Feisty Tammy Bruce. There’s no one quite like her. Smart, willing to listen (mostly), and stomps on political correctness when she sees it. Even when it costs her, as it did when she moved from left to right on the political spectrum.
Ms. Bruce is commenting on a phenomenon that I’ve seen plainly, even given my inattention to the political infighting as people jostle for position in the coming elections: the boys are not being nice. In this podcast, she makes her point:
None of the guys like Sarah Palin at all. I’ve wondered sometimes if it’s not just plain ol’ jealousy because McCain didn’t pick any of them to be his running mate. Instead, he reached waay down the ranks to elevate this unknown Alaskan governor. As we all remember, she was an instant hit with the yobs, and an equally instant target for the intelligentsia.
She is also poison meat for the Republican machine, which, frankly, is their loss. Too bad, given how few of them actually attract strong positive public attention. Not one of them comes close to her ability to attract an enthusiastic crowd.
Ever since the presidential campaign ended, Palin has continued to be a magnet for a large portion of the dissatisfied, with whom she appears to establish an easy rapport.
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But she is also increasingly a magnet for the haters, both right and left. From the little I’ve observed, she’s slowly learning to take the vitriol in stride. Given the level of acrimony and its incessant roar, I can see why she’d have had a difficult time finding her bearings.
The Left is easy enough to figure out: she’s not a socialist, she’s against abortion, and she doesn’t hang with the Ivy League elites. To them her credentials (or lack of the “correct” ones) automatically place her in the default position they’ve set up for the un-cool kids. Thus, they can be depended on to proclaim her lack of intelligence, her ignorance, and her naïve cluelessness. They reliably, predictably spend their energy in a concerted effort to marginalize her, echoing one another’s talking points with their trademarked snobbish lack of civility. If Palin were really as deficient and evil as they claim, she’d have to kill herself just to break even.
Miz Sarah needs to bleach her hair so she can come down to the level of the expectations set for her: a ditzy, clueless blond. And I don’t mean the expectations of the Democrats. It’s the Republican leaders who have been frantically busy distancing themselves from Palin. Deathly afraid that what the political insiders think of this woman, and fearful some of the blather will stick to their skirts, pols like Gingrich and Romney dismiss her as “divisive” or “superficial”, etc. Choose your favorite word weapon to cut her down to size. Either that, or say nothing, hoping that the Mamma Grizzly will disappear from view, a fizzling political fad. Only if that were to happen will they be spared the awful prospect of having to face off against her in 2012, in some form or other.
Here’s Tammy’s introductory prophecy on the subject:
…four days after my warning and right on cue, the Mitt Romney campaign launched a depraved sexist, personal attack on Sarah Palin. In a Time Magazine article with a title also meant to dismiss: “Beyond Palin: Assessing the Rest of the GOP Presidential Field,” Romney advisers and a Republican operative flail about like Alfalfa and the Our Gang kids panicking that Darla might come knocking on their clubhouse door…
At this point in her post, Tammy Bruce quotes from that essay in Time, to point out Romney’s gibes. However, I found the Time‘s authors’ assessments regarding these fellows even more to the point than the dismissive remarks by Romney’s aides [my emphasis below]:
Some of the other would-be candidates and their senior advisers have known Palin over the years, primarily from her days as governor, but most have never met her or had a substantive talk with her. That is a strange situation, to say the least; it forces them to evaluate her without any direct insight into her strengths and weaknesses.
This “strange situation” is a common enough both in the media and among professional politicians, especially those not currently in office. They’re too busy to, say, process the gargantuan legislative porridge cooked up by Congress, but they’re never too busy to give their opinions on same. The era of “Too Big to Read” has produced politicians who are “Too Busy to Lead”. Never fear; the lacunae in their knowledge and understanding are not impediments to their ambitions. Too bad for us.
These fellows would have us believe they’re better than Palin. But based on what criteria beyond their own opinions? And these opinions are second hand and shopworn by now.
The essay in Time points out that our former vice-president is plumping for Mitch Daniels. National Review recently had a laudatory essay on Daniels, and no doubt they will have them on other Republican candidates. But to their credit, they also have one on Nikki Haley (see further down the page for snips from the essay on her).
Meanwhile, back at Tammy’s, there is Mitt Romney’s hit job on Palin in Time to dissect:
Here’s a word of warning to all the establishment politicians who think dismissing or denigrating Sarah Palin will pay off. The tactic has been tried and has already failed. The same smear was tried by Nikki Haley’s opponents, and it helped propel her to victory. Why? Because the American people are sick and tired of gutter-tripe tossed at women who dare to pursue their American dream.
For those who don’t keep up with politics at the state level, Nikki Haley is another first-generation American Indian. Her parents are Sikhs. As so often happens with the children of immigrants, she married a non-hyphenated American.
In this video, she was facing a primary run-off, which she won resoundingly:
Haley’s story is similar to that of many women politicians. She joined the Chamber of Commerce because she was disgusted with the anti-business attitude of government, with its red tape and taxes. Her experience as a small business owner (with her parents) left her dissatisfied with the obstacles being placed in the way of what had been the American story: becoming successful as your own boss and providing jobs and income in your locality. As she says, in her late twenties she was focused on business, not politics:
The itch to enter politics finally came in 2004. “People said that I should run for the school board or county council, that there was a rank I would have to go through, and I just would not accept that,” Haley explains. “I had no interest in that path – I wanted to change state government. My motivation came from my frustration about how hard it was getting to make a dollar in South Carolina and how easy it was for the government to take it…
That’s just one thing which makes this woman different. She jumped straight into the murk of state politics. It was probably much worse than she’d realized, but they taught her well about stepping out of line. She ran against the incumbent and she won. Then she learned how South Carolinians play political games.
From National Review [this is probably still behind the subscription wall. It will be out shortly]:
Then, as now, Haley was challenged on numerous fronts. Her religion – she’s a convert to Methodism who values her Sikh heritage – was called into question. So was her conservatism. Nothing stuck…I saw how dirty state politics can be,” she says. “Even if you go into it with the best intentions, so much can get turned around.
And she won a second term, too. But her attempts to clean up the club cost her dearly:
“What bothered me was how it always seemed to be about the power, the money, and the committee chairmanships. It was arrogant.”
In her second term, Haley decided…it was time to take a knife to the symbol of Columbia’s clubby cronyism: anonymous voice votes, which allowed lawmakers to give themselves perks, ladle out pork, and increase taxes without having their individual votes recorded. In April 2008 she introduced a bill to require roll-call votes and became a pariah almost immediately…
Haley’s efforts finally led the state house to adopt a bill this March that would change the rules to require more on-the-record votes. While this bill was an improvement…the senate has taken no action. Meanwhile…[I] was stripped of all of my legislative power. I lost my position as whip and they put me on a lower committee”…
So now you know why she was motivated to run for governor as a conservative “Republican”. And why she got such high marks from good government groups.
But the national machine ignored her in favor of the club members who were running in the primary against her: a congressman, the attorney general, and the lieutenant governor. She should’ve been eaten by the machine and spit out…except…
Except she got a surprise endorsement from Sarah Palin. Palin’s support totally, and quickly, changed the equation of that primary. As The National Review reported, “within a week, Haley jumped to a double-digit lead in the polls”.
That wasn’t the end of it. There were ludicrous attempts to bring her down, including two “boorish” claims from men who said they had affairs with her. Sure they did. If you can’t win on the merits, call her a slut, right?
It didn’t work. With Palin’s support, her numbers increased substantially, though she lost the four-way primary contest by one point. But Haley went on to win the run-off resoundingly. No doubt the slut stuff will come up again with the Democrat’s campaign as they get closer to November. Maybe those two boors will be the October non-surprise, who knows?
One thing is sure: the sclerotic Republican machine, both the national and the local versions, had better get with it or get out of the way. They hate Palin because she has such power and she’s so obviously middle class America. They loathe the Tea Parties because they can’t control them. Rather than attempting to negotiate with Palin, or finding a way to build a rapprochement with the Tea Party people, the machine politicians are looking for ways to discredit both phenomena. If not suicidal, this ‘strategy’ is surely dumb. They so badly want to join the cool kids that they can’t see the ways in which their fear is marginalizing them.
Newt Gingrinch appears to believe he has a chance at the presidential nomination. Now that is some high-octane delusional thinking. His moment came…and it went. It’s so long gone you can’t even see the dust trail on the road anymore. He’d better learn to be a gracious eminence grise because Newt’s not presidential material in anyone’s eyes but his own.
Mitt Romney has far too much baggage. Not as much as Gingrich, but enough. Massachusetts’ universal health care, for which he is responsible, will disqualify him among conservatives. Don’t forget it is now the conservatives whose large numbers will decide the coming elections. Without Obama on the menu, many of those who showed up to vote for the first time in 2008 won’t be at the polls in 2010. But those self-described conservatives? They surely will be there, and in large numbers. There is a lot of house-cleaning to be done in November. It’s doubtful that the New Black Panther Party’s trash talk or the corrupt “community organizing” by ACORN will make a dint in the determination of those who are ready for real change. They’ve run out of hope, you see, and they don’t believe the lie that incalculable government debt will get their jobs back.
The ones the Big Boys are backing for 2012, Mitch Daniels for instance, would be well-advised to make nice with Sarah Palin simply because she is the locus of so much power. Even she must be surprised at the depth of the continued response in her favor. If the rest of them continue to hold their noses and back off, they’ll lose respect from the average voter. And then they’ll have to try to fly solo, sans the altitude Palin could easily supply. Good luck with that flight plan, guys.
It’s time for the “professionals” and the elites in charge to understand that the rules of the game have changed profoundly. The reasons for the changes are complicated, but certainly Obama’s disasters have had a huge impact on politics at all levels.
Here’s the thing, guys. First, stop whining. It’s time to learn to get along with Sarah and her Momma Grizzlies (soccer moms, like Newt, are soo 1990s). Either you overcome your distaste, or you start writing your memoirs. There aren’t many other choices. So put on your seat belts Republicans; there’s a sharp learning curve ahead.
Adapt or die.