Sarah Palin is now an even bigger winner.
Readers of this column will recall that months ago I wrote that a political earthquake was coming. More recently, I wrote that the biggest problem for Republicans in 2010 is that they will underestimate their newfound strength, and so would not be prepared to win some races they could have won. But even I did not foresee the political natural disaster of biblical proportions that rumbled out of Massachusetts yesterday.
Who would’ve have thunk it? In the one state that voted for George McGovern in 1972, in a special election for a U.S. Senate seat held by the “Liberal Lion” Ted Kennedy since the early 1960s, Republican Scott Brown beats the Democrat state Attorney General, in the process snatching away the Democrats’ filibuster proof Senate majority.
Poor Martha Coakley. The most persistently liberal state electorate in the union didn’t reject her yesterday. It stood up and said, “Hell, no, we won’t go,” to Barack Obama’s triumphant march to socialism.
If the Democrats can’t win Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, what seat is safe? The answer is none, not Barbara Boxer’s in California, not Chuck Schumer’s in New York, not even Barney Frank’s in Brookline. Where Republicans can’t win, Democrat primary challengers can knock out old, tired, liberal warhorses. In some cases, a black Democrat like Harold Ford challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York can help conservatives more than a Republican can, by co-sponsoring bipartisan initiatives.
I hope our national ruling class doesn’t get it. Barack Obama, hopeless Nancy Pelosi, clueless Harry Reid, the Democrats, our miserable excuse for a national media. I pray that they just brilliantly spin it away, and keep on truckin’ along, the strains of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “Yellow Submarine,” still ringing between their ears. What conservatives need to take from yesterday’s political Krakatoa is the grand vista of opportunity, politically and policywise, that the next several years now offer.
Gotta Love That Rogue
And speaking of grand vistas of opportunity, let me discuss Sarah Palin. Having just finished her book, Going Rogue, I am angry. I am angry that no one, not even conservatives, told me what a brilliant book this is, before I read it for myself. Brilliant in a quintessentially Sarah Palin way, showing through doing and being her genuine self, rather than through academic argument, exactly the way to communicate to the every day person.
I don’t know that she actually planned it this way. But what is so brilliant about the book is that she just tells her fascinating and endearing personal life story, from childhood to 2009, in great personal and reflective detail. In the process, you come to know exactly who she is, exactly what she believes, and why, while she convincingly, thoroughly, politely eviscerates her critics, from left to right.
After reading the book, the word that will stick in your mind is genuine, which is jarring in a modern, hip, culture, that Rush Limbaugh is accurately calling “the universe of lies.” Sarah Palin in this book transparently speaks from the heart, and tells us who she is, more than willing to let the chips fall where they may. And where they fall is to provide a firm foundation for a generation of national political leadership.
One of the People
Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, she spent her first five years in Skagway, Alaska, population 650, living in a rented, wooden house built in 1898. She was raised in “the one horse town of Wasilla,” about an hour outside Anchorage. Though her father would rather hunt and fish on Sunday morning than attend church, her mother was devout, and Sarah became a Christian at a youth Bible camp. She writes, “I got into the habit of reading Scripture before I got out of bed every morning and making sure it was the last thing I did at night.”
She grew up in a great outdoors family, where “We were all expected to work, build, chop, hunt, fish and fight equally.” That equal upbringing provided the foundation for her feminism. “I didn’t subscribe to all the radical mantras of that early feminist era,” she writes, “but reasoned arguments for equal opportunity definitely resonated with me…. I grew up knowing I could be anything I wanted to be.” This was reflected in her chosen profession as a sports reporter.
Four years of high school varsity basketball culminated in leading her team as a captain to a state championship her senior year. That was the year she met Todd Palin, from a hardworking, highly productive Yupik Eskimo family. With Native American conservationist sensibilities, “He hated gossip and pretension. He hated prejudice. He opposed any physical disrespect of the land, from litter to irresponsible development.” Palin explains, “But when he told me he had become a Christian and had been baptized at a sports camp a few years earlier, that was the clincher for me.”
She earned tuition college money in the Miss America Scholarship Pageant, first as Miss Wasilla and then as second runner-up to Miss Alaska. After graduating from college, she eloped with Todd down at the local courthouse, with witnesses from the old folks home across the street, celebrating afterwards at Wendy’s. Her mother bawled at the news, and now Sarah recognizes, “I want my kids to have the wedding I didn’t have.”
She registered as a Republican when she turned 18 during Reagan’s presidency because she was “a believer in individual rights and responsibilities rather than heavy handed government, in free-market principles that included reward for hard work; respect for equality; support for a strong military; and a belief that America is the best country on earth.” She describes herself as “a free-market capitalist,” and her daughter Piper serves as the poster child for Alaska Right to Life.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?