Nancy Gibbs is Time Magazine’s go-to writer — the one its editors want when they need a quick cover story or a well-wrought profile of Man of the Year. And how, in an essay this week on “the agonizing choices women face” as reflected in the Sarah Palin story, does Time’s star characterize the conservative view of Palin? Read on:
In noisy public forums, everyone seemed suddenly certain of beliefs they used to reject: of course a woman can manage five kids and the vice leadership of the free world, said conservative defenders previously known for asserting a woman’s need to submit to her husband.
I think it is safe to say that among Palin’s conservative defenders who have made their views known in noisy public forums, the number of those “previously known for asserting a woman’s need to submit to her husband” can be counted on the fingers of one hand — if the hand were missing a few fingers. This might be an opinion expressed by certain evangelicals who might have defended Palin last week, though I am not certain which ones, but the opinion would derive not from their conservatism but from their literal interpretation of certain passages in the Bible.
This caricature of conservative thinking is gobsmacking. Had Gibbs said something more like, “previously known to express the conviction that it is best for infants and toddlers to be raised primarily by their mothers and not by a caregiver,” that would more precisely have captured the undoubted irony of the strong defense of the Palin selection by some on the Right. The fact that Gibbs either did not know that distinction, or did not care to know it, speaks volumes.