The problem with sarah palin

18.06.2019
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My Problem with Sarah Palin

Before getting to that, please indulge me as I ask a few questions that establish where we all stand. Are you adamantly pro-life, or might your position change if (as in polling) the question is framed as a womans right to choose? Do you stand foursquare against amnesty, or could you be persuaded to accept a path to citizenship for illegals? Do you uphold the proper and only definition of marriage, or have the unrelenting attacks on tradition worn you down to a point where you might conclude, Well, none of this affects me, anyway?

If youre unwavering on all those issues, as I am, youre a real Sarah Palin conservative.

Or are you?

You see, Im pretty sure how Palin would answer those questions -- and one answer is a real problem.

On October 26, 2008, Palin had an interview with Jorge Ramos of Spanish-language network Univision. She was asked about amnesty: So you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

Her answer: I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

Sarah Palin supported amnestyin so many words.

See if you can put enough lipstick on that pig.

Now, since our country is subject to a somewhat planned invasion thats changing its face and involves the importation of leftist voters-to-be, I consider any pro-amnesty position a deal-breaker. Ive been front and center on the issue, so much so that Pat Buchanan saw fit to quote me in his book Death of the West. I even stated Marco Rubio is dead to me after he supported the Gang of Eight amnesty group in 2013. And, believe me, I once had high hopes for the photogenic, articulate Rubio. But my principles arent negotiable (especially the one in question here).

Some may now say that Palin had to play ball, as she was running for the White House in 2008 with amnesty poster boy John McCain.

But as they say back home, that dog dont hunt -- certainly not grizzly in Alaska.

Remember that Palin has been billed by supporters as a breath of fresh air, the un-politician, a principled crusader and transformational figure. Her whole stated appeal is based on the notion that shes not just another politician who goes along to get along.

But on Oct 26, 2008 she gave a quintessential politician-like answer. And on one of the biggest issues of our time.

Yet theres more than just Palins words on immigration. There are also her actions -- or perhaps inaction. As Examiner.coms Victor Medina wrote in 2013 citing Lou Dobbs reportage, Palin did not appear to act on the fact that Alaska hosted two sanctuary cities. As Dobbs put it, related Medina, Alaska and Oregon both have state-wide policies that forbid state agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration law. Apparently, this is by design from the highest levels (emphasis added).

Now, since Ive learned the hard way that criticizing Palin alienates some of my usual readers, Ill state that I bear her no special animus. Shes no different from 1000 other politicians who either dont understand the true impact of immigration (and a lot of other things) or have principles whose malleability is proportional to the power at stake. But thats the point.

Palin is no different from 1000 other politicians.

This brings us to her true appeal. And if youre a fan of hers, please try to take a step back, if you can, and view the matter from an emotional distance.

Question: can you cite for me one novel or unusually insightful thing Palin has ever said?

Just one.

Anyone?

Politics wonk that I am, I cant think of anything. Dont misunderstand me, theres nothing wrong with most of what she does say; its conservative boilerplate, and thats where you generally start. But that again is the point.

Palin says nothing 1000 politicians havent said before her.

So I ask, whats her true appeal, really?

Lets be honest, if we cant point to even one thing that makes a much ballyhooed politician substantively different from less touted co-ideologists, the process of elimination tells us where the greater appeal must lie.

Style.

Its not Palins oratory, either. Oh, its not bad, but shes no Reagan or Alan Keyes. The difference is what she is.

No one would be talking about Palin if she werent attractive and female.

This is true even if, by chance, John McCain would have been willing to choose a Scott Palin to be his running-mate (which he wouldnt have).

Its the phenomenon I expounded upon in Cultural Affirmative Action and The New Chivalry: when people in the market and media privilege others -- sometimes unconsciously -- based upon the latters identification with a victim group.

And most every politically aware person grasps this phenomenon to some degree. The late Geraldine Ferraro addressed Barack Obamas meteoric political rise in 2008 and said, If Obama was [sic] a white man, he would not be in this position. And Ferraro had noted herself that she wouldnt have been the 1984 vice-presidential candidate were she not a woman. Its the same reason, by the way, why Fox News hires a large number of attractive female hosts and pundits. Do you think its a coincidence? Is the largely conservative audience so taken with them solely because of their minds?

The fact is that its impossible to not benefit from fairer-sex status in politics today; it even elevates your brand among conservatives, though its difficult convincing many conservatives theyre thus influenced. With many motivations being unconscious, its common for people to not be completely aware of what drives them. How many Americans voted for Obama in 2008 without fully grasping the degree to which electing the first black president and wanting to feel unbigoted and open-minded influenced them?

This isnt to say Palin fans dont have some legitimate reasons to support her, only that the kind of heroine worship and savior-status attribution evident in some quarters -- support vastly in excess of what boilerplate conservatism warrants -- is due to a purely emotional reaction stoked by image and hope. Many conservatives, knowing that having a female or minority presidential candidate is advantageous today, want to believe in the Great Female Hope. Moreover, there is this politically correct notion, now seamlessly woven into our culture, of female specialness and superiority. So many today are looking for a woman to save us.

Then theres simply the matter of conservative female politicians relative rarity (even many GOP women officeholders are quite liberal); its easier to be seen as a standout when you stand out.

So the perhaps unwelcome message here is this: as with the 2008 Barack Obama, Palin is a cult of personality.

If even now you count yourself a Palinista, realize that Im not emotionally invested in the matter. After all, I know that political remedies wont cure what at bottom are cultural problems, anyway. Its also true that like so many other politicians, Palin demonstrates the ability to evolve. And at least shes evolved in the right direction: two years ago she called the 2013 Gang-of-Eight Rubio Judas in a tweet. I only wonder what she now really thinks, deep down, about the 2008 Palin.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

See also: Sarah Palin is Right: Go on Offense, Tout Conservatism

With Sarah Palin once again hinting at a presidential run, pundits and politics wonks are all the more aflutter with 2016 talk. The predictable slings and arrows of the surly left are coming her way, while her excited fans are firing up the troops. Then there are those who say that while they like the ex-governor, they dont believe she could win the presidency. My focus, however, is a bit different: I have an objection to Palin -- one relating to something of which most are unaware.

Before getting to that, please indulge me as I ask a few questions that establish where we all stand. Are you adamantly pro-life, or might your position change if (as in polling) the question is framed as a womans right to choose? Do you stand foursquare against amnesty, or could you be persuaded to accept a path to citizenship for illegals? Do you uphold the proper and only definition of marriage, or have the unrelenting attacks on tradition worn you down to a point where you might conclude, Well, none of this affects me, anyway?

If youre unwavering on all those issues, as I am, youre a real Sarah Palin conservative.

Or are you?

You see, Im pretty sure how Palin would answer those questions -- and one answer is a real problem.

On October 26, 2008, Palin had an interview with Jorge Ramos of Spanish-language network Univision. She was asked about amnesty: So you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

Her answer: I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

Sarah Palin supported amnestyin so many words.

See if you can put enough lipstick on that pig.

Now, since our country is subject to a somewhat planned invasion thats changing its face and involves the importation of leftist voters-to-be, I consider any pro-amnesty position a deal-breaker. Ive been front and center on the issue, so much so that Pat Buchanan saw fit to quote me in his book Death of the West. I even stated Marco Rubio is dead to me after he supported the Gang of Eight amnesty group in 2013. And, believe me, I once had high hopes for the photogenic, articulate Rubio. But my principles arent negotiable (especially the one in question here).

Some may now say that Palin had to play ball, as she was running for the White House in 2008 with amnesty poster boy John McCain.

But as they say back home, that dog dont hunt -- certainly not grizzly in Alaska.

Remember that Palin has been billed by supporters as a breath of fresh air, the un-politician, a principled crusader and transformational figure. Her whole stated appeal is based on the notion that shes not just another politician who goes along to get along.

But on Oct 26, 2008 she gave a quintessential politician-like answer. And on one of the biggest issues of our time.

Yet theres more than just Palins words on immigration. There are also her actions -- or perhaps inaction. As Examiner.coms Victor Medina wrote in 2013 citing Lou Dobbs reportage, Palin did not appear to act on the fact that Alaska hosted two sanctuary cities. As Dobbs put it, related Medina, Alaska and Oregon both have state-wide policies that forbid state agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration law. Apparently, this is by design from the highest levels (emphasis added).

Now, since Ive learned the hard way that criticizing Palin alienates some of my usual readers, Ill state that I bear her no special animus. Shes no different from 1000 other politicians who either dont understand the true impact of immigration (and a lot of other things) or have principles whose malleability is proportional to the power at stake. But thats the point.

Palin is no different from 1000 other politicians.

This brings us to her true appeal. And if youre a fan of hers, please try to take a step back, if you can, and view the matter from an emotional distance.

Question: can you cite for me one novel or unusually insightful thing Palin has ever said?

Just one.

Anyone?

Politics wonk that I am, I cant think of anything. Dont misunderstand me, theres nothing wrong with most of what she does say; its conservative boilerplate, and thats where you generally start. But that again is the point.

Palin says nothing 1000 politicians havent said before her.

So I ask, whats her true appeal, really?

Lets be honest, if we cant point to even one thing that makes a much ballyhooed politician substantively different from less touted co-ideologists, the process of elimination tells us where the greater appeal must lie.

Style.

Its not Palins oratory, either. Oh, its not bad, but shes no Reagan or Alan Keyes. The difference is what she is.

No one would be talking about Palin if she werent attractive and female.

This is true even if, by chance, John McCain would have been willing to choose a Scott Palin to be his running-mate (which he wouldnt have).

Its the phenomenon I expounded upon in Cultural Affirmative Action and The New Chivalry: when people in the market and media privilege others -- sometimes unconsciously -- based upon the latters identification with a victim group.

And most every politically aware person grasps this phenomenon to some degree. The late Geraldine Ferraro addressed Barack Obamas meteoric political rise in 2008 and said, If Obama was [sic] a white man, he would not be in this position. And Ferraro had noted herself that she wouldnt have been the 1984 vice-presidential candidate were she not a woman. Its the same reason, by the way, why Fox News hires a large number of attractive female hosts and pundits. Do you think its a coincidence? Is the largely conservative audience so taken with them solely because of their minds?

The fact is that its impossible to not benefit from fairer-sex status in politics today; it even elevates your brand among conservatives, though its difficult convincing many conservatives theyre thus influenced. With many motivations being unconscious, its common for people to not be completely aware of what drives them. How many Americans voted for Obama in 2008 without fully grasping the degree to which electing the first black president and wanting to feel unbigoted and open-minded influenced them?

This isnt to say Palin fans dont have some legitimate reasons to support her, only that the kind of heroine worship and savior-status attribution evident in some quarters -- support vastly in excess of what boilerplate conservatism warrants -- is due to a purely emotional reaction stoked by image and hope. Many conservatives, knowing that having a female or minority presidential candidate is advantageous today, want to believe in the Great Female Hope. Moreover, there is this politically correct notion, now seamlessly woven into our culture, of female specialness and superiority. So many today are looking for a woman to save us.

Then theres simply the matter of conservative female politicians relative rarity (even many GOP women officeholders are quite liberal); its easier to be seen as a standout when you stand out.

So the perhaps unwelcome message here is this: as with the 2008 Barack Obama, Palin is a cult of personality.

If even now you count yourself a Palinista, realize that Im not emotionally invested in the matter. After all, I know that political remedies wont cure what at bottom are cultural problems, anyway. Its also true that like so many other politicians, Palin demonstrates the ability to evolve. And at least shes evolved in the right direction: two years ago she called the 2013 Gang-of-Eight Rubio Judas in a tweet. I only wonder what she now really thinks, deep down, about the 2008 Palin.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com


the problem with sarah palin
The real problem with Sarah Palin's 'baptism' remark
April 30, 2014

On a strictly human level, it's hard not to feel a little sorry for Sarah Palin.

Like most women in the media, she seems oftentimes to be at pains to perform a particular character to keep her career afloat. This is not to say that she isn't really conservative she seems sincere in her beliefs but the rhetoric and issues she has confined herself to seem to be the preference of the audience that first imagined her as the mascot of a kind of fantasy about a recent conservative American past, beehive hairdo and all. The impetus to galvanize continued support seems especially desperate now that her star appears to be waning, as Robert Costa notes in The Washington Post:

Palin is today a diminished figure in the Republican Partyher influence in these midterm elections has been eclipsed by a new class of stars and her circle has narrowed, with a handful of aides guiding her and few allies in Washington beyond a group of backbench troublemakers in Congress. [The Washington Post]

Absurdity was always a defining part of Palin's shtick, so it is not surprising to find it cropping up now that that shtick seems to be declining in returns. Her latest gaffe came at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, where she gave a rambling speech interweaving:

- the Indy 500;

- conspiratorial suggestions that "they" ("You know who they are," Palin remarks cryptically) are trying to "control the people" through gun laws;

- the perils of "tolerance and free speech" (yes: Palin maligns the First Amendment while defending the Second);

- and finally, terrorism ("those who have plans to carry out jihadoh, but you can't offend them, can't make them feel uncomfortablewell, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists").

That latter metaphor is the one Palin has come under scrutiny for, and rightfully so. At The Federalist, longtime Palin defender Mollie Hemingway rebuked the onetime governor on the grounds that her comment was sacrilegious and riddled with theological falsehood, misrepresenting the nature and power of baptism. And while this is true, it supposes Palin's understanding of Christian doctrine is what needs correcting. I think it's actually the reverse: The problem is not that Palin accidentally politicized an overwhelmingly Christian framework, but rather that she sprinkled a little Christianity on top of a political framework as part of a performance. That is the problem.

I sincerely doubt Palin was attempting to make any kind of sincere comment about Christian doctrine or baptism itself; she appeared to be using the term in a colloquial, joking manner. But in doing so she inadvertently used it in a sense Christian writers often do when they mean to suggest a thing has been purified or sanctified, e.g. "the church's support may baptize a goal or project." What Palin was really baptizing here was her own image, a character she plays that is little more than a pastiche of images and bits of rhetoric that, taken together, comprise an appealing mascot for the type of crowd she plays to.

The Christian flair thrown into the speech, therefore, did nothing more than the other inexplicably tossed-in subjects did. After all, what relationship does the Indy 500 have to do with the NRA, save that people who like one probably have some kind of affinity for the other? What connection really exists between America's approach to terrorism and its approach to gun ownership? Does the NRA seriously have a policy on whether or not children are allowed to "cuss" in school and if so, why on earth? That's tantamount to PETA taking up a hardline position on student debt.

These incongruous allusions tells us a couple of things about Palin's use of Christianity: Firstly, that the NRA is not so much about gun rights as it is about a tribal cultural preference that imagines itself harking back to a colonial past in which guns were necessary to fight foreign tyranny and Christianity was simply the only publicly tolerated religious affiliation. Secondly, that the policies Palin promotes use Christianity as a kind of window dressing to fit into an ambiently pro-Christian culture rather than as a firm ethical basis from which policymaking proceeds.

In my view, the domestication of Christianity into a symbol related to a whole host of cultural preferences many of them potentially anti-Christian is a more serious danger than a silly reference to baptism. It suggests a drift into Christianist politics, in which the appearance of Christianity is more strictly sought than adherence to the faith itself. In other words, it threatens to substitute the aesthetics of Christianity its telltale words and images for genuine Christian ethical thinking. If Palin should be criticized for anything here, it's for participating in that very tendency to casually allude to Christianity rather than to seriously adhere to it.



My Problem With Sarah Palin

With Sarah Palin once again hinting at a presidential run, pundits and politics wonks are all the more aflutter with 2016 talk. The predictable slings and arrows of the surly left are coming her way, while her excited fans are firing up the troops. Then there are those who say that while they like the ex-governor, they dont believe she could win the presidency. My focus, however, is a bit different: I have an objection to Palin one relating to something of which most are unaware.

Before getting to that, please indulge me as I ask a few questions that establish where we all stand. Are you adamantly pro-life, or might your position change if (as in polling) the question is framed as a womans right to choose? Do you stand foursquare against amnesty, or could you be persuaded to accept a path to citizenship for illegals? Do you uphold the proper and only definition of marriage, or have the unrelenting attacks on tradition worn you down to a point where you might conclude, Well, none of this affects me, anyway?

If youre unwavering on all those issues, as I am, youre a real Sarah Palin conservative.

Or are you?

You see, Im pretty sure how Palin would answer those questions and one answer is a real problem.

On October 26, 2008, Palin had an interview with Jorge Ramos of Spanish-language network Univision. She was asked about amnesty: So you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

Her answer: I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.

Sarah Palin supported amnesty ... in so many words.

See if you can put enough lipstick on that pig.

Now, since our country is subject to a somewhat planned invasion thats changing its face and involves the importation of leftist voters-to-be, I consider any pro-amnesty position a deal-breaker. Ive been front and center on the issue, so much so that Pat Buchanan saw fit to quote me in his book Death of the West. I even stated Marco Rubio is dead to me after he supported the Gang of Eight amnesty group in 2013. And, believe me, I once had high hopes for the photogenic, articulate Rubio. But my principles arent negotiable (especially the one in question here).

Some may now say that Palin had to play ball, as she was running for the White House in 2008 with amnesty poster boy John McCain.

But as they say back home, that dog dont hunt certainly not grizzly in Alaska.

Remember that Palin has been billed by supporters as a breath of fresh air, the un-politician, a principled crusader and transformational figure. Her whole stated appeal is based on the notion that shes not just another politician who goes along to get along.

But on Oct 26, 2008 she gave a quintessential politician-like answer. And on one of the biggest issues of our time.

Yet theres more than just Palins words on immigration. There are also her actions or perhaps inaction. As Examiner.coms Victor Medina wrote in 2013 citing Lou Dobbs reportage, Palin did not appear to act on the fact that Alaska hosted two sanctuary cities. As Dobbs put it, related Medina, Alaska and Oregon both have state-wide policies that forbid state agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration law. Apparently, this is by design from the highest levels (emphasis added).

Now, since Ive learned the hard way that criticizing Palin alienates some of my usual readers, Ill state that I bear her no special animus. Shes no different from 1000 other politicians who either dont understand the true impact of immigration (and a lot of other things) or have principles whose malleability is proportional to the power at stake. But thats the point.

Palin is no different from 1000 other politicians.

This brings us to her true appeal. And if youre a fan of hers, please try to take a step back, if you can, and view the matter from an emotional distance.

Question: can you cite for me one novel or unusually insightful thing Palin has ever said?

Just one.

Anyone?

Politics wonk that I am, I cant think of anything. Dont misunderstand me, theres nothing wrong with most of what she does say; its conservative boilerplate, and thats where you generally start. But that again is the point.

Palin says nothing 1000 politicians havent said before her.

So I ask, whats her true appeal, really?

Lets be honest, if we cant point to even one thing that makes a much ballyhooed politician substantively different from less touted co-ideologists, the process of elimination tells us where the greater appeal must lie.

Style.

Its not Palins oratory, either. Oh, its not bad, but shes no Reagan or Alan Keyes. The difference is what she is.

No one would be talking about Palin if she werent attractive and female.

This is true even if, by chance, John McCain would have been willing to choose a Scott Palin to be his running-mate (which he wouldnt have).

Its the phenomenon I expounded upon in Cultural Affirmative Action and The New Chivalry: when people in the market and media privilege others sometimes unconsciously based upon the latters identification with a victim group.

And most every politically aware person grasps this phenomenon to some degree. The late Geraldine Ferraro addressed Barack Obamas meteoric political rise in 2008 and said, If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And Ferraro had noted herself that she wouldnt have been the 1984 vice-presidential candidate were she not a woman. Its the same reason, by the way, why Fox News hires a large number of attractive female hosts and pundits. Do you think its a coincidence? Is the largely conservative audience so taken with them solely because of their minds?

The fact is that its impossible to not benefit from fairer-sex status in politics today; it even elevates your brand among conservatives, though its difficult convincing many conservatives theyre thus influenced. With many motivations being unconscious, its common for people to not be completely aware of what drives them. How many Americans voted for Obama in 2008 without fully grasping the degree to which electing the first black president and wanting to feel unbigoted and open-minded influenced them?

This isnt to say Palin fans dont have some legitimate reasons to support her, only that the kind of heroine worship and savior-status attribution evident in some quarters support vastly in excess of what boilerplate conservatism warrants is due to a purely emotional reaction stoked by image and hope. Many conservatives, knowing that having a female or minority presidential candidate is advantageous today, want to believe in the Great Female Hope. Moreover, there is this politically correct notion, now seamlessly woven into our culture, of female specialness and superiority. So many today are looking for a woman to save us.

Then theres simply the matter of conservative female politicians relative rarity (even many GOP women officeholders are quite liberal); its easier to be seen as a standout when you stand out.

So the perhaps unwelcome message here is this: as with the 2008 Barack Obama, Palin is a cult of personality.

If even now you count yourself a Palinista, realize that Im not emotionally invested in the matter. After all, I know that political remedies wont cure what at bottom are cultural problems, anyway. Its also true that like so many other politicians, Palin demonstrates the ability to evolve. And at least shes evolved in the right direction: two years ago she called the 2013 Gang-of-Eight Rubio Judas in a tweet. I only wonder what she now really thinks, deep down, about the 2008 Palin.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need jаvascript enabled to view it. follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

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