Conservative Pundits Finally Seeing Sarah Palin For What She Is

Conservatives finally seem to be waking up to the truth about Sarah Palin.

Sarah-Palin-at-Podium

This past weekend, Congressman Steve King hosted a forum in Iowa that essentially served as the first real opportunity for Iowa Republicans to see many of the potential Republican candidates for President in one place, as well as speeches from other well-known conservatives who may or may not run for office in 2016. Among those who spoke on Saturday were Senator Ted Cruz, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Dr. Ben Carson. Joining them was Sarah Palin, who was quoted telling reporters just the day before that she was supposedly “seriously interested” in running for President, but the real news came in the speech that Palin gave, which seems to have caused many conservatives to finally come to the realization that she is an empty vessel:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin called President Obama “an overgrown little boy” Saturday, criticizing him for using an executive order to change immigration policy instead of waiting for the traditional legislative process.

Palin’s remarks came at the Iowa Freedom Summit, part of a speech in which her barbed, broad-ranging commentary caused a buzz on social media Saturday evening.

In the speech, given before 1,200 conservative activists and broadcast nationally on C-SPAN, Palin also addressed two photographs that had received considerable national attention lately. One picture showed her at a Las Vegas gun show appearing next to a sign that used a curse word aimed at filmmaker Michael Moore; Palin said she was simply looking at the sign when a picture was taken. The other photo showed her young son standing on the family dog to reach the kitchen sink. Palin said it was better than eating dog, which, she said, Obama said he did while a boy in Indonesia.

It was her remarks about the president and immigration policy that drew the most applause.

“An impatient president doesn’t just get to trample our Constitution and ignore Congress just because he doesn’t get exactly what he wants every time he wants it,” Palin said. “It’s like an overgrown little boy who’s just acting kind of spoiled. And moms, we don’t put up with that, do we?”

(…)

Palin, the Republicans’ 2008 vice presidential candidate, also spoke about the potential presidential candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton. She said that the national media somehow believes that “a pantsuit can crush patriots” and that it would “take a village” to beat Clinton in 2016.

Scott Conroy, a political reporter who co-authored a Palin biography, tweeted, “I don’t say this lightly. This is the strangest speech I’ve ever seen Sarah Palin deliver.”

Conroy’s comments may have been among the more polite things I saw in regard to Palin’s speech on social media Saturday night. The reaction from the left and from people who have been long time Palin critics was about what you’d expect, but what was somewhat surprising was the reaction from many on the right who looked on in seeming horror as Palin seemed to confirm every single stereotype and Saturday Night Live parody since 2008. To be fair, the number of Palin critics on the right has been steadily increasing in recent years, especially as it has become more apparent that she was more interested in promoting herself than in anything else and that her frequent flirtations with running for office were little more than blatant efforts to get her name back in the news cycle, Among serious conservative pundits, for example, Palin hasn’t been anywhere near that “A List” of potential 2016 candidates for quite some time, and most of them seem to view her recent flirtations with the idea of running for President as largely meaningless. That being said, Palin’s Saturday speech in Iowa has been met with a rash of criticism from the right that is crushing to say the least, and which would seem to indicate that her ability to influence Republican Party politics going forward will be basically non-existent.

Byron York fired the opening salvo in the wake of the speech at the Washington Examiner:

Palin embarked on an extended stream-of-consciousness complaint about media coverage of her decision to run in a half-marathon race in Storm Lake, Iowa in 2011. She then moved on to grumbling about coverage of a recent photo of her with a supporter who had made a sign saying “Fuc_ you Michael Moore” in reaction to the left-wing moviemaker’s criticism of the film “American Sniper.” Then it was on to Palin’s objections about the social media ruckus over a picture of her six-year-old son Trig standing on the family’s Labrador Retriever.

It was all quite petty, and yet the complaining took half of Palin’s allotted time. She then proceeded to blow through her time limit with a free-association ramble on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the energy industry, her daughter Bristol, Margaret Thatcher, middle-class economics — “the man can only ride ya when your back is bent” — women in politics, and much more. It would be hard to say that Palin’s 35-minute talk had a theme, but she did hint that she is interested in running, although there are no indications she has taken any actual steps in that direction.

“Long and disjointed,” said one social conservative activist when asked for reaction. “A weird speech,” said another conservative activist. “Terrible. Didn’t make any sense.”

“There was a certain coarseness to her that wasn’t there before,” said yet another social conservative who noted that some in the crowd were uncomfortable with Palin declarations like, “Screw the left in Hollywood!” (It’s not that they like the left in Hollywood — just the opposite — but the crudeness of Palin’s expressions turned them off.)

“I know she is popular, but it is hard to take her seriously given that performance,” said Sam Clovis, the conservative Iowa college professor, radio commentator, and sometime political candidate. “Palin was a sad story Saturday. With every speech she gives, she gets worse and worse. If one were playing a political cliche drinking game, no one would have been sober after the first 15 minutes of an interminable ramble. It was really painful.”

“I think she has a role in the conservative movement and in the party,” Clovis continued, “but she needs to get serious about what it is she can contribute and accomplish.”

To be fair, it should be noted that Clovis ran in the 2014 Republican Senate primary against Joni Ernst — a race in which Palin endorsed Ernst. (Citizens United, a sponsor of the Freedom Summit, endorsed Clovis.) But Clovis was by no way alone in faulting Palin’s performance.

“Calling Gov. Palin’s remarks bizarre and disjointed would be charitable,” said a well-connected Iowa Republican. “Her shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end. In a day filled with strong performances from likely candidates ranging from Scott Walker to Ted Cruz, her remarks were a distraction.”

National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke was equally critical in a post that went beyond just Palin’s Iowa speech and got to the heart of what has ultimately been so disturbing about the unquestioning adulation that some conservatives have when it comes to Sarah Palin:

Some people contain within them a magical quality that leads their fans toward idol worship, and, for whatever reason, Palin appears to have it in spades. But, as she has discovered for herself of late, this can be a decidedly mixed blessing. On the upside, cults provide their beneficiaries with a ready-made army of apologists and sponsors — people, that is, who have primed themselves to push back hard against the most modest of slights and to exact a price from anyone who exhibits the temerity to criticize their focus. On the downside, cults can serve to inoculate their subjects from legitimate judgment and to ease their descent into inadvertent self-parody. Partly because the media has been reflexively unfair to her, and partly because they feel generally put upon by the culture at large, Palin’s fans have of late provided her mostly with the latter service. Last weekend’s speech was the direct result of that tendency.

Consider, if you will, what happens to a person who suggests that Sarah Palin is anything other than saintly. Right off the bat, they are accused of disliking America or Alaska or conservatives or mothers or the working class — or even women in general — and then they are informed that their “hatred” is showing. Next, their motives are questioned and their supposedly secret “agenda” is exposed for the world to see, for no right-thinking person could dislike Palin on the merits, natch. “I hope you enjoy your elite cocktail parties,” the apologists will say, and then they will huffily tell you that they “hope signaling that you are ‘one of them’ was worth it.” And finally — as is the case when one expresses disapproval of other cult figures, such as President Obama, Ron Paul, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Paul Krugman — it is presumed that all animadversion must be motivated by envy or by snobbery or by secret admiration, and that it can therefore be safely ignored. “What have you done,” they will ask, “that compares to my paragon of virtue?” All told, it’s really quite pathetic.

Meanwhile, Matt Lewis, who has often defended Palin against some of the criticism directed against her, wonders if her early critics have been vindicated:

But you could argue that the conservatives who went after Palin back in ’08 have now been vindicated—regardless of their motivation. And my counterfactual (that Palin might have turned out better had everyone had cut her some slack in 2008) feels increasingly tenuous.

Is it possible that Kathleen Parker saw something I didn’t when she attacked Palin? I saw it as strangling the conservative baby in the crib; Parker probably saw it as snuffing out a monster.

Such is the plight of a writer; I got some stuff right, and my position was justifiable at the time, but in hindsight I regret contributing to the premature deification of Sarah Palin.

I still say she was an incredibly talented political force, but she squandered her opportunity for greatness, and instead became a fad. And it’s worth considering that maybe her early critics saw some fundamental character flaw—some harbinger of things to come—that escaped me?

It’s probably time to concede that the early critics of Sarah Palin had a point, and that they shouldn’t have been tarred and feathered and (in some cases) nearly purged from the conservative movement. I’m not excusing the vilest attacks, of course, but for a long time, there was close to zero tolerance of anything remotely critical of Palin (or, at least, even mild criticism would evoke stern rebukes), and that was wrong. And, as evidenced by the spate of articles coming from conservative venues this week, it’s also over.

To those of us who have seen through the Palin facade from the beginning, of course, none of this is really new. For those people, it was apparent that there was far less substance to the former Alaska Governor than her boosters were claiming, and that there was something, well, quite odd about the unquestioning, cult-like adulation that she seemed to generate among conservatives for a long period of time. Yes, there was a brief time in 2008 when it seemed like there might be something to this previously unknown politician that burst onto the scene from seemingly out of nowhere when John McCain selected her as his Vice-Presidential running mate, It didn’t take long, though, for the bloom to come off of that particular rose and for it to become quite apparent that, while Palin may have succeeded in the strange and isolated world of Alaska politics, she was by no means suited for national politics, not to mention national office. It wasn’t just the bizarre interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, or the folksy disjointed stump speeches, although that was certainly part of what contributed to the negative impression that Palin generated in some corners. The truth is that, to those who were not drawn into the frenzy that surrounded her candidacy back in 2008, there was always something not quite right about this Governor from Alaska, and that impression just seemed to be confirmed as time went on and Palin went from being a candidate to a reality television star to a pundit with a Fox News gig, all the time saying things that just became more and more bizarre to anyone who gave them even a moments worth of rational thought.

There’s no denying that Palin did have an impact on the conservative movement, but in the end I think it’s clear that this impact has been far more negative than positive. Because of her, there has been an element of anti-intellectual populism introduced into conservative politics that had seemingly been written out of the movement by William F.. Buckley Jr. and others who are credited with founding what became modern conservative politics. To no small degree, all of that became apparent in that one speech last Saturday in Iowa. In the space of some thirty-five minutes, everything that Palin’s critics have been saying about her for the past six and a half years was laid bare for everyone to see, The jig is up There is no there there. It was impossible for anyone other than the most deluded Palin fanboy or fangirl to to deny that, for all that Sarah Palin might have been, it is obvious that now she’s nothing more than a grifter who spews out empty slogans and tired rhetoric for people who would rather not think too hard about politics. It plays well on Fox News, but it doesn’t belong on the national political stage and, apparently, many on the right are now figuring out that it doesn’t belong in the conservative movement either.

Here’s the speech itself:

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Politicians, Sarah Palin, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    Damn, now I’m getting stuck with 100,000 Palin/Bachmann stickers.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    A mighty noise rises. What is that sound? Whose are those voices?

    Why, it’s the sound produced by millions upon millions of liberals, setting down their lattes to rise to their feet and with one mighty voice cry out, “WE TOLD YOU SO!”

  3. RUexperienced says:

    Thank you for writing this. Every time Sarah Palin speaks, William F Buckley and Milton Freidman turn over in their graves.

    You are correct. Her jig is up.

    Finally.

  4. Doubter4444 says:

    Maybe, but read the comment sections (if you can get through them) at the bottom of the the pieces and you’ll se that there are a heck of a lot of fanboys still out there. And since politicians have been known to pander to their base from time to time (/), she is not going away anytime soon. That being said, the National Review comment section is a fever swamp of crazy. I actually had the opportunity to know WFB a little, and to see the decent into Bircher-ness must have him spinning in his grave. I guess some people still think it’s respectable, but it’s really quite a shame.

  5. Modulo Myself says:

    This is more about conservative writers living within a zone of idiots. They phoned in their defense; now they’re phoning in their criticism now that she’s no longer important. When the next Palin comes along, I’m sure they will all reset to zero and go back to talking about how meth and family brawls are the natural inheritance of Russell Kirk.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Funny that the ones who were wrong about Palin are largely the same ones who were wrong about Iraq, the economy, Obamacare, un-skewed polling, etc. The list is just too long.

    Stop talking about Republicans and Conservatism as though they are the same thing.
    Palin is just a symptom. Republicanism is the disease.

    You want Conservative? You should have voted for Obama.

  7. humanoid.panda says:

    Real test of her decline: will this thread break 50 comments? 100?

  8. grumpy realist says:

    @Doubter4444: I especially like the fan-bois who exult over the “power and passion” of Palin’s speech and don’t seem to notice that she’s sounding ever more like the babbling psycho on the street corner.

    (Even if the teleprompter broke, wouldn’t you think that you would have prepared even a little for that possibility? Just as Romney’s flop of a campaign shows exactly how good a “manager” he would actually be as POTUS, so does Sarah’s speech. If she’s this unprepared with the “crisis” of a dud teleprompter, why should we expect her able to handle anything more complicated?)

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    It’s been a VERY long five minutes of fame for her.

    Still, people will flock to those type of like-minded events so that they can hear Ms. Palin say something along the lines of: “This one time, in moose camp…”

    While reality has set in for the conservative leadership (and her chances of being elected even dog catcher are slim to none), various ultra right folks will still seek her endorsement.

    Then, when the tally of 2016 is finished, and those that will have received her endorsement will have lost, we will finally be able to stick a fork in this fleeting moment of American History.

  10. David in KC says:

    @grumpy realist: I thought teleprompters were bad things…

  11. Davebo says:

    Enough anyone ever needs to say about Matt Lewis.

    I still say she was an incredibly talented political force, but she squandered her opportunity for greatness

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @David in KC:
    Only if you are a Democrat.

  13. Scott says:

    Is it possible that Kathleen Parker saw something I didn’t when she attacked Palin? I saw it as strangling the conservative baby in the crib; Parker probably saw it as snuffing out a monster.

    I remember when she first got on the national stage. My wife immediately pegged her as a narcisstic Queen Bee type. The kind of person who would always disrupt the PTA meeting; who would disrupt any type of activity to attract attention to themselves. And never accomplish anything useful.

    Palin will not go away. The question is whether the rest of us will turn our backs.

  14. Hal_10000 says:

    I’m pretty conservative and have not been happy with a lot of what Obama has done. But good Lord am I grateful that this fruitcake is not a heartbeat away from the Presidency. She is everything that’s wrong with the Republican Party — reactionary, more interesting in scoring points, a complete product of the media, devoid of ideas. And I don’t see how anyone can take McCain seriously after 2008. When it came time to making one of the more important decisions of his potential presidency, he made one of the all-time political blunders.

  15. Davebo says:

    Because of her, there has been an element of anti-intellectual populism introduced into conservative politics that had seemingly been written out of the movement by William F.. Buckley Jr. and others who are credited with founding what became modern conservative politics.

    The attempted rehabilitation of William F.. Buckley Jr. is both sad and a bit pathetic.

    Not since Ronald Reagan have so many people tried so hard to push away the historical truth in exchange for a fantasy of what was.

  16. Tillman says:

    I think if we could only harness the energy of John McCain’s pained sighs every time Palin makes the news cycle, then we would’ve had a source of clean, renewable energy able to power at least 500 homes for those six years.

  17. Nikki says:

    Yes, there was a brief time in 2008 when it seemed like there might be something to this previously unknown politician that burst onto the scene from seemingly out of nowhere when John McCain selected her as his Vice-Presidential running mate

    No, no there wasn’t. Intelligent women everywhere recognized her immediately for what she is–a Mean Girl who foolish, horny men foisted on the public solely because she is pretty.

  18. al-Ameda says:

    I realize that this falls into the category of “Watch Out What You Wish For,” but ….

    I really hope that she is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2016. The entertainment value is potentially enormous. She is the most relentlessly un-thoughtful, diarrhetic, and impulsive major political figure of the last 30 years or so. She’s got that NASCAR Appeal – we’re going to pay attention so that we can see the spin-outs and crashes.

  19. gVOR08 says:

    No more tingles up legs and star bursts I guess. What can you say. People who aren’t well grounded in reality are prone to disappointments.

  20. CSK says:

    I think Palin’s meltdown in Iowa finally gave the conservative pundits the opportunity to say what they’ve been thinking ever since Katie Couric stumped her with that question about what newspapers she read. (They should have done it much sooner, despite the fact that voicing the slightest criticism of Palin results in one’s inbox immediately being filled with 5000 emailed death threats, imprecations, and fervent wishes that one’s children die in agony, all signed by people who profess themselves to be Christian patriots. I understand why someone would want to avoid that.) But beyond that, you would have to be a halfwit to think that this woman was any kind of serious political force. She can’t speak coherently, she dresses like an aging streetwalker, and her career since 2009 has been that of a reality show starlet.

  21. Argon says:

    Sarah who?

  22. grumpy realist says:

    She really is like watching a car spin out on the Indy 500, isn’t she?

    What I still can’t figure out is why she still has such a legion of fanbois. Either they’re thinking with their little head (but isn’t Sarah a little long-in-the-tooth for that?) or they’ve got chips on their shoulders a mile high because Dear Sarah is a Real Amurrican and the rest of us who speak in plain and understandable English aren’t.

    I’ve never found anything in Sarah’s steaming word salads more than the standard resentment spiel against Them People Who Talk Posh.

    In other words, Mencken was right.

  23. Mikey says:

    It wasn’t just the bizarre interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, or the folksy disjointed stump speeches, although that was certainly part of what contributed to the negative impression that Palin generated in some corners.

    Who are you kidding? Those were huge selling points with the Tea Party types.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:
    They’ll support Palin because she annoys liberals. That’s all the rationale the true Tea Party type needs.

  25. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Either they’re thinking with their little head (but isn’t Sarah a little long-in-the-tooth for that?)

    There’s nothing wrong with desiring an older woman, as Ben Franklin so wryly noted some 270 years ago…

    But if you will not take this Counsel, and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:

    1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

    2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

    3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience.

    4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

    5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding2 only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

    6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

    7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

    8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!

  26. CSK says:

    I give it another ten minutes before the Palin Fan Club swoops in and starts frantically downvoting any comment that offers the remotest criticism of their darling. I see I’ve already gotten one thumbs down.

    Once, years ago, I ventured to comment at another site that I didn’t think Palin would run for the presidency in 2012. That was all I saod. Someone called me a “lesbian baby-killer,” someone else called me a “RINO elitist snob,” and someone else a “Commie whore.” There was more, but you get the gist.

    Never argue with cultists.

  27. MM2 says:

    @grumpy realist: What I still can’t figure out is why she still has such a legion of fanbois

    For some time, the conservative Id has been “if it upsets them (them being liberals, RINOs, etc.), then it must be good.” Sarah Palin was a pure example of that, and as an added bonus, there were many reasons why you could project that “they” really hated her. Is it because she is so charming? Beautiful? Patriotic? Successful? Conservative? Alaskan? Married? Is it because she can wear a cocktail dress after a day shooting? Is it because she didn’t get rid of her son? Is it because she so deftly brushes off “their” insults?

    Almost every reason that you can come up with that “they” are anti-American, you can project as to why “they” hate Palin.

    But the GOP has no lack of people who will say outlandish things and can be projection vehicles. Ben Carson can say outlandish things without the word salad. Mike Huckabee can say outlandish things while sounding more folksy. Jodi Ernst can say outlandish things without news of her family driving around town getting in fistfights.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @MM2:

    See, now you’re just making me nostalgic for Palin days of yore. How many other former Veep candidates ever delivered so much sheer entertainment?

  29. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You answered your own question. It’s precisely because she talks in “steaming word salad” that they love her. That’s the sign of a true American patriot, you know.

    People who speak and write in grammatical sentences, dress appropriate to the occasion, don’t crash birthday parties and initiate drunken brawls, graduate from high school (I’m not altogether sure if any of Palin’s children can claim that distinction, so far), and don’t parade around carrying signs that read “Fu*k you, Michael Moore,” are by definition Godless subversive America-hating liberal progressive Euroweenies.

  30. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Mikey: well, that’s a generic argument. But as applied to Our Sarah??

    I see No evidence of her “studying to be good”, for instance. More sloshed, perhaps….

  31. @michael reynolds:

    How many other former Veep candidates ever delivered so much sheer entertainment?

    Joe Biden.

  32. Pinky says:

    I had the occasion to read some Andrew Sullivan today. It’s easy to forget that Palin didn’t simply annoy liberals; she drove them mad. I can’t imagine another politician who could inspire OTB’ers to discuss the positives and negatives of banging him/her. I don’t believe that the enemy of my enemy is my friend in politics, but in the black-and-white world of modern debate, it’s understandable why Palin’s defenders were so passionate.

  33. MBunge says:

    Palin was a minor league politician who was dropped into the last two months of a Presidential campaign with virtually no preparation and became an absolute sensation. There are a lot of people who would come through such an experience in even worse shape than Palin.

    Mike

  34. jukeboxgrad says:

    Charles C.W. Cooke:

    the media has been reflexively unfair to her

    A nice example of Charles C.W. Cooke being “reflexively unfair” to “the media.” Funny how conservatives make this accusation routinely while routinely failing to actually cite a single actual example.

    Pinky:

    Palin didn’t simply annoy liberals; she drove them mad.

    Another nice example of an accusation that will never be supported with evidence.

  35. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pinky:

    But she didn’t drive liberals crazy. Nixon did. Reagan did. But not Sarah Palin. This is what’s so puzzling; that conservative mistook endless easy mockery for rage.

  36. jukeboxgrad says:

    As usual, they see precisely what they want to see. No less and no more.

  37. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I referred to both Andrew Sullivan and this comment thread.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:

    Oh, dude, you are so wrong. You guys thought she annoyed liberals. We’ve loved her from the start, are you kidding? She was an albatross around John McCain’s neck, and permanently discredited him. She was the go-to example of what clueless buffoons Republicans are. Remember: it’s not news to us that she’s a moron, it’s only news to you.

  39. jukeboxgrad says:

    I referred to both Andrew Sullivan and this comment thread.

    Now quote actual words.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Sorry, I see you beat me to it.

  41. Nikki says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Remember: it’s not news to us that she’s a moron, it’s only news to you.

    God, I love this line.

  42. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I’d suggest paging up (say, somewhere around “aging streetwalker”), or googling “Andrew Sullivan Trig Truth”.

  43. jukeboxgrad says:

    “aging streetwalker”

    Once again you show that you don’t comprehend the concept of mockery.

    googling “Andrew Sullivan Trig Truth”

    I know exactly what he said. I’m challenging you to quote the words that you consider “mad.”

  44. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pinky:

    I can’t imagine another politician who could inspire OTB’ers to discuss the positives and negatives of banging him/her.

    It is entirely appropriate for liberals to discuss her in sexual terms because conservatives discussed her in sexual terms (“I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot”), and she discussed herself in sexual terms (“he’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack”).

    Another fun moment in conservative history, from 2008:

    I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.”

    “Banging” is just a plainer way of saying the same thing.

  45. Moderate Mom says:

    When Palin burst on the scene in 2008, I was wowed by her convention speech. It was an amazing performance, with the word “performance” being key. She delivered a speech written by others in a rousing fashion, but then we all got to see her speak without the benefit of a speechwriter as the campaign went on. I’m not sure that “word salad” even begins to describe the disjointed word association that passes for a Palin speech and I keep hoping her fifteen minutes are up soon.

    In a very small defense of her, yes, she mistreated my the media in many ways. Probably worst was Dr. Andrew Sullivan, obstetrical expert on the female reproductive system. I think the crazy he spouted did a lot to have some on the right dig their heels in to defend her, delaying the time when the general consensus would agree that there isn’t a lot of there there.

  46. Gustopher says:

    When I first heard the criticisms of this speech, I listened to it, eagerly awaiting for the complete nonsensical rambling of her resignation speech.

    But it never came. The “oh, poor me, I am a victim” was there, along with the “passing off liberals is more important than any accomplishments”, but mostly it was just platitudes for the far right. She is actually less crazy sounding than in the past, although more narcisistic. I still wouldn’t want her in charge of an HOA, of course, let alone a country, mind you.

    The far right is turning on her after a few years. Why could that be? Is it just that she is older and beginning to lose a bit of her looks? Or are they wishing up?

  47. Tony W says:

    I’m still surprised when people say she is good looking – I just don’t see it. Now Tina Fey – there’s a looker!

  48. Moosebreath says:

    @Pinky:

    “I referred to both Andrew Sullivan and this comment thread.”

    Calling Andrew Sullivan a liberal is not a good way to show you are grounded in reality.

  49. An Interested Party says:

    …she drove them mad.

    Indeed…mad with laughter…

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    As it happens I said just that to a Palin-besotted blogger six years ago. Guy’s name was Simon, but I’ve lost track of him and I don’t remember the blog. Anyway, in my usual restrained and understated way (ahem) I said that he and the rest of her fanbois would turn on her when she transitioned from MILF to GILF. Much uproar ensued.

  51. Tillman says:

    @Pinky:

    I had the occasion to read some Andrew Sullivan today. It’s easy to forget that Palin didn’t simply annoy liberals; she drove them mad.

    I know Moosebreath already said it. Not to pile on, but Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul, is not a liberal. Classically liberal perhaps, but then again almost everyone here at OTB qualifies as that. Hell, most Americans probably qualify as that.

    Wherever you got the idea that Sullivan is liberal, discard it as a trusted source on reality. In all somberness, that is a categorical error that needs addressing.

  52. CB says:

    Man, this was the blog post that Doug was born to write. I imagine you needed a cigarette afterwards.

    Now excuse me, I have a 125 post quick take to peruse. Has to be interesting down there.

  53. ernieyeball says:

    How many other former Veep candidates ever delivered so much sheer entertainment?

    Dan Quayle?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYJVfd5WRhE
    This will be hard to beat.

    “…and I hope that what I have said today will make television, radio, the press recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they’re against a candidate, give him the shaft. But also recognize that if they give him the shaft put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then. Thank you gentlemen and good day.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RMSb-tS_OM

  54. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Even if the teleprompter broke, wouldn’t you think that you would have prepared even a little for that possibility?

    No, I wouldn’t. I imagine that’s pretty rare a mishap in today’s rarefied political appearances.

    The thing is, I would be more inclined to be sympathetic to people fumbling on a televised stage like that* due to a teleprompter malfunction if right-wing commentators everywhere hadn’t made it a meme that Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter. It felt like poetic justice.

    I shouldn’t be feeling that, but the discourse has coarsened so over the last decade.

    * And Jesus, what a fumble. I hadn’t watched the speech, only read about it. Her performance is much worse than I imagined.

  55. MarkedMan says:

    First, my bona fides: I’ve thought Sarah Palin was toxic from the moment John Cain introduced her. And, as someone with elderly parents, the fact that she turned the very positive concept of doctors discussing with their elderly patients how much “heroic” efforts they would like to preserve their life into “death panels”, well, that is toxic to every American family in a very real way. But those on the left who drop comments about “moose” and “rural” and “teenage pregnancy” are doing a great disservice to the cause, and promoting the stereotypes of us liberals as snobs. Sarah Palin’s faults are many, but the fact that she hunts and fishes, the fact that she struggled to finish college, do not make her “less”. Posing with a rifle doesn’t make you more qualified to hold national office, but neither does going to a gallery opening.

  56. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    I had the occasion to read some Andrew Sullivan today. It’s easy to forget that Palin didn’t simply annoy liberals; she drove them mad.

    You think Andrew Sullivan is a liberal???

  57. dennis says:

    @Tillman:

    Till, you and I both know why Pinky thinks Sullivan is liberal …

  58. michael reynolds says:

    People calling themselves conservative nowadays don’t actually know what conservatism is. They don’t understand that what passes for conservative today is actually radical and reactionary.

  59. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Sarah Palin appeals to the mindset of the hopelessly faithful. As an example, consider the widely known joke about the guy who drowns during a flood waiting for God to save him, ignoring the rescuers who showed up with a truck, a boat, and a helicopter. Sarah ‘Cuda’s fans are still on the rooftop, watching the waters rise and damning the lamestream media for their lack of adulation.

  60. superdestroyer says:

    What is amazing is that amount of time and effort wonks and pundits put in to writing about a candidate seems to be inversely proportional to that candidates chances of winning. Too many political writers seem addicted to writing about irrelevant candidate from an irrelevant political party rather than focus on the one candidate who probably stands greater than a 90% chance of being president in 2017. Is seems like writers, wonks, pundits, and political observers know what the end result will be in November 2016 and are looking for ways to keep themselves entertained until the likely result occurs.

    I guess writing about irrelevant people is more enjoyable and easier than writing about the most likely issues in policy and governance in the future.

  61. jukeboxgrad says:

    the fact that she struggled to finish college, do not make her “less”

    Except that it does. Less anti-intellectualism, please. Let’s say you are about to hire someone to do an important job, for example, surgery needed to save your life. All you know about the two candidates is that one “struggled to finish college” and the other did not. I think I know which one you’ll hire. Hiring a president shouldn’t be any different.

    Now, the “struggled” might just somehow be a result of a person being born poor. That’s a different story. But she wasn’t born poor (poor kids in Wasilla don’t start college in Hawaii). She was born dim, lazy, shallow and narcissistic. Those things were the cause of “struggled to finish college” in this instance, and glossing over them is a form of anti-intellectualism, something of which we have too much.

    To a great extent Palin’s essence is the glorification of anti-intellectualism. This should be explicitly recognized and condemned.

    promoting the stereotypes of us liberals as snobs

    Appreciating education and intellect doesn’t make me a snob. It makes me someone who understands that thinking is superior to not thinking. Being bashful or defensive about this is a mistake.

  62. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    transitioned from MILF to GILF

    That’s why you get paid to write. I was wanting to touch on that obvious, but unremarked, aspect of this. But I failed to come up with a sufficiently amusing way to say it to get past the PC. She did look old, didn’t she.

  63. grumpy realist says:

    I think the main reason so many of us women held Sarah Palin in contempt (and her fanbois in contempt as well) is because we’ve all known someone like her. The catty Mean Girl who trades on her sex appeal to get ahead, while more qualified female candidates are ignored. The Mean Girl rises through the ranks until she gets into a position where she is completely over her head, spins out in a flaming disaster, and then her fall from grace is used as a reason by the Powers-That-Be to not promote other women “because they’re unqualified in higher positions.” Where the real problem is that a nitwit was promoted far above her abilities because men didn’t think about qualifications, only about how “hot” she was.

    Need I say more?

  64. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky:

    …it’s understandable why Palin’s defenders were so passionate.

    No. It isn’t actually.
    That was what was maddening. We liberals like small d democracy, and we know it requires an informed, rational electorate. We like to think the other side are good people (which many are) who can be persuaded by facts and logic.
    It was blindingly obvious that Palin was a fish taken out of a very small pond who totally failed to cope in the big pond and degenerated into a two bit grifter. That others doubled down on the belief she should be given the nuclear launch codes deeply shakes our faith in the reasonableness of the electorate.

  65. Crusty says:

    I thought her comments were deeply insightful and made perfect sense. Why does the lamestream media dog this woman? Because they know she would beat Hillary with a two to one margin..

  66. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, I have to link to this report of the Iowa shindig. It’s a hoot.

  67. grumpy realist says:

    @Crusty: Oh, yes–PLEAASE run your Dear Sarah against Hillary! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

    (Or, in the terms of another great writer: “Laser beam, meet butter. Butter, laser beam. Oops.” )

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:

    She did look old, didn’t she.

    All those drunken keg party brawls can take a toll.

  69. SenyorDave says:

    I remember talking with my mom, who was 78 at the time, after Palin’s debate with Biden. The first thing she talked about was Palin’s wink. My mom didn’t like any of her politics, but the wink made my mom loathe her. I was surprised how strongly she felt about it. When I asked her why, she said it reminded her of my father’s engineering annual meetings in the 1970’s. For year’s the conventions were in Atlantic City, but when AC got real bad, they moved the convention to the Playboy Club at Great Gorge. My mom said that wink reminded her of the Playboy bunnies, who would do that while waiting tables. And my mom said she understood that. These women were trying to make a living, and they worked pretty much for tips. But when she saw an adult running for VP of the US do it, she found it repulsive. And for every guy who might have voted for McCain/Palin because they got, as Rich Lowry so eloquently put it, “starbursts in their eyes”, there had to be at least one women who saw Palin for what she is. A woman who got by on her appearance, who wasn’t willing to do the work (I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Palin was getting tutored on foreign policy. There are two Koreas?)

  70. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Crusty:
    P.S. Your use of the term “lamestream media” is as much of an identifying trait of one of Dear Sarah’s fanbois as teabags dangling from hats identify a Tea Party member. I wonder how much money has Dear Sarah managed to wheedle out of you already?

  71. wr says:

    @Moderate Mom: ” I think the crazy he spouted did a lot to have some on the right dig their heels in to defend her, delaying the time when the general consensus would agree that there isn’t a lot of there there.”

    Ah, the party of personal responsibility strikes again. “We only insisted Palin was brilliant because you guys made us by being mean to her.”

    If you are that easily manipulated by your opposition, you should seriously consider never voting again.

  72. dmhlt says:

    Well, just like a number of Beatle’s songs, if you listened to her SDRAWKCAB she was absolutely TNAILLIRB!

  73. Robin Cohen says:

    @Nikki: Let’s all be grateful that she didn’t become Vice President and that at this point it is highly unlikely that her ambition will EVER propel her further than her limited intelligence can handle.

  74. Blue Galangal says:

    @Moderate Mom: I knew all I needed to know about her when my mom and sister breathlessly recounted how “brave” she was to fly from Dallas to Alaska WHILE IN PRETERM LABOUR WITH A CHILD SHE ALREADY KNEW HAD DOWN SYNDROME AND A HOLE IN HIS HEART.

    That right there tells you everything you need to know about Sarah Palin’s intelligence and judgement. Also too her commitment to “life.”

  75. Mikey says:
  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    Also too her commitment to “life.”

    Good point. Link:

    what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?

    Those are the words of a famous pro-life conservative who voted for McCain.

  77. Nikki says:

    @SenyorDave:

    My mom didn’t like any of her politics, but the wink made my mom loathe her.

    Yup. That a female candidate for the Vice President of the United States would use her sex appeal in such a manner disgusted me. She ;is the embodiment of every sexist excuse men have ever used to keep women beneath the glass ceiling. Sarah Palin single-handedly set the campaign for equal rights back decades.

  78. anjin-san says:

    While there is certainly entertainment value in watching Palin spiral downward towards D list celebrity status, Democrats should also engage in a bit of introspection and remember that we had John Edwards on our ticket not so long ago.

    That being said, I look forward to seeing Palin doing infomercials with Erik Estrada and personal appearances alongside of Vanilla Ice.

  79. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “Democrats should also engage in a bit of introspection and remember that we had John Edwards on our ticket not so long ago.”

    John Edwards was reckless in his personal life and stupidly put his dick in front of his ambitions. But he was also the only candidate from either party who exerted the slightest bit of energy on the problem of poverty — even Obama and Hillary stuck with praising the middle class.

    What exactly did Palin ever stand for besides unlimited access to national lands for the extractive industries and tax cuts for billionaires?

  80. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    What exactly did Palin ever stand for besides unlimited access to national lands for the extractive industries and tax cuts for billionaires?

    The sportsmanship exemplified by shooting wolves with a high powered rifle from a helicopter?

  81. @Doubter4444: Give NRO some credit for publishing Cooke’s article. Their writers are among the folks who have never been much enchanted with Palin, and they are mostly carrying on the legacy of William F. Buckley.

    But the comments … yeah, I’ll grant you that. I don’t know what it is about NRO that attracts people who like to scream “RINO!” but the large number of comments accusing NRO of being a sellout to the Establishment is not something that only appeared with the Palin column.

  82. jukeboxgrad says:

    Their writers are among the folks who have never been much enchanted with Palin

    “Never?” Are you sure? This claim is greatly undermined by the fact that it was none other than NR’s editor, Rich Lowry, who made the famous “starbursts” remark on 10/3/08. As a result Urban Dictionary now defines “lowry” as an erection.

    “Much enchanted” is a perfect description of the state that Lowry described.

  83. Grewgills says:

    This speech has her as an early favorite for the 2015 Charlie Sheen Incoherent Ramble Award. I think she might have managed it without drugs. I’m not sure if that earns her an asterisk.

  84. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    t is entirely appropriate for liberals to discuss her in sexual terms because conservatives discussed her in sexual terms

    Bullsh!t. Sexism by Republicans doesn’t make sexism by their opponents ok. Both hurt women to score political points. There is plenty to attack Palin on without resorting to tired sexist tropes and name calling like caribou barbie. You should be better than that. We all should.

  85. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 21:24

    t is entirely appropriate for liberals to discuss her in sexual terms because conservatives discussed her in sexual terms

    Bullsh!t. Sexism by Republicans doesn’t make sexism by their opponents ok. Both hurt women to score political points. There is plenty to attack Palin on without resorting to tired sexist tropes and name calling like caribou barbie. You should be better than that. We all should.

    PS after a brief respite the spam filter has gone back to eating replies to you

  86. grumpy realist says:

    @Grewgills: I think it’s more that Dear Sarah talked about herself in sexual terms…..

    Once you open the door, you can hardly complain if the other side walks through it.

  87. Deserttrek says:

    but little barry boy obama and shrillary are geniuses?

  88. Gustopher says:

    @anjin-san:

    The sportsmanship exemplified by shooting wolves with a high powered rifle from a helicopter?

    To be fair, shooting a moving target from a significant distance, while on another moving target, with lots of noise and wind… That’s pretty difficult stuff.

    I feel sorry for Sarah Palin, losing the respect of the rube class, bit by bit.

    And, I think it’s bad for America that she is falling out of favor. Not all of America, mind you, but Real America, where there are more people than livestock, and where you can get a good burrito and maybe some nice Ethiopian food. Every dollar she got from her followers she spent on herself. This was money that could easily have gone somewhere more productive, to support terrible policies. She’s been a burden on the right-wing, a modest hobble, and I would hate to see them less fettered.

  89. grumpy realist says:

    @Deserttrek: Or Carly F., if you want to stick with Republican women.

    Face it, it’s not a Republican/Democratic thing. Sarah, unless she’s reading a speech someone else wrote for her, has turned into an incoherent nitwit.

  90. Tillman says:

    @Grewgills: I always figured there was enough to criticize without getting into sexual crap.

    It didn’t help that Palin’s looks were used as a rhetorical weapon against people who disagreed with her. One of my crasser friends said I disliked her more than average for a public figure I disagreed with because I “wanted to bang her.” I wish at the time I’d’ve been witty enough to twist the Vonnegut line back at him — “She is a horrible person, all style but no substance, indicative of everything wrong with our political discourse…but a sensational invitation to make babies.”

  91. al-Ameda says:

    @Deserttrek:

    but little barry boy obama and shrillary are geniuses?

    people who refer to Obama as “little barry boy” and Hillary as “shrillary” are definitely not geniuses.

  92. DRF says:

    @Scott: Narcissistic–exactly. Not by any means her only flaw, but clearly a key one. The compulsion to respond to every criticism, no matter how mild; the constant focus on herself, even when speaking to a political group; playing the victim–all of this makes it impossible for her to have a national political career. Not to mention the inability to speak (or think) coherently, the absolute failure in all of her time on the national stage to ever say anything showing real insight or original thought, the refusal to learn anything about the issues.

  93. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “That being said, I look forward to seeing Palin doing infomercials with Erik Estrada and personal appearances alongside of Vanilla Ice”

    Hey, when I hired Erik Estrada to play “Frankencop” in an episode of Diagnosis Murder, he turned out to be a lovely human being. He deserves much better than Sarah Palin!

  94. al-Ameda says:

    @wr:

    Hey, when I hired Erik Estrada to play “Frankencop” in an episode of Diagnosis Murder, he turned out to be a lovely human being. He deserves much better than Sarah Palin!

    One weekend afternoon I actually watched Erik’s 45 minute(?) infomercial for sales of homes and properties at Lake Shastina (up in Northern California.) Basically, he was more articulate and reality-based than Sarah Palin could ever be.