Monday, July 06, 2009

There's something about Sarah


If Sarah Palin has national political ambitions, I can't see the decision to resign as Governor of Alaska as helping them. When your problem is gravitas and lack of experience, bailing on the principal way to get those things seems like throwing in the towel. My initial impression was that she wanted out, but little things like the ad on the right suggests that's not the case.

So maybe we won't have Sarah to kick around anymore and it is the kicking around that I want to consider. The invective and snarl around Palin was extraordinary. The left could not stand the idea of her.

And that was - or is - the something about Sarah. It was the idea of her. It's why she appealed so strongly to the conservative base. The base wanted her to be true. A feisty and intelligent conservative woman who is accomplished but adheres to traditional values. All of us know scores of women like that. Why not run one for President?

But that idea scared the sanctimony out of the left. Such a person would be dangerous. She had to be destroyed and the war against her was without rules.

Sarah Palin wasn't - and may never be - the person that conservatives wanted and liberals feared. She has strong political skills (as demonstrated in her convention acceptance speech and debate with Biden)but she wasn't quite ready for prime time. After the election, the hope (and fear) was that she would grow into national stature. She may yet, although resigning from the state house may make it less likely that anyone will ever see her that way.

But the right should not despair and the left should not be overly relieved. Sarah is inevitable, even if she isn't Sarah.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that Palin stepping down was an act of political suicide on a level seldom seen in this country. Some may like to compare this to Nixon's "retirement" after losing the California governor's race but Palin is no Nixon. She is a shrewd, intuitive politician and certainly feisty. But "intelligent," really? Your post smacks of the resentment, common in the non-mainstream media, over Palin's treatment in the press. Calling her not "quite ready for prime time" seems like an extraordinarily generous understatement. Those who like to see a liberal / democrat bias in the news media may well complain that the war against her was "without rules" but in reality all Couric and others did was give her the rope with which to tie her own noose. If an aspiring politician from the other side of the aisle made statements similar to some of Palin's (she reads all the newspapers?), he or she would be made to look equally foolish. If anything motivated the left (or at least this leftist) against Palin, it wasn't necessarily "the idea of her" so much as it was the fact that so many others seemed willing (even eager) to put someone with so many obvious flaws into high office.

illusory tenant said...

Dangerous? Are you serious? I thought Democrats want her to run in 2012.

krshorewood said...

She is and always will be a cartoon character no matter how much as some say she, "bones up". Rick, you have blown all pretense of being a serious person.

This has nothing to do with her politics, but with her competence and character.

But hey, run Sarah run. Put her on Fox. Dig the grave of the GOP.

Rick Esenberg said...

I have no idea whether Sarah Palin could "bone up" and become ready for prime time and be dangerous. That wasn't my point. My point is that the right yearned for - and the left - feared what Sarah Palin was supposed to be (and may never become).

illusory tenant said...

"My point is that the left feared what Sarah Palin was supposed to be."

Which is what, exactly?

You make the same mistake as do many of your ideological fellow travelers: that a political laughing stock is in fact an object of hatred and fear.

Anonymous said...

What Sarah was "supposed to be" or become was a out of left field, rabbit from the hat, ill advised hail mary for the mccain campaign.

What we quickly learned was that, despite her very brief success in a very small fishbowl, she was way out of her league and, worse, compensated with a form of aggressiveness that made it all more difficult to watch.

She has alienated many of her own supporters in AK and elsewhere, apparently was distrusted and not respected by a big piece of mccain's camp has a rather well documented truth problem and generally offers nothing of substance.

Ok, she was new and unexpected which catches attention. But it became pretty clear that there is no there there and that she creates enemies faster than anything else.

This right-left thing you talk about it mainly imaginary. Apart from the single-issue, religious anti-abortion types, she has no "base." And, regardless of whatever you mean by the "left," Palin has been no more than an amusing problem for the Republican party for a long time.

There's just very little profundity here.

Anonymous said...

Anything at this point is speculation really. But Sarah got a taste of the good life in the lower 48. Conservative values, party politics are irrelevant, Sarah believes shes worth more than the perks and wages that go along with being a Govenor in a state that well, more often than not isnt a state. Sarah has offers on the table that translate into more shopping expeditions in New York. So her decision should surprise no one.

krshorewood said...

You gotta love the title of Paul Begala's post on Huffington -- "Sarah Palin Turns Pro."

gnarlytrombone said...

I can't speak for my fellow liberals, but my impression of Palin was light years away from Claire Boothe Luce or Margaret Thatcher.

More like a mix of Sister Aimee, Gracie Allen and Tracy Flick.

krshorewood said...

Yeah Gnanrly, but for Gracie Allen coming off clueless was an act.

illusory tenant said...

There seems to be a lot of this "Fear of Palin" going around:

"I seem to differ from many of my friends in the Republican establishment. They tend not only to dislike and disdain Palin, they also want to bury her chances now as a presidential possibility. What are they so scared of?"

— William Kristol

John Foust said...

If that darn media would just start focus on writing only good stories out of Alaska.

I'm wondering if the Professor was on the boat with Bill Kristol.

I think the enclosed advert button indicates that she still has a few campaign debts to pay, and she doesn't want to use her own money to do that. You know, that's how the feisty mavericky ones earn their dough.

When they're not working on their yoga poses, that is.

reddess said...

The mainstream media did alot more than give Sarah the rope - they treated her and her family like crap. Do you libs even remember the things that were the focus of the media during her brief time in the political spotlight? For the first month, all we heard about was Sarah's pregnant unwed daughter and her little one with Down Syndrome. Little time was given to the fact that she took down corrupt politicians as Gov. Including members of her own party. When discussing Sarah, the media (and many on the left) acted like a bunch of gossipy old ladies (oh my-did you hear about...blah blah). Shouldn't the left's taking of liberties to attack Sarah's children give those of us on the right the same freedom? Shouldn't the right now be able to attack Obama's kids if we wish? Heaven's no...that would be racist or off limits or mean. I am so sick of the left's double standards.
And Sarah Palin is not clueless kr. The HuffPo is such a great source for information. Talk about clueless...they support Al Franken.

illusory tenant said...

I more vividly recall Sarah Palin's (and this blog's) repeated attempts to connect Obama with domestic terrorists and radical, anti-American politics.

gnarlytrombone said...

Pit bulls and barracudas have feelings too, doncha know.

Anonymous said...

Reddess, merely because the fact that Palin was a train wreck came through some of the media hardly reflects poorly on those segments of the media.

She was a ridiculous choice for the job and she repeatedly made a spectacle of herself. Most maddening about all of this is that she deliberately made her family including a number of intimate issues her calling card. Palin used her private life and family for political gain and it, like every other "strategy" blew up in her face.

Only herself to blame.

reddess said...

Hey - the current administration called the people who participated in tea-parties "terrorists". So get over it.

There is something that I don't understand about the left. Why do you all continue to be so glum? You hear the names Bush, Cheney, Palin,or Rush and you become greener than the Incredible Hulk. Didn't you guys get the memo that you own everything in Washington? You have the presidency the senate, the house, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (ooo sorry - I guess that I would be glum too) and more czars than White Russia. Someday soon (God forbid) you will control the Court. If you are patient, you will soon have all of the changes that you hoped for. There will be nationalized health care, no discrimination (except against white Christians), abortion will be available anytime, anywhere,anyplace, any means while taxpayers pay for it, your neighbor with all of that money will give you some more, guns will be non-existant, and for you sports fans, the NCAA tournament will be completely redone. There. Don't you feel better now? Go outside and enjoy the heat (oh wait)...

jp said...

I am amazed more women are not upset with the chauvinistic treatment of Sarah and her family.

3rd Way said...

Go ahead and put your money where your mouth is Reddess. There is nothing us Palin-phobes would rather see than for you to give to her PAC and help assure the continuation of the GOP train wreck being conducted by Palin and Limbaugh.

Clutch said...

The left could not stand the idea of her.

And that was - or is... [a] feisty and intelligent conservative woman who is accomplished but adheres to traditional values... But that idea scared the sanctimony out of the left.


Is there any actual reason to believe this?

She was grossly uninformed about the very basics of her nation and the world; and was both defensive about the fact and seemed not particularly concerned to remedy it. Who, exactly, was appalled by this? Well, some of the most direct and telling criticism of Palin came in unguarded moments from Peggy Noonan, in bemusement from long-time GOP strategists, and eventually from committed Republican insiders. Were they part of the left who was terrified of her?

If you just mean, "The left were scared of what she was supposed to be, before she started talking and before anyone (including lots of Alaskans, apparently) knew much about her background -- viz., a smart, principled, personable, informed, charming candidate from the conservative wing", well, fair enough. Every candidate is supposed to be that, and every campaign team hopes their opponents won't be so perceived. But since she instantly began demonstrating that she was clearly not all of these things, and then went on very quickly to show that she was actually none of them, it's more than a bit extravagant to be making fear the story here. Seems like pretty silly revisionism.

Jay Bullock said...

Hey - the current administration called the people who participated in tea-parties "terrorists".
False.

Anonymous said...

Actually the redess' last post was unintelligible. I think the thrust was "oh yeah, well the left" - whatever that is - all thinks crazy stuff so palindrome ain't so bad.

Just a guess tho.

illusory tenant said...

jp said, "I am amazed more women are not upset with the chauvinistic treatment of Sarah and her family."

I fail to see what gender has to do with it. For example:

"[Palin] has eschewed reason and logic, yet reacted in horror when her critics are unreasonable and illogical in response." — Anne Applebaum

Or how about:

"The woman is inarticulate, undereducated," Liz Trotta said, arguing that for once liberal criticism was "well-deserved."

"I think all the liberal stylists ... really have a case. She just begs for adjectives like flaky and wacky." When pressed, she added, "We're talking about somebody who, right from the get-go, has been a flashy person who gets into a lot of trouble and really has no credentials for any job."

Speaking of Palin's family, Liz Trotta is the conservative Fox News commentator who managed to offend even the spittle-flecked denizens of FreeRepublic.com:

"I was disturbed by [Liz Trotta's] final observations about her view of Palin's perceived lack of depth by reporting that "some people" found it distasteful that Palin was bringing "that handicapped child and dragging it around the stage."

(One Freeper even risks "transgressing the decorum usually reserved for this forum," which is pretty funny in and of itself.)

Then there is the aforementioned Ms. Noonington and many others.

Incidentally, it was Republican "elites" who brought down Harriet Miers as well. Liberals, as I recall, mostly sat on the sidelines and observed bemusedly.

reddess said...

You jump to conclusions 3rd. Just because I am defending the woman, her teenage child, and her baby with down syndrome doesn't mean that I would support her in a bid for president. Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn't. That aside, I believe that the way the media and the left focused on her kids was disgusting. And mean. As I said previously, does this now mean that kids are fair game in politics? Or is it only OK to attack the kids of conservatives? How would you or any other lib posting here react if I started in on the Obama kids? I have the feeling that it would not be very kindly, which is the way it should be. I wouldn't lower myself to that. And please don't be serious about Rush - the man is an entertainer not the head of the conservative movement.

jp - I think that we both know part of the answer to that. I was amazed at how catty some women were. They attacked the way she spoke, the way she dressed. I never thought that I would hear a feminist say that she should stay home to care for her kids; Trig in particular. It is possible to have a down's child and do other things as well. I know because I lived it.

Dad29 said...

Sarah Palin's (and this blog's) repeated attempts to connect Obama with domestic terrorists and radical, anti-American politics

The job was done by Obama, not by Esenberg & Palin.

Dad29 said...

There is nothing us Palin-phobes would rather see than for you to give to her PAC and help assure the continuation of the GOP train wreck being conducted by Palin and Limbaugh

Train-wreck?

Cap-and-tax will not see the light of day in the Senate; ObamaCare will not likely emerge from Congress during this term, and it's now DC "wisdom" that the first $780Bn of on-the-cuff "stimulus" doesn't cut it.

You have a case of projection...

Dad29 said...

Rick's right. Palin brought what The Establishment could not bear to have around: integrity.

Not an Intellectualoid, not a Member of the Club, not a brie-and-chablis salon-attender.

An actual flyover-country person with integrity.

Scared out of their minds--on BOTH sides.

Dad29 said...

You might wish to see what the Winning McCain has to say on this--it's here: http://rsmccain.blogspot.com/2009/07/sarah-palins-surprise.html

excerpt:

Sarah Palin inarguably possesses the kind of charisma that inspires fierce loyalty. This is a valuable political resource and, if could be harnessed and channeled into productive organized activity

...there are people whose career ambitions and political elitism are very much implicated in the anti-Palin agenda. Because of Palin's populist appeal (something that seems innate, rather than conscious on her part), she attracts followers who are sick and tired of The Republicans Who Really Matter.


Like I said--BOTH sides.

Clutch said...

I believe that the way the media and the left focused on her kids was disgusting.

She and her supporters made her own kids part of her show -- and made her motherhood a part of her qualifications. (What was the set-up to "Lipstick!" again?) And then she wouldn't (because, as we discovered, she couldn't) talk about actual issues with actual reporters, or hold press conferences, or speak in complete sentences on crucial topics of national and international importance.

So, yeah, when you play the family card yourself, and then refuse to engage on substantive issues, the family becomes one of the few things to talk about. Of course, this is also the American mainstream news media, and the pregnant unwed teen, self-proclaimed redneck boyfriend, and sled-dog racer husband from the frozen north is obviously a set of irresistible stories. There's nothing left or right about that.

Anonymous said...

I mean please she used her family as props. Gimme a break. And dad if you think she was the integrity antidote to the elite, please run with that.

reddess said...

Clutch - All politicians use their kids as props. Obama used his family and why shouldn't he have? He has a pretty wife and 2 really adorable daughters, They are a good looking family. That appeals to other people. The media would not dream of attacking Obama's little girls. Even if Sarah had nothing of substance to say (like anon 8:19)is it then OK to go after a little one with Down syndrome? Or her mom for giving her the gift of life? No.

anon 8:19
Oh my...takes alot of balls to rip into someone and not let that person know who you are. Chickensh**.
Do you understand that?

Anonymous said...

Reddess, Reddess, Reddess. . .sit down and take a deep breath. Your precious little Saramerica was a dolt and everybody (well, with the exception of you and the Shark) knew it. Why don't YOU get over it?

Anonymous said...

Reddess, anon 8.19 here. I Didn't "rip into" anyone. And if anyone else posted using language you have, it would likely have been deleted.

Your commentary is typically civil and thoughtful (however misconceived) when you share it. On this Palin business, however, you simply ranted with increasing incoherence, culminating in the post to which I referred in which you attribute a cartoon vision of the world to "the left," no guns, tax-funded abortions for fun, and, most oddly something about the NCAA.

To observe that the post was unintelligible was not "ripping into" you. But what really prompted this responses was the yawn caused by the standard, predictable attack on anonymity. With or without knowing who I am, the specific post to which I responded was as I described it and was beneath you.

reddess said...

I don't have alot of time right now but need to respond to anon 12:20. Anon 6:19 (aka 8:19) I will try to respond to you later as your post contains some thoughtful points. I have a really quick temper (it's the Irish redhead thing - ask Rick) and you took the brunt of it. I should have remembered that if a post angers me I need to wait a good 2 hours before responding.

Anon 12:20
Palin is not my "precious little saramerica". If she was in the running for the Republican nomination, I might not even vote for her; I would prefer a stronger candidate. However, the attacks that she has had to endure are unlike anything that I have ever seen. (case in point-your angry little tirade). The left spent much more time attacking her and her family than her actual political views. Those who actually attacked her little boy with Down syndrome are nothing but bottom feeders. I think that Sarah is actually a dynamic well spoken woman who has achieved alot. Does she need to improve her knowledge of the issues? Yes she does. But your making a statement that everyone thinks she is a dolt except Rick and I is just - stupid. Sorry. How about taking the time to explain why she is a dolt addressing only the issues.

reddess said...

anon 12:20
I take that back...it wasn't stupid. Just silly.

Anonymous said...

Peggy Noonan slices and dices Palin in the WSJ. Read it and weep, Reddess.

"Ten months ago she was embraced with friendliness by her party. The left and the media immediately overplayed their hand, with attacks on her children. The party rallied round, as a party should. She went on the trail a sensation but demonstrated in the ensuing months that she was not ready to go national and in fact never would be. She was hungry, loved politics, had charm and energy, loved walking onto the stage, waving and doing the stump speech. All good. But she was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.

"In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. 'I'm not wired that way,' 'I'm not a quitter,' 'I'm standing up for our values.' I'm, I'm, I'm.

"In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying."

You get the drift...