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An Orgy of Indignation

A Commentary By Debra J. Saunders

I wish Sarah Palin would just go away.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, I wrote about the unfair personal treatment to which the political press corps subjected Palin and her children. Now I just want her to stop milking her role as GOP martyr.

Palin should stick to her day job -- by which I mean, governing Alaska, not being fodder for talk-show humor.

Both parties have their umbrage industries -- thanks to true believers, who love nothing better than to see themselves as victims of a perceived double standard. Last week, comedian David Letterman's two off-color jokes about a Palin family trip to New York led to an orgy of indignation.

Yes, I know that a politician's family -- especially their minor children -- is supposed to be off-limits. Letterman apparently thought he was joking about 18-year-old teenage mom Bristol Palin, unaware that 14-year-old Willow Palin went to Yankee Stadium.

Which, of course, gave the Alaska governor license to huff: "Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us (that) some Hollywood/N.Y. entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands -- that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others."

In that any sex act between an adult male and a 14-year-old would constitute statutory rape, father Todd Palin chimed in, too: "Any 'jokes' about raping my 14-year-old are despicable."

Now there's a firedavidletterman.com website and a planned protest outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City on Tuesday. If anyone thinks these antics will help Palin in the 2012 GOP primary, guess again. These stories don't tell voters that Palin has the smartest energy policy or that she's been a more successful governor than California's Arnold Schwarzenegger -- they tell voters that Palin's life is a nonstop soap opera.

Republicans who want to win back Washington would do well to look for a winner. Not a victim.

Speaking of too much drama: I wish Newt Gingrich would just go away, too.

It's not just his messy personal life and crash-and-burn House speakership. It's his oral opportunism. One year, Gingrich is sharing a public-service announcement two-shot with Democrat Nancy Pelosi that warns about the dangers of global warming; the next year, he's attacking "environmental extremism." The man will say anything to get on TV. He is shameless.

The worst of it is, Gingrich is not the right's most shameless talking head. That dubious honor belongs to Dick Morris, who turned on Bill Clinton years ago, so now he's supposed to be a great political mind on the right. That's right, he's our sleaze bucket.

How low the party of Monica jokes has fallen.


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Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports.

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