Elitists, RINOs, Palin and Brown - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Elitists, RINOs, Palin and Brown

Having fun with Philip Klein — whose pre-emptive doubts about Sarah Palin show that he is quite obviously not a real American — I noticed that Hot Air‘s Allahpundit (also often accused of inauthenticity for doubting Palin) re-Tweeted this message from his friend:

I just hope you supporters of Brown, once he is elected, remember your support when you’re calling him RINO (or worse)

That would be Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown, whose online “money-bomb” fundraiser Monday reportedly raised $1.3 million. In the interest of clarifying why many pro-Palin conservatives are enthusiastically supporting an un-Palin candidate like Brown, consider the following arguments:

  1. Wresting Ted Kennedy’s former seat from the Democrats would be a major coup for Republicans, contributing to the clear evidence of an anti-Obama backlash represented by the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial victories in November.
  2. The situation in Massachusetts is quite unlike last year’s congressional election in New York’s 23rd District, where the state GOP hand-picked liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava when (a) district voters clearly would have supported a more conservative candidate; (b) the state GOP passed over more conservative candidates to choose Scozzafava; and (c) a viable third-party candidate presented a valid alternative to the Republican.
  3. The label “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) functions appropriately as an epithet when it is reserved for those Republicans who either (a) provide crucial votes for liberal policies in key legislative battles, such as the eight House Republicans who voted for the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill; (b) consistently position themselves as prominent advocates for liberal policies; or (c) attack conservatives in the manner of John McCain’s February 2000 “agents of intolerance” speech.
  4. In the case of Sarah Palin and her critics among the conservative punditocracy, it is one thing to point out Palin’s specific faults, errors and weaknesses. All politicians make mistakes and even Ronald Reagan’s admiring biographer Craig Shirley has in retrospect noted the Gipper’s own weaknesses. It is another thing entirely to assert, as many of Palin’s critics have consistently done, that Palin’s populist appeal exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.

Therefore, despite Brown’s centrist politics, the pro-Palin populists support his Massachusetts Senate campaign because (a) Brown’s election would not be a leftward shift of either the national debate or the GOP; (b) his election would validate perceptions of a rising conservative mood among voters; and (c) if elected, Brown would go to Washington with the knowledge of his indebtedness to grassroots conservatives.

Arguments between elitists and populists are inevitable, but there is no cause for an argument here — unless those effete intellectual snobs want to start one, in which case I’m sure the real Americans are ready to duke it out.

Robert Stacy McCain
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