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Dissing Palin ^ | Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Dr. Paul Kengor

Posted on 12/16/2008 9:26:20 PM PST by ebiskit

This weekend, John McCain was less than committal about supporting his running mate, Sarah Palin, should she seek the presidency in 2012. His words were interpreted as a slam against Palin, but it's nothing compared to the intra-party warfare some have launched against her.

The trashing of Sarah Palin continues. Some of the shots have been downright ugly, such as the “Retarded Republican Babies for Sarah Palin” t-shirts. Equally notable, however, is the odd one-two punch of liberal journalists and moderate Republican leakers pounding Palin as a right-wing extremist and dummy. This tandem is responsible for some of the phony smears, including ridiculous claims that Palin doesn’t know Africa is a continent, or that she refused to appear with “pro-choicers” like Senator John Sununu (Sununu is pro-life).

These smears place Sarah Palin in good company. My mind races back to what Ronald Reagan endured: the same kind of leaks, by the same kind of moderate Republicans, to the same kind of liberal journalists, and with the same kind of allegations. Reagan, too, was portrayed as a Midwest dolt, a conservative zealot, a rube from a backwoods college in “fly-over” country.

After recently reading a remarkably unfair Newsweek hit on Sarah Palin, I thought of a piece in Time magazine in December 1986, titled “How Reagan Stays Out of Touch,” by reporter Richard Stengel—a product of a leak by one of the “pragmatists” in the Reagan White House. Stengel wrote this on the dawdling old fool in the Oval Office:

[Reagan’s] briefing with his senior staff, which mainly concerns his daily schedule, lasts only about 30 minutes, and Reagan usually remains quiet, except for his trademark bantering. It is followed by a briefing from his National Security Council staff that is usually even shorter. When National Security Council staffers prepare Reagan for a full-fledged meeting of the NSC, the president typically does not ask any questions about the topic at hand; instead he inquires, “What do I have to say?”….

Reagan’s reading is not heavy…Old friends and cronies have access to a special private White House post office box number and they can send him clippings that they think might strike his fancy. That box number is the source of many of Reagan’s familiar “factoids,” snippets clipped from obscure publications.

Reagan is not notably curious. His aides say he rarely calls them with a question and that he knows in only a vague way what they actually do. He does not sit down with his advisers to hammer out policy decisions. He is happiest when his aides form a consensus, something they try awfully hard to do….

[Reagan] can work only if he is supported by a competent and active staff. During his first term, Chief of Staff James Baker protected Reagan from his woollier notions and helped put many of his ideals into practice.

The article added that when a suffering, heroic James Baker tried to save the Reagan administration by reshuffling the Cabinet, the “typically detached Reagan look[ed] on like a bemused bystander.” The president was confused.

This story was a leak by a moderate Republican, a Reagan aide, trying to impress liberal journalists by embarrassing his president.

Conservatives nostalgic for Reagan have forgotten the problem their favorite president faced with leaks. Judge Bill Clark was brought into the White House in January 1982 in part to try to stem what Reagan called “a virtual hemorrhage of leaks,” which had become “a problem of major proportions,” particularly in foreign and defense policy.

It got so bad that Clark today confirms that he and Reagan actually considered employing a polygraph for White House staff. In response, the leakers were furious, and began leaking stories about the nefarious effort by Reagan and Clark to halt the leaks. The Washington Post and New York Times ran almost comical stories on the alleged fascistic attempts to halt the leaking, stories which themselves were the products of the very same leakers. It was nuts!

Not surprisingly, the leakers also sought to take out Clark, to which they devoted unrelenting attention until Clark resigned in late 1983. Like Sarah Palin, and like Reagan, Bill Clark was a committed across-the-board conservative, socially, economically, religiously—a pariah to the moderates.

Once the Reagan presidency finished in 1989, these Republican leakers followed George H. W. Bush into his administration, where they extended the same treatment to Vice President Dan Quayle, another principled conservative, who they disliked from the outset of the presidential campaign.

Worse, once these moderates failed to reelect Bush, they blamed Quayle for dragging down the ticket. This was a harbinger of the John McCain defeat, where the moderates tried to pin the loss of the moderate McCain on the conservative Palin.

There’s a lesson here for Sarah Palin going forward. The collaborators who ridiculed Dan Quayle, who undermined Bill Clark, failed in one crucial respect: they didn’t ruin Ronald Reagan.

Sarah Palin cites Reagan as her political “inspiration.” She said on the campaign trail that she thinks of Reagan “every day.” Well, Reagan was a model in handling this kind of criticism. (See, “Hating Palin: Words of Wisdom from Reagan.”)

Other than the leaks that jeopardized national security, which rightly upset him, Reagan took the insults in stride. When he read anecdotes about how he snoozed through NSC meetings and spent afternoons watching reruns of “Bedtime for Bonzo”—and was generally incapable of functioning without his “brilliant” moderate Republican handlers—he laughed.

Ronald Reagan was secure and at peace, accepting the world, and human nature, for what it is. For Sarah Palin to survive, she needs to do the same.
Paul Kengor is author of God and George W. Bush (HarperCollins, 2004), professor of political science, and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).

TOPICS: Alaska; Campaign News; Issues; Parties
KEYWORDS: conservative; palin; pds; president; reagan
Palin & or Jindal 12
1 posted on 12/16/2008 9:26:21 PM PST by ebiskit
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To: ebiskit
McCain is an egomaniac and will use any excuse except his own shortcomings to blame his loss on.

That said, Palin is too green to run for the Presidency and I hope a far better candidate emerges prior to the next election. If not, it'll be 4 more years of the chosen one.
2 posted on 12/16/2008 9:32:01 PM PST by WackySam (Is the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on- or by imbeciles who really mean it?)
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To: ebiskit

McCain is not making himself look good.

3 posted on 12/16/2008 9:39:21 PM PST by nickcarraway (Are the Good Times Really Over?)
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To: WackySam

Greener than Zero? She’ll have four more years of Governor experience. With the perspective of being a potential candidate. Something I’m pretty sure she didn’t have this time around, as she was probably as surprised as most at being tapped. JMO.

4 posted on 12/16/2008 9:42:02 PM PST by calenel (The Democratic Party is a Criminal Enterprise. It is the Socialist Mafia.)
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To: calenel
Greener than Zero? She’ll have four more years of Governor experience. With the perspective of being a potential candidate. Something I’m pretty sure she didn’t have this time around, as she was probably as surprised as most at being tapped. JMO.

She's not greener than Obomber, but she is green, and 4 more years as governor still may not help her overcome the "ditzy broad from Alaska" label imposed on her from the media- no matter how her next 4 years go.

She's an exceptional woman, but I think we can do better.
5 posted on 12/16/2008 9:53:55 PM PST by WackySam (Is the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on- or by imbeciles who really mean it?)
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To: WackySam

“Palin is too green to run for the Presidency”

As compared to whom? . . . the One?

She will wipe the floor w/ the One in debates.

Plus, she now knows how ‘not’ to run a presidential campaign.

Her insights and ability to think on her feet far outpace any public figure I’ve seen in a long time.

Finally, Sarah support sites are springing up all over the place. 62,000 members at alone. She will have the grassroots already in place in four years. Not to mention in 2010 when she will help get Conservatives get elected to congress, slowing, if not stopping, the socialist express.

Palin & or Jindal 12


6 posted on 12/16/2008 9:59:22 PM PST by ebiskit (South Park Republican ( I see Red People ))
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To: ebiskit

Took the words right out of my mouth!! I am a member of Team Sarah and we are doing everything possible to assist Sarah in anyway necessary to get her the nomination in 2012. She will wipe the floor with Obama, please, Obama is crapping his pants now thinking of it. He doesn’t want to be in the same room with Sarah Palin, if they do debate, I hope he is wearing dark pants

7 posted on 12/16/2008 10:02:30 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Sarah Barracuda

“I hope he is wearing dark pants”

split a gut on that...I hope he wears a lighter hue trowser....;-)

TeamSarah devotee here too


8 posted on 12/16/2008 10:19:05 PM PST by ebiskit (South Park Republican ( I see Red People ))
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To: Sarah Barracuda

Did you notice that in Philadelphis there was virtually no reporting that Sarah and Obama were in the same room together having a tete-a-tete. If it never happened it’s like Elvis and Paul McCartney appearing at the same rock-and-roll convention and living in a parallel universes and never meeting; if it did happen and the MSM did not report it, it did not want to enhance Sarah’s credibility or upgrade her buffoon status by suggesting that Sarah merited a private audience with the Messiah. Instead the MSM emphasized Sarah and Biden interacting-one buffoon talking to another.

9 posted on 12/16/2008 10:22:53 PM PST by techno
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To: techno

I never heard about her meeting with the One. How do you know?

10 posted on 12/16/2008 10:30:16 PM PST by SallyH
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To: ebiskit
The moderates do no work to get Republican candidates elected. I saw none working our phone banks or knocking on doors. They probably sat back and said to themselves, ‘Let those Right Wing Activists do the grunt work. I might send in a little money if that candidate backs off on that Right to Life crap. This shows that moderates do not share this nation's historical values of human life and freedom. They stand for nothing. Their political work ethic may reflect their work ethinc in other aspects of their life. In fact, their only value may be reflected in this statement: "It's all about me."’

Moderates have no perspective. They do not realize that this a battle for their freedom too. Governor Sara Palin has the right stuff to fight for that freedom. Her ideas, if they were heard by the American people without efforts to distract or limit, would resonate across this nation. Moderates, without any historical values of liberty, would be first to call for efforts to muzzle Governor Palin's message.

The moderates limited Palin’s voice by not standing up for her and adding to that voice that was needed to cut through the media barrier.

The moderates, without any of the imperatives for truth, stood by idly while the Democrats blamed the economy on President Bush when they knew very well that the economy was the result of Democrat policy.

The moderates sat back and let the media bring up a new false issue each week to blame President Bush; knowing that President Bush was more in tune with their thinking as a moderate. This shows us that moderates have no values such as loyalty and are more likely to stab a friend in the back.

Finally, I let the Master, whose birthday we are celebrating this month, put the finishing touch on moderates:

The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the originator of God's creation, says this:

15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.

16 Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.

Revelations 3: 14-16

11 posted on 12/16/2008 10:57:49 PM PST by jonrick46
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To: ebiskit

The slams against Palin are terrible, and whoever wears a t-shirt with that phrase is lower than scum.

All that said, Palin is smart and savvy, but, aside from her image, what she says, and her personal opinions, she really isn’t conservative in action or policy. She is a populist. What I want to see is real conservative governing from Palin over the next four years before we consider her for 2012. That won’t happen if she continues championing more and more funding for public education, just as one example.

12 posted on 12/16/2008 11:15:25 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (Dad, I will always think of you.)
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To: ebiskit

Hello tahDeetz - it’s Lindsay on TeamSarah :) we are everywhere!

13 posted on 12/16/2008 11:24:29 PM PST by Lilpug15 (I'm Moving to Alaska...You can Keep THE CHANGE!)
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To: ebiskit; All

57% cut in capital spending projects.... 7% cut in overall spending!!! Holy Crap Batman!!! Conservative principles on naked display!!! As the dem(French) complains about spending cuts.....think we will see that video tonite on NBC Nightly News?

Now what was that about upholding conservative principles?

All while maintaining a surplus. Sounds rather conservative to me...

Palin & or Jindal 12


14 posted on 12/17/2008 9:29:59 AM PST by ebiskit (South Park Republican ( I see Red People ))
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