blob in the horror films: the more you shoot at it, the bigger and stronger it becomes.....Yes, she’s about as sharp as a wet balloon,"
Here's Jonathan Capeheart, another Washington Post denizen on Palin-again, not mincing words or even attempting a balanced position, rather straight into the sarcasm in the articles headline; "Palin sputters nonsense about Geithner's debt-ceiling warnings." The actual articles drips with venom along the lines of "Palin took time out from stomping all over Mitt Romney’s announcement in New Hampshire that he is running for president to cast aspersions on Geithner while she was at a clambake in New Hampshire."
Capeheart attempts an actual policy analysis of Palin's economic position, which critique is novel for him, and dismisses her views, whilst giving credence to Charles Krauthammer's, which express more or less the same ideas. The difference is, according to Capeheart " But unlike a seemingly blase (sic) Palin, Krauthammer recognizes and accepts the very real consequences of default and presents a plan for getting the nation’s balance sheet in order. While I don’t agree with his embrace of Speaker John Boehner’s dollar-for-dollar deal, at least Krauthammer constructively adds to the debate."
Krauthammer is "constructive" whilst Palin is "blase" possibly because he is Washington establishment like Capeheart, and even more possibly because he does not present a possible threat to President Obama, to the Democrat's chances to hold on to the senate in 2012, and to the Black champion who may be the recipient of more than 90% of that communities vote. That that recipient has so far failed makes Palin a channel for vitriol which normally balanced minds do not engage in.