Sarah Palin and the Right

Patrick Ruffini says Sarah Palin is "situated similarly" to Howard Dean, and could be the flashpoint for a grassroots revival of the Republican Party.   Andrew Sullivan disagrees.  Underneath the unbecoming hyperbole, he makes a good point. 

The concept of Palin as a marketing tool, as an emblem of pure content-free identity politics, is very powerful. You can see why on paper, Kristol loved her, the way he loved the concept of Iraqi liberation. The only trouble is the actual reality: the fact that she has no record to speak of, that what she has is dreadful, that she has no education, that she is a pathological liar, that she is a vicious hater of those unlike her, that she is a McCarthyite sans communism.

If Ruffini thinks Palin will be the leader of a grassroots revival, then I think he is probably over-optimistic.  As an abstraction, Sarah Palin is a fantastic leader.  She's a genuine outsider, she's stood up to her own party, she's pursued and won major reform fights, she's made difficult cuts in spending, and she's generally in line with the Republican grassroots on policy issues.  And she's a fresh, interesting face for the Republican Party.

But to be the substantive leader of a political movement, she needs three things:

  1. A clear, but sophisticated, political philosophy
  2. A serious governing strategy to move the ball forward on her political philosophy
  3. A support base, including grassroots and elite infrastructure, that can mobilize to defend her and advance her agenda

Howard Dean walked away from the 2004 campaign with a huge mailing list of devoted activists who were very connected (online and offline), and a base of support that was still pissed.  Howard Dean had an army to deploy to fight for his political philosophy and governing agenda, and that army was willing to go to war against their own Party.   Dean's resources fit the fight in which he needed them.

Does Sarah Palin have any of those things?  I haven't seen any evidence that she has the sophisticated political philosophy, or a good governing strategy.   Would Palin walk out of hte '08 campaign with the McCain campaign's mailing list?   Doubtful.  And the McCain campaign's mailing list is not obviously well-aligned with the coalition that would be needed to take back the Republican Party, or that they are sufficiently engaged to be mobilized for such an effort.

I understand why Palin is a compelling idea.  I just haven't seen much evidence that she's got the serious substance behind the marketing abstraction.  At least, not right now.  Remember, Ronald Reagan spent decades writing, speaking and working on difficult political issues, thinking deeply about what he believed and why, before he was taken seriously as a major movement leader.  And even then, he stood upon the shoulders of giants.  The next leaders of the Right will not be riding an emerging Movement into power; they will be building a Movement anew.

Sarah Palin can be a part of that, but the leader of the next Right will have to bring a great deal more to the table than Sarah Palin does right now.

Side Note: The rest of Sullivan's post goes beyond hyperbole and into vulgar, but not particularly insightful, ridicule.  That's unfortunate.  I've admired Andrew Sullivan as a writer and thinker, regardless of his political alignment.  But Andrew Sullivan, Intellectual, seems to be increasingly subsumed to Andrew Sullivan, Head Cheerleader of 2 Minutes Hate.  20 years hence, I suspect Andrew Sullivan will not be proud of this period of his career.

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Remember, Ronald Reagan spent decades writing, speaking and working on difficult political issues, thinking deeply about what he believed and why, before he was taken seriously as a major movement leader.

Well, we don't have a few decades, now do we?  I'm getting a little sick of seeing all possible candidates compared to Ronald Reagan and inevitably finding them all wanting.  Jon, are you planning a trip out to Simi Valley with Peggy Noonan so you can both wear black and mourn the 40th President's passing? 

P.S. Perhaps I'm the only poster here old enough to remember, but the press didn't take Reagan seriously as a leader until Jimmy Carter gave his concession speech. If you are waiting for a conservative to be accorded respect from the media, you might as well be waiting for Godot.



I think there are a lot of things to like about Reagan, but also a lot of things that people have forgotten about Reagan.  That said, Reagan and Howard Dean are both useful reference points as elements in a Movement.  They're both similarly relevant in a variety of ways.  I didn't intend to launch the old "Golden Days of Reagan" whine.


that's what it sounds like and frankly that poor equine expired weeks ago from the beat-down various sundry pundits have already administered. Why pile on?

Since you aren;t doing the Reagan nostalgia tour, kindly suggest some positive direction to take at this juncture. One Noonan is enough.

I've written about the

I've written about the Right's need to choose between the competing factions in the coalition, and to focus more on strategy than tactics.  Most recently around a week or so ago.

I favor the "leave us alone coalition" direction.  As for who the leaders are...I don't think there's any way to know that, yet.

I didn't read Jon as nostalgic for Reagan...

...rather, I thought he made a good and valid point that Reagan did a lot of work to develop his philosophy and governing ethos by the time he emerged on the national stage in the early 70s; work that Palin has not done. His point was not that he prefers Reagan to Palin but that Reagan's example is useful comparison to show what Palin lacks in terms of the being the leader of a conservative revival.

I agree with his assessment on the latter point. Palin is currently only a figurehead. Conservatives admire her and support her because of what she represents more than for the vision of the future she brings to the table. Hence, I don't think she is yet ready to lead us.

here's a modest suggestion to the libertarian minded

How about we "lead ourselves" instead of moping around waiting for some political figure to do it for us?

This may be a contratrian view, but the Democratic Left created the energy and movement, and then just let Howard Dean and Barack Obama run with it. Neither one of them had exhibited any intellectual heavy lifting on ideology before becoming their darling candidate. Meanwhile, we mark time waiting for the next philosopher king. Ain;t gonna happen.


The question becomes "How do we do that?"

I agree that leadership and energy must come from the grassroots. After the GWB experiment in big government conservatism (wtf?!!?), I am not inclined to ever again give over to the leadership the kind of carte blanche we gave GWB.

In my view, there will only be energy on the right when the rank and file grassroots supporters feel engaged and that our agenda is being championed by leadership.

But how do we go about building something that empowers us to shape the future of the party and how conservative values shape politics going forward?

I would argue, Jon, that the

I would argue, Jon, that the person situated most similarly to Howard Dean circa post-election 2004 is Fred Thompson, not Sarah Palin.

I wish that he were.

But I don't think that Fred Thompson has an interest in that sort of thing.  He strikes me as more of an intellectual and behind-the-scenes leader than a movement figurehead.


Rep. Bachmann, Rep. Robin Hayes and Gov. Sarah Palin will be your guides into the diaspora. Sen. Chuck Hagel and other like-minded Republicans may be your guides out. Smart pragmatists are always a good bet.

"We live in a dangerous, combustible interconnected world with no perfect solutions to the world's problems. We are living through a historic time of global reorientation. Within the universe of democratic institutions and structures is a process. Process is important because it absorbs shocks, setbacks, and unpredictable and uncontrollable events. It's the democratic process through democratic institutions that allows free people to work toward common objectives of common interests and betterment of society. Democracy matters."-Sen. Hagel 10/20/2008

I'm seeing

 a lot of hand wringing and cries of, "Who will save us?" It's going to take someone with a strong personality and leadership skills, and Palin is not going to be that one.  She's fine in the scripted situations, but that's the problem.  She's not coming in as a party leader in her own right (like Reagan did, if you don't mind the comparison),. She's coming in as someone willing to do whatever the party wants her to do, but she isn't leading the intellectual wing and doesn't have Reagan's (sorry) long history of positions and statements.

Reagan is definitely dead, so it won't be him again, but it will take someone with similar intellect and charisma.  No one who ran in the primaries seems like a good fit, so I don't think it's someone we're familiar with.   A couple of years ago no one had heard of Barack Obama, so maybe there is a young GOP politician running this year who will fill that role a couple of years from now.  I don't see it happening any sooner, or with anyone currently on the A list.

We don't need a leader, we need a movement

I don't think a single shiny new leader is what we need. We need a movement.

While I don't particularly like the Dean comparison, it is instructive to remember that he emerged in 2004 not in 2000; that is, his was a campaign of the left in reaction to conservative hegemony at the national level.

Is there a movement we can build in anticipation of new leadership that is yet to emerge? And Palin may well be part of that leadership should she choose to be.

Whaddya mean the rest of Sullivan's post?

The portion you quoted is not vulgar, but it's grossly unfair and anything but insightful.  Come to think of it, so is just about everything the guy has written about Palin, whether the issue was creation, contraception, or just about anything else - including continuing to spread Kos's sick and baseless rumors about Palin having faked a pregnancy to cover for her daughter even after news of the daughter's pregnancy surfaced and made the Kos rumor a biological impossibility.  Between that, his newly minting of Army vet Ted Sampley as a Navy Swiftboat veteran who supposedly was on FoxNews a lot in 2004, and just about everything else he has written since he got mad at Bush over gay marriage a year before that, the only thing left to consider "unfortunate" about this tool is that anybody still takes him seriously.  This is not 2 minutes hate.  It's all hate, all the time.


I call it vulgar in the sense that it is boorish and common, not that it is obscene. 

Damn staright! (pun intended)

This guy is no longer a conservative in any meaningful way.  He has no more insight on the issues beyond what batsh!t insane drivel you can get just as easily get from your average Daily Kos or Democartic Underground post.  His loathing of Sarah Palin is more than just disagreement with her position of social issues, its that she doesn't have a penis.  He is clearly one of those misogynistic gay guys who doesn't understand women or even how their physiology works (again the Palin pregnancy rumors) nor does really wish to, do to his personal hatred of women (particularly strong women).

Are we watching the same Palin?

I don't think we are seeing the same Sarah Palin.  I see someone who unapologetically loves America and understands the toughness of daily life, as well as the incredible opportunities for anyone willing to work for themselves.  She comes across as sharp, witty, humorous and, yes, smart.

I come from a libertarian background and like what I see in her.  Does she have some warts?  Of course!  Who doesn't? 

The Noonans, Brooks and other D.C. cocktail-circuit elitists do nothing for me.

Sarah Palin has energized virtually everyone I come in contact with on the republican side.  Yet, "our own" seem compelled to attack her.  Idiots.

I see someone who

I see someone who unapologetically loves America and understands the toughness of daily life, as well as the incredible opportunities for anyone willing to work for themselves.  She comes across as sharp, witty, humorous and, yes, smart.

Sure, fine.  But while those are laudable characteristics, they're not the skillset a movement leader needs. 


What other skills should she learn?  I think she has a definite future in helping the USA fight off socialism.  If you were advising her, what would you suggest she do over the next year or two.

Another thing I thought about

Another thing I thought about is that different groups will need different leaders.  Sarah Palin is a great leader right now of a pretty large part of the conservative base.  She  might not work well on the "coasts" but she does in a lot of  other places.  Another person might be perfect for the coasts, or cities, etc.  We'll need every resource we have no matter who wins.

Wrong premise

Jon, your premise is totally off from the very first paragraph. Who cares if Andrew Sullivan disagrees? The man is a vile bag of puss and leftist intolerance. He's one of the most disgusting cheerleaders the left has. And more importantly, he's just plain wrong.

As to whether Sarah Palin, is, as Patrick wrote, poised to lead the RNC like Dean did - well, that remains to be seen. She definitely wouldn't need any of the items you ticked off if she has the ones that are most important - the support of the party leaders, and broad support of the Republican base. She definitely has the latter. As to the former, we'll have to wait and see how the election ends up, and see where Gov. Palin wants to be post election (if a loss is what we are handed). Remember - Dean lobbied hard for the DNC head job, and had to convince many Democrats that he was the right man for that position. Many of them still aren't convinced he's the most qualified for the position, although I suspect a clean sweep triple play this Nov. 4 will probably silence them once and for all.

Finally, let's be prudent here and not waste anybody else's time quoting rehashed Andrew Sullivan silliness. You'd be more credible puling quotes out of "News of the World" or "The Enquirer". 

Ad hominem

Jon, your premise is totally off from the very first paragraph. ... Finally, let's be prudent here and not waste anybody else's time quoting rehashed Andrew Sullivan silliness. You'd be more credible puling quotes out of "News of the World" or "The Enquirer".

Ad hominem is not a compelling counter-argument.  I was responding to his point, not his reputation.

Palin, Abstractions, and the Future

 Jon, I believe that your analysis of the pros and cons of Palin as a future GOP leader are right on target.  She is great in the abstract, but a lot of further development is in order.

Palin is severely restricted, Henke!

She's under the authority of John McCain.   She's walking a tight rope.  So in that sense I agree about your points 1 & 2.  She must, unlike Biden, be careful what she says.  She can't come out in opposition to McCain, although I'm sure at times she'd like to.  And as for as your point 3?  Your sooooo wrong.  She's got a huge following.  Massive.  And she doesn't need a mailing list, a website or a bunch of techies behind keyboards, typing away.   Its about leadership, Henke.  Leadership first and all the logistics will fall in place as needed.  You, sir, are trying to put the horse before the cart.  

And Sullivans comment about Sarah's education.  What an elitist snob.  And you've aligned your self w/this slug?  Henke!   Snap out of it!  This is the university elite who, because their daddy's put them through some ivy league university, have assigned themselves some god-like infallibility.  Looking down upon us hayseed's from on high.   Total brazen arrogance.

A little humility would be in line here.  Problem is, so many of  our  younger folks have no idea what it means to be under someones authority.   Chain of command? What's that? Blank look. Crickets chirping.    DD

And the job of the #2 is what exactly?

This post seems to have fallen a bit into the same trap as Peggy Noonan a few days ago, which demands that Sarah Palin give us her governing philosophy right now.

As the #2 person on the ticket, Palin's job is not to have a governing philosophy of her own. It is to articulate John McCain's. And to serve as the attack dog. I don't remember anyone asking John Edwards, or Joe Lieberman, or Al Gore to tell us what their governing philosophy was when they were running for Vice President.

Of course not...

I don't remember anyone asking John Edwards, or Joe Lieberman, or Al Gore to tell us what their governing philosophy was when they were running for Vice President.

They were asked about that when they had run for Senator or President.  They each had been in the public eye long enough that their priorities and agendas were relatively known quantities.

But Sarah Palin?  Does anybody have much of an idea of where she would lead?   That's a prerequisite for somebody who would be a leader.  Her record in Alaska is heartening in many ways, but it's more than a little disturbing that the Right is so eager to be led by Palin without really having a good sense of where she would lead.

That sounds like desperation - a rebound relationship - rather than leadership.

Palin may emerge post-November to better define herself.  I hope that is the case.  But it would be a major mistake to designate her as a leader just because she seems exciting right now.   A movement can't be based on marketing.

I'd like to know what tough

I'd like to know what tough choices Sarah Palin had to make...what hard reforms did she initiate?  She was Governor of a State that has a population the size of Monmouth County, New Jersey.  Oil revenue surpluses in the state have exceeded 6 Billion Dollars during her term. 

"In 20 months in office, Palin's toughest financial decisions involved dickering with the Legislature on creative ways to spend and salt away the billions of dollars in oil revenues pouring into the state treasury."   Alaska is essentially Saudi Arabia of the North, with snow and ice replacing sand dunes.  There is no statewide income tax.  EVERYTHING is paid for with oil.  The Alaska Permanent Fund makes it almost impossible to piss people off, because as an Alaskan resident, you automatically get $2,000 just for showing up. 

For Republicans who consider themselves realists, lets take a look at reality:  Alaska didnt need reforming, and anyone who would pretend to be a reformer would never get elected.  That state has more land, less people, and more money than any other state, and protection from the United States Government.  In fact, that state is doing so well, they have formed their own party called the Alaska Independence Party to remove themselves from the "yoke" of American oppression. 

So, Barack Obama spends 6 months in a Madrasa learning Shakespeare in Indonesian, and he's a terrorist.  Sarah Palin promotes, supports, and delivers the opening address of an American political party designed to cause the secession of a state from this Union, and she is a conservative hero? 

Your values are misplaced. 



Good Lord!

I think a lot of people aren't going to be very proud of this period in their career and that includes conservative-lite types who are so focused on Andrew Sullivan.

I know there is a tremendous fascination with the mentally disturbed Sullivan among certain conservative-lite writers but non-pundit conservatives don't share it. We think this competition to post the latest Sullivan rant is juvenile.

Don't worry about Sarah. We don't know if she will be the leader of the reborn conservative movement or if will be Jindal, Blunt, Cantor or yet another young person. Actually, I think it's most likely that they will all lead, be tested, and the best will eventually rise to the top. It's a process, not a declaration to be made at this time.

Sarah will be fine. She's had a lot of exposure and she will continue to grow in experience.

Dont judge too quickly

Does Sarah Palin have any of those things? I haven't seen any evidence that she has the sophisticated political philosophy, or a good governing strategy.

I agree with the premise of your argument, but I think we need to be careful we dont jump to a final conclusion on Palin too quickly.  Unlike most on the left that made up their mind and have hammered her silly since she was announced as the VP candidate, I think we need to remain more level-headed before casting her off as a symbol rather than a player in future national campaigns.  This election cycle has been intense and she has been thrown to the wolves.  But post-election, if Obama is President, we will have plenty of time to assess her credentials and philosophy to determine her mettle going forward.  Im fearful that she is going to be cast-off or be the scapegoat for this election by many right-wing media types looking for that sort of thing, but Im hoping she is at least given that opportunity outside of the VP microscope.

/...New reader/Terrific site

Have to agree with Ruffini. . .

. . .on this.  We are, after all, talking about the #2 on the ticket.  We don't yet know precisely what her guiding philosophy or vision is -- only that she strikes a chord with the Republican rank and file in a way that no one could have predicted.  That may not be the sum total of movement leadership, but it's an indispensable element.  And, as of today, we've only seen the Palin that has had to operate within the constraints of a campaign with a rationale that was established well before she was brought on board.

There's also the matter that she's still a very young politician, and brand new to national politics.  And, given the fact that she has yet to complete her first term as governor of Alaska, it's not unreasonable to think that perhaps she's not had the time to fully flesh out her guiding principles in an easily articulable, sound bite-frlendly fashion as they relate to national-level politics -- particularly in such a way that they don't conflict with the pre-established messages of the McCain campaign.

What I've seen from Palin is a young, vibrant, conservative leader who has been thrust upon the national stage very quickly, and greeted with the kind of treatment more suited to a high profile Hollywood murder suspect, and she has managed to come through it with the kind of happy warrior disposition that was such a great part of Reagan's appeal.

Of course, we need to get past the inclination to look back toward Reagan every time we discuss the direction that conservatism is going to take going forward (why not Lincoln?).  But, there are qualities that movement leaders have, and he had them in spades.  I see some of those qualities in Palin, and some are either not there, or they're just not yet apparent.  I'm inclined to believe the latter.  I see strong evidence of the second and third criteria that Jon lays out in his post -- i.e., strategy and support base.  And, I think it's easy to imagine that the first criteria (clear, sophisticated political philosophy) being there, but that it has been stymied somewhat by the (overstated, I think) need for consistency between her and McCain.

As for Andrew Sullivan, I think Jon is entirely too kind.  As someone who once considered Sullivan to be a daily must-read, I'm astonished at the transformation he's undergone over the past five years.  Yes, he's a smart man and a good writer.  But, he's become the Syd Barrett of political commentary, and to assume that he'll look back at this period with regret 20 years hence is to assume that he has anything left of a career at that point.  I'm hard pressed to believe that he will in any meaningful sense.

The odd intemperate posting is forgivable, even expected.  But, Sullivan has gone on a half-decade tirade, and once a mental episode goes on for that length of time, there's really no going back.

I agree with Walt, who agrees with Ruffini, who agrees with me.

Just because Sarah Palin, herself, is a social conservative, doesn't necessarily mean she will pursue these goals at the expense of other fiscal conservative goals we all agree upon as Republicans. I have seen little evidence of this in her political record and even less in the faces of her supporters.  If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, please publish it now. I suspect those who automatically jump to this conclusion, political punditary left and right, are using this argument as a smokescreen behind which to pursue other agendas.

We all wish that  Gov. Palin was a lot of things. But she is who she is and the Republican Party is what it is. It is a political party that is going to change, how much and in what direction all depends on who takes the leadership position of the party after the election.

Will it be the old guard, with its ties to the corporate elite, along with its corporate backing, or will a grass-root structure take over the party,  with party funding coming in from small individual donations?  Make no mistake about it, this question will be resolved around party funding, as it always has. For that reason, the Chairperson of the RNC will either have to rely on the present corporate structure or a new grass-root structure.

If you, like me, like Walt, like Ruffini, like many others, see the need for a new party based on a grass-root structure, than Sarah Palin is our best bet to get the party where it needs to be by the 2010 Congressional elections and beyond. 

ex animo



Can't afford to trust her


She MAY not pursue the social conservative agenda, but I hardly think that is likely, considering she considers abortion murder and gay marriage horrible sin.

Even with no proof, its better to be safe than sorry and not trust her (and McCain) considering that I don't agree with their fiscal policy either.



Gezzzz, Terry...

...I think you've hit the nail on the are hardly thinking.








ex animo



Palin is not comparable to Dean but to

Obama after the 2004 Dem Convention. 

Palin has had only a short time in the national spotlight.  Dean spent months running for President and building a following.

Palin seems to be right where Obama was in 2004: someone with a lot of promise, but with none of the things, obviously, that Dean had after a great deal of time in the national spotlight.

The jury is still out on what she can do with what she's been given.  The problem she faces, is that after 2004 the media took a great deal of interest in Obama and he played it well, staying in the spotlight and doing national shows.  I mean, he was on Meet the Press in 2006 when he hinted he might run in 2008.

Is Palin going to be on Meet the Press in 2010?  Is she going to stay in the national spotlight and do interviews? 

One would hope that once she's out from under the McCain umbrella, we'll hear from the real Palin.  I haven't seen her yet, though. And she has to do more than just wow the base.  She has to go into the national spotlight and undo a lot of damage that's been done to her character.



I like the comparison, but I think Palin's negatives are too high to be comparable to Mr Obama c. 2004. She has already become a very polarizing figure, while Obama had the major advantage of coming across as a "uniter" and a "centrist" (the AP actually described him as a "centrist alternative" in a 2006 article. No one could describe Palin that way.)

I think she has a great deal of potential, but I agree that she needs to outline a governing philosophy. I don't think she needed to lay out a governing philosophy for this election, but without knowing more about where she's coming from as a political leader, I can't advocate lining up behind her in some sort of movement. Of course, the long, modern presidential campaign would leave plenty of time for that.

I can envision Palin as one of two things: a so-called "Western conservative" with a strong belief in limited government and federalism, or a strong "social conservative" who would support the use of federal power towards social ends. At this time, we don't know enough to judge for sure. Palin's gubernatorial record can only be taken so far; Calvin Coolidge, for instance, supported child labor laws as Massachusetts governor but opposed similar laws as president (as a federalist).

Future of the Party

 Palin, at this moment, is the future of the Party (should McCain ultimately lose) and if she wants the nomination in 2012 and she lays a legitimate claim to the mantle of ‘next in line’ and if she looks inevitable then I think that it would be the honorable thing, in the interest of Party loyalty, for other top contenders to defer to her candidacy for the sake of unity. Our Party cannot countenance another bitter, divisive primary. We need to coalesce early around one leader and unite for the good of the party and the Nation and right now that leader looks like Governor Palin.

40 Years in the Wilderness

As one of those who found this post from Andrew Sullivan's blog, I find a lot of the hand-wringing, acrimony, ad hominem attacks, and angst familiar.  As others have noted, there are a plethora of characters who may fulfill the role of a conservative Moses.  The real question is who will be the conservative Joshua who will lead the conservative movement back in from the wilderness?

I agree with those who think the question is backwards.  Rather than attempting to determine who one should follow, when all who are currently leading are leading one astray; one has to decide for oneself what are the issues one is willing to fight for.  I have seen different posters propose different values, ideas, and issues that they currently believe are those issues. 

The question has been posed as to how one builds a movement once one finds all around one in disarray.  This is the next step.  Once one decides what one is willing to fight not only those in the opposition party on, but those within one's own party - one finds others willing to do the same.  Then one fights like there is no tomorrow for those issues while continuing to add others through suasion, chiding, and determination.  Eventually leaders will emerge who are willing to lead the movement that has developed.  There may be false leaders who are incapable of sealing the deal - see Dean, Michael Moore, et al.  There may be others who promise to lead you in by accomadation with the other party - see Clinton.

You will know you have reached Canaan when a leader emerges who not only embraces and champions the tenets of the movement but is able to communicate those ideas to the broader party to unify the party and hone them for the assault on the opposition party - see Obama.

In this, I don't see Palin as qualified.  She, like Dean is too nakedly ambitious, too divisive, and frankly if she were none of those things, too premature to be the next leader.  I wish you luck in the wilderness even as I hope you misread these landmarks I have given you and remain there for the next 40 years at least.

What Palin Has

What Palin has that perhaps no national political figure on the right has since Reagan is that people are ready to march through Hell for her in large numbers. No Presidential Candidate has really been wanted by the base in these type of numbers. Nobody has their hearts.

I'll give Jon, Point 1 and I'll give him Point 2, and I'll give him half of Point 3. What type of plastic bubble must you be locked in not to see and feel the conservative grassroots absolute support for this woman?  It's unlike anything I've ever seeen.

She hasn't been able to articulate a clear governing philosophy or lay out a strategy. Guess what? It's not been her job to do so.

I know every blogger carries a "Plan for fixing America" in their back pocket, but Sarah Palin is the VP Candidate. Unlike Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, who got to introduce themselves as their own persons, she's been defined under McCain and had to deal with all that goes with that because trying to carry McCain's message muddles her own. 

If she introduces herself as a Candidate in her own right should McCain lose, she'll have her opportunity to define herself, and she'll have a base that is ready and willing to push her through. I don't know whether she runs or not. But I see no reason to tear her down.

Where is the evidence that she has her own ideas?

First of all, let me say that those "large numbers" of people who are willing to march through Hell for her dwindle with each new revelation that comes out, demonstrating what a phoney she is.

But  more importantly: where is the evidence that she has any ideas of her own? She does a boffo job of reading the lines that someone else hs written for her at campaign rallies. But then, on the rare occasions that she speaks to the press, she serves up these baffling word salads  that indicate that she is totatlly, utterly unqualified and underserving of being taken seriously.

Do you really want to pin your hopes for the future of the movement on someone who can't handle a press conference?

PS: Why are those kids being used as campaign props? Why aren't they in school?


Obama does not have his own ideas

His entire campaign is plagiarized (viz. Gov Deval Patrick) and his themes were sounded previously by 60s radicals and leftwing activists in the past. The links in this post show the direct line from the words of people like Ayers to the unoriginal lifting of them by Obama:

Themes like 'change' and using the term 'isolation' and 'cynicism' are right out of the New Left Saul Alinsky playbook. Not to mention lifting 'si se peude' from cesar chavez. Obama has been using multiple dog whistles for the Hard Left to tell them he's one of them. It's not original, except in the fact that we have the most leftwing Presidential candidate ever;  its playing to a socialist base as when Palin plays to a flag-waving God-fearing love-America patriot base with her comments.

Obama does a good job of reading the lines that someone else hs written for him at campaign rallies. But then, on the rare occasions that he gets a real question and not a campaign-pleasing softball, he becomes the "uh"-master, and serves up these baffling word salads  that indicate that he is totally, utterly unqualified and should be considered beyond dangerous for President. He has not authored, advanced or led on a single legislative accomplishment worthy of note. He has done NOTHING of accomplishment except write some books.

Palin OTOH untied 3 knots in Alaska- corruption, the royalty sharing from the North Slope and the natural gas pipeline. In all three cases, she stood with Alaska's citizens up against powerful interests, and won.

Those who admire Obama are really exposing either their own Leftwing inclinations or their folly in getting bamboozled in falling for a dishonest campaign for a very bad, very leftwing candidate.   In every measure, Palin is more suited to be POTUS or VPOTUS than Obama, and yes, it may be damning Obama with faint praise because in reality, both would have on the job training ...  but for Obama he's at the TOP of the ticket.

Obama will be our next Worst President.



Lots of words there

proving your are more intellectual than I. However, I have the gift of living in the real world, not the bubble that you are in.

Sarah Palin took on one type of corruption to replace it with her own brand - trips to New York with 5 day stays at the Ritz-Carlton for the kids at taxpayer expense; using the powers of her office to settle scores with estranged family members.  ALL Alaska governors hand out royalty checks. And, that pipeline - it doesn't exist.

Go watch the Joe the Plumber clip - Obama lays out his plan for the guy, in detail, for about 5 minutes.

You don't get to be president of the Harvard Law Review by being stupid.

And then come back here and tell me that Obama's annoying verbal ticks are on a par with Sarah Palin very clearly not having anything at all going on between her ears other than what her prep team has stuffed there.



You don't live in the conservative movement, I do. She is loved and respected. Second, I know she has her own ideas that had a huge bearing on how she governed Alaska.

Secondly, I'm sorry she's not the typical politician who keeps the family at home and has a thousand affairs on the road.

No, on second thought, I'm not sorry.

Liberal here

My money is on Bobby Jindal as the new conservative leader to watch.  Palin is ridiculous, but Jindal is serious.  As opposed to Palin, he is educated, has a solid background, is building a real record, and seems pragmatic without being dogmatic.  I know he probably doesn't fire up the rapture bunch, but they would come around with him at the top and you wouldn't lose all the conservatives that bailed on Palin.

Leader of what movement?

 Jon Henke is manifestly the only sane person over here, so I'll jump in here and point out that the crux of the disaster you face is that your movement itself is in its very essence shredded.Who are you? What do you stand for? Choosing a leader (or just a figurehead such as Palin, who's basically a vessel into which people can pour their political libidos and starbursts) is a category error in this context. First you need to deal with the reality of what you have been reduced to. The last time I was here, in August, I warned that the argument that you all are the real, patriotic Americans, while I am a pod person was an inherently disastrous basis for political disputation. In the wake of Bachmann's and Palin's patriotic rants this past week, how do you all feel that's worked out for ya, doggone it? The other thing I would point out is that Andrew Sullivan, a flawed but earnest, religious, conservative human being who often enrages me, will never be remotely as embarrassed by what he is saying these days as he already is by his patriotic-gore rantings of 2001-2003 about the need to kick Ayrab ass, destroy the decadent liberal enclaves on the coasts, and yadda yadda. Pursuant to which I would note, by way of an addendum to what Colin Powell said last weekend, that the greatest enormity you people have to grapple with is your widespread embrace of torture and murder-in-captivity, so long as the victims are dark-skinned non-coreligionists. Jon Henke, I'm talking to you. The rest of you--Patrick Ruffini--can see me in hell.

Thanks for the vote of confidence

Jon Henke is manifestly the only sane person over here...

 I'm glad there's at least one.

sanity and Hannity

 Well, for all I know, Patrick Ruffini may be sane in clinical terms, but he is hellbent on self-actualizing his world-historical role as the bastard spawn of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, so I can't really find any common ground or even perception of reality with him.

Wrong time for the navel-gazing discussion!

We have a serious election to fight, Democrat COngresscritters to defeat, and Obama's socialism to stop. There's only one place we should wish for Palin to go right now, and that is Dick Cheney's house in January.

Meanwhile, liberal trolls want to bash the fine Sarah Palin and muddy the issues, by talking trash about Gov Palin in ways that we know are wrong.

The future leadership of conservatism and Republicans we can discuss AFTER this election, and election that may end us on the 50 yard line or facing a left-liberal Obama Democrat regime at our 10 yard line.

So .... Let's deal with TODAY and the 10 day away election FIRST, and THEN talk about the future LATER.



Palin Was a Mistake

 Admission: I am a Libertarian, registered Democrat. So I"m voting for Obama

BUT... I was seriously considering voting for McCain. I supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. I was very disappointed when Obama did not choose Clinton as his running mate.

But then McCain chose Palin, which made it soooooo easy for me to support Obama.

I wanted to like Palin. She has a cute personality. She is a woman who is also Governor of Alaska - an office she earned by her own determination, not by any family connection to wealth or politics. But she is sooooo unready. I wince every time she speaks on TV. She does NOT know what she is talking about most of the time, such as her definition of what a VP does and what the important Supreme Court cases are and what positions John McCain holds on key issues. Sometimes she seems to flat-out lie, like when she said the Troopergate report completely exonerated her. Wow. I'm from a small town too, Sarah. Do you really think I am that stupid? 

She might be more ready four years from now to take national office, but not now. Now she is a joke. I am living overseas for a few months, and believe me, even the London cab drivers are shocked by McCain's choice of her. Now I know us real Americans don't put no faith in those brie-eatin, chardonnay-sippin Europeans, but I can tell you that a pint-drinking London cab driver has a lot in common with Joe the Plumber  from Ohio. The stupid class divisiveness that the Republican party has championed in the last few elections embarrasses me.

I really hope that the Republican party can return to its small-government, fiscally conservative, no-foreign-entanglements basics. I would vote for the candidates of that party over the Dems in a heartbeat.

Fiscal conservative slam dunk choice is McCain

Admission: I am a Libertarian, registered Democrat

Well, that sure doesnt compute. Those 2 are oil and water. The libertarian-type candidate in the race was Ron Paul.

I wince every time she speaks on TV. She does NOT know what she is talking about most of the time, such as her definition of what a VP does

Did you wince when Joe Biden got his constitution wrong, confused article I and article II and falsely said the Vice President wasnt mentioned in the article on the legislative branch? Or when Biden told his 23 other fibs/libs/misstatements?  Why is it that the outright lunacy of Obama/Biden on issue after issue is accepted?


The stupid class divisiveness that the Republican party has championed in the last few elections embarrasses me.

As opposed to the tax-hiking class-warfare-on-the-stump Democrats like Obama going to elite fundraising events and telling the audience about how small-town goobers are deluded freaks "clinging to God and guns".

I really hope that the Republican party can return to its small-government, fiscally conservative, no-foreign-entanglements basics

It wont matter if the Dems win. 4 years of Obama's big government, tax more, regulate more, spend more, and use US forces for 'humanitarian' purposes (more Darfur engagements), and it will take a generation to undo. 

It's pretty obvious when you compare McCain and Obama, and $800 billion more spending proposals from Obama, and his tax hikes and giveaways, and McCain coming down hard on earmarks and pork and Obama being for more of it,  that the fiscal conservative choice is McCain.  I frankly dont believe for a second that the VP pick is a sway factor for those who have strong beliefs about government's role, as Obama is  the biggest Govt most leftist candidate in US history.

Admission: I am a

Admission: I am a Libertarian, registered Democrat

Well, that sure doesnt compute. Those 2 are oil and water. The libertarian-type candidate in the race was Ron Paul.

That is your opinion.  It depends on where you live, and which aspects of the capital L Libertarian Party appeal to you most.  For instance, if protection of personal liberties and expansion of your rights is more important to you than small government and fiscal conservatism, a Democrat like Obama would be an acceptable choice.  Particularly when you take into account the horrible fiscal discipline of the last 8 years.  Essentially, both major parties are a bad choice on fiscal policy, so elect the one that will be more likely to roll back the Bush encroachments on civil liberties.

Also, if you live in a state with closed primaries and a dominant party, registering for that party is your only chance to have a voice in the primaries.  I live in Maryland, a very Blue state, yet in an extremely Red county (86% for Dole in 96).  If I were of a mind to, I would have to switch my affiliation every cycle to make a difference.  I do not, however.  I am an independent, and I never vote more than 50% of the ballot for one party, and I refuse to register for any party.  If I lived in a more Blue county, registering as a Democrat might be more attractive. (I still wouldn't do it).

The point of my post is that no one has a right to tell anyone else what party they should or shouldn't be in.  No one owns any political party, and they change over time.  If the GOP loses the election, I could easily see them shifting away from the religiously intolerant position they currently hold, and focusing more on the Goldwater conservatism mixed with a big-tent moral code dedicated more toward results than the exclusive homogeniety they currently engender.

We shall see, but I am probably closest to Libertarian than anything else, and Obama certainly looks like the most responsible choice in this election.

Semper Fi,


 When you say $800 billion,

 When you say $800 billion, you talkin about that thar Wall Street bailout?

The one that JOHN MCCAIN voted for??


Neither McCain nor Obama are fiscal conservatives. NEITHER.  I'll go with the guy who did not pick a publicity stunt for his running mate or sell his soul to the worst part of the class warfare, divisive politics lunatic fringe of his party.