And the Lack of Self-Awareness Award Goes to…

"It’s time we all stop preaching to the choir"-Sarah Palin, speaking at CPAC.

I find the statement remarkable not so much because it was delivered in a speech to the choir (although there is that), but because Palin, in particular, has spent almost all of her media life inside the conservative bubble.  (Certainly after her initial forays into MSM interviews when she was nominated as McCain’s running mate she spent almost the rest of her time on Fox and in other friendly environs).

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I knew the answer as soon as I saw the title.

  2. CSK says:

    Over at Conservatives4Palin, they’re saying Palin gave the most presidential speech they ever heard. I don’t know about you guys, but as far as I know, we have no record of Abraham Lincoln discussing Mary Todd’s rack and his rifle.

  3. Rick Almeida says:

    Gov. Palin also made a joke about Obama and a teleprompter…which she read from a teleprompter.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    I’ll say this for Sarah Palin: she’s everything we thought she was, and less.

    She is John McCain’s legacy to the country, and evidence that a few years as a prisoner of war can have negative effects going forward.

  5. Jen says:

    I do not understand how her 15 minutes of fame isn’t up yet. Lack of self awareness, indeed.

  6. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    Gov. Palin also made a joke about Obama and a teleprompter…which she read from a teleprompter.

    … AND : No one else used a teleprompter in their speeches for the CPAC event..

    They were installed SPECIFICALLY for her speech !

    That is some true meta shi# there.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    A loser, a quitter, and a liar.

    Plus she slept with Kobe Bryant and Glenn Rice…I’m shocked the racist party would have anything to do with her.

  8. Kylopod says:

    With Palin, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether statements like this reflect an actual lack of self-awareness, or constitute a kind of chutzpah where she takes the charges that have been leveled against her and simply asserts that they’re true about the other side. The latter is already a standard Republican pastime–think of the Swiftboating of Kerry in ’04.

    What has always surprised me about Palin is not the fact that she engages in this technique, but how unimpressive she is at it. She isn’t even a very good demagogue–when she’s not speaking in word clouds (her usual mode in televised interviews), she’s just mouthing a series of tired cliches that aren’t even interesting enough to be outrageous. She still has a cultish set of followers who treat almost every one of her words as godlike wisdom (or at least devastating putdowns), but it’s a group that has shrunk tremendously over the past several years. They’re still big enough that the conservative establishment lacks the courage to openly tell them to go to hell, but they are hardly relevant anymore beyond the fact that she continues to be granted these token appearances at events like this.

  9. An Interested Party says:

    I notice that all of Caribou Barbie’s fanboys have deserted her…I wonder why…

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Plus she slept with Kobe Bryant and Glenn Rice…

    You also called Erick Erickson a child molester. Are you actually begging to get OTB sued for libel or something?

    If you had the slightest shred of credibility, that would be a serious danger…

  11. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You should note that a) OTB is in no way liable for commenter speech and b) public figures have a very difficult time prosecuting libel claims.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    if you had the slightest shred of credibility, that would be a serious danger…

    Is it not true that Palin slept with Glenn Rice? I thought that was well-confirmed by now, not that sleeping with star athletes is a crime. I think it calls into question Glenn Rice’s judgment more than anything else, but hey – to each according to his sexual proclivity.

  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: The onus is on Cliffy to prove his charges, not Palin to disprove them. I’d be curious where Cliffy got his info on Kobe Bryant, or how he knows that Erick Erickson is a child-molester.

    Actually, that’s a touch disingenuous. I know that Cliffy’s a complete bullshitter who simply makes up what he thinks are vile charges against those he hates, and gets egged on (“up-twinkled”) by The Usual Gang Of Idiots for his lies, but I am interested to see how — or if — he backs up his allegations. The way he’s ramped it up lately, I’m wondering if he’s off his meds or something.

    I’d also like to think that his baseless libels are a violation of the site’s AUP/TOS, but a quick reading of the “Policies” page doesn’t seem to specifically cover it.

  14. @Jenos Idanian #13: I have no idea where he got the Kobe Bryant accusation. The Glenn Rice thing was in the news (click), although I take the claim with a shaker of salt.

    In regards to the other issue, I think you misread this comment which was directed, I think, at the Pope, not Erickson.

    Now that you have your answers, maybe you could start focusing on the topics of the given posts (something you failed to do yesterday and are failing to do now). Gracias.

  15. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The proper way to determine “baseless libel” is in a court of law, not in silly pronouncements by a pseudonymous internet commenter.

    Thought you liked freedom, anyway.

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Is it not true that Palin slept with Glenn Rice? I thought that was well-confirmed by now, not that sleeping with star athletes is a crime.

    I just did some digging; I had no interest in it before, and never bothered looking into it. It’s from Joe McGinniss’ book — you remember the guy who moved into the house next to Palin so he could properly work on his hit piece? — and no other source, apparently. And neither Palin nor Rice have confirmed or denied it — Rice acknowledged knowing her and liking her, but that was about it.

    Oh, and it allegedly happened back in 1987, when Rice was a 20-year-old college student and Palin was a 23-year-old brand-new college graduate working as a sports reporter in Alaska. (Ages guessed; could be off by 1 year.) She was also single at the time — she didn’t get married until 1988.

    So, in a nutshell, one stalking writer with a history of shoddy research and making stuff up (he actually had to pay Jeffrey MacDonald $325,000 for mistakes in “Fatal Vision,” and his Ted Kennedy bio was widely panned by pretty much everyone), a guy labeled a “con man” by a judge, says that an unmarried basketball star in Minnesota had a brief liaison with an attractive young unmarried sports reporter from a small TV station in Alaska.

    Personally, I think it’s far more significant that Obama has admitted to doing cocaine and driving drunk when he was about that same age — and I don’t think that’s overly significant at all.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The “other issue,” which I deleted, was in reference to Gustopher’s declaration that “Erikson is a goat f.cking child molester” that I I mistakenly attributed it to C. Clavin.

    Which, as of this moment, has 13 “likes” and 1 “dislike.” I almost never do the thumbs-up or thumbs-down thing, but I claim ownership of that lone note of disapproval.

  18. @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, well, that inelegant turn of phrase is a reference to none other than Erickson himself, who tweeted “The nation loses the only goat f*&king child molester to ever serve on the Supreme Court in David Souter’s retirement.”

    Source: click.

  19. Rick Almeida says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Irony can be so ironic sometimes.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Fine, on topic:

    I’d say that Palin wasn’t demonstrating a lack of self-awareness, but speaking to a lot of people who tend to that specific tendency: a fondness for either speaking to the choir, or being part of the choir. Hell, one could even argue that Palin was speaking from experience.

    Palin’s an odd sort. But something I read several years ago seems to hold up: if one simply listens to what she says and takes it at face value, most of the time it makes sense. She says she sees political office as a duty, not an ambition. She says she does what she thinks best for her causes. She doesn’t seem to have a private agenda.

    And she seems to be a source of endless fascination for certain people. Iowahawk totally nailed it.

  21. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But something I read several years ago seems to hold up: if one simply listens to what she says and takes it at face value, most of the time it makes sense.

    Let’s just say that this has not been my experience.

  22. @Rick Almeida: Indeed.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    A couple funny things about Indiana Jones…
    He/She takes no issue with me claiming Palin is a liar and a quitter…but his/her panties get in a twist because I say she slept with a black man (2 actually…not at the same time).
    Note that I clearly did not say it as a negative towards Palin…but questioned the racist parties adoration of her in light of the rumors.
    This Indiana Jones person gets so wrankled he doesn’t even know which comment he’s reading.
    Then when Indy realizes he fails to apologize for the invictive.

    So i ask again…How long do we have to put up with this Jenos charachter?

  24. @Jenos Idanian #13: And, no, I don’t think that Iowahawk nailed it (but one’s mileage may vary).

    Palin, along with numerous other faces of the contemporary GOP/conservative movement are of interest because it says something that they are, in fact, the faces of the contemporary GOP/conservative movement.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I was unaware of Mr. Erickson’s prior remark. In that context, I would like to apologize to Gustopher, and instead compliment him on a most appropriate reversal.

    As I said before, I’ve never had any interest whatsoever in Mr. Erickson. That bit of context tells me that it was a good decision.

    I’ve always appreciated Ann Coulter not because she’s a bomb-thrower, but that she’s such a precise bomb-thrower. And she is superb at driving certain people absolutely nuts when she does so, to the point of often reducing them to paroxysms of incoherent rage.

    Erickson seems like he’s trying to do the same thing, but instead he just comes across as an asshole.

  26. C. Clavin says:

    And by the way Jenos pretty much proved my point…the racists are just in denial about their princess.

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: The “liar” accusation has lost all meaning, as no human being ever speaks 100% truth, and one’s opponents will take any accuracy as a “lie” and say that the accused has zero credibility and should never be listened to ever again. But they never seem to apply that same standards to those they support — for example, pretty much everyone acknowledges that Obama’s often-declared opposition to gay marriage was completely insincere and purely for political advantage, yet those who call Palin a “liar” are totally cool with how he spent over a decade lying about his beliefs on that issue.

    The “quitter?” Also been argued back and forth and back and forth. Palin spelled out her reasons at the time, and they made perfect sense to those willing to listen. To those who are already disinclined to like her, no explanations will ever suffice. If the federal government had a nickel for every argument over it, Obama wouldn’t have us 17 trillion in debt — hell, we’d probably have a surplus. And I’m bored explaining it to people who don’t want to listen.

    The sexual accusations, though, had the attribute of novelty. Just where did you get the Kobe Bryant thing, anyway? By the time he was 18, she was married 8 years, mother of 3, and mayor of Wasilla. (Thank you, Wikipedia — you’re great for confirming dates of events!)

  28. C. Clavin says:

    Seriously…sleeping with a black man is a slanderous charge???
    Only to a racist.

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: The Kobe Bryant angle was the one that caught my eye. In that case, it’s either an allegation of adultery or of statutory rape (Palin’s been married since — oh, this is funny — six days after Kobe’s 10th birthday). I knew there was an age issue there in that aspect, so I poked at it.

    I’d say that you are the one with the race issue. One of the supermarket tabloids said she had had an affair with one of Todd’s business partners, and that would have a smidgen more credibility than a professional ball player 14 years her younger. But you instead went for Kobe… why won’t you disclose your source for that? The Rice thing is from known fabricator Joe McGinniss, but it was in a book, so I can understand that, but Kobe?

  30. Kylopod says:

    I’ve always appreciated Ann Coulter not because she’s a bomb-thrower, but that she’s such a precise bomb-thrower.

    And right there is a perfect encapsulation of the way right-wing media and its audience operate: what matters to them most, what gets their juices flowing, isn’t discussing public policy and its impact on real people’s lives, but trying to get a rise out of liberals by stooping to crude insult-mongering, then patting themselves on the back as soon as a liberal or anyone else actually reacts to the remarks like a civilized human being. The party of “traditional values” sometimes seems more like the party of bratty teens.

  31. Piling on again, eh? I don’t know whether to ask you guys to stop for a moment and take a deep breath or a big gulp.

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Personally, I think it’s far more significant that Obama has admitted to doing cocaine and driving drunk when he was about that same age — and I don’t think that’s overly significant at all.

    I think it’s more significant that she and Kobe may have hooked up when Kobe was 18, again calling into question Kobe’s judgment.

  33. An Interested Party says:

    Awwwww…I knew the fanboys would show up eventually…it’s really quite touching…

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: Oh, get off your high horse. There are plenty of left-wing bomb-throwers out there, too, and they are plenty popular. Former Congressmen Grayson and Weiner come to mind, along with Mad Ed Shultz, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Janeane Garofolo, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, and Joy Behar come readily to mind.

    The main difference I can see? Coulter’s better at it than they are.

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Awwwww…I knew the fanboys would show up eventually…it’s really quite touching…

    Sorry to interrupt what I can only call “a circle-jerk of hate,” but it was rather distasteful.

  36. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Moving away from the earth-shattering questions of what get’s Jay Tea’s Jenos’ panties in a twist and whom Sarah Palin has slept with (and at what age), I offer the following on the initial issue of the post: Presuming that Sarah Palin (or any other conservative blatherizer) is going to “stop preaching to the choir…”

    Who would be listening and why might they care what she said?

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Piling on again, eh? I don’t know whether to ask you guys to stop for a moment and take a deep breath or a big gulp.

    Hey, maybe Kobe and Glenn were piling on, but the rest of us? Nah. We’re like spectators at a NASCAR race – we’re waiting for the spin-outs and crashes into the walls. Palin always delivers.

  38. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    there are plenty of left-wing bomb-throwers out there, too

    Predictable. When you don’t have a rebuttal, you fall back on “the other side does it too.”

    Of course I wasn’t claiming only the right has bomb-throwers (though none of the people on your list, as far as I know, has called anyone a “faggot” or “raghead” or accused 9/11 widows of enjoying their husbands’ deaths). I was responding to your statement that you “appreciate” Coulter, and that the reason you appreciate her is that “she is superb at driving certain people nuts.” The fact that you consider that an achievement worthy of praise says a lot about your values and priorities. All I was pointing out is that you are far from unique among conservatives; attempting to “drive certain people nuts” is practically the raison d’etre of much of right-wing media. This bizarre and downright childish obsession with trying to get a rise out of liberals is something I don’t really see any equivalent to on the left, even among its nastiest and most divisive commentators.

  39. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “I’ve always appreciated Ann Coulter not because she’s a bomb-thrower, but that she’s such a precise bomb-thrower. And she is superb at driving certain people absolutely nuts when she does so, to the point of often reducing them to paroxysms of incoherent rage. ”

    Funny, most people consider those whose sole talent in life is making other people angry or unhappy by hurling insults to be pathetic creeps, a notch above internet trolls. And yet this is what you dream of being, your greatest aspiration in life — like pond scum dreaming of becoming poisonous algae. And you’re even a failure at that.

    Wow, it must be hard to be you. No wonder you keep hiding behind names you steal from movie tie ins.

  40. grumpy realist says:

    If Palin couldn’t even stand up to the populace of Alaska and a few politicians before sobbing “they’re all MEEEEAAN to me!” and quitting, why do her fanbois think that she could have stood up to Putin or the North Koreans?

    Hell, I’ve stood up to more pressure than Palin caved under….

  41. @al-Ameda:

    We’re like spectators at a NASCAR race

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @ Grumpy…
    Don’t be too tough on her…it’s not easy being a small gubmint Republican when your State takes more money from the gubmint than 46 other states.
    Of course in real life it’s always easier to abdicate your responsibilities than to actually live up to your alledged principals.

  43. Tsar Nicholas says:

    What’s really f’n scary, or fortuitous depending upon what side for which you’re rooting, is that the ’15-’16 GOP Prez primary might not only include Palin as a candidate, it might include a collection of nuts and flakes (Palin, Bachmann, Paul, DeMint) that would make heads spin around.

    Shizzle, Palin alone would turn the next presidential primary process for the GOP into an abject farce. There arguably is no demographic anywhere in the chattering classes more loopy than Palin’s hard core supporters.

  44. Facebones says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: The only reason Palin would run for president would be if she couldn’t con anymore networks into giving her a reality show or a news show. She’s in it for her bank account.

  45. Mr. Replica says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/onpolitics/2013/03/12/sarah-palin-christmas-book/1981813/

    The former GOP vice presidential candidate is writing A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas, in which she’ll focus on Christian values and criticize the “over-commercialism” and “homogenization” that have come to define the day. The Associated Press says the book will come out in November.

    Hey, look at that, just in time to become a stocking stuffer.

  46. mantis says:

    The sole purpose of most wingnuts is to piss off the various groups they consider enemies (liberals, union workers, teachers, the entertainment industry, anyone with more melanin than a pile of whipped cream, college students, environmentalists, people who read books, homosexuals, women who don’t know their place, etc.).

    Jay Tea Jenos the Dim exemplifies this in his praise for Coulter, who supposedly is “superb at driving certain people absolutely nuts when she does so, to the point of often reducing them to paroxysms of incoherent rage.” Does she make good arguments, winning people over to the conservative cause? Does she debate honestly, proving the strength of her positions? She does not. She riles up people who already agree with her, like Jay Tea Jenos the Dim, and they give her piles of money to do so.

    This is all fine, of course, but when wingnuts believe, as Jay Tea Jenos the Dim does, that such behavior is the end all, be all of politics, what you end up with is a political party that is not interested in governance or the good of the country, but is entirely focused on pissing off everyone else by whatever means necessary (repealing Obamacare 33 times, inserting amendments into unrelated spending bills that make it easier to sell guns to criminals, introducing laws that would make every pregnancy miscarriage a possible homicide, and on and on).

  47. An Interested Party says:

    …“a circle-jerk of hate,”

    Well you are certainly an expert on that, considering what you have written about the President, the Vice President, and Islam, among many other subjects…

  48. Tony W says:

    @Mr. Replica:

    just in time to become a stocking stuffer.

    And with breathtaking hypocrisy to boot.