Sarah Palin’s WTF Moment

Sarah Palin is making headlines today for the WTF pun she made on the Greta Van Susteren Show, last night:

Her comment was spot on, especially as it refers to Obama’s contention that we have to “make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.”

Is he trying to convince people that we aren’t already buried under a mountain of debt? WTF, indeed.

It was a good one. I wish I had thought of it, myself.

But when I think of it in terms of her status as a potential candidate for President —I cringe. When I hear her say “lamestream media” as a potential candidate for President —I cringe. When I think of her starring in her own reality t.v. show as a potential candidate for President —I cringe. All of those things, in and of themselves, are fine. More power to her. But I have to ask myself —Are those things Presidential?

Her enemies at Media Matters, Huffington Post, ABC, the Washington Post, USA Today, Politico and more have jumped on the WTF story. Commenters are attacking her for her “incivility”.

Obviously, Palin haters are going to attack her no matter what she says or does. But if she’s serious about running for President, she shouldn’t be giving them the ammo.


Hot Air: Palin up $1.3 mil in PAC filing – but no expansion into 2011

The will she or won’t she? question continues at Politico, where Andy Barr reports on SarahPAC’s FEC financial disclosure yesterday. The PAC finished 2010 in good shape, with $1.3 million in the bank and no debt after spending more than $2.6 million during the midterm campaign. But absent from the report are any indications of the kind of expansion usually seen with candidates preparing for an electoral campaign.

I wish she had run for RNC Chair. I think she would have made a glorious RNC Chair.


Sister Toldjah: I thought she was supposed to be just a dumb chillbilly?

Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, thanks!

63 thoughts on “Sarah Palin’s WTF Moment

  1. Speaking only for myself, I think the comments and puns and general manner of speaking are part of the attraction. She’s one of the few I hear speaking and actually believe it is HER opinion, rather than most who speak in poll-tested and focus grouped phrasings, and being as non-committal as possible in as many areas as possible. Maybe she’s not acting “Presidential,” but I’ll take that (what I think is) honesty over most others.


  2. I understand that, and I like her for the same reasons you do. The problem is, she’s already a lightening rod. She’s already such a polarizing figure, she may not ever be a viable candidate.

    Whomever wins the presidency in 2012, (hopefully a Republican!) he/she will be the President of all of us.

    How healthy is it for the Republic to have someone who divides the country so spectacularly sitting in the Oval Office?

    We already know from eight years of George Bush, who couldn’t have been more genteel. Imagine what it would be like for someone like Palin?

    We don’t like it when Obama says politically charged, divisive stuff like “punish your enemies at the ballot box”. It’s not good for the country. Half of us absolutely cannot stand him, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

    That’s why a more sober, no frills person – (I’m thinking of Paul Ryan or Mike Pence) fits the bill, better.


  3. I think far too many of us have come to believe that always being on a “political stage” and saying and doing nothing that might have political repercussions – those repercussions being decided by the dominant media – is “Presidential”. I shudder to think what our media would have made of a Lincoln – what with his homely looks, earthy jokes and straight forward manner. I assume that Governor Palin – unlike other possible candidates – actually needs to make a living. Or have we gotten to the point where the expectation is that our “betters” will all be wealthy?


  4. “Are those things Presidential?”

    If being “Presidential” requires being a humorless stuffed shirt taking oneself so seriously as to redefine malignant narcissism (remind you of anyone?), then “less Presidential” counts as a definite plus for me.

    Contrary to what The One may think, it is a President we will be electing; NOT a God wannabe.


  5. One doesn’t need to give the MSM ammo because they’ll make it up anyway. Ask Joe McCarthy, Reagan, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Goldwater, Ford…..

    Conservatives need to realize that the MSM is the enemy, ball-up, and take the fight to them rather than worrying about what they say.

    I cringe when conservatives and libertarians prefer to be civil rather than fight the lies and distortions.


  6. “We already know from eight years of George Bush, who couldn’t have been more genteel. Imagine what it would be like for someone like Palin?”

    I think Ryan, Pence or any candidate with an R behind their name will get the Palin treatment which is similar to the Bush Derangement Syndrome.
    I truly understand your point and it is a reasonable point except that we are divided as a country. I think we are fighting for the ‘soul’ of America so to speak.
    Will we continue to hurl down this road to Socialism/Marxism etc., or will enough voters realize we must return to the First Principles that have empowered America to greatness?
    I don’t see the MSM or the Liberals changing. They fight to win. They falsely accuse R’s of atrocious acts. They care nothing about truth or civility. I think they will seek to demonize and destroy whomever is our candidate. They will not give up their power unless forced to.
    I wish I could whole heartedly agree with you ND, I just can’t due to the who the Left has revealed themselves to be the past several years.


  7. I agree Deb. Sarah Palin is so polarizing now, I think she is most useful in her present role as commentator, king and queen maker.

    I also agree we should take the fight to the “enemy” whether or not it is the media or leftist blogs. We also can be polite about it.


  8. Agreed. Job #1 for liberals and the media regarding any conservative threat – and with Palin (and to an extent Bachmann as well) between being a woman, beautiful, successful, and politically incorrect is a threat that absolutely must be dealt with. Riducule, marginilization, lawsuits, and outright lies are small prices to pay to eliminate threats to the very ideals of the left on any personna.

    And that’s also why McCain is so accepted by the left. He’s a useful idiot and the media will try and get him to be our nominee again.


  9. nicedeb, I think I have to agree with Lily. As you pointed out we had a nice “genteel” guy in GWB. We also put up John McCain who only seemed to have harsh words for fellow republicans. I think Sarah Palin speaks from her heart, and she seems to have a fire in her belly that resonates with people who truly believe this country is in a lot of danger. I know you believe that also, but I don’t think it is wise for fellow conservatives to be nipping at her heels about how she presents her arguments. The MSM and the D’s are quite good at that, and I don’t believe we need to give them any more ammunition (can I still say that?…LOL).

    Just one man’s opinion. Please keep up the good fight, nicedeb. And thank you for letting me state my opinion.


  10. Buck up. Have some faith and try backing her up like the Left does to its warriors. It was a funny and appropriate and populist comment We’ve got to stop this cringing on cue like the media’s Pavlov’s dogs and exalting the phony “dignity” that has led us into our present state of dyfunctional ruin.


  11. Nice thought nicedeb, but it is a fantasy, any president going forward is going to be polarizing, so just go ahead now and eliminate that as a criterion.

    Second when speaking plainly and honestly becomes polarizing, it says more about you the listener than it does about the speaker.


  12. I don’t have a problem with her joke. Like I said, I thought it was a good line……..for someone not running for President. Someone who’s serious about running for President needs to keep in mind that they’re potentially going to be everyone’s President. Like it or not, there are still about 50% of the American people who approve of this President. There are ways to get the point across without being so polarizing.


  13. Second when speaking plainly and honestly becomes polarizing, it says more about you the listener than it does about the speaker.

    WTF is teenagy computer geek talk.

    Having said that, I sometimes use WTF. I do. But I’m a geek, and I’m not running for President!


  14. “…she shouldn’t be giving them the ammo. ”

    This is all-out war, and the other side doesn’t have an ammo shortage. It’s not about ammo. No matter what she says, they will use it against her. If she says nothing, they will make things up to say against her.

    – JP


  15. “WTF is teenagy computer geek talk. ”

    Are those who wear out uniforms teenagy computer geeks? WTF is common used in our military, although it is often expressed as “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. ” There are many similar acronyms which have made their way from terms used by our troops into the general use lexicon. PO’d and SNAFU are just two examples.

    – JP


  16. “Someone who’s serious about running for President needs to keep in mind that they’re are potentially going to be everyone’s President.”

    A mindset for someone preparing to be nobody’s president.


  17. “When I think of her starring in her own reality t.v. show as a potential candidate for President —I cringe. All of those things, in and of themselves, are fine. More power to her. But I have to ask myself —Are those things Presidential? ”

    I understand all that. Now consider a man who was a pretty good B-movie actor . . . . Ronald Reagan.

    He was president of the Screen Actor’s Guild (probably a job a little like herding cats). She was Governor of Alaska. (He was Governor of California, which most likely gives him an edge in the experience department.

    I’ll be the first to concede that – just possibly – Palin is no Reagan, but I wouldn’t count her out just yet.

    As an aside, someone wondered whether it would have been appropriate in the Oscars to nominate Obama for the great job he’s doing acting like a President.


  18. Stop cringing and change your name from Nice Deb to Mama Grizzly or at least Strong Deb and get on board!
    Our Country is in big time trouble and she’s standing and fighting for us. As the only one willing to tell them the truth and the way it is you should be helping not cringing in fear!
    Enough of the PC crap, these are socialists and Communists we are dealing with here!


  19. Whatever Palin does will give the left ammunition. Anything. I’m with some of the other posters. Had John McCain not been so genteel and a gentleman-had he actually called out Obama he might have won. This is no time for shying away from the real truths that Obama wants to take down America and teach her a lesson. Sarah is the only one regularly calling out Obama.


  20. She’s liked by many “average” Americans precisely because she doesn’t talk like an Ivy League educated, effeminate, ultra “pc” wimp.


  21. nicedeb, you are one of those cowardly loser type of Republicans and Conservative LightWeights that can’t accept Palin because she is blunt and tough. You are so accustomed to wimpy Republicans that don’t stand up to Democrats and play into the media’s. Palin is everything we need the Republicans to be. Sarah Palin is Presidential.You are just stuck in the past. It is time to fight! Palin 2012. Ryan, Pawlenty, and Romney and the rest of the wimps should stay home. Palin is a leader!


  22. So, you think Obama is acting like “everyone’s President”? Nonsense.

    When their side pushes relentlessly and shamelessly 100% for their ideology, and we only push 30% for ours in order to be “civil” and “everyone’s President”…. well, you get exactly what we have today.

    It should be obvious by now that to the Left, “compromise” means “You give us some of what we want today, next year we’ll pretend that this is the new baseline and if you don’t give us the rest of what we want, you’re an extremist.” It’s been that way for decades. They are -guaranteed- to win that way – as long as we keep compromising, and playing by their rules.


  23. All,

    If anyone believes the MSM will be ‘nicer’ to a Republican who is NOT Sarah Palin – you are mistaken at minimum and probably dilusional.

    Sarah is getting these digs in before people pay attention. She’s ‘trial ballooning’ the laugh lines & preping the battlefield for her to play king-maker or candidate.

    At our NVA Tea Party meetings, Sarah is not a ‘first choice’ any more than any other candidate. However, she is rapidly being seen as the only candidate who fights. Based on what we’re up against – radical socilaists controlling government and Islamo facists controlling Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, and looks like soon to be Egypt, we’re going to need a fighter. Right now, Sarah is looking more like America’s Churchill. These are unconventional times. Conventional definitions are goig to be cast aside, Obama is casting aside conventions every day. Time for us to do the same and protect our own first, and clean up the mess second.

    If we don’t fight for the one candidate fighting for us, who are we going to fight for?


  24. So, you think Obama is acting like “everyone’s President”? Nonsense.

    I’m pretty sure I stated otherwise. And I also said that’s not a good thing.

    The difference in our thinking is you guys think what Palin’s doing is an effective strategy, and I don’t.

    There was a lot of stuff she could have done after she quit the Governorship of Alaska (which I have never faulted her for), to prepare herself for a Presidential run, and to be taken seriously, and she didn’t do those things. Goading the media at every turn, and having a reality t.v. show are not helpful, IMO.

    I want us to take back the WH in 2012. We have. to. take. it. back so we have to be smart about this. Do you guys really think the mushy middle are going to go for Palin over Obama? No matter how crappy a job he does as President, he doesn’t dip below 40% in the polls. That’s scary enough. But after just a couple of deeply dishonest speeches he’s back up to 50%.

    That’s how influenced by smoke and mirrors, and the media narrative the mushy middle is. And you know what the “lamestream media” thinks of Palin.

    I wish it wasn’t so, but I don’t think she can beat Obama, which is why the left wants her to run.


  25. There is no Republican who actually fights for conservative values that will be treated any better by the media, nicedeb. None. Ever. You’re looking for an actual conservative that the media won’t attempt to eviscerate. You’re never going to find them. The only conservative that the media likes (temporarily) is one that discards conservative principles on their demand – and even then only if they’re not running for an important office.

    The sort of person you’re looking for was embodied by George Bush, and again by John McCain. Look how well that worked out. And look how well the media and the left treated them.


  26. Democrats will never allow a Presidential candidate who ‘represents all of us’.

    The kind of GOP candidate the Democrats would even think of supporting would be anathema to religious conservatives due to his pro-abortion credentials.

    The battle lines are drawn. For better or worse I support Sarah Palin.

    Add Condoleeza Rice to the ticket and watch the Democratic racists and mysogynists come out from under their rocks and expose their party as the hypocrites they are.


  27. Nice Deb, I actually agree with you about something! She’s not president material. Pawlenty? Now the GOP would have a better chance with him.


  28. I agree on some of what you wrote, like “lamestream media”, but WTF was good. Most people get that one.

    I also disagree on “not giving them ammo”.
    She was blamed for that wacko in AZ. I have actually had to address that with people who aren’t very political.
    Minitru will viciously attack her for breathing.
    Bush tried to be ‘nice’, look where that got him.


  29. I think she makes you cringe because you’re not used to a Republican standing up to the Left. I know I wasn’t. But if she made nice-nice with people he would not be where she is.

    James Taranto had a great post recently to this effect: A gray mouse in a pantsuit would never have made the impact she did in 2008, because people would have ignored her. Women are not able to break glass ceilings by acting the same way men do in the same position. She had to go outside the box to get there. She has to be a little controversial in order to make the kind of impact she does.

    Do you remember any lines from Ryan’s speech? I don’t. I remember his face and the nodding from one side to another, but there were no soundbites. You have to have a pithy, memorable phrase in order to reach people who only pay tangential attention to politics. Palin knows that most of those people generally don’t like Republicans and don’t know why. Well I know why. The reason is that they hear only negatives about Republicans and no defense or attacks on Democrats

    Palin is a master of the pithy soundbite. Conservatives reacting with a tsk-tsk is bad team-playering and something the Left does not do; they back up their guys on the field. The Right needs to acknowledge that they do need to interact on a gut level, that they do need snappy one-liners to cut through the pop culture drivel. Staying above the fray is not what got the GOP back between 2008 and 2010 and will not win the White House in 2012.


  30. Nice Deb,
    Sarah is Sarah and Ive known her for years and my wife is friends with her in Alaska. You folks are dealing with something that America has not seen in many years, a true patriot and a woman who grew up on the frontier. She is more then a master of a pithy soundbite, she is a master of Blood sports and she tells the WHOLE truth and to those who have wallowed in the world of PC induced socialism her words sound harsh. Wake up before we do not have a country for yourselves to be nice in. Look around you, who excites the American people, who does the heartland love, who is the left afraid of most…Sarah Palin


  31. “cringe”? are u f*g serious?

    so using “WTF” wuld possibly disqualify her from running for POTUS?

    i dont know what your background is but you have NO IDEA who is making up the electorate these days do you? or what r our concerns…

    just sayin…i heard it thought oh well. she is just like me. i dont give a rat’s *** how she expresses herself. i just watched the great O give one of the worst SOTH speeches and you say this about Palin. heck Cheney and not a few congresspeople & senators use the actual words and not the acronyms.

    so what.

    ….there are bigger worries folks MUCH bigger.


  32. Saber, check out my about page. The first pic I have up is one of me with Sarah when I got to meet her last April at a conference in Independence, MO, which was an absolute thrill. I loooove this woman.

    I was her biggest cheerleader when I found out she was on the VP list in Feb, of ’08, too btw. I could link to post after post I wrote about her. My biggest blog day ever, August 29, 2008, was the day she was announced as McCain’s VP pick because everyone in the world was googling the name, “Sarah Palin”. Everyone who had written about her enjoyed that phenomenon. What an exciting time.

    Now, two 1/2 years later, I still feel the same way about her. It’s this country I feel differently about. Too many people have made up their minds about her, I’m afraid. And the left and the MSM, (but I repeat myself) will savage her. She will not be given a fair shot. I know she’s tough – she’s proven that.

    But the Tucson tragedy is a great example of how the left will jump on anything to try to smear her, and a sickeningly large number of people will believe the lies. Something like 30% of the American people believe she’s partially to blame for Tucson. A large number of Americans still believe she said, ” I can see Russia from my house”, for crying out loud.

    I don’t know how we fight that.

    I’m saying this because I really think she is too polarizing, and we need to win in 2012, I would like nothing more than to be proven wrong.


  33. Sarah is redefining everything! She is so honest, charismatic and naturally gifted at getting her excellent points out there despite the mainstream media bias against her and politicians/pundits from both parties discounting her.

    I agree that I wouldn’t necessarily have said WTF and it’s not my style, but she got everyone’s attention yet again. She has broadened her appeal to a lot of people that may have not been paying much attention to politics but would take notice of this simple yet effective comment. People who may have thought she was a prudish Christian may start paying more attention to what is happening in our country.

    Whether she runs for president or not, she has been a huge part of helping ordinary Americans wake up and pay attention to what is going on. And she’s not giving up on America or us!

    I think she is great and appreciate a true conservative voice speaking out and not backing down. Go Sarah!


  34. NiceDeb… really? Polarizing?

    You said “Like it or not, there are still about 50% of the American people who approve of this President. There are ways to get the point across without being so polarizing.”

    Oh come on now… YOU believe Urkel has 50% approval ratings? WHICH dang polls are you reading? Who were the sources? Have you talked to 150,000,000 people?

    The MEDIA will NOT let Urkel’s approval rating sink below 40% or 50% MAGICALLY because THEY are IN on it…

    If you don’t get this, you might want to rethink it.

    If Palin runs and its Palin v Obama, I will expect your vote to be for the grizzly not the urkel.

    Forget the stupid polls… the Nov 2 2010 elections SPOKE loudly about what America is thinking… REMEMBER?

    ’nuff said


  35. Deb:
    There is no point having this conversation with the Palinistas. They defend anything and everything.

    I am with you. I like her message. I think she is a great motivator to the grassroots. I think she can raise a boatload of money for candidates.

    But I live in an area that is center left or left. They are not going to vote for her; even the ones that don’t like Obama. She cannot change minds with these discussions. Her negatives are too high and that isn’t going to change. The squishy middle don’t like her, they still think she said the stuff that Tina Fey said. If she hasn’t straightened that out two years later, she never will.


  36. Pingback: WTF v.s. STFU: Which is Worse? « Nice Deb

  37. “I don’t know how we fight that.”

    Remind me not to get caught in a foxhole with you.

    You’re nearly a self-parody of the clueless “conservative.” Are you waiting for the Left to endorse your correct Republican? Has it occurred to you that the Left would stigmatize the next person after Palin? You really believe they’re paying so much attention to her because she’s too “polarizing”? Good lord, read some David Horowitz.


  38. Good lord, read some David Horowitz.

    Uhhh….I write for his blog. In fact this post was cross-posted at Newsreal. Perhaps you noticed the editor and chief of NewsReal commented here, above? No?

    I understand very well how the left operates. That’s why I want us to be good tacticians.

    And if you seriously think I’m a “clueless conservative”, you’re new to the conservative blogosphere.


  39. Again. I’ve been following Sarah Palin since 2/2008. I had very high hopes for her.

    I understand the almost too obvious to note point that they are going to ruthlessly attack any conservative candidate for POTUS. They will try to dig up dirt, mischaracterize his/her words, constantly try to trip them up with GOTHCHA questions, and even make shit up. The bigger threat he/she is to their beloved big government, the worse it will be.

    I get all that.

    I’ve been an astute political observer for most of my adult lifetime, okay? I know how this works.

    Someone like McCain will get a free ride, but few on our side are going to get excited over a McCain/Huckabee/ Romney type Republican. We needed someone like Pence to run, but that’s no longer on the table.

    What you all don’t seem to get is we lost this one.

    You win some, and you lose some. Palin cannot win over the independents.

    If she decides to run, and is the nominee, I will of course support her. I believe everything she believes. In Nice Deb’s world, Sarah Palin is the ideal person for the office.

    But we don’t live in Nice Deb’s world. We live in a very diverse country, and about 20-25% of us are socialists. The MSM leans to their side. And guess what? Most of them can’t stand Palin. Where do you think the Independents get their news?

    That’s the reality we have to deal with.


  40. The trouble with “presidential”is that it changes with the person who is president. Harry Truman was a lot more blunt, feisty, and divisive than Sarah Palin, and yet he was president of all the people. And a great president.

    Actually, Barack Obama is more blunt, feisty and divisive (bring a gun; enemies; sit in the back). Did those statements make Barack Obama not your president? And those statements were about people not policy.

    Gov. Palin was talking about Barack Obama’s positions in his SOTU address–about policy, not about people or him personally.

    If we are ever to come closer together even within our own movement, we have to stop criticizing people just because they’re different than we are. The true incivility is to diss someone just because they are different. Fight over policy, but not personality, background or personal preferences. Sam Donaldson cringed over what Reagan said (see his USA Today piece). Does that mean Reagan was not presidential? Cringing should not be the criteria. Policy and vision should.

    As with Andy Jackson, Abe Lincoln, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, when greatness shows up you are crazy if you quibble about the packaging.


  41. Pingback: Sarah Palin's WTF Moment « Nice Deb | The Daily Conservative

  42. Okay, then let me give it to you from another perspective, nicedeb.

    We’ve been pointing out that any actual conservative in her shoes will get demonized to hell and back by the media. You say you already know this. Okay, great.

    But the difference is, 99% of the time when the media does this – it works. And it works -completely-. The conservative in question simply disappears off the face of the earth one way or another. Remember Fred “no fire in the belly!” Thompson? He would’ve been a freaking magnificent President. And can you think of anyone with -less- “fire in the belly” than the candidate we wound up with? Doesn’t matter. The media began the meme, even conservatives fell for it, and now…. when was the last time you heard from Fred?

    You think their campaign against Sarah has been too successful for her to run. I think it’s exactly the opposite – they’ve thrown EVERYTHING they have at her – really, what else could they do? – and she’s still in a very solid position, with a large base of very devoted fans. That’s remarkable. And add to that that the left’s attacks on her have now gotten so over the top (which they won’t need to be with other conservatives) that it really -is- turning a lot of people off to the left and getting her a fair amount of sympathy. That’s also invaluable. Nominate her, and the left will implode in its attacks on her by revolting everyone with their mysoginistic dripping hate. THAT’S what’ll get the independents to either vote for her or stay home.

    So, in summary: You seem to think Sarah is “damaged goods”, that the damage she’s taken has been too great. I think it’s the opposite – she’s endured the left’s savagery better than anyone else I can think of possibly could. Save maybe Reagan, and when you find another one of him, we can discuss this again, but until then – she’s easily the most resilient conservative we’ve got. ANY other real conservative you can think of will be completely destroyed in the minds of everyone before they’ve suffered 10% of the venom she’s taken.


  43. ND said, “What you all don’t seem to get is we lost this one.”

    Wrong! I ‘get it’ AND understand you perfectly, just DISAGREE WITH YOU.
    I am so grateful Sarah Palin doesn’t take advice from you and those who think like you.
    Sorry, ND, this fight isn’t over until we get through the Primary process.

    “I would like nothing more than to be proven wrong.”

    On this I agree with you 100%!


  44. Dear ND,
    I am sending thus article to you for your consideration. Please don’t post it.
    Why not use your considerable talent to do what is suggested?
    January 28, 2011
    Sarah Palin’s Way Forward
    By J.R. Dunn

    It’s apparent that the recent media attacks on Sarah Palin have, for the first time, actually drawn blood. Palin’s negatives have shot up substantially, rising 7 points from 49% to 56%. The proximate cause is held to be the fact that she defended herself against the charge of complicity in murder in the Tucson shootings, along with engaging in some unclear variety of anti-Semitism by using the term “blood libel.” It’s safe to say that no other current politician would ever be held to such standards.

    This slump is surely temporary — no more permanent than Obama’s miniscule “leap” in popularity over the same period. If political careers could be knocked out so easily, they’d last a matter of weeks at most. Such variations are typical of any politician’s career. The only odd thing here is the fact that Palin has gone so long without such a slump.

    Governor Palin has received a lot of advice on how to handle the situation, all of it well-meant and some of it quite valuable. One example is Charles Krauthammer’s suggestion that it’s not necessary to answer every last attack. The murder accusation was so absurd that it could have been left to collapse under its own weight. On the other hand, it’s easy to grasp how any fundamentally decent person would find it difficult to resist answering.

    But such advice — in fact, all the comments related to Palin’s current situation — overlooks one basic fact: that the leftist attacks on Governor Palin are in no way new, not even in their viciousness. They are simply the latest examples of a tactic in use for generations — one that has given the left considerable advantage, and one that the American center-right has utterly failed to address.

    When liberalism mutated into an ideology in the wake of the New Deal, it also adapted the “enemies” mindset of its model ideologies, fascism and communism. No longer was politics the grand democratic game. Opponents of liberalism were enemies of progress, of justice, and of the People, deserving no consideration or mercy. The old rules of decorum and civility went out the window, replaced with any below-the-belt move that worked.

    The first prominent victim was Joe McCarthy. While some would say that he had it coming due to both his obnoxiousness and his own low tactics (the first a product of his personality, the second learned, so legend holds, from the Wisconsin communists who supported him against Robert LaFollette, Jr.), he was in no way the menace to democracy that he was so often painted as. The caricature of McCarthy as a right-wing monster was wholly synthetic. He had started out as a New Deal Democrat, and he maintained an interest in traditionally “liberal” political issues such as civil rights throughout his career. The 1952 defeat of Senator Millard Tydings, a strict segregationist of the old school, was almost solely due to McCarthy’s support for his opponent. Democrats attacked McCarthy not so much to protect his “victims” but in defense of their own record as regarded communism during the New Deal period. Liberal efforts against McCarthy reveal clearly how little they had to learn from Saul Alinsky.

    Liberal Democrats must have been delighted with their success. Not only had they destroyed McCarthy, but they had negated any further resort to anticommunism and turned the term “McCarthyism” into an epithet so powerful that it retains its sting to this day, sixty years on (even though most people think it refers to Eugene).

    The next victim was Barry Goldwater. A no-nonsense type with a high reputation as a senator, Goldwater made a few outspoken comments (“extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice”) that served as the basis of attacks of a viciousness that made those on McCarthy look pale. Not only was Goldwater portrayed as a political throwback and a Nazi (even though he was half-Jewish), but his very sanity was publicly questioned. A high-class porn merchant, Ralph Ginzburg (no relation to Beat poet Allen) published the “results” of a poll of “500 psychiatrists” claiming that Goldwater was paranoid schizophrenic. Despite being thoroughly bogus, these results were published throughout the national media. The campaign climaxed with the notorious “Daisy” commercial, which accused Goldwater of desiring to trigger a nuclear war.

    So it continued. Once every political generation — which, for our purposes, equals two presidential terms — liberals have selected a representative right-wing monster to serve as a lightning rod for criticism and invective. These included Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin.

    Liberals did not succeed in all cases. Only seriously flawed individuals such as McCarthy, Nixon, and Gingrich succumbed to these attacks. Politicians without serious failings prevailed. Reagan shrugged them off with his endless good humor. Bush faced them with his customary stoicism. Both were reelected, and while they departed office under the artificial clouds generated by leftist rhetoric, both had generally successful presidencies, with growing reputations as time passes.

    Until recently, Sarah Palin hewed closely to the Reagan method, dismissing attacks with a joke and a smile (even when such slanders were aimed at her disabled infant child, a display of personal strength that would inspire anyone not blinded by ideology). She needs to return to that method. She need not comment on attacks of this level. She has no deep personal flaws such as Nixon’s neuroticism or Gingrich’s egotism, and she will not experience any similar downfall.

    Palin also has something else, something not possessed by previous targets. She has a following. All previous figures had their admirers, and Reagan led a movement. But none had or has what Palin has — a large group of people who look up to her, who view her as an example and a role model, who bleed when she bleeds and hurt when she hurts. It is those people who should be left to handle Palin’s attackers.

    They also provide larger possibilities. Republicans have never struck back against these attacks, lacking the means in a media-dominated political world. But now the means do exist, in the form of millions armed with access to the net and Twitter. What would happen if these people were turned on the next crowd who attacked Palin or any other politician?

    Liberals are vulnerable. Consider Steven Cohen, soon to be ex-representative from Tennessee, who backed off from his rancid little Republicans-are-Nazis shtick as soon as the spotlight was shined on him. One thing we must never forget about leftists is their essential cowardice. They strike only as part of a mob, never on their own two feet. (Isn’t that right, Larry O.?)

    I leave the details and self-organizing to the people involved. I’m sure they’re far better at that than I am.

    The new technologies, together with the political will embodied in the Tea Parties, offer us a means of breaking this squalid liberal tactic and restoring a sense of balance to the political debate. It is never a good thing when a political party has access to non-political means to achieve its goals. The liberal Democrats have been abusing their exclusive access to media for close to sixty years. It’s past time they were pulled up short.

    J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and the author of the new book Death by Liberalism.

    Page Printed from: at January 28, 2011 – 07:37:18 AM CST


  45. Quinn, you mentioned some of the powerful plus sides of a Palin candidacy that I fully agree with.

    She has “fire in the belly”. She doesn’t shrink from a fight – in fact she seems to relish it. And yes, they have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at her, and she’s still standing. If 1/3 of the guys in congress had her guts we’d be in a much better position, today. (I had this very same conversation with Smitty, last year at CPAC).

    Did you see Eric Cantor shrink when grilled about the “birther” issue last Sunday on Meet the Press? Heaven help us. Palin took an amazing amount of heat for answering the question honestly in 2009, when it was much more un-PC to talk about it. Now, even Tingles is asking about it, and these guys still can’t find the stones to deal with it.

    Pawlenty couldn’t even “stand up” to defend Palin against the vicious Tucson smears when asked about her cross-hairs map. He’s another one off my short list. Republicans need to man up and recognize when the media is engaging in pack behavior, and call them out on it. Aren’t there any strategists in DC who know how to handle the media? Total stoneless wimp submission to the BS isn’t a winning strategy.

    The thing is, I’m looking at the handwriting on the wall, and thinking she’s sustained too many hits to be viable at this point.

    If you can explain to me how she wins over the middle, most of whom appear to be back in Obama’s camp, I will change my mind. I understand these people are fickle. Many of them won’t make up their minds until they’re in the voters booth.

    Sarah Palin said she would jump in if she thought there was a need – meaning there were no conservative fighters in the mix.

    With Pence out, that just may be the case. Herman Cain is a fighter, but unfortunately he has never held elective office and that would be a negative for a lot of people.

    So it may just come down to Palin. Which is why she should listen to my advice. Don’t give the Jackals scraps to feast on. (And please stop saying “lamestram media”!) That, I can guaran-damn-tee you turns a lot of people off.

    The danger is the undecideds who may have some sympathy for her will grow so tired of it, they will decide to vote for Obama to avoid more drama.


  46. Lily, JR Dunn has his finger on the essence of the problem – the media.

    Now the question is – between now and the election, can conservative activists go over the heads of the MSM and somehow reach those people who don’t pay much attention to politics..Those folks who believe what they’re spoonfed by the MSM. That’s the stumbling block…that’s the thing I don’t know how we do.

    I’m trying to think within the framework of what is currently possible.


  47. “And if you seriously think I’m a “clueless conservative”, you’re new to the conservative blogosphere.”

    If you can honestly say you “have no idea how to fight that,” when “that” is the very thing that not only must be fought, is the critical challenge of the conservative enterprise at this moment in history, can be fought with veritable ease once the will and understanding (or the “clue”) is realized, perhaps “clueless” isn’t the right or fully accurate term. I meet many people who say similar things as you have here, and it is not so much that they are not bright enough to understand the argument or “clues”, or are not “true” conservatives, but simply cannot take the psychic or moral risks associated with absorbing the clues and changing the “reality.”

    When you say “this is the reality we have to deal with,” you again betray a misunderstanding of how one deals with the Left. You do not live with a reality such as this. It is such a resignation that sustains Leftism and all coercive ideologies. It is acceptance of “reality” that and led us to this moment when so many are shrugging hopelessly at the “reality.”

    I’m glad you cross-post at Newsreal and claim to understand David Horowitz. But your statement, and other statements throughout this thread — which concede the ground to the invincibility of leftist calumny — completely undermine such a claim.

    If you’re not clueless, you’re simply absent the will or ability to internalize the clues and assemble a response that takes on the risk and importance of confronting the Left.

    As for Palin, even if one doesn’t support her, there is every compelling and self-interested reason to recognize and insist (if one understands the Left) that she is a legitimate candidate and never to argue that she should not run because of how she has been libeled by the Left, that is, to concede the effectiveness of the Left’s campaign. Palin is you and me and every conservative. When we accept and celebrate her legitimacy and value and ability to win, deeply and intrinsically, we demoralize the Left. This is a battle not just of “realities” but of the will and psychology.

    You just cannot suggest that we discard Sarah Palin because the Left has succeeded in overwhelming certain blocs of voters with irreparably slanderous misinformation. You just cannot and, to my mind, maintain credibility as a true conservative.


  48. Raven, you have no credibility as a strategic thinker if you believe we all have to think alike to be conservative— that I’m not a “true conservative” unless I’m on the Palin for President bandwagon. Which, by the way is not the same thing as thinking she should be “discarded”. I’ve always said she’s an incredibly effective player in the conservative movement, yanking the lefts’ chains as she does. I just don’t see that what she’s been doing lately is particularly presidential.

    Oh, and please, people. We all know Obama engages in unpresidential behavior and gets a pass from the MSM. We should also know that the rules are different for conservatives, and that has been the case for the past 50 years. That is not going to change overnight. That is the reality that we have to work with (and continue to fight).

    As I mentioned above, she has to convince elite members of our own party (not me) she’s qualified – that she has “gravitas”. You don’t do that by saying -“WTF”, and “Lamestream media”.

    You sound almost cult-like in your 100% adherence to the Palin cause.

    I don’t understand how someone who truly understands how the left operates can think that in the limited amount of time we have until election season, we can undo the damage their narrative has done to this woman. I’m being a realist, a pragmatist, looking at the political landscape, and you’re being some kind of purist. The stakes are too high in 2012 to put up a candidate who has a dwindling chance of beating Obama.

    Obviously, we continue to fight. I’ve been fighting this fight for years. I have talked the talk, walked the walk.

    I have a more recent post where I’ve excerpted some of the more helpful comments(none of yours).


  49. “At AoSHQ, some commenters are talking about a Palin/Cain, or Cain/Palin match-up.

    That would be interesting.

    Cain/Palin would save on campaign materials, just sharpie out the “Mc”. 🙂

    Palin can get the mushy middle, as long as there’ still 8% unemployment. Esp if there’s also $4/gal gas; there’s nobody better on energy issues. The mushy middle will be broke and unemployed and desperate for someone to admit the problem and propose a solution. Palin’s all over admitting the problem so as long as she comes up with a plan I think she can do it. She doesn’t have to win over the Left and she doesn’t have to win over the GOP elites. Heck she doesn’t need a positive net approval rating. She just needs to be better than Obama.


  50. Again, with just a few words (In this case 3 letters) Sarah has managed to destroy what I imagine was a very expensive campaign blitz by President Obama. No wonder they are so afraid.


  51. “Raven, you have no credibility as a strategic thinker if you believe we all have to think alike to be conservative— that I’m not a “true conservative” unless I’m on the Palin for President bandwagon. “

    This is exactly what I did not say. I did not say one had to be on the Palin bandwagon. I expressly said “whether you support Palin or not…” I further added that Palin is a representation of all of us — it could be anybody in her position or with her unique composite of Leftist-deranging qualities and potentialities. And I’m not trying to be a strategic thinker. The issue is bigger – it is the idea that we cannot co-exist with the Left because in fact we already do not co-exist with them.

    The issue is accepting the notion of her legitimacy for who she is and not through the prism (and prison-bound thinking) the Left leaves us in the ruins of their “narratives.”

    But as expected, the argument has been reduced to the usual bipolar — “you are a cultist and I am the strategic thinker,” or the “pragmatist.” But this kind of pragmatism is a well-grooved circle, and produces the precise state we are in, in which “pragmatism,” i.e., resignation to Leftist narrative, becomes the measure of our virtue and intelligence and the guide to our decisions.

    I am talking about a Lech Walesa form of thinking which must formed within the conservative mind. It is not strategic – it is holistic, revolutionary, secure within the dominion of its own “reality” of moral right, and without it, your “strategy” shrinks inot an old tired game, and becomes inevitably hostage to the same play of forces which have compelled failed “strategic thinking” for a generation.

    With all due respect, it is the same thinking which obtained around the time of Reagan. The same “strategic thinkers” and pragmatists were hand-wringing over the Reagan “conundrum.”

    In fact, you are the cult member. The cult is simply a more amorphous and unconscious one — the cult of unconscious concession to leftist narrative. I’ve seen it my whole life. You are unable to establish a vision or goal outside of the framework the Left has constructed for you. In a way, you are co-dependent with the Left. Once you ask yourself, “I cannot imagine how Sarah Palin fights this overwhelming thing…” you have betrayed your cult and lost.

    One defeats the Left by a wholesale and determined rejection of their narrative-defining capacity, by a total confidence in its worthlessness; only by embodying this notion can the left be defeated. We will not defeat them, finally, by strategic thinking. They will always alter the universal political or moral truths, the ground rules. They are anarchic, not strategic. Anarchy always trumps strategy. They do not live within our Apollonian world.

    The Left will not be defeated by the victory of Palin, exactly, but only by the idea among enough conservatives that Palin’s candidacy is not problematic because of narratives, not a “conundrum.”

    The reason Palin is so important is how she incites the Left. Her importance is almost in direct proportion to the degree they have scandalized her very personhood. This is a signal, about as loud and clear as one could hope or ask for. This is why we need to pay attention to Palin, not to see her candidacy as a “conundrum” but rather as a wildly delectable opportunity. I really believe the only way to defeat the Left – not out-think them “strategically” (though a Palin candidacy also serves this end, as she has out-thought them at every turn) — is through her.

    You may weed and sort through other candidates to find which one has not been sufficiently contaminated by an independent-voter repellant hosed on by the Left. It will not do. It just won’t do. It is defeat already.


  52. Okay, good, Raven. I’m not on the Palin for President bandwagon as of right now, because I don’t think she can win. Period.

    If you have some great Lech Walesa ideas of how to get fat and complacent Americans to understand that they’re being lied to every day by the MSM, and the government’s job isn’t to give them free stuff, you let me know. Because what we’re dealing with today is not in any way
    comparable to 1979 in Poland, where a deeply religious people rose up against an oppressive regime. That’s not America in 2012.

    If you knew anything about me, you would know that I’ve already made most of the arguments you’re still making about Palin.

    The reason Palin is so important is how she incites the Left. Her importance is almost in direct proportion to the degree they have scandalized her very personhood.

    Been there, said that…. Captain Obvious.

    The problem of course, is their tactics have been effective. That’s not a “narrative”. That is what we call a “fact”. And it’s one we need to deal with. The truth is, Palin has nothing but a very uphill battle ahead of her if she runs, the left and the MSM will throw everything in their arsenals at her, and we have every reason to believe their attacks will be effective, because they have been so far.

    I would love more than anything than for Sarah to somehow rise above the contempt 40-50% of America has for her…

    You have been insulting in tone since your very first comment, here, with no helpful ideas outside of *Sarah Palin’s teh one!11!!*

    Remind me not to get caught in a foxhole with you. You’re nearly a self-parody of the clueless “conservative.” Very rude and uncalled for.

    Are you waiting for the Left to endorse your correct Republican? (Straw man.)

    Has it occurred to you that the Left would stigmatize the next person after Palin? (*face palm* Thanks for the original thought. Has it occurred to you that the next Republican will not be as savaged as Palin? They won’t be. It’s not physically possible.)

    You really believe they’re paying so much attention to her because she’s too “polarizing”? (Another strawman. That’s not what I said. She’s polarizing not because she’s a straight talker who isn’t afraid to step on toes…people admire that. She’s polarizing as a result of the relentless attacks.)

    Good lord, read some David Horowitz. (Get over yourself.)

    If you want to comment here, watch it. I’m this (- )close to banning you.


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  54. “If you have some great Lech Walesa ideas of how to get fat and complacent Americans to understand that they’re being lied to every day by the MSM, and the government’s job isn’t to give them free stuff, you let me know.”

    I’m just a lowly contributor to a minor blogsite and on the verge of being banned. But yes, I have at least one idea, which I thought would be fairly clear by now. Fight back. There’s your Lech Walesa moment, or rather a concatenation of moments to be led by putatively influential people such as yourself in a unified rejection of the narrative and the narrative-making capability. You attack and demoralize. Read Angelo Codevilla’s signature piece on The Ruling Class, and in the closing sections when he discusses the primary source of the Leftist puissance – their power to attack and demoralize with narratives, and how the Right simply accepts this as some regrettable and ineluctable fact of life and never considers demoralizing them in response. It’s the only section he italicizes. You don’t write doleful posts about how awesome the MSM’s libel-making machine and how Palin has no chance – that’s exactly what the Left is hoping Righty bloggers say. Until we demoralize them, we have no chance. I.e, until we create a reality instead of bemoaning the one they’ve created for us.

    Fighting the Left is so easy it’s embarrassing, and yet people like you never get it. You write all these tortured posts about the Palin Conundrum, etc., to show how generously self-critical and aware of the “reality” you are. I grew up on the Left. Believe me, they’re laughing their asses off at your “awareness”. Because you never understand the point of the Leftist enterprise – to convince you of its invincibility.

    “If you knew anything about me, you would know that I’ve already made most of the arguments you’re still making about Palin.”

    Good, so start living them. Start being a Walesa. You think the world needs another opiner? Call out the narrative for what it is and play your part in demoralizing the Left. You make the same arguments about Palin, you say, but in the next breath remind us all of the superior and effective forces of the Left which have destroyed her and any chances she has. So why keep writing about her? She can’t win, right? Yet you keep writing about her. And each time you keep solidifying the narrative and attempting, it seems, to demoralize not them but her supporters, and reminding the latter of the awesome power of Leftist libel. Hopeless. This is not to say to ignore her leadership faults or policy disagreements or reasons why you would oppose her. No one is asking you to follow blindly. But the entire argument is about how she cannot win because of how the Left has guaranteed she cannot win.

    I grew up on the Left. Sarah Palin has more anti-Leftist kryptonite in her little finger than all other probable candidates combined and exponentially multiplied. Whatever her specific qualifications to serve as President (an overrated job, in my opinion, and she’s more than qualified), she is the one person they fear because she would in fact not only dismantle the Leftist edifice (actually do it) but demoralize them in metaphysical ways as she (along with her material breakdown of their power sources) broke down the religious or mythic hold of their orthodoxy. Her profound yet simple and infectious faith and joy and the executive competence to make them real and experienced in the culture is what holds them in total terror. The men she stands on a podium with are pale simulacra by comparison.

    “You have been insulting in tone since your very first comment, here, with no helpful ideas outside of *Sarah Palin’s teh one!11!!*”

    I’ve offered the only helpful idea you need, and you persistently refuse to grock it. But once again I am compared to a cultist repeating some line “Sarah Palin is teh one”. Talk about insulting. Yes, I am only pointing out the obvious – there is no one who fits the profile of what is necessary to defeat and demoralize the Left. But that’s me, Captain Obvious.

    “Has it occurred to you that the next Republican will not be as savaged as Palin? They won’t be. It’s not physically possible.)”

    The one way you are correct in this wonderfully revealing statement actually cuts to the core of your cluelessness. You’re right, it will not be possible for the next candidate to be as attacked as Palin –exactly the point. Because they won’t have to be. The Left will have done its job. There is no other candidate the Left could find as remotely as existentially threatening. So once Palin is removed, and the Left has done its job to save itself, and the Right has self-deceptively and pathetically obliged, won’t this be good! Relief! That unpleasantness is over! Now we can get back to civility and comity among our equally competing political ideologies. Now we can be done with that troublesome upstart Palin and nominate a candidate who will be tolerated by the Left! We’ve propitiated the God, or rather the Idol, or is it the Naked Emperor. How enlightened and civil of us!

    No. You choose – all other things being approximately equal – the candidate who absolutely and radically roils and enrages the Left. Because that is the only way. You need to fight through the storm, or the sickness, to get to other side. You must spike the fever to break it. It won’t be easy. The Left is a malignant pathology, and will swarm the invading agent, the anti-viral, with everything it has if its existence, its diseased suzerainty, is threatened. Palin threatens it. You don’t threaten it, Mitt Romney doesn’t, Mike Pence doesn’t, Mike Huckabee doesn’t – not really. So they won’t attack all those others quite so much. You’re right — It wouldn’t be “physically possible.”


    “You really believe they’re paying so much attention to her because she’s too “polarizing”? (Another strawman. That’s not what I said. She’s polarizing not because she’s a straight talker who isn’t afraid to step on toes…people admire that. She’s polarizing as a result of the relentless attacks.)”

    We agree here. But it’s no “strawman.” It’s precisely the point. “She’s polarizing as a result of the attacks”, you say. So the Left has done its job of discrediting the one candidate with the actual potential to do them damage, convincing us she’s polarizing.

    “Remind me not to get caught in a foxhole with you. You’re nearly a self-parody of the clueless “conservative.” Very rude and uncalled for.”

    Well, that’s how I see it. And the state of my country, and the state of conservatism in the face of its threats, I’ve lost my patience. Go argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and all the reasons why Palin is a lost cause. I mean no personal insult – but I’ve seen it and am done with it. So ban me.


  55. Call out the narrative for what it is and play your part in demoralizing the Left.

    Jeez Louise. That’s what this blog and others like it have been doing for years. There’s only so much we can do in the right wing blogosphere – We’re constantly trying to get stories out there, or are beating down a false narratives, but if the MSM refuses to follow any of our leads (like the entire year of 2008), we are left spinning our wheels. You may have noticed that the RW blogosphere fought back in spades after the Tucson tragedy. I spent a Saturday afternoon that I should have been spending with my kids to beat down the narrative as it was developing. It’s practically all I wrote about for a week. I eventually wrote a piece shaming the worst players on the left who took part:

    We did a fairly good job, but even so – I’ve seen polls that show something like 30% of the people think Sarah Palin had something to do with the Tucson tragedy.

    I spent most of last fall trying to talk conservatives pundits into linking Democrats to the extremists in their ranks, the way they try to link conservatives to our “extremists” (who are often not even extremist except in their imaginations). The One Nation rally gave us a great opportunity to do this. I was all over it.

    I go to conservative conferences where conservatives put their heads together and we work on methods to make our voices stronger.

    I’m raising my 6 kids to be conservatives.

    That’s what I’m doing to “fight back”.

    What the hell are you doing besides writing insulting screeds on other peoples’ blogs?

    We need concrete ideas, not insults.


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