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Sarah Palin: Hockey Mom, or Hockey Goon? Or: Cruelty Is Strength, And Strength Is Good, Episode #32589

Sean Quinn put very cleanly something I've been thinking about for a week and a half or so, ever since that cute "pitbull with lipstick" gauntlet-slap. They key is in understanding that she's not a "Hockey Mom" -- she's a hockey goon. Er, I mean, hockey agitator.

.... She's a hockey player. She’s a fourth-line hockey agitator, beloved by the home crowd, loathed by the opponents, injecting passion into both fan bases, the kind of home-team hero that no Stanley Cup winner goes without.

Once upon a time, I applied an NFL-replay mentality to hockey playoffs, holding on to outrages over missed calls, blatantly unfair officiating, double standards, and outright getting-away-with-stuff (which always led to an early spring exit for my beloved Blues). I wanted – and unreasonably expected – bad behavior to be proportionally punished.

And then several years ago I had an epiphany about the hockey playoffs – nobody is coming to save you. Initiators win, reactors lose. Expect adversity, because it's built in. The fourth-line, no-scoring-talent, pest agitators (or as we now call them, “energy guys”) have a specific job. Skate in, take a cheap shot, make it after the whistle. Make it against the rules. Stir something up. Put a wet glove in the other guy's face and rub it. Get the outrage flowing. Get the opponent not thinking about the game, get them thinking about your shenanigans. And what happens? The “victimized” team loses its composure, hitting back. The guy who hits second is always the guy who goes to the penalty box. [emph added]

Watching Sarah Palin this week, and the reaction to her by both sides, and all the talk of hockey mommery, I realized that this is who she is. She skates into the corner, throws up an elbow, and the Democrats cry: “Foul!” Hey! She said Obama has never passed a major bill – this is an objective lie! Hey! She ridiculed community organizing the day after Service was the theme! Technically people should punish her by not voting for her over this infraction!

It’s whining, and whiners hit back second and go to the penalty box on top of it.

FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right: Sarah Palin Is Not a Hockey Mom

And what's more, in the Code of the Goon, they deserve it. Cruelty is strength, and the weak deserve to be punished. It's the Republican way.

Heaven forbid we dare to name the behavior, as Joe Biden so eloquently did a few days ago.

“It was about how well placed -- and boy she is good -- how a left jab can be stuck pretty nice. It’s about how Barack Obama is such a bad guy.”

(Thanks also to the Daily Show.)

All of this, of course, is bullshit in the Frankfurtian sense: Truth is irrelevant, because the objective is to make a new "truth" on the ground, shaped out of power.

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(Addendum: Just because I'm curious whether calling a spade a spade on this will actually catch on, here's Google's results on 'sarah palin' hockey goon,

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