Saturday, October 17, 2009

Submit Your Favorite GOP Hero

Hmmm. I wonder what name we should all submit as our favorite GOP hero?

Submit your favorite GOP woman at this Facebook page.

The Republican Party has a rich history of men and women who fought for freedom and equality. This is just a sample of the many historical heroes who have long since gone but left a lasting impression on the Party, the country, and the world. Please submit your own favorite Republican hero ideas for future features.

The current leadership is committed to continuing these traditions and making sure that today's Republicans know their past so they can draw from it for future success. Who will be the next member of the Republican Party to achieve greatness?

I don't know about my fellow C4Pers, but I submitted the woman pictured below. Perhaps you guys recognize her.


Saturday Open Thread

ESPN: NCAA Football: Week Seven Schedule

ESPN: NCAA Football: Week Seven Rankings NFL: Week Six Schedule

Indianapolis Star: For high school refs, 'average' night is never ordinary

AP: High school's blind team manager scores touchdown

Update by TR: Don't see a need for a new open thread this afternoon/evening so I'll just add what I've got to Mel's post:

-John King from CNN recently visited Alaska and talked to some Alaskans at a Wasilla diner, that has been frequented by Governor Palin and her family, about Barack Obama. Barack Obama won around 20% of the vote in the district, but don't be surprised if King somehow found a way to run into the few people in Wasilla who have a favorable view of the President.

-For those of you who like Michele Bachmann, you'll be thrilled to learn that even the TPM crowd concedes that she is in "solid financial condition for 2010."

-Stunning: "One top Crist supporter even speculated that Crist might consider withdrawing from the race and run for re-election."


Friday, October 16, 2009

Update to "Public School Library Propagates Falsehood that Governor Palin Banned Books"

On September 29th, I posted an article called "Public School Library Propagates Falsehood that Governor Palin Banned Books." (See video at the end.)

To recap:

I was walking on my way to the weight room this evening when I stopped dead in my tracks after taking a few steps past the library. I backed up and took in the display in the window, which includes various books, quotes, and poetry about reading and book banning. Only one person's picture is a part of the display--and that person is Governor Palin. It was included in an old article called "Sarah Palin, aspiring book banner?" which was published in the LA Times a year ago. That article makes up a homemade poster that says, "Sarah Palin + Banned Books = Censorship."

Listen, I'm not talking about a local area library. I'm talking about a public school library, where they use this week to demonize Palin as the enemy of free thought, reading, and exploration. Nevermind the plethora of information out there that she never sought to ban books but had asked a general question of a librarian to discover how she would deal with censorship. Nevermind the numerous times Governor Palin has herself stated she never sought to ban books. And nevermind the fact that some of the books on the list, like Harry Potter, hadn't even been published yet! No, facts aren't important.


On the left and right of the display in the library window is the poem "Manifesto" by author, Ellen Hopkins. In the poem, Hopkins blasts "zealots, biggots, and false patriots," for their desire to censor. This poem is the official poem of this year's Banned Books Week--and Governor Palin's picture is the centerpiece!

What gives them the right to place this attack in the library window? Who approved the display--or who overlooked it? Am I the only person who walked by and saw it? What impression does it give our children? What impact will this have on their vote in a few years? I am livid, as I should be. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior.


My approach tomorrow? I will go into the library with the facts and present them respectfully. I will ask that Governor Palin's picture and the article be removed. If that is denied, I will request they hang another article next to it--which I will graciously provide--that refutes the falsehoods. If I do not get anywhere with the librarian, well, I'll go to the next level. It is my hope that my talk with the librarian will suffice, but we'll see what happens.

So what has happened? Many of you have contacted me to find out what became of the situation. Time has transpired, but please know that I haven't been sitting around for the last couple weeks. I have actually been very much in the thick of things, battling this situation and standing up for the truth--the truth about Governor Palin, yes, but more importantly, truth for our kids who deserve as much in an educational setting.

So let me take you step by step through this situation.

Tuesday evening, September 29th:
I notice the display.

Wednesday morning, September 30th:
First thing in the morning, I enter the school library with articles that state the truth about the book banning accusation that surfaced during the 2008 campaign. I respectfully address the falsehood. The librarian acknowledges that Governor Palin never banned books, but states that she believes Palin wanted to ban books. Therefore, she feels justified in hanging a poster, which she admits she personally made, that links Governor Palin to banning books. She, too, is respectful, but she refuses to remove Governor Palin from the display. Even after over 20 minutes of conversation, she will not budge--only says she'll do more research. During the conversation I suggest putting up, alongside her display, the articles that I have that state the facts.

Wednesday afternoon:
A co-worker comes to see me because the librarian emailed her a link to the blog I wrote about the display. (Apparently the librarian came upon it in her research.) We engage in conversation regarding the issue.

Wednesday, later in the afternoon:
I haven't heard more from the librarian, and I seek out the principal. I ask him if we can have a meeting about the issue, and I fill him in briefly. I explain that Governor Palin's picture was in the midst of a display with a poem calling out "bigots, zealots, and false patriots." I also tell him the banned books lie was dealt with a year ago. He cuts me off, says a meeting isn't necessary, and that he will take the display down "right now." He tells me he has not seen the display. At this point, I think the falsehood is dealt with and all will be well--responsible action taken.

Wednesday, before the end of the day:
I receive an email from the principal stating he has seen the display, has talked to the librarian, and if I need to talk to him further, give him a call. At this point I realize he has not directed the librarian to remove Governor Palin from the display. I call his office, but he is in a meeting. I stop in to see him before I leave work, but he has left. I go by the library--and there the dishonest display remains. (How many students have been lied to by now?)

Thursday morning:
I drop by the principal's office to talk to him. I spend about a half hour discussing the issue with him. I explain that I didn't want to have to come to him, that I was hoping the librarian and I could have resolved it. He has a copy of the article that she posted and says she told him that because Governor Palin is "provocative," she wanted to use her to draw the kids in. I explain that as an educational institution, it is absolutely necessary that we draw kids in with the truth, not lies that amount to defamation. I also say that the librarian has admitted that Governor Palin never banned books, yet is insisting on keeping the display up. I use the example that President Obama is also provocative and that there are many opinions of him, for example the birth certificate issue, but that to put up a display that said, "President Obama + No Birth Certificate = Illegal Alien" or something like that would not only be unfair to him, but it would be unfair to our students. I point out that this is clearly an attempt to demonize Governor Palin and to indoctrinate our students--and neither has a place in a school. He doesn't say much throughout our conversation, just looks at me and allows me to speak. I reiterate that Governor Palin never, ever asked for books to be banned, and that it is on record that no books were ever banned from the Wasilla Library. I have the evidence with me. I mention also that at this point the display has been up too long, hundreds of students have seen it, and the responsible thing would now be to take down the display and post the truth. If we are going to be in the business of educating, it's important to use facts--and when we mess up, just correct it. It's that simple. As the meeting is winding down, he eventually says, "I will speak to her." When I ask if he will ask her to remove the misinformation about Governor Palin from the display, he simply repeats, "I will speak to her." When I ask, "Will you let me know the decision about the display?" he answers, "I will speak to her." I then say, "Well then, I'll follow up," and I leave his office.

Thursday, after school ended and most staff had left:
I walk by the library to see if the display is as it has been. It is unchanged.

Friday morning:
I email the principal to state that the display was still up as of Thursday evening, and that since this is the last day of Banned Books Week, the responsible thing to do in our quest for teaching young adults the truth is to put up a display that states the fact that Governor Palin never banned books. I write that our children deserve as much and that it is our responsibility not to cause even one of them to be misled. I receive no response.

Friday, well after school had ended:
I walk by the library and see that the display is down. I pretty much expected this since Banned Books Week is over. Another display for Day of the Dead is up. I then decide to go to the Administrative Suite to see if the superintendent is still there. He is. I explain the situation to him--and he appears very supportive. He had not been aware of the situation and seems concerned that something of this nature would be displayed in our school. I express that it is not only flat out dishonest, but it is unfair to the students we are committed to educating. He is especially interested in the fact that the librarian has acknowledged that she knows Governor Palin never banned books. I state that the responsible thing to do now is to put the truth up, as we have displayed a lie to hundreds of students in the past week in an attempt to demonize one person and advance a political agenda. My point to him is this: if that wasn't the motivation, why wouldn't she put up someone's picture who actually had banned books? I tell him that I want the truth to be displayed where the lie was for all our students to see, that this is the only responsible action. I state that the only thing that would keep someone from doing so is pride. He suggests that what I'm asking is reasonable but that he wants himself, the principal, librarian, and me to meet. I leave his office feeling good about the meeting and believing we will do the educationally responsible--and moral--thing.

Monday, October 5th:
At the end of the day, I email the superintendent about where things stand in terms of setting up a meeting about displaying the facts. I state that I would really like to get this out of the way.

I pass the superintendent in the hall in the morning. He states that we will have a meeting and thanks me for the reminder email.

Wednesday and Thursday:
I receive emails from the principal and his secretary about meeting with him. These emails amount to: I state that we have already met privately and that I would like to have the meeting the superintendent and I discussed--with everyone present. I send emails to all involved stating again that I'd like to do the responsible thing and correct the wrong by displaying the truth for our students. I email my times of availability to meet during the day or after school. I receive an email from the principal's secretary stating he can meet eight days later. I respond by stating that date is too far away and perhaps something will open up sooner. The principal emails that it is very difficult to arrange a meeting that fits everyone's schedule and would let me know when something opens up. I send him a "thank you" email.

At the end of the day, as I am co-teaching a class, I receive a phone call from the principal's secretary stating the superintendent, principal, and librarian are waiting for me to attend the meeting. Apparently there was some miscommunication because I had never been notified that the meeting was arranged. I leave the class in the hands of the co-teacher and go to the meeting.

I am asked to share my concern again. The superintendent expresses his viewpoint, which is that this should have been taken care of when I first went to the librarian. In other words, the display should have simply been taken down, as I came respectfully and directly to the librarian. The librarian states that she wanted to draw the kids' attention to Banned Books Week and Governor Palin could do that. When asked if it worked, she says that it did work, that many students came in to ask questions and to borrow books. There is a lot of discussion, which boils down to my stating that it is dangerous to use people and lies to shape the thinking of children. The superintendent voices his concern about the display and states that it should have come down, but says that he isn't sure he wants to become like a newspaper and retract what was up. I maintain that as educators this is the right thing to do. After all, the librarian herself said that many students took note of the display and discussed it. I express again that using only one person's picture--and someone who never banned even one book--to be the poster child of a display about "bigots, zealots, and false patriots" is unacceptable. I say that the librarian is entitled to think Governor Palin wanted to ban books, but she is not entitled to take that thought to the next level and present it as fact, which is exactly what a poster that says "Sarah Palin + Banned Books = Censorship" and an article about it does. I also state that if she thinks the governor wanted to ban books, then maybe she should wait until "People I Think Wanted to Ban Books Week" to put her in the midst of a display! When the superintendent asks the principal what he feels about the retraction display I am requesting, the principal doesn't commit one way or the other, just states that he understands both sides. The superintendent hears from the librarian, who asks if I am requesting displaying the truth in my classroom. I say, "No, in the same place the misinformation was." (Why would I put it in my classroom? I have nothing to retract, and the affected students aren't in my classes, as I teach in the connected junior high school, not the high school.) She goes on to say that my addressing it to "the whole world" on my blog and Twitter page should suffice, and the library is her classroom. The superintendent states that what I write or do outside of school is not his concern but the school is. She says in no uncertain terms she doesn't want the display I am proposing and that something else is already displayed in that space. I tell her that I understand that teachers like things in their rooms that represent them to a certain extent; however, this cannot come at the expense of providing our students with the truth. The meeting winds down and I am told that after I leave, the three of them will discuss the issue further and a decision will be made.

Monday, October 12th:
Columbus Day--no school.

I email the superintendent and ask what decision he reached. I thank him for his attention to the matter. I don't get a response.

No response

Thursday, end of the day:
I email the superintendent again and state that, having not heard back from him, I will assume he has decided not to approve a display that will provide our students with the truth to correct the falsehood they have been given.

Friday, today:
No response

Surely it is clear that I went above and beyond to do things properly in this situation. I never wanted to go to anyone in the district but the librarian. I never wanted to go over her head. That is simply not my heart. However, I do believe that it is becoming more and more important for people to stand up for what's right. In too many situations, like in New Jersey, students are being indoctrinated to almost reverence the president. The reverse of that seems to have taken place here, with a door being opened for students to despise Governor Palin. Neither is appropriate.

Even more upsetting than the demonization during Banned Books Week of one person who never banned books is the failure to act to correct it. It's easy to take the back door approach, to say, "What can we learn from this?" and never re-educate those who were miseducated. It's much more difficult--albeit responsible--to correct the misinformation. I have been teaching for fourteen years. I cannot say that I have done everything right all the time. No way. But I have at times had to humble myself before my students and apologize when I have done them wrong--and our students were done wrong here, as was Governor Palin.

To be clear, I wasn't asking for a display that stated, "I lied! Sarah Palin never banned books. I made that up, purposely misinformed kids, and demonized someone to promote a political agenda." I could have asked that because I believe the facts show that this is exactly what took place. However, all I was going to display was a poster that stated the fact that Sarah Palin never banned a book and an article with a few quotes. I told them I have the official word from the Town of Wasilla written on their own letterhead.

If we had simply done the right thing, the display would have been up and down by now. I believe that a person without an agenda would not have objected to correcting the display--for the sake of the students, if nothing else. But we're not stupid. This was no honest mistake. And who pays the price for something like this? Our children do, of course. They get lied to, and their impression of a public figure gets tainted. Wasn't that the point, though?

I have personally done all I can on my end to hold people accountable in this situation and to ask for assistance from those who have the power to provide it. As I told you when this first happened, I will let you--the concerned public--know how it turned out. I asked you to be patient and not to react before the wrong had a chance to be righted. You obliged, and I thank you. I wish I could tell you now that your patience amounted to the defamation and misinformation being corrected. All this time later, it has not.

I place no further demands on your patience.

Below is an interview I did on the Eddie Burke Radio Show. At 2:19 in, you will see pictures that show the display.

Thanks to Sheya for the Eddie Burke audio/video footage.


Open Thread

-In a survey of 750 likely 2012 GOP primary voters, Rasmussen finds Mike Huckabee in the lead. Let's just say it's been an interesting day on Intrade with respect to the 2012 nomination contest.

-Democrat partisans Stanley Greenberg and James Carville recently conducted focus groups of conservative Republicans and independents. It's pretty clear that Greenberg and Carville have framed the results of their focus groups in a way to support the narrative put forward by the Kos/TPM crowd regarding conservative Republicans (though to their credit, Greenberg and Carville throw water over the "race" narrative pushed by the left). Governor Palin is discussed as well in the final two pages of this report.

-Teddy Davis from ABC News has more information about the report from Greenberg and Carville and what it means, if anything, for the 2012 presidential Republican primary.

-CNN reports that Governor Palin will campaign in Texas early next year on behalf of Governor Rick Perry's re-election bid.

-The NY Times finds Governor Corzine leading Christopher Christie by 3 in the New Jersey governor's race.

Fall has certainly arrived here in the Pacific Northwest as it's raining pretty hard for the first time in quite some time. Converse about anything.


Governor Palin: An Advocate for Energy Independence

National Review Online published a very nice piece by Governor Palin this morning. You can read the whole thing here.

Given that we’re spending billions of stimulus dollars to rebuild our highways, it makes sense to think about what we’ll be driving on them. For years to come, most of what we drive will be powered, at least in part, by diesel fuel or gasoline. To fuel that driving, we need access to oil. The less use we make of our own reserves, the more we will have to import, which leads to a number of harmful consequences. That means we need to drill here and drill now.

We rely on petroleum for much more than just powering our vehicles: It is essential in everything from jet fuel to petrochemicals, plastics to fertilizers, pesticides to pharmaceuticals. Ac­cord­ing to the Energy Information Ad­min­is­tra­tion, our total domestic petroleum consumption last year was 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Motor gasoline and diesel fuel accounted for less than 13 million bpd of that. Meanwhile, we produced only 4.95 million bpd of domestic crude. In other words, even if we ran all our vehicles on something else (which won’t happen anytime soon), we would still have to depend on imported oil. And we’ll continue that dependence until we develop our own oil resources to their fullest extent.

Those who oppose domestic drilling are motivated primarily by environmental considerations, but many of the countries we’re forced to import from have few if any environmental-protection laws, and those that do exist often go unenforced. In effect, American environmentalists are preventing responsible development here at home while supporting irresponsible development overseas.


Building an energy-independent Amer­ica will mean a real economic stimulus. It will mean American jobs that can never be shipped overseas. Think about how much of our trade deficit is fueled by the oil we import — sometimes as much as half of the total. Through this massive transfer of wealth, we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year that could be invested in our economy. Instead it goes to foreign countries, including some repressive regimes that use it to fund activities that threaten our security.

Reliance on foreign sources of energy weakens America. When a riot breaks out in an OPEC nation, or a developing country talks about nationalizing its oil industry, or a petro-dictator threatens to cut off exports, the probability is great that the price of oil will shoot up. Even in friendly nations, business and financial decisions made for local reasons can de­stabilize Amer­i­ca’s energy market, since the price we pay for foreign oil is subject to rising and falling exchange rates. Decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of energy will reduce the impact of world events on our economy.

Update: A few months old, but still very much true, here's a classic C4P video created by Seth Adam Smith:


Friday Open Thread

Larry Kudlow: Storm Clouds Gather as Dow Hits 10,000

Bloomberg: Dollar to Hit 50 Yen, Cease as Reserve, Sumitomo Says

David Wessel: Deficit Dilemma: How to Dig Out?

The Foundry: White House: 3.6 Million Jobs Lost is “Quite Positive”

Chattanooga Times: Bredesen warns ObamaCare's cost to state could exceed $3 billion

Gordon G. Chang: Beijing Is Violating North Korean Sanctions

ABC: Gates Leaning Towards Troop Surge in Afghanistan?

Charles Krauthammer: "I think it's hard to believe this sudden media inflation of the wisdom of Joe Biden is accidental."

LAT: Iraq's plans for referendum on U.S. pullout fades

Politico: New DOD photo rules issued

Stars and Stripes: Beloved chaplain recommended for Medal of Honor


Matt Latimer: Why Palin Mania Won't Die

So says the title to former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer's latest blog post on the Daily Beast:

It was easy to understand the disdain for McCain. He seemed to treat the GOP like a dim-witted nephew he was stuck with taking care of after his mother guilted him into it at a family barbecue. Palin, by contrast, was happy to be among us. People tend to forget that she was so popular that McCain aides plopped the Arizona senator next to her at every event. Tens of thousands of the faithful suddenly came to his rallies, finally outnumbering members of the media and Secret Service. Standing beside her with his weird half-grin, McCain looked like a 72-year-old male version of actress Sally Field, who famously blurted out with disbelief "you like me!" right after winning an Oscar. As the polls bounced in McCain's favor—even in key swing states—Republicans were absolutely convinced the election was ours, thanks to her.

We all know how the election ended, of course, but Palinmania...well, it didn't. Some supporters now concede bravely that her debut might have had a flaw or two, though just as many fault the media for harping on her missteps. Others have real questions about her qualifications, but they’re willing to give her a chance to answer them. Much to the chagrin of the self-appointed presidential selectors at the top of the party.

Palin isn't going away (at least not yet) because in her own way she represents what Barack Obama represented for many Democrats: someone who stands apart from the corrupt and cynical Washington system that has let true believers down. Republicans remember that Palin stood up against the crooked Republican establishment in Alaska—while out-of touch GOP senators in Washington actually applauded Alaska's crony-in-chief, Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens, after he was booted out of office amid scandal. (In April, a federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction of Stevens, based on evidence of misconduct by prosecutors.)

The rank-and-file are tired of the bland phonies running the GOP. They are tired of Republican compromises that bloated spending and expanded the federal government. And they feel helpless against a team of buddies running each campaign more cynically than the last. GOP voters just might be ready to burn their village down in order to save it. You can almost hear the line now. What's the difference between a hockey mom and Robespierre? Lipstick.

I sure can't figure out this Latimer guy but you can read the entire post here.


Kimberly Guilfoyle: People Find Palin Genuine and Authentic

Among other topics, Sean Hannity briefly discussed Governor Palin with S.E. Cupp and Kimberly Guilfoyle during his show on Thursday night:

Thanks to Sheya for the video.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Other Palin Book, Weak Dollar, Death Panels Open Thread

How's it going? Here's what I've got:

-According to the Wall Street Journal, Kaylene Johnson's "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down" is expected to get a boost once Governor Palin's memoir is released on November 17th.

-Reuters once again highlights the concern that Governor Palin and other conservatives/Republicans have with a weak US dollar.

-Lifenews notes that "[f]ormer vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin got pilloried for suggesting that the government-run health care system set up under the bills in Congress would lead to 'death panels' But, now, a video has surfaced showing Obama economics advisor Robert Reich essentially admitting Palin was right."

-In a poll of the New Jersey governor's race, SurveyUSA finds "Republican Chris Christie and incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine are tied and treading water...Chris Daggett is the only candidate with momentum."

-Converse about anything.


Governor Palin for President?

(h/t Josh Painter)

The Colorado Springs Independent published an article today about the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee and their grassroots effort to support Governor Palin and to encourage her to run for president in 2012. The Committee is made up of ordinary people--volunteers--from all over the United States who see in the governor the only leader who can drive America forward.

Pam Zubeck writes.

David Kelly's home office in Briargate is a typical middle-aged guy's hideout. It has a computer, two desks, books stacked floor to ceiling and maps on the walls. But at the foot of one desk sit a couple boxes filled with buttons and bumper stickers promoting Sarah Palin as a 2012 presidential candidate.

The full-time library district worker spends up to 20 hours a week collecting money and mailing political paraphernalia as part of his federal political action committee's effort to persuade Palin to run.


"She's not part of the Beltway," Kelly explains. "She's a mother who got angry one day and decided, 'I'm going to do something.' She's real. She truly is telling us from her heart what she wants to do, rather than what party officials are dictating to her."

Randy Highsmith, the committee's chairman, saw a story on the Web about the committee and volunteered to organize from Florida. He raves about Palin in an e-mail: "Palin excited me and many other conservatives due to her proven and consistent conservative stances." He notes she's pro-life, pro-business and favors oil drilling in Alaska wilderness.


"The day she announces," [Kelly] says, "our job is done."

Governor Palin has never said for certain that she will run for the presidency, but the committee is working hard in hopes that she will.

Read the entire article here.


Only 43% Say They Would Re-Elect Obama in New Opinion Dynamics Poll

Yesterday, Tommy Report discussed the fact that any "bounce" Obama may have received due to his farcical Nobel Peace Prize victory had disappeared. Today, while watching Fox News, I was struck by a startling new poll of registered voters from Fox News - Opinion Dynamics.

In what may be the ultimate job rating, 43 percent of voters say that they would vote to re-elect President Obama if the 2012 election were held today, down from 52 percent six months ago, from April 22-23, 2009.

Obama's job approval rating comes in at 49 percent this week. That's down just one percentage point from late September, but it marks a new low approval for the president -- and the first time the Fox News poll has measured his approval below 50 percent.

Moreover, the number of Americans saying they would vote to re-elect President Obama has dropped. If the election were held today the poll finds more voters say they would back someone else in the 2012 election than would back the president.

A 43% re-elect number is startling...and ominous news for the president. In many respects the "re-elect" number is a more accurate depiction of political support than an overall approval number. Another item of note in the poll is this:

Finally, in a rare example of bipartisan agreement, majorities of Democrats, 53 percent, Republicans, 78 percent, and Independents, 61 percent, agree the country is more divided these days. All in all, 64 percent of Americans think the country is more politically divided today -- that's more than twice the number who say it is not more divided, 31 percent.

Why is this noteworthy? The latest fashionable meme among Democrats and the infamous "GOP insiders" is that Governor Palin shouldn't be the 2012 nominee because she is "polarizing". Hmmmmm... The above numbers tell me somebody is polarizing and, given that Governor Palin is not the president (yet), it isn't her. Today's Rasmussen poll has Obama's overall approval down to 48%, which indicates that the Fox News - Opinion Dynamics poll's 49% overall approval is not an outlier. More on the Fox News poll here.

Update by Doug: The Fox News - Opinion Dynamics Poll also sampled the opinions of registered voters on health care. Overall, 42% approved of Obama's handling of health care while 50% disapproved. With Independents, 36% approve and 53% disapprove. Of more significance to me were two additional questions Opinion Dynamics asked concerning health care:

Based on what you know about the health care reform legislation being considered right now, do you favor or oppose the plan?

Favor: 35%
Oppose: 54%
Don't know: 10%


Which would you prefer -- the current health care system or the health care plan proposed by Democrats in Congress?

Current health care system: 51%
Democrats’ proposed plan: 34%
Don’t know: 15%

More poll data here.


Retailers Pin Hopes on Palin Book

From Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Michael M. Phillips of the Wall Street Journal:

Sarah Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life" will likely be a mega-seller when it hits bookshelves next month, a shot in the arm for the book business and perhaps also for the former Alaska governor's unorthodox political career.

Harper, an imprint of News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, said it has received media inquiries from major TV and radio talk shows and is teeing up a major promotional schedule. "Going Rogue" has an initial print run of 1.5 million copies, the same number at the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's memoir, "True Compass."

"Right now it's our top preorder online," said Kathryn Popoff, vice president of trade books at Borders Group Inc. "They may feel one way or another about her, but they will want to read about her."


"It's going to be a No. 1 best-seller, the hottest book in the country when it comes out," said Edward Ash-Milby, a buyer for Barnes & Noble Inc. "She has a lot to say, and a lot of people will want to hear it."

Tina Andreadis, a spokeswoman for HarperCollins, said the publishing house is still formulating its marketing plans for the book. She said Ms. Palin is likely to make numerous bookstore appearances.

More here.

(H/T Hal)


"The Era of GOP Women"

I must admit, I was briefly excited yesterday when I went on the Washington Post’s website and saw this headline: “The Era of GOP Women”. Then I saw Meghan McCain’s picture next to it. I should have just stopped there and not clicked on the link. Foolishly, I did. Sigh.

I should have known that it was a column by Kathleen Parker. I also should have known that when talking about GOP women, Parker would work in a slam against Sarah Palin. She did:

In the past few months, several conservative women have emerged as candidates and critics to challenge the notion that the GOP is the party of men. They're also putting to rest any thought that Sarah Palin is the female face of the party.

The McCain campaign had the right idea; it just picked the wrong woman.

Honestly, I have no idea why Kathleen Parker thinks it is okay for her to continue to speak on behalf of GOP women. She is no more a Republican woman than President Obama. When you drop the green eyed jealousy monster bomb against the most popular GOP woman in the United States right in the middle of an election, you generally lose the credibility to speak on behalf of GOP women. When you fawn over the new Democrat President while riding on Air Force One, you have lost all integrity with GOP women.

Ms. Parker, let me tell you about GOP women. I am a GOP woman and have been for years. I talk to GOP women every day. I have helped get GOP women elected to office. I started a GOP women’s group in our county back in 2005. I am currently the chairwoman of the Republican Party of Kenosha County. I have enjoyed membership with the National Federation of Republican Women in the past. The NFRW membership is well over 100,000. These ladies are the experts on GOP women because they are GOP women.

Ms. Parker, I hate to inform you of this, but you do not represent GOP women or the opinions of GOP women. In fact, most GOP women don't actually like you. See, we haven't forgotten the stunt you pulled during last year’s election (not to mention what you said this summer).

Reading through your column and seeing you hold up Meghan McCain as a GOP role model shows me exactly how out of touch you are with the average Republican woman. Ms. Parker, Republicans have about as much respect for Meghan McCain as they have for you. Republicans look at her as a conservative sellout. Like yourself, Ms. Parker, she cares more about being popular with the liberal elites than she cares about conservative policies and principles. She's perfectly free to speak her mind, but I know quite a few young conservatives, and they are not falling all over themselves to be like Meghan.

Ms. Parker, the liberal media elitists in Washington love you and Meghan McCain. Somehow the liberal media elitists have suckered the two of you into saying anything they want you to say.

Let me tell you about the conservative women Republican's like and look to for leadership:

-Liz Cheney - yes, Ms. Parker, you got this one right.

-Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - the more the liberals hate her, the more we love her.

-Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn - taking on Obama's Czars.

Of course there are many more and time will tell which direction we will be heading. Perhaps Whitman and Fiorina are part of the GOP's future. Right now they are relatively unknown.

Ms. Parker, I am also sorry to inform you that Sarah Palin is absolutely at the top of the list of conservative women that the GOP is looking towards for leadership. To deny this, is to completely deny reality.

The reality is that no woman in the history of the GOP has, to date, excited the GOP more than Sarah Palin. Once again, to deny this is to deny reality.

If you want to know who GOP women consider to be their leader, look no further than the NFRW. They will tell you exactly who they look to for leadership among GOP women.

There it is, right there on the front page of the NFRW website, a link to an article "GOP Women take a page from Palin's Facebook". Of course, Sarah Palin is the leader of the women in the GOP.

If you read the article linked by the NFRW, you see this:

Sarah Palin's effective use of Facebook is echoed in the campaign trainings conducted by the National Federation of Republican Women, which put growing emphasis on Internet technologies.

Ms. Parker, I am not certain where you get the notion that Sarah Palin is not at the top of the list when it comes to GOP woman, but you are absolutely fooling yourself.

I assume you will continue to make frivolous assumptions and will continue to write about them. That is fine. That's your right. However, could you at least be honest with yourself when writing these columns?

It is time to face reality. The reality is that Sarah Palin is beloved by the GOP and conservatives everywhere. Nothing you can do or say will change that. Palin has a still unreleased bestseller to prove this point.

Ms. Parker, I am a GOP woman and you are not. I am asking you to stop making assumptions and stop speaking on my behalf.

Ms. Parker, you do not represent my values or my politics...Sarah Palin does!

Update by Mel: (h/t Doug) Apparently, Peggy Noonan, someone who (like Ms. Parker) has let her PDS get the best of her in the past, is having some trouble at her new gig.


Frank J. Fleming: Obama vs. Carter: Who's Worse?

From Frank J. Fleming, via Pajamas Media:

Twenty-eight years following Jimmy's reign of terror, did we let our guard down?

So far, President Obama has been a failure. His stimulus has been a bust, the economy far worse than he projected things would be without that huge expenditure. His constant TV appearances only turn people further against whatever he is pushing. On foreign affairs, he’s seen no positive movement, with Iran getting ever closer to being a nuclear threat and Obama flummoxed on how to stop that. And what seemed to be Obama’s only strength — his worldwide popularity — was proven completely useless in his unsuccessful bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago, the International Olympic Committee apparently getting Obama to drop everything and fly to Copenhagen just so they could laugh at him to his face.

Our economy is in shambles, foreign threats are growing, and America is a laughingstock. So people are asking the question: is Obama as bad as Carter?

That’s not a question to take lightly, as we should not accuse someone of being like Jimmy Carter without good cause. There are millions of Americans who still feel the pain of living in the Carter era, and to invoke Carter’s name frivolously is extremely insensitive to them. Still, we often forget that Carter is just a man (and not misery and human failure given the form of a man, as many have come to believe), and if we are not careful, it is possible to have another just like him — and who knows how long it will take us to recover from that?

I was born in 1979, so I don’t really know the Carter presidency firsthand. I first found out about Carter when as a child I realized there was a four-year gap between the end of the Ford presidency and the beginning of Reagan leading us from the darkness. Curious, I asked my parents, “Who was president from January ‘77 to January ‘81?”

“We don’t speak of that!” I was promptly told. My father promised to beat me mercilessly if I ever brought it up again.

Read the entire article here.


Thursday Open Thread

WSJ: CBO Chief: Cap-and-Tax Would Cost Jobs

Douglas Holtz-Eakin: The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill

Jeffrey A. Anderson: Baucus plan costs triple in second decade

Hot Air: Senate committee confirms Baucus plan will lower wages

WSJ: Senators to Watch in Health Care Debate's Next Phase

FT: China and Kenya in key infrastructure talks

VDH: What will a peace prize do for the soldier on the battlefield?

WaPo: Obama Focuses on Civilian Effort in Afghanistan Strategy Review

NYT: Stanley McChrystal’s Long War

Politico: WSJ takes top spot among daily papers

FDNM: Post-flood rebuilding has Eagle ready for the winter


Representative Michele Bachmann Welcomes Governor Palin Comparison

The New York Times reports the growing popularity of Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and basically coins her "the other G.O.P. Lightning Rod." We all know who the perceived lightning rod is.

Not bad for someone less than three years on the job.

Here in Ms. Bachmann’s district, and in much of the country, that outsized celebrity has boiled down to this: They adore her or they loathe her.

As the health care overhaul moves closer to a full debate in Congress, Ms. Bachmann is under attack from the Democratic National Committee for spreading “reckless lies” about the overhaul, one of a handful of Republicans singled out as part of the committee’s “Call ’Em Out” campaign.

Sound familiar? Seems that not too long ago Governor Palin was called a liar by those who took offense at her fearless comments about "death panels," which caused even President Obama to cast off all self-restraint as he referred to her time and time again. Talk about being all wee-weed up.

Some of Ms. Bachmann’s fellow Republicans, meanwhile, are drawing glowing comparisons between her and Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican candidate for vice president. Sean Hannity, the conservative talk show host, has introduced Ms. Bachmann as “the second-most-hated Republican woman in the country, second to Governor Palin, which is a good position.”

Being compared to the governor, who is as admired for her common sense conservatism as she is hated by the those who fear the same, is a badge of honor. And what reaction does Representative Bachmann have to such comparisons?

Ms. Bachmann, a lawyer, former state senator and mother of five who with her husband, Marcus, a clinical therapist, has opened their home to 23 foster children, has not so far objected to the speculation, particularly the comparisons to Ms. Palin.

“Sarah Palin is a dedicated mother, committed public servant and strong political figure who has fought hard to protect life, the family budget, and freedom,” Ms. Bachmann said, noting that Ms. Palin’s book — not yet out — was already selling in enormous numbers, while “Nancy Pelosi’s book sold a paltry 2,737 copies in its first week of sales” in 2008.

Read the entire article here.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Embraces Palin!

As it turns out, there is a GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2009 who thinks Gov. Palin is an asset. Not in Virginia, not New Jersey - but let's not forget that the Northern Mariana Islands are also electing a Governor this year.

And guess who's picture is front and center on the website of GOP nominee Heinz Sablan Hofschneider? I'll give you a hint, it's not Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, or Newt Gingrich. I might also add that two of the last three governors in the Northern Marianas were Republicans (and the current Governor is an ex-Republican who started his own third party), so Hofschneider is a serious candidate.

Update by Doug: This is the photo displayed on Hofschneider's website.

CNMI resident Heinz S. Hofschneider met former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah L. Palin during a stop-over at the Narita International Airport in September. (In this photo: Todd Palin, Sarah Palin, Isabella Hofschneider & Heinz Hofschneider).


Steve Schmidt Sort of Walks it Back, Obama's Purported Nobel Peace Prize Bounce is Dead, Open Thread (Updated)

Going to put up the afternoon/evening open thread a little earlier today. Here's what I've got:

-At a speech at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the Associated Press reports that Steve Schmidt declined to elaborate on his criticism of Governor Palin but stood by the decision to select her as John McCain's running mate and said that she held "great talents" in politics.

-While Rasmussen found Obama to have received no bounce from his decision to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, the bounce that Gallup initially reported Obama to have received seems to have died very quickly. Even the Marist poll, based on polling conducted during the time in which Obama decided to accept the award, finds that Obama’s approval "rating among Independent voters continues to erode."

-Quinnipiac is the third pollster over the last week to show Christopher Christie clinging to a one-point lead over Jon Corzine in the New Jersey governor's race. The trends don't look good for Christie.

-I believe InsiderAdvantage is the first reputable pollster to show Charlie Crist below 50% in terms of his approval in Florida. My guess is that his approval ratings have declined because fewer and fewer Republicans approve of his performance.

Converse about anything.

Update: Here's more of what Schmidt said in Arkansas (emphasis added):

Former McCain adviser Steve Schmidt praised Palin during remarks at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, despite having said earlier this month that a Palin presidential nomination would be “catastrophic” for the GOP.

I believe to this day that had she not been picked as the vice presidential candidate, we would never have been ahead — not for one second, not for one minute, not for one hour, not for one day,” Schmidt said today.

Schmidt said the former Alaska governor has “great talents,” and putting her on the ticket generated enough excitement to transform the race. Other circumstances worked against McCain, however, he said.

We were three points ahead on Sept. 15 when the stock market crashed, and then the election was over,” he said.

Asked after the talk if he stood by his recent critical comments about Palin’s viability as a presidential candidate, Schmidt said he did.

“I said what I said on the 2012 (race). … I said what I said today,” he told reporters.
Read the entire article from the Arkansas New Bureau here.

Update II: Governor Sean Parnell has "filed the letter of intent that formally brings him in and lets him start raising campaign cash."

Update III: Bret Baier's report on Schmidt:


WSJ: Palin Plans New Political Group

So reports Michael M. Phillips from the Wall Street Journal:

Sarah Palin fans can expect to see a new Palin political organization surface as her memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” hits the shelves next month.

“There will be an announcement about it coming up,” Palin associate Tim Crawford said Wednesday.

The New York Post reported this week that Palin’s new group will be called “Stand Up For Our Nation.” (News Corp. owns both the Post and The Wall Street Journal.) Crawford, who is treasurer of Palin’s existing political-action committee, SarahPAC, refused to provide any details about the new organization’s purpose or structure.

But Palin supporters say the former Alaska governor and last year’s GOP vice presidential nominee is eager to keep the public’s attention, even as she rakes in big earnings. “She wants to continue to be in a position to help causes dear to her heart and help people close to her,” said Fred Malek, a former fund-raiser for Sen. John McCain. Unlike many who were at McCain’s side during the 2008 campaign, Malek remains on friendly terms with Palin.

You can read the entire blog post here.


David Corn and Republican "Close" to Romney Say Palin Just Does Not Understand Politics...

David Corn, one of America’s greatest writers, has finally decided that Governor Palin has had it far too easy a over the last few months. Formerly Washington editor of “The Nation” (the “flagship of the left”) and now with “Mother Jones Magazine" the courageous Corn, who once astonished the world by calling President George W Bush a liar, believes it is time to shame a sycophantic and cowed media into showing up the Governor for what she really is.

Corn’s trademark style is to use in depth research to determine the cold hard facts of any situation. Not for him the un-named source or reliance on second or third hand hearsay. In his hard hitting Politics Daily article on the former Governor of Alaska he went straight to that best known figure in the Republican establishment, Mr G.O.P. Consultant. Not wanting to beat about the bush Corn asked the million dollar question right away.

Who advises Sarah Palin? His answer: No one. Really? I asked. Yes, he said, really.

Corn was astonished. All those hundreds of Republican consultants in Washington, architects of the massive GOP victories in 2006 and 2008, and the Governor was not using any of them? For him that explained the whole problem.

Palin's actions keep defying rational explanation.
Even if Palin's pullout had been a reasonable decision, it seemed as if she had not consulted anyone with PR or political sense on how best to handle the controversial move.

Since then, her performance as a politician with a chance of snagging the GOP presidential nomination has been -- to be polite -- unsteady.

Notice, by the way, how, in writing this piece, Corn is also giving us a masterclass in his approach to journalism. You don’t waste shoe leather trying to check out the facts. You find a person who will give you the answer you want then you use his response as the hook upon which you will hang the rest of your article. Old Kim Yong-nam would be very impressed!

David Corn pinpointed how the Governor, because she hasn’t got those seasoned, experienced and election winning GOP consultants behind her, has been floundering on the internet. Take Twitter, for instance. Corn is a master of that media and has a massive following (4,500) eagerly awaiting his every tweet. Yet she just about managed to get about 150,000 and then simply stopped. Not that her tweets were particularly impressive, mainly girly stuff with a smattering of quotes from Aristotle, Paine and Jefferson.

Corn didn’t say much about the quotes but I would imagine that he finds the idea of the Governor reading Aristotle quite laughable – it’s obvious that someone else was doing the “intellectual” tweets, probably while she was experimenting with a new lipstick......except, of course, he has actually proved that she has nobody to advise her.......mmmm, Mr Corn, better move on quickly before anyone else notices that....

With no experts to guide her the Governor has been reduced to using Facebook to communicate with her handful of followers. She tried to spread some garbled word salad about President Obama’s healthcare proposals (franchised out to Pelosi/Reid) by making up a scare story.

[I]nsisting that the Obama health care plan would create "death panels" for seniors -- before declaring that, thanks to her, there would be no "death panels" in the plan.

Fortunately that had little or no impact – except perhaps on Camille Paglia:

When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin's shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate's unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives

But Paglia must either be not very bright or a rightwing fruitcake or probably both (she certainly cannot hold a candle to David Corn).

Then, of course, there’s the book – Corn cannot help laughing at the very notion of her writing a book. Being a world famous author himself he knows in his bones what the book is going to be like even though, of course, he hasn’t read it.

Will Palin use her books to score revenge points? (Levi Johnston, this means you!) Will she dish dirt on inside Republican politics? Will she have anything original to say about policy matters? ("My quick-and-easy five-step plan for winning the war in Afghanistan.")

Naturally he shares the moment with yet another of his solid, reliable 24 carat sources.

A few days ago, a GOPer close to Mitt Romney, another potential contender for the 2012 Republican nomination, was laughing as we talked about Palin's book, due out next month. He was tittering especially about its title, "Going Rogue." That phrase was used by John McCain's aides toward the end of the 2008 election to describe Palin's off-message behavior on the campaign trail. "What voter wants a rogue president?" this Mitt-friendly Republican said to me...

Now Corn is obviously no Republican but he does recognise a political giant when he sees one because he points out that Mitt Romney also has a book hitting the shelves.

Romney has finished a book of his own on weighty policy matters that will come out next year. Its title: "No Apology: The Case of American Greatness."

Notice that phrase – not mooseburger recipes, not makeup hints but WEIGHTY POLICY MATTERS. It’s not out until early next year but has been available for a few weeks for pre-order on Amazon and has already reached #153,600 in the Amazon rankings – amazing...

Actually Corn is really being cruel to be kind – he has the Governors best interests at heart.

If all she cares about is notoriety and cash, she's doing just fine. But if she is serious about presidential politics, she will have to find better help.

But what about the Hong Kong speech – wasn’t that an attempt to get serious? Corn would have to sadly disagree.

recently in Hong Kong she delivered what's been described as a "rambling" address to a group of businesspeople

Here, once again, we see David’s forensic journalistic skills at work. Ignore this and this – just home in on a Time Magazine hack who gives one quote from one attendee...

What I find puzzling is that someone can write such a shoddy and poorly researched piece of so called journalism and get paid for it. It’s almost at the level of the puerile anti-Palin rantings of Geoffrey Dunn at the Huffington Post. But then the article is only the most recent in a long line of hit pieces usually penned by Washington hacks predicting the Governors political demise because she doesn’t conform to the conventions of political conduct as laid down by the Beltway pundits.

Here’s a tip for David Corn – why not break the mould and research – yes, that’s RESEARCH, as in using shoe leather – for a piece on why the lady remains a key political figure by defying the accepted conventions of political conduct. After all, David, that shouldn’t be too big a task for the man who got involved with Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame....


What Beltway Republicans Have in Common with Democrats

Kenneth Spitz, in an article yesterday for American Thinker, discusses the complete lack of leadership in the ranks of the Washington establishment Republicans. Spitz, a precinct committeeman and local party chairman, makes the point, correctly, that the DC Republican establishment is dominated by non-conservatives. RNC Chairman Michael Steele must not only fight the liberal media, but the inertia put up by the entrenched party apparatchiks who really don't believe in or understand conservatism.

Due to this lack of principled conservative leadership in Washington, rank and file conservatives are left without a voice. Yesterday's decision by Olympia Snowe (RINO, Me.) to support the government takeover of health care is a perfect example. Due to this leadership "vacuum", as Spitz puts it, conservatives have been forced to look outside Washington for those few who are actually opposing the radical encroachment of government into their lives. People such as Rush Limbaugh and others who, unlike beltway Republicans, are not afraid to confront Obama and his disastrous policies. Spitz then goes on to point out the obvious with respect to the Republican establishment:

This is where the Republican Party is failing. They are not connecting with the town hall dissenters and Tea Party protestors. Some Republican elected officials even act embarrassed by these citizens turned activists. The liberal media immediately highlights these embarrassed Republicans to marginalize the protestors. Rather than pushing them away, the Republican Party should be recruiting these folks. These citizen-activists need a channel for their energy and passion and their natural home is the Republican Party. Protests are for publicity, elections determine government policy.

Therein lies the problem. Washington Republicans are uncomfortable with, even embarrassed by, those who vote for them. In that respect, they are no different than Democrat politicians. For years Democrat voters have had nothing in common with the elitist Democrat politicians for whom they vote, without thinking, in election after election. Never mind that elected Democrats are equally embarrassed by their rank and file voters. Democrat politicians are easily able to convince these voters that they care about them due to the near universal monopoly liberals have on the old media and entertainment industry.

Big cities provide a perfect example. Most, if not all, have been run by liberals for decades. No serious resident of these cities can thoughtfully make the case that their lives have been improved in any way by these Democrat policies. Businesses are fleeing cities due to ever increasing taxes. Big city public schools are run entirely by and for another Democrat Party constituent: teacher's unions. The result is a catastrophic educational system in which students graduate with little or no hope of ever becoming a contributing member of society, further forcing businesses to flee in search of qualified employees. Cleveland isn't called "The Mistake on the Lake" by accident. Despite the fact that cities like Cleveland are disaster areas, voters, like zombies, continue to return the same people to office year after year with no thought of ever trying something different.

The problem for establishment Republicans, of course, is that their voters are not zombies. Conservatives know when they are being patronized by those for whom they vote. Ask Tom Delay or George W. Bush. The 1994 Republican congressional victory was the result of the promise of conservative ideas such as the flat tax, term limits, and smaller government. However, it didn't take long for the new Republican Majority, once elected, to forget these ideas and begin spending money as fast as the Democrat Party. What ever happened to term limits, the flat tax, and smaller government? I remember some lip service being paid to these conservative ideas in the mid-'90s, but that lasted about as long as a Great Lakes summer.

George Bush practically doubled spending from $1.8 trillion to $3.5 trillion during his tenure. Conservative voters notice when those politicians they vote for say one thing during an election campaign and do something quite different once elected, even if liberal voters don't. This is the problem for beltway Republicans: conservatives actually expect politicians to follow through with what they promised while running for office and, unlike Democrat voters, conservatives are smart enough to know when they don't.

This is what elitist Republicans don't understand and why they have been completely unable to capture the grass roots energy embodied in the TEA Party movement. Indeed, if elitist Washington Republicans are not careful, they could just as easily become the target of this movement as have the Democrats. David Sessions, at Politics Daily, explains that to some extent this is already happening:

The grassroots anti-tax, anti-government movement sweeping through Republicans nationwide is proving a thorn in the side of the national party as the loose coalition known as "tea partiers" or "tea party protesters" draft guerrilla candidates to take on GOP-approved incumbents.


In Florida, tea party activist are defying GOP wishes by supporting House Speaker Marco Rubio over centrist incumbent Gov. Charlie Crist. Conservative groups have been crusading against Crist ever since he supported President Obama's bailout and stimulus packages, which they see as dramatic advances in government spending. Tea partiers are also opposing GOP-backed Senate candidates in California, Colorado and Connecticut.

It's clear that the GOP establishment has no clue what the TEA Party movement is all about. It is truly a grass roots movement and they will not be co-opted by an out of touch Democrat-light Republican Party which, unfortunately, is what the GOP leadership in Washington symbolizes. Mark Noonan, at, explains what the TEA party movement is looking for and how Republicans may be able to capture their energy and support:

The TEA Party wants just this - government under control, out of the way and reduced to its proper functions. If we can demonstrate to the TEA Party people that we are serious about this, they’ll come out and vote for us in droves, and provide all the enthusiasm we need to sweep this nation. So far, I only see a few Republicans who are picking up on this - Sarah Palin is the most prominent, but most GOPers either are shying away, or are foolishly thinking of ways to get the support without carrying out the promise.

Governor Palin is indeed the candidate most likely to garner the support and enthusiasm of the TEA party movement. She is the only potential candidate who connects with and listens to actual voters. She is one of us, not another beltway Republican who will tell us what we want to hear when running for office, then change their stripes upon being elected. She is a force of nature. Even Alex Knepper, of the establishment-friendly, had this to say after attending the 9/12 event in Washington:

Sarah Palin was without a doubt the unsaid queen of the 9/12 March. Of the many people I interviewed, about a dozen expressed solid support for a Palin candidacy, with all of the others at least open to supporting her.

Although the immense grass roots support for Governor Palin is tough for the GOP establishment to accept, it is not difficult to understand. Governor Palin is an honest and principled conservative who says what she means and means what she says. She truly believes in limited government and has a history of actually shrinking it. She doesn't merely slow the growth of government, but actually reduces spending from one year to the next. In short, she is a fiscal conservative who believes in individual responsibility and personal freedom. At this time of unprecedented growth in government and loss of individual freedom, we should settle for nothing less.

The Republican establishment in Washington has never even attempted to actually reduce government spending, they just promise to continue the Democrat's growth of government, only more efficiently. Why should anyone believe that they have finally seen the light and will actually shrink government now? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet by trying to marginalize Governor Palin in order to clear the path for another RINO to be nominated in 2012, it's clear that this is what the establishment GOP is attempting to accomplish.

Just like elite Democrats have contempt for their voters, as epitomized by our polarizing President's famous "bitter-clinger" comments to San Francisco elites, so do establishment Republicans have contempt for their voters. A true grass roots conservative like Governor Palin is abhorrent to their elite sensibilities in the same way Ronald Reagan was in the 1970s. Establishment Republicans would much prefer their 2012 candidate was someone with an elite pedigree, perhaps someone who writes a "weighty" tome nobody reads or whose father was a former governor or chairman of an automobile company.

However, the GOP elites underestimate the determination which exists in the grass roots conservative movement to avoid the mistakes of the past 20 years. Starting with George H.W. Bush in 1988 and ending with John McCain in 2008, Republicans have not nominated a true small government conservative in a generation. Governor Palin, if she chooses to run, will end that string in 2012. She is poised like nobody else to seize the opportunity to lead the small-government conservative movement back to their rightful place. To do so, she will have to take on the Washington establishments, even in her own party. This is not a new role for her. Matthew Continetti, in an article for The Weekly Standard, explains:

Throughout her career, Palin has seemed most "appropriate" at moments when she senses that the populace is diverging from the political class that rules over it. Palin exploits the split and wins office as the tribune of the people. That is what happened when she saw that Wasillans were tired of the nonideological, nonpartisan, unexciting mayoralty of John Stein; when she saw self-dealing among Republican insiders in Anchorage and Juneau; when she saw that Alaskans were tired of Frank Murkowski and the lobbyist culture he nursed and protected.

Governor Palin, in her Hong Kong speech, perfectly articulated what it means to be a small-government conservative who passionately believes that individual freedom, including the freedom to be imperfect, should take precedence over state control:

You can call me a common-sense conservative. My approach to the issues facing my country and the world, issues that we’ll discuss today, are rooted in this common-sense conservatism… Common sense conservatism deals with the reality of the world as it is. Complicated and beautiful, tragic and hopeful, we believe in the rights and the responsibilities and the inherent dignity of the individual.

We don’t believe that human nature is perfectible; we’re suspicious of government efforts to fix problems because often what it’s trying to fix is human nature, and that is impossible. It is what it is. But that doesn’t mean that we’re resigned to, well, any negative destiny. Not at all. I believe in striving for the ideal, but within the realistic confines of human nature…

Although these beliefs may not be consistent with those of the Republican Party establishment and their preferred candidates, they sound absolutely spot on to me. Just as the blue-blood establishment Republicans tried to tell us that Ronald Reagan was "polarizing" during the Carter years, so are establishment Republicans trying to sell us on the false meme that Governor Palin is polarizing now. Yet I see nothing divisive in her common sense beliefs and approach to governing.

What would truly be divisive is establishment Republicans trying to foist another candidate with no grass roots support on conservatives. This was successful as far as the nomination was concerned in 2008 because, well, to put it bluntly, there was no candidate running for the nomination who was qualitatively better than the one who won and conservatives were largely unengaged. Sorry Mitt. Sorry Huck.

Things will be different in 2012. A party elite so out of touch with their voters has no right to dictate anything at all. Conservatives will not sit still and allow the Washington establishment to determine our candidate this time around. We now have a candidate who truly excites the base and around whom we can enthusiastically rally and support with everything we have. That Governor Palin and conservatives will have to battle Republican blue-bloods and their candidate is obvious. But just as Ronald Reagan was successful in 1980, so will Governor Palin be in 2012, should she choose to run. The elites are well financed, but in the end that will be no match for the passion of the base. Beltway Republicans have but two choices: get on board, or get out of the way.


Matthew Continetti: The Persecution of Sarah Palin

Matthew Continetti, an associate editor at The Weekly Standard, has written a book about Governor Palin. The title of the book is The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star. Continetti has always been very fair to Governor Palin and wrote a long and thoughtful article about her for the July 20, 2009 edition of The Weekly Standard. Amazon provides the following description of Continetti's book:

The real story of the Republican vice presidential nominee and her collision with the elite liberal media

As the second woman ever nominated as a candidate for vice president, Alaska governor Sarah Palin became an instant phenomenon. Americans were enthralled by a woman with charm, ambition, natural political talent, and a passion for conservative values.

But the fascination of ordinary people quickly drew an unprecedented attack from the media elite and liberal activists. Far beyond the normal bounds of tough questions and challenges, Palin's enemies decided that nothing was too personal to attack-including her marriage, her children, her faith, and her ward­robe. The media distorted Palin's positions and beliefs beyond recognition. And almost every word out of her mouth was spun as a "flub."

Weekly Standard writer Matthew Continetti reveals the true story of the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and her persecution by the elites who tried to hide their bias with solemn declarations of objectivity. Continetti offers fresh examples of malicious spin and deceit and shows how liberal snobbery has become a driving force in American politics.

Palin's ordeal has become a rallying cry for the GOP in the Obama era. This perceptive book is a must-read for conservatives who want to understand what really happened-and how to avoid a repeat.

In addition, Barnes and Noble has also provided a synopsis:

After her dazzling convention speech in August 2008, Sarah Palin was on track to win John McCain the presidency of the United States. Never before had a vice presidential candidate gotten such a strong response. Then Katie Couric and Tina Fey came along . . .

Sarah Palin spent more than a decade making her town and her state better-she slashed government spending and corruption and encouraged economic growth. In 2008, she took to the national stage to bring her successful vision to the entire country. America quickly embraced her message, and Palin became the hottest rising star the country had seen in years.

Palin was a strong and popular conservative with traditional values-work, family, and religion- and Washington Democrats and their allies in the so-called mainstream media decided she had to be destroyed. These elite liberals attacked everything from Palin's clothing to her parenting style to her church. They spread one malicious and untrue rumor after another, including claims that Palin:

• Had been a member of the separatist Alaskan Independence Party (New York Times)

• Had been a supporter of Pat Buchanan (MSNBC)

• Faked giving birth to Trig Palin, who was supposedly her grandson (Atlantic Monthly)

In addition to spreading lies and distortions, the media treated Palin with such insulting condescension that it frequently lapsed into mockery. Palin was routinely ridiculed and vilified-and so was her family.

The liberal media did succeed in one way: It was able to give the election to Barack Obama, a man with dangerous and radical ideas. However, despite the media's disdain, Palin persevered, and remains one of the most important figures in the Republican Party. Because she speaks for Main Street America on issues from energy to health care, her star will only continue to rise.

The book will be officially released on November 12, 2009 and is now available for pre-order from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Wednesday Open Thread

Thomas Sowell: Magic Numbers in Politics

AoSHQ: Artificial Stupidity: How the Democrats Decieved the CBO to Get Their "Reduces the Deficit" Claim

Ann Coulter: Liberal Lies About National Healthcare: Part 7

Hot Air: Bait and switch: Now health-care reform won’t solve deficit problem

Kevin A. Hassett: Obamacare Tax Frays Middle-Class Vow

IBD: Energy Secretary Chu's War On Business

The Foundry: M.I.T. Economist vs Common Sense

The Economist: A bubble in Beijing? The debate about Chinese asset prices

WSJ: China, Russia Sign Trade Contracts

NYT: Russia Resists U.S. Position on Sanctions for Iran

Mudville Gazette: Frontline: Obama's War

Telegraph: USS New York, built of World Trade Centre wreckage, sets sail for New York (More here)


Doctor Zero: Moderate Poison

So reads the title to Doctor Zero's latest blog post in the Hot Air Greenroom:

I find the classification of Palin as “poisonous to moderates” debatable, however.....

Why should Palin be such a hard sell for moderate voters? After all, she was tapped as a running mate by the most moderate moderate to ever moderate his way to a crushing electoral defeat, John McCain. She’s clearly much more conservative than he is, but are we supposed to believe the people who adore McCain’s maverick centrism will completely disregard his… shall we say… moderate endorsement of Palin, and treat her like a radioactive wolverine? What did she ever say, or do, to send these enlightened, open-minded moderates stampeding for the hills? Her style isn’t “divisive” or confrontational, unless we are meant to conclude that strong criticism of the radical Barack Obama automatically infuriates middle-of-the-road types… in which case they seem more like a herd of sheep than a wise company of level-headed independents. All of the superficial reasons cited for Palin’s alleged inability to connect with moderate voters are exactly the kind of trivia they’re supposedly able to think beyond.

When we speak of moderates, there are really three distinct groups under discussion: liberal Republicans, conservative Democrats, and true independents. The truly independent voter should, I think, be strongly disposed to reject an incumbent for poor performance. Someone who could vote for Bush in 2004, then Obama in 2008, should be extraordinarily eager to hear new ideas, when the current occupant of the Oval Office clearly isn’t taking care of business. Conservative Democrats should be less than eager to re-elect a leftist radical, especially since he seems keen on turning the Reagan Democrat states into economic disaster areas.

Liberal Republicans would actually be the hardest of the three moderate groups for a serious conservative to win over, given their long-standing distaste for the right wing of their own party, but they might be willing to jump onto a campaign headed for victory. They were certainly quick to bail out of the Straight Talk Express, despite their ostensible love for John McCain. If Sarah Palin ran against Obama and looked like a winner in the last months of the campaign, she shouldn’t be surprised to see some fawning op-eds from people like Peggy Noonan, as they suddenly discover a luminous aura of energy and charisma around her. That’s what courtiers do. Moderation” can dissolve in the frantic scramble for relevance. Anyone who could swoon over the “superior judgment” of the guy who filled his administration with tax cheats, 9/11 conspiracy morons, and NAMBLA supporters will have no trouble revising their opinion of the “seemingly very nice middle-class girl,” if she’s up six points over Obama in the October 2012 polls.

How does Sarah Palin improve her standing among moderates? By talking to them. A true moderate can hardly define themselves through stubborn closed-mindedness. Palin’s book sales suggest people are interested in hearing what she has to say. Her writing and speeches show that she’s gotten better at saying it. Of course, not having to shamble along with the zombies of the McCain campaign helps with that. Everything I’ve seen of Palin since the end of the 2008 campaign is remarkably consistent with the performance that brought the house down at the Republican National Convention. That speech was intoxicating, not poisonous.

People sincerely interested in hearing both sides of the political argument aren’t going to judge Palin by a comedy skit, or Katie Couric interview, from four years ago. It doesn’t mean they’ll stack copies of Going Rogue into a giant pyramid, like Xerxes’ seat from 300, and carry her into Washington on their backs… but at this point, it’s equally ridiculous to say that she doesn’t have a fighting chance with them, if she wants to take it. There certainly isn’t anything “moderate” about the man she would be running against.

You can read the entire post here.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Attagirl from Camille Paglia (Open Thread)

I'm torn between which Obama voter I like more: Ann Althouse or Camille Paglia. Here is Paglia responding to a letter from someone who notes that the reason Governor Palin attended five colleges (before completing her education at the University of Idaho) was because she needed to figure out a way to pay for her own education as her parents could not afford to pay it for her.

Thank you very much for your personal testimony. I too have been repulsed by the elitist insults flung at Sarah Palin in the massive, coordinated media effort to destroy her. Hence I have been thoroughly enjoying the way that Palin, despite all the dirt thrown at her by liberal journalists and bloggers, keeps bouncing back as if unscathed. No sooner did the gloating harpies of the Northeastern media think they had torn her to shreds than she exploded into number one on with a memoir that hadn't even been printed yet! With each one of these amusing triumphs, Palin is solidifying her status as a bona fide American cultural heroine.

Yes, the snobbery about Palin's five colleges is especially distasteful, given the Democratic party's supposed allegiance to populism. Judging by the increasingly limited cultural and factual knowledge of graduates of elite schools whom one encounters working in the media, blue-chip sheepskins aren't worth the parchment they're printed on these days. Young people forced through the ruthlessly competitive college admissions rat race have the independence and creativity pinched right out of them. Proof? Where are the major young American artists, writers, critics or movie-makers of the past 20 years? The most adventurous and enterprising minds have gone into high tech. We're in a horrendous cultural vacuum because our status-besotted education industry is geared toward producing not original thinkers but docile creatures of the system.

You can read the letter and Paglia's entire post here (h/t Americuda). Treat this thread as a very late open thread for those of you who never sleep.

Update: Since this is an open thread, I'll just note that one reason why the New Jersey governor's race is now a toss-up is because Christie is winning only 79% of conservative Republicans. Daggett is winning 13% of such voters.


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