On Palin; No Animus, No Condescension

In my piece yesterday at Pajamas Media I wrote:

. . .thrust-and-parry between a candidate and the media can both sharpen a candidate’s edge and enliven his footwork to his benefit; one smooth slice, well-timed, can topple both press and opponent, and linger in a voter’s memory as a satisfying match they want to see replayed . . . This is something Sarah Palin (and for that matter, the Tea Partiers) may wish to keep in mind for 2012. Palin is perfectly capable of deft bladework, but too often chooses to attack when a parry-and-feint will do. Her methods may please her press-hating base but — as we see with Angle and O’Donnell — one needs more than principles and an echo-chamber-emboldened base in order to win an election. One needs to be able to demonstrate skill with a keen-edged sword, so that when one lifts it above the noise and the babble, a majority will want to follow it to victory.

Well, the hate mail has been pouring in:

“I don’t understand this unattractive animus you display toward Palin…”

“You have no right to criticize our Sarah until you’ve put yourself out there, as she has.”

“You stuck-up, elitist, GOP establishment toady…”

“How dare you!”

I expect that in the writer’s mind, that last line sounded like “how daaaaaaare you” replete with a lightening bolt zapping me to hell.

Sissy Willis, who (bless her) does not seem to want to consign me to flames of woe just yet, suggests that in the above excerpt I have been “flirting with condescension” toward Palin.

I am a little surprised to read this. I thought I had pretty clearly complimented Palin in admitting that she is capable of “deft” bladework, and had merely cautioned that she often chooses not to use that skill. For instance, she went all-out-grizzly at the Family Guy for the Down syndrome “date” episode, when she really didn’t need to, and in fact could have done more harm to Family Guy with wit than with anger.

I have already said that I think the Tea Party had a good outing this election, especially for a very new movement that has no “official” leadership. What so many are taking as “establishment condescension” in my piece was nothing of the sort. I am not a Tea Partier (I am not a joiner, period) but that doesn’t mean I do not respect what is being done. Because I’m not in the thick of it, I have no emotional investment in the movement or in Palin, or for that matter, Christine O’ Donnell. I have defended both of them (Palin, many, many, many times) when I thought it right to, and have constructively critiqued her when I thought it was warranted.

Just because I am not starry-eyed in adulation of Palin does not make me a “hater” or “condescending.” It just means that I am willing to process her without emotion, and speak as I find, which–to my way of thinking–is more useful than being too-much-in-love to see a weakness or too-much-in-hate to see a strength.

Sissy makes a very good point about how Palin is going around media to get to the people:

[Sarah's] energetic embrace of the full panoply of media, old and new–from Twitter and Facebook to Fox News, Entertainment TV, her forthcoming TLC “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” series and even her daughter Bristol’s appearances on Dancing with the Stars–allows her to disintermediate the gateway media and reach the hearts and minds of the Country Class on her own terms.

Yes, Palin is doing that, and rather well. However, if Palin is going to run for president–and I believe yesterday’s well-done SarahPAC video was a hint that she will–she will need more than her base. She has a steep uphill battle before her as she tries to win back the centrists and indies who were initially attracted to her in ’08 (thus helping McCain’s numbers rise), before they fell for the unforgettably savage media attack launched against Palin.

Some would like to believe that Palin “will not need to engage the mainstream media to do that,” but the truth is, she will. Their influence is waning, and they don’t quite control the narrative as firmly as they used to, but for now the “gateway” media still controls the national conversation, itself. Those centrists and independents who turned away from Palin mostly took their cues from the mainstream, upon whom they depend for their headlines-and-soundbites. Part of her ability to win them back will depend upon how deftly (there is that word again) she engages that mainstream, who–if I may revisit the fencing analogy–will grudgingly acknowledge a touche. Recall that when Walter Mondale tried to make Reagan’s age an issue in the ’84 campaign, Reagan disarmed him (and the press) completely by genially responding that no one should hold his opponent’s youth against him. The Osric-press announced, “a hit; a very palpable hit!”

The press would never be on Reagan’s side, but all the rest of the country needed was that grudging admission that Mondale had been neatly flayed.

The US mainstream press–for all its deplorable excess–is still comprised of US citizens. A president who intends to be president of all the nation, and not just his base, will need to remember that; he cannot treat some like enemies. Reagan never did. Whatever his private feelings, he treated the press like fellow-citizens who simply held another view. Right now, Palin is getting a great deal of mileage out of hating-on the mainstream media (and let’s face it, hating-on the media is fun and kind of righteous at the moment) but eventually–if she means to be president–she is going to have to see them as her citizens, too.

Finally, for those taking offense at my “echo-chamber” remark, I have repeatedly warned of the disorienting danger of excessive insularity; if one is only listening to voices that are in unstinting agreement with one’s own views, one begins to believe that the whole world thinks as one does. That leads to nasty surprises in elections. The echo-chambers are fun, but they do occasionally need to be exited for a bit of fresh air or they become dull, stagnant places.

I have written about Sarah Palin and about the Tea Party in general, without much passion or prejudice, never dismissing either of them thoughtlessly or out of hand; I have simply applied what I know of politics, people, bullies and survival to my observations. We have become such an infuriated left-right nation that for some (on both sides) anything less than full-throated approval is received as hate, and that is not helpful to any of us, if we want to restore common sense to the public square.

No one has to agree with me; reasoned disagreement is always welcome. But Palin supporters do not make her more attractive to the centrists and indies by striking out in fury at the mildest of critiques of her. I more than understand why her supporters are overprotective of her, but reservation does not equal hate. It actually indicates a place where true common ground may be pursued, if emotions can be tamped down.

UPDATED: Now this is more like animus.

I think Richard Fernandez is on to something.

Jonah Goldberg predicts infighting in the GOP. Good thing I’m not a Republican!

Evangelicals and what they can learn from the election

Melissa Clouthier: Palin and Rubio?

Breaking: Nancy Pelosi running for leadership. It’s just too delicious. She’s going to leave her fingernail marks on the wallpaper of congress, before they get rid of her.

Looking back: There is an art to good politics

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Gina

    There’s nothing wrong with processing without emotion — but starry-eyed adulation is soooo much more fun. :-)

    That said, I think your post was fair. And I’ll admit we Palinistas overreact sometimes. Still, you have to take into account the vicious, over-the-top hatred and meanness that she keeps getting hit with, and that we get hit with by association. (I’ve written a whole book about it, so believe me, there’s plenty of it.) Sometimes it does drive us to defensiveness, because there’s so much of it that just isn’t fair. When the critiques — both the nastier ones and the milder ones — never, ever, ever stop, including critiques for things that would get a pass if other politicians did them (I’m not accusing you of that, I’m just saying there’s a lot of it) . . . sometimes one just gets weary of it all.

  • igout

    Constructive advice, Anchoress. If I might appoint myself debate coach for a moment, I’d recommend that our hopefuls hop off to London and spend a month at the Speakers’ Corner for inspiration. Maybe it’s different now, but when I was there I saw some of the sharpest banter and quickest come backs I’ve ever seen.

  • Jennifer

    What I find interesting is that Palin supporters are as protective as her as Obama supporters are of him. You can’t make a criticism of either without being called a “hater.”

  • Barbara

    Sorry – the MSM doesn’t control the conversation any longer. What kind of conversation is it anyway when Obama goes on The Daily Show and is interviewed by Seacrest ? What’s next? Dancing with the Stars? No, sorry, that’s post-presidency stuff.
    Palin’s kids are too young for her to run for 2012 but she’s a threat that should persuade the RINOs to stay focused on pro-life, fiscal responsibility issues. She’s charmed Rove, already, hasn’t she? She needs to persuade independants that they need not believe Dem and RINO propaganda.
    We have to pray and hope that a similar charm offensive (with tons of prayer) from Justice Scalia can change some hearts and minds.

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  • http://www.assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com Assistant Village Idiot

    Sarah has actually been most effective at getting her opponents to make fools of themselves. Sarah Matadora has been more effective than Sarah Barracuda. I don’t think that was her original intent when she hit the national scene, but she slipped into it well. During election season the old adrenaline may push her to more aggression.

    No need, Ms Palin. Think matador.

  • Gina

    One more point that occurred to me: I think defensiveness of a certain person isn’t nearly as much of a problem as cultural over-the-topness in general. Clear as mud? For example — at a certain mostly liberal forum that I visit, people are always saying, “So-and-so got death threats!” as a way to prove that their particular favorite politician or artist is a righteous innocent victim. The thing is, it doesn’t prove any such thing, because I could, if I wanted, point to just as many conservatives getting death threats. Palin’s toddler with Down syndrome has gotten death threats, for heaven’s sake. And when that happens, I think our cultural problem is way bigger than any one side realizes. The problem isn’t who gets the death threats, it’s that there ARE any death threats at all.

    And yet, in a sinful world, how do you eradicate that problem? I’m afraid it’s beyond me.

  • Vindex2010

    Hopefully, Sarah will continue doing what she’s been doing, namely driving liberals up a wall. A presidential run will only damage her brand and damage the electoral prospects of the GOP (and yes, it kills me to agree with insufferable commentators like David Frum and John Avalon).

    Palin, like Limbaugh and Beck, have their uses on the Right such as heating up an issue or revving up the base, which is great, but electoral politics is the art of persuasion. Even Limbaugh knows he could never get 51% of the vote, but that’s not his raison d’ etre. Sure, Palin could carry Oklahoma or the South, but can she persuade 51% of the Rust Belt? Florida? Colorado? Maine? Doubtful.

    Her biggest handicap seems to be persuading women, the same constituency that sank Angle and O’Donnell. I think the folksy platitudes with little substance entices some, but turns off many. Her speeches inspire the base, but are redundant to the middle electorate. Hearing “commonsense conservative values” over and over is a floor wax commercial and nothing else. Spouting cliches and platitudes to your fans will only carry you so far. Challenging Christine Amanpour or Chris Matthews will move votes.

    Hiding from the media on Facebook and Twitter is not a sign of strength and the warm cocoon of talking only to your base is not enough to win elections. Confident candidates are not afraid to go on Meet the Press or GMA and challenge liberal orthodoxy. Confident candidates don’t mind mixing it up with George Stephanopolis. Weak candidates run away from reporters like Sharon Angle infamously did at the airport days before Nov 2. Would Reagan run from a liberal press? Would Reagan refuse to go on CNN? He relished the battle of ideas. And in his day he had far fewer conservative outlets in the media than Palin does today.

    Also, better or worse, Palin’s negatives are already entrenched in the minds of much of the population like O’Donnell’s and Angle’s were before Nov 2. It’s hard to overcome preconceived notions about a person’s intelligence. Just ask Dan Quayle.

    The losses by O’Donnell and Angle will not help Palin build more support for a presidential run even within the Tea Party. She is controversial among the different Tea Party groups especially Tea Party Patriots. Outside the Tea Party Express, a large percentage see her as a carpetbagger within the movement and not adding much intellectual heft or gravitas.

    Sarah is great at what she is currently doing. It would be a shame to see her damage herself and more importantly damage the Conservative movement by running in 2012.

  • Merryn

    I wonder if anchoresses had to dodge veggies tossed by the hoi-polloi? Maybe you just need to step away from your window on the world and feast on the beautyful visions available through some beautiful windows on heaven, icons. Then your awe and wonder at the creation Christ died for can lift your soul…and help you put up with our illogical, emotional rants.

    Reason just isn’t as tempting as full-steam-ahead emotion, but we’ll get there. Just keep telling the truth as you see it, about Palin and all the rest, and we’ll continue to agree or disagree, the majority of us in love and appreciation for your reflections.

  • Vindex2010

    If the Conservative moment truly wants to win in 2012, they need to move some Democrat and Independent voters to their side. They might want to look at candidates like Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Chris Cristie, Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty or Nikki Haley in order to do that.

  • lethargic

    Totally agree with you, Anchoress, also with Vindex.

    I love Sarah, and voted for her (not so much for McCain as against the other guy), but I don’t think she would be an effective president. She is best doing what she’s doing now — influencing the narrative (“death panels” — genius) and keeping conservative principles highlighted in everyone’s minds. She could be even better by building her depth, skills, and gravitas at what she is doing now and becoming a conservative emeritus, so to speak.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I confess that I really do not understand this obsession with the personal when it comes to Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell and others. For some (Ace), it borders on stalking. Is it really that hard to talk about substance when it comes to them?

    Is there anywhere — anywhere — where either one is wrong on the issues, which is infinitely more important? And, to the extent that the personal is relevant, is there anything in the moral character of either one that is lacking?

    They are both 100 percent solid on substance, they are both 100 percent correct on philosophy, they are both 100 percent correct on the issues. AND THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT!

    Congress and the presidency is filled with “skilled” and “smart” people, with popular personalities, and just look at the disaster that they have wrought. It is far past time to get past this focus on superficial things, which has only brought us a government that is, not merely lousy, but destructive.

  • http://brickmuppet.mee.nu The Brickmuppet

    Palin has many good qualities and by any objective standard is more qualified for the job than the current president.

    The Palin haters do indeed tend to be exceedingly odious in their condescension and unbridled rage that this woman has DARED to rise above her station.

    However, Palins self-appointed myrmidons are very much a turn off to me. Inability to broach ANY criticism, however mild, is not the sign of a robust political movement, but fanaticism concealing insecurity.

    Obamazombies come to mind.

    We don’t need another cult campaign putting an affirmative action hire into the whitehouse. The public has seen where that leads so those who use the fluke of Obama as the litmus test for electability are willfully denying the fact that that ship has sailed and will never return in our lifetime.

    Palin may well be able to pull it off. I would love to see her do it. She has impressive experience, verve and a remarkable nose for politics. But she needs to turn her image around 180 degrees with those outside her base, this is going to be an uphill battle and the intolerant, hysterical lashing out by her would be supporters does not in any way help this.

  • Nora

    Politics is about people skills. Anyone can pay perfect, seemingly sound lipservice to the issues, but if people perceive you to be a nutjob because of your actions, who cares?

    We loathe politicians whose actions don’t reflect their words. Palin blew it when she quit her job to pursue fame and fortune. O’Donnell blew it, well, pretty much all her life so far. For me, her biggest mistake was claiming her inadequacies and her failures made her “one of us”. Uh, guess again, girl.

    Noonan’s article was spot on. Palin doesn’t deserve the time of day from anyone AFAIC, and the main reason I feel that way is because of how many times I was told I wasn’t a “real woman”, a good Christian, a good Catholic, a true Conservative, blahblah any time I raised doubts about her as a serious candidate. It’s kind of like being told I’m a racist if I didn’t support Obama, or if a black person was told they weren’t a “real” black person if they didn’t vote for him.

    Sometimes your supporters can be your biggest downfall.

    That’s the problem with living in a bubble. You’re surrounded by rabid fans, yesmen, opportunists, and extremists. At some point you’ve got to connect to the rest of the country, and that takes perspective, wisdom and a genuine talent for communication, and that begins and ends with listening, not spouting 100% correct renditions of the party platform.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Meanwhile, it looks like Hillary may have finally been worn down and out, that she might be done with presidential ambitions –

    In a separate interview with TV New Zealand, Clinton said she hoped the United States was ready for a female president, adding “it should be.”

    Asked if it might be her, she replied: “Well, not me. But it will be someone and it is nice coming to countries that have already proven that they can elect women to the highest governing positions that they have in their systems.”

    Frankly, it would be a healthy thing for her, if true. On the Republican side, both Bushes, Reagan, and Ford were all content to leave the presidency without any hunger for more. Even Nixon, after a while, got over it.

    Apparently, Bill still shows that he has the hunger (at times), and Hillary did have the bug for a time, but they may have finally grown out of it.

  • Randy

    Your post and prior piece seemed eminently reasonable to me. I’m as sorry to read that you have received so many intolerant responses as I’m sorry to say that I’m not surprised.

  • http://amba12.wordpress.com amba (Annie Gottlieb)

    What I find interesting is that Palin supporters are as protective as her as Obama supporters are of him. You can’t make a criticism of either without being called a “hater.”

    Yet another way in which Obama and Palin are similar–not in content, of course (there they are diametrical opposites) but in form. In what their fans elevate them to and make of them. Reversed mirror images.

    Anchoress, if you are getting hate mail for just scrutinizing potential political candidates dispassionately, we’re in a lot of trouble. We already got into a lot of trouble with Obama because enough people were unwilling to do that. The fact that the media has treated Palin abominably is not healed by placing her above friendly advice, which might help her become a stronger candidate. There IS such a thing as constructive criticism. It aims to strengthen, not tear down, its target.

  • Vindex2010

    Sure, the elitists that are angry that Palin dared to rise above her station are odious, but they are too few in number to affect her election prospects. She needs more women, independents and Democrats to get her over 50%. She has her base. She needs to expand that to win a national election. That means inspiring people who would not normally vote for her and even conservatives who are nervous every time she opens her mouth afraid she will make a gaffe or look lost. She needs people like my 70-year-old mother, a conservative, but someone who finds Palin “grating” and “not very smart.” She needs someone like my 40-year-old friend Eddie, a rock-ribbed Republican from Missouri who thinks Sarah’s overuse of home spun aphorisms and commonsense platitudes “cloying and anti-intellectual.” In other words, she needs to up her game and stop playing to her base. Palin fans don’t want to hear it, but the base isn’t big enough to win the presidency. Ever hear of a Reagan Democrat? Think you will ever hear of a Palin Democrat?

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Well, the anti-Palinites better learn to get over their condescending pettiness and start being nice because if you continue to piss off the pro-Palin crowd with your unmerited conceit, the Republican Party will rightly sink back into the abyss that Sarah Palin nearly single-handedly saved the party from.

    [I think Rush Limbaugh and others would be surprised to hear that Palin "nearly single-handedly) saved the GOP from an abyss. I'd call it a group rescue. You know, Bender, I think the notion that there are "pro" and "anti" Palinistas kind of proves the well-articulated points by some of these other commenters, that there is something unhealthy in this over-defense of Palin. Your comment could almost be taken as parody but I know you don't mean it that way. To observe weaknesses is not "not being nice." It may well be that Palin is a better Kingmaker than King, herself. She's a patriot, for sure. That may well be her role. To say so should not cause gritted teeth or angry threats, and Palin would probably be the first to say it. Someone tweeted today, "I could vote for Palin, but not if [her supporters] are going to yell at me like my ex-GF” -admin]

  • Paleocelta

    I think you give Palin far too much credit. She’s not “deft” at anything except bonding with those who have an inferiority complex and grievance-baggage. I’m a pro-life conservative woman and she’s completely alienated me with her anti-intellectualism. Pour into the mix her grating voice with the canned homespun spoonerisms and her scheming, naked ambition, and you get an unpalatable result. I’m glad she’s not my mother.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    And let’s be honest — Palin ain’t never going to get the approval of folks like Eddie. George W. Bush had degrees from Harvard and Yale and he will still be forever deemed to be a stupid moron by a certain segment of society.

    Anyone willing to give Palin a fair shot doesn’t need to be won over. She has already done enough of that, and many times over. Anyone who continues to harp on alleged shortcomings is someone who refuses to be won over, someone who looks for reasons to criticize her. Anyone who keeps saying, “what Palin needs to do is . . .” is not someone who will ever support her, even if she were to comply with those demands a thousand-times over.

    [Wow, really, Bender? So then, she's perfect and there is no constructive criticism that can ever mean anything but secret, underhanded malevolence? Good to know. -admin]

  • jerseyflash

    My first comment: Paleocelta** do you have something against women. Could Vadar be your father????? People have short memories-Sarah’s convention speech stop (EVERYONE) in there tracks. I was at a party when Sarah started talking and about 5 minutes into it, the WHOLE party was glued to the TV. The Dem and Reps were wee-weeeing on there legs.
    Get use to saying “Good morning Madam President” ***practice in the mirror it’s easy.
    The cleaning lady “COMM-UTH”
    Palin/Rubio 2012 “Fire & Brimstone”
    Beauty brains and one of the best salemen I have ever witnessed.

    [Camille Paglia was the only person on the left, in my memory, willing to admit that Palin killed at the convention, and that the left became instantly terrified -admin]

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    there is something unhealthy in this over-defense of Palin

    There would not be an “over-defense” of Palin if there were not this continued petty questioning of her.

    Again, if the anti-Palin people do not want to have this fight, then they need to quit their whining about her. If they do that, then the pro-Palin people will have no need to defend her, overly or otherwise.

    The anti-Palin people picked this fight. And they don’t get to throw the rocks and then complain when rocks get thrown back.

    [Okay, so let me be clear about your meaning. Am "I" an "anti-Palin" in your view? Define "throwing rocks." Is constructive criticism allowed or not? -admin]

  • Nora

    @Paleocelta — yes! Exactly. I was going to say something about that appalling voice and those bizarro cadences and inflections of hers, but didn’t think it fair. One’s voice is one’s voice and there’s not much you can do about it. I myself am cursed with a voice that, at the age of 50, still has people asking if my mother is home when I pick up the phone.

    Still, for all the money’s she’s raked in since she left the governorship in the dust, you’d think she could’ve spent a few dollars on a speech coach. Actresses do it all the time…

    My first, instinctive reaction to Ms. Palin was that she was a grasping, narcissistic female who would stop at nothing to remain in the limelight. Nothing she has done since the moment she burst onto the scene has changed my mind. I, too, just roll my eyes at the puke-making down-homey, backcountry BS. Plus, I know enough about grizzly bears to know she doesn’t know jack about ‘em. Heck, Timothy Treadwell knew more about grizzly bears than she does. Every time she says “we mama grizzlies” I want to tell her to go spend a night with them after she’s been coated in peanut butter and see how that works out for her. That’s my secret, underhanded, malevolent wish.

    Again, rhetoric like this:

    Well, the anti-Palinites better learn to get over their condescending pettiness and start being nice because if you continue to piss off the pro-Palin crowd with your unmerited conceit, the Republican Party will rightly sink back into the abyss that Sarah Palin nearly single-handedly saved the party from.

    is exactly why I cannot and will not vote for that woman. I don’t like being threatened into things.

  • SCSoxFan

    Ms. Scalia, your reservations about Sarah Palin were expressed reasonably and are, themselves, not unreasonable, even if I don’t sharre most of them. Why we who support Palin get so defensive is exemplified by some of the comments here and by the commentary by Noonan that you linked to above.

    Specifically, that she is a “dolt,” a “nincompoop,” and “anti-intellectual” because she speaks and acts like a common citizen of the U.S. rather than an elite snob. In saying she is incompetent and unfit for office they are saying that WE are incompetent and unfit for office. Like the voices in the GOP offices of the Senate, basically saying that we who consider ourselves members of the Tea Party movement are fit to vote and support THEM, but we shouldn’t consider our judgment to be superior to the elites and consultants, who just KNOW who is electable and who isn’t (say, how did Dede Scozzafava, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist work out?).

    I am reading an excellent book right now, “Rendevous With Destiny,” which covers Reagan’s 1980 campaign. The author, Craig Shirley, describes the condescension and vitriol that Reagan got, not just from the Democrats and the left, but from the GOP intellectual class and Northeastern elites. He was a boob, unelectable, and a Goldwater disaster in the making, according to them. Sound familiar? Substitute the name Sarah Palin for Ronald Reagan and it sounds like it was written about 2010, not 1980.

    The really sad part is that someone like Peggy Noonan, who claims to revere Ronald Reagan, has morphed into one of the very elitist snobs that tore Reagan apart for decades. And, she won’t even see it.

  • Pam Hoyt

    Does anyone recall Ms. Noonan back in 2008 , caught unaware with her comrades on an open mic, revealed her elitist contempt for Sarah Palin in a flash. She has subsequently made tepid attempts to redeem her image with more measured commentary, but the stink of that Boston-NYC-DC brie is on her breath now and betrayal is never forgotten. She was chief among the rustling rodents scurrying down the ratlines of the listing USS McCain, her calumny akin to squeaking for Obama and his vast stores of government cheese. Peggy thought Barack was just sooo cool.

    She prefers Marxists and nanny state tyrants to Palin and Tea Partiers. Never mind trashing the constitution, debauching the dollar, or crushing the republic under a mountain of debt, so long as you sip your chardonnay with pinky extended. The fallacy embraced by Noonan is identical to the one which the comments here extol; If only we choose the “right kind of people” the dusty reality of real conditions in the field can be fashioned into a conservative Eden. One is not qualified for such lofty employ if only “state colleges” are on the resume.

    This political fight is not for prissy analysts waxing poetic about the gentile past. This is about the survival of our democracy. Say what you will about Palin, but she can take a punch, much better than her supporters.

    Who are sick to death of all the public “advise” that could be given in private…and sounds remarkably similar to the Dems “advise” to Palin.

    Especially this one: “cultist fans of Palin really, really, make me not like her”.

    As usual, you play your hands as if the other side is stupid.

  • Mike Mc.

    I also do not get the Palin animus from the right side. Let’s look at the facts:

    1. Sarah Palin was for a time the lone voice in the wilderness against Obama and the liberal agenda. She named names, called things what they were, and called people out from Day 1.

    2. The so-called expert Republicans and Conservatives were hiding and bowed in defeat and unwilling to say almost anything like what she was saying. It was more likely they would criticize her, than they would fight against Obama, Pelosi and Reid. To a man, using the term ‘man’ advisedly, they were cowards and displayed cowardice.

    3. Palin was out on the stump for two years. She was savaged in every way – the worst being in the polite way by, sorry, people a lot like you, and a lot of people like you. She stood her ground. She has been more stable, trustworthy and true than ANYONE else, even and especially those supposed to be on her side. We expect it from the bad guys, but when the good side goes bad…?

    4. On the other hand, she has thrived! She is way advanced over everyone out there – Obama included. She is as sharp as a tack and on the cutting edge in all the new media and modes of communication. She is a person of substance and gives straight answers people can understand. She is smarter than Obama, and in her own version of the Dowd Rule as it applied to Bush – smarter than all the people who say she isn’t smart. Look at where she is compared to you, for example! Compared to all her detractors, for example. Compared to most people, for example. Light years ahead.

    5. She carries it all off with wit, grace, good humor and ABOVE ALL – normalcy. People love her…we love her…because she is normal. She is one of us.

    I have no doubt about two things: 1) If she decides to run, she will win the nomination; 2) Should she run against Obama, she will clean his clock. He is a complete fake. He is as shallow as shallow gets, as phony as there is to be phony, as unaccomplished and untalented a person whoever was President. She is already under his skin and in his head. She will tear him a new one in a head to head competition. She’s real. She’s good. he isn’t.

    The professional caste of pols and pundits who savagely or politely impugn Palin won’t matter and don’t matter a bit in the end. She has more on the ball than they can even see, and people know this already. Obama et al despise her and degrade her because they are scared to death of her. People on our side for the same reason – they can match her and so want to bring her down. it won’t work. She is the real deal’ a game changer; a true blue. Ironic how first we got the fake version of that – Obama – and now we’ll get the real thing – Palin

    [Here is the problem: for all that Palin has done a lot the past two years, and yes circumvented the msm to get out talking directly to the people...she does not seem to have broadened her appeal outside of her base. And if she wants to be president, she must do that. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. She cannot become president with her base, alone. So, people can take my very mild and constructive critique of Palin as some sort of nefarious, snobby malevolence meant to keep her down...but did it ever occur to you that the reason I offer constructive criticism rather than sneers and dismissals is not because I hate her, but because I am sympathetic to her, see her strengths, and would like to see her appeal be broader? That can happen, but one way it won't happen is by people telling her she's perfect and there is no room for improvement. THAT sort of unquestioning adoration is precisely how Obama was treated, and how did that work out? -admin]

  • Brian English

    Make her the head of the RNC.

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    Well – we have to admit Sarah Palin is consequential. Just look how much time we spend reading, writing and talking about her.

    Here’s the thing about Palin – I like her. I think I’d like to have her as a neighbor or a sister-in-law. She and I have a lot in common… 40-something women educated in public schools and state universities. I’d like to think we’re both smart common-sense patriotic Americans, although she’s much more accomplished than I am (and Barack Obama too, incidentally) not to mention much more beautiful. We share basic values, but she’s actually had to live hers out. I admire that.

    But, I’m with the Anchoress and other commenters here. I have reservations about her. Part of my hesitation is that her folksy charm wears thin after a while… dropping her “g”s at the end of her “ing”s and winking, etc. I don’t think she’s putting us on, I just don’t find her style impressive. Chris Christie seems like an authentic New Jersey tough-guy and he is impressive to me and enough independents and moderates to get elected in a true-blue state.

    It doesn’t help matters that her launch onto the national scene was such a cynical ploy by my last choice of GOP nominees, and Democrat-lite, John McCain. Maybe it is just an irrational stubbornness on my part, but I hate the game of dividing people into race, class, gender… “let’s see they have a black guy at the top of the ticket and I’m an old white guy, so… let’s put a WOMAN in the VP spot!” Ugh.

    I realize this last point isn’t Palin’s fault, although perhaps if she had been more discerning and less relentless in her ambition, she would have refused the invitation to join the ticket. But it leaves me wanting more from our next presidential nominee.

    I want someone authentic, impressive, grounded, articulate and fully formed on the American founding. Someone persuasive because he speaks the truth. I admit, if the someone is a woman, I want Margaret Thatcher caliber, which Sarah Palin isn’t. Maybe with some more mileage, she’ll get there. In the meantime, I’m hoping she doesn’t run.

  • Terrye

    You touched on something I have noticed lately. I like Palin, I always have, but some of her followers simply can not look at her with any kind of rational objectivity. Any criticism, any dissension is seen as an attack. And it is getting kind of creepy.

    For instance I was on another blog and there was a reference to some article that had an anonymous source stating that Bush was not impressed with Palin when McCain picked her. Well of course, people started attacking Bush…and these were mostly conservatives and Republicans. Nasty, mean comments…and I pointed out that the entire statement was made by anonymous sources and that when people did that kind of thing to Palin, when they wrote nasty articles using anonymous sources to embarrass or humiliate her it was seen as an awful thing to do…and yet they were willing to take this at face value and go after Bush and everyone associated with him for basically nothing.

    It is as if people can not just have honest opinions anymore and leave it at that. Any statement about Palin that is seen as anything less than absolute devotion is seen as some sort of attack and a response is forth coming. The truth is it making me feel more uncomfortable about Sarah Palin than I used to.

  • Maureen from Canada

    I really don’t have dog in this fight and I don’t think she is perfect, BUT as some others have mentioned she has been at the forefront of dismantling the Obama myth, willing to take on the ‘old boy network’ and challenge the status quo – until recently she was pretty much on her own. At the very least she can be a kingmaker. What I like about her is that she is more than willing to stand up for her beliefs AND she truly and deeply loves America and Americans. I think she would also be smart enough to surround herself with experts – and that is leadership. Something Obama still doesn’t understand.

  • Pam Hoyt

    No, here is the problem….why oh why do you assume (if she runs) that she will NOT “try to broaden her base”??

    Why would she NOT try to appeal to others?

    Why do you act as if she is a women who does not know that she cannot become President “with her base alone”?

    She did after all RUN for VP, and received over 50 million votes….why is she treated as if she has no clue about Presidential politics?

    And finally why don’t you ask this of other possible primary candidates?

    Has this contest begun, and I missed it? Because no one has even announced yet.

    If she runs, she will compete with other candidates in debates, in policy speeches, on the stump, on TV, and may the best man win!

    When I see this simpleton “advice” given to the other guys, I will take it seriously.

  • Mike Mc.

    To dismiss praise of Palin and vigorous defense of Palin as a case of “unquestioning adoration” is also condescending and quite frankly an insult. At the same time it commits the fallacy of thinking everything is the same thing.

    Therefore, if Obama was unquestioningly praised, and if Palin is (you say – although no one I ever heard of actually did that, but the polar opposite since every question imaginable has been thrown at her and I heard all of them), then it proves they are both bad?

    No. The good is to be praised. The evil is to be condemned. If evil was once praised that does not make praising the good evil.

    This is the Left’s attack on logic again. That attacked was a roaring success. Good people can’t think up through down by now. We must always bow to evil and play by its rules.

    It is supposed to be the exact opposite. We should be challenging other pols, Obama too, to live up to the Palin standard. We should be questioning them as to why they cannot speak directly to issues; why they can’t say what they mean; why they are not loyal; why the have no foresight and courage; why they display no virtues at all!

    Normal people know good people when they see and hear them for two solid years. And they know rotten people after that time too. They just voted on Obama on that score. When and if Palin runs, they’ll vote on her too.

    Is it possible that

  • Cowardly Lioness

    .why oh why do you assume (if she runs) that she will NOT “try to broaden her base

    I don’t think the issue here is not trying – but rather, hasn’t yet succeeded. And that gentle critique is accurate. I believe that one thought seems to be that Sarah Palin is a pretty face with not yet enough substance to run the country. There are those who still think she has some proving to do.

    She’s not a slam-dunk to win the election, should she run. I think the American people are going to be leery of experimenting with another novelty president. And that’s not meant as an insult to Sarah Palin.

  • Pam Hoyt

    Of course it is meant to be an insult to a woman who has been a Mayor, served on a State Energy Commission, a Gov, a business owner, a mother….has ran numerous political campaigns, was a US VP nominee, put corrupt pols in jail, sat before countless editorial boards in her State (which btw, gave her excellent reviews and poll numbers before SNL got a hold of her), did numerous interviews with Charlie Rose on energy and gas issues while Gov (and Charlie didn’t leak to the media that she was so gosh darn stupid), negotiated deals with Oil giants and States for oil and gas pipelines. (no oil companies or State Govs ran away with hair-on-fire claiming she was too stupid to deal with)

    All before the MSM wrote the “stupid” narrative, as they did with GWB, Ronald Reagan, GHWB, and countless other Republicans.

    Why do you think McCain picked her? Because she had NO substance at all?

    To say she has no substance, a “novelty”? and is just a pretty face……IS an insult.

    Why not own it?

    All this pretense is silly…claiming I really like her but…her supporters are just too darn mean, or that she is just too darn pretty, or her accent is just too darn weird, or her kid’s boyfriend is just too….

    I get the feeling that some just think….how dare she? How dare she believe that she can be President of the United States? Who does this white trash hick think she is?

    Anyway, as I said above….if she runs, she and the guys will debate many times, she will write up her white papers on issues, she will interview like all the other candidates, and she will either rise or fall.

    Patience everyone.

  • Elizabeth scalia

    Pam, I am unable to answer from my dashboard so must respond here…you say that when you see ” this simpleton advise” being given to Huckabee or Romney you’ll take it seriously. That demonstrates to me that you really don’t understand: I dislike both of those candidates and frankly do not expect either of them to be serious contenders for the ’12 nomination. If I did like either of them reotely, I would be paying attention and making CONSTRUCTIVE, not belittling critiques, as I have done with Palin. Now do you get it?

    Also, maybe it’s late and I am tired, but I am getting just a little sick of the recrimination just because I dared to fairly critique her. My numerous (and strong) defenses of her seem not to count for anything in the minds of the “pro-palinistas” and you know what, that’s a huge turn off. As I said before, this “love her unquestioningly or be purged” mentality on display will do Palin more harm than good. Like the Obama camp, fellow Americans are being perceived as ” enemies”. Not by Palin but by you guys. Think about that.

  • Elizabeth scalia

    I mean ” you guys” generally, not specifically; I am tired.

  • Denise

    re: “She blew it when she quit the governship to pursue fame and fortune.” Perhaps you are not aware that Gov. Palin was a half MILLION in debt defending herself from democratic operative inspired ethics investigations at the time of her resignation. (All of which were dismissed btw.) She left because staying would have prevented her from speaking (HELLO – her death panel comment STARTED the national debate on health care – and she never could have said it as Governor.). She resigned NOT KNOWING whether or not anyone would listen to her again. She did it on principal (best for Alaska and non-bankrupting for her).Those are respectable and admirable reasons. Too bad they’re not good enough for Nora.

    I understand The Anchoresses’ point: Sarah needs to get beyond her base. I think she is (and with her amazing political instincts with the Alaska show). I admire how she’s not afraid to push her ideas and values in the face of Establishment Republican and lockstep liberal opposition. I think the fencing analogy was a little to forced to really give advice. What exactly are you advising her to do? Have witty comebacks ready at all times?

    I appreciate your balanced coverage and respectful criticism. Just don’t forget her endorsed canditates did succeed in some blue areas (NH for example). Her ideas succeed with independents.

  • mrp

    Sarah Palin saved the Republican Party in 2010.

    A more self-serving pol with her extraordinary political skills could have easily taken a big chunk out of the nebulous Tea Party and formed a third party. The Democrats, of course, were hoping that would happen. With a Perot-like nationalized election, there would have been no Big Wave for the Republicans. In fact, a lot of GOP candidates were sunk at the state level by split votes on the non-Democrat side of the ballot (CO US Senate and the Massachusetts gubernatorial races, for example). Palin, instead, focused on promoting a Tea Party insurgency within the Republican Party, channeling the Tea Party passion into support for GOP candidates.

    Another point: Sarah Palin, if she decides to run for the presidency, will engage in a primary field composed of several candidates, each with his or her circle of friends and supporters. Polling numbers at this point are meaningless, because, for the moment anyway, Obama doesn’t have a primary challenger. Of all of the GOP contenders, Palin, by far, has the highest name and policy recognition within the GOP (something like a 95% national name recognition). None – repeat – none of the others come close. By the end of the primary season, we’ll all know more about the character and CV of each GOP presidential candidate – and how each measures up as the national and international events of 2010, 2011, and 2012 unfold.

  • Pam Hoyt

    Sorry Elizabeth, I mean no disrespect to you and your wonderful blog…but I must confess my ignorance..I have never caught your columns about Palin before tonight. This is my first time here responding to mainly the comment section.

    My interest and concern is mainly this; I have been watching politics for 40 years and have never, ever, seen a pol treated as badly by friend and foe, as GWB (who has been consigned to hiding & no comments for fear of reproach by the liberal MSM)….and now Palin. From McCain’s own campaign aides no less, the liberal press and Hollywood.

    It was as if she was raped, beaten, and left in the town square of AK, naked in the rain. She got up, humiliated and embarrassed…proceeded to govern, and then faced 500,000 worth of (later dismissed) charges by DNC hacks, and NOT ONE Republican came to her aid …not one.

    So yes, if this seems personal it is….two good Americans like GWB and Sarah Palin (who are both as harmless as they come, no danger to any American), have their reputations ruined for what? Because they are human and made errors and mistakes…what Dem hasn’t? And what Dem is treated this way?

    Certainly no Dem President, VP, office holder that I can think of has been so reviled and critiqued by our culture and news media.

    And Obama has received full on..massive press promotion and defense for the last 5 years running.

    So critique away….one thing about Sarah Palin is she really does not get enough PUBLIC criticism, and needs more….lots more.

    (Because the MSM/Hollywood/DNC/Academia war room just might miss something!)

    But after the critiques…will come the email in her defense, and some in just anger.

    Because if her supporters don’t put a defense of her in some kind of print….who will?

    [I take your point. I have said innumerable times that Palin was savaged by the press, most disgracefully. But those rushing to her defense really should be able to differentiate between malevolent swipes meant to take her down or dehumanize her, and constructive criticism meant to broaden her appeal, not weaken it. The hysterical defensive reactions by her apologists run completely out of proportion to the "perceived insults" to her. Do you really think my post demanded scores of hate emails and all of this discussion in the comments section here and at PJM? I surely don't. It is way out of proportion. And this is the point I will keep trying to make: this disproportionate, "She was savaged in '08 and so we're not going to listen to any discussion of her weaknesses, fingers in the ear, nahnahnah you're just a hater" crap will not bring the rest of the country around to her. It will merely make the rest of the country dislike her more, because her unquestioning supporters are so incredibly off-putting. I'll keep saying it. Sooner or later, some will get it. Palin has many good qualities; she is a patriot who loves the country and wants what is best for it. She also has some glaring weaknesses, and someone (I can't remember who, sorry) made the excellent point that she is--possibly through no fault of her own--becoming "all about herself" which also does not help. Nobody wants a perpetual victim in the White House. I understand the trauma of '08. I wrote vociferously against it and in her defense. But I also understand that the uber-defensiveness has GOT to end, or all Palin will ever be is the beloved voice of her base. I see her value. I also see where she needs to grow. If people are going to insist that she needn't grow, they're fooling themselves and selling her short, too. -admin]

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Am “I” an “anti-Palin” in your view?

    I know you to be a good person, but I’ll let you define yourself. But, to revert to my first point, I really do not understand the point of continuing to bring up the alleged personal shortcomings of Sarah Palin. It is not as if it was not said many times before, and the personal is far less important than substance.

    Are her supporters too extremist in support? Maybe, but that raises the question again of why keep bringing this up? Such poking the stick in their eyes certainly cannot be to advance conservative issues, and it cannot be to bring about unity and healing. Rather, it is divisive and condescending.

    Not merely here, but in far too many “conservative” sites — there is far too much personal bashing of fellow conservatives, far too much focusing on the personal — silly, petty, inconsequential personal attributes. And a rather arbitrary focusing at that, since the personal qualities of far worse candidates are ignored. It does not help anyone. It is destructive. It is divisive. It alienates. And it merely gives ammunition and encouragement for the other side to bash.

    It is time to let the personal go, if not for political reasons, then as a matter of charity. Let the personal go, and let’s focus on the substantive issues that Palin, et al., are advancing.

    And, yes, she did nearly single-handedly save the Republican Party from extinction. The day before John McCain picked her for VP, the party was headed the way of the dinosaurs. It was Sarah Palin and only Sarah Palin who breathed new life into that campaign and, thus, into the party at large. It was her and her alone who excited people, who allowed people to say to themselves, “finally, there is someone who gets it,” a real, everyday person and not some phony oligarch, who gave people cause to believe again, to not say “to hell with them all,” but to get back in there and fight.

    Sarah Palin did that, not any of the smart crowd, not any of the elite, not any of the party establishment, not any of the people who are better than her and better than me and better than you and better than everyone. She did what no one else did when there was no one else even on the horizon. So, yeah, she deserves my respect, she deserves my zealous defense.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    is exactly why I cannot and will not vote for that woman

    Then don’t Nora. I didn’t ask you to vote for her. I said you need to quit being obnoxious about her if you want her supporters to vote for the people that you want.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    some of her followers simply can not look at her with any kind of rational objectivity. Any criticism, any dissension is seen as an attack

    Terrye — good to see you again, we went round and round on McCain, as you know. I must respond to this notion that any criticism is seen as an attack.

    The problem is that 98 percent of any and all criticism of Sarah Palin is completely personal and has absolutely nothing to do with the what she says and believes on the issues. It is such an obsessive focus on the personal, to the exclusion of what she actually says and thinks, that is irrational, not the defense of her. Such “criticism” is totally divorced from reason, from rationality, and deals instead with merely superficial, petty, personal characteristics — her mannerisms, her way of speaking, her interviewing skills, etc. — none of which have any relevance whatsoever to public policy.

    The alleged over-the-top defenses of Palin do not happen when some policy dispute with her is raised, some substantive disagreement on the issues. It is only when people condescend to disparage her person, her character, her intelligence.

    If someone doesn’t like her politics, that’s fine, that’s fair game. But sinking down into the personal is not fair game.

  • Pam Hoyt

    Bender…you seem out of place on this board, I like the blog content…but wow, the bigotry is amazing here in the comment section.

    Talking about a woman’s accent, her “backcountry” home, wishing her death from a wild animal? I shudder to think what I have missed before.

    Good grief.

    But I guess dehumanizing of Palin has worked well, (same with GWB), the MSM/DNC are masters at doing this to their political opponents.

    You should ck out some other boards…that actually take on the Dems, and do some planning and brainstorming.


    “You have no right to criticize our Sarah until you’ve put yourself out there, as she has.”

    “You stuck-up, elitist, GOP establishment toady…”

    I am so sorry to hear such nonsense. Please, Anchoress, do not be swayed by such pathetic folly, and continue to lead with grace and honesty.

    The FASHION is really quite ugly. It has become as partisan, even as populist, playing class warfare within the Republican Arena. It is not Conservative at all.

    This is the sophistry I have been referencing, and it is clear, it is not living in the real world.

    This has been encouraged by the enabling of Rush, Hannity, etc., (yes, I am still a fan of both) who may play the game because they too are afraid of been vilified by this small devoted group for being honest. I remember the foolish calling everyone a TRAITOR after 2004, and Rush declared he would never ‘carry the water’ for anyone again. Well today he carries the water by the ton for the O’Donnell fiasco and the Hockey Mom. It is quite a contradiction – far from his pledge or being Conservative.

    We actually see those trying to blame Karl Rove for the O’Donnell lose. It is utterly nutty, not Conservative either.

    The mighty SISU is outstanding. We know she went to sell her fine wares on the unstable RIEHL blog, which has been growing to this type of ugly fashion. Riehl is one of the most delusional of all – who actually peddles the most nutty ‘cabal – conspiracy’ theories about the GOP. The mighty SISU is outstanding, but has been ‘flirting with fashion’ far too much for her own great nature. And many of us who care deeply about her, have tried to warn her of this path that lowers credibility.

    Mrs. Palin is a fine American, but has many flaws, just like most politicians. She recently even said about O’Donnell, that she always supports the “MOST CONSERVATIVE” in every Race – well, that doesn’t explain McCain, Fiorina, etc. As it is now, Sarah will lose as big as O’Donnell, even against the horrid Mr. Obama on the National Stage. That is reality, and it is regretful. Sarah Palin loses to Obama by some 20% in various polls, while the other GOP Possibles are leading Obama by similar margins. Sarah Palin has the same terrible poll numbers as the weak O’Donnell, and even the horrid Hillary Clinton. But a serious Conservative doesn’t ignore reality, they are based in facts, reason, reality. They would never ignore the poor offering, and run a potential loser – just as we did in Delaware.

    The serious analysis of Mrs. Palin, even her embrace of the disastrous Maverick Ticket, does not exist amongst many, because of the Celebrity – fashionable embrace. It is fine to have a favorite, to have someone you identify with, a genuine Icon which is not another leftist-Democrat. But it is also weakening, by being dishonest about the offering.

    We have to do better than the likes of the Delaware Race. We cannot give away SEATS and Races again. And yes, right now, Mrs. Palin (just as she did on the Maverick Ticket) will enable the opposite if she were chosen as the GOP Presidential Nominee in 2012. There is plenty of time to change and grow, but as of right now, Mrs. Palin is the weakest offering we have. Part of it is due to ugly Democratic Partisan stereotyping, and part of it is the Candidate – who often plays to this stereotypical image, perhaps because she is hiding some of her limitations.

  • Terrye


    I understand your point. But this is what I am saying, if you want people to take Palin seriously then you have to be able to debate about her.

    Think of some of the things said about McCain and Bush by both sides…the nature of the attacks on both men…however, if someone just says that Palin needs to learn to handle the press better her supporters go off on them.

    Think about that.


    “will not need to engage the mainstream media to do that…”

    Some bragged, that Angle and O’Donnell and Paul, etc., were wise to boycott the various Media Outlets, especially those with an overt Partisan spin.

    However, a real strong Candidate – one’s we desperately need, like Rep. WEST, Sen. Rubio, Gov. Christie, would never be so weak to have to avoid being asked serious questions, and fear confrontation.

    This weakness is vivid, and Americans will see it, not acclaim the inability or censoring attitudes. Americans will always question why one cannot handle the heat.

    Mrs. Palin has followed this mindset, often only engaging in very friendly engagements with the Coaching Hannity and others. It hasn’t grown her ability, but only enables a weakness.

    No, I am not advocating going on terrible ugly shows, just warning against the tunnel vision of limiting one’s interaction as a whole.

    In regards to Fashion, for example, to use the mighty SISU who can handle the insight. SISU is one of the best of all time. However, once I will never forget reading the wonderful SISU suggest Sarah Palin “alone” had debased and destroyed all the support for Obamacare. Now this was rabid fan fare, which had gone beyond reality. Sarah Palin was one voice of so many form a great side – a fine Team on the right side of History. But Sarah Palin was not the leader on this effort, she was mostly following the efforts of many Conservatives and even Republicans who began the opposition to this disastrous folly. In fact, Mrs. Palin wasn’t even there for the defining moment, at the ‘Obamacare Summit’, where various Republicans like Rep. Ryan made the Democrats appear quite foolish on the National Stage. That meeting, arranged by the Democrats for Public Relations, backfired on the Democratic Party tremendously. The Democrats simply could not handle the reasoned logic of Ryan, Boehner, Alexander, etc.

    But Mrs. Palin was just ‘tweeting’ at this time, after selling her book. Her influence was truly minor on the Public Stage – beyond Our Base. Yet, those devotees, still decided to give her ALL of the credit. A sign the hype had grown to dangerous levels of utter fantasy. This is not conservatism, but pure fan fare.

    We have to do better, or we will end up enabling the worst.


    “[I think Rush Limbaugh and others would be surprised to hear that Palin “nearly single-handedly) saved the GOP from an abyss.”

    We can see the fashion from this tread of comments alone.

    So now if one offers a constructive analysis of a politician, Mrs. Palin, they are demonized.

    Guess what?

    That is exactly how the Democratic Partisans behave.

    There is nothing Conservative about it. It is fan fare and completely based on emotional devotion to an Image.

    We see contradictions in all politicians. Mrs. Palin provided populist taxation increases on Oil Companies and created ‘Climate Panel’ bureaucracy in Alaska. She is far from a Reagan Conservative Ideal, which the fashion promotes. She even joined the Maverick Platform, which was one of the most liberal-Democrat offerings of all time from the GOP side. It was embarrassing actually, and flopped dramatically.

    And a real Conservative would be honest about it all, certainly would not lower their own existence by vilifying others who are offering critical analysis about it.

    They would be secure in their support, and this type of juvenile lashing out, only suggests the devotion is not based on security, but one of weakness.

    Perhaps the Palin Fashion, is one created out of pure need, like a comfort blanket, after all.

    There are others, who don’t need an ICONIC IMAGE to hide behind.

    But this is only important, in relation to the choices we seek in the future. We need the strongest we can find, to end the disastrous Democratic Party’s folly, which is sinking all. And the fashion amongst us today, is selecting the weakest. This cannot happen again. I am sure it will on occasion. But if we go with a weak Identity offering, which lacks substance, the Democratic Party will be the only one happy in 2012.


    Bender, you might want to reconsider calling others “obnoxious”.

    For your own offering is lacking in this regard.

    A mirror is helpful in cases like this.

    I appreciate your passion, but again, the fashionable push is overt – so is the hostility.

    Sound criticism of Mrs. Palin should come with the territory, especially if one expects to run for the Presidency.

    You sound like your on the good side, like you are a good person, but this is meant to help.

    One has to wonder, when the BIG BP SPILL was occurring for example, Mrs. Palin could only say “hold the Oil Companies accountable”, nearly mimicking the Obama offering. It was far from inspiring, or admirable in Conservative terms.

    Meanwhile, Jindal, Brewer, Christie, etc., were showing all how a genuine Conservative Leader acts, doing the essential job, finding serious solutions to address the crisis, thus helping all.

    Yet, Mrs. Palin decided to abandon her responsibility in Alaska, to sell a book – her celebrity after only 2 years, citing those meanie Leftist-Democratic Partisan lawsuits as an excuse.

    It is quite telling…


    I think amba (Annie Gottlieb) comment says it best…

    “What I find interesting is that Palin supporters are as protective as her as Obama supporters are of him. You can’t make a criticism of either without being called a “hater.”

    Yet another way in which Obama and Palin are similar–not in content, of course (there they are diametrical opposites) but in form. In what their fans elevate them to and make of them. Reversed mirror images.

    Anchoress, if you are getting hate mail for just scrutinizing potential political candidates dispassionately, we’re in a lot of trouble. We already got into a lot of trouble with Obama because enough people were unwilling to do that. The fact that the media has treated Palin abominably is not healed by placing her above friendly advice, which might help her become a stronger candidate. There IS such a thing as constructive criticism. It aims to strengthen, not tear down, its target.”

    So well stated, and another reason to be optimistic.

    We really have some amazing, brilliant folks out there.

    It is surprising however, to encounter the fashion which presents itself as ‘conservative’. It is anything but conservative.