I ran into a friend of mine last Thursday. “I woke up this morning feeling like today was a holiday,” she said, with obvious glee at the prospect of watching Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin humiliate herself yet again on national television.
I was going to make this the Palin Edition of Jackfruit of the Week, commenting snarkily on pieces like this:
The problem with Ms. Palin’s candidacy is that John McCain might actually win this election, and then if something terrible happened, the country could be left with little more than an exclamation point as president.
(from Palin’s Alternate Universe)
Yet surely, more than most of us, politicians need to be able to think on their feet, to have a brain that works quickly and rationally under pressure. Do we really want to be led by someone who, when asked a straightforward question, flails around like an undergraduate who stayed up all night boozing instead of studying for the exam?
Then I ran across this:
Right now we’re in the middle of the Days of Awe, the stretch of time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when Jews are asking forgiveness. Not of God, but of each other. Because God can’t forgive you for the mean things you’ve done to other people. Only the people you’ve harmed can forgive you.
Good common sense.
I always enjoy it, this forgiving. Also the mulling and the brooding. I like going back over my year and thinking about what I might’ve done differently. And this year, I find that I owe an unexpected apology to someone I don’t even know.
Sarah Palin, I’m sorry—
Really, I mean this sincerely. I do.
Maybe you have wild post-partum swings. Maybe your other kids are feeling neglected. I bet there are days when you question the choices you’ve made. That’s not easy, I know. It’s hard to be a woman in the world today, hard to balance family and career. Hard to sacrifice the privacy of loved ones for a public life.
And even though you’ve chosen the spotlight, and even though reporters have the right to discuss your record, that doesn’t mean I need to be talking smack about another working mother’s personal life. You don’t need to be what I talk about at dinner. Or blog about cruelly.
See, I really do want to believe in hope. I want things to change. And part of that is wanting you and John, and Barack and Joe to rise above the mudslinging. I don’t want to hear about Bristol any more than I want to hear about Barack’s madrassa. But if I’m going to cross my fingers and say a prayer and expect YOU not to engage in Lashon Hara—
Well, change starts at home, right?
Even though I enjoyed the first two pieces — I laughed out loud while reading them and promptly sent them to friends — the last one made a deeper impression on me. L’shanah tovah, Sarah.