Sarah Palin’s Credibility Is the Latest Casualty of Gingrich’s Campaign

I was so disgusted by Sarah Palin’s Facebook note pushing the Big Lie that Newt Gingrich is a conservative outsider persecuted by a malevolent Republican “Establishment” that I’ve been considering taking the time to write a response. Fortunately, Jonathan Tobin at Commentary saved me the trouble by penning a concise explanation of just how badly Palin mangled the truth:
She claimed former Reagan administration officials who noted this week Gingrich was anything but a loyal soldier of the 40th president were engaged in a “Stalin-esque rewriting of history.” This is not merely nonsensical, it is illustrative of the defects in her own character and intellect that have led many of us who once cheered her rise to conclude that she has no business ever putting herself forward for high office again.
While Gingrich supported Reagan and Mitt Romney did not, those who pointed out the former speaker’s often petulant and negative comments about the leader of his movement were merely illuminating a little-known aspect of the truth, not “re-writing” it. For Palin to use that over-the-top rhetoric — in effect comparing someone like Elliott Abrams to a communist monster — is contemptible. For her to go on in the same piece to say Gingrich’s critics were employing “Alinsky tactics at their worst” shows again she understands little about either Saul Alinsky’s writings or history.
While Palin and Gingrich have little in common, the one characteristic they do share is hypocrisy. In her posting, Palin claims Mitt Romney needs to be “vetted” more thoroughly because Democrats will attack him in the fall. Yet she considers any attempt to give the same attention to Gingrich, a man with a freight train’s worth of damaging personal and political baggage that renders him unlikely to win a general election, to be above such concerns.
Go read the whole thing. If you’re still on the fence about Palin, consider three more salient points. First, Palin wasn’t troubled by Republicans using left-wing tactics when Gingrich and Rick Perry were leveling their class-warfare smears at Bain Capital: she dismissed those as the routine “rough and tumble” of politics and falsely claimed that Perry was merely questioning Mitt Romney’s job-creation claims. Second, David Swindle notes that Gingrich says he’d put Palin in his administration, which just might be relevant to her Newt endorsement-in-everything-but-name. Third, if she’s so concerned about Republicans using “Alinsky tactics at their worse,” then perhaps she should read Phillip Klein’s piece on Gingrich’s own cribbing from Saul’s playbook.
I’ve written a lot on Sarah Palin’s behalf over the years, most of which I still stand by, since she was the victim of many specific false charges that nobody should be subjected to. But in light of her latest attacks on whoever won’t fall in line behind Gingrich, it must be conceded that she is first and foremost a populist opportunist, not a principled leader of true grassroots conservatism. Her actions have confirmed the pattern that she began in endorsing Rand Paul in the 2010 Kentucky primary: making decisions based not an a careful reading of candidates’ merits, but on a completely superficial assessment of who insists “I’m an outsider!” the hardest. I can’t sum it up better than Tobin:
Palin, who seems far more interested in burnishing her image than actually helping her party, manages to keep her name in the news every now and then with statements such as this one. But her problem is the more she talks, the more she reminds us why she has doomed herself to the margins of political discourse.
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New on NewsReal – Sarah Palin Visits Israel. What’s In It For Her?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is in Israel right now, which for some reason is perplexing to some in the chattering class back home. Taking the most cynical approach, Newsweek Jerusalem bureau chief Dan Ephron takes to the Daily Beast to explore what Palin might stand to gain politically from the visit:

For the former Alaska governor, the trip offers a chance to distinguish herself as more pro-Israel than other American politicians and, perhaps, to make amends for her “blood libel” gaffe in January that angered many Jews. Palin has already pointed out that President Obama has yet to visit Israel during more than two years in office. At a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she was expected to distance herself from the position of some fellow Tea Partiers—chiefly Congressman Rand Paul—in favor of cutting aid to Israel.

Leftists and left-wing groups which claim to speak for Jews complained about the “blood libel” nonsense at the time, but a.) that doesn’t necessarily translate to “many Jews,” and b.) I doubt Palin took that line of attack too seriously, considering the frequency with which both sides have used the term in the past. Attempting to compare favorably to Obama’s inattentiveness (and worse) to Israel is more likely, as is the idea that she’s distancing herself from Paul’s stances on that front, especially considering that she supported him.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Scott Walker for President?

I’ve seen the idea pop up several times over the past couple weeks (see here, here, and here). Such talk is to be expected, with the boldness of his plans and the outrageousness of the opposition’s theatrics catching the nation’s attention. It’s also an extremely appealing thought, considering the lousiness of the rest of the 2012 Republican field, the backbone Walker’s shown in the face of intense opposition, and the fact that he’s just a strong candidate – an experienced executive, a charismatic speaker with common-man appeal, and strong on both fiscal and social conservatism. He’s basically Chris Christie with less style and more substance.

However, it’s best to forget about it this time around. He just got into office (and we all remember the last time a popular Republican governor resigned to pursue a bigger platform), has a lot on his plate, and signed on to turn Wisconsin around. Sorry – we need him too much here to give him to the rest of the country just yet. But 2016 or beyond? Hmm……

New on NewsReal – Reagan vs. Palin? Patti Davis Says the Sarahcuda Would Make Her Dad Spin in His Grave

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Leftists are generally happy to get a hold of so-called conservatives who are willing to bash the Right, but their favorite mouthpieces are the relatives of high-profile Republicans who are willing to go against the grain. A couple weeks ago, they paraded Ron Reagan Jr. around to suggest his father’s Alzheimer’s began in the Oval Office, and one of the Gipper’s other left-wing kids, Patti Davis, recently sat down for an interview with The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, in which she tried to argue that Reagan wouldn’t be much of a Sarah Palin fan if he were alive today:

When I tell her that Sarah Palin will be headlining one of the Reagan birthday celebrations, as keynote speaker of a lavish dinner at the former family ranch, Davis exclaims. “Are you kidding me?” She adds, “As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, I think he would be completely baffled at her fondness for shooting animals.”

Wait a minute—Reagan was against hunting? If that sounds surprising, that’s because Davis simply made it up. In a May 1983 speech before the National Rifle Association, the president called “America’s sportsmen, hunters, and fishermen” the nation’s “foremost conservationists of our national resources,” and said he “deeply appreciate[d]” the NRA’s efforts to teach children “marksmanship, firearms safety, and some of the values and ethics of hunting and the outdoors.” In the same speech, Reagan also laments “a kind of elitist attitude in Washington that vast natural resources must be locked up to save the planet from mankind.” Reagan would most likely say that, by hunting, Palin was participating in a proud, valuable American tradition; if he would find anything “baffling,” it would more likely be how little his own daughter understands his views.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

New on NewsReal – The Left’s Attack On Palin’s Response to the Tucson Tragedy Is All About Appeasement, Not Gun Imagery

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

In the wake of this weekend’s shooting in Arizona, the opportunists of the Left barely waited for the bodies to cool or for confirmation of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ fate before pouncing on what simply had to be the atrocity’s root cause: Sarah Palin. Even though indications of culprit Jared Loughner’s true mindset started appearing on the very day of the shooting, agenda-driven vultures proceeded to lecture Palin on everything from what she needed to say to the proper level of remorse she needed to display.

On Wednesday, the former governor responded, in a stirring statement that mourns for the victims, defies her persecutors, and affirms the strength of American democracy:

If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

Of course, being Sarah Palin, she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t, and so the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz (who admits the initial attacks against her were “unfair”) has panned the speech as not presidential enough:

Blood libel, for those who are not familiar, describes a false accusation that minorities—usually Jews—murder children to use their blood in religious rituals, and has been a historical theme in the persecution of the Jewish people.

Had Palin scoured a thesaurus, she could not have come up with a more inflammatory phrase.

Yes, because when you’ve been defamed as an instigator of multiple homicide by people who know better, the important thing to do is ensure you don’t rub anyone the wrong way.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Around the Web

The New Hampshire GOP says “screw marriage.”

What’s the worst lie Ann Coulter has ever seen in the New York Times? It’s a doozy.

My NRB colleague Paul Cooper has a cool list of pro-life heroes.

How many “memorial services” can you think of with their own official logos and t-shirts?

Wisconsin Republicans plan to push voter ID. Now there’s change I can believe in!

In the wake of Tucson, Sarah Palin’s getting an “unprecedented” amount of death threats. But don’t hold the scumbags to their own standard and blame Paul Krugman, James Clyburn, or Chris Matthews, No sir.

Joe Carter contemplates atheist anger toward God. Why vent at someone you don’t think is there?

And check out the case against cutting defense spending.

New on NewsReal – "Archie" Brings Obama and Palin Together, Does More Uniting Than the Real Uniter We Elected

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Considering how often left-wing propaganda infiltrates our popular culture, it’s only fair that we acknowledge entertainment media that opts to remain above the fray. You may have heard about one such example: the current Archie story arc in which the comic-book world’s most beloved teenagers cross paths with Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. ComicsAlliance has a new preview of the latest issue’s first five pages, which cast the political powerhouses in some of the least partisan light they’ve ever been under.

The story so far: Archie and Reggie are competing for student council, and their respective supporters decide some star power is in order to boost their chances. Veronica arranges for Archie to be photographed with the visiting President of the United States, while Trula gets a snapshot of Reggie with the former Governor of Alaska. Unfortunately, neither politician knows he/she’s being used as an endorsement…

It’s possible that the final issue might contain subtle jabs at their guest stars, but the previewed pages suggest we’re in for a lighthearted tale that genuinely portrays Obama and Palin as spirited, good-natured patriots. Indeed, this playful imagery seems to be about as confrontational as things get:

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.