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Do Not Underestimate Her

Defending the Alaskan Maverick's decision to resign. Political division in America. Zelaya's move towards dictatorship. Plus more.

7.7.09

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DOWN, NOT OUT
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Sarah Surprises Again:

Thank you for the most level-headed analysis about Sarah Palin's resignation that I have yet seen anywhere on the web. There is no doubting that establishment Republican types, who are uncomfortable with being anything other than Democrat-lite in their thinking, don't understand her appeal. Her appeal is simple to understand. She is not one of "them." She is one of "us"… a conservative!
-- Gray Creager
Colorado Springs, Colorado

While I may agree that resigning as Governor of Alaska will make it very difficult for Sarah to be nominated as the 2012 Presidential candidate, I do find it disturbing and even disgusting that conservative bloggers and establishment figures do the left's work in trashing her.

I am not a pure "social conservative." I am a pro-life libertarian with a realistic view of the wages of isolationism. What attracts people to Sarah Palin is her common sense view of what works in America, and what doesn't. She actually believes in the low tax, small government tradition that made America great. She does not have the intellectual firepower of a George Will in opposing counterproductive energy regulations/taxes, or of a John Bolton in noting that we are at war with an anti-life ideology rather than policing a few nutcases. Yet, she knows the truths here, and she is effective at expressing them clearly and concisely to people as if she were sitting at their kitchen tables. She does not need a PhD in economics to understand why tax, spend, and regulate is not a path to growth of anything other than an oppressive government. She knows this because she is a real American, not some college don or media thumb-sucker playing mind games with those they consider "rubes."

I heard Mike Huckleberry this weekend try to compare his situation as Governor of Arkansas with Sarah's situation. I don't recall the national press retailing every off-the-wall made up rumor about him to a national audience, nor do I recall attacks on his family members. He may have had strong opposition among the majority Democrat Party, but I don't think he also had to contend with a hostile Republican Party that he had worked to cleanse. There is a reason for the sustained attacks against Sarah Palin. Her opponents know that she is the most natural Republican politician in a generation. No, she is not Reagan II. She is Palin I. Why would you bother to trash a true lightweight? There is fear that she is the one candidate who might have some crossover appeal outside the Republican Party.

And who are the competitors to take on the Obamamessiah? The "love guv" from South Carolina? The chameleon from Massachusetts who is willing to tailor his message to his political situation? Mr. Boring from Minnesota? The cheerleader for the Porkulus bill from Florida? The secessionist from Texas? The pro-abortionist from New York City? The anti-semitic isolationist from Medialand? The tax and spend governor from Arkansas, who wants to enact the "Smuggler's Promotion Act" by replacing the income tax with a poorly conceived consumption tax? Or the media darling war hero? Oh, wait, we already tried him!

So now Sarah Palin is free to take on the national naysayers. Sarah, don't bother "brushing up" on who might be running Myanmar or Keynesian I-S analysis. Spend your time learning how to communicate what you know about America and how America works in unfiltered ways. You don't need a seminar. You need a microphone.

People don't vote for Bill Buckley, and they certainly don't vote for conservative intellectual apostates such as the two Davids. They voted for Ronald Reagan, and not because he was an intellectual. They liked what he knew about the character of America, and what made America an exceptionally successful country, and how he could communicate his love for his country and the people who made it work. Sarah, you can follow this same path, and you don't have to change who you are to do so.
-- Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri

With the barrage of criticism once again mounted upon Sarah Palin from both Democrats and Republicans when she announced her resignation, I for a brief moment thought that maybe they were at least partly right. They cite her mediocre education, lack of knowledge of foreign affairs and unorthodox views and other shortcomings. But only for a brief time because then I remembered the "mental giants" who made up the rest of the national ticket last fall. The half-educated clueless socialist, he who must be the dumbest person who ever emerged from the Naval Academy, and the weirdest man alive today, Joe Biden, the man who never saw a life he did not want to steal. Sarah Palin, who has shortcomings as we all do, never saw a day when she was not at least five times smarter than the other three numb numbs.
-- Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan

There is among the punditry on the right a unique brand of elitism. While different from that on the left, wherein they believe in their individual superiority and an endowed right to rule the huddled masses, those on the right appear to think they have a singular ability to understand and speak for the same huddled masses. Both sides are missing what is and has been happening to the electorate in this country. Sarah Palin has struck a chord, not because of her looks or folksy mannerism, but because she can and does relate to the "folks" who are completely fed up with the "elitist oligarchy" running the country. This includes not only the politicians, but the bureaucrats, the media, academia and, yes, the pundits on both sides of the aisle.

The reaction by the average person over her resigning the governorship has been: we believe what she is saying is the reason she resigned and we trust her to continue to speak for us. It has not been to foment a coffee-shop discussion equivalent to analyzing the real meaning of "Lord of the Flies."

Today the conservatives, libertarians and right-of-center "moderates" are looking for someone to get on the national stage and vigorously oppose President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. There is no one in the Republican Party either willing or capable of doing so. There are none in the media, except for the major talk show hosts throughout the country; but they cannot command national attention whenever they speak. Like it or not, there are only two people on the political stage that can do so. They are: Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. 

She can, and I believe will, become the left's biggest nightmare. They can do no more to destroy her and in fact have made her more of an icon to the average family in the country. She has become, in essence, damage proof by her baptism of fire from the left and the right. She may never become president but she can unite the frustrated electorate into a powerful force that will in time affect the entrenched elites in Washington, New York and Los Angeles. Do not underestimate her.
-- Steve McCann
Salisbury, Maryland

Had Governor Palin run on the Democratic ticket, she could have easily buried both Obama and Hillary, she is the perfect poster child for the left. She's an attractive female, she has exercised her reproductive rights, and she's blown through the glass ceiling due to her brains, courage, and will to succeed, not riding her husband's coattails. Unfortunately and tragic almost, she's a conservative. That makes her the enemy. Period. How dare she appropriate liberal concepts and ideas? Those are domains reserved for the left, thank you very much. Perhaps one day we truly will judge a person by the content of their character. 

I look forward to the next chapter in this remarkable tale. I know of a state that sorely needs a leader right now. I know of a country that is in dire need of a leader as well.
-- Greg Mercurio
Vacaville, California

IN DEFENSE OF GOVERNOR PALIN
Re: Philip Klein's What Happened to Sarah Barracuda?

I have subscribed to Spectator in the past and have been considering it in the future -- then you have a stupid Klein page on Palin and her supporters. 

I do not think she will run in 2012; I do not want her to. Still, I believe her to be a great deal more than Klein can see. I believe the whole media establishment has contracted Palin delusion syndrome from their own consensus -- that is the same media who have seldom had an original thought in the last 30 years. They get one word or phrase and you hear it 24/7 until the next sound bite is adopted.

No other politician in my memory has had to go through what Sarah has, and I am 74. Nixon and Bush came close, but it did not extend to children in Nixon's case and the Bush twins were grown.

Sarah is very smart in many ways, and Klein has absolutely no basis to state she has no interest in policy. She is not in the mold of any other politician, but she certainly exhibits knowledge of many of our problems -- energy for instance. And she has knowledge of foreign policy as it relates to Alaska.
-- Jerry Prater
Fayette, Alabama

PORK MARKEY
Re: John Carlisle's Markey's Moment:

Markey and the Democrats resorting to intimidation to advance their socialist, tax-us-all-into-third-world-status, we’ll-be-anything-but-transparent-and-bipartisan agenda?  

The Massachusetts representative issuing a hollow apology, having had his thuggish hand exposed?

The majority party not having read the 1,400+ pages bill?

The majority not even having a collated final bill in the well of the House during debate and then vote?

The Democrats using taxpayer money to bribe representatives, especially the Ohioan to whom they pledged about $3.5 billion of yet more pork, all for one vote?

I’m shocked and appalled.  

Not.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton , West Virginia

DISTRUST AND DIVISION
Re: Peter Hannaford's The Land of Narcissus

We all know our society is disintegrating and that we are living through the last days of our republic. The power centers in Washington and Wall Street will not hold, and the country will spilt apart into separate nations based on regional concerns, language and ethnicity. You folks in Washington who have advocated so long and hard for open borders and illegal immigration will then reap what you have sown. The predominantly Spanish speaking areas of California and most of the southwestern United States will unite with Mexico. As for the rest of the country, who knows how it will eventually evolve. But one thing I do know, the present government in Washington is finished. No government that loses the trust and confidence of the governed can last for very long and Washington is viewed by the overwhelming majority of people in what you folks so contemptuously refer to as fly over country, as beyond repair.
-- Paul Martell

The great psychoanalyst/philosopher Erich Fromm wrote extensively about the break down of society. He wrote, in part, the Industrial Revolution had several deep impacting unintended consequences. These including people having more free time to contemplate their place in the universe, which extended existential thinking from a base of a few intellectuals to almost commonplace discussion (not an unmitigated good, but a positive progression all the same) and a disconnect between the creator and what is created (i.e., workers replaced craftsmen; factories produced goods but no one man crafted the product.) These combination of factors, contemplating man's place in the universe and disenfranchisement from the creative process, forced man to face “the existential vacuum” of being: we are born with nothing and we die with nothing. Fromm stated man’s answer to this terrifying dilemma was to create attachment to something, with the highest form of attachment being a bond of love. 

Fromm was quite clear that creating this attachment was essential to life, and that these attachments could be positive (marriage and connection to God) or highly negative (group think, prejudice and genocide). Fromm elaborated his thesis in Man for Himself, which explored false attachment to government (via fascism/Nazism). In his masterpiece, The Art of Loving, he wrote eloquently about non-productive attachment via consumerism, sexuality (sadomasochism), cult of personality (false messiahs, anyone?) and self-absorption, the narcissism witnessed in today’s mass consumed celebrities (e.g., Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson) and slavish devotion to Face Book, My Space, Twitter and many other sites. 

America is, once again, at the crossroads, facing multiple challenges. Many Americans choose to blindly follow The One. Some choose to bury their heads; others devote themselves to nothing greater than their egos. Too many choose to run from these challenges, preferring the government to take care of things. This way lies madness.  

If we continue make choices that reflect short term interests and selfishness (yes, including Republican stalwart, Governor Sanford) over enlightened self-interests, our blessed country will face a crisis much greater than any existential vacuum. Yet not all is despairs.  America has always been a country of optimism. If history is prologue, then our optimism will not be in vain: some will rise to challenges that we face today and point the direction to sanity. The challenge is to endure the continuing crisis until a true leader arises.  Again, history gives us reason to be patient.
-- I.M. Kessel

DICTATOR FOR LIFE
Re: Jay D. Homnick's He's Zelaya and a Cheat:

Thanks as always, Mr. Homnick, for your analysis.

Here's an interesting confluence of coincidences for you.

Hugo Chavez tried twice before he got his constitution's term limits removed so he could become Presidente for Life. Our Proto-Dictator goes all soft and cuddly with him with not a word about the role of a constitution in a democracy.

Zaleya tries to use extra-constitutional smoke and mirrors to have his constitution's term limits removed so he could become Presidente for Life. Our Proto-Dictator leaps to his defense in the name of "democracy" while ignoring the fact that the constitution is the keystone of democracy.

Recent stories indicate that our Proto-Dictator's people are already working on how to get the 22nd Amendment of our Constitution repealed -- or how to get around it, if recent history accurately reflects their attitude toward the Constitution -- so he can become President for Life..

Obama has no choice but to sanctify Chavez and Zaleya because he will need to justify his own elevation to life status.

Democracy, it seems, no longer has anything to do with the will of the people and, tragically, even less to do with constitutions.

That way tyranny lies.
--A. C. Santore

READER MAILING
Re: Dick Grogan's letter (under "No Comments") in Reader Mail's California  Nightmarin':

I would like to bring to your attention that the comments section at TAS is not the same as Reader Mail. The Reader Mail section is far more important. Case in point is in today's first comment in comments section by a man who used the name "Paul Mills" in comments section underneath the article about Zelaya. [That comment has been deleted --Ed.] While I am not a blogger, as many are, I can still recognize the difference in a site where someone takes a great deal of time to measure meaningful words that might be meaningful read by many others, as opposed to a section where filthy language is followed by near worthless comments. This section could not even pass the muster of the multitude of reasoned thinkers who sit and copiously measure thoughts and words that appear in the next issue of the magazine, under Reader Mail.

There are so many who look forward to reading the carefully written thoughts of folks from Minnesota, Virginia, Texas, and California. I think of the names and personalities I have come to look for immediately when I open your daily column. Certainly, you as the magazine's editor can sweep away these writers by classifying them in as meaningless chatter and subjugate them to a "comments" section. But, I would suggest you will by missing some of the best writers I have ever read. Where do you place a Diane Smith and Ira Kessel and Michael Tomlinson, Jay Molyneaux, Ken Shreve, and so many others from whom I learned from? We live in soundbite times. What we need is to sit up and listen to reasoned thinking that will give us courage to meet the morrow.

It isn't just the same when you read a hastily written piece in Comments. On Thursday there was even a comment written in Japanese. I wonder how many TAS readers understood that? So, I ask you not to discontinue the Reader Mail portion of TAS. It has great value for us as we draw encouragement in these dark times.
-- Beverly Gunn
Texas 

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