Skip to comments.The Sarah Palin Who Might Have Been (Attack of the faux Christian Paleoconservatives)
Posted on 05/01/2014 2:13:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Reader Richard sends this comment:
I remember corresponding with you when John McCain tapped her as his choice for nominee for Vice-President. As a former Alaskan, I never saw her as the second coming, but like many people (and I will quickly add unlike many others)I found the potential story playing itself out of Mrs. Palin Goes to Washington to be very appealing. The person whom I had met a couple of times to spend time with in conversation (Alaska being a one-degree-of-separation state) was engaging, grounded, attentive to others and someone who had clearly and sincerely sought to make the leap from mayor to governor. We told our neighbors here in DC that while they might not agree with her politics, they would love her as a neighbor.
That was then. Im not saying shes a bad person, but the person I met was not the celebrity and creature of the knee-jerk Right that she has allowed herself to become. Someone many posts up this thread remarked on how the Limbaugh-Levin phenomenon is pretty simply a business. Our Sarah chose to get into the business instead of doing the more difficult work of ratcheting up her knowledge and experience in order that she could become a more effective influence leader or spokesperson. And tribal warriors of Talk Radio Right and their disciples who have been peppering this thread with dispatches from their basement computers so loudly condemn any criticism of the former Governor that a thinking person wants to simply react in kind. To someone whose first encounter with Palin was on a rainy late winter day at a lunch in Valdez when she was an up and coming mayor of Wasilla, the one-dimensional figure that she has allowed herself to become is one of the minor-key tragedies of our diminished public discourse. Oh, I know. Shes made a ton of money playing Sarah Palin at State Fairs and at B-list political venues, so presumably shes laughing all the way to the Bank of Phoenix, or wherever it is that she now calls home. But she was once a person who, as an Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission commissioner baked brownies for AOGCC staff on their birthdays, and to take home to their kids to celebrate big events in their families lives that she got to know about. She was once a person of grace. To me, what shes become and what we all assume that she has become is a cautionary tale, a case study in what has become of our public conversation as citizens and as neighbors. For which we can thank people like Levin, their counterparts on the Left, and the camp followers of each.
Thanks for this thoughtful reflection. As my longtime readers will remember, I was a big Palin booster when she was first tapped by McCain. I had been to Alaska back in early 2007, and spoken to Republicans who were beside themselves with excitement that she had just defeated the corrupt GOP establishment and become governor. They really loved her, and it was easy to see why.
After McCain named her his running mate, I was shocked by the vicious slanders she endured from many in the media. No need to recount them all here. The thing to remember is that very few of us knew much at all about her when McCain chose her. She was a blank slate onto which most of us projected our hopes and fears. All I really knew about her was how much those Republicans I had met in Alaska loved Palin because she was a true outsider who slew the wily old Republican Establishment dragon. As a conservative who was sick and tired of what Bush and the GOP Washington establishment had done to conservatism, I was eager for someone like her to come to town and shake things up. As for what the Left saw in her, well, this hysterical Washington Post blog post by University of Chicago theologian Wendy Doniger was the one I remember the most from those days. It included this excerpt:
Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican partys cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America, and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.
Ah yes, an elderly Chicago divinity school professor with advanced degrees from Harvard and Oxford knows more about the thinking of working-class women than a soccer mom from Wasilla, Alaska. Got it. Doniger wrote that column on September 8, 2008 less than two weeks after John McCain named Palin his running mate, and less than a week after the country got its first real look at her, in her GOP convention address. That Doniger post captured the contempt and the snottiness with which liberal elites treated Palin.
And yet, when the McCain campaign finally let the press start interviewing Palin about foreign policy and things that vice presidential nominees are supposed to know something about, it quickly became undeniably that she was utterly out of her league. Her first national interviews occurred with ABCs Charlie Gibson, on September 11 and 12, and were a disaster. Remember this?:
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: Theyre our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what theyre doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, Im giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia.
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. Weve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that its in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
The subsequent Katie Couric interviews were supposed to be her comeback. They were equally disastrous. She never recovered. I could no longer support her in good faith after that. She was without a doubt unqualified for the job.
Sarah Palin might still have become somebody important in US politics and good for conservatism, had she learned from her experience, gone home, studied, worked hard, and been what Richard once saw: a person of grace. But she allowed herself to be ravaged by Conservatism, Inc., and became a creature of conservative talk radio and media. What a shame. As Ive mentioned here before, I talked to an older black man not long ago about what he and his family lived through under Jim Crow. After hearing his stories, I asked him in all sincerity how in the world he and his siblings withstood it. He said something close to, Our parents told us never, ever to become the people that our enemies thought we were.
Sarah Palin became the person Wendy Doniger and her malicious crew thought she was. This is her tragedy, and, I think, a tragedy for American conservatism. I mean that.
As opposed to the perfectly creased pants community agitator from Chicago, and his senile half uncle from Delaware?
I love how these a-holes refuse to consider that there is so much time for one to hit the right wave to the presidency. Let em bloviate to their LIV constituents.
Sarah relates well to working class women. Its welfare crack whores who can't identify with her.
Dreher, another Republican “man” who stood back and did nothing as leftists savaged a Republican woman. Get thee behind me wuss.
Why are they writing off a woman they have been writing off since 2008? How bizarre. Or do they just know she is click-bait for their tiny little magazines? They should all be ashamed of themselves.
She’s a hypocrite for pretending to be a woman? “Chelsea” Manning is a hypocrite, not our Sarah. But maybe I’m not intellectual enough to understand what the hell he is saying.
It is reminiscent of the aftermath of the Nixon debacle and resignation. For years after Nixon had left the national stage, writers and media types gleefully and gratuitously would include snide insults and sideways shots at him, without reason or purpose, other than to enjoy doing harm to someone they hated.
Expect that the same thing will continue with Palin, now already six years after return to private life and with no likelihood of ever running for anything again. You will still see this kind of drivel for years from now.
There is no hate that endures like the hate of a leftwinger.
“Reader Richard” sounds a bit effeminate, probably GAY. Sarah is ALL FEMALE.
Far beyond the biggest dream in Rod Dreher’s life is to have become noticed by Levin. And properly called out for being an ignoramus. That much, doesn’t seem to faze him. You can read his writing for yourself. Mediocre, undistinguished. Possessed of no special insight nor clever touch of phrase.
He knows, you know, what American women think, doesn’t he? Why is that? Because he’s a woman? Or because he’s a Wash DC cocktail party suck-up and isn’t smart enough to discern that he’s fallen right into liberal dumbness. He’s made his choice. He likes pounding on Sarah Palin but see, he has this little angle where he is not as vicious as all the other folks who have worked to trash her. He’s better than they are, he’s not directly repeating all those vile things that others have: he points them out, they are over there, he never said such a thing. But then he kind of softly rephrases them!
Douchebag and putz. It’s kind of a unique combo.
Since we now know that both the Charles Gibson and Katie Couric interviews were “splice and dice” jobs meant to make her look as bad as possible, including the “Unanswerable question” about the Bush Doctrine which was composed by Former Senator Sam Nunn, this entire essay is based on inaccuracy.
And I suspect that the author Rod Dreher and the “Reader Richard” knows this.
I have no idea if Sarah Palin will ever run for any office again. But she’s done more for trying to wake up Americans about the very real possibility that the country they love is being transformed into something else right before their eyes than almost anyone else has. She has payed a severe price for her willingness to speak out about it instead of playing along and being a “player” in the process, which she has had opportunity to do.
Instead of sitting on the fainting couch after her remarks on Sunday, pretending to be horrified by her remarks Rod Dreher should save his outrage for the Administration that left 4 men for dead because his Administration has been gun-running to supply “rebels” in Syria in their attempt to overthrow Assad.
(And yes, I am fully aware that John McCain who she endorsed was the head useful idiot in the effort to sell these Al-Qaeda “rebels” as worthy allies for America)
Sorry, but this Rod Dreher, along with the others who are supposedly so offended by Sarah Palin had better concentrate on who is ruining our future. It’s not Sarah Palin. Criticize her voice or her TV shows or whatever you want to but please don’t question her patriotism or concern for America. Especially when you publish a letter of “concern” that’s very basis isn’t honest, which relying on 2 interviews that were set-ups and not honest journalism were.
The female divide really is about abortion and how one feels/thinks about it. Women, young/old, wealthy/working class/dirt poor, at-home/career, either believe in the total sanctity of life and like Sarah Palin, or they believe the choice to abort is unilaterally theirs, and despise Palin.
She endorsed him after he chose her to possibly be arguably the second most powerful person in the world out of 315 million possible candidates. Look up “loyalty” in the dictionary some time.
I think the answer to your question is that the Left has nothing else. The White House is finally under fire right now with more to come so the subject must be changed and it’s also cycle time to rile up their lo fo base from off the couch and under cars.
Republicans have a big gun in Benghazi for their base. Democrats have....what?.....nothing.....but,.....Sarah Palin.
Incumbents & Challengers alike beg for her endorsement!!
I don't know the exact percentage, but I do know a high percent of her endorsements indeed win.
Every venue she attends is standing room only!!
Dreher's Mark Levin article got 218 responses. His Palin article got 180 responses. I don't see "Reader Richard" in there, but would it really be a surprise or an impossibility if somebody in Alaska sent Dreher an email like that?
I don't see anything "disastrous" about the Gibson interview Dreher quotes, though. The later Couric interview when Sarah didn't give the names of any newspapers she read was pretty awful for Sarah Palin, but so far as I can tell, she didn't do any worse in the Gibson interview than any newly nominate VP candidate would.
Here's a comparison of the questions Gibson asked Palin, with those he asked Obama at about the same time. It's an old trick. When Bush ran in New Hampshire in 2000 a Boston political reporter asked him for the name of the president of Chechnya.
Between 70% and 80% IIRC.
Go watch the Biden vs. Palin debate and tell me who won.