Hands Off Palin

Ross Douthat smartly reviews the unfolding civil war in the conservative pundit-sphere over Sarah Palin, and tries to call a truce of sorts:

In such circumstances, what's the best course of action - denouncing the rats, or trying to figure out why the hell the ship is sinking? Even if Brooks and Noonan and Buckley and Dreher and Kathleen Parker and David Frum and Heather Mac Donald and Bruce Bartlett and George Will and on and on - note the ideological diversity in the ranks of conservatives who aren't Helping The Team these days - are all just snobs and careerists who quit or cavil or cover their asses when the going gets tough and their "seat at the table" is threatened, an American conservative movement that consists entirely of those pundits with the rock-hard testicular fortitude required to never take sides against the family seems like a pretty small tent at this point. And if I were Hanson or Levin or Steyn I'd be devoting a little less time to ritual denunciations of heretics and RINOs, and at least a little more time to figuring out how to build the sort of ship that will make the rats of the DC/NY corridor want to scramble back on board, however much it makes you sick to have them back. Who knows? It might just be the sort of ship that swing-state voters will want to climb on board as well.

I'm with Ross on the fact that we have bigger fish to fry than pundit-on-pundit action right now. But once the post-election recriminations begin, and when someone starts to bury Palin with blind NYT quotes, I'll stand firmly in the Palin camp. And here's why.

Ross underestimates the deep way in which movement conservatives have felt betrayed by their own establishment -- with which the likes of Brooks, Kristol (Update: a reader reminds me that Kristol is solidly in the Palin camp), Will et al are aligned -- and  never more so than in the last four weeks.

We have seen a situation yesterday in which the Republican Secretary of the Treasury acted as a handmaiden to socialism. I am not given to hyperbolic language, and I use the phrase not to pass judgment on the necessity of what happened, but the forced nationalization of banks is socialism by any grade school definition.

In this charged environment, there is almost irressistible movement-conservative temptation to raise the figurative middle finger to anyone or anything associated with establishment Republicanism -- one which gave us runaway spending, a $700 billion bailout that preceeded an 18% stock market swoon, and bank nationalization. And not entirely without cause.

Now, zoom back in on the Palin situation. In the midst of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, conservative establishment pundits appear to blame John McCain's inability to seal the deal not on the misfortune of being the candidate of the in-party of his thin track record on economic matters or his jarring response to the crisis, but on a hockey mom from Alaska. Who just happens to be part of the grassroots conservative / outsider / Mark Levin circle. Who, from a conservative point of view, happens to be the one bit of relief we've gotten from this crap sandwich of a political environment that's been going on for three years now. Who, in a movement and a party bereft of fresh faces, seemed to represent a rising new guard.

Can you see why they we are angry?

Never mind that the political case for Palin decisively hurting the ticket is thin at best.

Never mind that when Palin actually mattered, McCain was ahead.

Never mind that Palin seems to be the only one willing to go on the attack (and I'm not one who believes slash and burn is called for right now, btw).

Then there is the media.

In what universe do Sarah Palin's gaffes matter, and Joe Biden's 20 years of gaffes get ignored? In what universe does Sarah Palin get called unqualified, and this prompts absolutely zero scrutiny and commentary on Barack Obama's resume, especially amongst conservative pundits bashing Palin. Is it because Obama shares their alma mater? (As an Ivy League grad, I'm not one to launch anti-elitist cracks, but this one happens to be true.)

Even if one concedes that these are not entirely apples-to-apples comparisons, it's willful blindness to suggest that Sarah Palin hasn't been given the short end of the stick in entirely relevant experience comparisons with Obama and in temperament comparisons with Biden. Biden has a longstanding reputation as a less-than-Presidential hothead who's used racially-tinged code language to describe his running mate -- and not a peep from the media and our conservative emissaries to the Times editorial board. 

Now can you understand the frustration?

Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham aren't defending the campaign to the hilt because they are McCain people, or even McCain/Palin people. It is because they are Palin people. They believe Palin is the only smart move McCain has made. And events since since Palin faded from the spotlight haven't exactly disproven their point.

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Wow...good luck with that...

...if you want to champion Sarah Palin as the leader of the Conservative movement, I wish you god-speed on your journey. Please do. I hope you pin the next 20 years on her, and let her lead. That would truly be the gift that keeps giving to the left.

The experience of Obama is irrelevant, because he's where he's at not due to the decision of a single person, he had to earn his way to the top of the Democratic ticket, and ultimately, to the Office of the White House one vote at a time; he put together a campaign, and fought not one but several very qualified candidates. In the end, he's convinced voters that he's the right person for the job at this time. We've had several years now to scrutinize him, to watch him, to deconstruct his life and experiences. Many of us concluded that experience is not the primary factor,  because he brings other, more important tools to the job.

Biden has had gaffes. But, a few gaffes here and there over the course of a 30-year political career adds up to almost nothing.

But, the candidacy of Sarah Palin comes with an entirely different set of expectations. That I have to explain why to you is tiresome, as you are smart enough to understand this on your own. Her experience becomes an issue because WE have no experience with her. She's a candidate to be a heart-beat away from the presidency, and we've had extremely little opportunity to get to know her or understand who she is. Her gaffes matter, because as a ratio of time spent in national public life to number of gaffes made, her measurements are off the chart. And, because we have no history with her, they are naturally amplified, and rightly so.

I recall the morning she was announced. I was awaiting her speech, and it hit me. The Republican Nominee for VP was a person whose voice I had never heard. Who had never had a major interview in the National media. That, in and of itself raises serious questions to any honest observer of the political process. Add to that the bizarre policy of the McCain campaign to cloister Sarah Palin, and you have just elevated the questions raised.

I hope Sarah Palin does run for office again in the future. I hope she gets a chance, on her own, to fight for a place on a National ticket. And, I hope she remains a darling of the right, and that she's your standard bearer for years to come. I sincerely hope that. I also sincerely believe that you'd be foolish to elevate her cause to that level. But, it's your choice. Good luck with that.

Good with with THAT!

Go ahead, your side already got beat twice by a B-movie actor and by "Shrub" .

We'll see whether Obama can be more than a sloganeer. As for being "cloistered" from the press, please tell me how often Obama subjects himself to serious press scrutiny. One O'Reilly interview a campaign does not make.

One minor point, Patrick ; You suggested "Hands Off Palin".

I'm against that concept.

Her track record in Alaska indicates she does one of two things to her critics; Charm them or field dress them.

A "Corleone" approach is called for in this instance. (keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer)

Her career won't survive her return to Alaska

The abuse of power charges will put an end to an otherwise meaningless career.  She is amusing in small doses but her time is over. 


The Republican party has an important role to play has it rebuilds itself fromt the madness of the Reagan era. It needs to function as a principaled opposition.  It needs purge itself of the Neocons and the Jack Abramoff wannabes. 


It's over guys. Like communism your time is done.  Move on.

Another worthless leftist heard from

Let me ask you, why is that the Alaska state legislature decided the she abused her pwoer but broke no laws?  Had do you abuse your power and not brake any laws?  It is because she has been taking on the establsihments of both parties and they don't like it.  They want their pork and she won't give it to them.  So they are mad.  This is why she is the political future and your Marxist empty suit will at best be thought of as the first Affirmative Action persidential candidate.  He is unacaomplsihed, inexperienced and unqualified.  He is only candidate because of his race and the fact that for some reason you think he is a good speaker and is attractive.


I cannot believe that many conservatives are actively working to make "America's Sweetheart" the leader of the conservative movement. But I'm with you, Timothy, if that's what they want I truly wish them the very best of luck and hope they succeed for all the reasons you mention in your excellent post.

you have lost your objectivity on Palin

your partisan views are clouding your vision. Perhaps results from this recent CBS poll this will clear things up a bit:

"The Obama-Biden ticket now leads the McCain-Palin ticket 53 percent to 39 percent among likely voters, a 14-point margin. One week ago, prior to the Town Hall debate that uncommitted voters saw as a win for Obama, that margin was just three points.

Among independents who are likely voters - a group that has swung back and forth between McCain and Obama over the course of the campaign - the Democratic ticket now leads by 18 points. McCain led among independents last week.

McCain's campaign strategy may be hurting hurt him: Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain's attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate. "


It's my theory that mainly religious conservatives like Palin, don't know if that is a factor for you.  I really can't think of any other reason that she has maintained a base of support. I do give her some credit for gutsy style, though I'm already finding clips are of her speeches quite annoying.

Also I agree that Mccain gets full responsibility for whatever the margin of his imminent defeat.

Disappointment w/ Conservative Pundocracy goes back months

The Conservative Pundocracy couldn't even rally behind anyone in the Republican primaries, so that we'd have a solid conservative as the Republican candidate.

So, the disappointment goes back months, not just the last several weeks.

The pundits have to realize they aren't the only ones in the drivers seat, and in fact, the drivers seat is getting crowded.  What's needed is a true grassroots revival of conservative principles, and for the pundits to get back to their (our) own roots.

It should be less about taking sides, ie splitting into TRUE CONSERVATIVES vs luke warm conservatives, and more about gaining consensus, setting an agenda, and making it happen.

There's no doubt it,...

...the silent majority has adopted Sarah Palin, just as they did Ronald Reagen and Richard Nixon. And while it may be true, they may not necessarly speak out at this election time due largely to McCain's own failures, make no mistake about it, they will speak out soon in a voice strong enough to change the political direction of this country to the right just as forcefully as Reagen did.

The mistake I see the left continually making with Sarah Palin is their assumption that it was she who has somehow captured this movement's attention, but just the opposit is true -- it is the movement that has captured  her.  In this respect, the attempt to tarnish her image by the MSM has not and will not succeed. The only thing that will deminish their support will be if Sarah Palin fails to represent the conservative movement's political interests.

One final note here, Sarah Palin's social conservatism is not the main reason the silent majority has adopted her, it's because they believe she represents their political interests over the moneyed elities who rule both political parties.

ex animo



Your Movement is over...

Like the one I had this morning, your movement is over, so it's time to flush.  It is time to stop crowing about wins in past elections and the virtues of the (over-) stuffed shirt that is Palin.  She is W in a skirt; incurious, uninformed, power-drunk, simpleminded and dangerous.  If you expect that one day this nation will follow her as it's leader, you are proof that "Da Nile"ain't just a river", my friend.

W has left this country as a hollow shell of it's former self and it will be another 100 years before the memory and the lessons of the most disastrous foreign and domestic policy perpetrated on the American public will be forgotten; if then.  Until then, you and your kind are as relevant as dust; get used to it.

If that is so then why

is your obnoxious ass here trying to convince us of that fact?  Hmmm, if we are irrelevant and you power mad leftists are the future then why are you here trying to convince us of that.  Really all you liberal trolls this sh!t is really starting to get old.

Who do you think you are?

Somehow, you've confused yourself with one who matters. I think TMZ is waiting for snarky comments that are intended to incite, rather than give insight.

Go home libbie - hate and venom is all you and your kind spew and it's best served when misery is nearby. Which if you have your way, is soon enough for all of us.

Vote McCain.

Hostile Takeover of the GOP...

Whatever happens on 11/4/08 the weight will "not" be lifted off of Palins shoulders.  She must take control of the GOP on behalf of the average Middle Americans who, for the most part, have no representation in DC.  If Obama wins, she must immediately distance herself from McCain and the elitist GOP Hierarchy. The U.S. Chamber/WSJ crowd, as I call them.  And then let it be known that she will run for Potus in 2012.  It'll take all of 4 years, in my opinion, to purge the GOP of the globalist/elitists who've hijacked "our" party.    There is a void in representation and that is creating a vacuum.   The vacuum will be filled.   Let it be filled by Palin.  I'm talking a "Hostile Takeover".   She has solid/loyal support among middle Americans and they will back her up.  Even if, by some miracle, McCain pulls off a win,  she could begin to quietly take control of the party making it known that she intends to run in 2012 even if she has to run against McCain. It gonna' take guts/courage, for sure.  

The question is, will she do it?   Or will she take the path of least resistance, go home to Alaska and run for the next  Senate election?  What a wasted opportunity that'd be.   Darvin Dowdy

I won't be surpised if she

I won't be surpised if she runs in 2012; however, I don't know if that's enough time to de-educate enough people to support her. Most of the Goldwater republicans I know are tired of anti-elitist Republicans ruining us into socialism.

And 'take over' might be the effective word. The far right doesn't seem able to convince anyone, even in the larger Rep party, on anything of merit anymore.

She might have to come to DC to represent you. I wonder if Alaskans will want her back.


Hey Ruffini...

...have you noticed it??  The dem's obviously think that this site is enough of  a threat that they've dispatched some of their slugs out from under rocks to come over here and try to disrupt things.  Patrick, you and the others ought to feel fairly proud.  This is a strong indicator that you folks are making some real-time progress.  DD

hey, darvin dowdy --

i can't speak for other "lefties" but i came to point and laugh at you.

i've been impressed that there are some republicans and conservatives who think enough of this country to state the obvious -- sarah palin is in no way qualfied to be anywhere near the white house except as part of a tour group.

to the brilliantly obtuse commenter above who doesn't understand how palin was found to have violated an ethics statute but "didn't break the law" -- if you go read the report, you will learn that there were two separate issues -- (1) whether the governor could fire monegan for no reason (she could) and (2) whether undue pressure was put on state employees in furtherance of a personal agenda (she did -- and that is unethical and a violation of her oath as governor).

it's amazing what happens when you actually read things instead of waiting for someone to regurgitate it for you.




hey patty cake

Looks like a leftie came out to the playground but can't find anyone to play with, so she wants to start a fight instead.

Too bad it won't work here. Most of us don't even bother trying to fight or change your mind. That's not the goal or we'd be trolling on your soil.

Speaking of regurgitation - funny that you say you bother with reading at all - most dems simply follow blindly, like lambs to the slaughter - where's the link to your supposed reference. You are laughable. Not that there would exist such a slanderous report but that you think anyone here believes you actually read it yourself. Get a life.

I agree with DD - we seem to have ugly trolls in our midst.

Don't feed the trolls

If you think they're trolls, don't feed into them.

I'm all for reasoned debate, but they aren't offering it.

Questioning Palin

As an Obama supporter very early on, I knew on one hand that I was pinning my internal yearnings onto an unknown quantity. But darnit, I just liked him tremendously. However, I've had over 20 months now to read about his record, listen to his interviews, watch his campaign and debates, look carefully at his team of advisors and confidants, and generally let my reason catch up and support my intuitive initial reaction. If Obama wins the election, I will get to see if he will lead in the way I'm looking for. But I'm comfortable now that I've done my due diligence.

Almost no one in this country had the opportunity to do the same 'mulling over' with Palin. I hope you find that continued exposure to Palin will produce the same body of evidence to support your initial starry-eyed reaction to her.  From the extremely limited unfettered exposure she has been allowed in the confines of the McCain campaign, it is not clear at all that she has much going for her at the national level. She is a polarizing individual and plays well to a narrow(ing) base. She will have to amend that perception or she will never appeal to a broad coalition of voters.

Actually Patrick

You write: "As an Ivy League grad, I'm not one to launch anti-elitist cracks, but this one happens to be true."

If you're anything like me, having spent four years with those highly intelligent morons (and three years in law school at the south's counterpart), I'm only more likely to launch anti-elitist cracks.  I'm pretty much firmly in Buckley's camp, and (to paraphrase) would rather be governed by 1,000 random names from the Boston phone book than 1,000 Harvard grads.

Remember when "elite" was good?

(think of "elite" forces in the military - much better than average, smarter, faster, stronger)

When we actually wanted the best of the best to lead our nation? When we wanted people who were more intelligent than average (not that intelligence alone is enough of a qualifier), who were thoughtful and capable?

Thanks to the GOP's anti-intellectualism (smart = bad/scary) we find our country in difficult times.

Pretty sad, but thankfully it appears the pendulum is swinging back to sanity.

There's a big difference

Between being smart and being an intellectual.  The biggest of which is the inability of the latter to see the world as it is, and instead to focus on how they wish it could be.  Only intellectuals could invent socialism, and only they would still teach it today (yes, there actually was a Marxist Studies minor at Duke in the late 90s).

Take off the blinders!

You are blinded by your own bias....you have to look at the situation from the point of view of people not beholden to the extreme right wing.

Experience- Most people agree that years as a state senator and US Senator from a major city is experience, and not that much different from her "executive" experience in Alaska (reinforced by the McCain campaign to highlight any difficult decision she had to make). But the MAIN point you are missing is that McCain was the one arguing about experience, not Obama. People are not voting for Obama for his experience. McCain basically made the argument that less than 5 years in government does not make you qualified for higher office, then he picked Palin. Obama always argued about judgement; that was his most effective tool since the Democratic primary was made up of people promising to end the war, but who all voted for it in 2003.

Intelligence- Palin is smart, and she could well be much smarter than most people give her credit for. But McCain won't let her be herself. She gave simple answers in limited interviews, and it appears as if she has never given any thought to any issue outside of Alaska. She was asked (in 2006 or 2007 I believe) what she thought of the Iraq war developments and she said "I havent really thought about it. I heard there were some deployments." Now that she refuses to give any interviews or have a press conference, most people's impressions of her intelligence will remain that way. Say what you want about Obama's opinions, but at least he HAS them. And he is extremely intelligent, something most people admire. I dont want my next door neighbor solving a global crisis or handling nuclear weapons, i want someone smarter than me doing it.

I get your point about being frustrated, but you cannot argue that for a while McCain was polling even with women when he picked Palin. Obviously she is not the entire reason behind the fall, but she could have slowed Obama's momentum if she were not so flawed or had a broader appeal outside the far-right wing base. McCain himself has run a poor campaign, and that is the reason for his fall, but insofar as Palin was a (major) part of that campaign, her name is bound to come up as part of the discussion.

You should also look at it from the other side....fiscal conservatives who are frustrated. They have watched George Bush expand the deficit, weaken the dollar, start wars and make enemies abroad, and now with another fresh chance, their Presidential nominee picks a social conservative from Alaska with no economic experience. For 8 years, fiscal conservative (myself included) have watched the Republicans bow down to social conservatives and at some point (maybe after a trillion dollar rescue plan) people will say ENOUGH. Hopefully Obama wins and in 4 years the Republicans pick someone with a fiscally conservative agenda, otherwise they will be back to a permanent minority.


Poor Judgment By Elites?

We're in a major battle at significant point in history where literally, a vast Democratic win could tip the nation towards a long-lasting socialist path, and what are the "elite" Republican pundits doing? Attacking a member of the Republican ticket? Providing ammunition to the opposing side to be used against the Republican team? What are these elites thinking?

I, for one, would never want these people on my side in a figurative campaign or war. At any time, whether they became peeved at some slight, or were influenced by money, these are the types that would switch sides and start laying down hostile fire from within the ranks.

The damage done to the Republican team by this rear guard hostile action is probably insurmountable. I would like to attribute their actions to one of "poor judgment" but there is more to this story than that simple answer. More than likely, their actions truly represent the ugly and trivial side of human nature, such as a personal vendetta; or, the inner need to be viewed as the liberals' favorite Republican; or, some filthy lucre rationale.

Regardless of the actual reason(s), I'm sure like most conservatives (I don't like McCain, but I sure and hell don't want a socialist as president) I'm thoroughly disgusted with the Republican elite pundits.

RE: Poor Judgment By Elites?

Did you ever think they just don't agree with you? This is not a war, it's government and the media. They get paid to think and write.

You don't understand

"Elite" is the code word for  "I don't like my party's nominee, our president doubled the national debt, broke the deficit clock, and issued a $700B bailout, so even though the entire WSJ editorial board, Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney went to prestigous universities, I am going to talk about how the other guy went to Harvard since I have no new ideas."

McCain's The Problem not Palin

The pundits have their gripes with Palin but the base voters necessary for any Republican victory love her. In rally after rally Palin attracts young enthusiastic supporters who are absent from McCain events. Check out yesterday's Palin rally in Scranton, Pa.

The choice of Palin put McCain back in the race. His failure to capitalize on the opportunity she afforded him is not Palin's fault. McCain is seen as the "leader" who can't articulate a consistent policy to address the economic meltdown. His ever changing policies seem to always end up with more bailouts and bigger government.

On yesterday's Glenn Beck radio program Beck asked him why he went from opponent of the bailout to supporter of the bailout with loads of pork barrel spending. Beck's question and McCain's unconvincing answer is the reason why his ticket is trailing in the polls.

Nor did McCain help himself a few days ago when in answer to a question he told a supporter at a townhall meeting that there is nothing to fear if Obama gets elected. The audience at this McCain event roundly booed him.

McCain's problem is that he does not give voters a good reason to support him because he clearly believes in policies that are Bush-like. Meanwhile, Obama is leading a revolution.

Palin is and has the potential in the future to be a leader of a conservative policy revival. Her "conservative critics" have spent more time criticizing her than they have exposing Obama. I guess they do not want to get their pristine hands dirty writing about Obama's questionable private life, his left-wing professional life, and his naive suggestions such as personally sitting down with the Iranians without pre-conditions.

Palin has more practical experience running a substantial enterprise than anyone else in the race. Those who refuse to acknowledge that and her appeal to voters McCain can not win without should be ashamed of themselves.

True, but...

"McCain's problem is that he does not give voters a good reason to support him "...you hit the nail on the head. Why should anyone vote for him? Obama outlines clear reasons, McCain does not.

His "naive" suggestion of meeting with foreign leaders has already been backed by five secretaries of state and Petraeus. Would you call Petraeus naive? This is not 2001. We have tried ignoring countries for 7 years and it has not worked, time for a new strategy. The sooner you offer a better strategy the sooner you can make your argument, but until then, you are going to be running on losing ideas.

"Palin has more practical experience running a substantial enterprise than anyone else in the race". If "practical" experience was so necessary, why did the GOP turn down Giuliani and Romney? You can't keep sending mixed messages. Yes she was Governor of Alaska, but that is hardly a "substantial enterprise." Increasingly diverse populations, inner-city crime, drug trafficking, road construction (apart from the infamous Bridge)...all these issues are so minor in Alaska that her experience wouldn't be easy to transfer to the majority of other states, let alone the entire nation and the world. Name any major decision she has made as governor that shows her ability to make tough decisions and weigh the pros and cons of diverging ideas?

Palin is loved by the "social" base, but only tolerated by the fiscal base. Throw in McCain's poor campaigning and the current situation is not surprising.

A Few Quibbles

None of luminaries mentioned said that the President of the United States should sit down with our mortal enemies without preconditions. They said we should non-militarily engage Iran.

In comparsion to Obama, Biden, and (to a lesser degree) McCain, Palin's Governorship is a substantial enterprise. Even Biden acknowledged this during the debate. When smaller state governors Huckabee and Bill Clinton ran no one downplayed their expereince as insignificant.

The fiscal base is not turned on by any of these candidates because none of them have offered a logical policy to deal with the economic problem.


PS Thanks for  sharing your thoughful analysis.

I see your point

But this race is about big ideas/generalizations. While sometimes Palin argues about preconditions, the majority of the time it is simplified into "talk / dont talk". Neither party goes into details about when a meeting would be acceptable, so the public falls back on the general terms. But I think at some point (5 years from now? 10?) discussions will be necessary, and the majority of the public also shares that view and that is why they tend to agree with Obama.

I'm too young to remember Clinton's race but I thought people said he was too inexperienced?

No one will offer a policy to deal with the economic problem because people are too worried about getting votes. Sad. Maybe in 4 years...

Liberals everywhere

And especially on this website. UGH! 

Between the libs who are scared of Sarah and the RINOs trying to pin McCain's failure on her, I doubt anything of substance will come of this thread.

Conservatives will remember the sellout pundits after this election.

If we are going to spend another 40 years in the wilderness I won't be spending it with the likes of Noonan, Parker and Buckley and I don't think I'm alone. They better hope their liberal sucking up pays off or they may have to look for a new line of work.


Scared of Palin?

I'm a liberal (well, actually, I prefer the term Progressive, but that's a distinction without a difference on this site, I imagine) and I'm certainly not afraid of Palin. As I said above, I hope she becomes the standard-bearer of the Conservative movement.

Go Sarah Palin! I hope to see you again and again and again.

Welcome Current Liberals! Here's why:

The Current Liberals on this site probably just came here because their so-called "leader" said to get in our faces.

So right now, they're just acting like drones...  But this will backfire!

NOW we can all have real Hope for them! 

Yes!  Hope for real Change!

Now they can be exposed to some correct conservative (maybe even Libertarian) political philosophy while they're here...  As well as some good manners!

Welcome current liberals, one and all!

Be sure to check out the stories linked to from the CONSERVATIVE posters on this site (there are some other CURRENTLY LIBERAL posters too, but they just repeat the same "material" you've already seen on the Left-wing sites, and I'm confident you can spot it).

Celebrate your eyes finally being opened to the downward spiral that a liberal-world view has for you and this country!

Our current leader??? Who told you?

I found this site via realclearpolitics.  Who is our "leader"?


Actually, my thoughts are my own but I find material in a number of places. 


We Democrats had plenty of candidates who would not have made a good president. I liked some of Dennis Kucinich's ideas but would not want him in power. He is more effective as a gadfly than he would be as an executive.  However, we had a few this year who are really strong, capable people. Sen. Obama is the best of a good field. Would I have liked someone a bit more progressive? Sure. Will he do a decent job with the terrible hand that has been dealt him? I think so. 


Do you really want to hand this mess to Governor Palin?  If you want her to be your leader in opposition, that is fine with me. But, I don't think she will be effective at pointing out real weaknesses to solving real problems. She will continue to operate at a bumper sticker level and serve neither your cause nor our country. Yeah, it is our country, yours and ours. Things are bad and going to get worse in the coming weeks so I wish you guys would pick a leader who could actually assist with the solution rather than simply repeating pablum. Yeah, I would like to see you pick an elite. Please pick someone with a first rate brain, a first rate temperment, international experience, depth, and intellectual curiousity. You know who your first string is. You know that Gov. Palin wouldn't figure into that group. For the sake of this nation, we will bring our best to the table and I hope you will too.



Palin, etc.

There's new polling coming out today that says Palin DID hurt McCain. I'm an Independent leaning left and what the situation looks like to me: Most Republicans do not like McCain but they liked everyone else even less. Republicans were/are discouraged because Bush is turning out to be such a nightmare. So maybe they thought they will lose no matter what, so go ahead, sacrifice McCain's run.  Republicans drew the line at Lieberman, McCain's real choice--with JL, no one will vote for the ticket. McCain bows to pressure, selects Palin.  All the misguided people who still think Bush was an ok or great president finally have an opportunity to cheer a candidate which is what people like to do at election time. Dems and Indeps are caught off-guard: who is this person? Did McCain trump Obama by picking a woman? Does the HRC factor really matter-will PUMAS refuse to forgive the DNC? So McCain gets a pretty normal post-convention bump with the added Palin excitement/unknown factor. Plus all the base voters have someone to cheer for, someone who...is a lot like Bush, as it turns out. Intellectually incurious, linguistically challenged, touting her executive experience when really she has almost no interest in nuts and bolts running of government so hired an administrator to do the heavy lifting, a fundamentalist who believes she is the tool of God, She goes to a witch doctor, for god's sake! Willing to hire totally unqualified friends to fill government posts, showing complete ignorance re foreign affairs (her Russia comments a la Bush's inability to name President of Pakistan) exudes total and unshakable confidence about herself, which is not based in any way on reality (I read that Bush commented re the current econ crisis "It's a good thing I'm still in charge"--does NOTHING break through this sociopathic belief that one is never wrong?). Willing to abuse power for personal vendettas...Is vindictive towards those who don't agree with her ...I could go on...

Voters start to pay attention, start to hear things, hear HER once in a while and they become increasingly alarmed...Why are they hiding her? now that the shit has hit their wallets, they can't just ignore how bad Bush and his policies have been...they can't afford to support McCain, who seems increasingly out to lunch or this female version of Bush...Obama gets better as he goes along, manages to withstand Rev Wright, the media in the tank for McCain (Shieffer, Brokaw, WIlliams, etc) HRC. Why would anyone in their right mind want Palin? She appeals to the same racist frightened people Bush and Rove did. They are a distinct minority. She has a lot of ambition, granted, a lot of drive. But after 8 years of this mess, I think it's going to be a long long time before the Repub base has the final worrd in a national election. Repubs should regroup and find candidates who are capable of intelligent thought, who can garner respect from people who don't agree with them, not put forthrabble rousers who don't know what they are doing.

No truce with the neo-soft pundit crowd

I read Douthat's article and disagree strongly with his attempts to smooth over differences between the country club, anti-Palin punditry and the base. As many have pointed out, Buckley wandered off the reservation not because of any principled agony of conscience but because of his contempt for Sarah Palin and what he thinks she represents. Palin is not of his sort, evidently. Further, Buckley disgraced his father--everything his father stood for, represented, and defended his entire public life. News, Christopher: we vote in a booth, privately. We deal with Daddy issues the same. And Parker? Her whining about the torrent of hostile emails she received for her own precious public display of Palin contempt is seemingly in direct proportion to the glowing attentions she's been receiving from the MSM. So no, no truce. We also need to inform the Obama camp about our no return policy on weasels. Brooks and Buckley, especially, need to stay precisely, exactly where they are. For them, there is no going back and no coming back. Lastly, Sarah Palin is the best thing to happen to the GOP since Reagan--written so many times by now, but no less true. In this or the next election--or the one after that--I'll go where she takes us.

A Few Days Ago Buckley the Younger....

In an interview he rated Palin is the most effective speaker among the presidential and vp candidates.

In Ny there is also a story about this Buckley fathering a child out of wedlock. I guess he's he's running away from a lot of things. Then again he never was a political player and it looks like he never will be.


I would be willing to bet a bailout package sized amount of greenbacks that Sarah Palin will be a huge factor in the Republican Party over the coming years, and will be the frontrunner for the 2012 nomination starting November 5, when McCain's hapless quest mercifully comes to an end. She will get no blame for that, as she shouldn't. Her popularity with the Republican base will be all that stood between Maverick and landslide.

Now, it is true that her current appeal extends only to conservatives. Independents are leery of her thin resume and uneven interview performances and put off by her sharp attacks on Obama (even though that is what running mates usually are called to do). The media's relentless caricaturing haven't helped either. 

But that's okay, because it is usually conservatives who choose the Republican nominee. And in this she has a significant advantage over her main rivals for the 2012 nod in that she appeals to both social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. Mitt Romney has the respect of fiscal conservatives but is distrusted by social conservatives. Mike Huckabee is just the opposite. And neither can touch her star quality. The party base will be looking for someone to coalesce around and avoid another McCain scenario. She is the natural first option.

In the coming wilderness years for the GOP, keep your eye on who draws both the crowds and the enthusiasm whenever Republicans gather. I'll bet Palin will be talking to packed, jazzed houses wherever she goes. The others will get respectable, polite hearings. And as local and state campaigns gear up for the 2010 mid-terms, care to guess who will be in demand to headline fundraisers above all others? That's how national candidates collect IOUs.

Of course, Palin has a huge challenge to overcome. She really knows almost nothing about national issues, but that's hardly unusual for a governor who had been focused on what is of concern to her constituents (and, let's not forget, has a rather full life at home). She will have to spend the next couple years studying up, talking to influential conservative voices and formulating a clear platform. This is not impossible, nor especially exotic. How much did Carter, Clinton or George W know about national issues before they got it into their heads to run for president from statehouses? Palin already seems to have a solid core political philosophy centered around limited government and a strong national defense. She just has to put some flesh on that frame. She did it when she ran for governor, expanding her range beyond Wasilla and the gas commission enough to engage two sitting governors toe-to-toe on statewide issues. 

Palin already has the hardest part of running down pat: she is an incredible natural politician with a charismatic presence you can't teach or fake. You don't go from unknown PTA mom to governor without tons of natural talent, an ability to connect with people, to sense the issues they care about and then articulate them in a way that connects.

Far from being a disaster, this presidential campaign showed just how good a politician she is. Who else could have survived being thrown into a national race with almost no warning, with little knowledge of the issues and without even knowing the details of the platform she was expected to run on...all with a hostile media barking at her heels and jumping on her every misstep?

That which does not kill you makes you stronger. Right now, the 2012 nod is hers to lose...

Right on the mark

Being a conservative who has done my fair share of campaigning at all levels I share your conclusion that Palin will be the odds on favorite for a future nomination.

Its the arm-chair political pundits who don't understand her appeal.

Club Gergen

Patrick Ruffini's initial posting is spot on.  The fact that the members of Club Gergen have portrayed themselves as interpreters of conservatism until now reveals how diluted the conservative message has become.  With this crowd claiming to represent us, it is no wonder we're in trouble.  Like so many others in the Republican base, I was not happy to end up with McCain as the nominee.  I felt like I was being set up by the media and by the same people who, as it turns out, are defecting now.  Still, McCain is far preferable to the party hack Obama and the odious Biden.  And while I would have preferred Gov. Romney as VP (at least), I found that Gov. Palin shifted my support for the ticket from resignation to enthusiasm.  Those who complain about her readiness for VP without directly comparing Obama's resume and associations are simply propagandists.

Conservative infighting

Count me in the same camp as Patrick on this one.  I am not wildly in love with Palin as some on the right are.  I think the true Palin backers are attracted to her in large part of red state identity politics (she's a hunter, she's a pro-lifer who walks the walk, she didn't go to a fancy college) even more than they are to her conservative beliefs.  I think that is the wrong way to go in choosing a candidate.  That is populism running amuck.

There are conservative pundits who are very embarassed to be associated with someone like Palin.  They may be conservative on most things, but culturally they are blue.  You think David Brooks and David Frum have much in common with Palin?  They have much more in common with their liberal foes than their own base.  And I think too much of some of their negative responses to Palin have to do with a rejection of her cultural characteristics.  This could be elitism running amuck.

It seems to me that as far as conservative opinion goes, there are on one hand the "elite" conservative opinion, like those listed above.  And on the other hand, there are the talk radio hosts, who provide a much more populist approach to politics.  The base cares more about what Sean Hannity thinks than what David Brooks thinks.  I happen to think that Brooks is a gifted columnist who is not always a conservative while I think Hannity is a reciter of talking points, with whom I often agree.

Our elite pundits may have much lacking.  But I'm not sure having a few talk radio hosts become the only pundits would be any better.  We need the proper mix of populism and elitism.

Bitter Clingers

The disdain for Sarah Palin expressed by the supposed conservative "elites" are their "bitter clingers" moment.  They stand revealed for the snobs they are, with contempt for the people that make this country go, and that make this country great.  It has been received in Red State America with the same deserved outrage as Obama's comments.

Contempt?  Right back atcha.

I'm voting for Sarah Palin in November.  Unfortunately, I have to take that RINO McCain as part of the package.  If it wasn't for her, I'd be voting third party or staying home this year.

You "elite" conservatives, just try to get a Republican elected without Red State America.  Can't be done.  So maybe it would be smarter to not spit on those people.  Unless of course Russ is right, and you'd rather be the pet conservative among your elitist friends than actually see a conservative elected President.

Ah...this is perfect.

The tone of this discussion is exactly where I, as a progressive, libertarian, democrat want to see the Republican party. I want to see you excoriate your more moderate, centrist-leaning party members. We'll bring them into the big tent of the Democratic party. We'll take all of your fiscal conservatives, your libertarians (who's real home is with Democrats now, anyway) and your "elites." You can keep the social conservatives.

I look forward to seeing the party you build without the above mentioned groups, and wish you well on your journey.

Ah...this is Perfect Crap

You keep saying "libertarian" like you want to believe it, but I don't see how you can possibly marry "libertarian" and "Democratic Party" together without a shotgun and an extortion note. The donkeys may be more socially libertarian, though except on abortion they are pretty gutless about it, but their fiscal approach is closer to Marxist than libertarian in any definition of the term I'm familiar with. I have long considered myself a libertarian, and even voted Libertarian on the presidential ballot, but if I'm to choose between the two major parties, there's no question which one it would be. Social conservatives are obnoxious when they try to legislate their beliefs about personal behavior into secular law, but so are liberals with their eco mandates and their hate speech codes and the like.

"Not a Peep From the Media"?

From Patrick's article:

Biden has a longstanding reputation as a less-than-Presidential hothead who's used racially-tinged code language to describe his running mate -- and not a peep from the media and our conservative emissaries to the Times editorial board. 

How is it possible to write this? Biden's racially-tinged code language got massive media coverage and earned him an early exit from the Democratic primaries.

And since Biden became VP

How is it possible to write this? Biden's racially-tinged code language got massive media coverage and earned him an early exit from the Democratic primaries.

And how much has it been mentioned since Biden became the VP?  Or did you think that the lack of coverage means he doesn't perform these gaffes any more.

What will it take?

And how much has it been mentioned since Biden became the VP?

It came up in almost every story when Obama announced his pick.

I don't understand what you're asking for. Do news organizations need to remind us every day? People know quite well that Biden says stupid things - I'm reminded of it at least once a week in a general fashion in various media outlets; it's just been partially obscured by other aspects of his candidacy. 

If Palin is ready to roll.....

then give the press unfettered access to her. Let her have a press conference every day and respond to questions(and follow ups). To imply she has been muzzled by the press is simply absurd. She has been relegated to the be the attack dog and keep the base fired up. Unfortunately she is driving away everyone else. We all know why she has been sequestered from the press. A little honesty here would be refreshing.

Ridiculous statement!

The Obama press has been up her ass since day number 1.  they have been trying to dig up any dirst they can find.  So far they have bumpkiss which of course tells me she is indeed ready to roll.  They only people being "driven away" from her are liberal numbnuts who can't stand what she represents.

You misunderstand Palin's role here...

I think McCain is doing a good enough job of "driving away everyone else" by himself, thank you. Floundering around on how to respond to the biggest economic crisis in decades will do that. Palin is holding up her end just fine, meanwhile. Her role in the campaign has always been to shore up and energize the Republican base, which McCain has serious problems with. The notion (floated by a media that can't see anything beyond identity politics) that she was tabbed to appeal to disaffected Hillary women was always ridiculous. And insulting to women, by the way.

As for more interviews, Palin has been doing them, just not with the national media. Frankly, good riddance. She'll never get a fair shake from them, and she doesn't need them to reach the core GOP voters her role in the campaign demands. To reach those voters, she needs Fox News, conservative radio and local media. She's done interviews in all these channels recently.

Sarah Palin can lead the right...

...but is the party still right?

As I have pointed out before, without a significant restructuring of the party, allowing for much, much more grass-roots participation,  the corporate rulers of the party will be quite willing to accept Sarah Palin as their patsies, their figurehead.

I could support Gov. Palin as the party's chairman for the 2010 elections, giving her the opportunity to restructure the party, as well as giving her an opportunity to build up her Congressional support for her 2012 presidential run. 

But regardless of who leads the party, the key to fiscal  conservatism regaining political ascendency post Obama, will be the restructuring of the party.

ex animo