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The Obsession With Liberals’ Obsession With Sarah Palin

The Obsession With Liberals’ Obsession With Sarah Palin

Charles Krauthammer has lambasted the mainstream (i.e. liberal) media for its obsession with Sarah Palin.

That goes double for liberal entertainers and academics, and triple for the left-blogosphere, which is nuts-in-the-head (that’s a precise medical term in Austrian) when it comes to Palin.

But this obsession is not a one-way street. 

Admit it, many of us in the right-blogosphere are obsessed with liberals’ obsession with Palin.  Or more specifically, we are obsessed with defending against the relentless, irrational, and untruthful attacks.

I have 93 posts (94 with this one) in my Palin tag, most of which are devoted to responding to Palin Derangement Syndrome.

Andrew Sullivan wants a virtual inspection of Palin’s uterus to verify if Trig really is her son – I post on it.  A multitude of left-blogs claimed Trig was being used as a prop – I post on it.  They PhotoShop and generally mock Trig – I post on it.

They make up tales about Palin’s childhood health care, whether she had a boob job, make jokes about her giving hand jobs, claim she “rolled her eyes” when told someone was a teacher, examine the color of her bracelet to claim she dishonored war dead, falsely claim she advocated war with Iran, distort polling about her, attack her intelligence, berate her for recommending followers read a Thomas Sowell column, move next door to her to snoop on her, go after a blogger who defends her on MSNBC, claim her success is because men are aroused by her, go nuts because of her (first) book tour including counting the number of non-white people in crowds, blame her for a turkey farmer’s problems, suggest she contributed to a swine flu outbreak in Alaska, turn her into a pin-up girl for a news magazine, misrepresent her comment about “death panels,” claim she is “too sexy” to be a national politician, concoct the hoax that she didn’t know Africa was a continent, and hang her in effigy — and I post on it.

And it goes on and on.  And I am not alone.

It didn’t start out this way.  But it has developed not because of who Palin is, but who the Palin haters are.  Palin never did nothin’ to nobody, so to speak.

I’ve put forth the proposition that the best way to defeat Obama is to put forward a conservative but non-controversial candidate who will keep the election focused on Obama.  Because the Obama record and devolving persona are the equivalent of a death panel for Obama’s reelection. 

And nothing matters more than defeating Obama because the damage he is doing to the country is generational.

But as I reflect back on the past two plus years since Palin’s nomination, I’m wondering if an all-out, knock-down, drag-out fight with the Palin haters is just what this country needs most, not least.  And whether that is just as likely to be successful in defeating Obama as the “safe” route.

I still like Camille Paglia’s defense of Palin in October 2008, and Paglia’s observation of how disruptive Palin was to standard liberal doctrine:

The hysterical emotionalism and eruptions of amoral malice at the arrival of Sarah Palin exposed the weaknesses and limitations of current feminism. But I am convinced that Palin’s bracing mix of male and female voices, as well as her grounding in frontier grit and audacity, will prove to be a galvanizing influence on aspiring Democratic women politicians too, from the municipal level on up. Palin has shown a brand-new way of defining female ambition — without losing femininity, spontaneity or humor. She’s no pre-programmed wonk of the backstage Hillary Clinton school; she’s pugnacious and self-created, the product of no educational or political elite — which is why her outsider style has been so hard for media lemmings to comprehend.

And also Paglia’s assessment of the Democratic Party (notwithstanding her adoration of Barack Obama at the time) and how Palin hatred fit into that scheme:

The witch-trial hysteria of the past two incendiary weeks unfortunately reveals a disturbing trend in the Democratic Party, which has worsened over the past decade. Democrats are quick to attack the religiosity of Republicans, but Democratic ideology itself seems to have become a secular substitute religion. Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant? Conservatives are demonized, with the universe polarized into a Manichaean battle of us versus them, good versus evil. Democrats are clinging to pat group opinions as if they were inflexible moral absolutes. The party is in peril if it cannot observe and listen and adapt to changing social circumstances.

Nothing and no one brings out the worst in the Democratic Party, in the liberal media, entertainment and academic establishments, and in the left-wing blogosphere, as does Sarah Palin.  Bringing out this worst may be the path to a lasting, generational conservative victory. 

Maybe this is the battle which needs to be joined, once and for all.

The path forward, or just obsession?

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Professor, you nailed it. Exactly. Palin reveals the chasm between ideologies like no one else can. I read somewhere that if Palin, early on, selects a team to run with her to fill out her expertise, she would be unstoppable. I have to agree.

This battle has gone beyond mere differences in economic strategies, it has become a war for the heart and mind of America. Palin represents those of us who still find America exceptional and desire to return to Constitutional principles.

I didn't used to think this, but the more I watch Palin the more I like her. I so admire Chris Christie but was VERY disappointed that he appeared to mock Palin in that late night comedy show interview. This is NOT right. I can't stand how the right tends to eat its own. We've always done this. Libs rarely do it, and only desert other libs when it looks like they might endanger their thrones. I'm also totally fed up with RINOs like Romney. NO ROMNEY! NO HUCKABEE!
Republicans can be just as elitist as democrats.
I think you're right here. I'm also fed up with the slick politicians, the guy like Dole who was next in line to be the candidate up.
She definitely doesn't fit that paradigm.
I love the interview of her talking with the turkey farmer in the background, stuffing the turkeys into the head chopper while he watches her, apparently spellbound. It's classic Palin, undisturbed by the grit of life and sensibly continuing the interview without missing a beat. It's also classic America.

I've been going back and forth on this very issue: is it better to have a non-controversial person articulate free-market, small-government philosophy or a lightening rod such as Sarah Palin?

I would like her to remain on the national stage but I don't think she is ready to be president (in 2012).

The electoral map is very close (we're back to the 2000-2004 model). I would rather that we debate ideas and not "is this woman stupid" or "she's not prepared." And let's face it a few terms as mayor of a small town and 2 years as governor of Alaska is not – in my mind – sufficient experience to be President of the US. The fact that we elected Obama, who had less experience, does not mean that Palin is ready for the office.

So today — I would rather that Palin is not the nominee.

Have you noticed the problems that Sarah palin cause among conservatives?
If I would comment here that while I like her and would happily vote for her if she won the Republican primary I don't think she is the best candidate, I would be branded a concern troll and my opinion would be dismissed. In other words, a large portion of the conservative movement have become exactly what they dislike about liberals.
This is a bigger issue on other blogs, but it was quite clear on this one too when Kathleen posted something negative about Sarah. I didn't agree with alot of what she wrote but the reaction to the post told me alot more than the post itself. Some commenters used logic to show how Kathleen was wrong, but others just went on the attack.
I realize that some of the zeal is a reaction to the unreasonable way Sarah has been treated, nevertheless it's disturbing to me.
We are on the same side, but that doesn't mean we have to agree on every little issue.


I think you are now arriving where many of us sneered-at "Palinistas" have been for about two years.

Many of the bloggers and commentators in your "Blogs I Read" list (HA, Ace, etc.) perseverate a weak argument about "electability" that falls in line with what you wrote: "…the best way to defeat Obama is to put forward a conservative but non-controversial candidate who will keep the election focused on Obama. Because the Obama record and devolving persona are the equivalent of a death panel for Obama's reelection."

But the problem as I see it is that there is no such thing as a "conservative but non-controversial candidate" because any conservative who arrives on the scene becomes The Other for the seething haters of the left. Witness…Sarah Palin hitting the national stage in 2008! Palin made her mark in Alaskan politics as a non-ideological reformer who in the first month of her term vetoed a bill from the Republican-led state legislature that would have blocked gays and lesbians from health and other benefits provided to state worker's domestic partners! Her reason? It was unconstitutional per Alaska state constitution!

Adherence to the state constitution in defending the rights of domestic partners to have state benefits? Well never-mind that, they seemed to say, let's just burn that (allegedly) right-wing witch!

Well, for more than two years the witch has not burned. Singed maybe, but she never burned.

And with two years to go, the seething haters are just about out of matches.

Its the path forward.

Palin is so talented, is so able to expose the left for the empty vessel it is, that she is worth the risk.

I have compared Palin the Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Neftali Feliz. Feliz throws 100 mph. The Rangers took a chance this season, and made him their closer, and the risk worked out.

When you have big talent, its worth taking a risk in order to accomplish big things. The safest vote is not necessarily the best vote.

borrowing from Braveheart:

Vote Palin and ye may lose. Vote Romney and ye will win. And, lying in yer beds, years from now, what would ye give to come back and cast just one vote to tell the left that they may never take our FREEDOM!

There is a group of people who think that they are entitled to run this country. They think that nobody is qualified for high public office, unless that person graduated from a small group of schools, and is male.

Sarah Palin is not the first person to be treated shabbily by this bunch of mediocrities. I recall Harriet Meirs' nomination, and the chorus of fools (Robert Bork among them) that claimed this litigation expert with actual big-ticket courtroom experience was unqualified for the Supreme Court because of the name of the law school she attended. The bald truth is that the woman would have been uniquely qualified for the court, because she had actually successfully practiced law for paying clients.

I also recall the Bork fiasco, and the amazing sense of entitlement that Bork and his supporters exuded. I contacted a member of the firm that was representing him at his confirmation hearings, and told him that there had been published some unsettling summations from his opinions, done by someone who knew what they were doing, and that these quotes a that had to be answered if he was to be confirmed. The response was that he was a terrific guy. Nobody ever dealt with those opinions. It was a performance I would not have expected from that firm.

It's bad enough that we have a President of the United States who is oblivious to the last 50 years' worth of history respecting civil rights progress in this country and the experiments with social policy both here and abroad. What is worse is that we also have a large group of mediocrities (Democrats and Republicans) who are 100 years in the past, because they believe there are only 10 real law schools in this country.

Professor, you SHOULD have an obsession with defending Palin. It's not just Palin. It's when the President says calls a woman in America a pig with lipsick. It's when the Left advocate violence and torture against a woman they disagree with. It's when people who disagree with her burn her church down and move in next to her to harass her and attack her daughters in the press and latch on to their ex-boyfriends to get info and keep the attacks going and hack into her accounts.
It's NOT just Palin. It's Christine O'Donnell and Condoleeza sp?) Rice and Michelle Bachmann and ANY woman the Left disagree with.
This crap has to be addressed and STOPPED. NOW. Before something terrible happens.

"…nuts-in-the-head (that's a precise medical term in Austrian)…"

That's the funniest line I've read in weeks.

"But the problem as I see it is that there is no such thing as a "conservative but non-controversial candidate" because any conservative who arrives on the scene becomes The Other for the seething haters of the left. "


You're so correct about that, and while I like Palin, and find her inspiring, I think she needs a few terms in congress, the senate, or on the national stage, before *I* think she has the experience for the presidency. That said I'll take her over Obama in heart beat.

And, I'll take her over Huck or Romney any day of the week. But … that doesn't mean she's the best choice for president.

The democrat elites and the Marxist indoctrinated extremes that are the true base of the party these days are the ones foaming at the mouth. As a former liberal democrat, I remember watching others like myself hounded on blogs and forums for daring to put principles, and the issues they truly cared about before the left's demand for ever increasing power. If anyone is familiar with any of those sites, TPM and it's TPMCafe are prime examples, they subsist now on commentary by leftist extremists. You don't see any real grassroots democrats participating.

I do believe we need to take up this attack, in a reasonable manner, excoriating the hypocrisies, shining sunlight on the unstable, and violent people behind this witch hunt against conservatives. We have to be careful of course, and not fall into any traps. Make this an argument that marginalizes the insane and despotic left, and reveals the democrats in power for what they are.

gcotharn, what a great line. I'm going to have to copy that.


Vote Palin and ye may lose. Vote Romney and ye will win. And, lying in yer beds, years from now, what would ye give to come back and cast just one vote to tell the left that they may never take our FREEDOM!

Van Halen,

You're so correct we should have an obsession with defending Palin. You saw my statements above that I didn't think she was the best candidate for 2012 and yet I have defended her on my blog and elsewhere.

Michelle Bachmann and Condoleezza Rice are both awesome. Let's see what happens to Susana Martinez (Gov-NM) and Nikki Haley (Gov-SC) in the next few months and years. If they are outspoken in defense of individual freedom and free markets they too will be pilloried.

"is to put forward a conservative but non-controversial candidate"

DanO is correct; any candidate/politician with an "R" beside their name is controversial and/or extreme by default in the minds of pretty much all the leftosphere. They will define them that way through all the "mainstream" organs that they control.

Dear Professor:

I certainly don't mean this as an attack on Scott Brown, but he is not Jim DeMint. Yet remember how he was assaulted by the media and the left?…to the point where they are foaming at the chance to defeat him…and calling him name after name? He is the epitome of the "non-controversial" Republican so there will not be a "non-controversial" Republican candidate. Even if you resurrect A. Lincoln, T. Roosevelt or D. Eisenhower. Won't happen. So, Palin probably has 40% of the vote. President Obama probably has the same. If Palin is to win she needs a team, a plan and a consistent, viable program and policy message that will win that all-important 20% of the "independent" vote. It would sure help if she focused clearly and succinctly on the economic woes and risks we faced and faced each issue squarely. I think people will go for a candidate they find to be honest and with no tricks up their sleeve. She can do it. So far she has incredible timing and I believe she is sharp enough to be working on this right now. I hope so. But timing is critical, can't go too early out of the gate, can't miss the wave.

It's really up to Sarah. Last week in an interview with Hannity, she stated that she is considering running for president in 2012 but not if the GOP leadership believes that she will be disruptive. In other words, the Karl Roves get to decide if she should run.

Just as with her endorsement of John McCain right out of the starting gate and subsequent endorsement of McCain candidates over Tea Party candidates, she continues to signal that she is a Republican first and a conservative second.

If we are going to have this knock-down, drag-out fight with Sarah leading the way, she absolutely needs to make clear whose side she is on. Too many of us are dazzled by her celebrity and engaging personality to listen closely to what she is saying. To me, she is acting like a stalking horse to keep conservatives, where the conservative energy is abundant, together long enough to redirect our votes back into whatever RINO emerges from the stampede that is lining up to run.

Which is it Sarah? Are you in it to the end? Whose side are you really on? You talk a good game but…

One reason why Palin should be the nominee is to let the fight that's brewing in the country occur, in the open, at the voting booth. Palin will give the Liberals the brass-knuckled fight that is necessary to lance the boil poisoning the American body politic today. It's a boil created by Democrats in 2000, and it has festered and ripened as Democrats have waged the most viciously nasty war against a GOP president and subsequent GOP candidates.

Unlike other prospective candidates, Palin is totally unafraid, unorthodox, and unwilling (because of persecution) to make nice with the LSM and Democrats (redundant); a strategic thinker of the likes that none of them have seen before; and she will punch back and force an accountability in public life that is unimaginable in this current climate.

The country cannot afford dead fish GOP nominees; we cannot survive the rancor that is bubbling under the surface of our political interactions. That's why we need Palin to lance the boil and help return health to the nation.

Pasadenaphil, you obviously have never taken a close look at Palin's record else you'd never describe her as a "stalking horse to keep conservatives…."

Here's a thought, how's about we secure the Senate and the WH in 2012 and *then* do some fun socio-cultural experimentation that may (or may not) have socio-political ramifications?

Juba Doobai!: Why don't you address what I actually said. Politics is not just about what candidates say on policy but how they position themselves strategically.

All you are saying is that you love Sarah because of "her record" which you assume I "obviously" know nothing of because no one who does would dare to question her glaring contradictions. That tells me a lot about you but nothing about the points I made.

If people would just drop the idol worship and start paying close attention to those glaring contradictions, maybe next time we won't get fooled.

Would you like to give it another try?

"This is a bigger issue on other blogs, but it was quite clear on this one too when Kathleen posted something negative about Sarah."

Just an aside – I think the problem was the dismissive way Palin was being criticized by Kathleen.

1. In 2008 the independent voters who decide presidential elections took a chance on a charismatic candidate with a thin resume. So far it's not working out. Will they make the same bet on a new candidate in 2012? That depends on how serious the country's problems will look. And if we are willing to repeat the bet, why not Rubio?

2. If I judge her solely by the stridency from her supporters, Palin is not a breath of fresh air; she is a dangerous demagogue. Recall how your co-blogger was treated recently for expressing a factually correct reservation about Palin.

3. If I had my druthers today, the frontrunners left over from 2008–Palin, Romney, Huckabee–would withdraw from contention for 2012 and create space in which emerging GOP leaders could blossom faster.

To run, or not to run? That is the question.

Whoever is perceived as an effective front-runner and who carries the message will suffer the slings and arrows of the lunatics on the left. This is why they ignored McCain, he sent the signals that he wasn't going to mount a serious challenge against Obama and also that he would leave his supporters out in the cold and not defend them.

Given all of that, it would be best to have someone like Palin, who has proven that she is not deterred by those slings and arrows. Better than someone like Christine O'Donnell who seemed to be at the mercy of the leftist attacks and could only run a reactive, catch-up campaign.

Sarah is transformational and effective and should run for president in '12, and take arms against a sea of lunatic liberals, and by opposing end them.

Wasn't John McCain the media darling, the best type of Republican? And was he not savaged once he got the party nomination?

You have to face facts, anybody who is waiting to the media to be fair, to be nice, to correct the bad things said about ANY Republican running is fooling them selfs.

I'll go with someone who stands for something, says what they mean, means what they say. Take the fight to the streets. If you say it, they will have to report it. No nuance. At this point in time, Palin is the only one who is doing that. I'll keep looking, but for now, here is where I stand.

Record of accomplishments? Didn't the other side throw that argument away in the last election. Who said they are qualified for the job because they ran such a good campaign?

@JoAnne, maybe it was "the dismissive way Palin was being criticized" in your mind but it didn't look like that to me at all.
I commented on that post that I thought something she did was not the best decision and was immediately called a troll.

Interestingly, what she did then – quoting part of a paragraph from the WSJ which supported what she said while ignoring the part which didn't support her point – is similar to what liberals did with quoting her about "our North Korean allies" where 8 seconds before that she had clearly said they were the enemy. The difference is that she had a valid point then about the economy and she could have pushed it on its own merit, she went for the snark and her point got lost (IMO).

I don't know if she is or isn't the best conservative candidate. I do know that if she gets the nomination I will happily vote for her.

All I'm saying is that thoughtful criticism of her should be allowed in conservative circles. I think that if her "base" would allow that without losing their minds, they would be stronger. Now they just look/sound whiny and overprotective, and they are treating her exactly the way they criticized liberals for treating Obama.

The question is: if not Palin, who? A lot of names are mentioned but I haven't yet seen anyone I think is better. And remember, not every promising candidate has to be President. There are a lot of positions in an administration that would need to be filled with non-RINOs.

I say we fight. The left will try to "Palin" anyone who moves to the head of the pack anyway. Bush derangement syndrome transferred to McCain (previously every liberals favorite Pub) then immediately transferred to Palin. They will do it to ANYONE they fear is getting traction on the right, so we might just as well forget trying to find someone the media will give a fair shake to, or someone unknown, or someone they haven't already smeared. Let's just pick who we really think will do the best job, defend good people like Palin whether she ends up being the nominee or not because it's the right thing to do, and then fight like hell for 'em all.

"All I'm saying is that thoughtful criticism of her should be allowed in conservative circles. I think that if her "base" would allow that without losing their minds, they would be stronger. Now they just look/sound whiny and overprotective, and they are treating her exactly the way they criticized liberals for treating Obama."

I think we agree more than we disagree. I, personally, was turned off by Kathleen's snarkiness, not her disagreement with Palin's persona.

I'm on fence about a presidential run for Palin. I do like her a lot but I'm just not convinced…haven't ruled her out!

Folks, face it. She is running.

She has been running since the day she resigned as governor. The left has only itself to blame for the rise of Palin. If they had simply left her alone up there she would be celebrating her reelection right now. But no. They had to target her and put her on the fast track to bankruptcy. I don't blame her one single bit for resigning. I would have done the same to protect my family. I think in retrospect it will be viewed as a singular instance of political bravery. Most politicians would have never attempted such a move.

Those who think that he isn't laying out a clear vision of what she thinks about American can simply pick up her new book. I can enthusiastically recommend the audio version to you – even if her public speaking voice is nails-upon-the-chalkboard to you. Hearing her read it lends another layer of authenticity to her views.

Being president isn't solely about qualifications or experience. There are many people who have both but lack the core principles and the leadership skills necessary to be successful. Since resigning, she has shown herself to be a quick study on all manner of issues, from foreign affairs (the Hong Kong speech) to health care (death panels) to macroeconomic policy (QE2). There are others as well but you get my point.

Further, she articulates her position in a way that overcomes the inertia of the issue. When she speaks, people listen. Ideologically, she is the Anti-Obama, but as a political figure, she is the Anti-Bush. She doesn't take any shit from anyone. If you attack her (and God forbid one of her kids) you can expect a full throated, blistering response. Some people (I'm looking at you Jennifer Rubin) think that this demonstrates her thin skin and her Conservative Community Organizing skills. Bunk. I read her facebook response to criticism of her North Korea faux pas (such as it was) and it was a rifle shot right between the eyes. Her foes haven't figured out that their tactics aren't working and have thus far failed to change course. But then again, what can they say or do? They have vetted her from the bottom of the dumpsters in Wasilla to her uterus. Nothing. And I think they know that they ain't gonna find anything either.

She isn't perfect, none of us are. Nor does she claim perfection.

But let me tell you this. I think that when she tosses her hat in the ring it will be the most exciting presidential race in American history. And I think she will win it and will be judged by future historians as one of the great leaders we have produced. My opinion isn't hero worship, I have read far and wide on her views, policies, accomplishments. In other words, I have done what the Democrats should have done to Obama.

Someone else somewhere said it but I agree wholeheartedly: Run Sarah, we need you.

1. Ber, sorry to have overlooked the overlap with your first comment when posting mine.

2. I too have been called a troll–a Marxist troll, iirc–for questioning Palin's qualifications. To respond in kind would not be constructive for the conservative coalition–but my support for the conservative coalition is not unlimited and unconditional.

3. Whatever else she may or may not be, Palin is an extraordinary politician. She might put the word out to cool it with the Spanish Inquisition stuff. I may decide to overlook it, but I won't forget it.

gs, ber and others:

I think Palin is exactly what we need as President – the Left must be rolled back and permanently defeated. I believe she has the skills and chutzpah to get that started.

But it is vital that all of us who support her not turn into mindless cheerleaders. I do think a lot of the reaction to criticism from the right is the enormous amount of the worst kinds of vitriol, condescension and sheer thuggery sent her way by the Left. So constructively criticize away – I'll support you, because we MUST air out our differences, no matter who the nominee, if we are ultimately purge the Left from our national fabric.

Well your majesty, please take your "not unlimited and unconditional support" for the conservative coalition and float on over to HuffPo where you will certainly bask in appreciation for your deliberate ignorance of Palin's 20-year record of outstanding public service mixed with running two successful family businesses. You may "decide to overlook it" (meaning our insolence – oh how gracious of you, your majesty!) but we Palin proles won't forget the Alinskyite wilding that took place in 2008, and continues today…with your assistance. Therefore we will continue to flood the zone with facts about her record that cannot be buried under the smear-memes like the one you just tried to plant about us (I've seen this tactic over at Hot Air Comments – the concern trolls now bypass attacking Palin, opting instead to slam the pro-Palin posters as intemperate Inquistors).
So gs, we don't need you or any of the gasbag royalists who troll these blogs and who fancy themselves as the deciders of what passes for acceptable discourse in defending the most earnest public servant we have seen since Ronald Reagan. So please just away. By 2012 I'll have replaced your pompous posterior with a dozen high schoolers who took the time to read up on Palin's record, and who are willing to walk the precincts to spread the message.

Great piece, William!

And when would a former VP candidate choose not to run for president?

a) They're too old (Lloyd Bentsen)
b) They're a woman (Geraldine Ferraro)

Otherwise, you tell me how a former VP candidate under 50 decides not to run for president in a subsequent election cycle.

We need to get rid of "b" … ok?

I'm watching Sarah on TV with family. I've read up on her on many sites and viewed her numerous videos. I've been studying politics my whole life. I'm in the middle of her second book now.

If Sarah runs, I believe she will win the primary; and if the anti-Obama forces unite, Obama will be defeated.

It is simply a matter of uniting 100% and fighting to the end like the Japanese with all their divisions united to defeat the Mongols.

When than primary ends, you will see Sarah reach out to all factions and appeal for unity under her banner, that of the GOP, the TPM, and the Mama Grizzlies.

At this time, she is the horse to back in the 2012 race.

Palin doesn't need true conservatives to come to her rescue – it consumes much energy and diverts attention from the real issues…and diversion is really the only arrow the left has remaining in their collective quivers. She is perfectly capable of disemboweling the left all by herself…or perhaps with her enthusiastic cheerleading, they can continue to commit hari kari. I do believe that she is much stronger in her current role as agitator.

(I prefer) "the frontrunners left over from 2008–Palin, Romney, Huckabee–would withdraw from contention for 2012 and create space in which emerging GOP leaders could blossom faster."


Who? When?

THERE IS NO TIME for new leaders to blossom. The election season begins in 13 months. Why reject a mayor/ex-governor/ex-vice-presidential-candidate for a one of the fine new governors or senators who will have only been in office for 1 year (2 in the case of Christie), and who must immediately begin thinking of running for office, create campaigns, cultivate advisers and staff, etc.

There may be reasons for suggesting Palin step aside, but this suggestion doesn't make sense.

Make no mistake. We battle for the soul of America. The election coming up isnt about choosing who will fight for "we the people" because that person has been fighting that fight for us over the last 2 years. This upcoming elections is whether "we the people" have enough guts to back a woman who will continue to lead our country out of this hole we're in and back into prominence. End of story.

I don't think much about Palin hysteria except when presented with an example of it. But I will admit to liking her despite not feeling like I have a handle on her governing philosophy. I like her mostly because of who hates her. She has all the right enemies.

Well I'm sick of Grandma Palin.

As others have noted here, what Sarah brings to the battle is a willingness to stand in stark contrast to the ideology of her opponents … and (having learned the hard way in 2008) not let the GOP professional/political class change her in ways that will diminish that contrast.

She is true to herself, not bound by the conventional wisdom, and is not afraid to ask "WHY?" when it comes to changing herself in the name of "electability".

She is also the example for a different way of thinking about our leaders on our part … that basic, simple wisdom is of greater value to this nation than academic genius … that an ordinary, but wise, person who both knows their limitations and knows how to combine the knowledge/effort of others with their own to get things done, is of far greater value to this nation as a leader than a Nobel laureate or Rhodes scholar who lacks the above attributes

The realization of what she represents in this regard leads to a deep fear of her in two camps.

The Progressive Left has an obsessive fear of her … because if the conservative worldview is seen as credible by enough people through the contrast she presents, the value to society of their own preening as “enlightened intellectuals” will be diminished … and their own self-worth is too heavily invested in such preening to let that go unchallenged.

And the professional/political class … from Rove to Obama … knows that, if someone like Ms. Palin can work around them to attain high office, their services will be rendered as obsolete as the buggy whip in short order. Her presence, and the presence of those like her, is a direct threat to their meal tickets.

Hence the vitriol directed at her … because she threatens both camps' ability to engage in flashy political swordplay and benefit from it, like Indiana Jones "conclusively" threatened a swordsman of another kind.

In this light, she may be the very candidate … and elected leader … we need at this time in our history, to CTL-ALT-DEL this nation so it forsakes the blind worship of intellectual acumen and returns to the common-sense values that got us here.

But that doesn't mean she should be anointed by us… she needs to be challenged, right along with anyone else who throws their hat in the ring … challenged in ways that will reveal AND sharpen her as a leader. However, let's not strain at every gnat that offends our own sensibilities as we do so, either … and make the Regressives' job easier for them by giving them more unfounded talking points to use against her.

Perhaps, part of what you're seeing as an obsession with an obsession is that the conservative voice has become strong enough and media savvy enough (and popular enough) to answer the leftist media point for point and be heard.

I've wondered about the value of this tit-for-tat strategy before. Though it's not pretty, I believe it must be done if just to set the record straight and force the leftist media to deal with fact.

Twists and turns, who knows where it will stop spinning. Had McCain won, Palin would be serving a presidency internship and there would be either no (legitimate) complaints about her experience, or she would be revealing herself as not presidential material and would not have fanatical support. But if McCain had won, we would also not have seen the Tea Party energy that Obama elicited from so many, and would likely have not seen a big mid-term swing.

So the primaries will certainly be interesting. Up here in NH, many Republicans are of the Judd Gregg/John Sununu variety who were already fine fiscal conservative but aren't flamethroweres. They will prefer an unPalin. That said, she has significant support here and might well win the primary with some sort of 28% to 21% to 16% to 14% margin in a big field. How will she do with Iowa and SC Republicans? Anyone know? If she does well in those three, will the in-party opposition coalesce around another candidate?

We might start to consider what a brokered convention would look like.

For the record, I'm comfortable enough with Palin, because the kind of faults she has are not likely to be as damaging as what any Democrat would put up, and her virtues are likely to be well-suited for this time in history. Yet I too am concerned that we have a lot of people who get angry and defensive at any criticism of her.

I've been going back and forth on this very issue: is it better to have a non-controversial person articulate free-market, small-government philosophy …

And just who might that be?

(Add anti-illegal immigration in the mix.)

I think Sarah Palin is the most under-rated political figure in America today. No, I’m serious. She was chosen at McCain’s VP and gave an acceptance speech at the Republican Convention that still resonates: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.” Can anyone come up with a line from McCain’s acceptance speech?

What followed was a political crime, with members of McCain’s team sabotaging her in a number of ways, including allowing her to be interviewed by MSM figures that hated her and were allowed to edit the interview with the result that even today many people think that Palin has not read a book. Isn’t that one of the reasons so many of you are doubters or on the fence? You are allowing Katie Couric – of all people – to influence your judgment!
He decision to resign as Governor of Alaska was supposed to end her political career. All the “smart” people agreed on this. How’s that prediction working out for you? In what was one of the boldest and smartest moves made by any rookie politician she gave herself the tools to amass a personal fortune and the ability to become a figure on the national stage which anyone who’s stuck in Alaska simply can’t do.

And how about this “dumb broad” using Facebook as a way of bypassing the MSM? Reagan’s success was built partly on his ability to speak directly to the American people, avoiding the gatekeepers in the media. He also had the ability to project the fact that he had so much in common with the average American; he was “real people” even though he had spent most of his life in Hollywood. Well, as the Gipper would say, Sarah Palin is the real deal. Didn’t graduate from Yale or Harvard, worked for a living at jobs to which ordinary people can relate, has a real family with all its quirks (sort of like the Reagan kids), has a good looking husband who has a job that – to repeat – real people can relate to.

Palin is, from the very beginning, an unlikely elected leader. Conventional wisdom says you don’t rise in politics by bringing down your party’s leaders. She became governor of Alaska by bucking the corruption in her own party. Even now she is being dissed by the king-makers in the Republican establishment. I have read some comments by bloggers who wrote that they don’t want to be governed by people like themselves; they want to be governed by their betters. They’re finding out the hard way that their “betters” are simply credentialed, not wiser. The fact is that most people like to vote for people just like themselves. In the last presidential election they voted for a blank slate that to this day is largely unknown. The next election will be for someone we know intimately. No more voting for ephemeral “HopeN’Change.” It’s time to elect someone who is firmly grounded. Sarah Palin.

There is so much more to this than just Palin-2012. Sure, we should support the candidates we prefer… as we honor Palin as the brave visionary who took the fight directly to the media, at a notable personal cost. I can respect a conservative who notes respect for Palin along with a preference for a different candidate. I have no respect for the blue-bloods. Rove, Krauthammer, Christie… you fell of the "A" list when you failed to tip your hat to a lady who deserves your respect.

DanO, you may think you are scoring points with that "your majesty" stuff, but you are mostly proving your critics right. Argue the merits of your case, not your projections of what you think your fellow disputants are like. I have disagreed with gs, sometimes forcefully, on several sites, but I haven't found it necessary to write that way.

Actually I just don't understand it. Why are they so obsessed with every little thing she says? She misstates something and they go "see how stupid she is". While Biden who she ran against is a regular gaff machine. Of course with him it's "just Joe being Joe".

Book em DanO:)

As for Sarah. The final American frontier. Engage.

I'm with you Professor.

Every arrow aimed at Sarah helps Conservatism. I hope she draws their fire for as long as possible. She has laid it out for the GOP old guard: get with the times or pay a huge price. No more McCains, no more Crists. We need to clean up the GOP, day by day, inch by inch. Palin knows exactly what she is doing.

Clearly you miss the point of both sides obssessions. The left and more importantly the center, where I reside, do not understand why her party does not see her as the fraud that she is. Thus they keep pointing out the lies that she tells, the inconsistency of decrying elites-when she her self is an elite (e.g. she looks down on all those who do not share her view of the world).

On the right-you folks are obsessed at defending her for things you should not have to be defending her for-in that were she a really talented person she would not be making the continual mistakes that she makes. Your list is incomplete because it does not tell the documented times that she has done exactly what you accuse the "liberal" ( its not because if it were they would not have given her as much attention as she has gotten and clearly does not deserve.).

Palin brings on all of the scorn she gets and she deserves to be scorned. She is a dangerous demagogue, primarily because the intelligence level of the average voter has dropped so low that people give her credence when she deserves none.

I hope they continue to beat the stuffing out of her in the months to come and more and more of her lies are exposed. She symbolizes all that is wrong with the GOP today. I voted republican for over 25 years-I shall not do so as long as it turns its back on responsible people to follow her.

What's really hysterical is that NO amount of blogging, posting, discussing or dissing will change anything…lines have long been drawn in the sand (of that I am convinced)!

David WL said…What? Who? When?

Leaving out the recently elected: Daniels, Pawlenty, Perry, Jindal, shudder…yes it's unfair…Jeb Bush, Coburn, Brownback, Pence,…

sort of runic rhyme | November 28, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I'm a woman who isn't threatened by Palin, her success or her politics; on the contrary, it's good to see her persevere and thrive after the viciousness sent her way.

I'd vote for her, and a half dozen others. But "no" to Romney, Perry, Huckabee, and Jeb due to likely electorate Bush fatigue and his sharing DNA with old guard GOP.

"a conservative but non-controversial candidate"

A "non-controversial conservative" is a blue dog Democrat or a RINO. As long as you are a true conservative, you are controversial. Even if 80% of Americans agree with you, as long as you do not agree with the far left agenda, you are the extremist.

"we are obsessed with defending against the relentless, irrational, and untruthful attacks" The Palin attackers are "irrational" "untruthful", they created the controversy, then called Palin "controversial".

To find a "non-controversial" conservative to appease the attackers is the same as to apologize to a bully for kicking your butt. STUPID!

If we look at the progress of modern conservatism, why NOT Palin?

Who else embodies the frontier self-reliance, toughness and optimism we need to jumpstart our American future?

I love how everyone (including liberals, now) look back with glossed-over nostalgia for Reagan. Newsflash: He was controversial. Growing up in the Reagan era, and going to college shortly thereafter I know firsthand that Reagan was VILLIFIED by liberals, academics and the press (redundant).

They HATED him.

Protesters blamed him for everything from ushering in nuclear armagedon to causing poor kids to contract illnesses.

I just don't understand this tendency for people to believe that leadership can be achieved by not making any enemies and doing only the safe things.

Reagan bucked the Democrat Congress by holding firm on his unprecedented tax cuts. Reagan bucked his own party to ratchet up the Cold War. Reagan bucked Gorbachev in retaining missile defense. Reagan bucked the air traffic controllers.

Reagan projected strength … but it was his strength that made him controversial.

Same with Palin.

What eventually happens is that even controversial leaders can achieve "peace through strength" … their opponents come to respect them, if not agree with them.

That's already happening if you follow the media closely. Because after two years of Palin having everything thrown at her, she's still standing … and leading the resistance to Obama. And some in the liberal press are gaining an admiration for her perserverance.

Look, folks, Sarah Palin is not a retread from 2008. She did not run in the GOP primaries but was added to the GOP ticket then savaged by Mitt Romney insiders working ostensibly for McCain but really for Romney in 2012.

Newcomers like Christie, Rubio, Haley, etc., who just came on the national scene aren't going to run in 2012. They were elected to solve problems in their own states in the case of governors.

As none other than Sen. McCain pointed out today, Sarah Palin is receiving the same treatment from both the Left, the state-run media and the Vichy Republicans that Ronald Reagan received in 1979 and 1980.

Remember what El Rushbo has said: they will tell us who they fear. And clearly they fear Palin.

"And nothing matters more than defeating Obama because the damage he is doing to the country is generational."

That's the crazy right there. That's been job number one from day one. The left is going after Palin because the Right is going after Obama. The Right is going after Obama because the Left went after Bush. The Left went after Bush because The Right went after Clinton and stole Gore's election.

Of course I lean left and will be mocked for noting all this, but it's kind of a sham isn't it? Political fetish objects. All the fake hurt and outrage over is kinda hypocritical… till you trace it back to the source.

Something else that has happened is that any criticism of Palin is seen as something akin to the liberal haters. Hence, even mild or constructive criticism is attacked. This has made some of Palin's more ardent supporters very off putting. For instance, Charles Krauthammer himself is in trouble with many of them.

We should nominate a GOP Presidential Candidate that meets with approval of the Left? Rove and the Bush boys are all over that one. AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

How about one that meets with the approval of Castro, China and Iran while we are at it. -snark-

"… even mild or constructive criticism is attacked."

I haven't heard mild or constructive criticism. All I have heard is the GOP Elite – what I refer to as Vichy Republicans – parroting the same attacks from the Hate Left – liberals, self-styled academics, Hollywood, state-run media. You know, implications that somehow she needs to study (George Will), shouldn't have done the Travel Channel series (Karl Rove), is too polarizing, etc. In other words, she isn't one of us bluebloods. Almost the way Katie Couric views average Americans.

When you parrot the Left, you are going to get lumped in with them. All those Vichy Republicans are all-in for Mitt Romney. After all, it's his turn.

SP magically controls the minds of so many. Say what you want but not many can do that.


Q: Guess who was "all-in" for RINO Romney in 2008.

A: FOX News

JAL asked:

I've been going back and forth on this very issue: is it better to have a non-controversial person articulate free-market, small-government philosophy …

And just who might that be?

For 2012 I don't rightly know. Our bench is deep for 2016 and very deep for 2020 but for 2012 there may not be a suitable alternative. Of the old school crowd I liked early Gingrich but don't like what he morphed into; I thought Guiliani was the best of 2008 but he was a terrible campaigner (he should have talked about reducing crime in NYC, making the place livable again and "ignored" 9/11); Fred Thompson isn't bad but isn't a vibrant campaigner (to say the least).

Who is there besides Palin? Haley Barbor, De Mint, Thune, Jeb Bush, Tim Pawlenty (there has to be others I haven't thought of) I don't know enough about any of them to be particularly excited or repulsed.

I don't want Huck or Romney. I hope they don't get any traction at all.

This is the best opinion piece I have ever read on Palin, and I have read so, so many of them. Great job! I too wonder at her growing force. Should she run? She certainly makes an excellent human shield for the rest of the potential 2012 candidates, even willingly which reveals her as even more strong, more courageous, and more ready to lead us. If she doesn't make Obama shake in his shoes, it is his own pride that keeps him from seeing his adversaries clearly.

Much food for though here, Prof, on 2012. Well put. I find myself leaning towards the idea of not playing it safe. Enough is enough. We've had too many Bob Michaels and Gerald Fords to last us a lifetime.

Related question: Could Mr. Krauthammer be suffering from The David Stockholm (neé Stockman) Syndrome?

Frederick said…"And nothing matters more than defeating Obama because the damage he is doing to the country is generational." (p)That's the crazy right there.

I don't think the quoted statement is crazy; I think WAJ underestimates the risks attendant on a Palin candidacy or presidency. Although we have replaced a failed President with one who is shaping up as worse, let us take care that the next one is not worse yet.

Of course I lean left and will be mocked for noting all this, but it's kind of a sham isn't it? Political fetish objects.

Some people are aware of the resemblance between Palin fever and 2008 Obama fever, thank you very much.

To generalize about the state of the Right: most Palin supporters aren't crazy, but most crazies are Palin supporters.

Hey Village Idiot (that's right, you've earned that promotion),

Thanks for the Ms. Manners primer and the free psychoanalysis. I'll try to control my "projections" as I read meandering drivel like your previous post where you wander around the proverbial block projecting potential winners and voting percentages in state primaries based upon your personal impressions of what that state's electorate "wants" (i.e NH.) And also I'll try to stick to the "merits of my case"…depending upon which "case" you were referring to:

…the case for a Palin candidacy? That would be her record in public service. Try reading it.

…or the case for calling out phonies and poseurs like you and "gs"? That would be the haughty me-ism and phony profundity of wanna-be pundits who offer up variations of "…she needs to study up if she wants to impress ME".

Well, we Palin proles are engaged – right now – in the fight for the Republic. And we are so DONE with blogsphere patriots like you who are busy adjusting your powder wigs while waiting for someone Handsome with an Impressive Resume to step out of central casting and make you a little more secure when your smug liberal friends spout off about Sarah Palin.

As a real conservative, paleocon if you will, I think that Mrs. Palin is detrimental to conservative GOP politics. She has found her niche and the Peter Principle has found her. A good and decent woman, Mrs. Palin should just keep doing what she's doing and not embarrass herself again. Let's face facts, she's no more qualified for POTUS than the current empty suit in that seat.


Kurtz is not perfect, but he is one of the most capable of the MSM. This quote is just about perfect:

“‘She's too stupid’ is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. ‘Good-looking,’ but a ‘ditz.’ This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: ‘They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don't want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I'll give you a choice: You can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?’”

If Sarah Palin would run with a "kitchen cabinet" of strong and determined men and women of principle she would easily win the race: i.e. John Bolton as Secretary of State?

"gs" says: "…let us take care that the next one (meaning the next president) is not worse yet."

Really "gs"??? We couldn't do better with someone who was a twenty-year veteran of public service – with a visible record of accomplishment? And someone who slurps up the writings of Hayek, Sowell, and newcomers like Luigi Zingales for breakfast, and then belches out more Reaganesque riffs before lunch than all the Establishment stiffs combined?

"gs" says: "Some people are aware of the resemblance between Palin fever and 2008 Obama fever, thank you very much."

Um, "gs", the only cult around here is the Cult Of Royalist Gasbags, which includes you and its three members-at-large; David Frum, Kathleen Parker, and Peggy Noonan.

"gs" says: "To generalize about the state of the Right: most Palin supporters aren't crazy, but most crazies are Palin supporters."

Again, as Agent 86 might say, "the ol' Smear The Supporters Trick…" But I must admit that I'm impressed that you stayed On Message and unloaded all your Talking Points…sure hope Soros isn't paying you in ObamaCare waivers or carbon credits…but I might buy a handful from 'ya to light my cigar at Sarah Palin's Inauguration.

I think the battle for America's soul has been raging for a long time – and the end of that battle is in sight. I think that the mere fact that people are willing to camp out in the cold and the rain for 20 hours just to share a brief fleeting moment with Sarah should speak volumes. The left and the squishy middle has fought the wrong battle with Sarah over the past few years and they're beginning to realise it – but they're too late. Sarah Palin is fully weaponised. Let the battle begin.

CSimpson said: "The battle… has become a war for the heart and mind of America. Palin represents those of us who still find America exceptional and desire to return to Constitutional principles."

But guess what, folks: We can have it all! There is a once-in-a-generation leader out there who, like Sarah, drives the leftist moonbats insane, but who has all the "gravitas" that Sarah supposedly lacks. He has two master's degrees, is a galvanizing speaker, and has 22 YEARS of executive experience (courtesy of the U.S. Army, just like Eisenhower). He talks even more openly about his faith than Sarah does, and, unlike Sarah and every other politician, he is willing to speak aloud the name of our mortal enemy: radical Islam. He is the Winston Churchill to Barack Obama's Neville Chamberlain, and his name is ALLEN WEST.

DanO – It’s usually liberals who think the highschoolish obvious humor of using my screen name as an insult is fantastically clever. However, I suspected you might be one also, and you have proved me right. Just get it: it’s liberals who put all their energy into making the insults cool; conservatives argue content. If you’re not up to that, you are hurting us, not helping.

You misread my NH primary content. Whether that is because you don’t understand fairly neutral comments related to the horse race aspect of politics, or understood but chose to frame it as advocacy for my state’s wants because it made for a better sneer, or are just clouded by anger, I can’t say. I suspect most others got it.

Telling me to just look at her record as governor isn’t really substance. I have a son in Alaska, have read up on her, and am quite familiar with her record, thanks. It’s pretty good, but not uninterruptedly exciting for conservatives: kicking out the corrupt bastards, good; bipartisan ethics bill, good; negotiating oil contract, good; using sales tax instead of property tax in Wasilla – net plus; tax increase for a sports center – not a fan, thanks; earmarks, better than the previous guys, but…damn.

If you don’t use the circular definition of “a true consevative is a person who supports Sarah Palin,” then you might end up at a different place.

Undergroundconservative (change of tone here, you’ve been a reasonable commenter) – I did consider those constructive criticisms, not code for something deeper. I don’t think those particular conservatives – Krauthammer, Will, and Rove – talk in code much. I think they mean it as written. She was a governor, which translates into administrative experience but not much on foreign policy or federal law. That is why Couric went after her on those points, rather than asking her about oil policy, or how Palin would work with a divided legislature, both of which Sarah would have nailed. It was cheap journalism, but it points up a fair question. Palin has proved a quick learner – very quick indeed – on foreign policy, but as president we are talking about going head-to-head with Vlad Putin, who isn’t going to be impressed because She’s Frontier! She’s In Liberals’ Faces! Her Family Managed Two Businesses! I trust her instincts in foreign policy – more than Bush’s, actually – but instinct is only a start.

To the general topic: The great step forward of the Palin emergence has been the challenge to the idea that one must be an elite on terms dictated by beltway liberals. She has done well kicking that down. But not being a traditional elite is not, in and of itself, much of a qualification for the presidency. Hell, we can all make that claim. This thread has given a lot of evidence for the original post’s worry: Palin may be a decent enough candidate, but a lot of her support is based on tribal considerations.

There is no "safe" route. No matter who we run the liberals and the media will rip him or her apart with all kinds of garbage and defend their candidate. Look what happened with McCain, McCain is bland compared to how controversial Obama is, and he still lost and O won. And look at Boehner, most people probably hadn't heard of him, but once he become the likely new Speaker, suddenly the lib attack dogs were out and now John finds himself more controversial.

And there is no such as a "non-controversial" candidate. Politics is a controversial thing by it's very nature. All politicians are controversial, some more than others but they all are. Palin was not controversial before she became VP candidate. Palin is not controversial (other than to left wing nitjobs) but she is in a controversial field. By calling her controversial you basically make the problem her, when in fact the problem is the nature of the beast. Being conservative is controversial to all non-libs. In fact, the very fact that is considered so controversial among RINOs and libs is why she is the best candidate, by angering them she is thinking and doing right.

If we put someone out there who is not "controversial" than something is wrong. It means the person is not a real threat and/or is a moderate the libs think they can use.

That's funny. I often find myself defending positions/people I normally feel lukewarm about in response to leftist aggression. For example, from a conservative standpoint, there are a lot of problems with George W. Bush's presidency, but I'm reluctant to openly discuss them when the left is still attacking him for petty offenses such a mispronouncing "nuclear."

Another example: I'm ambivalent about gay marriage. I prefer civil unions, but I understand the left’s historical animosity toward the traditional family, so it’s difficult to tell exactly who’s approaching the pro-gay marriage debate in good faith and who’s just in it to piss on Western tradition. But the way the left reacted to Prop 8 out here in California (harassing individuals and businesses which donated to the campaign, leveling frivolous accusations of hatred and homophobia) pushed me further towards the social conservative position.

I’m writing this as President Obama’s base is freaking out over his tax cut compromise. Who knows, maybe the misbehavior of his most immature supporters will cause him to rethink his ideological stance, but I’m not counting on it.