Palin supporters are afraid she went rogue when she came out supporting GOProud’s involvement in CPAC this year on her recent CBN interview. This only goes to show that her supporters still don’t know who Sarah Palin is and how she governed.
While many liberals find Sarah Palin “boring” and “stupid”, I’ve never agreed with those assessments because I suspect that one day she will represent a dark period in our country’s history, much like McCarthy. Palin is a Bircher, a force of division, a force of anger and vitriolic witch-hunting against a sitting President. But she isn’t stupid and she isn’t what she presents herself to be. The truth is that she isn’t the cut and dried social conservative she presents herself to be.
Palin said, “Well, I’ve never attended a CPAC conference ever so I was a little taken aback this go around when I couldn’t make it to this one either and then there was a speculation well I either agree or disagree with some of the groups or issues that CPAC is discussing. It really is a matter of time for me. But when it comes to and David, perhaps what it is that you’re suggesting in the question is should the GOP, should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with? And I say no, it’s like you being on a panel shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues. I look at participation in an event like CPAC or any other event, along, or kind of in that same vein as the more information that people have the better.”
Outraged by Palin’s seeming endorsement of GOProud’s attendance at CPAC, social conservatives are demanding that Palin clarify her position on the matter. On Top Magazine reports, “Frank Cannon, the president of the American Principles Project, a group which is boycotting the event, demanded answers from Palin.
‘The concern of conservatives is over the participation of a group whose stated goals run at odds with that of core conservative principles, not over debate over those issues,” Cannon said in a statement. “Governor Palin should clarify her comments by letting us know whether in her definition, traditional marriage is a core component of conservatism.'”
The only reason the social conservatives are surprised is because they don’t know their leader as well as they think they do. Sarah Palin isn’t a social conservative in many ways. Sarah Palin was graded poorly by pro-life groups, in fact, for not being extremist enough on the abortion issue and for appointing a judge who once sat on Planned Parenthood’s board. Palin has admitted smoking pot and thinking pot should be legal. And Palin governed Alaska prior to being picked by McCain as his 2008 running mate with Democrats. The Republicans in Alaska were always Palin’s enemies much more so than the Democrats. The Republicans felt she was acting like a socialist – from giving money from the oil companies to the people to her oil company profits tax.
Yes, Palin is an extremist Dominionist who dedicated Alaska to Jesus as soon as she took office, and filled her cabinet with high school and church friends like W did. She did many objectionable things like cutting funding for rape kits in a city with one of the highest incidents of rape – but Palin marches to the beat of her own drummer, or rather the beat of the AIP Birchers. So you’re not getting an old-fashioned social conservative with Palin. She’s got a mix of view points that often collide and are certainly inconsistent and may appear haphazard, like her supporting being on a panel with GOProud even though she may not agree with them on issues, and yet refusing to share the stage with a pro-choice Republican during the 2008 campaign. Today she advocates for “spirited debate” but then she didn’t even want to be seen with someone she disagreed with. I’m not suggesting Palin supports gay rights, as she’s come out on multiple occasions against gay rights. But I salute her support of the attendance of GOProud at CPAC and her call for debate.
Perhaps this can be chalked up to her realization that a national campaign must appeal to a broader base, but I find it hard to believe she is capable of assimilating such information into her value system. I suspect it’s more likely that Palin really does follow the lead of certain people around her, like Todd, and so her “values” shift like the wind.
Palin is being attacked by social conservatives for suggesting that people share space with gay Republicans at CPAC. Of course, I find Jim DeMint et al’s rejection of CPAC based upon the inclusion of gay people small minded and hypocritical, but I’m more fascinated by how Palin has managed to sell a myth of herself to her base that is so far removed from how she actually governed that they assume they know her positions. They don’t know much about her at all, except what she tells them. They believe, for instance, that Democrats took her down post 2008 but nothing could be further from the truth. It was Alaskan Republicans who dubbed her the “narcissistic sociopath.” The majority of the ethics complaints filed against her were filed by Republicans.
Every politician creates a narrative about their life and character, weaving a story they hope is appealing to the American psyche, so the fact that Palin has done this isn’t surprising. But what is surprising and impressive is her ability to wean her followers off any media that might report the truth about her past so that she can literally tell them anything and they will believe it’s so. Most of her cult followers know what they know about her from her books, which have been fact-checked to prove empirically that they are full of absolute misinformation, inaccuracies and flat out lies.
It is, of course, the duty of the informed citizen to attempt to cut through the narrative being sold and execute some due diligence on the candidates. Why would anyone read someone’s book and stop there? One would only do that if one were a “fan” instead of a political consumer, choosing the sort of leadership most important to you.
Sarah Palin fans believe that “we” (evil liberals) don’t know Sarah and if we did we would like her. The irony here is that some of us do know her and we know her better than any of them. That is precisely why we wouldn’t vote for her.
I’ll concede one thing to the Palin fans; there are some snobby liberals whom I refer to as the pseudo intellectuals whose ivory tower disconnect is more than annoying. I lived among them at one time in an academic setting. They almost drove me to Republicanism and have succeeded in doing so to my father. Sigh. No, this isn’t an anti-intellectualism rant; it’s an anti-smugness rant. I am all for the intellectual elite running this country. Thank goodness some of these pseudo superior liberals aren’t anywhere close to actually running for office. I suppose when you’re busy looking down your nose at everyone who doesn’t agree with you and assuming they are stupid and silly, you hardly have time to put pen to paper let alone get dirty with solutions. See, those people are a problem because they allow the far right to feel such resentment and marginalization. There’s no seat at the table for anyone who hasn’t read Homer in the original Greek and that’s rather off-putting.
These pseudo intellectuals live in a very liberal city and like to wax poetic about how silly it is to acknowledge Palin, because she is, after all, stupid and irrelevant – they say this after a summer fighting her death panel lies, a fall of her gun site maps, a winter of her winks about running for 2012. Of course, they never got into the trenches to fight those battles, they were too busy blaming Obama and the Democrats for Palin’s ability to pollute the debate, whilst peering down their noses at anyone who saw her as a problem.
In their puffed up bubble of carefully crafted intellectual superiority (which includes the ability to ignore reality), Palin is a silly woman and it’s simply not serious to discuss her. This, of course, is dripping with condescension in its refusal to even look at something that appeals to a third of the country. One would think delving into the mysterious myth that has in some ways defined the past two years of the Tea Party movement would be interesting at the very least on an intellectual basis, but that’s like suggesting they try Bud Light.
These are the same people who refuse to acknowledge that illegal immigration is a real problem, because it’s not PC for them to suggest such a thing. They have never, of course, lived in a city with a huge illegal immigration problem. They haven’t had to deal with uninsured drivers who can’t be even be punished for hitting them because they have no driver’s license. To suggest to these folks that there’s an illegal immigration problem will result in being accused of being a nationalist. They are no more interested in facts than the far right. In other words, there’s a disconnect from reality for some of these folks and they take refuge in their pseudo intellectual superiority by dismissing a very real and dangerous political movement in this country.
Of course, you can’t be very intelligent if you’re so wrapped up in appearing superior that you can’t hear anyone but yourself speak. It’s simply not possible. And so, on this score, I agree with the Palin bots. Some liberals can be annoying. But what is more annoying is a group of people who attach themselves with teenage Twilight-like mania to a politician they know nothing about, who are then surprised when she does something wacky like support GOProud’s attendance at CPAC.
Get used to it, Palin fans. Read up on her voting record. Ironically, Palin’s voting record prior to 2008 could have garnered support from some of these pseudo intellectuals as well as lost her support from the far right, and so it’s highly amusing to hear both sides either dismiss or glorify the phenomenon of Palin without ever investigating the truth behind it. I suspect the thing she will be remembered for will be the ugly atmosphere of hate she engendered, rather than the bipartisan way she governed during her two year stint as governor of Alaska. In the meantime, both sides of the aisle have sacrificed searching for the truth in an attempt to satisfy their need for self-serving reinforcement of their own ideas.
Sarah Palin is an enigma with huge charisma who has shaped the last two years of our political scene for the worse. In discussing her diminishing appeal but continued influence, real problems can be addressed as well as an honest look at the effect and impact of a devastating economy, and the doors it opens to the extremists among us and the cynical leaders willing to exploit economic misery.