Thursday, December 2, 2010

Palin Pile-On

Sarah Palin is used to getting flack from the Democrats and liberals; she is counting on it for book sales and TV appearances. But now she’s starting to get it from Republicans. First, Joe Scarborough, the former GOP Congressman from Florida and current MSNBC morning show host, told the GOP to, using her own phrase, “man up,” and confront the former half-term governor of Alaska about her plans to destroy the GOP.

Palin is not a stupid woman. But like the current president, she still does not know what she does not know. And she does know how to make millions of dollars, even if she embarrasses herself while doing it.

That reality hardly makes Palin unique, but this is one Republican who would prefer that the former half-term governor promote her reality shows and hawk her books without demeaning the reputations of Presidents Reagan and Bush. These great men dedicated their lives to public service and are too good to be fodder for her gaudy circus sideshow.

If Republicans want to embrace Palin as a cultural icon whose anti-intellectualism fulfills a base political need, then have at it. I suppose it’s cheaper than therapy.

But if the party of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio wants to return to the White House anytime soon, it’s time that Republican leaders started standing up and speaking the truth to Palin.

Now Ed Rollins, a former political adviser to Ronald Reagan and GOP big-wig, is throwing in his two cents and telling Ms. Palin to stop comparing herself to Ronald Reagan.

You’re a media star and a great curiosity. You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn’t know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate and then you self-destructed.

You clearly weren’t ready for prime time, but neither was your running mate. After the election, you quit your day job as governor of Alaska with 18 months left in the term and went out and made a fortune making speeches and selling a book.

It was certainly your right, and you’re not the first one to cash in on fame. Millions of Americans love you, and I am sure millions more hate you. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in politics.

You can be a contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, but you’re a long way from being the nominee. You’re going to have to beat some very formidable candidates with way more experience and far superior knowledge on issues foreign and domestic. And to rate your chances today, I would put them at “possible” but not “probable.” It’s an all-uphill battle.

Right now, polls indicate you wouldn’t carry your home state of Alaska.

[…]

Ms. Palin, serious stuff needs to be accomplished in Washington.

If you want to be a player, go to school and learn the issues. Put smart people around you and listen to them. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious. You’ve already got your own forum. If you want to be a serious presidential candidate, get to work. If you want to be an imitator of Ronald Reagan, go learn something about him and respect his legacy.

If you want to be a gadfly, just keep doing what you’re doing.

Now far be it from me to come to the defense of Sarah Palin as a political contender or possible presidential candidate; she has heretofore shown as much depth of intellectual curiosity and understanding of real world issues as the thickness of a skin on the top of a cup of cafe con leche. But I can’t help notice that both Mr. Scarborough and Mr. Rollins are being a tad misogynistic in their dismissive tone of Ms. Palin, as if to say “run along, little lady, the menfolk have some serious work to do here.” It reinforces the point that the straight white men will not surrender the leadership of their party to someone who isn’t just like them.

There are plenty of reasons to be against Sarah Palin on any number of points, but the fact that she’s a woman shouldn’t be one of them.