Palin is Not the Answer

Why the former Alaska governor will spell doom for conservatives

Sarah Palin's announcement of her resignation as governor of Alaska may be the end of her political career or, as some speculate, the real beginning. What seems clear is that Palin is not conservatism's new hope but its dead end. In recent days, this has been amply confirmed by the arguments of Palin defenders, focused less on her presumed merits than on her presumed injuries at her enemies' hands.

Thus, Ross Douthat, the new conservative voice at the New York Times, hails Palin as Everywoman—living proof you can aspire to the White House without an Ivy League degree—and deplores her abuse by the political and media elites based on her "gender and social class." The message to other non-elite women with political ambitions, Douthat sums up, is: "Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith."

Yet Douthat admits that Palin's "missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues" tarnished her role as a spunky common woman challenging the elites. But in that case, how much of the harsh treatment was due to prejudice and how much to Palin's own failings?

Yes, Palin has been the target of extremely vicious attacks (though the notion that no other politician has endured comparable nastiness would amuse Bill and Hillary Clinton). Her left-wing feminist foes have been especially rabid, mocking her in startlingly misogynistic language—"Republican blow-up doll" was one of the milder epithets—and denouncing "her pretense that she is a woman." The bizarre theory that Palin's youngest child, Trig, is really her grandson is still afloat in the gutters of the Internet.

And yes, this hostility has an element of snobbery. Former New Republic editor in chief Andrew Sullivan, currently a blogger with a bad case of Palin Derangement Syndrome, recently posted a catalogue of Palin's sins that included "white trash concupiscence."

Yet, such revolting extremes aside, some of the unpleasantness has been self-inflicted. Palin agreed to be John McCain's running mate knowing her teenage daughter was pregnant and single. (Of course, if Chelsea Clinton had been the expecting unwed mom, not one unkind word would have crossed the lips of Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.) Nor was she particularly eager to shield Bristol Palin from the spotlight.

And then there's the matter of Palin's fitness for the second-highest office in the land. I say this as someone who initially hoped she would be an inspiring standard-bearer for conservative/libertarian feminism, a model of a woman who had it all and was a winner, not a victim.

It's not just the "liberal elites" that found Palin clueless; so did many in her own camp. Indeed, Douthat concedes she has to "bone up on the issues" if she is to have a political future. Those who believe Palin held her own debating Joe Biden forget that the McCain camp had requested a less-challenging format for that debate, with follow-up questions limited.

Palin critics on the right—George Will, Peggy Noonan, David Frum—have been slammed by the Palinistas as "haters," elitists threatened by a political star without proper intellectual credentials. Yet these same conservatives have been devout admirers of Ronald Reagan, hardly a product of the Ivy League.

Some of Palin's followers see her as the second coming of Reagan. But Reagan, despised as a "dunce" by his liberal detractors, had extensively read, written, and talked about the key issues of his day. While not an intellectual, he was a man of ideas. Palin is not known to harbor those. Her appeal is described in terms of "speaking from the heart" and exemplifying the virtues of faith and family—which is ironic, given the usual conservative derision of emotion-based liberal politics. Shortly after Palin's nomination, former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson suggested that her choice to bear a child with Down's Syndrome rather than have an abortion was an adequate substitute for a political philosophy.

If Palin does have a philosophy, it is the flip side of the class-and-culture warfare of which she has been a target. In fact, it was Palin who fired many of the volleys in this war—extolling the moral superiority of small towns and rural areas and calling them "pro-American parts of the country," mocking people who had traveled abroad as spoiled kids with rich parents.

While eschewing "victim feminism," Palin has enthusiastically embraced "victim conservatism": the grievances of cultural traditionalists who feel trampled and disdained by the more educated and influential (and often, more affluent) segments of American society. Like the "oppressed groups" of the left, these traditionalists have some valid complaints but channel them into a destructive ideology of polarization and resentment.

Such a zeal can energize the base—but also fatally split it and alienate the unconverted.

Most likely, Palin will be back. But if conservatives expect her to be their warrior princess in shining armor, they are courting defeat.

Cathy Young is a Reason contributing editor and a columnist at RealClearPolitics. She blogs at cathyyoung.wordpress.com. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    She is even hotter holding a gun.

  • EJM||

    This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

    That apparently explains why there's an embedded ad in the same relative location on both article pages.

  • Warty||

    What a fucking disgrace.

    What, I mean: what a disgrace she's not fucking.

  • ||

    What? No article about her former future son-in-law saying that she resigned so she could chase the money in publishing and speaking?

  • kinnath||

    No article about her former future son-in-law saying that she resigned so she could chase the money in publishing and speaking?

    I assumed that was given. I also assume she has a contract locked up with Fox.

  • ||

    "I assumed that was given"

    The kid came right out and said it. Said she was wishing back in Jan and Feb that she could get her hands on all that media money.

  • ||

    I say this half kiddingly, but I knew I wouldn't like her when they announced the "trendy-cool" names of her kids.

    That said, how anyone can take the position that she was unfit to be president while not thinking the same about Joe Biden is a mystery. He is a dunce among dunces. He makes GWB, Al Gore, and Dan Quayle look like political geniuses by comparison.

  • ||

    She had better be about to fire with her finger on the trigger like that.

  • ||

    Cathy Young says Palin was the cause of the polarization and 'playing the victim.' What is she smoking?

  • ||

    Is that photoshopped? It looks like 2 sets of fingers on the forestock.

  • Robert||

    She's just modest.

  • kinnath||

    She gave herself just enought time to have her new show firing on all cylinders for the November sweeps.

  • ||

    "That said, how anyone can take the position that she was unfit to be president while not thinking the same about Joe Biden is a mystery."

    I don't like Joe Biden, he's a blowhard with bad ideas. But he's been in Washington long enough that inertia would get him through the presidency. Sarah Palin, by contrast, might decide to quit without any warning.

  • ||

    For someone that is just a dead-end, there sure does seem a whole lot of effort going on to discredit Palin. Other than being a middle age guy that gets hot over the Tina Fey look, I really haven't given much thought to Palin. Maybe I should, as with so much energy going into attacking Palin, maybe there is something good there.

    One more point, how can anyone that is an Obama supporter attack Palin for her supposed lack of experience? Every attack on Palin about her "inexperience" highlights the Messiahs lack of anything near experience. (Though, he does now have more time, give or take a few days, as president than he did as a senator before starting his run for President.) Palin may not be the brightest bulb in the room, but she is a floodlight in comparison to Obama and the fucking sun compared to Biden.

    President Obama + VP Bidden + 60 seat senate + majority house + Reid + Pelosi = we are so fucking fucked



    She is even hotter holding a gun.



    Agreed!

  • ||

    Biden is a cretin.

  • Mike||

    Obama at least showed that he can run a really good campaign, and that he can argue policy issues.

    The lack of experience argument against her was mostly a product of the fact that she couldn't argue a single policy intelligently.

    Obama is inexperienced, but at least he's educated, intelligent, and well spoken. I've always gotten the impression that even if I EXTREMELY disagree with his policies and often consider him a sell-out, he at least did bother to think about his policies before he talked about them.

  • ||

    Obama is a snake-oil salesman, and Palin and Biden are the dufuses in the crowd. We must do better. But how would YOU like to have your entire life and family dissected by the pack of yapping dogs of our 24/7 media? Most decent people don't want the intrusion and won't put their families through the hell of a campaign. Thus, we are left with megalomaniac assholes.

  • ||

    Mike: Obama ran a good campaign, even allowing for all the free support he got from most of the media, including Reason - I'll give you that. But argue policy positions, I call bullshit on that one. Obama strings a bunch of nice sounding words together that mean whatever the listener wants them to mean, but actually have a well thought-out position - BS.

    But, lets return to something more fun and productive - Obama's life insurance policy - Joe Biden.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/07/07/joe-biden-the-perfect-diplomatic-weapon.aspx

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    To be frank, I DGAF about the "future of conservatism", I just want someone to beat back the aholes. Palin could do that if someone would sit down with her and coach her on not saying Bachmann-like things. I'm not talking about the topics, but the way she says them.

    P.S. Guess who came up with "palling around"? The McCain campaign. They should have beat the Ayers connection into the ground, but they needed to do it in the correct way. It was the McCain campaign - and not Palin - that came up with the wrong way.

    P.P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  • kilroy||

    I think Palin is waiting to see if she gets a better offer from the GOP or the porno industry.

  • ||

    24ahead, the problem, as I see it, is that the GOP is desparate. Desparation doesn't grant second chances. She may have been very good in 2012 or 2016, but she was brought up to the big league too soon and now we'll never know what she may have been capable of.

  • Xeones||

    Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  • ||

    X, I'm cutting him some slack. He voiced an opinion without any shots at the locals. I can respect that.

  • LarryA||

    I say this as someone who initially hoped she would be an inspiring standard-bearer for conservative/libertarian feminism, a model of a woman who had it all and was a winner, not a victim.

    Same here. I'm still deciding whether she was just a disappointment, or someone with potential who got thrown to the wolves too soon. Can she come back? I've watched too much politics to lay cash on that bet, either way.

    Cathy Young says Palin was the cause of the polarization and 'playing the victim.' What is she smoking?

    Not sure what way you're disagreeing. Palin did "cause" the polarization, simply by being who she was. (Or was supposed to be.) There is a philosophy of hatred among Democrats/liberals that fixes on any "minority" that doesn't follow the liberal stereotype for that group. Blacks that don't act black are labeled "Oreos" and treated like the most evil traitors to the Black cause. (Whatever that really is.)

    The liberal attacks on Palin began as soon as her name was uttered. How dare she be a woman who was a mother of more than two children, a member of the NRA, a Christian, conservative, etc. When liberals, particularly liberal women, talk about her they get the same look my wife gets when she thinks about rattlesnakes.

  • ||

    She had better be about to fire with her finger on the trigger like that.

    Well, there is a photojournalist downrange . . . .

  • ||

    Sarah is a conservative. The Repubs. who run the party are no different than the vile left wing liberals. Go make a few million Sarah for your family.

  • ||

    I think most around here would call me a liberal. (among other things) It was Palin coming across as dumber than a sack of hammers that bothered me.

  • jacob||

    @ Barry Loberfeld - Well said, excellent essay


    @ 24AheadDotCom - Part of the reason Palin is hated is her own doing. She makes completely absurd comments, such as claiming that the Iraq war was God's will or something or other:

    http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Sep03/0,4670,CVNPalinIraqWar,00.html


    As a Christian, I completely find this offensive. To say that a pre-emptive and completely unwarranted invasion (to me) is God's will nothing short of sacrilege. Unless, of course, I missed the part in the Bible about invading other countries that never attacked us.
    Surely an "intellectual" like yourself can understand this.

    BTW what are you doing on this website if you hate libertarians so much? did you get tired of Townhall or Michelle Malkin?

  • ||

    Thank you for providing links, Mr. LoneWacko. (stares disapprovingly at that dumb fuck Tony)

  • ||

    Mike: i agree with Obama being so much more intelligent, educated, and wise to important decision making that you claim. After all look at his 20 czars, the collapse of two once great car companies, unemployment at 9.5% and climbing, giving in to leaders from all over the world, and using his great knowledge to pass the stimulus bill. Yep, that Palin chick has a surplus in spending in 2010, one of only 6 states (all republican) listens to the people instead of special interests, how uneducated can a person be? But, say Mike, we have an educated, Harvard elitist destroying our country and you are happy with that? How stupid can we common Americans be supporting a woman who wants less government, lower taxes, and a strong defense and went to 4 different schools before she could graduate verses an highly intelligent Harvard Law student who wants to grow government and tax us to death while borrowing from our children's future. You do indeed make a highly intelligent argument!

  • Paul||

    Could someone a lot smarter than I (that would be pretty much anyone, I'd assume) explain to me why politicians of all stripes feel the need to place themselves in Michael Dukakis photo moments? Why does Michael Dukakis don the helmet and drive around in the tank? Why does Sarah Palin have to keep fondling assault weapons (with Bayonet Lugs(tm)!!!)

    Is it not enough to forcefully state your position:

    I fully support, without nuance, the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of this country. I oppose the assault weapon ban as it is an abject failure of the understanding of firearms, firearm mechanics, crime and its causes. I believe that the Second Amendment applies to the fifty states, and if elected I will oppose any restrictions on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

  • ||

    Pope to Obama: From my mouth to your ear.

  • ||

    I notice some similarities between Obama and Palin.

    Both are seen as inexperienced by their opponents.
    Whether it is seen as a good thing or not, both are DC outsiders.
    Both rely on party idealism and partisanship to gain support.
    Both are media darlings/punching bags.
    Both are surrounded by lies and misconceptions (more than most politicians).
    Both are bad for America.

  • Craig||

    Why shouldn't Palin extoll the virtues of the residents of the heartland and the hinterlands? Can't she be a "wise rural mother", to paraphrase a recent Supreme Court nominee?

    And holding your own in a debate with Joe Biden isn't much to brag about -- it's like holding your own in a boxing match, with George Will rather than George Foreman.

  • Some Guy||

    I can't think of a better personification of everything that is wrong with America than Sarah Palin.

    Yep, that Palin chick has a surplus in spending in 2010

    And her state is sitting on a giant oil field. It's pretty easy to have a surplus when you don't even have to tax people to pay for your budget.

    How stupid can we common Americans be supporting a woman who wants less government, lower taxes, and a strong defense

    I have seen no evidence to support the belief that electing her would have led to any of these things. These are exactly the same things they said about Bush, and she is basically a female version of him (although at least a real Alaskan is better than a fake Texan.)

    My impression of her, based on hearing her speak, is that she'd do all the wasteful spending that Obama does, but with additional wasteful spending in Iraq and a bunch of "family values" crap thrown in for good measure.

  • Craig||

    Why does Sarah Palin have to keep fondling assault weapons (with Bayonet Lugs(tm)!!!)

    Is it not enough to forcefully state your position:


    A picture is worth a thousand words. If a politician won't pose with heavy weaponry, do you really trust the words coming out of his or her mouth?

  • Paul||

    Whether it is seen as a good thing or not, both are DC outsiders.

    Are they? May I remind you that Obama was Senator Obama. No, not a senior senator, but a senator nonetheless. He may not be a full-blown superheterodyne insider ala Ted Kennedy, but an outsider he's not.

    Both are media darlings/punching bags.

    Ok, aside from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, what mainstream media source is using Obama as a punching bag?*

    *disclaimer, I listen to NPR for most of my straight news so...

  • Questions?||

    Where did left titty ...errr i mean lefiti go? Why doesn't Lonewacko use that moniker anymore? Where is Joe?

    I leave for a small amount of time and everything changes...WTF?!?!

  • Paul||

    A picture is worth a thousand words. If a politician won't pose with heavy weaponry, do you really trust the words coming out of his or her mouth?

    I suppose it depends on the politician. I mean, what's to stop one from interpreting the picture as your leader(s) holding you at gunpoint?

  • LibertarianBlue||

    What makes Palin Libertarian again? She is a member of the religious right which is very anti-libertarian.

  • Craig||

    Obama is inexperienced, but at least he's educated, intelligent, and well spoken.

    I keep hearing that, but every time I hear him speak he says something really stupid, but with a lot of deliberate pauses that I guess people mistake for intellectual reflection or profundity.

    What he actually does is even worse.

  • hmm||

    She is even hotter holding a previously banned assault weapon.

    Fixed and agreed.

    It's kind of funny "free market people" seem somewhat displeased about here leaving office to pursue a chance to make money.

  • Paul||

    It's kind of funny "free market people" seem somewhat displeased about here leaving office to pursue a chance to make money.

    Any politician who leaves office is a good politician. The problem is the position is refilled.

    That's what's so great about the private sector. When a company is in financial straits and a person quits, often the position isn't refilled. Government should do the same.

  • ||

    I think if Palin had been left alone and allowed to "cook" for a couple more years in the state-politics oven before, say, a Senate run, she could've been a force in the national spectrum.

    But not knowing any Supreme Court case barring Roe v. Wade? C'mon, at least say "Dred Scott got shafted" or something. The blank stare in response to that question on the Couric interview looked just like one of the deer she aims that thing at before pulling the trigger. Just meat on the table for the sharks in D.C. if you're that out of the loop.

    I'm no establishment intellectual, and I think the Ivy League crew is an incompetent cabal for the most part...but holy shit being proud of not reading anything is not in itself a qualification for President, or anything else really.

  • ||

    After 8 years of Bush The Younger and 4 or 8 years of Obama, I have three words to describe a potential President Sarah Palin administration:

    Par for course.

  • dave||

    Episiarch | July 10, 2009, 3:18pm | #

    She had better be about to fire with her finger on the trigger like that.


    Pretty sure that's a FTS as the barrel is plugged and there's no magazine in it.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/03/mil-090316-afns02.htm

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    If jacob had seen my list of smears against Sarah Palin, he wouldn't have written the false bit about Iraq above. That was one of the first the MSM offered, and it's false.

  • jacob||

    Sir,

    I got that link from FOX News. And you're wrong, it's not false. It's on YouTube if you don't believe me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnGSk6N0Ugg

  • Tim||

    I completely agree with the article that Sarah Palin right now is bad for conservatism and libertarianism; however she is young and now has a ton of free time and if she just locked herself up and read the federalist papers, John Locke, F.A. Hayek, J.S. Mill, Aristotle and other classical liberal/republican thinkers that contributed the intellectual foundation of our country and the libertarian philosophy she could possibly become a formidable opponent. Shes not to old to learn a new trick.

    However this idea that President Obama is much better doesn't hold up very well. At least I can fix Palin down on a position, President Obama just speaks in vague, albeit beautiful generalities that mean whatever the listener wants them to mean. He won by simultaneously convincing the far left he was one of them and the moderates that he was one of them as well, and one can't be both unless one gets darling media treatment that doesn't hold one to account. Being articulate is not a substitute for good ideas, I know tons of articulate and intelligent college humanities professors I wouldn't let near the strings of power.

  • ||

    At least I can fix Palin down on a position



    Name one. Just because her positions are simple (Drill Here Drill Now!) doesn't mean she's got a sound political philosophy.

    President Obama just speaks in vague, albeit beautiful generalities that mean whatever the listener wants them to mean.



    By now if you don't think Obama takes positions or has a political philosophy, you just aren't paying attention.

    What worries me is that Obama will fail, not necessarily because he lacks the ability, but because failure could be inevitable given the scale of the problems. That will automatically be an indictment of him and Democrats, and then Americans will decide maybe going with the airheaded theocrat again is the right idea.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    You had to mention the doll thing didn't you?

  • SIV||

    She is a member of the religious right which is very anti-libertarian.

    The "religous right" that sends Ron Paul back to Congress every two years? Yeah, they HATE libertarians.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    Sorry, wrong link. Try this.

  • johnny john john||

    Yeah Obama's not that bad.

    Listening to Obama's speeches, however invokes a certain sense of inclusion. Obama mentions every single important group he can think of in every speech. I think that is actually quite impressive. He is the first president to ever mention atheists in a good light in his speech. Obama's speeches also invoke a sense of a man willing to compromise between different groups. I believe "compromise" is one of the most important things to do in a democracy, where you can never get everyone to agree. Yah maybe Obama doesn't really talk about specific policy in his speeches. But I don't think speeches are a good forum to express policy (especially in things like the economy and gov't restructuring (say in healthcare). Such things are better expressed in papers anyways. Describing complex policy would be like describing how to make a space shuttle: It can be done, but will take unnecessarily long and be boring as hell.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    if she just locked herself up and read the federalist papers, John Locke, F.A. Hayek, J.S. Mill, Aristotle and other classical liberal/republican thinkers that contributed the intellectual foundation of our country

    Maybe, if she joined the Free Masons.

  • SIV||

    She is even hotter holding a previously banned assault weapon.

    If the AR is select fire (likely-she's shooting with military in that pic IIRC) and post-'86 manufacture it is still banned.

  • hmm||

    As mentioned before it looks like an Army weapons training system. Aimpoint + a light color in flash hider + the giant cord coming out of the bottom in front of the magazine well + the photographer standing in front of a gun with a woman with her finger on the trigger. No kidding it's military, the blond in the back is in BDUs. (I'm a super sleuth!!)

    Yes there is a pseudo ban on MG not NFA registered pre 86. That is they will not register anymore per a really shady vote in Congress and Ronny Reagan signing the bill. You can register new MG post 86 with a class III license. The class III license must remain current or your post 86 weapons are to be destroyed or sold to another class III dealer. So you can make and own post 86 fully automatic weapons as long as you have a class III license.

  • ||

    I still say that there are at least 6 fingers on the forestock. I'm not quite sure how. Photoshop comes to mind.

  • hmm||

    Two sets of knuckles. Her hand is twisted around the handguard.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    As mentioned before it looks like an Army weapons training system.

    Good points, and with the photographer standing downrange, I hope it's a training system, yuk yuk yuk.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    I still say that there are at least 6 fingers on the forestock. I'm not quite sure how.

    ......

    Two sets of knuckles. Her hand is twisted around the handguard.


    Sounds a little kinky. I wonder, was she just born that way or did she have it done surgically?

  • loupeznik||

    "A picture is worth a thousand words. If a politician won't pose with heavy weaponry, do you really trust the words coming out of his or her mouth?"

    And right you are Dave. It is a fake rifle. You can see the air hose sticking out of the magazine well.

    In the Marine Corps we called it ISMIT.

    The Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. Politicians and fakery go hand in hand.

  • Epicurus||

    Palin is the true exemplification of the Republican base. The best thing that could happen for America is that Palin becomes the Republican standard bearer in 2012.

    "The world needs more Trigs, not fewer."

    Dream ticket: Palin/Bachmann.

  • Epicurus||

    Was LoneWacko's post deleted by a censor? Can't find it.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    "Dream ticket: Palin/Bachmann."

    Dream ticket for comedians, maybe.

    It would be off the scale for comedic value.

    I can't decide if Palin/Bachmann would be stupidx2 or stupid squared?

    You really want the GOP marginalized for a decade?

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    however she is young and now has a ton of free time and if she just locked herself up and read the federalist papers, John Locke, F.A. Hayek, J.S. Mill, Aristotle and other classical liberal/republican thinkers that contributed the intellectual foundation of our country and the libertarian philosophy she could possibly become a formidable opponent.



    Sorry, but if she hasn't had the inclination to do any of those things by now its not likely she will any time soon.

    It's not that she is unintelligent (it's qite obvious that she is quite smart) it's that she so remarkably uncurious.

  • Some Guy||

    Palin is the true exemplification of the Republican base. The best thing that could happen for America is that Palin becomes the Republican standard bearer in 2012.

    How would Obama winning 40+ states be good for the country?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Was LoneWacko's post deleted by a censor? Can't find it.

    3:50 July 10

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Also, 5:33pm July 10.

  • MJ||

    "It's not just the "liberal elites" that found Palin clueless; so did many in her own camp."

    What's annoying is that most these people who found Palin clueless and inexperienced had little or nothing to say about Biden's inanities and Obama's lack of accomplishment. For some reason these things that disqualified Palin mattered not to the anointed one's ticket.

  • MJ||

    "I think most around here would call me a liberal. (among other things) It was Palin coming across as dumber than a sack of hammers that bothered me."-brotherben

    But does Biden being dumber than sack of hammers bother you at all?

  • MJ||

    "Obama mentions every single important group he can think of in every speech. I think that is actually quite impressive. He is the first president to ever mention atheists in a good light in his speech."

    Proving that atheists are low self-esteem sluts.

  • ||

    Come on man. You gotta love a guy who was one of the biggest advocates for the *war on drugs*. Made the mistake of voting for the war in Iraq, then voted against the surge?

    Has been sucking off the national tit more than half his adult life?

    Has two hooked up lobbyist sons..........

    Ok, that is enough for today.

    Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin. What a motley crew that was.

  • ||

    Ms Young is clueless on Palin.

    It sounds to me like Ms Young has a big problem with Gov Palin's religous perspective and relating areas.

    I wouldn't expect that many Libertarians especially the Libertarian supper club crowd would view Gov Palin favorably. A lot of the same crowd that nips at the ankles of Ayn Rand's legacy.

    Ron Rand for Senate 2010

  • Epicurus||

    'Dream ticket: Palin/Bachmann.'
    "Dream ticket for comedians, maybe."

    This ticket would truly reflect the vast majority of Republicans.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Said she was wishing back in Jan and Feb that she could get her hands on all that media money.'

    Well, at least she's a capitalist...

  • jacob||

    "Proving that atheists are low self-esteem sluts."

    Obama mentions atheists in a positive light, therefore they are low self-esteem sluts? I think you need to get a refund for that logic class you took in community college.


    Who's Ron Rand? Are you talking about Rand Paul? Ron Paul? If you are, I'm fully behind you.

  • ||

    It sounds to me like Ms Young has a big problem with Gov Palin's religous perspective and relating areas.

    That's because a growing number of people are sick of the fucking religion of politicians.

    I can only speak for the many former Republicans I know, but here are their top three reasons for bailing on the GOP:

    1. Jesus
    2. Jesus
    3. Jesus

    And some of them are regular churchgoers, but can't stand to see it mixed with politics. The rest want to kick every devout Christian in the crotch for their complicity in handing the country over to the Left. They are also behind the dumbing down of this culture and turning it against science, math, etc.

    Evangelical religion and small government will never be bedfellows. It's the religion, stupid!

    So along come Sarah Palin and her creationism and witchcraft and bullshit piled on bullshit. She was politically DOA with most folks I know *before* the Couric interview.

  • MJ||

    "Obama mentions atheists in a positive light, therefore they are low self-esteem sluts?"

    No. Read for comprehension please. If an atheist gives his support to Obama for the reason that he mentioned atheists in a positive light then the atheist is selling his support on the cheap. It's an unimportant gesture compared to the other crap Obama is pushing.

  • MJ||

    "So along come Sarah Palin and her creationism and witchcraft and bullshit piled on bullshit."

    Given her known history as an officeholder, what did Sarah Palin actually do to mix religion and politics in an unacceptable fashion?

    I do not think the GOP's problem is religion, the problem has been the GOP's recent tendency to try and beat Democrat's and the Dems terms, i.e. increasing government spending.

  • ||

    "Given her known history as an officeholder, what did Sarah Palin actually do to mix religion and politics in an unacceptable fashion?"

    Given her short, unremarkable history of quitting, I'm not sure her "history" means much. She spent a lot of her time fighting corruption charges, and the other part of her time doing things that got her investigated for corruption. As far as substance, all we have is her "us vs. them, white Christians/real Americans under attack" rhetoric. Deny it all you want.

  • ||

    "If an atheist gives his support to Obama for the reason that he mentioned atheists in a positive light then the atheist is selling his support on the cheap."

    Well, many atheists lean in that direction already because of, you know, the religious right, the GOP, and the gang of possible candidates that can't say enough about how much they love Jesus and don't believe science.

  • Epicurus||

    "I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."

    George H. W. Bush

    http://www.robsherman.com/advocacy/060401a.htm

    Support Palin/Bachmann in 2012!!!

  • ||

    For those who don't pay attention (and apparently Cathy Young doesn't) to what Andrew Sullivan actually writes:

    The narcissism, the pathological and incessant lying, the viciousness, the delusions of grandeur, the vindictiveness, the fathomless and proud ignorance, the opportunism, the vanity, the white trash concupiscence and fraudulence in almost every respect: these are now indisputable.

    "Palin Derangement Syndrome"? Seriously, how can you read that and ignore everything else? How can you watch the Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric interviews, laden with softball questions that she clanked, and not come to the conclusion that she's an ignoramus, a fool, an incompetent? Cathy Young comes down with the disease she claims Sully has. Projecting, much?

  • Epicurus||

    "she's an ignoramus, a fool, an incompetent"

    She is the Republican everyman. She personifies the essence of the modern Republican Party.

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!!!

  • Epicurus||

    We believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!!!

  • jacob||

    MJ


    Sir, can you post examples of atheists backing Obama 'cause he mentioned them in a positive light? I can think of a few atheists who can't stand the man.

  • MJ||

    jacob,

    Look at "johnny john john" post at 7:35 pm on 7-10, that's what I was responsing to.

  • MJ||

    Well, many atheists lean in that direction already because of, you know, the religious right,..."

    Lamar, Oh yes, the secularist's bogeyman. That being skeptical about ceertain conclusions of science is "not believing" science wholsale. Secularist ignoring that mandating teaching science as an unquestionable dogma is neither good for teaching scientific method or that it puts science in tension with 1st amendment rights.

  • ||

    I think Palin's popularity with Republicans shows the huge divide that exists between the traditionalists in the party and the libertarians. As one who counts himself in the latter group, her popularity convinces me more and more that we need to make the Libertarian party a viable alternative, as I could never even think about voting for someone so clearly ignorant of geo-politics and economics. Her joining the McCain ticket sealed the deal to not vote for him last go round.

  • Paul Ball||

    "...the usual conservative derision of emotion-based liberal politics."

    What the hell is Cathy Young smoking? From the early 1960s, the Republican Party has been the party of paranoia and vindictiveness, which seem to be triggered by emotions. Do you think people listen to Rush Limbaugh because he provides sober analyses? No, it's because he stokes people's emotions, most notably anger and self-pity!

  • ||

    Palin speaks with clarity and common sense. She stands on her commitments, does not pander, is honest with her constituents and has accomplished much for Alaska. Cathy Young is apparently enamored with the path our current president took. It's a sad commentary on our collective psyche that a straight talking, moral woman is looked down on, while an amoral, liar is revered.

    And scandals, Cathy, what scandals? That her daughter was pregnant? That's life not scandal.

    Self pitying? You're wrong, she points out in strong language what every conservative knows about the media. Or were you referring to her defending her family against Letterman -that's not self pity.

    Anyone who speaks up for conservatism is an asset. A beautiful, charismatic speaker even more so.

  • ||

    "Kreel Sarloo | July 11, 2009, 9:40pm | #

    however she is young and now has a ton of free time and if she just locked herself up and read the federalist papers, John Locke, F.A. Hayek, J.S. Mill, Aristotle and other classical liberal/republican thinkers that contributed the intellectual foundation of our country and the libertarian philosophy she could possibly become a formidable opponent.

    Sorry, but if she hasn't had the inclination to do any of those things by now its not likely she will any time soon.

    It's not that she is unintelligent (it's qite obvious that she is quite smart) it's that she so remarkably uncurious."

    Kreel, there are times when it's important for political leaders to have incorporated those thinker's body of knowledge - like when forming a new government. Then there are times when political leaders are needed who will defend a system already in place. Different skills needed for different times. We don't need a political philosophy professor right now. We need a doer, a reformer, a sweep out the corrupt, business as usual, screw the taxpayers so I can dole out favors, political class. You don't know, nor does it matter whether or not Governor Palin has read your favorites. She incorporates their ideas instinctively.

  • PatrickSMcNally||

    I had the impression that Palin was picked up by McCain simply as a way of guaranteeing a respectable vote in a lost eelction. It's hard to picture her counting for more than that. As I recall my impressions of the election, there were 3 main groups which stood out as seeming important. These were:

    1) The segment of traditional Republican voters who had grown sick of Bush and resolved to vote against Republicans in the 2008 election. This groups showed signs of a surge which worked against the Republican candidate.

    2) Traditional non-voters who had become sufficiently fed up with 8 years of Bush that they resolved to get out and vote against Republicans. This group also surged to the advantage of the Democrats.

    3) Traditional Christian voters who based their voting very heavily around abortion issues at the expense of much else. This group was appalled to hear of a possible McCain-Lieberman ticket and would likely have abstained from voting if given such a choice.

    Somewhere along the way, McCain realized that he was at risk of experiencing an unprecedented defeat with a surge in sections of the Republican voting base going over to the Democrats, an increase in the registration of typical non-voters who would lean towards the Democrats, and an abstention from voting by other Republican voters for whom abortion was the all-deciding issue. McCain saved himself from what could have been a landslide Obama victory by taking on Palin and guaranteeing that Christian fundies would come out to vote for him. That meant that his loss was not as bad as it could have been. But future Republican calculations will rest upon how far Obama disappoints people.

  • M. Simon||

    Cathy,

    You will never get Palin because she is not a member of the elite club you cleverly name dropped in the beginning of your piece.

    If Mrs. Palin can change the course of political discussion with an entry on Facebook you may need to build higher walls or a deeper moat to protect your elite status.

    And I say all this as a traitor to my class. I'm a U Chicago alumnus. As is my #2 son.

  • M. Simon||

    A cut down of the elitists who don't understand Palin by Obama supporter Camille Paglia:

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspo.....bbery.html

  • M. Simon||

    The NY fn Times says Palin is smart. They quote an Obama supporter.

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspo.....tupid.html

    Evidently most of you rubes (Cathy?) have been misinformed.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets...in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it's literally a labyrinth, that's no joke

  • Scarpe Nike Italia||

    is good

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