Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Decision '08, Decision 2012, Ethics, Media, Palin, Politics — Rick Moran @ 10:35 am

I risk life and limb writing about the former Alaska governor. Like the supporters of failed presidential candidate and official GOP weirdo Ron Paul, any negative comments I would make about the real conservative’s favorite MILF is going to bring an army of supporters to her defense while trashing me in the most unseemly terms imaginable.

Fortunately, I am well hidden in this corner of the blogosphere, and few real conservatives would be caught dead reading anything I write. However, Google search is ubiquitous in its reach and chances are, there are a couple of dozen Palinbots who will receive an email in their inbox informing them of my post. At that point, their email lists will fairly crackle with activity as my offense against the Goddess will be spread far and wide, bringing wrack and ruin down upon me.

Thus, I wade into the morass that Palin has made of her career with a little trepidation, but with a clear eye and my usual muddled head. The latter might usually be seen as a deficiency but when writing about Palin, it may actually prove a boon since what other frame of mind can you employ to write about a woman so challenged by fact and in love with fancy?

Let’s get the facts out of the way first; there has never been a vice presidential candidate that was treated so unfairly by the media in the modern age. The number of rumors, falsehoods, and lies that were published as fact about her is truly astonishing and has no parallel in modern politics. (Such blackening the name of candidates with prevarications was routine in the 19th century but died out when newspapers became more independent of parties.)

I am surprised that I have not read that Sarah Palin bites the heads off chickens and drinks their blood. Charles Martin took the trouble of listing the media lies about Palin, stopping at 84 linked entries - that’s links to the lies as well as links that clearly debunk the lies.

This does not include the vicious attacks made in various magazines from Vanity Fair to Redbook that repeat some of the lies while making up a few more of their own. I challenge any fair minded liberal to refute these facts.

I normally hate to see any conservative treated so abysmally by those who claim to be, if not unbiased, then fair; if not balanced, then reasonable. Palin’s treatment has been neither fair nor reasonable. Many explanations have been given for this including the unprovable assumption that liberals hate strong conservative women. I think many liberals hate all conservatives whether they are men, women, transgendered, or eunuchs. Their mode of attack changes a little from sex to sex so perhaps it appears they single out women of the right for special treatment, but it’s really all part of the same mindset; conservatives are poopy heads and nothing is out of bounds in criticizing them.

The question before us is can the narrative regarding Palin be altered to make her a viable candidate for 2012? With 60% of the American people currently dead set against voting for her for president under any circumstances, it would seem to be a very tall mountain for her to climb in order for her to achieve the respect of the voters; something she never had to begin with among a majority and seems to have damaged herself further by abandoning her office. Her tabloid like-presence in American culture has also dragged her down, as has the fact that very few of the elites in the Republican party take her seriously as a party leader.

And well they shouldn’t. They may fear her influence with the 20% or so of the party who would support her aspirations in 2012, but beyond that, they and most of the rest of us find it difficult to take one so shallow and uninformed seriously. As far as I can tell, she has done little in the intervening year since the election to rectify her appalling ignorance of the world, and even domestic issues like health care. The author of the “death panels” remark may have succeeded in scaring old people to death but if I were her, I would hardly stand on that as an accomplishment.

Her fan base - and indeed many on the right - applauded her fear mongering because they believe it slowed down the legislative process and got conservatives back in the game. I believe they are overstating her influence as there were other factors, including senior citizens both Democrat and Republican who were already up in arms over the proposed Medicare cuts who showed up in droves at town hall meetings and voiced their concerns. In effect, Palin may have simply tossed some nitro on an already volatile situation.

And this is the kind of leader these jamokes want?

What Daniel Larison and others refer to as her “psuedo-populism” appears to highlight her very “ordinariness” and “just folks” personae. The trouble with this as I see it is that there is an undercurrent of anti-intellectualism that undergirds her anti-establishmentarian shtick. She has made her shallow, depthless understanding of the world into a badge of honor, and indeed, her supporters push the idea that this is a positive good, that having a president as unversed in nuance as they are of policy and programs would be kind of neat. Sure would be a switch from all those brainy establishment elitists who don’t want to roll back the New Deal and Great Society, making this country into a true conservative paradise.

This is not to say that Palin is stupid. She’s intellectually lazy. I wouldn’t necessarily call her incurious in a George Bush sort of way but neither would I refer to her as possessing the innate intelligence of a Ronald Reagan who actually did change the narrative about himself. Reagan had an active, curious mind and the good sense to reach out to experts who educated him, as well as filling in knowledge gaps by reading voraciously. Palin does not seem to have that spark, that drive, that hunger for knowledge that anyone as ill informed as she admits herself to be should possess. Therefore, I hold no hope that she can transform herself into a reasonably well informed politician.

You can see where this piece has been going. No, I don’t think Palin can alter the narrative about herself in time for 2012, and I think it improbable that she will ever be able to rise above the level in American politics as a curiosity, a side show -grist for the conservative base who, if they get their wish and nominate her in 2012, will find that the political baggage she carries along with her determined ignorance will lead to a Reaganesque landslide for Obama.

In order for her to flip her position with the electorate, she has to want to change the reasons they hold such a low opinion of her - alter their perceptions by addressing their concerns about her. Unless and until I see that happening, the chances are good that she won’t even be able to win the GOP nomination much less the general election.


  1. Before the assault starts, I’ll just jump in to say you’re right on target Rick. Referring to your previous post, “what’s in a bow”, she would have even more of the world “smiling broadly”.

    Comment by TX-John — 11/16/2009 @ 11:17 am

  2. Whatever people say about the ‘hit’ job of the Couric interview. That is how I was introduced to her. I liked some of her political opinions and also her looks but after that interview I just thought ‘No way’. Nothing much has changed since and I just hope folks on our side come to their senses and support a stronger candidate.

    Comment by funny man — 11/16/2009 @ 11:24 am

  3. So that’s it then. Katie and Charlie put on a show, and she’s out. If those two all by themselves make up the Electoral College that really matters, then we deserve eight years of Obama.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t recall the Constitution mentioning them.

    Comment by Morgan K Freeberg — 11/16/2009 @ 11:25 am

  4. “Intellectually lazy” describes a great many politicians on both sides of the aisle, not just Palin.

    Comment by Zandar — 11/16/2009 @ 11:35 am

  5. Can she recover? Politically no way…but she can and will make a nice bundle of money so I can’t feel too sorry for her.

    I think this book is going to actually solidify her reputation as someone who is, to put it politely, “unmoored from reality”, or not so politely, a liar.

    Comment by MikeSJ — 11/16/2009 @ 11:36 am

  6. I agree with Rick’s assessment about her anti-intellectual attitudes- worse, she is pure identity politics.
    Her entire appeal is based on the fact she is a Mom (not mother, but Mom, the casual derivative) and a hunter, and white, and rural, and Christian and most of all, a Mom.

    There is an undercurrent of anger in her supporters- a bitterness and rage against the “intellectual elite” which translates into anyone who isn’t a mom, white, rural, hunter, and Christian.

    Others have correctly tagged her as not having any positions or ideas, but my objection is more that unlilke Reagan, her vision of America is a crabbed, angry, exclusive one.

    In theory, she should appeal to black and Latino women who are Christian. yet her appeal was and is near zero among them. Even if she isn’t pitted against Obama, ethnic minorities have sensed that her supporters are the same ones who angrily complain about having to “press 1 for English” and in sotto voce, bitterly talk about America becoming a Third World cesspool. They know who the target of this resentment is, even if Sarah doesn’t use the word “macaca”.

    It is her supporters, the angry townhallers, the Tea Party mobs, who are her biggest drawback; They are the conservative equivalent of Code Pink or the Weathermen, the outrageous partisans that turn off most sensible voters. She speaks to and for them, and by her own definition, excludes anyone else from her “real America”.

    Comment by Liberty60 — 11/16/2009 @ 11:48 am

  7. Liberty60, let’s take these one at a time.

    I agree with Rick’s assessment about her anti-intellectual attitudes…

    So do I. A zillion and one percent. Trouble is, that word you two are using, “intellectual”; it needs inspection. It does not mean at the end of 2009 what it meant at the end of 2001. It has been re-defined.

    An “intellectual” possesses the sophistication to understand that global warming is caused by humans and action is necessary RIGHT NOW.

    An “intellectual” is sufficiently sophisticated to understand that Saddam Hussein was a harmless lovable teddy bear.

    An “intellectual” can immediately see that there was no action necessary with regard to Nidal Hasan, and he could go about his business.

    An “intellectual” knows that terrorism is nothing but a “nuisance.” Also, that although all the data are in on Afghanistan, nobody should expect a decision this week, or this month, or this year, because it’s “important to get it right.” And that it is somehow a terrible idea to “drill baby drill” because of caribou or harp seals or whatever.

    See the pattern? Dangerous things are safe. Safe things are dangerous. Complicated things are simple. Simple things are complicated. “Intellectual” has become nothing more than a buzz-word that justifies abrogating a thinker of the necessary thoughts…during Step One, or even before that, of every important decision that comes along.

    They know who the target of this resentment is, even if Sarah doesn’t use the word “macaca”.

    If I want to see hatred, bigotry and raw resentment, I’m making a bee-line toward the hard left with their intolerance of Israel, their continued snarking at entire geographical regions (Deep South, Texas, Alaska, et al) and their continued deployment of the tried-and-true “accuse the accuser” defense every time they’re caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

    We have a wonderful “intellectual” in charge right now. His position is that when the country’s all out of money, what we have to do is spend like crazy.

    A dottie old aunt with a midwestern accent really isn’t looking half bad. Especially when you compare it to the prospect of watching Rudy or Mitt get creamed yet one more time three years from now.

    Comment by Morgan K Freeberg — 11/16/2009 @ 12:11 pm

  8. Morgan,
    your definition of intellectual is just what Rush and others use to slam the ‘liberal elite’. It has nothing to do with the actual meaning and so I’m asking you ‘do you think Sarah Palin has the intellectual capability to lead our nation?’ I don’t want to hear you opinion about Obama either. I just assume we want our side to win.

    Comment by funny man — 11/16/2009 @ 12:22 pm

  9. funny man,

    I’m just citing Obama as an example. Clearly, the notion that “intellectual” has undergone this makeover is something uncomfortable for you, because you obviously want to contest it but your tactic is to simply sidestep the question.

    In the context the word is being used here, it really doesn’t have quite so much to do with a personal skill set, aptitude or attribute, but rather with an appeal. Obama becomes relevant, because not only is He our current President but he’s way out in front of the pack in terms of drawing people to Him through this appeal. He is the unquestioned champion at this…

    And yet do you really think He has superior intellectual acumen, as it has been classically defined.

    There needs to be a differentiation between “intellectual” as a descriptor to one’s individual strengths or lack thereof, versus “intellectual” as an illusion, a way of drawing in crowds. The distinction is important. If that does some damage to the point Rick is trying to make, then so be it.

    But speaking for myself, I’m not particularly drawn to support lowbrows or knuckledraggers. I am, however, fatigued with the nonsensical policy decisions that come from these oh-so-smart people. The discussion here has to do with which candidate is likely to win; and in this fatigue, I’m pretty far from alone.

    Comment by Morgan K Freeberg — 11/16/2009 @ 12:28 pm

  10. I like Sarah Palin and I respect her accomplishments, which is one heck of lot more than I can say for Hillary or Barack…….but….. she’s a quitter. NO ONE quits in the middle of a term of office. There is no conceivable non-medical explanation that allows for quitting mid-term and then coming back later seeking a more demanding pubic office. The Presidency would be White-Hot intense in comparison to being the governor of Alaska or running for office, and the public will rightfully believe that she may quit as President when the going gets rough. She has no comeback against that charge……she did,and she is a quitter.

    Comment by Dave H. — 11/16/2009 @ 12:35 pm

  11. RM wote: the real conservative’s favorite MILF

    Are you being sarcastic?
    Most “real conservatives” I am familiar with do NOT like Sarah Palin (Larison springs to mind) and would cringe at the MILF description.

    But these debates about who is a “real” conservative are as stupid as the ones about who is a “real” American.

    Yes - of course I was being sarcastic. I am not a “real conservative” as I am told 50 times a week by the “real conservatives.”

    Got it?


    Comment by HyperIon — 11/16/2009 @ 12:48 pm

  12. This conservative could give a crap if or when Sarah runs for any office. She doesn’t need to. Her influence on the direction of the GOP is what matters most.

    If those two little words (death panels) can create such a perfect shitstorm among the “elite intellectuals” on both sides, she’s my kind of woman. Sarah scares the hell out of them because they realize how influential and popular her ideas are with mainstream Americans voters, otherwise she would be ignored.

    The intellectual horsemen behind their elite media hounds are chasing a very sly fox. Watch out for that cliff.

    Comment by CZ — 11/16/2009 @ 1:03 pm

  13. Rick,

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    I don’t know what Sarah Palin’s plans are for the future, YET if she decides to run, I will be 1st in line to do ALL I can to work for her election.

    One of her greatest qualifications is that “very few of the elites in the Republican party take her seriously as a party leader.” That’s very refreshing since that crowd has done exceedingly well for me and many grassroots Republicans lately, not. Maybe IF we actually had party leaders who had a clue about what a percentage of base wants, things might have gone better. Wasn’t John McCain their PERFECT candidate? He was “moderate” and loved by the media. That also worked out very well.

    Rick, are you intellectually lazy? I don’t remember ANY posts dealing with Quantum Physics or Chaos Theory lately. Maybe you should take some time to study those areas so you can have some credibility when you write about politics and society…so we can take your thoughts seriously. That’s not actually necessary, because you have a perspective based on your life experiences and interests.

    As Presidents go, wasn’t Woodrow Wilson a Great Intellectual? How did that work out?

    I have voted in 10 presidential elections. Only twice, was I able to vote enthusiastically FOR the Republican nominee. And that vote was for some “B” movie actor. A Candidate who was just as or more despised by the “very few of the elites in the Republican party take her(him) seriously as a party leader.” In fact these elite leaders of 1980 leaked hard and lobbied hard for a Gerald Ford VP candidacy at the Republican convention to give gravitas/credibility to the ticket.

    I happened to have seen Sarah Palin BEFORE she was chosen as McCains VP. I had seen her on CNBC several times discussing Energy policy. Granted that is what a Governor job is, to sell the state and it’s resources.

    Rick, I presume you have a poor view of Ronald Reagan. Obviously he was intellectually lazy, He didn’t know anything about anything, but he did have a philosophy fixed firmly. Oddly, he thought he would hire people who DID know specific somethings about most things. I submit that concept worked well in most things, AND caused problems in others.


    Rick, are you intellectually lazy? I don’t remember ANY posts dealing with Quantum Physics or Chaos Theory lately


    Did you read anything at all in the article?

    “I wouldn’t necessarily call her incurious in a George Bush sort of way but neither would I refer to her as possessing the innate intelligence of a Ronald Reagan who actually did change the narrative about himself. Reagan had an active, curious mind and the good sense to reach out to experts who educated him, as well as filling in knowledge gaps by reading voraciously.”

    Jesus fucking christ kid, you don’t have to prove to me that you’re an anti-intellectual gas bag by commenting on stuff that you haven’t even read.


    Comment by the Dragon — 11/16/2009 @ 1:14 pm

  14. I cannot imagine Palin winning the GOP nomination. From almost the beginning I thought she was/is WAY too polarizing to bring enough conservatives and independants together. I pray that she does NOT win the GOP nomination because even if obama continues to do the damage to our Constitution like he and his administration have…I have grave doubts that Palin could beat him.
    However…..I have to wonder if former Sec. of State,Condoleeza Rice has given any thought to running in 2012. By that time obama may have done so much damage that Rice’s association with Pres. Bush #43 would be incidental.
    Personally, I think Condoleeza could Smoke obama in 2012.

    Comment by SB Smith — 11/16/2009 @ 1:19 pm

  15. How fortunate that this is a blog and not a print medium because a bunch of trees would have been killed for nothing.

    If I follow you correctly, Palin was treated unfairly by the news media which somehow soured the electorate on her, but it turns out that she is exactly the person the media characterized her as: Intellectually lazy and incapable of growth. Oh, and a quitter.

    The sooner that the GOP loses its hard-on for Palin the sooner it might — and I use that word advisedly — begin to come to its senses and get back into the game with viable candidates that appeal to more than people who live under bridges and viable positions that move beyond the declarative “no.”

    Obama has had nine months to screw up. He’s done some of that. The GOP has had a year to get its affairs in order. It has not only done so, but it is moving backwards as the inmates strengthen their stranglehold on the asylum.

    Wrong. My beef with the media were the lies they told, not the truth. Unbelievable and unprecedented. Not about her intelligence, but real tabloid stuff. Follow that link and you’ll see what I mean.


    Comment by shaun — 11/16/2009 @ 1:23 pm

  16. One notices, Morgan, how he didn’t answer the question. The amusing thing is who has been, who has been wrong, on policy. Obama’s track record is right up there with the White Sox, pre World Series, the takeover of the banks and auto companies, Stimulus, Afghanistan, the Ft. Hood terrorist act,missile
    defense, Iran, Russia, Palestine,
    the choice of the 2016 Olympics

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 1:28 pm

  17. I find it amusing that so many people think Sarah Palin is intellectually lazy. This year alone, she wrote most of a 400-page book in about 30 days; she wrote op-eds on energy policy for the Washington Post and National Review; and her more-than-daily Facebook posts commenting on the days’ political happenings are well-written and meticulously foot-noted. She obviously reads a lot of blogs. This sure looks like some intellectual effort to me.

    Comment by MOswingvoter — 11/16/2009 @ 1:57 pm

  18. So Sarah is not ready (or maybe never ready) for the big time. So what. Ronald Reagan was considered an empty head after he left as Gov. of California, but he worked hard to educate himself and did a good job as President. (no I am not saying they are equals.)

    Is Sarah capable of this? Only Sarah knows and only Sarah can make the necessary changes. She is young (politically speaking), appears to be ambitious, and is at least trying to be part of the solution not the problem.

    Talking to real people, not other politicians, is the best way to get educated as to where the American people are and where they want to go.

    Give her a chance. Allow her to be herself and learn her own way.


    Comment by John — 11/16/2009 @ 1:58 pm

  19. We actually knew how bad it was going to be, because we took him seriously, his lack of accomplishments, his checkered set of associations, his pronounced contempt toward a whole series of American institutions. Actually that may be the point that galls the most, everything from Afghanistan to Friday’s transfer of
    the Gitmo detainees were predicted a little over thirteen months ago, in one speech. But there has been a marked
    attitude of considering hope over experience, and trusting the articulate
    lawyer, over the party warhorse, That was tried 50 years ago, in a certain country and it didn’t work out so well, and ten years ago in Venezuela

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 2:16 pm

  20. The best reason Palin won’t get anywhere in 2012 is that the Democrats put up an unqualified incompetent in Barack Hussein Obama and look where that has landed them. I look for a Republican businessman to win the primary and likely blow out the general.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 11/16/2009 @ 2:20 pm

  21. The elite media (and others) don’t seem to be able to get past the fact that Mrs. Palin didn’t matriculate at Harvard or Yale. Apparently, neither can you, Rick. I went to Ohio State - I did not then, nor do I now consider that a lowbrow choice! I received an excellent education - although most of what was on offer I had already encountered in the extraordinary high school I attended. Ohio State is a doggone good school and, oh yes, we happened to have a football team!

    Well hell, not everyone can go to those highly expensive schools and many would prefer not to do so, myself included. I turned down a full scholarship to one of the Seven Sisters schools and I went to a state college by choice and don’t hold the relative frugality of Mrs. Palin’s college choice against her.

    For the most part, despite the insane reactions to Mrs. Palin from the left (whose extravagant insults tend to make me like her more, not less), I think she performs a useful service. For one thing, she made John McCain something he is not during the campaign - interesting. For another, her little Facebook and Twitter commentaries tend to stir up the national conversation. Would she make a good president? I have no idea. Would I be willing to find out? Considering what is in that office now, anything on earth (including me) would be an improvement. I want to have the chance to assess her strengths and weaknesses more fully before adding my “yay” or “nay” to the chorus of chatter now in progress. The fact that she seems to scare the hell out of the Left makes me inclined to explore who she is in a more intense fashion.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/16/2009 @ 2:27 pm

  22. The only consideration that is valid is whether or not she can win. If liberals have fallen into the trap of underestimating Palin, then it is equally true that conservatives have underestimated Obama. Regardless of how much you dislike the man and/or his politics…is there anyone who honestly thinks Palin could beat Obama? If conservatives hope to regain the White House in 2012, they had better put up their best candidate…and I don’t think most of the electorate sees Palin as that candidate. Dee

    Comment by Dee — 11/16/2009 @ 2:54 pm

  23. This is definitely good for a few chuckles,people.

    Did it ever occur to any of you to think aboutwhy the Left is so batshit scared of Sarah Palin that they reacted the way they have?

    If they weren’t petrified that she had tapped into some energy that was a threat to their power, do you think they would bother?

    A few other things…like another poster on this here wall, I had the opportunity to meet Governor Palin before she went national, and she is so far from the cartoon character portrayed in the dinosaur media that it’s laughable.

    In short, she struck me a bright without being wonkish, very on top of things and with a natural ability to communicate without being at all full of herself.

    Oh, and those polls showing how much Republicans dislike her? Umm guess again.

    I grant you, there are a lot of establishment type Republicans who bought the narrative on Palin and dislike her in favor of more Beltway/Ivy league types.

    They felt that way about Reagan too.

    Where her strength lies is in independents like me who are fed up with the GOP establishment and want someone we can be for instead of the pallid choice we had last year.

    The smartest thing she ever did was to show some daylight between herself and the Republican apparatchniks.

    I don’t know if she plans to run in 2012, and it’s a long way off, but as of now I’d say that if she does there’s no doubt in my mind that she will beat the Chi-town neo-Marxist like a gong.


    Comment by Rob Miller — 11/16/2009 @ 3:08 pm

  24. Right, and we’re going to have Romney who would likely be cut to pieces as he was in ‘94, during the Senate race, mostly by a campaign of lies and distortions. This is not unlike what happened to the other loss in my neck of the woods, Jeb Bush, at that same time. Huckabee,lets get serious, Guiliani, the man who brought New York from the brink, who shined on 9/11 was
    also sent packing.

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 3:41 pm

  25. Morgan,
    are you saying that just because the Democrats were successful with Obama we have a right to field a candidate like Palin?
    Since you asked me directly, yes, I do believe Obama is smarter then her. However, that’s just me and I never try to underestimate an opponent. I didn’t go to Yale or Harvard but I could have given a better interview with Couric then Palin. Most of you would have and since when do conservatives have a problem with ‘the elite’?

    Comment by funny man — 11/16/2009 @ 3:49 pm

  26. Maybe if you were a bit more of an adult gentleman and not used “MILF” to describe a lovely lady and good mother.

    Comment by AJStrata — 11/16/2009 @ 3:53 pm

  27. Most of you would have and since when do conservatives have a problem with ‘the elite’?

    They don’t.

    Elites are anyone the GOP wants you to be jealous of or assume are too snooty for working men and women.

    Republicans just want teabaggers to think that the party of the rich (The GOP), who know they are smarter than you, are actually looking out for them against the party of people they think, think they are smarter than them (The Democrats).

    Exactly how many non-Ivy league and elite college grads types run the GOP apparatus at the highest levels?

    Both George Bushes, Yale.

    Michael Steele, Johns Hopkins University

    Mitt Romney, Stanford

    Bobby “The Exorcist” Jindal, Brown

    Real community college type there.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/16/2009 @ 4:11 pm

  28. It’s telling that so much importance is being placed on the Couric interview.

    If the question is whether or not it’s possible for a public figure to bounce back from a bad interview, that discussion is over before it’s started. Obama’s “interview” with Joe The Plumber was downright wretched. Holy Man blew off His foot right at His neck. But He seemed to recover from that just fine.

    No, it’s ego that’s deciding this one. Once you’ve said “Oh yes, Katie, you tore her apart, she must be a dummy” it’s tough to come back from that and admit you judged something too recklessly. So I’ll not be looking to the Moran crowd to admit their mistake here, any sooner than I’ll look to the MoveOn crowd to admit electing Obama was a mistake.

    The central question still beckons: Is Palin an inferior candidate? Well it’s a relative concept, if “we” want to win, right? So inferior to who?

    We have a George S. Patton situation here, folks. We have many generals fighting hard against the enemy, but the enemy only truly fears one among those generals. She happens to be a girl. Deal with it.

    Comment by Morgan K Freeberg — 11/16/2009 @ 4:51 pm

  29. Like many words, “elite” (in its IQ-modifying usage) has evolved over the years. Originally the taxonomy of intelligence went something like this:

    Dumb as a belly button lint
    Smart and educated

    The GOP has a slightly different, simplified system:

    Tea Partier

    It’s all part of the move to make everyone feel special. So now, if you’re marginally brighter than, say, Ralph Wiggum, you’re part of the “elite.” According to the most recent polls approximately 20% of the population is decidedly non elite. (More in the South.)

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/16/2009 @ 4:56 pm

  30. @MOswingvoter:

    She wrote a 400+ page book? No kidding?

    Then what did she pay Lynn Vincent (the ghostwriter) for?

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/16/2009 @ 5:05 pm

  31. Morgan,
    I didn’t know there was a ‘Moran’ crowd. Oh well. BTW, it wasn’t only her interviews. How about her stepping down as governor musings? Enough of this. Fine, you believe she is our best shot, I don’t. As you know we still have a few years and then we vote.

    Comment by funny man — 11/16/2009 @ 5:09 pm

  32. Morgan,

    Several things:

    1.) I would like to see the COMPLETE Couric and Gibson tapes. I doubt we would find anything MORE damning on the cutting room floor, and I suspect that IF the COMPLETE interviews were shown, there would be more points in Mrs. Palin’s favor that the Public never saw. I do doubt that even complete that the interviews were particularly good. Lesson to Sarah. Take your own camera crew to any political interview you do.

    2.) I love all the help, the press and Democrats want to give in reference to Sarah Palin. IF Sarah is/will be so devistating for Republicans, they would be smiling and encouraging. I play alot of poker, I encourage the poor players and congratulate them at every chance. The good players, most likely to take my money, I just keep quite.

    3.) The Republican elites have their own nests to watch and feather, and have a right to fear, Sarah took on the corrupt Republican establishment in Alaska, and isn’t particularly loved there.


    Comment by the Dragon — 11/16/2009 @ 6:42 pm

  33. Dragon:

    Actually most of the people most upset by Palin are Republicans like Rick, like David Brooks.

    Me? I’d send her money. I love the idea of her being the face of the GOP. You’re really not getting this: Democrats are laughing and doing their best to epoxy Palin onto the GOP. The more times we can say Palin’s an idiot and Palin is the GOP, the better.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/16/2009 @ 7:13 pm

  34. I do think that liberals routinely try to characterize Republicans as not smart, even dim wits or light weights. Thus Ike was nice but transparently shallow, while Adlai was some sort of intellectual. Gerry Ford was lampooned as a klutz. Reagan was portrayed as a mere actor who needed to read a script. And of course, Bush 43 was a brainless dunce.

    This is all part of a sickness that affects liberals disproportionately — an incurable sense of superiority that is impervious to any and all empirical evidence to the contrary.

    All that said, Sarah Palin really is ignorant — probably not stupid, which is not the same thing, of course. My minimum requirement for Presidents and Vice Presidents is that they know at least as much about pubic affairs as I do. That’s not being an “intellectual” (who in politics really is an intellectual? I can’t think of anyone, and it’s just as well because leadership requires people of action).it’s a matter of acquiring knowledge and being able to put it to use in public debate and action.

    Which brings me to Rick’s point, which is right on. Palin manifestly lacked knowledge — even basic facts — that people in public life must have when she was first “rolled out” as a candidate. In the 15 months since, she has shown no inclination to make up for this glaring deficit, leaving one forced to conclude that she’s incapable of doing that or just not interested for some bizarre reason. Either way, it’s a disqualifier that a great many Americans notice.

    Sure, Couric and others were thrilled to be able to play gotcha with Palin. The troubling thing is how easy that was and the fact that I could trip her up on a dozen topics.

    Comment by John Burke — 11/16/2009 @ 7:18 pm

  35. She wrote a 400+ page book? No kidding?

    Wow, that’s like 1/5 the size of the Democrat’s health bill. Now maybe Republicans will shut up about having to read the thing.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/16/2009 @ 7:49 pm

  36. @Rob Miller:

    you may be confusing contempt for fear.

    I don’t know a single person on the Left that is afraid of Sarah Palin. They (and I) may fear what would happen if she got the launch codes, but we certainly don’t fear her as a person or a politician.

    PLEASE run her in 2012. Pretty please. With sugar on top. Run a campaign that is even more offensive and hyperbolic than 2008.

    I’m dead serious — please. I’m begging you.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/16/2009 @ 8:02 pm

  37. The upshot is that the person that is sitting in the Naval Observatory is not
    her, but Joe Biden, who really believes
    the stimulus in working, who doesn’t understand why we are spending thirty more times in Pakistan, than Afghanistan, who thinks a full air and
    rail quarantine is the solution to any
    instance of H1NI, partition of Iraq was
    a good idea, who thought FDR was giving
    fireside chats on TV in 1929. whose signature piece of legislation, the VAWA was struck down by the Supreme Court, although I do give him for the drug czar legislation.

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 8:07 pm

  38. @John Burke:

    “This is all part of a sickness that affects liberals disproportionately — an incurable sense of superiority that is impervious to any and all empirical evidence to the contrary.”

    Yes, Republicans are well known for their fair and dispassionate critique of opposition politicans. As for a sense of superiority, again it’s pretty well accepted as fact that Republicans and Conservative opinions in America today stress humility and self-reflection.

    Certainly no “Pelositas are commie elite hippies that will fall before the righteous wave of Truth waving concentration camp photos” attitude from y’all. Yeah . . . that’s so liberal.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/16/2009 @ 8:07 pm

  39. sorry for the run-on comment . . .

    @JBurke again:

    “All that said, Sarah Palin really is ignorant — probably not stupid, which is not the same thing, of course.”

    Agreed. The problem is, rather than taking steps to become more well informed, she appears to be prideful of her ignorance — and that IS stupid.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/16/2009 @ 8:10 pm

  40. I didn’t know there was a ‘Moran’ crowd.

    It is true that you Palin-haters are being outnumbered here somewhere in the neighborhood of three-to-one; and it is true that this is doing some damage to the “but she can’t win because nobody will vote for her” argument. Especially in view of the fact that my question “she’ll draw fewer votes than who, exactly?” remains unanswered.

    But the notion that the Moranistas are timid prairie dogs quivering in apprehension from the slings and arrows of us rabid wild-eyed Palinistas, is something that’s been a tad bit overstated here. We’re all laboring toward a common goal here, and the conduct has been gallant on both sides. Well, except for the ritual insults your side has for the former Governor — apart from that.

    But yeah, she’s a polarizing figure. In spite of the fact she hasn’t actually excluded any people…only policies. Seventy-four percent of Republicans approve of her. The democrats call her a moron. More to the point, the democrats are visibly anxious to call her a moron.

    That’s what a successful Republican contender looks like. Deny it all you want, but those are the tell-tale signs.

    Comment by Morgan K Freeberg — 11/16/2009 @ 8:14 pm

  41. This is not to say that Palin is stupid. She’s intellectually lazy. I wouldn’t necessarily call her incurious in a George Bush sort of way but neither would I refer to her as possessing the innate intelligence of a Ronald Reagan who actually did change the narrative about himself. Reagan had an active, curious mind and the good sense to reach out to experts who educated him, as well as filling in knowledge gaps by reading voraciously. Palin does not seem to have that spark, that drive, that hunger for knowledge that anyone as ill informed as she admits herself to be should possess. Therefore, I hold no hope that she can transform herself into a reasonably well informed politician.

    How Palin does in 2012, if she decides to run will probably depend a lot on how she handles herself as a speaker and fundraiser during the 2010 cycle. But I think you’re looking at Reagan with 20/20 hindsight here, as far as the image he was given by Democrats and the media in roughly the same time period of late 1977, following his first major national exposure during his run against Ford in the ‘76 GOP primary.

    Obviously, as a former movie actor governor of California and someone who launched an abortive presidential run in 1968, Reagan had far more of a national image going into 1977 than Palin did. But to say that Reagan was able to “change the narrative” in the year after the ‘76 election is disingenuous. Reagan was still be portrayed by the big media and the Democrats as an air-headed ex-actor, and that was the general view of the moderate swing voters (future Reagan Democrats) at the time.

    It was the awfulness of Jimmy Carter, especially in the period following the ‘78 midterms that made the swing voters willing to take a second look at Reagan, despite his portrayal as both an idiot and a fanatic who would blow up the world. And that’s the other half of the equation facing Palin or whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be in 2012.

    The ‘12 election will be a referendum on Barack Obama more than it will be one on his opponent. The question is what level of anger/frustration does Obama have to create in swing voters who went with him in 2008 to get her to change her vote. Right now, I’d agree that Palin has to do some more pro-active work to get her negatives down among that group, but the worse Obama does, the more those voters are going to be willing to look at Sarah, or any other Republican, as an alternative. She just has to make sure she’s ready if and when that time comes around (and if Obama somehow turns things around via either his policies shockingly working out or by some sort of Clinton/Morris triangulation following major Democratic losses in the 2010 midterms, it won’t matter how much polish she or any other GOP nominee has; the swing voters will stick with Obama rather than change things if they think the country’s going good).

    Comment by John — 11/16/2009 @ 9:15 pm

  42. Palin represents an updated version of George Wallace circa 1968; she represents the rural, white outsiders who resent the urban technocrats, the “pointy headed intellectuals”, the ethnic minorities. They hold themselves out as the Real Americans, the rightful owners of America against the usurpers who have unfairly taken their America way.

    Where she differs is unlike Wallace, she is a “useful idiot” for the Wall Street interests who appreciate her distate for government.

    Comment by Liberty60 — 11/16/2009 @ 9:15 pm

  43. Please be more cliche, she is for
    energy development (petroleum and natural gas) and nuclear, and doesn’t discount using all of the state’s resources. She’s challenged the local
    corporate oligarchy of at least three
    of the Seven Sister (Exxon, Conoco, BP)
    SHe’s rightly for national defense and
    the small businessman and woman, having
    been one. She wasn’t particularly ideological on the life issue, or even
    gay marriage (and I think she regrets
    the latter turn, particularly being hung in effigy in West Hollywood)

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 9:25 pm

  44. Is there any way Sarah Palin can “recover?” I think this depends upon what we mean by recover. If “recover” means run for public office then probably not. After all she quit as Governor of Alaska right in the middle of her term. The voting public may rightly ask will she quit again should the going get tough. Any opponent either in the primaries or the general election will have a field day with this one.

    So, if she plans on running for office again, she probably cannot recover but it is hard to be certain at this point as the 2012 elections are a long way off at this point. If she does plan to run and she handles herself well as a speaker and does well on the book tour and can find venues where she can get her message accross she may well be able to recover but at this point I’m not sure how she gets around the fact that she quit as Governor of Alaska right in the middle of her term. This does not look good.

    If by “recover” we mean make alot of money selling books to her small but vocal following and giving the occasional high dollar speech to her small but vocal following she should be able to “recover.” At this point, my best guess is this is what she wants to do and has no interest in running for office again what so ever.

    At this point, she has no real power within the RNC and she holds no political office. She has a small but vocal following but that’s about it. Her current power is nominal at best. Rick correctly points out now, as I did at the time, Ms. Palin’s “death panel” remark had zero impact on the health care bill.

    Ms. Palin’s opponents attribute to her more power than she actually has. It’s probably much easier to vilify her that way. Her supporters attribute more power to her than she actually has. Perhaps it is easy for her small group of vocal followers to worship her.

    Finally, 2012 is a long way off. Rick correctly points out that her treatment by some in the media has not been fair. IF she plans to run for office again, she will need to focus on speaking in venues where she will be able to get her message out and if she has a good one she may be able to improve her ratings and she may be able to make a comeback. While I think its unlikely she can run for public office and I think its even less likely that she actually wants to, I think it is too early at this point to write anyone off or to even ask the question of can they “recover” or not at this early juncture.

    Comment by B.Poster — 11/16/2009 @ 10:06 pm

  45. Hi Busboy…for you, one of my favorite old Irish sayings:

    “ligean dó gáire a Bhuaigh” (Let him laugh who wins)

    And speaking of laughing, you think that the 2008 campaign was tough on Prez Zero? With John McCain running? Puh-leeze

    In fact, Obama’s never faced any real opposition..and now your favorite neo-Marxist’sactually got a record to run against.

    The pre-edit versions of the Couric and Gibson interviews exist ( John Zeiger among other has shown them)and yes, they were deliberately cut to make Governor Palin look like an idiot.

    And AJ, thank you for taking some of these people to task. This ain’t the Daily Dish last time I checked although there are apparently some here who agree with the trig birther and anti-Semite conspiracy theorist who writes it.


    Comment by Rob Miller — 11/16/2009 @ 10:11 pm

  46. I think some of the “anti-intellectual” comments about Sarah Palin and the Tea Party crowd miss the point. Most people I know just want to see some common sense in Washington. We have an “intellectual” as President who surrounds himself with “intellectual” advisors (about half of whom seem to be Marxists or former Marxists). They are rapidly moving to gain more and more government control over our lives and freedoms.They are also spending money in absurd quantities that will ultimately diminish the standard of living for most middle-class Americans. I am convinced that it doesn’t take a great mind to be a great President (although I wouldn’t object). Common sense conservatism and practical decision-making abilities are much, much more important as our current President is making so painfully clear. By the way, I think conservative “intellectual” Charles Krauthammer was correct recently when he said Republicans will win big in 2010 and President Obama will probably be re-elected in 2012.

    Comment by buquet — 11/16/2009 @ 10:16 pm

  47. Rob Miller,
    before you throw around more neo-Marxist (what in the world is that?) ‘discussion points’ I just like to point out the obvious. Palin’s decision to walk away from her job as governor and her laughable press conference had nothing to do with the liberal media. That’s called an unforced error. Believe it or not, there are conservatives who don’t think she is a good candidate.

    Comment by funny man — 11/16/2009 @ 10:38 pm

  48. Right that’s why the health care bill passed by one vote, in a contested race, why cap n trade
    is effectively dead for the year. Meanwhile what are the avowed frontrunners Huckabee and Romney doing in the meantime. SHe brought Chambliss back to the Senate, and against the full force of the brain dead NRCC’s 900,000, nearly brought Hoffman to the top, in a disputed race.

    Comment by narciso — 11/16/2009 @ 10:51 pm

  49. Ah yes, a political speech with strong terms never made a change in anything.

    Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!

    Mr. Moran, if the last few days doesn’t tell you anything, where Gorbachev was praised for tearing down the Berlin wall, nothing will.

    The fact that Sarah Palin termed them “death panels,” when in fact a government panel will determine health care options, including life ending options, is fearmongering to you. Well so be it.

    The wall isn’t real.

    Comment by Allen — 11/17/2009 @ 12:32 am

  50. @Rob Miller:

    “ligean dó gáire a Bhuaigh”

    Well, I’m not usually one for laughing at “opponents”, but if you insist . . . HaHaHaHa!

    Nope. Still don’t like it.

    Seriously, of course if she wins her supporters will have the last laugh (not they need to win to holler). The question posed by the original post was CAN she win? All things are possible, but I don’t think her supporters understand how disliked AS A POLITICAL CANDIDATE she is.
    Let me emphasize that last part. She seems like a real nice lady. I’m sure I’d enjoy hanging out with her. Nice smile, nice personality, charming, pretty. All that’s great. But as the leader of my country? Hell no.
    Can she change that impression? Sure . . . but it would require her to change what has made her so profitable. She’d have to start talking about the issues in a detailed, informed manner. She’d have to convince me that quitting her job was something I shouldn’t worry about happening again. She’d have to convince me that she wants to govern all of us. And I just don’t see that happening.

    Do I think the 08 campaign was tough on Obama? In terms of a solid opposition candidate, sadly no. I say that as a McCain supporter. I would have voted for him in 2000 . . . but I don’t know what happened last year. The McCain I admired was replaced with an offensive, pandering cretin. Between McCain circa 2000 and Obama . . . I may well have voted for McCain IF Palin wasn’t on the ticket. I wouldn’t accept be responsible giving her access to launch codes.
    Now in terms of the crowds at the McCain/Palin rallies . . . well, “tough” probably isn’t applicable. “Offensive” certainly seems more on the mark. You do remember the Curious George dolls, don’t you? Explain how that was in any form a political critique. Do I, as a voter, want to be associated with that behavior? No.

    The unedited interviews — I’ve seen them. She looked like an idiot because she didn’t know the name of the newspaper she read (hint: guessing “The Wasilla Times” probably would have been safe).
    Did they edit that in there? Did she answer in thew cut parts? No. Couric even asked her the same question 48 hours later — she hadn’t bothered to learn the answer. Edited? No.
    Her bumbling, catchphrase-laden answer(s)? Were they clear and coherent in the unedited video? No, they wern’t. She looked just as ifnorant there as in the edited version.
    Correct me if I’m wrong. Please direct me to the parts where she knows what she reads. Or the unedited answers that make sense.
    I’m sure you believe that one of her edited answers was glowing with sheer brilliance . . . but that doesn’t change the moronic answers that DID get aired. Those embarassments were un-edited. The blame for them falls squarely on her.
    Let me give you an example. Let’s assume Obama gives an interview. In it, he’s asked about our exit strategy for Afganistan, and he provides one of ythe most insightful, thought-out, reasoned responses ever uttered. The next question to him is “and what do you do in your spare time?”, and he replies “I like to slap babies and kick puppies.” When the interview is broadcast, they only show the second question and answer.
    Was the tape edited? Yes. Would he have looked better in some respect if the edited portions were broadcast? Yes. Does that mean he didn’t say the slapping babies/kicking puppies part? No. That’s squarely on him, and he should be roundly criticized for it. If he said something like that, he’d be a fu@king moron, and anybody who wondered why he wasn’t getting more support would be equally as clueless.
    Sound familiar?

    btw — why is he a Neo-Marxist? Because he supports health care from the government? If that’s the reason, was W twice the Marxist? He pushed SCHIP, he backed Medicare D . . . that’s TWO government funded health care programs.
    So . . . Bush: Neo-Marxist?

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/17/2009 @ 12:35 am

  51. Allen,
    if you seriously think the Berlin Wall came down because of this speech you are seriously deluded. That’s like saying Obama ended the Mideast conflict because of his talk in Cairo.

    Comment by funny man — 11/17/2009 @ 12:37 am

  52. Forgot to ad . . .

    Don’t know how long you’ve been herre at RWNH, but Rick Moran went to extreme lengths to insult and denigrate anybody that raised the “trig birth” issue. He mocked it repeatedly, soundly, and completely.

    “ain’t the Daily Dish last time I checked although there are apparently some here who agree with the trig birther and anti-Semite conspiracy theorist who writes it.”

    Are you basing such unbelievably obnoxious comments on anything except the fact that you disagree with Rick? If the way you say “I disagree with you” is to wildly and inaccurately insult the person . . . well, if you’re wondering why your clique isn’t getting more mainstream support, I’d suggest you think reeeeeeal hard about this comment. I know this might seem odd to you, but this kind of lying went out of style for most people about the 2nd grade.

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/17/2009 @ 12:46 am

  53. Obama is the anti Reagan, he was speaking about the democracy movements, and providing logistical support to Solidarity, the Contras,
    even providing some support to the
    Anti Khomeini forces in Iran. Obama signaled in the land of a 28 year
    state of emergency that ‘democracy can not be imposed’ in the land of real torture, he apparently doesn’t mind it, as long as Americans aren’t doing
    it. Sarah, in her HK speech, voiced some of the same sentiments

    Comment by narciso — 11/17/2009 @ 7:20 am

  54. Just for the record, my CAT is smarter than our current President. Sam learns his lessons well. When told that something is off limits to him, he listens, he processes and (sometimes) he acts on that knowledge - all of which seems to be beyond our current President whose knowledge of history is pitifully sparse! And his ability to act on the lessons of history is even more sparse. He is a narcissistic tool of Warren Buffet and George Soros and is the Manchurian Candidate in every way. Do not insult an American woman by comparing her to that cretin in the White House.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/17/2009 @ 8:57 am

  55. You know, winning politics used to be about voting for someone or for something. Even if every pundit in the universe thinks it’s the wrong reason. Obama is an example of wrong reason voting.

    Palin is who she is. She’s more like the average American in beliefs than the political whores and pundits that follow them and analyze their thought wave patterns. This is a time when we need the hedgehogs and not the foxes.

    What’s missing in most of the Palin bashing and frothing and spittle is whether a vote for her is a vote for the right reason? Is she better today than Obama? Give me a break. I’ve had women tell me they cry when they hear her speak because she resonates with them.

    The Palin issue is a great deal like the AGW issue. Once folks know something about it, they change their mind. Most know only what they’ve been groomed to hear and believe. It’s sort of like the Left saying how smart Gore was (he flunked out of two colleges), how much smarter Kerry was than Bush (wasn’t) and how so intellectual Stevenson was and “too smart to be President”.

    None of the current crop of possibles (from Indiana’s governor to McCain to Romney to Huck to Crist to etc.) have any excitement. It’s worse than watching cow patties rot.

    Comment by cedarhill — 11/17/2009 @ 9:18 am

  56. Given the ridiculous buffoon who now occupies the White House, any Republican should be able to win in 2012. It is smart, though, to make sure it is the safest bet.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/17/2009 @ 9:43 am

  57. @Gayle:

    Your cat is a student of history? Color me impressed. Does it focus its studies on the recent past, or is it more of a student of the Middle Ages?

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/17/2009 @ 10:06 am

  58. I think it was unfortunate that you used the term “MILF” in reference to Palin. It is akin to calling Tea Party attendants “Teabaggers”, another pornographic slur. I know it is popular on the left to refer to those on the right in this manner. I don’t think it is appropriate for those on the right to repeat and make legit these types of references.

    Comment by Harry O — 11/17/2009 @ 10:39 am

  59. I agree with most of what you say here, Rick, and that disappoints me because when Palin came on the scene she was, imho, the most natural politician I’ve ever seen, and I had great hopes for her. But she seems to have devolved into a negativism that will not serve her or the GOP very well.

    However, I do disagree with your “death panel” assessment. Palin was spot-on, there -it is precisely what the gruesome creeps in the Obama administration are planning, although they use loftier words.

    And I am disappointed to see you fall in with the (very inaccurate) “Bush was incurious” meme. George W. Bush was anything but incurious, he simply (and impoliticly) trusted his instincts as much as anything else. Obama, on the other hand, seems to read less than Bush, is so incurious he pretends the GOP has no health care ideas, and as evidenced by his dithering re Afghanistan, trusts his instincts not at all. On the whole I’d rather have Bush.

    Now, if you want to talk “incurious” let’s talk about the press…

    Comment by Mina — 11/17/2009 @ 10:51 am

  60. Reagan did help in dissolving the East/West standoff by getting a deal in Reykjavik with Gorbachev. That helped ease tensions a great deal. Wildly criticized by a number of conservatives BTW. Then there were actual people on the ground (in Poland, Hungary, East Germany etc) sticking their neck out but had the Soviet Union not refrained from using force the Wall would not have come down. However, that decision had little to do with a speech.

    Comment by funny man — 11/17/2009 @ 11:29 am

  61. She’s a happy warrior who’s willing to say what needs to be said; Obama is as inflated as the Hindenberg for no good reason, 17% unemployment,delaying
    the deployment in Afghanistan, while the Taliban is on the march, proposing a disastrous cap n trade regime; he’s either clueless (which is the charitable view,) or malicious

    Comment by narciso — 11/17/2009 @ 9:38 pm

  62. she is a happy warrior indeed, unfortunately clueless. That’s just what we need, a happy warrior neocon. Didn’t they just wreck our credibility

    Comment by funny man — 11/17/2009 @ 10:59 pm

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