The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Of Pundits And Palin

Posted on | March 16, 2011 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

The men-striation of the pundits who, more or less monthly, have to remind us that Sarah Palin is horrible–but don’t call them misogynist–remains a source of amusement.
Get stuffed, George Will:

Asked if the GOP would remain the party of ideas if Palin captures the nomination, Will said: “The answer is emphatically no.”

What ideas have you espoused about federal overreach and the national debt that amounted to a fart in a thuderstorm? Besides occasionally having measurably more testosterone in your writing than Dave Brooks (a low bar), how have you championed reducing entitlements, precisely?
Take that, Charles Krauthammer from Bob Zee, quoted in American Digest:

While Governor, her state was one of 2 out of 50 that created net jobs. I COULD WRITE FOR HOURS ABOUT HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS, but it would not do a damn thing for people like Krauthammer and other fraudulent, cowardly, so called conservatives. How come the other intellectual governors that Krauthammer praises could not eke out some job gains? Odd huh?WAKE UP!!!! Do you want to know why the jobs are gone? Do you want to to know why your nation is turning into a shit hole?



Now Sarah is ready to fight, and most of us just let her go out there with no backup, no nothing.

She is used as a human shield for LESSER MEN.

Ace has a lengthy meditation on what the Palin deal is with the conservative priesthood. Somewhere around the middle he bulletizes:

  1. anti-woman animus
  2. a desire to prop up the Old Boy’s Club
  3. tribal concerns about the current power structure (the “elite,” the “establishment”) being displaced in favor of a new power structure in which the “outsiders” and “ordinary people” are on top; as Palin is purported to be the vanguard of this new ruling class, it is postulated that the Old Guard has a strong, self-interested reason to stop her at all costs. (By the way– do most people consider themselves “ordinary”? I always wince at this formulation. Apart from a few people who are a little sub-ordinary and aspire to actually rise to the level of “ordinary,” I tend to think that most people do not consider themselves ordinary. Or maybe ordinary in several ways, but not-quite-ordinary in important ways.)
  4. a need to fit in with the liberal media elite and the so-called conservative intellectual elite which shares many of the shibboleths of the liberal media elite

Summarizing: fear of estrogen, fear of change.
I’m going to guess the latter, and point to the (free registration required for full read) Venerable Mead addressing the Left and making some telling points about the Tea Parties, with whom Sarah is so intrinsically linked, emphasis mine:

The historian Jill Lepore’s book The Whites of Their Eyes makes the point that many Tea Party activists have a crude understanding of the politics of the American Revolution. Yet however unsophisticated the Tea Party’s reading of the past may be, the movement’s appeal to Colonial history makes sense. From Colonial times, resentment of the well-bred, the well-connected, and the well-paid has merged with suspicion about the motives and methods of government insiders to produce populist rebellions against the established political order. This form of American populism is often called “Jacksonianism” after Andrew Jackson, the president who tapped this populist energy in the 1830s to remake the United States’ party system and introduce mass electoral politics into the country for good.Antiestablishment populism has been responsible for some of the brightest, as well as some of the darkest, moments in U.S. history. The populists who rallied to Jackson established universal white male suffrage in the United States — and saddled the country with a crash-prone financial system for 80 years by destroying the Second Bank of the United States. Later generations of populists would rein in monopolistic corporations and legislate basic protections for workers while opposing federal protection of minorities threatened with lynching. The demand of Jacksonian America for cheap or, better, free land in the nineteenth century led to the Homestead Act, which allowed millions of immigrants and urban workers to start family farms. It also led to the systematic and sometimes genocidal removal of Native Americans from their traditional hunting grounds and a massively subsidized “farm bubble” that helped bring about the Great Depression. Populist hunger for land in the twentieth century paved the way for an era of federally subsidized home mortgages and the devastating burst of the housing bubble.

Building on Ace’s points about fearing change above, we now have a delightful oversimplification by means of which to toss the Tea Parties under the bus: Jacksonian. The irony that AJ was the Original Democrat is a fine aside. We now have a tool by means of which the Tea Parties can be written off as unsophisticated rubes. Any intellectual can grasp that the country is broke, we have to curtail federal over-reach, but these Jacksonian rubes do not respect the Powers That Be sufficiently in taking the required action, and that will not do.
Also, “Jacksonian” becomes a shibboleth (I read the Book of Judges years ago, Ace, sorry) by which all the elite understand that Tea Party==Jacksonian==Racist. Brilliant!
What our so-called elite refuse to grasp is that the internet really is changing everything. While the lumpy middle of the standard normal distribution is likely to continue to remain uninvolved, the chunk in between the median and the elite tail has expanded considerably. More people are paying attention. More people, while not necessarily Sarah fanatics, are realizing that the attacks on her from the Left and elite Right are as feckless as an Obama foreign policy statement.
George Will:

The more attention Palin receives, the fewer Americans consider her presidential timber.” 

Possibly, sir, the time for electing cigar store indians has passed. The country desperately needs someone who can articulate

  • why a century of federal overreach has failed
  • why living in reality as opposed to Progressive la-la land is going to hurt for a good decade or three
  • why we need to look more like Japan in disaster and less like Greece in default when facing this
  • why the GOP (and the pundit priesthood) has been more a part of the problem than the solution for the last century

Sure, Krauthammer and Will and the rest give good column from time to time. Maybe they’re too tactical, and maybe that’s because of relatively myopic audience for which they write. Maybe, too, Sarah Palin’s vision as stated thus far isn’t terribly far-reaching.
Nevertheless, the continuous 360 degree napalm shower directed at Sarah, both by the usual suspects and those who, following Reagan’s 11th Comandment, ought to be friendly, is astounding.
In fact, it’s so over the top as to trigger the question of whether it’s a giant head-fake, something Ace’s analysis misses.
What if the pundit priesthood knows that supporting Sarah overtly will be disaster, but going into lady-doth-protest-too-much mode will force the Tea Parties to ante up in 2012?
Methinks that could be the case.


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