The Palin Conundrum

The question being debated in my Sarah Palin’s WTF Moment thread: Can she do it? Can Sarah Palin somehow be able to go over the heads of the MSM, (a la Reagan) and win over the fickle independents, many of whom believe the media narrative that she’s a dangerous loose cannon, and a ditz?

The answer: I don’t know. Before Mike Pence bowed out, I was hoping she would spare herself (and us) the spectacle of what will turn out to be all-out bloody warfare between herself and the left, the media (but I repeat myself), and the elites within our own party.

Commenters, trying to talk me into a Palin candidacy have been making some great points.

Saber says Palin is the woman for this epic battle:

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.

Quinn says:

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.

My response:

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 Dec, 2009, (if you have time do click on link and read the comments – very entertaining-ed.) 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 “lamestream 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.

Lily links to this American Thinker piece by JR Dunn.

In it, he discusses how the left has been using the same tactics they’re using against Sarah Palin for over 60 years:

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.

He lists victims from Joe McCarthy to the present time. Another must read article on this theme comes from Jack Cashill at The American Thinker: Sarah Palin and the Legacy of Republican ‘Idiocy’.

Dunn suggests how Palin can rise above the attacks:

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.

We conservative bloggers don’t mind getting a little dirty fighting these swine, but she really needs to remain above the fray.

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.

And I respond:

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.

And that’s where we’re at. We have from now until election season to figure out how to undo the media narrative that has already hurt her in the eyes of too many, and to somehow win the info wars in the months to come.

And she also needs to win over elites within our own party who don’t think she has “gravitas”.

I welcome your ideas.

Matt says:

Imagine Katie Couric’s face on a billboard, with a line like ” Is she biased? ……Who does she vote for?” If we take the fight to the media figures and CAN expose them as untrustworthy conduits of information, would this be an effective strategy? What if it had a website at bottom of each billboard with excellent links to videos demonstrating their bias….this would have to be extremely professional and well documented….

You can vote for your preferred candidate in a poll this morning at AoSHQ.


Smitty, who I referenced above as having discussed a Palin run with me at CPAC last year, took the pro-Palin position at the time, in fact made many of the same arguments Quinn made, yesterday.

Today, over at The Other McCain, he says:

Tim Pawlenty totally merits consideration. Sarah fan though I am, the Left continues to pile up the negatives on her and poison the well. Sure, it’s intellectually dishonest, and we’ll support her as far as she decides to go, but there it is. The lying bastards who go on about ‘fairness’ are themselves the least fair of the lot. Did Shakespeare predict her coming triumph? I don’t think so, either, but maybe the Bard knew something we do not.
In contrasting Sarah to Tim, I’m deeply respectful of both people for their courageous stands in the face of dishonest opposition. Pawlenty’s book recalled the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, and the media frenzy to connect conservative policy to the tragedy. Maybe Sarah and Tim can flip a coin to see who occupies the upper portion of the ticket.

I guess Smitty can join me among the ranks of those who are no longer “true conservatives”.

As for Pawlenty, I’m willing to take another look at him. I probably shouldn’t be judging him so harshly based on his weak responses to the MSM, re Palin. But it did seem like a disturbing harbinger to me.

Linked by Doug Ross in Larwyn’s Links, thanks!

WTF v.s. STFU: Which is Worse?

Sure,Tingles’ hypocrisy goes into overdrive, here…

But this is what I mean by “giving them ammo”— just listen to the tut-tut-tutting:

And now Palin’s language gets to be compared to that low-life dirt-bag, Alan Grayson’s.