From Vanity Fair’s blockbuster new profile:
The e-mail came from pastor Lou Engle, a prominent right-wing activist who identifies himself as a prayer warrior and is a central figure in dominionist theology. (Dominionists believe that, until Jesus Christ returns to earth, society should be governed exclusively by God’s law as revealed through a literal reading of Scripture.) In the e-mail, Engle compared Palin to the biblical Queen Esther. “This is an Esther moment in your life,” he wrote. “Esther hid her identity until Mordecai challenged her to risk everything for such a time as this. Your identity is ‘Sarah Barracuda.’ Esther removed corruption from the Persian government and Haman fell. She didn’t have experience, she had grace and favor. Sarah, don’t hide your identity tonight.”
(In case you’re wondering, this makes John McCain Ahasuerus and William Kristol Mordecai. Haman is obviously Obama. Oh and Vashti is Joe Lieberman, clearly. Except Obama won, right? Now I’m confused.)
More broadly, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate has been reaching out to Jews by hosting Jews for Sarah Shabbat dinners. “Meeting Sarah Palin turns out to be not the kind of celebrity thrill one experiences by meeting, say, a member of the Rolling Stones,” Benyamin Korn writes. “My wife and I found her unpretentious and gracious both, with an un-politician-like sincerity.” Me, I just want to know how you kept your dinner down! Ah, I’m just playing. (No I’m not.)
“Maybe it’s not just Palin’s right-wing politics that gets secular Jews so riled up,” wonders John Podhoretz. “Maybe it’s also that Palin, that idiot [his word, not mine!], may actually know more about Judaism and feel no discomfort about emulating Jewish traditions and Jewish particularism in the way that they seem to.” Or maybe it is that she tried to become the vice president despite being as qualified for the job as you or I? Or maybe it is that her right-wing politics differ markedly from the left-wing politics of secular Jews who are left-wing, as opposed to the secular Jews who are right-wing whom Podhoretz seems to think don’t exist? Anything is possible!