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Her own private Idaho

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Amid all the extremely disturbing tidbits in the Gibson/Palin soupcon of agitprop masquerading as journalism, the most disturbing may be the revelation that the GOP’s VP candidate (on a ticket where the POTUS candidate is an old sick man) had the first passport of her life issued to her this year. For some reason this detail, more than anything else, captures for me the sheer insanity of making Palin vice president, and of the enormous reserve of sexism fueling the insanity. It’s impossible to imagine a man who had never in his life traveled outside of an extremely geographically isolated and sparsely populated (total population less than Columbus Ohio) state being put within a fluttering heartbeat of the presidency of the United States.

But somehow it all makes sense with Palin: in some weird way, the fact that she’s almost literally never been anywhere in her whole life makes her a perfect symbolic representative of all sorts of maximally screwed up ideas of feminine virtue in general, and domesticity in particular.

I need a drink.

Update: McKingford makes a key point in the comments, which is that this goes way beyond the fact she’s never been to another country other than a ceremonial trip to Germany and Kuwait earlier this year (incredibly, she doesn’t appear to have ever been to Canada). How much time has she spent in the rest of the United States? We know she was in Idaho for a couple of years, and in St. Paul last week, but where hasn’t she been? I bet the list would be pretty eye-popping.

Dave wrote recently about how Alaskans tend to think of everything outside the state as “outside,” which is geographically understandable, but all the more reason why we should be concerned about the life experiences of someone from an isolated, very atypical region of the country, especially if she doesn’t appear to have spent much if any time anywhere else in the USA, let alone anywhere across an international border.

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