The Palin Brief

She overwhelmed the country as vice presidential candidate in 2008. The Left found plenty of reason to resent her and while initially hailed by Republicans as the hockey-mom voice of folksy America, conservatives soon found that underneath the no-nonsense layer of toughness that Palin exhaled, the then-governor of Alaska really had no intellectual depth at all. Combined with a candidate who failed to salvage anything but catch phrases from his heydays as a staunch and sincere conservative representative and senator, it was little surprise to anyone that the Democrats swept the nation and won both Congress and the White House.

Part of the right hasn’t given up on Sarah Palin however. Her 2009 autobiography Going Rogue: An American Life became a bestseller and whatever she writes at her Facebook page is quick to become a matter of national concern. Indeed, Palin has reinvented herself as speaking for the small-government tea party movement, warning of socialized medicine, death panels, and the Obama Administration delivering the country into the hands of terrorists — whom, she complains, are treated as criminals who have rights by this government. Outrageous!

As we previously argued though, another “I’m-just-like-you” president is hardly what the United States need. Not only is the country involved in two overseas wars; it is faced with the possibility of armed conflict in a third; it is still struggling with the effects of the greatest economic downtown in decades; and it will reform health care on the federal level which, in all likelihood, will bring about an enormous expansion of government responsibility and spending. All in all, one would think that there is plenty for the party of small government and free markets to talk about.

Unfortunately, much of the GOP is brain dead and conservatives tune in to listen to the likes of Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh who, rather than providing intelligent criticism of an administration that far from favors small government and free markets, warn that the president is pouring the country down the drain of socialism.

As strong and united as the Republican Party may seem, Republican voters are in fact extraordinarily divided. Not even half of the people who identify as a “Republican” approve of the direction in which the party’s leadership is taking them — whoever those “leaders” are supposed to be. No more than two out ten people favor Sarah Palin while just 1 percent said former President Bush embodied “the best reflection of the party’s principles.”

Conservatives are united in their opposition to the spending frenziness of the current Congress and White House but they are disappointed that the Republican Party opposes it so little. Sadly, the reason for this is that Republicans too have stopped defending free-market capitalism while more and more they agree that government is the answer to problems, not its cause.

Unsurprisingly, right-wing intellectuals long for the days of Ronald Reagan when there were plenty of political philosophers and economists to back up the party’s agenda. In his first inaugural address, President Reagan could say that the “freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured” in the United States “than in any other place on earth” because individualism was at its peak. Compare that with the religiously inspired Republican leadership of today. Reagan could boldly declare that “government is the problem” because his era’s generation of economists had amply proved it. Compare that with the endeavors of the last administration.

As Reagan assured a Moscow audience in 1988 though, “Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things,” adding, in defense of capitalism, that freedom also implied “the continuous revolution of the marketplace.” Let us hope that as we continue to question and demand a different sort of change, somewhere in the party that once produced one of the finest of American leaders, there is still a voice of reason and pride. Until that happens, it would appear that we are stuck with Sarah Palin.

Comments

  1. Sarah Palin stands tall & proud, speaks truth to power, champions the common man. He who hath ears, let him hear. Her base of support is strong and growing.

  2. OK—but what has she to say? She “speaks truth to power”? She “champions the common man”? It’s exactly behind that sort of catch phrases that politicians in the United States have been hiding for several decades now while largely avoiding to speak on the issues.

  3. “Unfortunately, much of the GOP is brain dead”

    It’s exactly behind that sort of catch phrases that liberal journalists in the United States have been hiding.

  4. It’s exactly behind that sort of catch phrases that liberal journalists in the United States have been hiding.

    OK—then please list some of the truly forward-looking, innovative policy proposals that the GOP has made lately.

  5. I wouldn’t call the GOP braindead, they’re more along the lines of listless, rudderless, without a plan or direction like they were in 1994. If they can come up with a plan or a direction they could really clean up.

  6. I will raise $2 million USD for Governor Sarah Palin, should she decide to run for president. I have experience in political fundraising and was able to put together $40,000 for Fred Thompson during his brief run in 2008. Does that tell you how committed I am to her election? Governor Palin still has more executive experience than Mr. Obama, loves America and believes in the constitution. Everything else she’ll need can be provided by good advisors.

  7. Well if this isn’t a LEFT tinged article I don’t know what is.

    If someone can govern (aka executive experience–something our current Commander-In-Chief had ZERO of) a state with a 93% approval rating, then she must be doing SOMETHING right. What is wonderful Pelosi’s approval rating right now?

    If someone who–according to the left–has no experience, no depth, no intelligence–would someone explain to me how that person can have a best seller that reaches the limits of only three others in history, and still be said that she has no following, power, or future?

    Come on now. The truth is, and I agree totally with one of the previous statements–that everyone is against Gov. Palin EXCEPT the people. And this nation–which is by and for the people–will be heard in 10, and 12, and I expect you will see this woman right in the middle of it all.

    This is one Independent who is hoping she runs. You can keep “The Change”…I believe in the ideals and standards that are the foundation of the great nation.

  8. Governor Palin still has more executive experience than Mr. Obama […]

    You mean, of course, besides the fact that Obama’s actually been president?

    Well if this isn’t a LEFT tinged article I don’t know what is.

    You are describing my article as leftish? Really? Do I really have to explain that the whole point of my article is that I’m desperately craving intelligent leadership of the Right?

    If someone who […] has no experience, no depth, no intelligence […] explain to me how that person can have a best seller […]

    So according to your reasoning, Dan Brown should run for president?

    The truth is […] that everyone is against Gov. Palin EXCEPT the people.

    That so? Then how do you explain for the fact that no more than two out of ten Americans who identify as “Republicans” actually want her to run the country?

  9. I wouldn’t call the GOP braindead, they’re more along the lines of listless, rudderless, without a plan or direction like they were in 1994. If they can come up with a plan or a direction they could really clean up.

    Quite right. Whatever that plan and direction will be though—Sarah Palin isn’t the woman to formulate it.

  10. Governor Palin still has more executive experience than Mr. Obama, loves America and believes in the constitution. Everything else she’ll need can be provided by good advisors.

    That’s what Republican voters must have figured in 2000. Look how that turned out.

    “Everything else” can be covered by advisors? When did Americans stop demanding a president who can do the job all by himself?

  11. Sarah Palin and brain dead. It will take a while before you find two more similar things than that. But, as long as there are people who want to take this country back to pre-1860, she will be their bright and shining star..

  12. “Governor Palin still has more executive experience than Mr. Obama, loves America and believes in the Constitution”
    Whilst the first is a boon, the others don’t imply the potential for good governance on their own.

  13. Governor Palin still has more executive experience than Mr. Obama, loves America and believes in the constitution.

    Actually, she has very little executive experience.

    1) In 1996 she was voted in to her mayoral job of a town of less than 5,000 with 651 votes out of the total 1130 votes cast, and in her re-election as mayor, garnered 909 votes out of 1235 votes cast (not a lot of involved citizens in that town, evidently).

    She immediately hired a city manager to do the “heavy lifting”, and occupied her time doing end-arounds the city council, one time using $50,000 of city money without authorization to redecorate her mayoral office. And most people have heard of the Sports Complex debacle.

    2) In her first year as governor, without consensus, she pulled the executive branch out of the capital city, Juneau, and moved it to Anchorage, where 6 months after she quit her position, it remains. She established rapport with the Democrats in the state legislature to ram through new laws and taxes (what she later touted as her “reform”), upsetting most Republicans who’d backed her candidacy in 2006.

    By the 2008 legislative session (Jan.-March) there were buttons worn by legislators on BOTH sides of the aisle saying “Where’s Sarah?”.

    Why? Because by then she was delegating BOTH authority and responsibility (any competent executive knows you DO NOT do that) to her administrative staff for day-to-day state business, and she was home in Wasilla communicating with her staff on a Yahoo e-mail account (outside the official encrypted state system) via her ubiquitous dual Blackberries.

    Right wing neocon Republicans came calling via a cruise up to Alaska in summer 2007, and Palin hosted a meeting with them (Palin had to make a special trip back down to Juneau to meet up with them). That might explain her distance and seeming disinterest in her job in early 2008, as she contemplated the rumors about her name being on John McCain’s “short list” as early as March 2008. She had some personal problems to deal with all the while, also, too.

    As the new book “Game Change” indicates, she was not McCain’s FIRST choice, and she didn’t find that out until August 2008 — all the while becoming increasingly disengaged from her duties as governor. The rest is history.