A Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates

Here’s the real problem, Palin advocates. NiceDeb says she’s wondering whether Palin is truly electable: her fans are passionate, but so are her critics. Can she tip the balance?

Not without full-fledged support from the conservative base, she can’t. And she doesn’t have it yet. For instance, she doesn’t have my support. As I mentioned in the thread below, I like a lot of things about Sarah Palin. But I’m not convinced that she’s Presidential material, particularly with regard to her grasp of policy.

So, here’s your challenge. Convince me. Explain to me why she is in fact a qualified candidate for President – why her understanding of policy is strong and coherent, and why her vision for America is practical and promising. Or, if you’d rather, explain why it doesn’t matter. But don’t waste your time talking about how:

  • “She’s the only real conservative”
  • “She’s genuine and a straight shooter”
  • “She’s tough and strong”
  • “She gets things done”

I already know and appreciate these things. My concern lies with her handle on policy. I’ll give you an example.

Sarah Palin used the term “death panels,” and the liberal press (and administration) went nuts. It was fun to watch, but I was troubled by the way she handled it. When she first wrote about it, she said:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. 

OK, Thomas Sowell is correct – care rationing and limiting care to the cheapest options (per the Comparative Effectiveness “Advisory” Panels) are inevitable consequences to the Obamacare system. People will certainly die as a result of the Comparative Effectiveness Panels’ “recommendations” (which will quickly become de facto mandates), so there are your “death panels.” So far so good – even the very controversial “level of productivity in society” makes some sense.

But when Palin was challenged, she started talking about the Advance Care Planning Consultation provision in the bill (which was recently wished to the cornfields). That provision certainly had the potential to be abused, but it had nothing to do with care rationing or decisions on treatments. And that gave the Left enough ammo to declare that Palin was either ignorant or a liar.

She had them dead to rights, and then wandered off message, as if she never really understood what the message was. And that really, really troubles me.

So. Teach me. Comfort me. Make me believe.

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73 Responses to “A Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates”

  1. Lily Says:

    I think our mandate to the R’s is to REPEAL Obamacare, so it seems pointless to me to get into discussions about SP’s not responding to a question on Advanced Planning Care Provision in the bill.
    If you seriously have read EVERYTHING and I mean every article posted in the newspapers, every speech, Facebook post etc. and your OPINION is she is weak on policy, I don’t think you will be persuaded otherwise. If Sarah Palin has not convinced you she is presidential and strong on policy HOW can anyone else???
    I do hope and pray should she run and win the primary, you would support her.
    I’ve said from the beginning I think she has true Conservative convictions and with an wise and excellent staff, she would govern well.
    I think I’m going to join Rush Limbaugh and when people dismiss Sarah as not being ‘Presidential’ enough for their liking, I’ll just agree with them and say, ‘Yeah, let’s just have Obama for 4 more years!”
    If SOMEONE else distinguishes themselves as a candidate who has the cajones to contend with the msm, Obama and his minions, is truly Conservative, and IF they are not a RINO, I’ll support them. As it stands now, it’s looking bleak.
    I do think ND’s original requests for IDEAS is still valid and I’m still pondering that one.

  2. Elaine Says:

    I am a registered Independent. I am looking for someone worthy to support on the Conservative side. How about if you explain to me who you think has a full grasp on policy and why. This isn’t a joke – I am truly concerned with where America is heading and would like some actual facts to make a judgement – I am tired of the “talking heads” putting their bias on everything. So please take my “challenge” to you seriously. I honestly want to hear from someone who can provide the same info you are asking your readers to provide you about Palin. Thanks! Elaine

  3. geoff Says:

    it seems pointless to me to get into discussions about SP’s not responding to a question on Advanced Planning Care Provision in the bill.

    ??? That wasn’t the point at all. She responded to a challenge by improperly referencing the Advanced Care Planning Consultation.

    If you seriously have read EVERYTHING and I mean every article posted in the newspapers, every speech, Facebook post etc.

    Oops, I missed one. Now what do I do? Seriously, this is a silly criterion. Link a couple articles that you think are truly compelling. That’s all I’m asking for. You were extolling the wonders of the Palin oeuvre in the previous thread, but provided no examples. Help me out – give me some links.

  4. geoff Says:

    How about if you explain to me who you think has a full grasp on policy and why.

    First, the point of the post is to address a specific weakness of a specific candidate. I’m picking on SP’s understanding of policy because it’s widely cited as her major flaw. If that flaw doesn’t really exist, then she’s a great candidate.

    To your question: Newt Gingrich obviously comes to mind, though I think he’s less electable than McCain was. As to why: he has a huge history in domestic and foreign policy formation. If Hillary! had a personality and political values transplant, she’d be another candidate.

    As far as supporting someone electable: here’s my personal strategy. If the nation is facing more domestic problems than foreign problems, I like to pick candidates with previous experience as a Governor, like Palin, Daniels, Pawlenty, and Huckabee. If it’s facing foreign policy problems, then I lean a little towards Senators. In both cases I like them to have a couple of terms under their belts before they run for office.

    Presuming you agree that while foreign policy is a growing problem, it is our domestic troubles that require the most attention, that leaves us with:
    Huckabee 11 years
    Pawlenty 8 years
    Daniels (6 years, but will have 8 in 2012)
    Romney 4 years
    Palin 2 1/2 years

    These are the ones I’ll be watching.

  5. lyle Says:

    Honestly? I think her aide messed it up. LOL. Her aide responded with that specific provision when asked by the press when that provision might have been part of it, but was certainly not the be all, end all.

    Check out Palin’s follow-up FB post where she had to then go into detail about the end of life thing and then bring it back to the fact that it wasn’t all about the end of life thing –

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=116471698434

  6. Lily Says:

    Geoff, You are correct I misread the point. I apologize. But no, my criterion is not ‘silly’.
    YOU do your own due diligence YOU go to Conservatives4Palin.com, read her books, go read her Facebook posts, etc. and and READ FOR YOURSELF EVERTHING PALIN HAS WRITTEN ON POLICY. Go find the links yourself!

  7. geoff Says:

    Go find the links yourself!

    That’s very helpful, Lily. If you were a liberal troll, I’d really give you a hard time over that sort of response.

    Check out Palin’s follow-up FB post where she had to then go into detail about the end of life thing and then bring it back to the fact that it wasn’t all about the end of life thing

    Now that makes a bit of sense, though it’s not as definitive as you make it sound. She throws in the Emanuel paper as an “and this too” rather than a “but rather this.” If she’s covering for an aide, it was a poor political decision – she could have nailed the President to the wall, and the truth should never come second to CYA.

  8. A Challenge to Sarah Palin's Advocates « Nice Deb | The Daily Conservative Says:

    [...] A Challenge to Sarah Palin's Advocates « Nice Deb Share and [...]

  9. oldwolves Says:

    Many times I’ve heard she’s not presidential material. That she doesn’t have the savvy or the political know how to work the political machine. Well hell! That’s exactly what we need! Not someone who’s owned by any special interest groups. Not someone who’s ‘willing’ to play the game. Not someone who says one thing then does another in the name of Bi-partisanship.
    I want someone who will change the machine to something I, the American people, want it to be! I want someone not tainted by politics that have been steadily making this country decline.

    I want someone who doesn’t go with the flow. I want a rock, dead center of the river, forcing the dirty waters to part, exposing the mud and silt. Once you start making real waves you change the shore. And that’s real change for the better. She will be the rock.

  10. geoff Says:

    I want a rock, dead center of the river, forcing the dirty waters to part, exposing the mud and silt.

    Boy does that sound like a metaphor for something else.

  11. 7HEAVENS Says:

    You are right Geoff. She is “not Presidential material” “particularly with regard to her grasp of policy” or much else. Sarah has been Assasinated by the Left just like Newt was. She was not Ready for Prime Time, and now she comes with WAY TOO MUCH BAGGAGE that the Left stuck on her.

    WHERE IS MIKE PENCE? He is the strongest and the most electable person we have until Rubio is ready. I dislike all of the other candidates, and none of them are electable. We don’t need any more Bob Doles.

    DRAFT PENCE!!!

  12. nicedeb Says:

    Pence bowed out, last week.

  13. Cathy Says:

    Palin or someone else? Who yet knows. We need procedures to identify who is the best fearless general in our fight to take back and protect the Heart of our Nation. It’s simply too early to strike Palin from the list, I think.

    I’m not making a decision yet. I don’t have to. I truly need more information and so does everyone else and will keep working with my Tea Party colleagues to find and develop them if necessary.

    Even the candidates themselves are not a static target… they grow in their understanding. They learn. They also show us that they screw up in ways that we might not want to tolerate. For example, consider Governor Mark Sanford. The day before details about his extra-marital affair surfaced some were looking to him to be a possible POTUS candidate. He was on national news and was being asked the POTUS question. I won’t ever forget that one. Dang! Creepy.

    Also there is the notion that some of what we need to assess about POTUS candidates is changeable but some is not. Character is less of a changeable one. Our present POTUS simply has no character. Fin. He is a disaster and must go gently in 2012 without malice or violence. He simply must go. He is slowly killing our nation in ways that many have barely addressed. McCain lacked conservative stance on issues as I see them, but he did seem to have a level of character, but also seemed fearful… and that made many of us very skeptical.

    And another important fact: NO ONE is EVER PREPARED completely to take on the POTUS. NO ONE! Until a human being with a pulse enters that oval office and takes on all the crap that is hitting him/her and he/she begins to pull out of their tool-box the resources they bring to bear and shows us the results we simply don’t actually know. But God does know. We should be doing a lot of praying on our knees, I think and stay humble in this process.

    Long ago, David a young shepherd kid, showed up to a neighborhood fight bringing lunch-sammiches for his big brothers, taking on the evil giant and won. And in the subsequent years he developed and demonstrated not only his decency but also his strength and gifts to eventually become a great leader and king of Israel.

    IF (and that’s a big IF) I had to decide today in a crisis who should lead our Nation, I would go with Sarah Palin. I trust her character and she has proven that she has a strong decent character along with many other qualities and experiences. And at this point she is the ONLY one I trust. Lack of knowledge or experience in any area is NOT enough to discount a candidate… because a good leader always has resources and people available to bring into the inner circle IF that person is good at leading and has the character and discernment to know when they are being snowed. Palin probably is better than many others we are seeing.

    I refuse to accept the notion that if the Media and liberals can spin someone as bad that we also must avoid them like the plague. The best conservative candidates will always be picked on viciously. We hurt ourselves if we don’t support these people. Is Palin really a weak candidate? Or is she SO strong that the hateful unAmerican left will swarm and bite into her like piranhas? Lets all grow a set and fearlessly stand for what is right. I’ll fight piranhas if/when I’m convinced that we have the best candidate in front of us. I’m not there yet. I want good information from reliable non-Party resources.

    … Which leads me back to this… I still stay on the notion that we need to develop the information grid that can help us assess candidates on all issues, experience, and also on character. Sheesh, folks. We are good with numbers and statistics. This could be a no brainer — especially for organizations OUTSIDE of political parties. Like this one… Look here to see something interesting developing. Lookie! Lookie!

  14. Cathy Says:

    Sorry… went on a tad. Looking forward to ‘listening’ to others on this essential discussion. Thanks.

  15. Elaine Says:

    Thanks, Geoff,
    I appreciate and agree with what you wrote me, but am curious why you didn’t mention Ron Paul. During the 2008 Democratic Circus (I mean their Primary) I was amazed at how the DNC leadership basically all but annoited Obama as their candidate even before Iowa and at that point told myself I would not support a candidate who won the primary by having votes/delegates given to him rather than earned, so I started looking at the Republican side and in 2008 – I thought Ron Paul “carried himself” at a more mature level than any of the other candidates. I have a stressful life with an autistic son and do not research my candidates until the year of an election ( I know it is wrong – but that is what I do) I do not think about who I want to vote for until it is closer to an election. So anyway, please tell me your thoughts on Ron Paul if you have any and when you have the time – I know having a blog keeps anyone busy! Thank you!

  16. geoff Says:

    I appreciate and agree with what you wrote me, but am curious why you didn’t mention Ron Paul.

    Aside from the fact that I don’t agree with his foreign policy positions and don’t believe that a return to the gold standard is practical, he has never served as a Governor, so he didn’t make my little list.

  17. raven Says:

    Isn’t this what primaries are for? The same caterwauling and caviling went on over Reagan in 1979. I covered his campaign as a cub reporter. I remember the “unelectable” stuff, the pregame sneers from the GOP, the derision from the Left. He couldn’t speak without cue cards, was an empty-headed former actor, etc. He even lost in Iowa to an establishment stiff named Bush. The rest is history.

    Let them all run. Let’s see them in the fray.

  18. Cathy Says:

    Ron Paul does not make my list either.

    And primaries are great. Caucuses are great. But they are done at the state level. Lots of the real work and communication happens behind the scenes and long before the Political Party National Conventions.

  19. just a conservative girl Says:

    I was ready to be all in for Pence myself. Since that is not an option anymore I don’t know where to look.

    I don’t think that Palin can win the general. I don’t doubt that she can win the nomination, which scares me. There is new poll out saying that 40% of Palin supporters will go third party if she doesn’t get the nomination. Wonderful idea. Why do the staunch Palin supporters tell everyone else to get on board if she wins, yet they aren’t willing to do the same if she loses?

    This little exercise has done nothing to change my mind about Palin because like the post says most of the talk about Palin is done in platitudes. She is so wonderful, of course she would do well. What I find so odd about that is the same people that say this laugh at those who said that three years ago about Obama. I see Palin as the opposite side of the same coin. Much of her support comes from a cult of personality. I scared me three years ago, and it scares me now.

  20. Nicole Says:

    I’ve got an idea. Let’s have primary debates. Let’s see how contenders acquit themselves in a non-John-McCain-doomed campaign. Let’s consider intangibles such as the ability to raise money, the ability to attract 60,000 people to a rally in Florida, or the ability to give a speech that brings business audiences, hunters, as well as pro-life groups to their feet.

    If we’re gonna obsess over Palin’s multi-faceted, well-reasoned opposition Obamacare, please, let’s do parse Romney’s defense of Romneycare. In some cases he defends it as “state experiment” that is justified because unlike Obamacare, it doesn’t effect everyone nationally. Other times he praises its noble intent, but blames the Massachussetts legislature for screwing it up somehow. Does he really understand his own policy?

    Meanwhile, if you want a pure policy wonk, please go convince Bobby Jindal to run. If you want someone who can effectively take on Obama’s Alinksy crapbombs without batting an eye, you join us in supporting Sarah Palin. And let the primaries sort it out.

    Lastly, read How a Hockey Mom Turned the Alaskan Political Establishment Upside Down for a preview of Palin turning the D.C. Establishment Upside Down.

    Is there policy experience somewhere in her 9 1/2 years of elected executive office? I think the specific policy is called integrity and courage, subsection I and C of the bylaws of the CSCC, the Common Sense Constitutional Conservative, with a dash of EE (Energy Expertise) and RF (Rhetorical Flair).

  21. raven Says:

    How about challenging Romney supporters to explain RomneyCare – the great precursor boondoggle to Obamacare, and a giant bust? No? Instead we nitpick some trifling inconsistency of argument by Palin. I don’t know, maybe she was tired after responding to that day’s incoming missile fire of defamation. Meanwhile, she’s the one who made the Death Panel shot heard round the world.

    As stated by others, let’s see them all play it out.

  22. Nicole Says:

    Pressuring granny to adopt an advanced care directive is just one part of the Death Panel! Nobody has a problem with advanced care planning. Our problem is with government INCENTIVIZING advanced care planning.

    Funny how the cockroaches scrambled when exposed to Palin’s light. Maybe she and her aide decided that the easiest thing to get stricken from Obamacare was this obviously troubling section that even liberals found a bit slimey. Gov. Palin in her follow-up FB post noted that while she was initially referring to the “comparative research” panels, she also objected to pushing seniors into denying care, which obviously, achieves the same purpose, and she even quoted some liberals who agreed with her.

    Since no one on the GOP side but Palin really pointed this out, maybe she’s the only one who really understands Obama’s policy? Maybe we should trust her on other policies as well.

  23. geoff Says:

    So the answer is *drumroll* there is no evidence that dispels the criticism of Sarah Palin’s weakness on policy? Is that really what I’m hearing? All I’ve heard so far is: it doesn’t matter, wait and see, other people have flaws too, and that I need to hunt down and read every word she’s ever written before I can ask the question.

    That’s not what I expected. I really expected a much stronger advocacy, and I was really completely willing to change my mind.

    Gov. Palin in her follow-up FB post noted that while she was initially referring to the “comparative research” panels, she also objected to pushing seniors into denying care, which obviously, achieves the same purpose, and she even quoted some liberals who agreed with her.

    Is that a different Facebook post than the one linked by Lyle? Because if it isn’t, it was not nearly as clear on that point as you make it sound.

    Since no one on the GOP side but Palin really pointed this out, maybe she’s the only one who really understands Obama’s policy?

    Many people pointed it out, but using more temperate terminology.

  24. raven Says:

    No one is obliged to answer your presumption of policy inadequacy and condescending “challenge.” You attempt to establish a premise and put others on the defensive over it. I reject your premise, and find the circumstance you cite trifling and obscure. It sounds to me that, at worst, she missed a moment for a more cogent or effective political response. Well, she’s human.

    And, of course, we see the kneejerk fear of giving the Left “ammo.” Good Lord — not that! You mean the Left might call her “ignorant” or a “liar”? Oh, noes! (Tip for you — they do that anyway). One of Palin’s gift is that she keeps giving them ammo — which then blows up their faces.

    The only “challenge” that matters is the one before the people.

  25. geoff Says:

    No one is obliged to answer your presumption of policy inadequacy and condescending “challenge.”

    True. Unless they want to generate votes for her, that is.

    You attempt to establish a premise and put others on the defensive over it.

    It is a premise shared by a large portion of the voting public. She’s been on the defensive over it for more than 2 years. My question was whether it is a deserved criticism. The answer was…

    I reject your premise, and find the circumstance you cite trifling and obscure.

    Yeah, I can see how the subject of health care reform might appear that way to people who can’t seem to find a single instance of Palin’s competence on a policy issue. Hell, I could defend her more capably than her supposed supporters – I know she’s not as bad as you all are making her sound.

  26. Sarah Palin – Why is the left and some of the right afraid of her? « Love it or Leave it!! Says:

    [...] A Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates (nicedeb.wordpress.com) [...]

  27. raven Says:

    “It is a premise shared by a large portion of the voting public. She’s been on the defensive over it for more than 2 years. My question was whether it is a deserved criticism. The answer was…”

    Say what? Or are you saying her inadequacy over policy IN GENERAL has been the issue, and this is Q&A over Advanced Care Planning a key example, and proves it? What a joke. Her exegeses of the health care issue have been the most thorough and penetrating among all other candidates. You’re really saying this has been an issue equal to, say, how Romney explains away RomneyCare? She was prescient on Obamacare – no one else has even been proved belatedly accurate.

    But as to the premise or perception of inadequacy – has it occurred to you how this might be the case? It couldn’t be because the entire mainstream media, the entire Left, and a collusive, hidebound and/or terrified GOP establishment has been on the OFFENSIVE, could it?

    Meanwhile, a senior, Harvard-educated democrat senator can misstate the three branches of government, a elitist-educated liberal talk show host can assert the Panama Canal is in Egypt, and our Harvard- and Columbia-educated leftist president can baldly lie about a Supreme Court ruling in a State of the Union address — and none ever be put on the defensive.

    Your example of a policy lapse is laughable, and your attempt at a double-standard transparent.

    This is the sort of narrative-mongering Noam Chomsky perfected — a kind of propagandist choplogic, the false-assumption or assertion proved “true” merely by its prevalence and repetition. I remember him doing this in his lectures all the time (though I didn’t figure it out until later).

    My challenge to you — examine the full extent of Palin’s healthcare positions and statements and confirm they reveal policy weakness, inadequacy, backtracking or inconsistency. They don’t. Otherwise, you’re just repeating a narrative.

  28. JaneLovesJesus Says:

    ok, I’m with you. I got alot out of my system on that previous entry …. now as to this challenge (and bear with me here; not sure if I can explain it well):

    You know how most election years, around debate time, some candidate will mis-speak and call the prime minister of Frickafrackistan the president by mistake, and then get pilloried for their profound ignorance? “OM-! You didn’t know they have a PRIME MINISTER not a president?? What an idiot! You can never govern!” But in reality … no single individual not already IN the role and with a full staff of advisors is going to have EVERY world leaders name, pronounciation, issue, etc. etc. in the forefront of their mind, *AND YET* I think they DO generally get up to speed in pretty short order. That’s how it works in America. We switch leaders more often than most western countries and some of those ‘glaring ommisions’ really aren’t that crucial. Leaders have to — and generally do — get up to speed fast.

    Well . . . Palin does not have a crystallized plan of every issue foreign and domestic. She has a private life to lead, and she is already doing yeoman’s work ON TOP of that by standing up for American & for Conservatism.

    I cannot even keep up with reading my favorite blogs … laundry …and getting food on the table without something falling behind, ya’ know whadd I mean?? I mean she’s already doing more than ________ . (whoever)

    SO ***** Here is the upshot **************
    She can learn that which she lacks because she has good judgment, decisivness. and a willingness to attract and learn from solid advisers.

    On the other hand, you CANNOT teach moral courage. Pretty much whoever you want to name has already failed the moral courage test for me. If they are not vociferously standing against this marxist monstronsity and WITH the people now, then I don’t really care about their policy brilliance.
    You KNOW Palin will fight to repeal everything Obama ever did and restore America with every fiber of her being. The Newts, et al of this world? Who knows. Intelligent policy wonks w/RINO compromiser backbones don’t impress me.

    I think the best thing we can do is keep pointing out the hypocrisy of her critics.
    An oversimplication, but there you go!

  29. geoff Says:

    Or are you saying her inadequacy over policy IN GENERAL has been the issue, and this is Q&A over Advanced Care Planning a key example, and proves it?

    Perhaps you should reread the post. I think what I said was pretty clear.

    You’re really saying this has been an issue equal to, say, how Romney explains away RomneyCare?

    Hey, guess what? The post is about Sarah Palin. We’re trying to address a specific issue about her candidacy. Romney has nothing to do with it.

    She was prescient on Obamacare – no one else has even been proved belatedly accurate.

    Hunh? She trailed all of the leading blogs and conservative pundits. In fact she based her initial statement on Thomas Sowell’s analysis.

    It couldn’t be because the entire mainstream media, the entire Left, and a collusive, hidebound and/or terrified GOP establishment has been on the OFFENSIVE, could it?

    Of course it could. That’s why I’m asking people like you to disprove it.

    My challenge to you — examine the full extent of Palin’s healthcare positions and statements and confirm they reveal policy weakness, inadequacy, backtracking or inconsistency

    Why? I’m offering you the chance to change my mind, and I’m quite sincere about it. I don’t want to go hunting for more Palin material – what I’ve read thus far has been sufficient to make up my mind. But I had thought that people more familiar with her work might be able to steer me in the direction of more impressive materials that might influence my assessment.

    But for some reason, they don’t seem to want to do that, which just makes me more convinced that I should find another candidate to support.

  30. raven Says:

    Well said, Jane.

    Rather than come off as falsely polished, glibly fluent over issues, she has clarity, honesty and common sense. It’s sometimes a little patchy but it has a logic and constancy of principle. And she always improves on it. She’s also fearless about putting herself out there on policies — how many other potential candidates have covered so much ground and so definitively. I listened to her expound on energy policy with Greta Van Sustren standing on a beach in Alaska. There isn’t a politician alive who could have matched the depth and breadth of knowledge and basic good judgment she showed there — and all extemporaneously. Impossible to imagine a democrat with the same eager thoroughness in promoting or explaining Obamacare. Yet that was their signature policy. Their entire argument was arrogance and urgency. They didn’t even claim to read the bill or understand it.

    This idea that she’s deficient in understanding or policy substance is just a narrative — supported by an impossible double standard. The MSM would never impose the same standard on one of their favorites.

    Over the course of a campaign, voters will see the gap between narrative and reality.

  31. JaneLovesJesus Says:

    thanks for the support, Raven, right back at you. Did you really have Chomsky for a prof?

    – awaiting my Geoff fisking -LOL!

  32. Cathy Says:

    I’m enjoying all the comments. I have nothing more to add, but just wanted to say that I think this kind of discussion — THANKS NICEDeb — is a great venue for critical thinking and working through our own positions. I respect what folks are doing here. Thanks.

  33. Lisa G in NZ Says:

    I support all of Raven’s comments.

    Geoff and NiceDeb, please… your anti-Palin posts are really getting tiresome … it simply makes me not want to come here read your stuff any more

    you are turning me off as a reader

    I think we have enough attacks on Sarah Palin to deal without your lame strawwoman attacks

    seriously

  34. raven Says:

    “Perhaps you should reread the post. I think what I said was pretty clear.”

    I read the post. It was confusing as to whether you ascribed her problems as you saw them to a single event over a question about healthcare, or over the issue of her overall policy weakness.

    “Hey, guess what? The post is about Sarah Palin. We’re trying to address a specific issue about her candidacy. Romney has nothing to do with it.”

    Guess what? Maybe to you. But it is never just about her. One cannot discuss Palin outside of the context of the double-standard. How she and others are evaluated differently and how the media and others reach their consensus of judgment is at the heart of your entire premise about how and why she’s been defensive for two years (and at the heart of the “narrative” about her). It is material to conflate her story and others because of the significance of the double-standard and how she’s been singled out. For example, you are suggesting a policy weakness based, as I see it, on one question over a healthcare issue point that she didn’t answer with sufficient vigor or pertinence. There is no politician alive who would pass such a test. If you want to base your entire thread on Sarah Palin’s policy deficiencies using the example you cited (a standard, which as I said, any politician would fail), I will point out the wider and more important issue of Romney’s support for a disastrous plan that presaged Obamacare. This isn’t just policy weakness or deficiency – it’s policy collapse and bad judgment on a Biblical scale. But you aren’t putting out challenges to Romney supporters to explain his policy weaknesses.

    “Hunh? She trailed all of the leading blogs and conservative pundits. In fact she based her initial statement on Thomas Sowell’s analysis.”

    Ridiculous. She called our death panels and shaped the national conversation. No one else did that.

    “Of course it could. That’s why I’m asking people like you to disprove it. “

    Disprove what? The narrative about her policy weakness? I won’t be put on the defensive over a manufactured narrative you continue to merchandise. I’ll only point out the psychology and methodology of the narrative, and its shills. As a former Leftist, it’s what I know best.

    “Why? I’m offering you the chance to change my mind, and I’m quite sincere about it. I don’t want to go hunting for more Palin material – what I’ve read thus far has been sufficient to make up my mind.”

    Exactly. “Why” indeed? You want me to go hunting for you. Here we begin and end – with arrogance and condescension and old narrative-mongering. You challenge me to prove Sarah Palin’s worth, but I can’t challenge you to prove the narrative about her lack of worth, which is really the story, and what you keep flogging. What condescension. And what you’ve “read so far has been sufficient to make up [your] mind.” Yes of course. So what would be the point of me even trying.

    I couldn’t care less about changing your mind – there is nothing to change. It’s made up. And I’m not your fact gatherer. Palin’s broad and detailed policy positions are available for any to gather and review. She is not “weak” on policy at all. You may not agree with the policy, but she has been forthright and timely and thoughtful on every issue of the day – to a degree not even closely matched by any other putative candidate. She has frequently had the White House on defensive, and the MSM and Left looking like fools. I’ve demonstrated that you cannot or will not make an argument about Palin’s broad policy deficiencies within a comparable context of the other candidates. You’re just shilling a narrative.

  35. raven Says:

    Thank you, Jane and Lisa. I didn’t have Chomsky but I was a disciple of his and attended many of his talks and lectures around Cambridge at the time. I once stood outside in 10 degree weather with an overflow crowd at the Brattle Theater. I was hardcore!

  36. nicedeb Says:

    Lisa, I’m not Anti- Palin. I’m not even anti-Palin running for President, (although I’ve I’ve stated that I personally think it’s a non starter). I’m not going to pretend I think she’s the best candidate to beat Obama. If I still have to tell people how much I admire Palin after 3 years of supporting her, I give up.

    As far as policy is concerned – I’m not as concerned about it as Geoff is. I think she’s got good instincts, and would surround herself with smart, solid conservatives.

    I do worry about the many”gotcha” moments she’ll have to face during the campaign from a media that wants her to fail. I’m worried that any little mistake she makes will be amplified all out of proportion while Obama’s gaffes will be ignored.

    Those things will happen. And it will negatively affect peoples’ opinions of her.

  37. geoff Says:

    Raven: I think we’re done here. I’m moving on.

    JaneLovesJesus: No time for a decent fisking, but I largely agreed with what you said anyway – those positive qualities about Palin are what I acknowledged at the outset. I just don’t completely share your and NiceDeb’s faith that she’d get the right people around her. I’d rather feel that I can rely on her innate faculties.

    In the end her attributes may outweigh my concerns: the point of this post was to see if those concerns could be allayed without feeling like I was compromising. Apparently they can’t.

    Lisa: I’m not anti-Palin either. As I said, I appreciate her many good qualities, and I’ve spent countless hours defending her in the blogosphere. I wrote this post to see if all the people who were giving ND a hard time could actually justify their position (since ND has been a strong supporter of SP for almost 3 years, I didn’t think she deserved the treatment she was getting). I honestly didn’t think that the responses would be this hostile or unhelpful.

  38. BeckyC Says:

    You know, I’m just a simple girl, but this little challenge is just plain stupid, in my opinion. You set forth your own definition of a “qualified” presidential candidate: a person whose 1) understanding of policy is strong and coherent, and whose 2) vision for America is practical and promising. Then you insist that we PROVE that Palin meets qualification #1 else you just cannot support her. Well, unless there’s some standardized exam out there, I really don’t see any way this can be proven beyond a shadow of doubt. But I sure as heck wish Obama would have had to pass such a test!

    No, you just need to do like the rest of us–turn off NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, watch a little O’Reiley, read a little Sowell and Krauthammer and such, read some good blogs, and particularly, read Sarah’s books. Then make your own intelligent, informed decision.

    I find it extremely interesting that you make no such demand in regard your second presidential qualification–that of vision. But really, isn’t that much more important in the office of president? Think about your typical US company–the job of its president is foremost to set forth the vision and goals of the company, not to be able to site paragraph 3(c) of the employee manual.

    From everything I’ve seen, heard, and read, I have absolutely no qualms supporting Sarah Palin for POTUS.

  39. BeckyC Says:

    P.S.
    didn’t mean to sound rude! :)

  40. geoff Says:

    You set forth your own definition of a “qualified” presidential candidate: a person whose 1) understanding of policy is strong and coherent, and whose 2) vision for America is practical and promising.

    Err, no. Those are a couple of qualifications that are important, they don’t define the entirety of a qualified candidate.

    But I sure as heck wish Obama would have had to pass such a test!

    Of course. Don’t we all. So it’d be nice if our candidates could pass it.

    Well, unless there’s some standardized exam out there, I really don’t see any way this can be proven beyond a shadow of doubt.

    It’s not really that difficult. All I was asking for was some links to material that showed her strength in discussing policy. There’s no “shadow of doubt” criterion.

    No, you just need to do like the rest of us–turn off NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, watch a little O’Reiley, read a little Sowell and Krauthammer and such, read some good blogs, and particularly, read Sarah’s books.

    With the exception of reading Sarah’s books, you are preaching to the choir.

    I find it extremely interesting that you make no such demand in regard your second presidential qualification–that of vision.

    Umm, I did ask for people to sell me on her vision, so I did, in fact, make such a demand.

  41. Lily Says:

    Dear Geoff,
    I refused to take your challenge because of your arrogant condescending attitude. It is off putting to say the least. I do respect that you were standing up for your friend.
    I genuinely meant what I said about reading what she has written, listen to what she has said and make up your mind.
    When I read her book, ‘Going Rogue’, one of the most impressive actions SP actually DID, was go through the budget line by line to understand the financial state of affairs of Alaska. NO ONE HAD EVER DONE THAT BEFORE. She, along with the staff she surrounded herself with, was able to cut spending and waste. That is just one example.
    I am not a mindless ‘Palin’ follower as Conservative Girl insultingly suggests those who think Palin is viable as a presidential candidate infers. To liken those who consider Palin the same as those who supported Obama is outrageous and false.
    If anyone wants to do real research on Sarah Palin here are some sites that may be helpful:
    Conservaives4Palin, near the top you can click on a category and read the articles SP has written.
    TheBookofSarah blog, if you scroll down on the right you can actually read what SP has said on every issue.
    SarahPalinInformationblog
    Standing4Palin
    PalinTV
    OrganizeforPalin
    In my research I have found Sarah Palin to be strong on policy for individual freedom and entreprenuership, strong on military defense, fiscally conservative, unashamedly pro-life, brilliant on developing our own energy resources.
    She understands the First Principles that made America the most free, prosperous country on earth. She interprets the Constitution as our Founders intended it to be understood. She believes in the One true Living God and the Judeo-Christian morals America was built upon. She is able to work with those who disgaree with her and actually get real progress accomplished. I could go on.
    Bottom line, I believe because her core values are right, she would govern this country as a true public servant/leader should, fight to undue the destructive mess Obama and his socialist co-horts have inflicted upon us and help us get our country back. I’ve said before elsewhere on this blog, I believe we will need Providential divine intervention to help us to win against Obama. I am praying a lot to that end.
    With everything as hard as it is, I do not have the heart or energy to debate SP’s policies with you Geoff. What we are enduring daily is frightening and overwhelming. I am daily watching my beloved husband fight his guts out to keep all we have worked our adult lifetime to earn. It’s heart breaking and gut wretching to see friends lose their life’s work because of destructive Liberal policies. This is up close and personal for a lot of us who are in business for ourselves.
    ND may be right, SP may not be abe to overcome the negatives against her and the msm, I hope she or another God fearing, America loving R Patriot is able to overcome Obama and his minions. I genuinely fear for the future if we lose.

  42. oldwolves Says:

    A quick question to all … If you feel that Mrs. Palin truly is unqualified for potus, please explain how Washington did so well all those years ago? That’s my challenge. I believe he wasn’t ‘qualified’ for the job either since it was never done before but somehow managed to get through it. Apparently strength of character , ability and fortitude was enough. Mrs. Palin has demonstrated this over and over again. This is what we NEED again. Every other argument is rather flaccid after that don’t you think?

  43. geoff Says:

    I refused to take your challenge because of your arrogant condescending attitude. It is off putting to say the least.

    You haven’t seen my arrogant condescending attitude. But in my defense let me pose this equivalence to your initial statement in this thread, which I also found very off putting.

    “You can’t judge whether I’m being arrogant or condescending without understanding my words in the full context of everything I’ve written. So until you’ve read all of my posts at all the blogs where I write, you can’t criticize me.”

    Completely unreasonable, yes? Neither logical nor practical. But maybe if I just referenced one or two posts, we might be able to get somewhere.

  44. PhilipJames Says:

    Your whole premise is wrong and ridiculous… why should Palin supporters argue a point you make that is completely and entirely wrong? your example…
    “But when Palin was challenged, she started talking about the Advance Care Planning Consultation provision in the bill”

    That is bull crap…. Sarah Palin never did that or said that. Other people did that… liberal pundits said that she said that and then used that to argue against her…
    this is why what you are asking is idiotic and a total waste of time.
    You are asking Palin supporters to defend something Sarah never did or said?
    Are you sure you are not just another troll from the left side?

  45. hrh40 Says:

    Geoff and Nicedeb -
    Reading recommendation on Palin’s smarts and policies:

    “Sarah Takes on Big Oil”
    http://www.petroleumnews.com/palinbook/introduction.html
    by the editors of Petroleum News, published in 2008, and consisting largely of their reports on Palin’s success with kickstarting more energy development in Alaska.

    Read former editor of Ms. Magazine, Elaine Lafferty’s article “Sarah Palin is a Brainiac”:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-27/sarah-palins-a-brainiac/

    Read all of Palin’s articles on Obamacare:
    http://hrh40.wordpress.com/palin-policy/health-care/

    National Security:
    http://hrh40.wordpress.com/palin-policy/national-security/

    And regarding who will fight Obama the hardest, check out who has been fighting him the hardest for the last 2 years:
    http://hrh40.wordpress.com/palin-policy/president-obamas-administration-policies/

  46. Grizzled Says:

    To “geoff”,
    The Governor’s policy statement are readily available to anyone who desires to inform themselves.
    The fact that you still need convincing tells me that you are either lazy or intentionally uninformed.
    Neither option speaks well of you.

    Go back to sleep “geoff”.
    We’ll wake you when it’s time to vote.

  47. Lily Says:

    Connecticut4Palin
    Palin Policy
    The standard drumbeats by Leftists and GOP Establishment-types alike is that Palin doesn’t talk substance, isn’t serious about policy, or is simply uninformed about the issues of the nation and world. Such statements tell readers much more about the uninformed blowhards who spout such nonsense than about Palin.

    To help them – and everyone else – become informed about Palin’s policy positions, I’ve collected and categorized her statements and speeches on issues. Click on the headings for each topic to find the many instances that Palin has spoken on these issues. Entries are listed in reverse chronological order.

    This is a work in progress. I will endeavor to keep up with Palin as she refuses to “sit down and shut up,” and in fact, continues to be a “scoop artist,” according to the New York Sun …

    Feel free to use this as a reference in the blogosphere and elsewhere to refudiate the uninformed and educate them on Palin’s policy statements.

    Economy
    Energy
    Foreign Affairs
    Health Care
    National Security
    President Obama’s Administration & Policies
    Republican Party
    Right to Life
    Special Needs Community
    Tea Party
    United States of America

  48. JaneLovesJesus Says:

    Lily, your 2/1 post: spot on! Your 2/2 post, are the links there? It didn’t seem to work.

    To those a bit lukewarm on Palin, I just want to remind you they will hate and disparage anyone who is Conservative, Christian, without the Ivy league impramater, pro-life, etc. And the MORE conservative, and MORE effective, the greater the hate-filled libel will be. We can’t please the MSM, nor the Left (of course) nor the dopey lemmings who would follow Obama off a cliff.

    Palin does not need propping up nearly so much as the slanderous, biased MSM needs a much deserved tearing down. I think that is where we concentrate our efforts; pointing out their hypocrisy at every turn. Relentlessly. Cheerfully. Ad nauseum.

    1 Peter 3:15 – 17
    “….Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your (& Palin’s) good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

  49. geoff Says:

    That is bull crap…. Sarah Palin never did that or said that.

    Absolutely incorrect.

  50. geoff Says:

    Lily – send me your links and I’ll put it up as a post here (I think spam filters will stop you from putting more than one or two links in a comment). I think it’s very worthwhile.

    Email me at mymoniker@uncommonmisconceptions.com

    where “mymoniker” should be replaced with my moniker.

  51. geoff Says:

    The Governor’s policy statement are readily available to anyone who desires to inform themselves. The fact that you still need convincing tells me that you are either lazy or intentionally uninformed. Neither option speaks well of you.

    Yawn. Another loud fan who brings exactly nothing. This is why I wrote this post in the first place – there’s a lot of yelling at people who question Palin’s credentials or electability, but nothing of substance.

    Looks like Lily’s going to have to carry the water for all of you guys.

  52. geoff Says:

    Lily – send me your links and I’ll put it up as a post here

    Oh I see – you’re referencing the post here. I can’t put that up as at NiceDeb’s, but I promise I’ll read it.

  53. Lily Says:

    Geoff, if you go to Conservatives4Palin, there is a post responding to your challenge, ‘Taking the “Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates.”

  54. Cathy Says:

    I’m appreciating the healthy dialogue. Thanks. Very busy right now on personal challenges, but I hope to come back to these resources and take time when I can find some…

    Thanks, everyone.

  55. geoff Says:

    Lily: Please don’t cut and paste entire blog posts here – just link them. It bogs down the threads and violates fair usage if you post the entire thing. I deleted that comment from the spam filter, but the article you wanted to reference can be found here. For everyone else, it’s a rebuttal of this post by Stacy Drake of Conservatives4Palin.

    hrh40: I fished your comment out of the spam filter (akismet doesn’t allow comments with more than 1 or 2 links). Thanks for providing the links – I promise I’ll read them, and I hope others will, too.

  56. geoff Says:

    Geoff, if you go to Conservatives4Palin, there is a post responding to your challenge, ‘Taking the “Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates.”

    Yes, I’ve already read it. I’m still not sold on the health care portion of the rebuttal, but I’m grateful for the sensible, productive response, and for the links that Stacy and others are starting to provide.

  57. Lily Says:

    I sincerely did not intend to bog down threads or violate fair usage, sorry.

  58. geoff Says:

    I sincerely did not intend to bog down threads or violate fair usage, sorry.

    Not a problem. You can post (brief) excerpts, if you like.

  59. geoff Says:

    Geoff, if you go to Conservatives4Palin, there is a post responding to your challenge, ‘Taking the “Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates.”

    The comments in the thread are pretty funny. Apparently I’m a liberal, or contaminated by liberals, or friends with liberals, or some such thing. I suppose making those sorts of silly suppositions is easier than formulating a decent response.

  60. geoff Says:

    Not a problem. You can post (brief) excerpts, if you like.

    Got cut off before I finished – if you need help with links or blockquotes, just let me know.

  61. Cathy Says:

    Geoff: The comments in the thread are pretty funny. Apparently I’m a liberal, or contaminated by liberals, or friends with liberals, or some such thing. I suppose making those sorts of silly suppositions is easier than formulating a decent response.

    Cathy: Bwahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha!!!

  62. Johanna sawyer Says:

    God bless you guys!

    Can’t remember how to embed a link, but here’s my response…

    http://vegans4palin.blogspot.com/2011/02/geoff-and-others-are-confused-by-sarahs.html

    Thanks for the challenge nicedeb :)

  63. Johanna sawyer Says:

    Here’s an excerpt from my response to your challenge to us Palinistas…

    I’ve long felt that much of the underestimation of Sarah Palin–given her impressive record as an executive as governor of Alaska–is really more about her deep personal happiness (blared out by the elated smile that serves as its public avatar) than about how she tackles policy. In our diminished postmodern world, a smile is a yellow warning light to many…

    So for geoff and others suffering from any of the above why don’t we cut to the chase regarding questions of policy and check out this excerpt from Cashman and Nelson’s Sarah Takes On Big Oil [STOBO]. Since the question isn’t really is Palin smart or even is she secretly, beneath the freakin vernacular, a policy wonk, but is she an effective executive? And this book answers that question.

    Links are at…
    http://vegans4palin.blogspot.com/2011/02/geoff-and-others-are-confused-by-sarahs.html

  64. geoff Says:

    All right, I’ve been through about 20 of the articles that hrh40 has linked at the Connecticut for Sarah Palin site. Here’s my take.

    Sarah Palin has great conservative values and instincts, and she’s a very savvy political animal. But I knew that more than 2 years ago. Those assets have never been an issue.

    How strong is she on policy? Not particularly, but probably good enough to do the job. She’s a decision maker, not a policy formulator, and like many decision makers, she doesn’t dive too deeply into the intricacies of policy. That has obvious risks and advantages, but for the most part, I suspect she wouldn’t gloss over any major policy problems like, say, Pelosi, Reid, and Obama have.

    No big surprises here – in fact there were no surprises at all in anything I read. I have a higher comfort level as far as her ability to choose her advisors and evaluate policy at a top level. I’m not exactly a supporter yet (though I’ll continue to defend her against pernicious liberal attacks), but I won’t have to hold my nose if I end up having to pull the lever for her.

    Not like last time.

  65. geoff Says:

    All right, I’ve been through about 20 of the articles that hrh40 has linked at the Connecticut for Sarah Palin site. Here’s my take.

    Make that 30.

  66. nicedeb Says:

    I just freed Joanna’s comments from the spam bucket.

    Who knew there was a Vegans4Palin?

  67. geoff Says:

    So for geoff and others suffering from any of the above

    The ad hominems continue to reign supreme.

  68. Johanna sawyer Says:

    I really was a vegan when my blog began and thought I’d have to vie with competing groups of proPalin vegans for the name “vegans for Palin” but those fears were thankfully unwarranted.

  69. Johanna sawyer Says:

    Actually, ad hominems are not a logical fallacy when they aren’t used to critique a concept. As long as they are introductory or free of charge extras, they are legitimate rhetorical devices. The Bible, Greek and Roman rhetoric, classic Western arguments and certainly the writings of the Founders and early America are full of personal attacks that aren’t logical fallacies.

    I’m certain you’re a sincere patriot and an excellent person, but it’s sad that the fun of having a happy warrior not only trumpet our shared ideals but effectively execute is lost on you.

    No I haven’t mastered the material in STOBO in order to advocate it, but C4P has summarized it nicely. If that’s not good enough, than her gal smile may be the culprit. Certainly your lack of fair minded research is not full fledged PDS but isn’t it time to crack the books?

    http://www.petroleumnews.com/palinbook/excerpts.pdf

  70. geoff Says:

    Actually, ad hominems are not a logical fallacy when they aren’t used to critique a concept.

    They aren’t really used to critique a concept: they’re used in place of critiquing a concept. As you used it. I have questions about Palin’s competence with policy issues? I must have a problem with her happiness and smile.

    Since the question isn’t really is Palin smart or even is she secretly, beneath the freakin vernacular, a policy wonk, but is she an effective executive?

    Oddly enough, that’s exactly the question I was not asking.

    I read the STOBO excerpts, but I had already been made familiar with her work on the oil deals in Alaska several years ago by NiceDeb at this very blog. Back during the campaign, I used the oil deal to defend her against liberal attacks at several sites.

  71. Johanna Sawyer Says:

    Sounds like I misinterpreted your issue. Instead of being about the past your questions may be more about how she currently communicates on issues of policy. I think Palin is at her best communicating in word-pictures the risks of the wrong path and the rewards of American restoration.

    You didn’t like how her death panels term having a sort of double object, a particular object and a more general meaning. That certainly added fuel to the uproar.

    Is it a lack of specific detail on the policy side, more than the healthcare FB posts and endorsing the Ryan Roadmap? Doug Brady makes the point that as Governor she switched for new state workers from a defined benefit pension plan to the far more affordable defined contribution plan. But she doesn’t communicate that issue much, at least currently.

    Or you may tilt toward Charles Krauthammer on the TLC show overwhelming her communication of policy issues. A candidate who sees everything as an impersonal clash of concepts like Mitch Daniels is more up his alley. No rocking the casbah!

    I’m glad Palin’s leading the way on a strong dollar and tightening up the money supply. But even on that issue she’s setting the vision, as Reagan did, instead of laying out a series of clever ideas. But then that’s sometimes a fringe candidate strategy. Maybe in general (apart from this current post) we would agree that both in domestic issues and in foreign policy we need less “clever” more strength of character.

    At any rate thank you for reading the book excerpt!

  72. Taking the “Challenge to Sarah Palin’s Advocates” | A Time For Choosing Says:

    [...] contributor for Nice Deb by the name of “geoff” posed a challenge to Palin supporters on Monday. In a piece he titled “A Challenge to Sarah Palin’s [...]

  73. Lily Says:

    “Got cut off before I finished – if you need help with links or blockquotes, just let me know.”
    Thank you Geoff, kind of you to offer. I was able to get some instruction on this end.

    ‘I have a higher comfort level as far as her ability to choose her advisors and evaluate policy at a top level. I’m not exactly a supporter yet (though I’ll continue to defend her against pernicious liberal attacks)’
    I think you are being honest and fair. I have never thought you nor ND were anti-Palin, just thinking and looking at the situation we face from different perspectives.


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